From London hotspots to beauty faves, here’s what we’ve been loving in July!
A motivational message with my morning juice? Yes please! My sister bought me these cute, kitchy glasses recently. The boyfriend doesn’t quite get their appeal but I absolutely adore them.
I’ve finally got around to planting my herbs! I’m looking forward to having a kitchen window-ledge filled with greenery, so fingers crossed I can keep them alive long enough!
Perfume is the ultimate beauty luxury. So much so that (don’t tell anyone but) for the last few months I’ve been using a strongly scented moisturiser instead while I save my pennies. Now, though, I’m bathing in this stuff: Blooming Bouquet. This pretty pink bottle is a twist on the original Miss Dior scent. It’s lighter, fresher and more floral.
A weird bouncy face mask? Tell me more… That was pretty much my response when I recently nipped into The Body Shop to repurchase my usual Vitamin E night cream, and got chatting to a saleswoman who recommended this new overnight mask. The texture is quite weird, like a jelly crossed with a cream, and it needs to be applied with a little spatula and left on overnight to sink in. It contains Edelwiess stem cells for youthful, plump and ‘bouncy skin’ – which is why it’s sold with an anti-ageing angle – but I found it super hydrating so it’s a great choice for dry or dehydrated skin too. A little goes a long way, so while it’s quite pricey for The Body Shop, it’s a good investment.
Part simple stud, part hoop, these delicate drop back earrings are my new faves. They are perfect with jeans during a low-key day at the office, but look equally good dressed up for after-work drinks. Plus the blue studs look a bit like tiny planets, if you’re into that kind of thing. 🌍
Baby blue? Tick. Stripey? Tick. Off-the-shoulder? Tick. Could this little Zara dress BE any more on trend? It’s such a lovely sunny day dress, but I’ve got away with wearing it to work on hot days and to a friend’s birthday in the evening too, so it’s pretty versatile. The elastic is tight enough to keep it up without being restricting like some off-the-shoulder styles.
Happiness by Design by Paul Dolan
This book will change the way you think. Dolan’s tome is an epic journey into how you measure happiness, what makes us happy and how what actually makes us happy is often different than what we think. It’s full of science and stats but it’s easily accessible and endlessly interesting. It’s not an exaggeration to say that this book has the potential to revolutionise your life.
If you like Pride and Prejudice, you’ll probably love this coming-of-age tale set in the inter-war period. It follows the young and beautiful Linda, as told by her cousin Fanny, starting with her sheltered, upper-class country life, then her various marriages (first a boring banker, then a distant communist) and her finally her scandalous love affair in Paris. It’s undoubtedly a social comedy, but it also touches on some really heartfelt ideas about motherhood, love and friendship. Our book club read it this month and it was the first book we all agreed on liking – plus the cover is beautiful!
This NPR podcast is a saviour during my morning commute. Invisibilia is all about the invisible forces that control human behaviour – ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions. They say it “interweaves narrative storytelling with scientific research that will ultimately make you see your own life differently.” And basically that means every episode is jam-packed full of strange and fascinating stuff.
Stranger things, Netflix
I wasn’t born in the 80s, but still grew up loving fantasy movies of that time, from E.T to Labyrinth to The Goonies. Stranger Things pays homage to multiple movies, but the great acting, satisfying narrative arcs and its inherent likeability keep it from feeling too cheesy. It’s got conspiracy theories, parallel universes, high-school romances, monsters, kidventures and more, and it all starts when Will goes missing…
This is so much more than a garden centre. On the edge of Richmond Park on an idyllic stretch of the Thames Petersham Nurseries is a little slice of heaven for foodies and flower lovers. There are mountains of blooms, ferns in pretty pots, chic china, beautiful ornaments and anything a discerning gardener might need. Plus a tearoom which serves coffee, cake and piles of pretty salads – and a cafe for some seriously fancy cuisine. Think rose petal prosecco and pretty plates of food.
I have a new favourite London museum. If, like me, you haven’t been to the IWM since you were at a school, you should go back and check it out, because it’s had a serious revamp since then. I really can’t rate it enough. The displays are interesting, interactive and well thought through. And the best part is, it’s free! So next time you feel like having a touristy day out in London – add the IWM to your to-see list.