Favourites: May 2015

It's that time of the month again: monthly favourites! May has been a bit of a full-on month for me as work was really busy and then we went down to Cornwall for a week, plus have had loads of stuff going on with our house purchase, but on the other hand that's given me plenty of material for today's post. So here we go again...

Favourite item of clothing: New Look electric blue mac
I must admit I haven't been spending a massive amount of money on clothes lately but that's given an opportunity to rediscover old favourites - including this beautiful bright mac. I bought it years ago when Giles Deacon did a range for New Look and it has been my favourite coat ever since; getting it out every spring is a welcome antidote to dreary rainy weather. Plus it's really good at keeping the water out but without being too heavy on sunny days. I've tried to extend its life with new buttons - these are from Sass & Belle - but it really is on its last legs now, so I've enjoyed giving it a last hurrah before it gets packed away in the hope of warmer weather.

Favourite beauty product: Guerlain Rouge G Complete Lipstick in Gracy
From an old favourite to a new purchase! I had been eyeing up the Guerlain Rouge G lipsticks for years so, after a particularly hectic work event in April, I thought I'd treat myself. There are so many beautiful colours in the range but I opted for Gracy, a lovely summery grapefruit-pink that adds a nice extra touch but isn't too overwhelming. Even though it's not the cheapest, it's really moisturising and the colour lasts for around six to eight hours even through eating and drinking. And it has the most beautiful packaging: a beautiful heavy silver bullet with a built-in mirror that flips up when you take the lid off. If you're in the market for an investment lipstick that's still wearable I'd definitely recommend this.

Favourite book: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Rebecca has been on my to-read list for years, but whilst I was on holiday I finally bit the bullet and picked it up. And I'm really glad I did, because it's wonderful. From its opening sentence, 'Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again', you're plunged into a darkly romantic world of intrigue and mystery. The book is loaded with atmosphere and the sense of oppression felt by the second Mrs de Winter permeates through every page, helped by the brilliantly villainous Mrs Danvers. I also loved the layers in the complex relationship between the characters, particularly the second Mrs de Winter and her husband Maxim, and the whip-smart pace the book moves at - you feel like there's no such thing as a wasted word. Plus, as someone who normally likes loose ends tied up, its final lines left me wanting even more. So far this is my book of the year.

Favourite music: Florence + The Machine - How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
I loved Florence's first two albums, Lungs and Ceremonials, so had high hopes for her long-awaited third album - and thankfully those hopes were justified. It's loaded with the same sing-along anthems we know and love but there's a lot more of a rock influence this time; an angrier edge sits alongside the dreamier melodies, particularly on tracks like lead single What Kind of Man. My favourite tracks are Ship to Wreck - I can imagine a crowd of thousands singing this back at a festival over the summer - the wonderfully wistful title track underscored by a driving beat and dramatic string section, and the unusually uptempo Delilah which I wished had existed in my indie club student days. Overall it's a fantastic album and one that I'll have on repeat all summer.

Favourite TV programme: Empire
Sometimes you just want a TV programme to get into that's a million miles away from whatever else is going on, and Empire is that in spades. It follows hip-hop mogul Lucious Lyon (a brilliantly smooth yet sinister Terrence Howard) who, after being diagnosed with ALS and given three years to live, pits his three sons against each other to decide which will inherit his company. When his ex-wife Cookie comes back from 17 years in prison, things get very complicated very quickly. It's ridiculously over the top with every issue possible thrown into the mix, but if you need some escapist telly then it's brilliantly addictive and keeps you coming back to find out what happens next. Plus Taraji P Henson as Cookie gets all the best clothes and all the best lines.

Favourite thing to do: Going to Cornwall
As it took up a huge chunk of my month, my holiday in Cornwall was definitely a highlight. It was really nice to get a break and spend some time with my parents and sisters, especially as I don't get to see them as often as I'd like. Plus it was a great opportunity to explore new places which is always something I really enjoy about being on holiday, and I loved being surrounded by beautiful scenery; even the train journey passing through Dawlish is just brilliant. I came back feeling very refreshed and at peace, but equally looking forward to hopefully going back next year. Be aware that this has been a fairly huge source of blogging material so expect there to be a lot of holiday-themed posts coming your way in the next few weeks!

What did you get up to in May?

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