June Favourites

Hello lovely people! I'm sorry I've been incredibly slack on the blogging front lately, but it's because life has been taken over a bit by some exciting news (more about that further down this post). However, as things are calming down now I've got some time to focus on my blog, so I'm starting as I mean to go on with this month's favourites!

Favourite item of clothing: Seasalt dress
I was down in Whitstable last weekend (more on that coming soon!) and, whilst passing one of the many little independent clothes shop, I spotted this dress hanging on the door. After much persuasion I ended up buying it and can instantly tell it's one of those pieces I'll have for years. As well as the fun and cheery striped print and the thick-but-not-too heavy fabric, it also transfers really nicely to different events - I wore it with a navy blazer and tan ballet pumps on the hottest day of the year (and was lovely and cool), but equally would look nice with a denim jacket and sandals for a relaxed daytime event, or a colourful cardigan and heels for something a bit dressier. Plus it has pockets, which are always a huge bonus!

Favourite beauty product: Benefit Hoola
Bronzer has always been one of those products that scares me a bit; as someone who's naturally milk-bottle pale, I've often thought it would just make me look like I hadn't washed. However, I decided to experiment with Hoola (from a Benefit powder box I got a little while back) and have actually grown to really like it. It's given me a nice sunkissed look without being overly shimmery or oxidising too much on the skin - perfect to add a bit of colour for the warmer months. A late discovery and maybe not one I'll continue using year-round, but a very pleasant one to see me through the summer.

Favourite book: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Fantasy and historical fiction are two of my favourite genres, so Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell was right up my street. I'd read it years ago but the recent TV adaptation made me come back to it. (For those who didn't watch, it's about two rival magicians in an alternate history of eighteenth-century England - think Jane Austen meets Harry Potter.) And thankfully it was just as good as I remembered it being - so much richer than the TV version with all the additional footnotes and asides. The descriptions are lovely too, particularly the passage about the 'little box, the colour of heartache'; you really feel like you've stepped into an alternate world, until the all-too abrupt ending comes out of nowhere and snatches you away. It's a wrench to leave it all behind as you get to know the characters (all rounded, all flawed, even the gentleman with the thistle-down hair) so well, but equally it's all done so well and fits the tone of the novel so perfectly. A wonderful, wonderful book.

Favourite TV programme: RuPaul's Drag Race
Another rediscovery! I worked my way steadily through all six seasons of Drag Race on Netflix but, in need of something to fill the gap before season 7 starts, I started watching season 4 on TruTV. And even though I know how it turns out, it's still brilliant to watch, from the amazing outfits and make-up skills on show to the guilty pleasure of watching the queens throw shade at each other. I won't spoil it for anyone watching for the first time but I am loving Sharon Needles - doing it for all those of us who were 'the weird one' at school - and Latrice Royale, who strikes me as someone who'd give very good hugs. Can I get an amen up in here?

Favourite music: James Bay - Chaos and the Calm
This is a relatively new discovery for me; whilst I was aware of James Bay, particularly Hold Back The River which was everywhere earlier this year, it was only watching his Glastonbury performance that got me fully into his music. From the pounding beat of opening track Craving to the dying notes of Stealing Cars, the album is packed with stick-in-your-head melodies and choruses that demand to be sung along to, balanced perfectly by James's soulful voice which rings with emotion on every word. Along with last month's pick, Florence + the Machine's How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, this will be the soundtrack to my summer.

Favourite thing to do: Completing on our house!
Yes, after months and months of me boring you with our house-buying saga, we have finally completed! The house still needs a little work (replastering some ceilings) so we're not actually moving for a couple of weeks yet, but it is immensely exciting to finally be homeowners. I'm so looking forward to being properly settled in and showing you all the new flat - expect quite a few room tour videos over the next few months...

What have been your favourite things in June?

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