Favourites: February 2016

For all that January is supposed to be about fresh starts, I actually feel that February has been a month of getting into new things for me. I've started my 30 Days of Outfits challenge, read different genres of books and got back into good habits, and it's produced some favourites that I feel are a sign of turning a corner in my life. So here are the things I've been loving in the last month!

Image sources: skirt, Clarins exfoliator, And Then There Were None, Montevallo, Tattoo Fixers cast, parkrun logo

Favourite item of clothing: BeckyQueenOfFrocks world map print skirt
Do you have those items that you lust after for ages, then when you get them wear them to death? This was that for me; I spotted it in a post on the (now sadly defunct) Domestic Sluttery blog, but as it wasn't cheap I felt a little bit nervous about having a big splurge on it. Howevever, I finally took the plunge and am in love with it. The fact it's neutral but has loads of different colours in it means it goes with everything, and the fit is really nice too. I also like that it works for loads of different occasions, from work to weekends, and the fact that whenever I wear it I get loads of compliments is a huge bonus. In fact I love it so much I'm going to do a  post on how I put different outfits together with it in the next few weeks so make sure you look out for that!

Favourite beauty product: Clarins Gentle Exfoliator
This is one of those products that you don't think you need when you first get it, and then you stop using it and realise just how much difference it makes to your skin. Think of it as a more effective replacement for toner - after cleansing, you put some on a pad, swipe it over your face and it 'eats' all the dead skin cells to help prevent spots and deal with dry patches. (Sorry for the gross image, but I do love the idea of a liquid exfoliator chomping through dead skin, Pacman-style.)

Favourite book: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
I reviewed this in my Season's Readings post last week so you can go over there for more detail, but suffice to say it's brilliant and you should go and read it right now.

Favourite music: Sam Hunt - Montevallo
Ahead of Country to Country (FIVE DAYS TO GO!!! *claps hands excitedly, bounces in seat* Ahem. As you were.), I've been re-listening to the headliners' latest albums and greatest hits to prepare myself for singing along at the shows. As someone who has conflicting views about bro-country (catchy melodies - good, dodgy lyrics - bad), I was a bit apprehensive about Sam Hunt's Montevallo album. I needn't have worried. Yes, there are hip-hop hooks aplenty; yes, there is the slightly dubious 'Single For The Summer'. But overall it's a brilliant album, blending country with pop and R&B elements and feeling really current and fresh, whilst all tied with Sam's rich voice and a great sense of storytelling. Standout tracks for me are 'Break Up In A Small Town' and Sam's version of 'Cop Car' (which he co-wrote but was previously a hit for Keith Urban). He also did a great session on Bob Harris' radio show next week which I recommend you listen to here - hoping there'll be some of this in his set on Saturday!

Favourite TV programme: Tattoo Fixers
If you follow me on Twitter you'll know that I am a bit obsessed with Tattoo Fixers. Now in its second series (you can watch all the previous episodes here), it does what it says on the tin - three tattoo artists fix the UK's dodgiest tattoos. I am the first to admit I'm not a tattoo expert - despite the frankly ridiculous amount of tattoo shows I watch - and yes they're not perfect every time, but given what they've often got to work with these guys do an amazing job, with loads of beautiful tattoos to make up for the previous terrible body art. Plus I love the banter between the cast; it's like hanging out with your funniest mates as they all bounce off each other and mock each other relentlessly yet lovingly. Oh, and (depending whether you like your men bearded and muscly or pierced and floppy-haired) Jay and Sketch aren't half bad to look at. The only slightly bad thing about it is it's making me really want to get a tattoo...

Favourite thing to do: parkrun
I'd gone to parkrun on and off when we lived in our previous flat, but since the move I'd fallen off the wagon due to everything else that was going on. However, at the start of the year I decided to start again and have managed to go almost every week since. As well as the excitement of seeing myself improve (I managed to finish the month with a new personal best of 33:44 - granted it's not exactly super-speedy but it's definitely something to build on for March), I've also met some really lovely people through post-parkrun coffees and am enjoying getting out in the fresh air to work out at least once a week. It's got to the stage now where I wake up on Saturday excited to go and feel sad if I have to miss a week. Definitely worth trying if you want to get into running.

What were your favourite things in February?

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