16 October 2020

OCTOBER READING LIST

Like one long groundhog day, this year seems to have whizzed by and staggered along in equal measure. It's the middle of October and my main achievements for 2020 are, um... oh. Wait! I'm writing book three. That's an achievement! And I'm still standing, so there's that too. How are you doing? 

It may not have been a year for nailing achievements but the main thing is that we're looking after ourselves as best we can, right? For me that involves pulling on some super soft joggers and reading a lot of books. These are my October faves... 




THE WISH LIST, Sophia Money-Coutts
Sophia is excellent at writing gorgeous, funny characters you quite want to be friends with so I was really keen to meet her latest protagonist, Florence, in The Wish List. Eternally single, Florence is shoehorned into visiting a love coach by her step mum where she writes a wish list describing her perfect man. A couple of days later, along comes Rory... but is he actually perfect? I'll leave it to you to find out, because you really must. I think this is Sophia's best book yet. 

THE SHELF, Helly Acton
Amy probably should get married and have babies soon so the idiot she's dating will have to do... Until he dumps her on live TV and enters her into a reality show called The Shelf. Think Big Brother but for newly single women who will spend the next four weeks learning how to be better at dating. LOL. This is fresh, feminist fiction at its best, I loved the concept and how deftly Helly explores her characters. 

THE TRUANTS, Kate Weinberg
I stayed up way too late devouring this, the literary love child of Agatha Christie and Sally Rooney. Jess heads off to university to find herself but ends up falling into dangerous relationships in this gripping mystery. 

Need more book recs? 


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16 September 2020

LITTLE WINS

Every morning I whizz myself up a spinach smoothie while my kids have breakfast and recently they asked to try it so I poured some into cups, fully expecting them to get thrown all over the walls in disgust. It turns out they liked it. What I'm saying here lads is that my kids have spinach for breakfast. 

I know. 

Before you run for the hills, let me just take this opportunity to explain that the rest of their diet (and mine) is mostly cheese- and carbohydrate-based. So seeing them drink a little shot of goodness each morning gives me such a boost and I've realised that it is the little wins like this which keep me going, even if the rest of the day is one giant cheese-eating, toddler-wrestling dystopia. 



Let's face it, we could all do with making the most of our little wins right now. Here are some more of my personal faves... 

🥇 Wearing a face mask and your glasses decide not to steam up. Rare triumph!

🥇 Finishing a chapter of a good book before falling asleep. Champ. 

🥇 Walking round the supermarket on a toddler-free trip. The Sainers clothes aisle never took such a battering.
 
🥇 Needing a snack, being outraged at the selection of nuts in the cupboard and then finding a hidden bar of chocolate!

🥇 Getting a spot and then realising that you never leave the house now anyway so toothpaste on the face is fine.

🥇 Realising it's Money Diaries day on Refinery29. J'obsessed. 

🥇 Publishing a blog post with the outrageous mash-up "j'obsessed" in it and feeling pretty fine about it.

🥇 Buying pastel-coloured highlighters in your thirties and feeling pretty fine about that, too.

🥇 Spotting a dog poo on the pavement before all of your kids wade through it.

🥇 Finding your favourite wine's on sale. Chin chin. 

🥇 Starting your day with a run or a body brush. Smooth operator. 

🥇 Messaging the group WhatsApp and then spending the whole evening reminiscing with your bests.

🥇 Non-chipping nail varnish. 

🥇 Successful online clothes shopping with zero returns. 

So now I obviously need to hear yours too and in the meantime, congratulations on the small stuff, buns!

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9 September 2020

SEPTEMBER WATCH LIST

With the last drops of sunshine and a chill in the air there's one one thing for it kids. It's time to get cosy. CHOCS AHOY! 

For me, there's nothing better than curling up after a long and busy day to the sound of rain tapping on the windows, the smell of a scented candle wafting through the room and the promise of an uninterrupted hour of TV.


There are some absolute CRACKERS on at the moment! Here's what I've been watching... 

MRS AMERICA

You'll love to hate Cate Blanchett, who is sheer perfection as anti-hero Phyllis Schlafly in this series on the feminist wars of 1970s America, when women in pearls and twinsets mobilised fellow housewives to fight against the women's liberation movement. Rose Byrne and Uzo Aduba play feminist icons Gloria Steinem and Shirley Chisholm brilliantly. A fascinating watch.

On BBC iPlayer

HARLOTS

This Georgian bonk buster about warring brothel-owners in London is an absolute ROMP! Starry cast (Samantha Morton, Jessica Brown Findlay and apparently a cameo from Liv Tyler to come), a dive into the rich and the poor of 18th century London and finely tuned characters to boot. A must. 

On BBC iPlayer

THE OTHER ONE

We've instigated Comedy Wednesdays in my house which is a very jolly way to celebrate the midweek mark. I was super miffed when Young Offenders finished but not to worry, The Other One is now a firm favourite. Premise: Catherine (Cathy) discovers her dad had a secret second family after he dies and her half-sister is also called Catherine (Cat). Cathy's played by Ellie White aka Princess Beatrice in The Windsors and Cat is the excellent Lauren Socha. It's all about a clash of the classes and, like Young Offenders, offers really tender moments among the laughs. 

On BBC iPlayer

CHERNOBYL

I sobbed uncontrollably at the end of this, which may or may not be a recommendation for you. It's devastatingly sad and bloody bleak. It's also a really important watch because while we all know what happened in 1980s USSR this show brings it right back to the fore and more. 

On Sky. 

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22 July 2020

BEACH READS FOR SUMMER 2020


Waves crashing gently against the shore. Toes dipped in golden sand. The smell of salt in the air. OH BEACH, I MISS YOU! With 2020 thoroughly ruining our holiday plans, I know lots of us are turning to books for a little summer escapism instead. 

I've been blazing through some absolute beauties lately and these are my favourites...

THE NEW GIRL, Harriet Walker
Fashion Editor Margot's on maternity leave and replacement Maggie is proving a little too good at the job Margot fought hard for. This is a dark and compelling debut, diving head-first into the topics of friendship and motherhood with excellent observation. 
Available here

BEACH READ, Emily Henry
What a ROMP. Author January has major writing block after discovering her picture perfect family harboured a troubling secret, so she goes to the beach to find some peace. There she meets Gus, her former crush, who's rented a place for the summer to get his own book written. Sizzling sexual tension ensues.
Available here

THE LOVE SQUARE, Laura Jane Williams 
Oh Penny, so unlucky in love until three potential men come along. What's she gonna do?! I thought this was a funny, feel-good and super cute exploration of modern love.
Available here


More book recs here, pals! 

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