recent/current faves ☁️

Saturday, October 6, 2018

It’s all about my favourites again and this time I will skip the usual prelude of me explaining that I don’t buy a lot of things and therefore only ever use the same stuff and have the same faves all the time yadda yadda. But in case you do want to catch up on my recent favourites-blogposts, I’ll link them here and here and, oh, here. You’re welcome.

Something I do buy on a regular basis are books. 📖 I want to mention the novel Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue again, which also was on my summer reading list. The novel follows Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant, who is trying to make the American Dream come true for himself and his wife and child in New York City. He’s an idealist and very hard working. Through his job as a chauffeur for the senior executive at Lehman Brothers, Clark Edwards, occasional glimpses into the lives of people who have “made it”, become a big part of Jende’s everyday life. Being able to live in similar circumstances – having a steady job and income, owning a house, being able to provide for his wife and child – seems to come within reach for Jende Jonga and his wife Neni, who also lands a job with the Edwards family and on top of that studies to become a pharmacist.
I got really invested in Jende’s and Neni’s lives and their dream of living and working in the U.S. longterm and legally. Their story is very well told – I felt the excitement and euphoria they were experiencing, when their dream seemed to become true in front of their eyes in the fall of 2007. And I also felt the fear, pain and despair that came with the constant limbo they were living in. Not knowing if their asylum application was going to be approved, fearing to lose their jobs in the face of the financial crisis, still having to push on despite everything.
The little blurb on the back of the book sums the novel’s themes up very well, it is a story about “[…] marriage, immigration, class, race, and the trapdoors in the American Dream“. I have to admit that I was expecting a certain ending, which I didn’t get – what I did get was very real and that’s why I appreciated this reading experience and this novel so much.

Since the weather is getting a bit colder (thank the stars!), I’m slowly getting back into wearing make-up again. I’ve particularly enjoyed wearing a combination of the lipliner Nougat Crisp by GOSH and the Fenty-lipgloss Fenty Glow. [Both brands are cruelty free btw. ✌️] The lipgloss on its own looks very natural and kind of underlines your natural lip colour, whereas the combination of liner and gloss achieve a brownish nude that looks very natural, autumnal and slightly glossy. I also love wearing the liner on its own, but since I’m not wild about matt lip colours, I usually opt for the lipliner/gloss combo, which brings out the best in both products. I also want to talk about the gorgeous smell of the lipgloss. I can’t really put my finger on it … it smells kind of sweet (but not too sweet) and weirdly/nostalgically comforting. 🍭☁️

Another favourite of mine was also purchased in the UK – at Neal’s Yard in Convent Garden, to be precise. It’s the Neal’s Yard Remedies Almond Moisturiser. I’ve talked about my skin and skincare routine on the blog before, so check that out if you’re interested. Thankfully, I don’t struggle with skin blemishes a lot, although I have combination/sometimes slightly oily skin. The skin on my face tends to get dry and itchy in certain areas so I’m trying to give it as much moisture as possible without clogging up my pores in the more oily areas of my face. This particular Neal’s Yard Moisturiser is supposed to nourish and protect sensitive skin and IT DOES! I’ve used it as a night cream, applying it after cleansing my face in the evening before bed. I always have a brief at home spa moment with it, because it nourishes/soothes my skin and makes it feel soft and smooth whilst smelling kind of herbal-y and of essential oils. My tub is on it’s last legs and I will definitely repurchase the cream when we’re back in England. 🇬🇧

This necklace is an old and all time favourite of mine. I’ve had it for years and I wear it almost every day. There’s not much to say about it. I bought it for myself, because I wanted a golden necklace with a round zodiac pendant. Zodiac pendants can look a bit generic and I-got-this-at-the-fun-fair-nothing-wrong-with-that, but it wasn’t what I was looking for. So I was very happy when I found this. And since it basically goes with almost everything clothes-wise, I’m wearing it pretty much every day. So, shoutout to this staple and everyday-and-always fave.

I’ve talked about my effort to avoid fast fashion and concentrate on second hand and ethically made clothes before. As a result, I almost don’t buy any clothes anymore, because I’m finding so much joy in the stuff I already own and have owned for years. I don’t feel the need to buy something new all the time, because I’ve stepped off the fast fashion carousel. I did, however, buy this sweater from a thrift store last month, because I absolutely love the colour and softness of it, as well as the fact that it has a panda on it! Hashtag I’m an adult wait what? I’m looking forward to autumn/colder months and SWEATER WEATHER so so much, and although I haven’t worn the sweater a ton so far, I can already tell that it’s going to become one of my absolute faves! 🐼

Music! I’ve been writing and working on blog stuff a lot these past weeks and I always need music to put me in the right, preferably creative frame of mind. There are days when I just cannot focus at all or I just don’t have any good ideas. That’s when the right sort of music is even more important than usual and a neccesaty for me to get anything done. I’ve talked about ODESZA and my obsession with their latest album A Moment Apart in this blogpost here already. After listening to that for months on end, I dove into their older stuff and am now happy to report that I’m completely immersed in In Return, the album they released in 2014. Since I’m very new to electronic music, I definitely won’t be able to do a very good job explaining what the music does for me … I sometimes feel like I’m getting access to a part of my brain I didn’t even know was there. Pop music doesn’t do that for me. I’ve watched a video on YouTube, where the two guys behind ODESZA talk about their creative process. At one point, Clayton Knight explains how the area of the Pacific North West [with its gloominess and colder weather I guess] is particularly inspiring. “I think the North West definitely has a particular vibe. […] It allows you to just be inside and that breeds this internal energy and, like, you can really selfdiscover – in a sense, a side of you that I think might get lost.“ And gosh, I can relate to that so much. That’s what their music helps me to do – go inside, turn inwards, selfdiscover, unearth things and express them/put them into writing.
If you don’t know ODESZA or haven’t listened to their music before, do yourself a favour and give the Deluxe Edition of In Return a listen – the instrumental and live versions on there are truly remarkable. ✌️

Two TV shows I really enjoyed watching in the months of August and September were Happy Valley and Marcella. They’re both British Crime Series with female police officers/detectives at their center.
Happy Valley is set in a small town in West Yorkshire and follows the police woman Catherine Cawood. She is strong-willed, fierce and doesn’t take shit from no-one, although she’s still trying to come to terms with a personal tragedy, her daughter’s suicide. The whole of the first season deals with one case/one investigation only. So no new-case-every-episode-situation which I really like. You can get properly swallowed up by the story, which developes a real depth through the course of the two seasons.
Marcella is set in London and focuses on Marcella Backland, a former police detective who returns to work to investigate an old case, where a serial killer seems to have become active again. Since the show has been written, directed and produced by Hans Rosenfeld, a Swedish screenwriter and creator of The Bridge, the series has a nordic, gloomy, dark feel to it, which I love. As with Happy Valley, one season focuses on one case.
When you’re into crime/mystery shows like The Fall, The Killing (God, all time favourite!), you’re definitely going to like Happy Valley and Marcella. Both shows are extremely gripping (sometimes very graphic/explicit and not easy to stomach) and live off their brilliant leading female characters – in my opinion.

This last one might as well be my favourite-favourite of and about summer of 2018. There’s a lake near Berlin, called Schlachtensee. I went there three or four times during July and August to take the edge off these very hot and sometimes exhausting summer days we’ve had this year. I packed my bag with a bath rug, a towel, a book, a few snacks and something to drink and took the S-Bahn to the Schlachtensee station. It takes a bit to get there from our place, but it’s totally worth it. There are a lot of nice spots at the lakeside where you can relax in the shadow and go for occasional swims in the (not very cold) but refreshing water.
I developed this little ritual where I went to the lake at around 11, went for a swim, ate my breakfast (which I brought with me), read my book for a couple of hours, went for another swim (and another) and left at around 3pm when it started to get really full. Then I went to a Café next to the train station called goodies and had a vegan wrap + coconut matcha latte there before taking the train back home.
I always felt so relaxed and at peace after my lake afternoons, I can’t even tell you. These days were like mini holidays and I’m so happy I was able to go so many times this summer.

These were some of my recent/current favourites, y’all. Let me know your thoughts/your faves and recs and have a good one! ✌️

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