Hello! Welcome to my May favourites. That’s May. M-A-Y It’s my favourite. Purely because it is so short and very easy to say. So, what are my favourite things this month? Well, number one: Ba-da! Now, I actually got this after a conversation with my very good friend, Naomi Hi, Naomi! “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls” bam-bam-bam This is the kind of book that I would have loved when I was little and the kind of book, actually, that I really intend to read to my daughters in the future. They’re currently just, like…eggs but one day they’ll be people. And nieces, should I be blessed with nieces. [Clears throat] Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is a hundred tales of extraordinary women throughout history – true stories – OK, I think some of them are mythological… (slightly) and I have been reading them to Claudia at night, because, as I said, I have no daughter but I do have a wife. Every page, we learn about the lady. Learn what she was, when she lived… beautiful little picture of her. Each of them are told as tales. So, they’re kind of exciting stories, and these aren’t the normal, “Oh, she was a beautiful princess… and she was very kind and good, and then she met…her prince.” Oh, no! And they’re not just people that we would consider to be famous in the Western world. Some of these are very obscure – I’d never heard of, and I’m really loving learning about. Like I’m going to get this name incredibly wrong now, and I’m terribly sorry about it but Irena Sendlerowa Mmm… Mmm. OK, it’s Polish. The story starts, “In Poland, there lived a little girl, called Irena, who loved her father dearly. One day, a terrible epidemic of typhus broke out in their city of Warsaw. Irena’s father was a brave doctor. He could have stayed away from the people who were sick and not put himself at risk, but he chose to be with them and look after them, until he himself fell ill with the disease. Before he died, he said to his daughter, ‘Irena, if you see someone drowning, you must jump in and try to save them.”” (I know, it makes me want to cry.) “Irena cherished his words, and when Jews started to be persecuted by the Nazis, she helped Jewish families to save their children. She gave the children Christian names, and found Christian families where they could be safe. She wrote their real names and their new names on little slips of paper, that she rolled up and hid in marmalade jars. Then she buried all the jars in her friend’s garden under a big tree. Sometimes, the smaller children would cry when Irena was taking them away. To distract the naughty guards and cover up the noise, Irena trained a dog to bark when she told it to. She hid children in sacks; in bags full of clothes; in boxes. Even inside coffins. After three months, she’d saved 2,500 children. After the war, she dug up…” – Oh, my God – “After the war, she dug up the marmalade jars and reunited many of the children with their families.” That’s the type of girl that I want my little girls to aspire to be. OK, other people included in the book include Maria Montessori (Montessori education, guys!) who was a teacher who worked with disabled children. Then we’ve got Mary Edwards Walker, who was a surgeon at a time when women weren’t doctors(!) The perfect book for any girl in your life, or boys, actually, because – let’s be honest – (it was a bit sexist of me to just say “girls”) because boys are also starved of really good stories about women doing fabulous things. We get those books of boys going off on adventures. Everyone needs to know that girls are cool, too. Favourite thing, number two! Now. This thing (thing… things… shoes…) I have actually had for a while. So, these absolute beauties are from Hotter and I have had them – I know I did a Hotter shoes before in another month – but then I got these shoes, and not only are these shoes beautifully… Look at these. These beautifully vintage little shoes here. And they’ve also got a gorgeous little vintage flowery pattern inside. But, not only are these shoes so magnificent for the way they look (and they come in a range of colours) (and even kind of really nice velvety ones) (I would like these in every colour) The most important part about these shoes is that they are the most comfortable shoes I have worn in my life. I have worn these shoes, now to a wedding: the marker of any good shoe. You know what I mean. Worn them to a wedding; danced all night. Not a bit of pain. Not a single scrap of pain. I’ve worn them to London. Three times now. And you know, every time I go to London by the end of it I can’t walk but my feet still felt good. My hips didn’t work, but my feet felt good. Oh, these are the extra wide because, weirdly, my hands and feet stopped growing out. I have miniature hands and feet for a person of my size. I am 5″9. My size are a size four, or a four and a half. Favourite thing number three! …isn’t actually a thing, even. It’s a shop. Yes. I have just discovered this shop called Lady K Loves which is a great name for a shop, really, if you think about it. And wow. I have been looking – I feel like–I was going to say my whole life, but that’s a bit overblown. I’ve been looking for a while for a really good circle skirt and boy, did they come through for me. It’s everything I have ever wanted in a circle skirt. They stock a range of these gorgeous, gorgeous skirts, and these beautiful tie shirts, which– tie shirts? That makes them sound like they’re from Thailand. Now, I cannot stress enough how good this makes me look. That’s so conceited but genuinely, it makes me look really good. We’ve got some beautiful little buttons here. Look how sparkly they are. They’ve got a range of colours; a range of styles. But really, really fabulous. Really great quality, as well. The one drawback, I would say, is that having this particular design – I think it’s probably just this one – because the other shirts don’t necessarily have this stiffer decoration on. It’s sewn into the seems. Very good craftsmanship, lovely. However…super scratchy along here which I’m going to have to do something about because obviously the sparkle comes from the little bits of metal, and then the little bits of metal here, and then they dig into your shoulders… So, absolutely in love with the shape, style–I really actually do like the pattern and design of the shirt but it is a bit scratchy on the inside. But, my God, that skirt. I cannot stress how beautiful that is. So, everything about them is limited edition. There will not be anyone else wearing these clothes. Oh, no. Oh, no. Also, they’re made in England – yay! And they’re made in Bristol. Double yay! Because I was brought up in Bristol and I got married there. So, everything they do is made either in their specialist denim factory in England or in their fair-trade wonderful factory in India. So, you can feel very safe in the knowledge that all of their clothes are ethically produced. Which is really lovely. A lot of retro clothes…the cheaper ones, you know Not sure where they came from. If it costs you £11, and the fabric probably cost £6 and then to ship probably cost them another £2… and they probably take £2. That is only £1 that is going to that small child who made that, so… Just saying. Each style has an allocation of one fabric per style meaning that they don’t make loads and loads of things, and they don’t make them in loads of different fabrics so if you love something, jump on in there and get it. Other cool things from Lady K Loves: these. I think these are the coolest sunglasses I’ve ever owned. They make me feel very trendy. I’m not a particularly trendy person, I suppose, but… working on it. And…a beautiful little badge! Although, I should say, that I know someone who is in need of a unicorn at this moment who is having a bit of a hard time. This unicorn is going to be coming to you very soon. I know you watch my videos. So, now you know. You’re probably watching this before the unicorn actually gets to you. I don’t know, but but it’s coming to cheer you up a bit. Thing number four! I don’t know if you saw it, but I did an un-boxing of a subscription box called ChronicAllyBox Now, Chronic [?] – [Struggling with pronunciation] ‘Chronic Ally’? Chronic-ally, chronically?’ – So, it’s for those of us who are chronically fabulous chronically ill and need that monthly pick-me-up, you know? Need a little pamper session, because we struggle through some…shiz and one of my favourite things that came out of that box (which you can see above; card – go there) (see everything that came in the cool box) is this: it’s blended oil face wash which comes from the Herb Gardens. I am a massive fan of make-up removers that are oil-based. Just oil. None of this, “Oh, it’s oil-free!” Okay, why? Why would you do that? Why are you stripping your skin of oils? Don’t do that. An oil face scrub is the best thing; it lifts your make-up away and then you just wipe it off with water. So, you get it on your face; you scrub it in there; and lift it away with water. And this beautiful one came from The Herb Gardens. And… it also smells quite hemp-y. I don’t know why that makes me happy. It smells like a really pretty garden and that’s something that makes me happy in the evenings as I stand in my bathroom, rubbing a garden against my face to take off my make-up. It even takes off eye make-up. Waterproof mascara that you can kind of try and like rub off, but it doesn’t quite come off. This will take it off. Oil will wipe all of your make-up off. It will. Just apply it. Downward motions for the eyes. Nice upwards circular motion for everywhere else and then just stand there for a bit. Brush your teeth while this sets on your face and then… cotton wool pad; dab some water Gone! It is magic. And thing five! I forgot a five. That is a five. Thing number five. This is a bit of a…again, not really a thing But! It’s a YouTube channel. It’s called Cinema Sins. It is basically one chap going through every single movie, ever, and ripping them apart. If you don’t know already, I am a huge cinema buff. I actually did a film degree. I know. I know. I watched films, and then I ripped them apart and it really made me love them more. Much like Cinema Sins. I watch it… and I’m not sure that this is the impression that other people get, but I watch it and think, “Ooo, I’m going to watch that film now.” My one slight issue: he does not appreciate the Fast & Furious series. So, yes, every other thing, I really agree upon. It’s a great way to find these guilty pleasure films. The films where you just switch your brain off and do whatever the Hell you wanna do. Those types of films. And you can, by watching Cinema Sins (they’re only kind of like twenty minutes long), can show you which films are genuinely horrendous and which films are horrendous in an awesome way and that just makes me so happy. You know? And then I watch it and I think, “Ooo. Wow, he really ripped that film apart. That is a really bad film.” “I’m gonna go watch that film.” So, there you go. Those are my favourite things that happened in May. What are yours? What did you like? What did you like of things that I made this May? Let me know. Et cetera, et cetera. I hope you’ve had a really nice month, actually. I hope May has been really nice. The weather’s turned, which is very exciting because now it’s suddenly sunny and I’m actually, honest to God, going to a barbeque today. A barbeque. It is May. Granted, it’s almost the end of May but it is May, and I am going to a barbeque and that is fabulous. And it’s sunny.
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