Best of June / July 2015

Best of June / July 2015

In a blink of an eye, the holidays are over. We can once again commence the blood, sweat and tears that attaches themselves to the dreaded pit of hell, or as civilized and educated people have come to call it: a new semester.

No, but seriously, where did my holidays go? I suppose they dissipated into thin air, much like the sweat that dissipated from the pores of my skin when I was suffocating from the intense heat in Malaysia. Which reminds me, I never got around to writing a blog about my trip. It must be because I literally did nothing exciting aside from awkwardly observing my relatives from a distance. That sounded awfully bizarre, didn’t it? Oh well. I will be going back to Malaysia in December and Mattias will actually be joining me, so perhaps during that time I’ll actually have some decent Malaysian adventures filled with more than just salty sweat.

But anyhow, let’s get a move on. It’s time to delve into the goodies that I enjoyed during the past two months.

1. Princess Diaries: Royal Wedding

Princess Diaries: Royal Wedding
Princess Mia Thermopolis is all grown up!

Duh. Such a given. Meg Cabot and the Princess Diaries series are the sole reasons why I decided to pursue a career in writing. Sure, at the moment I may not be writing a best-selling novel, and sure, maybe I’m writing dismal content for small businesses (perhaps even microscopic businesses), but I’m writing nevertheless.

I have much in common with the protagonist, Mia Thermopolis. Whenever I read her diaries, it’s as though I’m reading myself (minus the Princess part of course). Anyway, I wrote a review about the novel so if you haven’t read it yet, you better do it right away or else another person in the world will be born allergic to cats. And I can tell you personally that that’s not a nice thing to be allergic to *sniff*.

2. Snapware ECO FLIP Glass Drink Bottle

Glass Drink Bottle
Environmentally friendly glass drink bontle

Wow, Leonie. A drink bottle? I know what you’re thinking- I must live a sorely empty life if a drink bottle can bring enjoyment to my life, but let’s just say that it makes me feel like a model citizen! I’ve been trying to live life more environmentally sustainably and ecologically. This involves making a very, very, very conscious effort to stop myself from being overly materialistic and checking out where the products that I buy are manufactured from and what materials and ingredients they’re made of.

The first step is to STOP BUYING PLASTIC BOTTLES OF WATER. It’s just so unnecessary. Well, sometimes it’s necessary if you’re stranded in the middle of nowhere and the only access to water you may have is a $2 bottle of Evian or something. But really, all you need is a reusable drink bottle.

Glass Drink Bottle

The one I purchased is the “Eco Flip” by Snapware. The retail price is $28.95 AUD but I bought it at half price. It’s fairly expensive (but then again, a lot of environmentally friendly products are ridiculously pricey… but this is a topic for another day), though it’s really aesthetically pleasing and durable.
It’s advertised as being:

  • BPA Free
  • Leakproof (and I can attest to this)
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Made from sustainable materials
  • Better for your health than aluminium and plastic

Seriously, what’s not to love?

3. Facial Masks – The Face Shop

Facial Mask Sheets

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to take better care of my skin. I kind of neglected this resolution because taking care of your skin takes a lot of time and effort, but now it’s past the mid-year mark and I really need to make a more conscious effort to slap my skin into silky smoothness.

I’ve started using facial masks once a week and I’m really digging the ones from The Face Shop. They don’t fit my face so well because I have a huge forehead and a less-than-average chin. Whatever, I obviously don’t have the “ideal” face shape. Still, I really enjoy using these face masks- it makes my face feel a lot fresher and it’s nice to pamper myself after an intense and tiring week.

However, I do think these mask-makers need to figure out a way to accommodate for different face shapes. It’s as though they’re promoting one standard of beauty! For shame wench!

4. Op Shop’d Jacket – Reima Finland

Second hand jacket
Warmth in a second-hand jacket

My fourth item is actually something that I’ve had for a few months. I picked it up when I was in Helsinki, Finland in November of last year. The majority of my time there was spent in hipster-esque second-hand op shops. I’ve never been a big fan of buying things second-hand however, I thought about it the other day and I just think it’s amazing how someone else’s trash can end up being another person’s treasure. How cliché, right? But it’s so true.

This jacket is my winter saviour. I’ve worn it in -29 degree weather in the North of Sweden when we were out looking for Northern Lights:

Northern Lights
Yes. This actually happened. Pls don’t judge the picture quality tho. It’s hard when you spontaneously come across Northern Lights without proper camera equipment :'(

I think I bought it for around 100 euros. It fits so well (although the sleeves could be 2cm longer, but whatever, beggars can’t be choosers). It’s super warm for a jacket that’s considerably lightweight and comes with a detachable hoodie. The tag says that the brand is by Reima.

Made in Finland

It’s also MADE IN FINLAND, so that makes me feel a whole lot better. Seriously, who wants to purchase overpriced items that are made in an Asian sweatshop anyway? It’s the warmest jacket I own, which is no surprise because it’s made in Finland. I also really dig the army-green colour. It’s not your typical army-green though. It really stands out amongst the crowd and I have yet to see a similar jacket in this exact colour.

The weather in Sydney has been pretty chilly lately and I’m just really grateful that I have this jacket.

So yeah, go Op Shopping once in a while- you never know what magical wonders you may find!

5. Sherlock / Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch
Oh Benedict Cumberbatch. You make my heart swoon.

So sue me. I’m a Cumberbitch. My fourth ‘favourite’ is the man himself, Benedict Cumberbatch. He’s just everything. I only recently started and finished the Sherlock series and I was just dumbfounded by how amazing of an actor Benedict is. I seriously do not deal well with thriller types of entertainment but I just couldn’t stop watching Sherlock. I literally binge-watched up until the latest season and I was done with it in a weekend.

And then I continued to watch interviews of Benedict on YouTube and before I knew it, it was 4 in the morning and I knew everything about his inability to say ‘penguin’ and his knack for celebrity impersonations. Which leads me to number six…

6. The Imitation Game

The Imitation Game

Good movie is good. Amazing movie is phenomenal. I can’t believe how late I’ve been to jump on the Cumberbatch bandwagon. The Imitation Game is an absolutely stunning movie based on the biography of Alan Turing, a British Mathematician who only recently was recognized for his skilful work that helped the Allies win World War 2. He did so by creating a machine that could decipher Enigma, the machine used by the Nazi’s to send radio messages. He basically was the one who created the first computer. He’s majorly underrated.

I really enjoy watching films that have to do with the war. It’s crazy to think that such tremendous human tragedy occurred not so long ago (and crazy to think that it still happens today in other parts of the world…).

Of course Benedict Cumberbatch did an excellent job. He is a seasoned actor and he was truly engaging. I think Keira Knightly also did a marvellous job. Great leads.

 

Anyway, that concludes my Best of June and July 2015. I’m pretty keen to see what August has in store for me. I just have to keep focused on doing the best work that I can! I hope you guys will have a wonderful month of August too.

Until next time!