Self care Sunday: tastes.

Today's post is all about self care tips for your tastebuds!

1. Prepare and make your favourite meal, and savour every last bite!

2. Go to a fancy bakery/ Ice cream parlour/ chocolate shop and treat yourself to something.

3. Get some vitamins in your body- make a colourful fruit salad, or smoothie. You don't have to spend loads on fruit, include some frozen or tinned stuff and whatever fruit is on offer at the supermarket. 

4. Do some baking. Set aside an afternoon. Make some cupcakes or biscuits and spend some time decorating them all fancy, then demolish them!

5. Treat yourself to a Friday night takeaway. Sort out some films to watch, make some popcorn, put your pj's on and enjoy.

6. Try some new foods. Look for some recipes online, go to the world food section of the supermarket or find an Asian food market. Try a fruit you've never had before.

7. Get some sweets from your childhood for a walk down memory lane... Pick 'n' mix, haribo, Kinder eggs, Drumstick lollies. 

I hope you found these ideas useful!

Previously in my self care series: smells, sounds, sights.

My Etsy shop: Self Care Stop

50 questions Movie tag

So I had a bit of a blog situation where I lost a load of scheduled posts and as my memory is so shockingly bad trying to redo each one was headache inducing. So I thought I would do a good old fashioned blog tag! I found this on google and it is all about films. Don't ask what has gone on with the numbering (or why there isn't actually 50 questions) T'is a mystery! 

  1. How often do you watch a movie?  Usually around once a week
  2. What movie genre are you particularly fond of? I enjoy a good mix but I suppose I especially like dramas, dark comedies, horror and superhero films. Also 90s thrillers will always have a special place in my heart!
  3. What was the last movie that you’ve watched and liked?  I watched Tully at the Weekend and really loved it, but I was expecting to as Young Adult in one of my favourite films and I love Charlize Theron.
  4. What was the last movie that you’ve watched and hated?  I have watched so many terrible horror films on Netflix that I could list about 20 but the last one I watched was Selfie From Hell and it made no sense and was just shit basically! 
  5. What is your most favorite movie of all time?  Ghost World
  6. Your most favorite guilty pleasure movie?  I don't like the term guilty pleasure because I don't think you should feel guilty of enjoying anything (unless it's illegal obvs) but Jurassic Park is on my favourites list so that I guess...?! 
  7. What movie/movies have you watched a million times already?  All the films on my favourites list [here]
  8. Are you the type who watches a movie on its first day of showing?  No, I tend to go to the cinema when it's quieter in the afternoon because of anxiety.
  9. Movie house, Blu-ray, or download?  I love going the cinema, it's one of my favourite things, but I mostly stream or watch on disc.
  10. How often do you go to a movie house to watch a movie?  I did used to go once a week but thanks to anxiety and not always having someone to go with that has fallen by the wayside lately...

  1. What are the movies that made you cry?  So. Many. But off the top of my head The Imitation Game and Remains of the Day made me blub like a baby and I don't even want to talk about Requiem for a Dream.
  2. Do you watch foreign films?  Yes sometimes... I like Asian cinema and Wintry Scandinavian films.
  3. What are your favorite foreign films? I love the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy and Let the Right One In, also Park Chan Wook films and like everyone else I love Amelie. 
  4. Who are your favorite directors?  Tarantino, Park Chan Wook, Taika Waititi, Yorgos Lanthimos, Frances Ha, Jason Reitman, Paul Feig, Wes Anderson, Alex Garland...
  5. Are you particular with movie scores, soundtracks, and musics?  Yes, they can make or break a film for me. I especially love any film that has a synthy score.
  6. What movie soundtrack can be found in your iPod?  One of my favourite soundtracks is the score to Jane Eyre, but as I mentioned I love dark synthy soundtracks so some others I love are It Follows, Blade Runner, Nightcrawler, The Guest, Drive... When it comes to more classical I love the score to Donnie Darko, Kill Your Darlings, Horns and Amelie, for creepiness The Wicker Man, and for pure 90s brilliance I love the soundtracks to Stigmata and Romeo + Juliet. Oh and also the soundtrack to Stoker is perfection.
  7. Have you ever watched a movie alone in a movie house? No, again anxiety but it's something I wish I could comfortably do.
  8. Is there any movie that has changed your perspective in life?  Many of my favourite films have made me feel less alone, or helped me when I am in bad places but I'm not sure about changing my perspective on life.
  9. Your favorite comic book movie?  Batman Returns no contest. That film is perfect in every way because CATWOMAN! honorable mention though to the first Avengers film because I have watched it so many times and I still feel that surge of excitement.
  10. DC or Marvel movies?  Overall it has to Marvel because they are consistently great and have built an amazing film universe where as DC are too hit and miss. That being said Wonder Woman was brilliant and I can't wait for the sequel. 
  11. What are the movies in the top 10 in IMDb that you have watched?  The Shawshank Redemption, The Dark Knight, Pulp Fiction, Inception.
  12. Do you read movie critic reviews before watching a film?  Sometimes. I used to be subscribed to Empire for years and would enjoy reading the reviews, I tend to look up films on Rotten Tomatoes and Letterboxd a lot. 
  13. What is the best movie adapted from a book?  Ghost World, Jane Eyre, Cloud Atlas... all amazing book adaptions.
  14. Do you watch the movie before reading the book or vice versa? I prefer to read the book first, then I can be one of those annoying people shaking my head and mumbling about how they've changed it and how the book is better etc...
Hi, it's Jeff

  1. What is your most favorite comedy movie? I can't pick out of What We Do In the Shadows, Bridesmaids, This is Spinal Tap and Drop Dead Fred.
  2. Drama movie?  You've probably guessed: Jane Eyre! Also The Lobster.
  3. Western movie?  Despite sitting through many as a kid thanks to my Dad the only western's I've enjoyed are Blazing Saddles and Django Unchained.
  4. Romantic comedy film?  Not my genre at all but I guess Bridesmaids kind of counts?
  5. Horror film?  Does Beetlejuice count as horror? Also The Silence of the Lambs, It Follows, Stigmata, May, The Descent, Get Out, The Shining, Frankenstein.
  6. Sports movies?  Haha, no.
  7. Sci-fi?  Blade Runner (also Mad Max: Fury Road, Ex-Machina, The Fifth Element)
  8. Action movies? Superheroes aside Atomic Blonde, Spy, Kill Bill, Die Hard, Leon.
  9. War movies?  Not really much of a fan of war films... does Atonement count?
  10. Who is your most favorite movie couple? I like unconventional romances (Secretary, The Lobster, Lars and the Real Girl) doomed romance (Batman Returns, Shopgirl, The Fly) but I think A Date For Mad Mary is perhaps the most honest and lovely romance I have seen.
  11. Any movie character you can relate to?  Enid Coleslaw, Mavis Gary, Wednesday Addams, Lady Bird and any other snarky, depressive woman!
  12. If you are to only watch five movies for the rest of your life, what would the movies be?Mad Max Fury Road, Pulp Fiction, Batman Returns, Jurassic Park, The Avengers
  13. Your least favorite movie of all time?  100% has to Martyrs which is the darkest most fucking horrible film I have ever seen and it still haunts me years later.
  14. Have you ever watched a movie based on the lead actor/actress only? If a film has Charlize Theron, Kristin Wiig, Cate Blanchett, Melissa Macarthy, Noomi Rapace or Tessa Thompson in then I am there.
  15. What movie you expected and wanted to be good but failed you?  I couldn't get on with Blade Runner 2049 (which I know I am in the minority about) also Justice League was a big disappointment for me.
  16. Favorite movie character of all time? Ah, if I honestly had to pick just one I would be inclined to say Dr. Ian Malcolm. LIFE FINDS A WAY.
  17. Favorite movie villain? Beetlejuice, O-Ren, Hela.
  18. Any movie sequel that you’re still waiting to see? If you mean one that has never been made then I would say make a damn sequel to Spy and give Furiousa her own film.
  19. Ever made a movie review?  Yes, I used to on this blog.
  20. Star Wars or Star Trek?  OK, I've never watched a Star Wars film. That is my confession, forgive me for I have sinned. 
  21. Right now, think of any movie, what comes first?  Such a shit question c'mon
  22. Favorite movie lines?  "I have had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane!!!!"
  23. TV series, books, computer games, or movies in order of interest?  I don't know... this is a boring question...NEXT.
  24. Lastly, if your life story is to be made into a movie, who would you like to portray you? Who should be directing it and what would be the title? I would love for Jeff Goldblum to portray me and for it to also be directed by him and for it to be a one man show called simply: Jurassic Park. Basically what I am saying is I want Jeff to remake JP and play every part. The End. 

My Letterboxd: here

Blog Tour: Distortion

Hi and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Distortion by Gautam Malkani!

Today I would like to share with you an excerpt...

Chapter One
Mum is dying again. We’re talking actual end-of-story dying. When she texts to tell me, she sounds like I owe her a fiver to settle a bet. She always texts when I don’t answer her calls. Thinks I’m in geeking it up in the library. Or sitting in some late-night lecture. If I answered then, dead cert, she’d start crying.
In the taxi, I delete Mum’s text then stash my fone in the backseat. Ramona next to me, not noticing – ain’t even looking. Streetlit silhouette. Strobe effect. Pulsing with each passing lamppost. Every red traffic light a chance for me to stop all the shit that’ll happen later. Turn around. Turn around. Don’t wait for the next signal, just ask the taxi to turn the fuck around. Go geek it up in the library. Go study by your mother’s latest deathbed.
She’s rocking blue velvet shoes tonight – four inch heels, plunging top-lines, straps like padlocks across her insteps and her ankles. Curls her toes before opening her mouth: “Dillon, I don’t know what’s worse – you completely ignoring me to check your phones or just fading me out while you check out my feet.”
Could’ve called off this evening – even though fuck knows what “rain-check” actually means. Could’ve just told her about Mum, I guess. That she was rushed into hospital earlier. That her cocktail of chemo’s too strong for her. After collapsing again on the crapper. And the shit ain’t even working.
Ramona now fixing her eyeliner without aid of make-up mirror or front-lens smartphone. Taxi driver flips on a light for her. Not to leer at her in the rear-view. Tonight our driver is a woman.
Apparently it happened in our downstairs, disabled-access toilet. Various assorted bodily fluids. Broken hand-towel holder.
Tonight, I’d remembered to hold open the door for Ramona. Held a brolley over her head, made sure her backless dress only flashed her back. That slit in her dress that giggled like a girl as she stepped out of student halls. My fingers on her pencil heels as she climbed inside the cab – trying to hold shit steady. First time I ever took Ramona out, my budget was so tight I pretended I was fasting.
They’re keeping Mum in a separate room cos her white blood count is in the red. Charing Cross Hospital this time, not Ealing, West Middlesex or Hammersmith. – i.e. visiting hours end at 8. Should’ve told Ramona I could meet her after, I just couldn’t join her for the gig.
Single-lane standstill means our driver breaks left, sharp left. Kerb-crawling the homeless hanging round Holborn. One of the homeless men makes eye contact with me and starts shouting. Ramona opens handbag then window then gives him cigarettes and vitamins.
It’d be good to go hold Mum’s hand. One last grasp before the final croak. Maybe even hug and smell her scalp. No – just to hold her hand. Ain’t necessary to describe a dying woman’s hand.
Ramona’s feet now crossed just above her ankle straps, her sinews stretched, the four-inch heels probably puncturing the upholstery beneath.
I mean a dying woman’s hand trying its hand and texting or typing or fingering a touchscreen.
Her heels the reason for this taxi; me the reason for her heels. The gig we’re headed to is a secret album launch in some posh-ass West End theatre. Sit-down only, no latecomers and strictly limited capacity to enhance the experience of the live web-stream. I can’t just tell her I gotta go see my mum – ain’t even told her Mum’s got the C-bomb. I tell other people, though – other girls, other women. No one holds it against you if you don’t make them come when they’re fucking you out of sympathy.
First time I ever went to a gig, I went with Mum. She even tried to impress me by schooling herself up about N.E.R.D. Title of their first album: In Search Of. Full form of their name: Nobody Ever Really Dies.
A short first gear, a long second. Tarmac and puddles become a mash-up of brake-lights, rear lights, red traffic lights. Glow from blood-red backlit billboards. I pull out my fone, my other fone – my other fones, plural. The different login and password combos permanently stored in my fingers.
“Heading to N.E.R.D’s new album launch tonight – gig being streamed live if you wanna join”
“Mum sick again. Gonna spend evening and night by her hospital bedside”
“Tuesday night is student start-up night. And we’ve got a private-equity guest speaker”

Distortion is out now [here]
If like me you love anything that could be described as Black Mirror-esque you need to pick this up! Look out for my review coming very soon...

Blog Tour: The Incendiaries

A powerful, darkly glittering novel of violence, love, faith, and loss, as a young woman at an elite American university is drawn into acts of domestic terrorism by a cult tied to North Korea.

Phoebe Lin and Will Kendall meet their first month at prestigious Edwards University. Phoebe is a glamorous girl who doesn't tell anyone she blames herself for her mother's recent death. Will is a misfit scholarship boy who transfers to Edwards from Bible college, waiting tables to get by. What he knows for sure is that he loves Phoebe. 

Grieving and guilt-ridden, Phoebe is increasingly drawn into a religious group—a secretive extremist cult—founded by a charismatic former student, John Leal. He has an enigmatic past that involves North Korea and Phoebe's Korean American family. Meanwhile, Will struggles to confront the fundamentalism he's tried to escape, and the obsession consuming the one he loves. When the group bombs several buildings in the name of faith, killing five people, Phoebe disappears. Will devotes himself to finding her, tilting into obsession himself, seeking answers to what happened to Phoebe and if she could have been responsible for this violent act.

The Incendiaries is a fractured love story and a brilliant examination of the minds of extremist terrorists, and of what can happen to people who lose what they love most. who lose what they love most.

My thoughts...

I'll be completely honest: this book wasn't for me. That's not to say it was a bad book, but I really struggled with it. If you enjoy slow burn books that are more reflective then you will most likely enjoy The Incendiaries. The blurb is a little deceptive in that a lot of the promised 'action' isn't so much a key plot line but more something that happens towards the end of the book. The book is more of a character study of Will and to an extent Phoebe and John. Something I also struggled with was the prose. There were a lot of extraneous words and descriptions which I'm sure many will love but really just tired me out! Regardless I wish R.O Kwon all the success with this book.  

 The Incendiaries is out now [here]

Huge thanks to Grace at Little, Brown Book Group for sending me a copy of this book for review.

Self care Sunday: sights.

Today's post is all about self care tips for your eyes!

1. Spend some time appreciating nature- a park, woods, forest, the beach anywhere you can get to. If like me you live in a built up area go to a local park for a walk. Enjoy looking at something other than concrete!

2. If you need a quick de-stress look at animal pictures on google or cute videos on Youtube for 10 minutes. Google something random like dogs wearing hats and see what comes up!

3. make a folder on your phone of helpful quotes, pictures of beaches, flowers whatever is your thing. Mine is a combination of quotes and pastel sunsets.

4. Put some inspiring pictures or postcards up in your work station, or bedroom that make you smile. A good place to go for them is Etsy, Ikea or Paperchase. You could even print some images off yourself or cut out some pictures from magazines.

5. Get some plants for your home. Trust me they will improve your living environment. If you want something that's easy to look after get cactus or succulents. Even better decorate some cool pots to put them in.

6. If you are feeling stressed look out the window for a bit, focus on as far as you can see and take some slow deep breaths.

7. Make a box of things that make you smile/ remind you that you are loved for when you feel down. It could have photographs, letters, postcards, sentimental objects. You could even include a notebook where you write about your favourite memories. 

I hope some of these ideas were useful!

Previously in my self care series: sounds and smells

My Etsy shop: Self Care Stop