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How to make the most of your lunchbreak

1. Always go out for a walk. Even if it's for 5 minutes, just physically getting up and leaving your desk makes you feel refreshed and ready for the next half of the day. If you have somewhere to walk that's in nature, like a park or a garden, even better.

2. Think about any life admin you need to do for the week - stuff like getting birthday cards and presents, going to the bank or just topping up boring stuff like cleaning products are all good things to get on your lunch break, saving you valuable weekend time. If you don't have any shops near your work, do a bit of internet life admin - pay bills, book travel tickets, sort out your inbox. I always find getting tasks done in lunch breaks easier than doing them at home because you have a time restraint  and you're usually already sat at the computer anyway.

3. If you're lucky enough to have one in walking distance of your place of work, join the library. I am reading so much more since I joined the library, plus it's free! You can reserve books or even request them if they aren't in stock. It's also just a nice quiet, relaxing place to be especially when it's cold or miserable outside.

4. If you're a blogger, join in a lunchtime blogger chat on a Monday between 1pm - 2pm (#LTBloggers) time. Pick up some blogging tips, make a new pal or just connect with like minded bloggers.

5. Again, if you work somewhere with lots of shops or a high street, have a good old browse in some charity shops. I've got some of my fave clothing and homeware bits from charity shops on my lunch break, including this spotty dress here and a whimsical cat tile that takes pride of place on one of my shelves.

Any more ideas, hit me up!

This dress is from Primark, you may remember it from being everywhere on the internet last year. It's still a gem but those frills are hella tight on the old arms! Bag and sunglasses are also Primark (would very much like the Ray Bans upon which they are based). The shirt is from Zara and the shoes are ASOS. They are actually a bit small but I love them so I force my trotters in. Yep I'm a treat.


May Favourites

This month I have been...

Mainly pretty boring stuff like a compost bin and self-sufficient cat toys so that Bluebell will stop trying to get our attention in the evening by knocking stuff off my carefully curated shelves! I am in the market for a tinted moisturiser or BB/CC cream too but I just can't decide which one to get. Any advice please let me know.

Rich and I are midway through the 3rd season of Fargo, which is good but not great in my opinion, nowhere near as compelling as season 1 or even 2. We are also re-watching Flight of the Conchords (always a delight) and I am living for Ru Paul's Drag Race, which I watch on the bus. How did I take so long to get involved?!? Okurrrrrr.

I have finished Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie this month, which was part of  my book challenge; the category 'A book by a favourite author'. I loved the book, the characters were well developed and flawed but still likeable (mostly), and there was an interesting twist at the end.  I'm now finishing a Jacqueline Wilson book which I'm not sorry about and then I'll get back on the adult fiction bandwagon. Next category in my reading challenge is 'A book recommended by a librarian or independent book seller' which tbh I'm a bit scared about, I might cheat and pick one from a display of recommended books rather than have to ask someone and risk them thinking I'm a weirdo, because you know, other people amirite. We'll see. 

For these amazing Sandro flats (yeah right!) and a good pair of black dungarees since I had to retire my old ones (they were faded and ripped beyond repair). Why can't I find any that are cotton? Why are they all denim? I'm also wishing wishing wishing that it is hot for our holiday to France at the beginning of June. 

Links of the month
Reasons why people were kicked out of things some of these made me chuckle
Everything you need to know about flying from a pilot I'm not a particularly nervous flyer but this Q&A with a pilot made me feel a lot better!
Whether you believe in Horoscopes or think they're a load of old bollocks, this account is funny
This old lady's book rating system is too cute! I wish I'd thought of it myself
Yomi Adegoke on the Royal Wedding and black women is an insightful read


Things I would tell my younger self

1. Learn to drive

I am writing this on the afternoon of my first failed driving test. I have been practising for about a year and a half now and it is the hardest thing I've done. It makes me incredibly nervous, and I wish to all that is true and good in the world that I had just bloody done it when I was 17. This is the number one tip I would give to myself and all young people! Just get off your arse and do it. BOOK IT NOW. It will only get harder with every day that passes.

2. Don't be afraid to join clubs at university

I dabbled in a few clubs at uni - I tried the student radio in my first year (well I joined at the fresher's fair but probably showed up once to a meeting), and attempted to join the dance club in my second year (except I failed the auditions, which weirdly weren't just a chance to dance like an idiot to Yeah by Usher). Looking back, I wish I had just joined the student newspaper, which was what I was actually interested in. Maybe I would have followed a different path...but no ragrets ya know?

3. Understand that friendships dip in and out and that's okay

The comment section on Man Repeller is a gold mine of advice, tips and product recommendations (shout out to Make Me Brow by Essence, a dupe of Glossier Boy Brow). A commenter said this underneath an article on friendship and it made me feel warm:

'As I've moved around for school and work, and come in and out of different periods over the course of my life, there's been groups of women who I've been lucky enough to move into the "best friend" tier for a particular time in my life. While distance may separate us after a few years, I've always felt they were still my best friends, because they made it into that tier in the first place. I'm lucky enough to have little bunches of them!'

I think this is so sweet and true - just because you might not speak to someone you were once super close with, doesn't mean they haven't filled (and continue to fill) a little pocket of your heart!

4. Look after your cat properly

Your parents trusted you to look after that cat and you never used to clear out her litter tray. Shame on you. Disclaimer: I do look after the cat I currently have.

What would you tell your younger self?


8 more podcasts to improve your commute and brighten your day

Hello reader, you might remember me from such works as '10 podcasts to improve your commute and brighten your day' (and if you don't you should definitely read that first). Since then, I have discovered more and more podcasts, so many podcasts I can barely keep up - I listen to them at work, on the way to work, whenever I walk anywhere but still they multiply in my podcast inbox (is a podcast inbox a thing?). I'm not complaining though - I love that I can learn something new, hear a different opinion or have a good old crack up at the swipe of a screen.

So this is part 2.

1. The Debrief

L O L at this podcast. Hosted by two comedians called Stevie and Tessa, it's basically a guide on how to approach different things in life (I don't know how else to describe really) from ethical fashion and feminism to being more assertive and what to do in the bit between Christmas and New Year. Whilst having genuinely good advice it's also laugh out loud funny and I just love the dynamic of Stevie and Tessa together. Please can I join their fun club?

2. Fohr Casts - A Drink with James

This is a good one if you're a blogger/Instagrammer/any sort of internet person as it discusses all things internet-y - controlling sponsored posts, being a brand ambassador, the state of digital marketing in 2018 (a personal favourite episode). James Nord has a frank and no-bullshit approach which I find refreshing. He gives good, straight up advice and also goes off on entertaining rants.

3. Dawson's Speak

Ok so this is super niche and you're only going to enjoy it if you're a Dawson's Creek fan, but I'm including it because if you are, you need to listen! It's by two friends called Traci (who has seen the whole show already) and Charles (who has never seen it before), and they discuss the episodes one by one from Season 1. Currently they are midway through Season 3. I'm the kind of person who loves to read reviews and analysis of TV programmes (like the ones they have on the A.V club), and seeing as Dawson's Creek was on TV many moons ago, this was not an option so this podcast fulfils my inner geek. As the whole of Dawson's Creek has recently been added to 4OD, I'm relieving my teen years by watching it all again and this is the perfect companion.

4. The Emma Guns Show

Emma is a beauty journalist, and she interviews some super interesting, knowledgeable guests (Caroline Hirons, Nadine Baggot, Sali Hughes anyone?) as well as discussing her #26Habits challenge, where she tries a different habit every two weeks. One of my favourite episodes of this podcast is the Elimination Show: Dairy, Sugar & Gluten, in which Emma has three 'normal' womenr5t4 who each discuss giving up one of the aforementioned things. Interesting and insightful.

6. The Adam Buxton Podcast

Everyone and their mum has heard of this podcast, and as a massive fan of Adam and Joe I can't believe it took me so long to listen to it! Tbh, I do miss Joe as I loved their friendship and I do skip the occasional episode if the person doesn't appeal to me, but Adam Buxton is still a gem and this will always be of the OGs.

7. Keeping it Candid

A recent discovery, this one comes from two bloggers, Millie Cotton and Sophie Milner. I hadn't heard of either blogger before I started listening, but their easy, entertaining chats and debates about blogging matters as well as topical issues (e.g. the controversial Cancer Research UK Obesity advert) are a good listen. I think they approach issues with sensitivity as well as honesty and I often get a different perspective I hadn't considered.

8. Pilots Podcast

This podcast is sadly defunct after only 13 episodes, which is a shame as it's really rather entertaining but hey ho. The concept is thus; the two friends, Anne T Donahue and Elizabeth Sankey discuss pilot episodes of different TV programmes. The one about The Hills is hilariously accurate - listen to that one even if you listen to no other.

Give them a listen if you're looking for new podcast material, or if you've never listened to a podcast before. If you have any other recommendations, holler at me. I definitely don't need any more to listen to but if there is an amazing one I don't know about, I will get major podcast FOMO and need to listen to and download the entire back catalogue. Enable me pls.