May Favourites

As to be expected, this May has been different than any other May on record. We all know why, so I’m not going to get into that instead I’m going to focus on the things that have been keeping me occupied during this very weird time.

If you’re looking for some inspiration or just fancy peeping at some nice things, then keep on reading as this post is full of suggestions/ideas/lovely stuff that I personally would love to recommend.

It’s actually been a great month for watching/engaging/enjoying a bunch of different things, so settle in (maybe even grab a tea) as this is going to be a suitably long list of fantastic stuff:

TV SHOWS

Walking With Elephants

I’ve loved following Levison Wood’s previous adventures such as ‘Walking the Himalayas’ and ‘Walking the Nile’, so it’s been really cool to see his new TV show where he follows elephants through Africa.

As per usual, he brings an incredible local guide with him along the way and I think this one may be my favourite. Kane Motswana, a San bushman is not only super knowledgeable about elephants/wildlife but he’s also very funny.

It’s a 3 part series, all on Channel 4 and a real eye opener.

Workin’ Moms

I’ve probably banged on about this a bit too much now but Workin’ Moms is so, so good. As the title suggests, it’s about workin’ moms but I would bet it’s 100% not what you think it is.

It’s a raucous comedy with some solid messages behind it, with as many outrageous as there are heartwarming moments – following a group of moms who’s toddlers are in the same nursery class as they attempt to work out how to get through their new life as moms.

And don’t worry, you don’t have to be a mom to enjoy/get it. I’m not a mom, my friend who recommended it isn’t a mom and in fact, most of my friends that also love it also are not moms.

The episodes are only short and they’re all on Netflix, so if you’re looking for a new sitcom to watch, then look no further.

Killing Eve

If you haven’t heard of Killing Eve then where the hell have you been?! Living under a rock?

A new episode is released every week on BBC iPlayer and basically the only reason I have to look forward to Mondays at the minute.

Following an assassin and an MI5 desk worker, as their paths cross and intertwine. We’re now three seasons into the thriller and I’m still hooked. Ok, season two nearly lost me but season three has picked right back up with an episode that may well be the best they’ve ever done (I won’t say which one).

Normal People

Not just another teen drama. This show is based on the book of the same name by Sally Rooney (who also wrote the script for this) and has taken the world by storm.

The story follows a well off but unpopular teenage girl and a less well off but incredibly popular teenage boy in Ireland, as they begin a relationship that will stick with them forever. I read the book in the blink of an eye and couldn’t stop thinking about it afterwards.

I finished it about a week before the series was released (I didn’t even know they were making one, in all honesty) and watched the series about as quickly as I read the book.

Whether you’ve read the book or not, I highly recommend this series. It captures the nuances of teenage/college years that I’m not sure anyone else has managed and is beautifully acted/directed/written.

INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS

I wince each and every time my iPhone screen time notification pops up, as I’m so aware of the shocking amount of time I spend on my phone – mostly on Instagram and TikTok. Saying that, I get a lot of joy out of both apps especially from the creativity exemplified by the accounts below:

Erin Outdoors

EyeofShe

View this post on Instagram

I can’t believe it’s already the end of May. I’ve been waking up earlier just to feel like the days are longer. A couple of years ago, before I began traveling full time, there was a burning passion inside to venture out of what I knew. It’s funny, because lately, I’ve felt that same burning, but for the simplest of moments. The first one that comes to mind are my evening walks in NYC with a friend, coffee in our hands or a slice of pizza. Just chatting. Eventually, making our way to Bryant Park, sitting, and people watching. If this whole experience did one thing for me, it has definitely given me a newfound appreciation for the smaller things and for the people in my life. . Throwback to another moment I loved. We woke up early, before the sun began to rise. Upon seeing the views, I immediately understood the hype. Along with its unbelievable colors, the lake was so still, it was like a mirror reflecting the first light on the mountains. The morning was capped with hot coffee and laughs with the very best of friends. Looking forward to more moments like these. 🤍✨⛰ w/ @long.explorer . . . . #lagodibraies #dolomites #dolomitesunesco #italiandolomites #italytravel #italy #voyaged #outdoortones #wondersofourplanet #artofvisuals #visualsoflife #sheisnotlost #wearetravelgirls #ourlonelyplanet #discoverearth #adventureawaits #forgeyourownpath #wondermore #speechlessplaces #cntraveler #outdoortones #beautifuldestinations #wildernessculture #stayandwander #earth #createcommune #travelitaly #italian_city

A post shared by Bree 🌙 Travel + Adventure (@eyeofshe) on

Otis Unleashed

TIKTOKS

If you’re not on TikTok then you are missing our big time; I’m going to bet that a lot of the videos you see on Facebook/Twitter are originally from TikTok! I personally find myself watching TikToks for hours at a time. Out of the hundreds I’ve seen, here are my recent favourites:

@mslunamarie

Harassing my cat with a new puppet 😂 

♬ original sound – mslunamarie

YOUTUBE VIDEOS

YouTube hosts such a vast amount of content it can be hard to pin down exactly what to watch. I do tend to stick with a lot of people that I already know but it’s always lovely to discover someone new.

Who are your favourite YouTubers?

Allanarama – Ten Things I Can’t Live Without

Honest, funny, chatty. She’s always reminded me a lot of Emma Chamberlain in that she has all my favourite things in a YouTuber.

Based in Toronto, Allana Davison 100% knows what she’s talking about when it comes to beauty and makeup, always giving an honest review, whether it’s glowing or not.

Hidden London Hangouts – Highgate

I’m a bit of a transport nerd, so always happy to engage in content within that world but I truly think these videos generally are really enjoyable.

Hidden London would usually involve tours of underground stations/tunnels which are no longer in use or not normally accessible to the public (and cost a bunch of money) so I really appreciate the time and effort that has gone into these videos which are put out for free online, hosted by those working for the London Transport Museum, they interview and chat with people across the different sectors, such as those involved with fabric or history.

They’re all so passionate about what they do, it makes for really engaging videos (and also really makes me miss the tube).

Mr Kate – 25 Interior Design DIYs To Do While Stuck at Home

If you haven’t heard of Mr Kate yet, they’re a husband and wife team (now + baby) who transform people’s living spaces. They’ve done a lot of famous faces including the Dolan Twins, Liza Koshy and James Charles, and always do an incredible job, often including lessons on small DIY jobs/art projects that viewers can do at home within these videos.

This video specifically is a long list of those things which you can do at home – if you’re looking for some inspiration to change up your space, then Mr Kate has something for everyone.

Billie Eilish – Not My Responsibility (Short Film)

I was due to see Billie Eilish this summer but of course, the dates have been pushed back (I’m not sure when to). This video was produced for her tour and is therefore usually shown at one of her concerts; I love that she has released this so that fans can get a glimpse of the tour that they ordinarily would have seen in person.

Plus, the video itself is beautifully written and filmed; a continuation of what Billie stands for in her music but through spoken word.

Toddy Smithy – Jeff and Matt Finally Confront Each Other

If you don’t follow the vlog squad then get onto them right now. Despite the lame name (which was given to them by fans), they’re a really funny group of friends made up of David Dobrik, Scotty Sire, Jason Nash, Zane Hijazi, Heath Hussar, Matt King, Todd Smith, Jeff Wittek, Carly and Erin… I’ve definitely forgotten people but the point I’m trying to make is that they’re a big group.

A lot of them started on vine and moved over to YouTube, now with huge followings online, I always enjoy what they make.

MUSIC

I listen to a lot of music day to day – anything from The Rolling Stones and The Kinks to Lennon Stella and Maggie Rogers, so it’s hard to pin down everything I’ve been listening to.

So instead of trying to cover everything with this section, I’ve focused on new releases that I’ve been enjoying:

Sylvan Esso’s Tiny Desk Concert

HARRY STYLES – WATERMELON SUGAR

ICELAND’S EUROVISION ENTRY

TOVE LO – SADDER BADDER COOLER

JOEY PECORARO – HELLO SUN

DREAM WIFE – SO WHEN YOU GONNA…

BOOKS

Initially during lockdown, I found it quite hard to get into reading. I just couldn’t focus on the book for long enough to actually get through it.

Thankfully, I’ve now well and truly settled into reading again, so am pleased to mention a couple of books I’ve really enjoyed this month:

Little Fires Everywhere

You’ve probably (like me) seen the adverts for the TV series of this on Amazon Prime – in fact, that’s what made me want to read it. I’d heard the book was incredible and so decided that before watching the series, I’d read the book.

Well, it’s roughly 400 pages long and I got through it in 2.5 days. Usually a 400 page book would take me a couple of weeks! I’m now looking for a new book to read, if anyone has any recommendations?

It’s about two different families – one very stable and financially well off, and another more artsy with less of an interest in money. Their paths cross and from there… Things get interesting.

There’s probably a slightly better way of describing that but I’m just trying so hard not to give anything away about it! Now I just want all my friends/family to read it so we can talk about it…

Walking

I would 100% list this as a life changing book – since reading it, I’ve endeavoured to take at least one walk every single day. It doesn’t have to be a long one, just a walk.

Written by Erling Kagge, the first man to walk to the North Pole, South Pole AND the summit of Everest. It’s beautifully written and full of stories/thoughts/philosophies on why walking is such a brilliant thing; with so many the positives for our mental wellbeing, as well as physical.

It’s unlike any other book I’ve read and has truly stuck with me.

PODCASTS

Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend

I’ve listened to this podcast for a while and am so happy they’ve continued doing it during lockdown. Obviously it helps if you are a Conan O’Brien fan but that aside, he gets on amazing guests – Ben Stiller, Mike Myers, Ted Danson, J.J Abrams etc, all of which have incredible stories to tell.

I often listen to it if I’m tidying up, having a bath, going for a run… Ok, basically at any given opportunity.

BLOG POSTS

Oh Six Eleven – 9 Things You Must Do on a Weekend in Budapest

My good friend Oh Six Eleven has written a lovely piece on all the things you should make sure to do on a weekend away in Budapest. I 100% agree with everything she says, especially because I was also on the trip with her (my post coming soon!)

Pretty Little Fawn – Life Lately [May]

I’ve followed Pretty Little Fawn for a while and always really enjoyed her posts as well as her aesthetic. So much effort goes into everything she does and I love seeing what she comes up with/has been up to, such as in this post about what she’s been doing this past May.

Scottish Road Trip on a Budget – Post 1 | Post 2

Is it absolutely shameless to mention one of my own posts within my ‘favourite blogs’ of this month? Yes, yes it is.

Genuinely though, out of everything I’ve written this month these are the posts I have most enjoyed writing as it’s been so nice looking back on such a lovely trip. I’m absolutely desperate to recreate it in some way, perhaps visiting other parts of Scotland but for now, it’s great to have these posts to commemorate the trip.

PURCHASES

Morphe Palette

I’ve wanted this palette for years but it always just felt like a little more than I wanted to spend at the time, as I didn’t necessarily need it. Recently they had a sale on and so I jumped at the chance to finally get my hands on the palette of my dreams.

I’m not actually as huge a make up person as I used to be (I’ve barely worn any for the past few months thinking about it) but I still love beauty and makeup products, especially something like this that I’ve been hankering after for years.

When I’ll actually get to properly make us of it, I’m not sure. Maybe I’ll have to set up a lockdown date night with my boyfriend?

Hat

I really went back and forth with myself about buying this. For a long time I had considered buying a nice hat but wasn’t sure if I could pull it off.

Recently, since my scalp has been getting sunburnt regularly from this lovely weather and there was (yet another) sale on, I figured now would be a good time to finally make that purchase and I’m so happy I did. My burnt head is too.

Tea and Coffee

I’ve written about these products already in some of my ‘7 Things I’ve Enjoyed This Week’ posts so I won’t go hugely into detail but what I will say is that I, like many others (I assume) have been going through a lot of tea and coffee recently. What else are we meant to be doing, eh?

So it’s made the world of difference having amazing loose leaf tea and coffee beans to choose from. Personally I’ve found so much enjoyment not only from drinking them but also making them – I love the ritual that goes into both as opposed to the speed and ease of tea bags/coffee granules.

I’ll do a proper review of them both in time but please believe me when I say, they’ve both brightened many of my May days and will continue to throughout the next few months (as I keep restocking them).

OTHER STUFF

Pasta Al Limone – Bon Appetit

Recently my boyfriend has been getting really into watching Bon Appetit (food/cooking) videos before we go to sleep. Initially I didn’t pay much attention but I have to admit I’ve really been enjoying them too, to the point that I even suggested we make something I saw in a video.

Ok, it’s mostly because it looked so simple even a cooking dumb dumb like me could make it but also as it looked delicious. And you know what? It really was. It’s super refreshing and needs barely any ingredients, so no matter your level of cooking skill, you could definitely make it.

The recipe is linked above and the video below:

Macrame

Some people got into bread making, others into running… I got into macrame. As I mentioned in some of my weekly ‘7 Things’ posts, I first attempted macrame a while back with a kit I had lying around and then never really attempted it again.

Well, whilst doing a spring clean I rediscovered the kid and along with it, how much I actually enjoyed the macrame. This time I didn’t follow the kit I was given and instead started following tutorials on YouTube.

Now I’ve got the basics down, I’m excited to start making some cool stuff to give to my friends and family (act surprised, guys).

Sunflower

In an earlier post, I mentioned how sad I was that my sunflower (which initially sprouted very well) wasn’t doing too good. Well, after some intervention from my boyfriend in the form of repotting it, I am incredibly pleased to say that my precious sunflower baby is growing rapidly. So rapidly in fact, I’m a bit worried about where we are going to be able to keep it.

Pinterest

I’ve always taken an interest in Pinterest – slowly pinning things I’ve come across (travel destinations/home inspiration etc) but more recently, I’ve become almost a bit overwhelmed with how much I love it.

I’m not sure how many boards I have now but I love being able to collate and express all of the things I’m loving at the moment in one place.

Give me a follow here!

Abi

X

@travelteatv

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