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Reasons to smile …
As crocuses and daffodils bring back a much missed color to our gardens and parks, I’m happy to say that spring is just around the corner. With him it brings back wonderful memories of those surprisingly hot and sunny days we had last year. I’m always the type to try to stay positive and see the good in everything, so I hope you feel the same as I did about the roadmap out of lockdown. The finish line is almost within reach which gave us a little boost. While it’s hard to see right now, with so many of us at their wit’s end, there have been some bright spots over the past two months. There are things that I have certainly enjoyed and things that I have learned about myself. I remember there is still fun to be had in my apartment and things to cheer me up. Let’s start with my greatest passion of all, music!
Finding new and up-and-coming artists to shed light on is one of my favorite activities. This artist is well and truly poised to be seen on a bigger stage, and her current single in particular could just give her that boost. I’ve written in the past about her collaboration with JP Saxe, but in her next single, she goes alone. Maisie Peters is a self-proclaimed “emo pop” girl and that’s the perfect description. I’m always drawn to songs that I think could stand alone as an acoustic track, rather than relying heavily on production, and this song certainly ticks that box. The title – John Hughes Movie – intriguingly refers to the filmmaker behind some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters, like Home Alone and Uncle Buck. I immediately wanted to see the path that the words would lead us. To me, Peters always paints such a beautiful picture with his lyrics and this song is no different.
The next step is a collaboration between two of my favorite artists. Ella Henderson, whose name you will know thanks to the almighty smash Ghosts and, more recently It’s real with Jax Jones, alongside the gruff and sultry tones of Bedford-born Tom Grennan. Grennan is one of the most entertaining artists around, with a completely unique take on life that I think we all need in a little photo. He is as funny as he is talented and I can’t wait to hear his album Evering Road (released this month). This piece by Henderson and Grennan, Let’s go home together, instantly feels familiar like a long-awaited hug and puts you at ease with some of the best voices in pop music right now.
I was desperately waiting to share my excitement for this show all month long which, while not much going on in the world, seemed even longer than the normal four weeks. You may have seen Firefly lane advertised in your “popular” section on Netflix and if so, trust that advertisement and click “watch”. Produced exclusively by and starring Katherine Heigl, this time-leaping drama tells the story of two best friends who grew up together in the ’70s and who are still inseparable later in life. One continues to be a successful television host, while the other chooses family life and returns to the workforce a few years later. While it sounds like what I just gave it all away, it’s all revealed in the first few minutes and continues to time-jump throughout the 10 episodes. Typically every episode ends on a very unexpected cliff hanger and take it to me, it’s a real task to turn off the TV.
In other exciting news, Disney + launched Star last month, which gave me access to hundreds of my favorites, both on TV and in movies. As if Grey’s Anatomy and Desperate housewives was not enough to seduce me immediately, as soon as I saw that I could watch The devil wears Prada anytime, any day, I suddenly felt like things were getting better. It looks like the movie is going to be popular again, after Anne Hathaway appeared on Ru Paul Drag Race USA, and told contestants that she was actually the 9th pick for the role, behind Rachel McAdams and Claire Danes. Hard to believe when she’s so perfect for it, but hearing it reminded me of the fact that Julia Roberts landed the iconic role of Vivian, in A pretty woman, after Michelle Pfeiffer, Meg Ryan and many others turned it down. (A note to their agentsâ¦. Big mistake, huge!) By the way, this film is also available on Star on Disney +.
Even though we are heading into spring, I have to share with you one of my favorite designers, whom I absolutely adore for her knits (among other things). I’ve always thought a good quality knit was worth the extra money knowing that it will stand the test of time and look luxurious every time you wear it. I fell in love with Amanda Wakeley after wearing one of her bright orange sweaters last year and jumped at the chance to wear her latest knits again. Boasting beautiful turtlenecks and offering both softer tones in the form of light pink and caps in shiny fuschia. With hot pink the color of the season, it’s no surprise that Amanda Wakeley shows it off perfectly.
Another knit that has guided me in recent months comes from the unisex knitwear brand Fund. This luxury brand is all about the sustainability and well-being of fashion. Made in the UK, the sweaters all have embroidered messages, often about empowerment or messages to make you smile. They are a way of showing self-expression and are made from the highest quality wool sourced from free-range, pasture-fed and ethically raised sheep. You would be baaaaa-rmey not to go on board with this brand.
If you follow me on social media, you may have seen me talking about my neck and shoulder injury. Unsure of what could have been the cause, I visited a physiotherapist who told me that this is actually the way I sleep at night. Did she mean with Friends on TV and pushed into a corner by the world’s smallest toy poodle? No, what she actually meant was the way I lay down on the front, neck twisted to the side. After describing the pain on Instagram, I was surprised to see such an overwhelming response and that so many of my followers went through the same. So I felt like I had to share my findings with you on this, because it’s apparently something that comes over us when we’re past our twenties and our bodies are a little less forgiving! One thing you need to think about when you go to bed tonight is sleeping on your side or your back. The tummy-to-mattress approach is a firm prohibition on the part of the pros, so if you’re like me, you could spend the next few weeks with a pillow against your body to keep yourself from rolling forward. Can’t wait to see the face of my fiance, Stuart, when he comes home after 10 weeks away and tries to get up to our bed, which is now home for me, my dog ââAlfie and a pregnancy pillow full. To be continuedâ¦
With home workouts being such a goal for many of us when the gyms are closed, I searched for places to purchase what I am now learning to be the essential home workout kits. Browsing through the John Lewis women’s fashion tab, I was really impressed with the sporting and leisure items they offered. Some of the favorites that caught my eye had to be the Bala bracelets, which fit around your wrists or ankles, making bodyweight exercises a bit more difficult, and their Manuka Eco Yoga mat for beginners ( which I most certainly am!) I’m more Namast-yay than Namaste!â¦ Must work on this.
You might know from my previous columns that if there’s one thing, I have a major weakness for his workout gear! With such an array of fitness brands, it can be overwhelming to research them all. Well, if I can help guide you to one of the must-have workout brands, let me tell you about LuLuLemon. It’s probably not a new name for most of you, but with a slightly higher price tag, it’s one of those brands you save and indulge yourself in. I have been fortunate enough to order parts recently and cannot express my love for them enough. By managing to tick both the practical and the fashion boxes, you feel like yourself. If like me, you want to buy yourself a gift for the new season, look no further. Carry on, you know you want it.