Firstly, big soz everyone – when I wrote ‘My Favourite Things’ #1, I think I miiiiight have alluded to it being a monthly instalment, which clearly hasn’t been the case. Oh well. Hopefully it just means that I’ve had to whittle down all my many favourite things from the past few (10… oops) months, so you just get the absolute cream of the crop. Totally on purpose, obviously!
Walking to work
There was a period of about a month earlier in the year where my office was literally opposite my flat. Not just a short walk away – it was LITERALLY across the road, as in I could see the window by my desk from bed, and I could stare longingly at my bed from my desk. Obviously this did have its benefits (hello lunch breaks spent snoozing on the sofa or catching up on Netflix in my PJ bottoms) – but there were some days when I wouldn’t leave Grand Parade once, and that wasn’t cute.
Where was I going with this? Oh yes – well, you’ll be SO glad to know that I have now moved into a lovely new flat, about a 25 minute walk from the office. It might not be as convenient, but I had so missed having that time in the morning to clear my head, think about life, and get my step count above 280 (honestly, that was once all I managed. So grim.) It’s been great for my mental health, and I have plenty of time to catch up on my podcasts – obviously the most important thing!
MDWAP series 4
Speaking of podcasts, I couldn’t write a favourites post without including the newest series of My Dad Wrote A Porno, could I? At the time of writing, I am eagerly anticipating the release of the final episode on Monday and I CANNOT DESCRIBE MY EXCITEMENT. Honestly – if you STILL haven’t listened, then you need to set aside some time (preferably not when you’re in public – trust me, cackling manically to myself with my headphones in has got me quite the stares in my time) to start from series 1, episode 1, and prepare to never look at a pomegranate in the same way again. Oh, and if you think podcasts aren’t for you, then start with this one – it genuinely makes me laugh more than any book, film, series or human being I can think of. You won’t regret it, I promise!
MUA eyeliner pen
I’ve always been terrified of liquid eyeliner. It’s too stressful, it ALWAYS goes wrong and to be honest I just can’t be bothered. My friend Poppy even once said that she was trying to work out whether or not to do her eyeliner one day, but then thought ‘well, Alice never wears it and she looks nice anyway’ (thanks Pops!)
HOWEVER, I have recently discovered a little gem in the MUA Eye Define Felt Liner from Superdrug. It was only £2 (lol what) and I’ve always wanted to be one of those ‘perfect eyeliner’ girls, so I thought I’d give it a go – and I’m not joking when I say it’s literally changed my life. I mean, that might be a bit much – but I do love it. It’s added an extra step to my makeup routine, but that’s okay because it’s so easy to use and makes me look like I’ve actually got my shit together. Ideal!
Amuse Your Bouche
If you’re looking for tasty, simple vegetarian dishes that even the most dedicated meat eater will enjoy (case in point: my housemate Bethan Thomas), then look no further than Amuse Your Bouche, a vegetarian recipe blog written by a lady named Becca. If you didn’t know (or hadn’t guessed), I have a new girlfriend (!). She’s vegetarian, and whilst I’ve always cooked lots of vegan and vegetarian meals anyway, I pretty much only cook veggie food at home now because that way I know she’ll be able to eat whatever I’m cooking. Amuse Your Bouche has given me so much inspiration, and everything I’ve made has been totally delicious and super easy. Some of my favourites so far have been Ratatouille Risotto, Warm Lentil and Halloumi Salad, Hummus Roasted Cauliflower and Peanut Sesame Noodles, but there are countless recipes that are still on my list to try!
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
It’s been at the top of my list since I heard it was in production, but I’ve FINALLY been to see Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and I can’t tell you how much I loved it. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a musical based on the true story of a 16 year old boy in Durham who wanted to go to his prom dressed in drag. Rachel (my best pal/soul sista 4evz) originally said she was taking me for my birthday back in April, but then we were too disorganised for that and by the time we went to book tickets, it was nearly Rachel’s birthday so we just combined the two and paid for ourselves (an ideal situation, really).
It might not be the most high-brow theatre show I’ve ever seen, but it was super fun, the cast were incredible, it was rife with gay pop culture references, Sunita from Corrie was in it and I’ve been listening to the soundtrack on repeat since September. Can’t ask for much more than that!
P.S. ‘And You Don’t Even Know It’ and ’The Wall In My Head’ are both absolute bangers and I highly recommend that you listen to them immediately.
Friday nights out
My friend Kyle will KILL me for saying this, because he works on Saturdays and can never come with us, but going out on a Friday night has become my new favourite thing. It’s normally cheaper, the clubs shut earlier so you’ll be in bed by 4 (oh god listen to Grandma Alice over here), and you have your hangover on Saturday instead of Sunday which makes the weekend feel SO LONG. Oh, and the Sunday dread is far more bearable when you’re not feeling rough as fuck – who knew?
I don’t know about everywhere else, but in Brighton there seems to be a constant stream of amazing nights out on Fridays at the moment. I’m talking clubs exclusively playing songs from musicals, emo nights, and even a Cher-themed Halloween party (which was literally the most amazing experience of my life). Check out Komedia, the Green Door Store and Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar for some of the best!
If you know me even a little bit, you’ll know that I have a strong aversion to chain restaurants (unless it’s Nandos, Spoons or I’m not paying – then I’ll make an exception obviously). Independent restaurants, on the other hand, I LOVE – especially when they’re such a hidden gem that hardly anyone else seems to have heard of them (I’m just so alternative ya know?). Much as I’d love to keep this one to myself, I just have to give a shout out to Solera, a gorgeous little Spanish restaurant nestled on Sydney Street in Brighton. It’s just next to the Flour Pot Bakery, with red checked tablecloths on the seating area outside – you might have noticed it if you’ve ever walked past.
I’ve been a couple of times before, and it’s always been incredible – the tapas is delicious, it’s not tooooo expensive (and the dishes that cost more are well worth it!), the atmosphere is cosy and friendly, and Poppy (who grew up in Spain) said it was the most authentic Spanish food she’d eaten in Brighton. Praise indeed! I can’t recommend it enough for a fun date night, a cosy lunch or a glass of wine with a couple of small plates.
Expanding my circle
The last thing I wanted to talk about is my circle of friends, and how it’s changed over the past year or so. I feel like I’ve been more open to new experiences, I’ve let more people in, and I’ve set aside more time for one-on-one time with friends (old and new). Looking back at the last 10 months, I’ve made more new friends than I think I did collectively in the previous few years – and I’m not just talking insignificant friends either, these are some of the people I’m closest to at the moment. If I hadn’t made a conscious decision to put myself out there, I wouldn’t have met some of the most important people in my life today. Just something to think about, and something I’m very grateful that I allowed myself to do.
What do you think of my favourites list? Have you tried and loved (or not loved!) anything on it? Let me know in the comments below or over on Instagram!