Weekend Reading Vol.4

The list of articles I've loved recently has started to grow beyond control so here is Volume 4 of the Weekend Reading list.

Will Longman // Review - Phoebe Waller-Bridge's Fleabag at Wyndham's Theatre
An indulgent read if, like me, you are in denial that Fleabag Season 2 is over and you were gutted to have missed Phoebe Waller-Bridge herself revisit the one-woman play where the unnamed character was first created for stage.
Read online at LondonTheatre.co.uk

Abigail Malmon // What exactly is burnout? The signs, symptoms and how to deal with it
When was the last time you didn't feel stressed? It feels like burnout is on the rise and if you can't identify with some of the symptoms, it's pretty likely you know someone who can. In my first job out of University, I remember being surprised how common it was for people to be signed off on stress leave for a significant period. Fast forward eight years and this narrative has only worsened. This article is packed through of statistics so you can know you're not alone, what to look out for and how to help combat burnout.
Read online at Cosmopolitan.com

Nicola Davis // Soft drinks, including sugar-free, linked to increased risk of early death
As a serial Diet Coke fan, I winced when I saw this headline. I wasn't for one moment under the illusion that a calorie-free fizzy drink was "healthy" but there's something about seeing that headline in black and white that will halt your finger on the ring-pull. It made me realise, like the article suggest, that the artificial sweeteners can drive you to crave more sugar and I would often be guilty of a can of Coke and a chocolate bar around 3pm. It certainly made me take notice, something to do with turning thirty and this link being sent by your parents. I still have the occasional DC but cutting out caffeine in the past month has definitely helped curb this habit.
Read online at The Times

And to end on a more light-hearted note...

Dolly Alderton // When Harry Met Sally: 30 years since the fake orgasm that changed romcoms for ever
Dear Ms. N. Ephron, 
Enclosed is a love letter to your iconic pastrami-eating, fake-orgasm-screaming movie.
Love Dolly.
This could easily be my favourite article of 2019. It reminded me of one of the first articles I ever wrote for the University magazine on the subject of whether boys and girls can be *just* friends (they can't, by the way, unless sex is absolutely off the table). Around the same time, I went to see When Harry Met Sally at the theatre and I just love the male/female friendship buttons it pushes. After reading this article, you're definitely going to want to head straight for the movie to rewatch for the gazillionth time.
Read online at The Times

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Under the Influence: What My Fave Influencers *Made* Me Buy


It’s no secret that their job is to sell to us and for the genuine content creators out there, it’s the lovely job of coveting and endorsing products and services they use and love. Why shouldn’t they earn a buck or two as commission for doing the ground work and sharing the word? Influencers sure do get some shtick for this (yes, yes, it is poor form when they don’t disclaim paid partnerships) but there's an element of trust between an Influencer and their audience; once that's gone, it's unlikely their audience will remain engaged. Remember that line from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, 'You had your chance, you muffed it!'

Personally, I feel a sense of loyalty to my little gang of YouTubers and place more of an interest in their videos and blog posts than I do, say, a magazine publication. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I bought a magazine! This post is basically a 'thank you' for the hours of free entertainment these ladies have provided me with over the years. And the proof is in the pudding with this (surprisingly long) list of purchases I have made under the influence... 

CARLY ROWENA

Why follow? 
For body positivity and calling bullshit on negativity with a side of squats. 

Why love? 
Carly starts every day with a motivational quote which is a giant dose of positivity, feminism and gratitude rolled into one 'gram! Plus, check out her IG stories for the best Q&A sessions.

What did I buy under the Influence?
  • Carly is a qualified PT and created a 12-week exercise programme called the Get Gorgeous Guide. Along with a host of nutritional advice, this training regime includes 3 workouts per week focusing on arms, legs and abs. Available in physical book form, a digital PDF to download and videos to watch to check your form in on fleek!
  • This gorgeous girl can also make a pelvic floor trainer seem sexy. Hello, Elvie Trainer. Carly hosts an amazing (and sometimes blush-worthy) Sexy Series on YouTube so it’s no surprise that during her pregnancy she was sharing literally the ins and outs of exercise this very important muscle!


What do I still have my eye on?
Over the summer, Carly created pocket-sized workout cards. Ideal for use on the go or if you fancy some variation to your gym routine, pick a set at random and get sweaty! No equipment required for the Home Workout Guide I have my eye on. Those motivational quotes I mentioned are printed on the reverse for some power-talking whilst working out!

THE ANNA EDIT

Why follow? 
If I’m looking for some tips of what I need in my wardrobe, I’ll look to Anna Newton for her immaculate, timeless and efficient capsule wardrobe.

Why love? 

For the best pale & sensitive skin beauty recos and for being a total organisation fiend, she is goals!

What did I buy under the Influence?

  • A rather grown up purchase but one I’d been considering upon my fifth time as bridesmaid when facing those creases the night before the Big Day. Enter, Russell Hobs Steamer. I watched an IGTV I think it was (or a paid partnership of sorts) where Anna was coveting this and I literally bought it there and then. For a gal who detests ironing, this is a game-changer. I’m literally walking around thinking what else can I steam?
  • From one pale and hairy girl to the next, when Anna talks hair removal I’m all ears. I’m particularly attracted to a fuzz-free hair removal system that takes less than five minutes and has long-lasting results. Hello, Braun Silk-Expert Pro 5 IPL PL5124. Watch Anna’s 1-Hour Weekly Summer Prep Routine video for the full scoop!
  • I've talked about this before but, put simply, she introduced me to the best label maker ever. Say no more.
  • An Edited Life, aka. the bible. Praise be living your utmost organised self. 

What do I still have my eye on?
Ever since I laid eyes on the apothecary-style drawers in Anna’s Office Tour I’ve been in love. I found the link, signed up to Vincent & Barn's newsletter and the label maker waits in anticipation. Now, I just need the house and then I can spend hours sorting out what’s going to live in each drawer! It’s the stuff dreams are made of!

LILY PEBBLES

Why follow? 
For all-round down-to-earth lifestyle content of a just-turned-thirty-something-first-time mum.  

Why love? 

Lily has legit got her feet on the ground and with that, cuts the BS and shares lifestyle content that you can relate to!

What did I buy under the Influence?

  • I literally devoured Lily’s book, The F Word, in one sitting via Audible. It’s such a gorgeous love letter for female friendships. Warning: it makes you wish Lily was your friend!
  • For strong skincare and cosmetic advise, look no further. Lily has impeccably high standards and will call an over-hyped product exactly that when she sees it (even if they've paid for a week's trip abroad). Therefore, the amount she has raved about It Cosmetics CC Cream was the reason I marched into Sephora to buy one and began my own love affair with this base. She’s right, it is amazing. Next I want to try the matte version…
  • I discovered the Missoma brand, in particular the Lucy Williams collection, via Lily's YouTube channel where I would swoon over her stacked necklaces. The cult influencer necklace that everyone had found its way onto my Christmas list, but this one ended up in my jewellery box.

What do I still have my eye on?
That London map illustration (plus, the house) would be just dandy! It’s a limited edition print but a total love letter to London with a gorgeous splash of gold foil, which leads me to…
Those gold breakfast bar stools. I planned an entire kitchen island around these babies…but since the house sale hasn’t gone through, these are back on my wishlist!

**MRS A TO B: CATCH UP ON OUR HOUSE-HUNTING STORY SO FAR...**

ON THE LUST LIST...A round-up of my other fave content creators and what's making my credit card twitch!

Lydia Elise Millen not only makes me daydream over a house with her kitchen island and brick-walled garden, she has got me super intrigued by the Thermomix. A kitchen aid for my poor cookery skills designed to make cooking from scratch look effortless. It's a hefty investment (we're talking over £1000) but I yearn to be as domesticated to have a freezer stocked with homemade ice-creams and sorbets and soups and smoothies and casseroles and (the list goes on...) If you're interested, watch Lydia's video.

I blame Fleur DeForce for hours spent lusting through vintage jewellery shops. Her Art Deco ring and general jewellery game is seriously strong! However, as a fellow shorty, I do also take note of her wardrobe purchases, particularly when it comes to maxi dresses. Two dresses that stick in my memory from her previous videos and 'grams; Lily & Lionel’s khaki leopard print maxi dress and Hansine bohemian tea dress.

And, of course, you can't have an influencer list without mentioning Mrs Hinch. I read her book on a journey back from a wedding and felt completely compelled to rethink my attitude to cleaning. What followed was almost daily trips to the cleaning aisles on my lunch break. Mr A often asks me why I'm cleaning the bathroom at 11pm on a Friday night and I hate to point the blame but...

Which purchases are you guilty of making under the influence? Add a comment below!


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