February favourites

I am not feeling a book review today. I’m in a bit of a reading slump to be honest. I thought I’d just wrap the month up early but I haven’t read that much, so instead I am going to do a beauty vlogger-style monthly favourites post.

Because why not?*

*Note: This post does not include even a single beauty product.

TV: Riverdale


I started watching Riverdale about a week ago, and it has since completely taken over my brain. Everyone in that show is so good looking. At 25 I have come to realise I will likely never grow out of enjoying a good teen show. However, it does come with some pitfalls. Like googling Cole Sprouse with one hand over my eyes to check his age to find out whether or not my GINORMOUS HUGE crush was inappropriate.

Finding out he was 25 may have been the best part of my week.

Being an adult is the worst. I can’t tell you the trauma of Googling a famous crush only to find they are significantly younger than you. It’s real. These are the things no one tells you about getting older. You turn into kiiiind of a creep.

Instagram: @tamanegi.qoo.riku

I don’t think this requires any explanation.

Movies: Black Panther

black panther

I mean obviously. I loved everything about this movie. Shuri is my favourite. I love her.

Podcast: Thirst Aid Kit

thirst aid kit

On hiatus currently, but they are back in March. Bim Adewunmi and Nichole Perkins host a podcast all about: thirst. You know, that feeling you get about hot people on TV. If you have ever needed somewhere to go to talk about your pervy feelings (I know I did!), this is the podcast for you. I recommend it to everyone: it is pure joy.  If you’re looking for a starting point but not sure if you want to commit, try the John Cho episode.

Yes, you read that right. They dedicated an entire episode to him.

Bookish thing: Before The Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray

Last week I gushed about how much I loved Before The Devil Breaks You, the third book in Libba Bray’s Diviners series. After I wrote that review, I read the afterword of the book (like a pro, I know #facepalm) and it gave me CHILLS.

Anyway. I have to go watch Riverdale now. I am on season two and no spoilers, but my heart is broken by a certain situation and I don’t think I can resume my normal life until it is resolved.

What are some of your favourites this month? I hate spending time with my thoughts! Tell me what they are so I can avoid my feelings! Also, if I did this again next month would you read it? I enjoyed writing it – as you can see I consume a lot of media.

Top 5 Podcasts I’m Loving Right Now

I don’t have the most evolved taste in podcasts. I am always last on the bandwagon of anything great. Almost all of my favourite listens I got through recommendations rather than finding them myself. I am the opposite of a podcast hipster. In my podcast listening, as in all other areas of my life, I am uncool.

I’m okay with it.

That said, despite my lack of authority and creativity in finding new shows to listen to, I do love giving recommendations as much as I like receiving them. I recently had a shake-up of the shows I listen to. I used to subscribe to a lot of personal development shows, but I’ve dropped them lately due to their complete disconnection to the real actual world. People who say ‘all you can do is focus on yourself’ in response to events like Trump’s election and Brexit aren’t my people.

There is a weird feeling of guilt attached to dropping things – TV shows, books, podcasts – that don’t really serve who you are any more. Does anyone else get that, or is it just me? I hope it’s not just me.

These are the shows I’m interested in right now. I think you might be too.


I LOVE this show. It’s about the invisible forces that influence our lives. It functions a bit like This American Life, in that each episode has a subject matter that is explored through different, generally very unusual stories. There was an episode that asked the question of whether blindness is a social construct, an episode about thinking, and how our thoughts create (or don’t) our lives. The most recent episode I listened to (I’m only at the beginning of season 2), was about engaging with your emotions, and how making hyper-masculine oil rig workers cry actually reduced the amount of fatal accidents among workers.

What really makes this show is its hosts. Alix Spiegel, Lulu Miller and Hanna Rosin are such charming, funny and smart women talking about complicated subjects in a way that is approachable and relatable.

Also, they end every show with a dance party, in which I always participate.

Alice Isn’t Dead

From the creators of Welcome to Night Vale, this is probably my favourite fictional podcast series to date. Alice is brimming with an atmosphere of threat and mystery that’ll compel you to binge the first season in days.

Our unnamed (for the majority of the show, anyway) narrator lost her wife a few years back. She thought she was dead, until one day she saw her on the news. She was in the background, walking past a murder scene. The narrator sort of thought she was going crazy until it happened again. And again. And again. So she quit her job to become a trucker, work in which she can drive across the country searching for her lost wife.

There are dangers the narrator cannot comprehend waiting for her. But she’ll face whatever she has to if it’ll reunite her with the love of her life.

On Being with Krista Tippet

This is a show I listen to occasionally rather than religiously, but it fascinates me whenever I tune in. On Being is pretty much exactly that – it is a show during which Tippet and her guest explore what it means to be human. She has discussions through the lens of race, politics, religion, sexuality, tragedy, literature and pretty much everything else you can think of.

If I can recommend a specific starting point, it would be her interview with Maria Popova of Brainpickings.org.

Mostly Lit

I think this is the only UK based podcast I listen to. It is about books, and being a Londoner, blackness and religion. It’s also very funny. I aspire to be as smart as the hosts of this show.

The books discussed are definitely majority literary – I haven’t read most of them – and a lot of shows are dedicated to classic literature. Mostly Lit hosts various guests, mostly of the young London literary scene. One of the most interesting interviews was with Crystal Mahey-Morgan about her publishing company OWN IT! and the importance of diversity in publishing.

The Moth

This podcast is simply people telling stories. Performances of live story tellings are recorded across the world and compiled each week into the Moth Radio Hour. People tell true stories of their lived experiences, tragic or funny, unusual or commonplace, political or personal.

I love it.


What are some of your favourite podcasts? I’m always looking for recommendations.


Podcast of the Month: Call Your Girlfriend

Call Your Girlfriend is a podcast on which Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman – both awesome ladies – discuss pop culture through a feminist lense.

Obviously I would love this.


Should you have any burning desire to know the history of a certain rapper’s melt down on Twitter the other week… this is the place for you.

If you’re less interested in Kanye and more engaged with news about menstruation, they cover that too. In detail. Moon cup horror stories and all.

If all that weren’t enough, they also provide us with regular shine theory updates. Shine theory, for anyone who doesn’t know by now, is the idea (by which I actually mean obvious truth) that powerful women make the best friends. This is because powerful women lift each other up.

It’s kind of revolutionary when you consider we’ve been socialised to tear each other down our whole lives.

Call Your Girlfriend is a celebration of being a smart lady and having smart lady friends.

As well as the usual shows, they recently started Phone-a-Friend episodes, in which either Aminatou or Ann – you guessed it – call one of their highly accomplished, hilarious and generally friend-jealousy-inducing girlfriends. So far guests have included Tavi Gevinson, Shani Hilton and Stephanie Beatriz, just to mention a few of my favourites. If you don’t know who any of them are, I implore you to Google. They are all wonderful people.

Call Your Girlfriend is the perfect plug for the feminist podcast shaped hole in your life.

Even if that’s something you don’t think you have… you totally do. I would venture to say that the majority of people have a feminist podcast shaped hole in their lives.

The Lively Show

In the months since I have been gearing up to finish university, every day I have wavered between panicked planning, extreme pessimism and shy optimism. Listening to The Lively Show helps feed the shy optimist in me.

At the moment I’m basically obsessed with self-development. When I look into the future, the only thing I see is a big old question mark, but around that are small bubbles of definite wants. Happiness. Travel. Stories.

In the months since I have been gearing up to finish university, every day I have wavered between panicked planning, extreme pessimism and shy optimism. Listening to The Lively Show helps feed the shy optimist in me.

the lively show

Jess Lively is all about living with intention. If we design our lives around values based intentions, she believes, everything good we want will follow. An intention is a way to live your life rather than a goal. It isn’t something you finish so much as something that you cultivate.

The Lively Show is a variety of interviews, mostly with people running their own businesses, about how they gain enrichment and self-knowledge from everything that they do. She talks to people who have written other self-help techniques, started fashion blogs or moved to New Orleans because they needed a new adventure.

This blog pretty much exists because of The Lively Show. It is a remarkable motivator.

As a piece of advice to recent graduates – or anyone lost in the unknown future sea – I would recommend listening to shows like this. People like Jess Lively are all about owning your own existence. When I listen to the show I feel like I am taking back a tiny bit of control over my life.

All the shows so far are available on itunes. They are all wonderful and worth a listen, but here are my top 5:

5. Overcoming death, debt and depression with Hal Elrod

This podcast covers the remarkable story of Hal Elrod, author of self-help book The Miracle Morning. He’s all about how to make the most out of your day. Good motivation for creative types.

4. Accepting and embracing our talents with Brooke White

Brooke White is from Girls with Glasses and American Idol. In this podcast she discusses the massive insecurities she has suffered while trying to cultivate her art. She talks about how to deal with the constant: but what if I suck?! Throughout this entire show I was just like she gets me!

3. Facing fears and slowing down with Joy Wilson

I love Joy the Baker. Who wouldn’t? The story of how her blog came to be is a great motivator. Plus she moved to New Orleans for a better life which is a dream I go to in my head from time to time.

2. The surprisingly simply truth about extraordinary results with Jay Papasan

This episode is all about building up your 10,000 hours. For anyone who doesn’t know, that’s supposed to be the amount of time it takes to cultivate a creative skill. Again, a wonderful one for motivation, especially for when you start to feel like producing your art is like shouting into a void.

1. The art of relaxation and creativity with Jen Gotch

Jen is the creator of Ban.Do, beautiful accessories I can’t afford. Her story is fascinating. She bounced around a lot before she eventually found what she loved to do. This again is a really great listen for anyone feeling a little lost. It gave me that light at the end of the tunnel sensation.

…And there are so many more! The Lively Show is definitely qualifies for binge listening. I quite often have it on when I am getting ready in the morning. It makes for a very positive start to my day!