It’s been a while since I’ve updated you on some of my favorites of the month. Though January was a doozy, I started it by testing positive for Covid, and a few things helped get me through. Spending the first week stuck at home, thankfully only with cold symptoms (thanks to modern medicine and the Moderna vaccine!), gave me a chance to revisit some favorites and encouraged me to make better habits.
On January 1st, HBOMax released a Harry Potter reunion film. It reignited my love for the series and brought me an incredible amount of nostalgia. I remember falling in love with the series when I decided to pick up the books back in eighth grade. It played a significant role in my youth, and I can distinctly remember where I was when I read certain books, chapters, and moments. Whether you’re a Harry Potter fan or not, to watch the majority of the cast discuss their feelings around the series as well as their love for one another was heartwarming. I don’t think there will ever be another phenomenon like Harry Potter, and I’m grateful to have grown up with the magical story that was both an escape and a source of comfort.
The week I spent quarantined in my room, I decided to revisit the films. I had the time, and it had been a significant number of years since I’d seen them all. I watched 1-6, and it was the best decision I made that week. I’d never binged the series before, so watching the cast grow up so quickly between films was interesting. I also noticed small details I hadn’t before. I still have yet to watch The Deathly Hallows films again. They’re the last two of the series, and although good triumphs, in the end, it’s hard to watch some of the beloved characters sacrifice themselves for the greater good. Nevertheless, I enjoyed every minute experiencing the films again, and I can’t wait to do it all over again.
Last week the first two episodes of How I Met Your Father, the HIMYM spinoff series, premiered on Hulu. When I first heard about it, I was skeptical. Remakes rarely live up to the original, but with Hilary Duff cast as the “Ted Mosby,” I knew I had to give it a chance. So far, it’s cute. It doesn’t have the same feel as the original because they never do, but I will continue watching to see how it plays out. I find it interesting that they chose to show the older version of Hilary’s character, Sophie, telling the story. I am, however, delighted she is portrayed by Samantha Jones herself, Kim Cattrall! The end of the first episode, where they showed the original apartment, and the swords, brought me to tears.
I think How I Met Your Father has potential, but I don’t have any expectations thus far.
Hannah Simone, Zooey Deschanel, and Lamorne Morris from New Girl launched the New Girl rewatch podcast “Welcome to Our Show” this week! I haven't finished listening to the first episode yet, but I am a sucker for behind-the-scenes info. And this happens to be my fourth rewatch podcast that I listen to at this point, and I couldn’t be happier. I am excited to listen along and hear some never-before-heard stories.
I’m not one to wear makeup consistently, but I love it. It’s fun to experiment, and as the years have progressed, I think I’ve gotten better at it. With the help of Youtube and Tiktok, watching others apply their makeup has been a great help in understanding the correct application. I’ve recently started to get into wearing blush. I was hesitant because I am incredibly pale, and I never thought it looked that great against my complexion. But when Selena Gomez released her brand Rare, and I heard the rave reviews on the blush specifically, I decided to try it. I bought Selena’s choice color, “Joy,” of course, and have decided to add it to my routine. It is incredibly pigmented, so this tube will last me a while. It’s a pretty shade of medium pink, not too bright and not too dark.
I’ve also recently tried the Maybelline FitMe tinted moisturizer, which I love, especially for days when I want to wear light makeup. It gets the job done without making me feel cakey or overdone. If I were someone who wore makeup every day, that would be my foundation choice.
I’ve not been consistent with drinking water for as long as I can remember. I know for your overall health, it’s essential, but I didn’t grow up drinking water daily. I have been trying over the past few years by adding lemons, limes, and even cucumbers. But I find it challenging to drink the amount we’re required to drink all day to stay hydrated. So, I decided to try Liquid IV. I’ve known about it for a while, but I was hesitant. I wasn’t sure it would work. But, after being sick with Covid and having gotten the Flu in the past, I realized I should probably start taking my health more seriously. After all, drinking water isn’t a difficult habit to get into, but if this could help keep me hydrated, why not give it a try? So far, I’ve noticed a difference. Being a coffee drinker makes it a challenge because the water is fighting with the coffee to keep me hydrated, but I think it was a good investment. So far, I like the pomegranate flavor the most. Watermelon is good, but a little sweet, and lemon-lime is okay. I think I’m going to try strawberry next!
I had hoped I would use my week at home to get a good amount of reading done. Though I didn’t do as much as I’d hoped, I got bored of watching TV all day long and convinced myself to pick up a book I had been dying to read for quite a while. My first book was “Daisy Jones and the Six” by Taylor Jenkins Reid. It was vastly different from her two previous books I had read, “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” and “Malibu Rising,” but only in the format. As opposed to a narrative composition, “Daisy Jones and the Six,” I thought it made the story vastly more interesting on top of the fact that it was about a band. True to TJR’s style, there were numerous characters to keep track of; however, she fleshed them out well, and each voice was unique. The characters in her books always come to life for me. I hope I’m able to do that with my novels someday.
I also just finished “Love and Other Words” by Christina Lauren, two friends who write together and pen their novels combining their names. The first book I read by them was “In a Holidaze,” which I had enjoyed, but this one was heartbreaking and moving and made me feel everything the characters were going through. I couldn’t put it down, and now I miss Macy and Elliot immensely. A story of friends turned lovers who spend their formative years together until a fateful night tears them apart for practically a decade. The story starts with their reunion. Their history unravels before our eyes as we go back and forth between past and present. It was a rollercoaster that I never wanted to end. This book is for sure my favorite book so far this year.
As I grew up, reading was a significant part of my life. If I wasn’t doing schoolwork or at the ballet studio, I was buried in a book. I miss living in fictional worlds, and as I encourage myself to read more, I feel mentally happier. The weight of the world feels less overwhelming. Reading doesn’t make me feel guilty or shameful, like aimlessly scrolling through my social feeds or watching TV. I feel more myself than I have in a long time. Who knew all it took was picking up a book and turning all my distractions off?