#OFNOTE 03

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Welcome! To #OFNOTE instalment 03.
Things of note, that float my boat. And perhaps yours, too.

Unsplash

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The image above I can’t take credit for, although I wish I could say it was taken by me. It’s from Unsplash, a photo archive with a collection of beautiful high definition images and what’s more, they’re free! You can do with them whatever you please, and the site is updated regularly with streams of photos coming through.
So whether you’re starting a new business, a new project or even a new blog and want to use some high-quality professional photos to get yourself started, Unsplash is a fantastic resource. The site has a handy search bar too if you’re looking for something specific. Sometimes I just like to scroll through the image feed just to enjoy the photography and boost my mood. It’s a win-win.

 

Yoga with Adriene

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I HAVE THE KNEES OF AN 80 YEAR OLD! I’ve always had a sad old set of subpar knees but I somehow managed to make them worse over the summer, which has had a ripple effect on my back and shoulders. It may have been a result of walking around Madrid for hours at a time in sandals with crappy support. Each harrowing crack of my joints is a not so subtle reminder that I only have myself to blame. While everything is quite tight, I don’t want to go nuts doing HIIT sessions and do further damage; I also don’t want my neighbours to think there’s a hippo in my washing machine.
What I have been doing to stretch out the tightness and provide a little relief is a little bit of yoga. There are sooo many yoga videos on YouTube that I felt a little overwhelmed, but when I came across Yoga with Adriene, I knew she was The One! Firstly it’s a 30 day challenge, I like things with time frames because I feel like if I just give it ’30 days’ even if I don’t like it, I’ve completed something.
Adriene is a great instructor, and she’s incredibly charming. I love watching her! The videos are between 20-35 minutes so it’s really not that long, totally do-able. I either do a video before or after work and always feel great afterward. It really sets you up for the day or winds you down in the evening, and it’s totally free! Another free thing! I’m on day 14 and I can really feel the tight areas like my hips, back, and knees and stretch them out slowly, safely and gently with Adriene’s guidance. Even if you haven’t considered doing yoga, you should try a couple just to feel totally dreamy!

 

The Girls, Sweetbitter

screen-shot-2016-10-25-at-21-39-09No doubt you’ve seen both these covers before. They were both bestsellers this summer, and still going strong. If you haven’t read them, I urge you to check them out. I’ve been reading so much more since I got a Kindle at the beginning of the year. It still hasn’t gotten old yet, the excitement of tapping ‘buy’ on a book I’ve had my eye on (or in some instances only read about moments before I bought it) without having to order it online and wait, or go to the bookshop. I do still frequent those of course…there’s nothing quite like the smell and feel of a brand new book; one of life’s pleasures.

The Girls by Emma Cline is based on the girls who become members of the Manson Family cult; not so much about the murder itself. Yeah, sounds grim…but it’s a really good read. Dark and compelling, some lines in the story I had to pause and let sink in before I turned the page. The story’s protagonist, Evie is an introspective, observant and lonely young girl. I found her such an intriguing character, and obviously hard to relate to, but loved reading about. How does someone who’s been in a cult then go on to live a normal life? I finished The Girls in a day and a half.

Ever feel when you finish a good book that the next one might never measure up? Well, Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler hit a home run too. I noticed them both making their rounds but hadn’t realised Goodreads grouped them together in the ‘Readers also enjoyed…’ section until now, sourcing cover images. Both dark, absorbing and unputdownable. Sweetbitter, as you have guessed is about foooood! The story follows a girl called Tess, foooood, and so much more. Tess is working at one of New York’s most popular restaurants (the story is actually based on Stephanie’s own life and time at a restaurant.)
The title actually slaps you in the face with it’s obviousness after you’ve read some of the story. Obviousness? Is that a word? Anyway, it’s sweet in terms of the beautiful descriptions of the food & wines; and so much more. But it’s a bitter tale in many ways. The dark side of restaurant life, and relationships, loneliness and tackling a city by yourself, the best way that you can. Sweetbitter in one word; sexy.
I’m reading a few books in English and Spanish right now; any really good ones, I’ll mention next time.

 

Instagram Accounts to Follow

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As a big Instagram fan (who isn’t?) I follow lots of new accounts all the time. I’ve included four I really like at the moment, two black & white, two illustration. I’ve been following Poorly Drawn Lines (top left) for a long time now. It’s the best, and it’s hilarious, consistently! Each one is nearly always a hit and it’s right up my street in terms of the type of humour I enjoy. I often laugh out loud at some of the because they’re so GAS, and I retweet them on Twitter (there’s an account there too!) simply because they’re too good not to share with the world. No twee-ness here, just really funny and clever illustrations.

Concerning the dramatic black and white Instagram accounts (I saw dramatic because B&W always adds dramzzz) I really like Leo Leo Paris (bottom left) which is a collection of photos taken throughout Paris of people going about their daily lives. The majority are in black and white, all are taken by iPhone only, and each one has a story to tell. The other is photographer Greg Williams account (top right) filled with shots of celebrities ‘behind the scenes’ in a way you never really see them. He has a gift for making his subjects really relaxed, the emotion captured (and some of the facial expressions) in his pictures are really impressive. I love the shot of Timothy Spall and Colm Meaney (two legends!) and there’s a really great shot of Jake Gylenhall on his Instagram too. Just magic.

Last but never least is the Queen of understanding female thoughts and existence; Marian Drew (bottom right) Introduced to me by an Irish Instagrammer I am very fond of, Emma in Dubland. We were both wondering how Marian knows everything, how does she do it?! She always seems one step ahead with her amazing illustrations. I find them soothing, and I love when a new one rolls around.
My only regret? I wish I knew about her sooner. Her understanding of life, breakups, relationships, dating, social media, society…it’s all perfect. I added a few extra Instagram posts of hers because they’re so on point. Fascinating. Or witchcraft…

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The stuff here is by no means new. I ain’t that fresh! It’s just stuff I’ve been enjoying lately.
Also see Tony Moly sheet masks (The best on the market 0 they clear a blotchy face and leave it glowing in 30 minutes…amazing!) Lu Mikado sticks (Chocolate and biscuit in wand form!) and This is Where I Leave You (an amazing movie I watched on Netflix last night with an incredible cast – Tiny Fey, Jane Fonda, Jason Bateman, Adam Driver…so on. Driver, Bateman and Fonda really shine, and it’s a beautiful story. One of the best movies I’ve seen in a while. Go watch if it’s lashing rain there like it is here in Granada, the streets are like rivers!)

Have a wonderful, cosy November weekend. xx

  ♥ ♥ ♥

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