Little Things. (May Favorites.)

I wasn’t sure whether I was going to post a “May Favorites,” to be honest. I had my running list, but in light of the critically important matters of the day, the idea of a “favorite little things” post just seemed ridiculous and self-indulgent.

I decided to post it, though I’m without many words. I’m sorry for this, for the fact that my heart just isn’t in it. My heart has been broken and flung to far more worthwhile places, along with millions of other hearts. I’ve been preoccupied with wanting to do my part as an ally in the Black Lives Matter movement. By this, I mean that I want to do more. I’m unsure of how. I’ve been educating myself. I’ve donated. It doesn’t feel like enough. I’m going to continue with my education, that’s for sure.

Here are those Little Things that I enjoyed in May:

 

1). El Camino: A Breaking Bad Story (Netflix)

 

 

Somehow, it’d escaped us that there was a movie continuing Jesse Pinkman’s story after the conclusion of Breaking Bad. We rectified the oversight, and we were glad that we did. Breaking Bad fans, if you haven’t seen El Camino: A Breaking Bad Story, you really must. Those of you who haven’t seen Breaking Bad: don’t bother with this. It’s excellent, but it’ll only make sense if you’ve seen the series.

(Also, if you haven’t seen Breaking Bad yet, WHY NOT? It hasn’t been over-hyped. It can’t be hyped enough.)

 

2). Alps (Amazon Prime rental)

 

 

 

I only got to one of the Yorgos Lanthimos films on my list, and Alps was it. I found it to be as bizarre, thought-provoking, risky, and lyrically semiotic as Dogtooth, The Lobster, and The Killing of a Sacred Deer. The next film of his I plan to watch is The Favourite, which I believe is his most commonly known film.

 

3). Ingrid Goes West (Amazon Prime rental)

 

 

I went for this film because of Aubrey Plaza, and her performance was as satisfying to watch as I’d thought it would be. Parks and Recreation fans could imagine how she’d own the role of a stalker. I think that this indie film would be enjoyable to many, but it’s a must-watch for social media influencers.

 

4). The Ritual (Netflix)

 

 

A proper horror flick seemed appropriate at the time that I watched this film on Netflix. It was rather “eh” to me, but it proved its worth in terms of my love for the cabin/camping-in-the-woods sub-genre of horror. As mediocre as I thought it was, I was in the mood for it. It worked. If you’re also a fan of this sort of horror, you might enjoy escaping into this film, too.

 

5). Hannah Gadsby’s Douglas (Netflix)

 

 

 

This Netflix comedy special also proved to be the right thing at the right time, and I found it to be excellent. It came recommended to me by a friend (thank you, April!), and I second her recommendation.

 

6). Dead to Me (S2) (Netflix)

 

 

Dead to Me: for when you want some light and funny with your crime. I was there for it, and also for the outstanding acting performances. I love the writing in this series, as well.

 

7). Bordertown (Sorjonen) (S3) (Netflix)

 

 

We enjoy Scandinavian noir, in general, but Bordertown (original title: Sorjonen) is our favorite project within this sub-genre of crime thriller. With its third and final season, its creators deftly wrapped up the series. They took the development of Kari Sorjonen’s eccentric character as far as they could. Story-wise, they left things exactly the way I would’ve wanted them to be left, though I didn’t know what that would look like until they did it. This is a great series, in general, but I’d especially recommend it to you if you’re new to Scandinavian noir.

 

9). JASON Calming Lavender Body Wash. (vegan and cruelty-free)

 

JASON Calming Lavender Body Wash

 

I used up all of my body washes from The Body Shop and decided to look to the drugstore shelves for another aromatic option. JASON is a brand that’s never missed the mark for me; I usually re-purchase the products of theirs that I try. This body wash will be no exception. I find its scent to be more crisp and invigorating than calming, but I like it nonetheless.

 

10). Pacific Shaving Company Natural Shaving Cream. (vegan and cruelty-free)

 

Pacific Shaving Company Natural Shaving Cream

 

Kiss My Face finally returned their vegan/cruelty-free shaving cream to their stock, but before I could realize that, I went looking through Callaghan’s products. He’d started using this Natural Shaving Cream, and I had no idea that it was vegan and cruelty-free! This is just a good product. I recommend it.

 

That about does it, my friends. Until Thursday!

 

 

Things that smell good, and other April Favorites!

Looking back on April, I’m happy to be alive and eating fewer processed foods. Haha! There are no processed foods on this list, maybe for the first time in the history of Monthly Favorites posts on TALC. That is something.

This is not to say that I didn’t eat any, though, because I certainly did. But I managed to cut way back, and I didn’t discover any new processed foods.

As for the rest, well, we’ve got the usual assortment of movies and T.V. series. Also, there are more products than usual on this list.

Take a look!

 

1). The Devotion of Suspect X (film)

 

 

We went to see The Devotion of Suspect X when we saw that it was playing in the theater near our house. The Chinese film (with English sub-titles) detailed a mysterious story whose reveal toward the end came as a surprise. I found the development of the two main characters (and their relationship) to be somewhat lacking, but the aspects that were emphasized were intriguing enough. All in all, the movie’s minor deficiencies didn’t have much of an impact on our enjoyment of it. It was an interesting time, and it was fun to see a film that we knew nothing about when we went in.

 

2). Split (film)

 

 

James McAvoy’s turn in Split is something to behold. Can one actor win 23 Best Actor awards for the same film? That is the question. Of course, I’m creating a wild exaggeration here… this is just to say that I was enthralled by McAvoy’s ability to shift from one personality to the next, and I thought that his main personalities were well-acted in their own right. His performance was truly stunning. I was also impressed with Anya Tayler-Joy’s performance. This is, in my opinion, one of M. Night Shyamalan’s better films.

 

3). Better Call Saul  (Season 3) (T.V. series)

 

 

Between Better Call Saul and The Good Fight, spin-off series have been some of our favorites! Better Call Saul gets better and better. We’re now at the point where we’re seeing the evolution of the liaisons in Breaking Bad, which is extremely satisfying. Last night’s episode left us on a particularly maddening cliff-hanger. Is it Monday yet?

 

4). Sorjonen (Bordertown) (Finnish T.V. series)

 

 

Here again we have a foreign language piece, only Sorjonen (English title: Bordertown) is a T.V. series. In fact, it’s the first foreign-language T.V. series we’ve seen. It’s in Finnish and Russian, sub-titled, of course, and it’s a crime thriller (surprise, surprise). It’s fun to watch the Finnish protagonist at work with his unique methodology, and his Russian counterpart is one of the more badass women (of the many) that I’ve seen in such pieces. Sorjonen was picked up by Netflix, so it’s binge-watch friendly!

 

5). D’anjou pears.

 

 

Pears are one of two repeats on this list. D’anjou pears are fabulous right now! They’re flavorful and refreshing straight from the refrigerator. I love pears as a transition fruit to stone-fruit season.

 

6). The Body Shop Vitamin E sink-in moisture sleeping mask.

 

The Body Shop Vitamin E sink-in moisture sleeping mask

 

Still addicted to The Body Shop. Still haven’t stepped foot in a Lush store or tried any Lush products… but old-school works for me. The Body Shop is a little costly, and its parent company is L’Oreal, but their products are cruelty-free and pretty reliably awesome.

This sleeping mask from their Vitamin E line is my latest TBS passion. It was my first foray into sleeping masks, so I didn’t have expectations going in. I put it on and immediately felt sort of like my skin couldn’t breathe… and also, the mask on my face felt tacky to the touch, which wasn’t the most pleasant feeling. Luckily, of course, you go to bed right away, so you’re asleep and unaware of how weird it feels. The important thing was that in the morning, I woke up and couldn’t believe how different my skin looked. My skin loves this mask! (My skin also loves The Body Shop’s Vitamin E serum-in-oil as a nightly treatment. And their Honey and Oat 3-in-1 moisturising scrub mask.)

 

7). The Body Shop Almond Milk & Honey body butter.

 

The Body Shop Almond Milk & Honey body butter

 

But wait! I’m not done raving about The Body Shop. They’re famous for their body butters, but this new one of theirs is something else. TBS Almond Milk & Honey body butter is silky, creamy, and rich, and it has an unexpected bouncy feel to it when you scoop it out. I love the way it sinks in and transforms my severely dry skin into soft skin, especially on my hands. Bonus: I love its fragrance; it’s exactly what it is. Almonds and honey.

 

8). Yes To Blueberries Age Refresh daily repairing moisturizer.

 

Yes to Blueberries Age Refresh daily repairing moisturizer

 

When I went looking for a daytime moisturizer, I picked up this blueberry/age refresh one from Yes To. I loved their night cream (see below), so I figured I couldn’t go wrong with their daytime formula. It’s wonderful. I have a feeling it’s going to stay a favorite for a while.

 

9). Yes To Blueberries Age Refresh deep wrinkle night cream.

 

Yes to Blueberries Age Refresh deep wrinkle night cream

 

This is an old favorite that you’ve probably seen before, if you’ve been reading here for a while. I loved this night cream, but I drifted away from it as I tried other products. I came across a lot of good ones, but I’ve circled back around to Yes To Blueberries. This night cream is just the best for my skin.

To give you an idea: I tried The Body Shop’s Vitamin E night cream in April, too (there was a crazy sale going on, so it was a good opportunity to try new things), and while it’s good, the Yes To night cream beat it to get on this list. Adding to its wonders, Yes To is a more affordable drugstore brand.

 

10). Pacifica Tahitian Gardenia perfume roll-on.

 

Pacifica Tahitian Gardenia perfume roll-on

 

This is a first: a cruelty-free fragrance (vegan, to boot) that I absolutely love. Its sillage is impressive, and its scent doesn’t change on my skin over time, which is probably the nature of a perfume oil. It’s not a chemical concoction. I picked this up at Sprouts on a whim, as I’d been on the hunt for a new fragrance. I love this one.

 

La Fin. Let’s see what there is to discover in May.

Happy Tuesday, All!