January actually feels like it's flown by this year! I didn't do one of these posts in December, so this might combine both months but before I get into any favourites, I'll tell you what I didn't love - getting Covid again! Hopefully that will be the last time!
Dead To Me (Netflix): I really enjoyed the previous two seasons of this show so was delighted when season three hit our screens in late November. Due to the delay in the third season being released (Covid delayed filming), we couldn't fully remember what happened and ended up watching from the beginning of season one again and enjoyed it all just as much as we did first time around! Linda Cardellini and Christina Applegate work so well together with impeccable comic timing. If you haven't watched it, I don't want to ruin the ending but the premise of the show is that Judy (Cardellini) befriends Jen (Applegate) at a grief healing group. Jen's husband was killed in a hit and run and she's determined to find who did it. There are so many twists and turns, hilarious moments and sad moments, but the two form a firm friendship that endures. There won't be a fourth season, so if you're looking for a series to watch, with short-ish episodes, I'd highly recommend giving it a go.
The White Lotus (Sky): The series that everybody was talking about, so we had to give it a go! I preferred season one, which was set in Hawaii. I found the characters were more interesting and well-rounded. It's a dark comedy, set in a hotel with several plots going on involving both the staff and the guests. It begins with a scene in an airport where we see a coffin being put on a plane and a newlywed in a chronically bad mood and then goes back to two weeks prior to that and all of the stories unfold. The second season is set in Sicily and only one character from the first season is in the second. I didn't enjoy the second one as much as the first as I found that I was less interested in the characters and it was much darker. That's just my opinion though - my husband enjoyed both. A third season is in the making, which I'm sure we'll watch.
The Crown (Netflix): We were quite late watching season five of this series. I found the transition of The Queen from seasons 1/2 (Clare Foy) to seasons 3/4 (Olivia Coleman) hard to get used to, purely because I loved Foy's portrayal of her, however I loved Imelda Staunton's portrayal and adjusted immediately. Season five focuses on the early '90s when a fire broke out at Windsor Castle, and very much focuses on the demise of Charles and Diana's marriage, with them being divorced by the end and Camilla being very present in the season, plus the phone-hacking scandal. It also introduces the Al Fayed family in the background, in preparation for season 6, which will be the final one.
Love Island: Mindless TV, but we're watching it to pass the dark evenings! I think that one season a year would be ample because the same thing happens repeatedly - the contestants run down at night to have one alcoholic drink, then the boys tend to go to one corner and the girls another, until someone says "can I call you for a chat?" - it's not as good as it was in 2017-19, but what can I say? I'm still watching it! I'm not rooting for any couples yet but like some individuals.
Avatar: The Way of the Water: I'll be honest, this is more my husband's cup of tea than mine, however I can appreciate the visual effects and beauty, plus the story, which I think people will get more from now than they would have 13 years ago when the first film was released. I wish it hadn't been so long between the first and second (although we did see the first one again in cinemas in September last year). The ending has set it up nicely for the third instalment. I don't want to give too much away in case you want to see it but still haven't, as it's still in cinemas and worth seeing on the big screen, rather than tv.
King Richard (Sky): Late to the party on this one, and I had to put Will Smith's actions at The Oscars last year to one side, and just watch the film for what it was. I love the Williams sisters and was very interested in their background, upbringing and just seeing how much dedication and hard work it takes just to get into a tournament. Their story is inspiring and anybody who loves The Secret and manifesting will enjoy the film (although hard work is required, you can't just wish to be a multiple Grand Slam champion and have it happen without the work). Smith's portrayal of Richard Williams is simply excellent, so don't let his actions stop you watching this film.
The Swimmers (Netflix): This film is harrowing, humbling and uplifting. It is a true story of two sisters from Syria who want to make their way to Germany, to find a safe place to live under the understanding that because one of them is under 18, they can apply for their family to join them. Their journey is arduous and scary, to say the least, and it shows the greed of people smugglers and the dangers involved, but they finally make it. Their father was a talented swimmer and was their coach in Syria. The younger sister is the more talented and determined and in Berlin, she finds a coach and trains under him to make the 2016 Olympics, and also the 2020 Olympics. Her sister returned to Lesbos to help other refugees. The film gives a great understanding of the risks refugees undertake to get to safety. It's one that everyone should watch, and ultimately it shows how important kindness and compassion are.
I have to add that I am absolutely THRILLED and so proud of all of the Irish Oscar nominees. I was particularly delighted that An Cailín Ciuín (The Quiet Girl) has been nominated - it is an excellent film and the young actress played the part so well. I'm also delighted for Colin Farrell, who absolutely deserves all of the nominations he is receiving and it's about time, as he's been working for years but has had some dud roles. His character in The Banshees of Inisherin is so real and portrayed so well that you can feel his anguish. I've always loved Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan is a brilliant actor too and was particularly great in that film. It'll be hard to beat Austin Butler and Elvis, but they'll give every category a good run for its money. I'll be glued to the ceremony in March!
L'Occitane Lavender CBD Body Massage Oil*: As I mentioned, I had Covid again and my skin felt on fire from head to toe. This also happened when I had the Delta variant and I even drew blood on my arms in my sleep that time. I was fortunate enough to receive a parcel of some amazing Lavender CBD products during this time (review coming soon), but this oil was a Godsend because I found oils soothed my skin much more than regular body moisturisers. However, what was really surprising to me was just how much this relaxed me and my body, so much so that my husband was worried when he was asking me through the door if I wanted food and got no answer for a while - I was in such a deep sleep (during the day), that I thought I'd slept right through to the following day a few times. I thought that he was asking if I wanted breakfast rather than dinner! It contains a combination of hemp, CBD and lavender from Provence, that instantly relaxes the body and also has anti-inflammatory properties. There are five products in the line and I have two, with a full review of both and some other new products from the brand coming soon. In the meantime, if you have trouble unwinding, I'd urge you to give it a go and the code VIP20 will save you 20% on full priced items and is valid until midnight tonight (Jan 31st).
Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist: Because my skin felt like it was burning, I had a face mist at my bedside so that I could use it both day and night. I adore the rose scent, but it also really helped to hydrate and soothe my skin. I feel that I often overlook this brand, but I need to explore it more. This was another Godsend during Covid.
Malin & Goetz Lip Moisturiser: This is easily one of the best lip balms that I have tried. None of my usual ones were cutting it when I was ill and my lips were painful because they were so dry and peeling, so I decided to try this, which was in one of my Advent Calendars. It is super nourishing and soothing and I found that I didn't need to apply it as often as any of my others. It's now a firm favourite and I'd recommend for anyone who suffers from chapped lips, particularly in the colder months.
Those are all of the memorable favourites from January (oh and I had my first Creme Egg of the year! I can never decide if I actually like them or not, but it was bought for me, so I ate it!). I'd love to hear your favourites?
Thanks for reading!
All products are bought by me, unless otherwise stated. Anything marked with a * has been kindly gifted, without obligation. I don't do sponsored posts. Opinion is always my own. Affiliate links may be used.