Take 5 |My week in 5

1. Milan

I started off the week in Milan for one of my best friend’s hen party. We flew over on Saturday and came back Monday morning after a weekend of sun, gelato and Team Bride transfer tattoos. As we boarded the flight at Milan Malpensa the heavens opened and the rain came – the first time since we’d touched down. I’d been in charge of planing this hen party and I have to admit to feeling a high level of smugness as we settled back in our seats. I am definitely going to take the credit for the weather behaving so perfectly for us.

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2. Solo cinema trip

I love going to the cinema, and I love it the same amount whether I am alone or with someone else. Going solo has wonderful perks; you can see what you want when you want; you get more fully absorbed in what’s in front of you without the distraction of wondering what the other person is thinking/eating; and you get to remain in the bubble of the film long after it’s finished, without having to immediately discuss its highs and lows with your companion. Since I had nothing else planned this weekend and knew I had to get out of bed at some point, I booked tickets to see Kong: Skull Island at the Prince Charles Cinema in China Town, Leicester Square. I’d never heard of this place before, and I will definitely be going back. Oh, and I loved the film. See my full review of it here.

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3. Mario Badescu

I am in an ongoing battle when it comes to my skin. As soon as I find some great skincare with which to attack it, it promptly changes problems, or does something out of character, or just stops playing ball. My chin is a particular playground for everything wrong with a twenty-something’s skin: painful cystic acne, blackheads, hormonal blighters, sometimes so painful I can’t even smile. I’ve given up bothering about the rest of my face (people talk about luminosity and elasticity and all I want is for my chin to stop looking like a hormonal 15 year old) in an effort to get the skin on my chin and jawline under control.

The latest weapon in my arsenal is Mario Badescu. This week I decided to go all-in and buy a handful of their products to try. I recently did this with Body Shop to no avail – their tea tree range made my skin dry and sore – so I have my fingers and toes crossed for Mario Badescu. If only because it’s a lot pricier and I think I’ve dropped £60+ on the products I’ve bought so far: Enzyme Cleansing Gel, Glycolic Foaming Cleanser, A.H.A & Ceramide Moisturiser and their Drying Cream. Fingers crossed it’s worth the money.

Update: I tried the drying cream on two under the skin spots that have been lurking since about New Years. After one dose, one has gone and the bigger one has shrunk. Miracle.

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4. Max Cámara

I love a detective series. I especially love a detective series set in a place I know or have an interest in. So when I heard about a detective series set in Valencia, Spain? Perfect. I’m on the third Max Cámara book and across the three he’s solved the murder of a bullfighter, a paella chef, and now he’s delving into his own dark past and that of Spain’s Franco era. So far, so Spanish. It helps that I imagine Chief Inspector Max Cámara as Santiago Carberra (Aramis from the BBC series The Musketeers)

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5. Papergang delivery

I’ve written before about my love of Papergang, the subscription box from Ohh Deer for stationery addicts everywhere, but this one was particularly exciting because I took a month off. You are able to suspend your account for one month at a time and I decided to go ahead and do it because I was just overflowing with notebooks and stationery. I know it doesn’t sound like a problem, but I already have two shelves full of notebooks (not kidding) that I’d got through Papergang or bought myself over the years, and so having more being delivered every month seemed ridiculous. So I took a month off and my first box after the break arrived the day before I went to Milan for the hen party. I was in such a flap about organising the weekend that I threw the box into a corner and left it until I returned. Monday afternoon, once back in bed after a successful hen, I finally had the time to open the box and give it due diligence. This month’s contained some cute stickers, a beautiful planner with my favourite motif (lemons – I am obsessed with lemons, especially these botanical-drawing prints of them), a pencil and two very sweet cards which I will add to my ever-expanding pile.

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