Ready for the things in life that I love/adore/am absolutely crazy about?
As an antidote to the (well-received and hopefully entertaining) ‘18 things I can’t stand that everyone else loves‘ post I published last month, here’s the stuff I love. It seemed only fair to give the things I’m really passionate about in life a shout-out to counteract the tongue-in-cheek negativity of the things I don’t like.
Unlike the “nopes” in my life that were only things that are generally popular with just about everyone except me, I’ve included everything I love here. Whether it’s popular with others or not.
[Reading time: 11 mins]
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I don’t believe in guilty pleasures, and I truly don’t judge others for the things in life they like. So some things may be really, really popular with mostly everyone. Other things, not so much. But WHO CARES. If you like something, go ahead and love it with all your heart. I have more respect for those who have hobbies or interests that others may find weird but they’re crazy passionate about whatever-it-is than those who have no interests whatsoever.
So maybe you’ll find some of these things really weird, maybe you’ll agree 100% with me, maybe my love for them will be a mystery to you. But like the things I didn’t like, us all liking different stuff makes the world more interesting.
Here they are: 22 things in life I’m absolutely crazy about
This is pretty common knowledge, but if you didn’t know what my spirit animal was, it’s a giraffe. Their beautiful coats, those huge eyes, the bizarre body shape, the fact that they live in a hot country and even the elegant way they walk all appeal to me in a way I can’t describe.
I have a giraffe pattern coat as well as many, many giraffe-relate ornaments, soft furnishings and pictures in my house. My ultimate dream in life is to go to Giraffe Manor in Nairobi (like, OMFG), but until then I’ll be happy with a giraffe experience at London Zoo being a giraffe keeper for the day. Though I think I’d probably cry all the way through it…
2. Harry Styles
Let’s say I’m a “Harry Styles enthusiast”. Or, you could say I have a totally inappropriate (what I call) “person crush” on him; that is, I absolutely adore him as a person. I know it doesn’t make sense as he’s over 20 years younger than me and is covered in tattoos (see things I can’t stand…), but that man has an aura and a personality that I’m completely in love with. (And yes, he IS cute and has a great smile and he IS easy on the eye, I won’t deny that.)
If you’ve ever watched him in interviews you’ll know that he has humility in spades and is incredibly respectful of others, especially towards women.
Plus, what he wears. Any man that can wear clothes THAT flamboyant and still look incredible is something else IMO. Plus I think he’s a brilliant singer/songwriter AND has an amazing acting career in front of him (I saw him in Dunkirk and was very impressed… let’s hope there’ll be more of Harry the Actor to come).
I think that’s enough fawning over Mr Styles, =ahem=
3. Marzipan chocolate
There is no greater food. I’ve loved marzipan since I was a kid (I’d sneakily eat slices from the marzipan block my mum kept in the kitchen cupboard for making cakes) and then when it’s combined with a layer of dark chocolate… cue Homer Simpson levels of drooling and ughhhhhhhh noises.
4. Leonardo DiCaprio
Similar to Harry Styles, I have a major “actor crush” on Leo. In other words, if he’s in it, I WANT TO SEE IT. I don’t care what it is, I’ll watch anything that Leo’s in because I have a 95% chance of enjoying the film simply due to his presence.
He’s absolutely brilliant in just about everything he’s in; even The Man In the Iron Mask is almost watchable because of Leo. If you consider some of his films have been The Revenant, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Inception, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Departed, The Great Gatsby, Catch Me if You Can, Django Unchained (ugh I need to stop somewhere)… then you’ve got one of the greatest actors of recent times and I think he’s the bloody doggy dooh-dahs of Hollywood. Go Leo.[SPOILER ALERT] Anyone else noticed that poor old Leo almost always dies in – or goes through some sort of full-on experience in – water in his films? Think of Titanic (need I explain?), The Great Gatsby (pool), The Revenant (river), Shutter Island (sea and lake), The Beach (sea), Inception (woken by water), What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (the bath), Romeo + Juliet (pool)… all water-related deaths or experiences in water, amirite?!
5. The colour orange
Trying to stifle a laugh here: unless you’re visiting the blog for the first time then it’s of absolutely ZERO surprise that orange is my favourite colour. (Especially with pink, see blog logo colours). Open my wardrobe and you’ll see a sea of tangerine, tobacco, terracotta, apricot, peach, amber and marigold. One look at all my outfits on the blog and on Instagram and you’ll see that yes, although I do wear other colours (and mostly All The Warm Colours), orange undoubtedly appears the most.
For my birthday my family clubbed together and bought me some things for the house, and yes, orange featured heavily. I asked if I was easy to buy for because the things were TOTALLY my taste… the response was, You’re so easy to buy for, we just make sure it’s orange and we know you’ll love it.
6. The three (C)Kates: Blanchett, Beckinsale and Winslet
(I have made them sound like a solicitors firm in my local town…) Three fabulous women, three incredible personalities, three fabulous actors, three fabulous beauties, all called (C)Kate. I could spout ALL DAY about how much I love these three, from Blanchett’s dry wit to Beckinsale’s bonkers thought processes to Winslet’s down to earth nature. I’m fascinated by the screen presence, the real-life personalities, the intelligence, the style and the looks of all three. If any one of them is being interviewed, on the red carpet or has a new film out, I want to see it. I’m there.
(Oh and if only Emily Blunt were also called Kate, she’d have made the list too for all the reasons above. Thandie Newton, Emma Stone and Naomie Harris as well. I’ll stop there.)
7. Anything salted caramel-flavoured
Who knows exactly when this flavour was invented, but compared to some foods it’s a relatively new creation – and I freakin LOVE it. I’ve made it my goal in life to try every single salted caramel-flavoured foodstuff that exists in the world, and I’m doing pretty well so far.
I’m still dying over salted caramel Magnums and salted caramel Baileys, and having just Googled it to see what came up, I’ve seen that freakin salted caramel MARSHMALLOWS exist. OMFG. Add to basket.
Freckles. I DIE over freckles. Now the fact that I have freckles isn’t a surprise, it maybe IS a surprise, however, that my freckles aren’t real. Well, they’re not anymore, shall we say. As a kid I had a gorgeous smattering of freckles across my nose and I’m still freckly everywhere… EXCEPT my face.
Once I realised that exposing my face to the sun just wasn’t a good idea anymore (and that getting a fake glow was far safer and more ageing-friendly), I was heartbroken to see my beloved freckles disappear from my face. So for about the last 28 years or so I’ve been faking them. I love them on others and I love them on me, because… I don’t know why. I just think my face looks better – fresher – with them than without, as if something’s missing when I don’t have them.
If it weren’t for the fact that it’s my FACE, I’d have them tattooed on, I love them that much. Well, if I’ve been faking them for nearly 30 years then I think we can safely say that it’s a tattoo (a tattoo? Tattoos plural?!) I’d definitely want for the rest of my life.
(If you’re interested in a blog post about how I fake my freckles, let me know in the comments.)
9. Big Narstie and Mo Gilligan
Oh my goodness I completely adore these two. Big Narstie is so damn adorable, giggly and hilarious, and Mo is just all-round delicious, smiley and a total charmer. Just check out the two of them roasting Jonathan Ross on The Big Narstie Show and you’ll see what I mean. All the feels are all gathered in one place when the two of them are on TV.
10. The MCU
Ah, the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I don’t care if they’ve “taken over” the movie industry (I think the movie industry is doing just fine even with the existence of the MCU), there hasn’t been a more enjoyable series of films since the original Star Wars trilogy, and even that was just a trilogy…. this is more than 20 films.
The MCU is a monster, and the joy I felt when the Avengers first assembled and then when Captain America assembled them all again in Endgame was beyond. There are so many moments that have given me such a rush in terms of movie-watching, but my favourite Avenger is Thor (Chris Hemsworth is that rare blend of supremely easy on the eye and hilariously funny). My ultimate, all-time favourite MCU film? It has to be Thor: Ragnarok.
I will NEVER get over how much of a rush the lightning scene in Ragnarok gave me (kudos to Marvel for casting the fabulous Cate Blanchett as a baddie) – the coming together of an epic scene with a BANGIN soundtrack (if you’re like me and just want to go straight to Thor entering in a spectacular explosion of lightning as Led Zep kicks in here you go) is possibly my favourite single moment in a movie EVER EVER EVER. I’ll rewatch that scene a thousand times and never tire of it. Ever.
Another love of mine that comes as no surprise to regular readers, summer is the bee’s knees of seasons (see what I did there). NOTHING beats summer. The feel-good factor, the warmth, the light, the blue skies, the return of swifts to our skies, the long days, the easy-peasy wardrobe options, the tanned skin (fake of course), the blooming flowers, an abundance of wildlife, hanging washing on the line, generally happier faces, playing Summertime by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince and anything by The Beach Boys…
12. Dwayne Johnson (The Rock)
As well as following his feel-good Instagram account and loving his over-the-top (but wonderfully entertaining) movies, Mr Johnson seems like the most generous and lovely human being. I now want to be Emily Blunt not just because, you know, Emily Blunt, but because of the fun it looked like she had with him filming and promoting Jungle Cruise. If the phrase “Cheers to always talkin’ shit and ALWAYS laughing hard” doesn’t make you want him to be your BFF then I don’t know what does.
13. A bed made hotel-style
I mentioned my fear of flappy duvets in my things I can’t stand post, so it’s unsurprising that I like everything tucked RIGHT in on a bed. So a bed made up hotel-style, with everything wrapped around the mattress and blankets and bedspreads also wrapped over and tucked firmly in, makes me very, very happy indeed. And then cushions and pillows that are all neatly lined up, symmetrical and placed ‘just so’ make my heart sing.
I also swear it makes a bed FAR easier to make in the morning. Once it’s aired you just pull everything up from the bottom all tight to the top and tuck it all in at the sides. Easy.
14. The Chemical Brothers
I’m pretty passionate about music in general – again, no guilty pleasures so I love everything from Neil Diamond to Daft Punk – but if there’s one artist that leaves me in awe and who I could listen to all day for the rest of time, it’s the Chemical Brothers. Having loved them since they were first around in the 90s, we saw them live at the Eden Sessions [at the Eden Project in Corwall] two years ago, and they were absolutely INCREDIBLE. For a dance/techno/electronic band to be that good live (not forgetting the stunning light show and mini “movies” they make for their backdrops as well as their always-amazing music videos) for over 30 years is somewhat incredible.
None of their old stuff has dated. All their new stuff sounds like it could have been recorded 30 years ago. It’s just timeless, immersive dance music. Electronic dance music isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, I know, but if it IS your English Breakfast and you haven’t heard them before, I urge you to do it now as they’re the Fortnum & Mason’s Green Tea with Jasmine of that genre.
15. An Indian takeaway
I think everyone has a favourite takeaway, and mine’s an Indian. For my last meal I’d have a couple of curries with all the onion bhajis, naan bread and samosas available to mankind (assuming it’s my last meal the usual bloating and overstuffed feeling wouldn’t matter).
(Interesting fact: when I was younger I was an INCREDIBLY fussy eater, and the absolute last food on earth I’d touch was any type of curry or anything Indian-inspired. I actually went out with friends to a curry house when I was 18 and I ate NOTHING. Don’t ask me what happened, but I decided to no longer be fussy one day and thought I should really try and like all the foods I supposedly hated. 30 years later, and an Indian is my no.1 favourite food. Who knew.)
16. 1970s-inspired interiors
I’d describe my interior style of choice as mid-century modern, but erring on the Seventies side. Again, no surprise, but I can’t get enough of all the oranges, browns and yellows together, the big, swirly flowery patterns and squishy furniture. I’m not one for going 100% retro in either my personal style or my home decor, but a good dollop of the 1970s makes me happy.
It’s why I have a teak 1970s G-Plan sideboard and a lava lamp (I know the latter is more 60s but it still comes under the label “groovy” if you ask me) as well as splashes of orange, West German pottery and fluffy shagpile everywhere. It’s warm, tactile and a little bit naff – and THAT’S why I love it.
17. A bacon sandwich with avocado, Tommy K and an oj on the side
If an Indian is my favourite takeaway, then a bacon sandwich is my absolute favourite snack to make at home. (And to be fair, it’s probably high on many people’s list of favourite snacks.) I’m not exactly a carnivore – I’m trying to eat vegetarian more and more and have all but given up all meat except chicken and fish – but bacon is the one I’d struggle to give up entirely.
The way I like it is with crispy bacon (god, no soggy rind please), lightly toasted wholemeal bread, a good layer of mashed avocado and ketchup for dipping. Then don’t ask me why, but there has to be orange juice on the side. It just doesn’t taste right without it.
Now I’m wondering whether that tops the Indian takeaway…? Oh god don’t make me choose.
18. VW Karmann Ghias
My ultimate classic car, the VW Karmann Ghia is often seen in US movies but they’re very, very rare in the UK. Those that you DO see are usually at car shows; I can count how many I’ve ever seen on the road in my life on one hand. I went to all the VW rallies in my late teens and that’s where I first saw and fell in love with the Karmann Ghia; I think I recognised it as the car that Molly Ringwald drove in Pretty in Pink so I was sold. I decided then and there that that was the vintage car for me.
As soon as I’ve won the lottery I’m buying one, and if I can’t find an orange one that I’ll get it restored and spray-painted tangerine, with white wheels and converted to right-hand drive.
19. Home makeover shows
I don’t care what anyone says: I LOVE watching home makeover shows. British ones or US ones, there are very few of those shows that I don’t want to watch. From Kevin McCloud doing his Grand Designs to Nick Knowles and his crew doing DIY SOS, I could watch them all day and never, ever get tired of them.
I love a makeover show of ANY kind (I watch Next Top Model just for the hair makeover episode only), my favourite is probably George Clarke’s Ugly House to Lovely House. I find few things on TV more satisfying than seeing something hideous turned into something (usually) quite beautiful. And then when they’re turned into something kinda awful… that’s pretty darn entertaining too, so they never disappoint.
From watching bees in my garden to being totally mesmerised by hares, deer and birds in my local area, I have always been fascinated by and loved watching/looking out for wildlife. Now as mentioned I’m GAGA over giraffes and going on an African safari would be a dream come true, but that’s not to say I’m any less impressed when a hare crosses my path when I’m out for a run or I see and hear a woodpecker in the trees overhead.
As a kid I learned the names of all the British birds and butterflies so I’m pretty good at identifying any species of either of those, and after having discovered an app for identifying plants, I’m now able to name most of the plants and trees I see on my morning walks. In fact, “wildlife” extends to dogs, so if I’m ever a passenger in your car you’ll have to put up with me saying “aww look at the beautiful Weimaraner!” or, “oh hello, Mr Labrador…!” every 20 seconds.
21. Karen Carpenter
Never has a singing voice affected me more than that of Karen Carpenter. The woman whose voice poured out of her like golden honey, the woman who started out as the drummer in her band (I mean, the drummer?!), listening to Karen Carpenter sing is like being put to bed in the most comfortable, cosy pile of soft, warm blankets and being tucked in gently whilst having your hair stroked softly. She’s the goddamn Michelangelo of singing. No one touches her. Not even close.
22. Black comedy
Maybe it’s a British thing, but the type of comedy I appreciate the most is always the close-to-the-bone black comedy (or dead-pan/satire). Think anything Richard Ayoade does (Travel Man is one of the best shows on TV); Armando Ianucci (In the Loop and The Thick of It); Blackadder and The Office (the Ricky Gervais one, though I’m certainly not averse to The Office US). Everyone needs a comedy genre that appeals to them the most, and this is mine.
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Is there anything on my list that you absolutely love as well? And what things in life do YOU go absolutely gaga over? Comment below…
Stay safe XOXO
Linking up to… Monday: Stylish Monday, Inspire Me Monday, Ageless Style Linkup (first Monday of the month), My Glittery Heart, On Mondays We Link Up || Tuesday: Style With a Smile, Trend Spin/Walking in Memphis in High Heels, Turning Heads Tuesday, Spread the Kindness, Confident Twosday, Happy Now Blog Link Up || Wednesday: Style Me Wednesday, WowOnWednesday || Thursday: Chic & Stylish || Friday: Neverending Style, Fancy Friday, On the Edge, Fabulous Friday, Fabulous Friday’s Link Up