1. The Harry Potter Series
I promised, at the beginning of the month, to give you an update on my feelings for the books as I read them, and it would be foolish of me to brush over what has dominated my reading time these past 30 days. I fell in love with the Harry Potter series (and yes, I finished all 7 this month). I've read popular YA fiction before, and while some books are better than others, am rarely too impressed by it; this, however, is quite different. Contrary to most Christian's fear of magic, this is, quite clearly, just like Lewis' fantasy worlds, simply in a different arena. I love that Rowling creates a world of beautiful magic, like the creatures we know and love from mythology and fairy tales, and contrasts it starkly with the cruel magic of the Dark Lord. Her characters are incredibly endearing, real, and humorous; the women in particular are so strong and intelligent, instead of your typical girl-in-a-romance who has no purpose but to fall in love with the hero. The writing quality improves with the books so that as you go along you mature with the characters, and end up quite fond of them. My only qualms? I wish there was more elaboration on the ending: it felt, to me, a little too abrupt for the pattern set out by Rowling in the previous books.
In the realm of literature still, my writing this month has consisted entirely of Psithurism edits and added scenes (no surprise there). It's exciting to me that, after nearly three years' work on this book, I'm finally producing something much closer to the world in my head than I have in past attempts. It still needs work - it always needs work - but I'm making progress, and it's good.
3. Coconut Oil
And we swing subjects! I've been told by about a million and one people to use coconut oil for a million and one purposes and finally, a week or so ago, I gave it a try. First: it smells of heaven and the tropics. Oh my word. I would use it just for the smell. And though it's great for removing stubborn eye makeup (supposedly, it lengthens/thickens your eyelashes by overnight application, though I'm not sure how effective it's been for me) and a nice, heavier duty moisturizer before bed, it's best purpose is as a hair oil. A friend of mine at work shared with me that about an hour before she showers, she drenches her lengths with coconut oils, lets it sit for 60-ish minutes and then procedes to wash as usual. Not only did this method make my hair so. soft. (literally I cannot stop touching it) but also prolonged the time I can take between washes. Brilliant.
4. Sally Hansen Insta-Dry Nail Polish in Set Sail
I bought this color for use during the spring whirlwind of events and only ended up wearing it once, but I've reapplied it twice in the month of June alone. It's a beautiful cornflower-blue color, long lasting and under $4. What's not to love?
5. e.l.f. Flawless Finish Foundation
This is a great foundation for the warmer months, as it literally does. not. budge. I wore it a couple of days ago (over a bit of primer, with a light dash of powder in the T-zone) and it lasted all day, through my work shift and a 7 mile walk afterwards with no touchups at all. At the end of the day it had sunk into my skin more, and therefore the coverage was not, of course, as flawless as it was originally, but my face was still not shiny. I have oily skin. This is a huge accomplishment. The formula is quite thick, so I apply a small amount with a moist beauty blender, to avoid a cakey finish.
6. Twenty One Pilots
You might have seen in my Summer Playlist that more than one of the songs were by Twenty One Pilots, a band whom I've quite recently been loving. Their sound is unique - some songs I love and others, not as much - but their lyrics are quite fantastically open. Like John Mayer, they're not afraid of heaver things, deeper lyrics, harder truths. (Also: really fun songs that are perfect for summer afternoons.)
What have you been loving this month? Let me know in the comments!