The Monthly Top Ten: My July Obsessions

As you’ve probably gathered, I have an obsessive personality. There’s no middle ground – I either like something a lot or not at all. So it seemed like a good idea to start sharing my monthly obsessions on CTP, because most of the time they don’t fit in with my regular content. Here’s a look at my July top ten, from the novel I couldn’t put down to the song I’ve been playing on repeat…

Kim Kardashian Hollywood Olympus Pen EP 5

1. American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld: Curtis Sittenfeld is one of my favourite authors, and this month I finally read American Wife. It’s probably the most famous of Sittenfeld’s four novels, but I’d avoided reading it since its 2009 release because I don’t like the cover (yes, apparently I really am that superficial). Anyway, I was a fool, because it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. It’s loosely based on the life of Laura Bush, and follows protagonist Alice Lindgren from her small-town childhood in the Midwest to her role as First Lady.

2. Nars Jungle Red Lipstick: Usually I wear pink glosses during the summer and save my favourite red lipsticks for the winter months. But Nars ‘Jungle Red’ came into my life this month, and we’re having a full blown love affair! The semi-matte formula stays put all day long, and colour has a subtle orange undertone which makes it super sassy. I think it might actually be the world’s greatest red lipstick…

3. The Olympus Pen EP-5*: I’m not a confident photographer and almost always shoot on auto mode. However, I’ve been using the Olympus Pen EP-5 for the last couple of weeks, and I’m slowly getting more confident, occasionally experimenting with different settings. The retro-style compact really easy to use and it has built-in wifi capabilities so you can connect to your smartphone and Instagram on the go.

Nars Jungle Red Chanel Le Blanc

4. Kim Kardashian Hollywood: Never in a million years did I expect to start playing games on my iPhone (I reject every FarmVille invitation that comes my way), but I’m completely addicted to Kim Kardashian Hollywood. I only downloaded it out of curiosity, and now I’m hooked. My thumbs hurt constantly from the repeated tapping and I’ve started uttering phrases like “not another 8-hour bikini shoot in Punta Mita”. Someone please stage an intervention…

5. Le Blanc de Chanel Sheer Illuminating Base: This month I was introduced to Chanel’s Le Blanc sheer illuminating base, which is a longstanding beauty icon. I’ve been using the sheer liquid as a primer, but it can also be mixed with foundation or applied directly above base products as a highlighter. It lights up the skin like nothing I’ve ever seen before, and also helps to disguise dark shadows under the eyes. A true beauty hero!

Paperchase Desk Planner

6. Nākd Fruit and Nut Bars: Okay, so first things first: these ‘health’ bars aren’t actually that healthy. They contain a lot of sugar – albeit natural sugar – so should be approached with caution. But they’re insanely tasty, gluten-free and 100% natural, so obviously rank higher than the average shop-bought snack. Pecan Pie and Cocoa Delight are my favourite flavours. Are you hooked on them too?

7. Paperchase Desk Planner: Paperchase’s week-by-week desk planner has helped simplify my editorial schedule. I write all of the content for CTP in advance, and this giant post-it note style calendar is so useful. At £8 it was easily the best investment I made this month.

8. Elemis Total Glow Bronzing Body Lotion: This is one of my favourite quotes from Karen in Will & Grace: “No honey, she’s not transparent, she’s just British. If she stands in front of the sun, you can see her brain.” She could be describing me, although I think it was in reference to Minnie Driver’s porcelain skin. Anyway, I’ve been using Elemis Total Bronzing Glow all month to look less-transparent. The colour looks fairly natural, and when applied with a tanning mitt it’s completely streak-free (sans-mitt is a totally different story, however).

Nakd Bars American Wife

9. ELLE USA’s Social Media Issue: I don’t usually read US ELLE, but they deserve a special shout out for their incredible July 2014 issue. Focusing on social media, they profiled a host of inspirational women working online, from Google’s top hacker, Parisa Tabriz, to Flickr cofounder and Findery CEO, Caterina Fake. The August issue is now on newsstands, so if you missed the social media issue you can probably still download a digital edition on your iPad.

10. Iggy Azalea Fancy: “I’m so fancy, you already know, I’m in the fast lane, from L.A. to Tokyo…” I’ve had this song has on repeat all month. I can’t get enough of it! It’s the perfect feel-good summer anthem and I always put it on if I’m procrastinating and need to get back to work.

And now it’s your turn… What are your July obsessions? Leave a comment and let me know!

* Coco’s Tea Party is a UK blog ambassador for Olympus

  • hehe i love iggy azelia’s fancy too, more so for the video!!

    I am properly obsessed with nakd bars but you’re warning of the sugar content is definitely i need to take note of, just because they’re not my usual snack of choice (anything that is chocolate) doesn’t mean I can eat the entire box. The cashew one is my absolute fave, sometimes I make my own homemade ones, they’re really easy to put together!

    you’re like me with games on phones, but then i downloaded fruit ninja and got a bit addicted, i’m worried that the same thing will happen with kim kardashian game so i will avoid.

    the chanel illuminating base sounds incredible, sounds like the products that i love, i’m definitely jotting this down in my notebook of “things to try” the next time i’m at a beauty counter

    i neeeeeed to try the olympus pen, sounds like the perfect lightweight camera to have around, my giant dslr is just a pain to have with at all times.

    ordering american wife now 🙂


    • cocos_tea_party

      The Olympus isn’t *that* light with the standard lens (I need to get a smaller fixed lens), but it’s petite, so much easier to carry around than a big DSLR.

      And I LOVE cashews but haven’t tried that Nakd bar, so will make it my mission for the week!

    • cocos_tea_party

      P.S excited to hear what you think of American Wife!

      • will definitely let you know! you’re right about the covers, there’s a total of two covers to choose from ant neither of them are appealing…i know, i know never judge a book by its cover and all that x

  • Andi

    American Wife has a different cover in the U.S. I bought it when it first came out and loved it. I wondered what you meant until I saw the photo farther down. So odd.

  • Daisy

    LOVE Fancy by Iggy- the video based on Clueless is perfect.

    Checking out the Paperchase planner as we speak.

    Daisy x

  • That NARS lippie looks great…and totally brand new… ha!

    • cocos_tea_party

      I’ve only used it four times so far x

  • Abby

    Hey Ella. Been thinking about putting a bit of my redundancy payoff to good use and investing in something useful and fun. How is the Olympus to use? X

    • cocos_tea_party

      I’m really enjoying using it so far. I’m not a great photographer, but after a few weeks just sticking to auto mode I’ve finally branched into manual settings and things are going well 😉

      You should definitely take a look at Mademoiselle Robot’s photography – – as she shoots everything on the Olympus and it shows what it can do.

      • That’s great, thank you. Want to start properly recording things, and am going to take a photography course when I leave work too. Will check her out, thanks.

      • Just got my redundancy payout and put my name down for one… wish me luck!