Black Mirror is described as ‘an anthology series exploring a twisted, high-tech multiverse where humanity’s greatest innovations and darkest instincts collide’ by IMDb.
Set in a world only minutes from our own, Black Mirror unveils how modern technologies can backfire and be used against their makers, every episode set in a slightly different reality with different characters combating different types of technologies.
This Netflix series has to be one of my favourite of all time.
With 5 seasons and a total of 22 episodes (most over an hour long each), Black Mirror has kept me entertained for so long.
I’ve even rewatched the majority of them.
One of my favourite things about this series is that each episode is completely different.
They each have new characters, a new setting, a new time but all share one common theme, a future where technology takes over.
I also love how the series is so unique to anything else I’ve ever watched before and I couldn’t even begin to think of another programme to compare it to.
With 30 awards and 85 nominations, Black Mirror is a series you can’t afford to miss out on.
Yes, I know you’ve probably all heard of this show by now but if you haven’t managed to give it a watch yet, here’s me telling you to!
According to IMBd, this documentary shows how ‘a rivalry between big cat eccentrics takes a dark turn when Joe Exotic, a controversial animal park boss, is caught in a murder-for-hire plot’.
In the stranger-than-fiction documentary, Joe Exotic, a mulleted, gun-toting polygamist and country western singer presides over an Oklahoma roadside zoo.
Joe and an unbelievable cast of characters including drug kingpins, conmen, and cult leaders all share a passion for big cats and the status and attention their dangerous menageries gather.
But things take a dark turn when Carole Baskin, an animal activist and owner of a big cat sanctuary, threatens to put them out of business, starting a rivalry that eventually leads to Joe’s arrest for a murder-for-hire plot, and reveals a twisted tale where the only thing more dangerous than a big cat is its owner.
This series has 8 episodes which are each around 40 minutes long, so although it’s not the most time-consuming of programmes, it’s definitely a must-watch!
After watching the first season last year, I was hooked and have been waiting for a follow up ever since (the last episode cliff-hanger was almost too much for me).
Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini (yes, she played Velma in some of the Scooby-Doo movies) both do an amazing job as the main characters to this Comedy Drama, even with some wacky elements to the story line.
This series focuses on a powerful friendship that blossoms between a tightly wound widow and a free spirit with a shocking secret.
You just won’t be able to get enough of it, I promise!
Although, I am yet to begin my adventure onto season 2 of this drama, I can not wait and I am already certain it will not disappoint.
I’m planning on purchasing Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training as my next game to improve my productivity during lockdown and as a throwback to when I used to play it as a child.
2. Apple iPad Pro
Since starting my first proper year at university in September, I realised how much the use of an iPad could benefit me.
After doing some research about my course, I found that one of the latest iPad Pros were most suitable as they include special design features (including Apple Pencil compatability) that would help my graphic design.
This was my intention for the purchase of my iPad and its capability goes above and beyond what I need of it.
However, the UK lockdown has made me realise its many other great uses.
They are so powerful the image quality is outstanding when watching anything on them.
I often opt for Netflix or one of the on-demand channels. More recently, I’ve reverted back to my youth and have been hooked to Disney+ for more than a few hours.
Other uses for my iPad include pretty much all my university coursework, there are so many useful apps at your fingertips.
Please let me know if you would like an in-depth post on this.
And finally, I’ve recently begun using Zoom to group call my friends for virtual quizzes or just some catch up time.
The iPad works very well with this software and is just the perfect size to fit about 8-10 people on your screen at once.
3. Adult Colouring Books
I’ve never really been that big of a fan of colouring within the lines but, since the lockdown, I’ve found I have so much time on my hands I don’t know what to do with it.
Then there’s the added worry, stress and/or anxiety a lot of people are struggling with in these uncertain times.
Adult colouring books have been a great solution for me.
There are so many varieties of books to choose from, from simpler cartoon style designs to intricate patterns.
I’ve found the more detailed patterned designs to be the most therapeutic, and there is a lot of scientific evidence to back these claims.
Aside from relaxing, I’ve found these colouring books to be perfect for when you’ve got spare 10 minutes, when I’m waiting for dinner to cook, for example.
You can just grab the book and get to work on what ever you fancy.
Reading something you enjoy is an important part of our everyday development and down-time.
With so much time on our hands at the moment, it would almost be criminal to not spend an hour or so diving into a juicy read.
For me, I’ve found this time is perfect for going around the home and spring-cleaning where necessary.
In my bedroom alone, I’ve opted for an entire declutter and turned the whole room upside down!
To help me with this side project, I enlisted the help of decluttering gurus far and wide.
In recent years, there has been a wave of books in this category, each author with their own wacky method to minimalist living.
One of my personal favourites is Marie Kondo’s KonMari method for condensing your belongings.
There are so many books out there that can help you with clearing out and doing the most with the space you have.
Being confined to your home for so many hours of the day, it is important to embrace and enjoy the space that you live it.
Below are the books I recommend to help you with this.
5. Jigsaw Puzzles
A jigsaw puzzle is the classic solution to a rainy day, I don’t think I know a family who didn’t bring their puzzles with them on every camping and caravaning expedition.
Puzzles are an all-round crowd pleaser, they increase productivity whilst being super fun.
I also love that depending on your home situation, you can spend hours doing this by yourself, or get the entire household involved.
Another thing great about jigsaws is that you can spend as long as you like on them.
You could buy one massive 10,000 piece puzzle and continue working on it throughout the rest of the lockdown.
I would recommend putting together the corners and edges first, and make sure to find a place you can keep your progress where it won’t get damaged.
My mom always suggests under the rug.
6. Exercise and Workout Equipment
For the gym goers out there, I know it can be tough times.
All the gyms and fitness centres are closed for the foreseeable future and you need your next fix of gym gains.
Although a lot of people aren’t as fortunate as me to have a home gym, there are plenty of other options out there to keep yourself in shape without forking out on expensive equipment.
For myself, I like to put a focus on my core workouts and this is why I recommend the first product below so highly.
Others could opt for resistance bands, ankle weights or even a small set of dumbbells or kettlebells.
Working out at home doesn’t have to break the bank and once you buy these small items of equipment, you will have them for as long as they are of use.
You never know, you could end up cancelling your gym membership for good once you get into it.
7. Streaming Services
To accompany the iPad, of course you’re going to want subscriptions to streaming services.
In the last few years, streaming apps and websites have taken over from live TV.
I can’t really remember the last time I sat down and actually flicked through the TV guide.
The amount of content online is unlimited so there is something for everybody, I think this is why streaming companies are so popular right now.
And what better way to spend your time stuck at home than cuddling up with a new series that you know you’ve got hours of binge watching with.
Of course my first choice in the world of streaming apps is Netflix, there is just an abundance of films and TV series and I love that they are always bringing out new content.
They have a variety of everything but I feel that they really out do themselves with their documentaries.
So if you want to learn something new during the pandemic, maybe this one is for you!
My final recommended streaming service is one that you don’t actually have to subscribe to.
Rakuten TV is perfect for those who don’t want to commit to monthly payments or simply can’t afford to.
They offer masses of films and TV series and are often the first to release new films straight from the cinema.
There are so many options with Rakuten TV, you can purchase films and series that you can keep on your account forever, or you can rent things to watch at a cheaper price.
They even have a section for all their free to watch content.
8. A Label Maker
Okay now this choice might seem a bit wacky but here me out. We’ve got all this time, stuck at home, why not get organised?
As a child, I remember my dad buying a label maker and I was fascinated by it. Of course the cheaper alternative would be to just use sticky label and a pen but there is something so satisfying about using this cute little printer.
So why not invest in this budget friendly machine and have hours of organising fun!
I’d start with the glass jars in my kitchen, containing sugar, flour etc. But if you really get carried away, you could find yourself labelling pretty much anything.
These are also a great idea for those of you with a home office.
I imagine many have had to make a mini office in their home to continue working during the pandemic.
Well a label maker is perfect for sorting through all your files.
9. Sewing Machine
Everyone needs a new hobby during the lockdown, and there are so many to choose from.
You could start learning a new language, start knitting, reading more, or even gardening. A fun and practical hobby I’ve found is sewing.
Once you’re equipped with your own little machine there are endless possibilities to what you can create.
I recommend trying to steer away from fast fashion and revamping some of your old clothes up. This is also a great way to become more sustainable in these unknowing times.
If you like the idea of getting in to sewing, you could simply opt for a needle and thread, or the classic Quality Streets tin with all the cotton reels and pins.
But investing in a sewing machine can be so much faster and more efficient.
Not to mention so much easier when it comes to hemming and doing different stitches.
I recommend this mini sewing machine below. It is more compact than some of the other bulkier models which is great for space saving, and is great value for money.
10. Baking or Cooking Equipment
Another hobby idea, get baking! Or cooking, whichever takes your fancy.
I’m more of a Mary Berry kind of girl but you never know, you could end up coming out of lockdown with skills like Gordon Ramsay.
Depending on what you want to do in the kitchen, there are lots of different equipment and utensil sets.
Yes a lot of these things will probably already be in your kitchen but there’s always that one recipe that requires something unusual. I never have any ceramic baking beans!
So get searching online, or through the recipe books you already have, and find some things you want to learn to make.
I’m sure no members of your household will be complaining about all the tasty cakes you’ve made.
I do not promote or encourage leaving your home unnecessarily, at this time. Please, if you would like to purchase anything inspired by this list do it online. Amazon is a great way to shop online, as well as many other retailers at your fingertips.