On… sleep

I’m burning the candle at both ends and roasting it in the middle right now, my loves. A baby, two small children, and constant deadlines does not a happy sleeper Gemgem make. (The syntax on that is good, right?)

Particularly because I’m a worrywart.

I lie in bed, my brain hopping through all the things I did that day and all the things I have to do the next day and the cute thing the baby did and what I love about the current outline or script and what I think might need changing and oh that’s a good line I must write that down. All fine, easy thoughts, not even worries, really.

And then out of fucking nowhere I start thinking about scared refugee children in their little foster jails. And refugee babies crying for their mothers (probably right this second, my brain always reminds me). Then I worry about forced birth in the states that hate women (and why does everyone hate women like what the fuck did we do?). And then guns, guns, always guns.

Sometimes I wander over to Brexit, worry about that for a while.

And then to finish off I always worry about whether I will earn any money this year, because I’m in a ridiculous profession (that I absolutely love, of course) and there is no way of knowing. My projects this year are good, I think, and last year I sold everything I pitched and wrote some solid scripts, but nothing was picked up and why is that, is it perhaps because they’re not solid and I’m actually a bit shit, and is wondering if I’m shit the hallmark of someone who is in fact shit or is it a sign that I’m secretly truly balls-out brilliant because the only people who believe they are truly balls-out brilliant are sociopaths?

So. That’s what it’s like to be in my brain at 11pm. It’s like I forget how to sleep.

Sometimes I try a quarter of an Ambien, but it makes my eyes super dry the next day. Melatonin doesn’t work for me either. Valerian stinks. But this is what works:

Natural Vitality Calm Gummies The Anti-Stress Gummies, A Relaxing Magnesium Supplement, Raspberry Lemon, 120 Count

Firstly, magnesium gummies. I was drinking it in the dissolvable powder form on and off for years, but it’s kind of gross. Now I eat the gummies. I don’t know why magnesium helps sleep, but it really does, just sort of unscrews everything that’s bolted on v tightly in your brain. You don’t have to believe me, believe the New York Times. “Magnesium deficiency has been associated with higher levels of stress, anxiety and difficulty relaxing.” Pop two after dinner. Bonus: they’re yummy.


Second, Lazarus Naturals Relaxation Blend CBD Capsules. You already know about CBD, I don’t have to extol the many virtues here. (Again, the New York Times can tell you more, if you like.) I tried Lord Jones, the one everyone is obsessed with. I liked it fine, no big deal. Then my mother got this magical stuff from our local pharmacy when she was visiting and I HAVE TRULY NEVER SLEPT BETTER. It’s the most delicious easy sleep – it has L-tryphtophan and ashwagandha and chamomile, as well as CBD extract. You wake up feeling calm and clear and rested. I cannot recommend it highly enough. This one is good too. I tried it recently when the Relaxation Blend was out of stock.

PS Come over to Instagram, the water’s lovely.



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On… Clarks Botanicals

I first wrote this on my Instagram account, so if you already read it there, forgive me and be my friend anyway.

Last year, I heard about Clarks Botanicals on the divine @fatmascara podcast. I ordered a $10 tester set, like the thrifty little cougar that I am, to see if it would plump and soothe my crone-like post-baby visage. LO and behold, it did. I fell head over heels for the Deep Moisture Mask and Smoothing Marine Cream, promptly purchased the full size of each. I wrote about them in a post a few months ago.

Then quite out of the blue recently, Clarks contacted me asking if I’d like to host a giveaway. I said YES OF COURSE I WOULD ARE YOU INSANE WHY WOULD YOU EVER DOUBT THAT. I think their social media people saw the post. Anyway. To enter the competition, head on over to my IG account. If it’s too late – I think the comp ends May 3 – then don’t fret! You can use the code GemmaBurgess25 and get 25% off your purchase on the Clarks Botanicals website.



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On… a nightgown

So, recently I went to a party with an all-girls sleepunder theme. The premise: Like a sleepover, but we all have work and small children and/or babies and really need our fucking sleep. So we started at 4pm and went home at 10pm. We had chocolate and candy and Jell-O shots and cocktails and ice cream cake. We drank fast, talked fast, and then went home and crashed. It was THE BEST.

Anyway, the dress code was ‘athleisure’. I thought to myself, I’m not wearing athleisure, I detest work out gear. I don’t even wear it to work out anymore. (I wear baggy sweatpants and a Buffy The Vampire Slayer t-shirt, most days.) I’m going to wear the frilliest, dorkiest, most Victorian-virgin passion-killing nightgown I can find.Gemma Nightie

Nailed it.

(Apologies for messy sink.)

I was the happiest little party animal in the world that night. I felt comfortable and fun and pretty and kind of cool, in a non-cool way (which is, of course, the best kind of cool). I felt like an updated, yet also terribly regressive, version of Courtney Love and Amanda de Cadenet, when they got trashed in silky night slips that time in the 90s. In other words, I felt like me.

I’m wearing this nightie – and a couple of the others in the range – ALL SUMMER. And not just to bed. I’m wearing them to write. To meet friends. To the playground. To the beach. To bed. This nightie can do no wrong in my eyes. Anyway, you can find it here. Order a size or two down. They are gigantic.

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On… the perfect pink tshirt for $8

I like pink t-shirts. I wear them with dark red Ruby Woo lipstick, I wear them with no make-up except a little blush (or ROUGE as my grandmother used to say), I wear them with old pajama pants in bed and with very old jeans when I’m writing and with sequins skirts and fake fur coats when I’m going somewhere exciting. There is basically no situation or mood that a pink t-shirt can’t improve, imho. And after trying on like seventeen – okay, that’s a lie, but I did try like four – I found THE PERFECT PINK TSHIRT.

And it’s $8.

pink tshirt

Get it in medium for fitted, large if you want to roll the sleeves up and tuck it into high-waisted jeans and feel really 1989 about it. It’s just the right thickness, just the right shade of blushy-but-not-sickly-pink, the shoulders and neck are *perfect* . Enjoy. It’s SPRING!



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On… hair accessories

A couple of months ago, I put something on Instagram about a pearl hair barrette from Etsy and how happy it made me.


I never knew a hair accessory could be so polarizing. People either loved it, or thought that I was completely fracking insane. SO many OPINIONS. That’s cool. We can’t all like the same things at the same time, it would be so dull. So if you hate them, then I completely understand, just skip on to the next post, it’ll be a thoughtlette about something I’m reading or watching or thinking or putting on my face, I can’t remember.

Anyway! Back to the point. Right now I am very into hair accessories, for the first time since the 90s. Back then, I liked to sew tiny paper flowers onto Japanese bobby pins and create elaborate chignons. (Oh yes. Yes I did.) I also cut and glued flipflops together to make platforms like the Spice Girls. I made my own Chanel Vamp nail polish out of black and red nail polish that I purchased with my pocket money at a little Filipino shopping center called World Wide Plaza in Hong Kong, before having a tuna mayo sandwich and an Orangina at Delifrance. AH. MEMORIES.


So, this is the hair pearl barrette from Etsy. Warning: if you don’t have a lot of hair (I’m shedding like an old mutt, damn babies), it slides out pretty quickly, so you need to secure it with bobby pins.




And then we have this magnificent thing. I have worn it a gazillion times already. It’s DesignB from ASOS, has wonderful sturdy sticking power even if your hair has the emotional and physical strength of a spider’s web. It’s low in stock. If it’s sold out by the time you read this, just keep an eye on ASOS because I bet it comes back, the best things always do. In the meantime, I found you this perfect and almost identical Etsy alternative, below.



(By the way, those are not my nails.)

I’ve also been wearing my hair in a bun, tied with a scrunchie with a long thick black ribbon attached. Mine was from Urban Outfitters and sold out, alas, but I found this alternative for you. I would untie the bow right away and just leave the ribbons dangling down, like a ballet dancer on a walk of shame.









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On… Booksmart

Can’t wait to see this.

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On… Bobby Benson’s Baby Band

I’m making up stories in my head right now, so I’m doing a lot of furious Arranging Of Things (make-up, knicker drawer, books) interspersed with furious Gazing Into Space (both of these actions are elevated by my capitalizing them and making them furious, oui?).

This popped up out of my subconscious, and I thought, WAIT A MOMENT not enough people know about Bobby Benson’s Baby Band. I shall share it.

I love Bobby Benson’s sinister edge.

My other two favorite Muppet Show sketches:


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Last year, like all of us, my lovely friend Emma’s little girl was distressed about the forced family separation at the US border. She wanted to send money to help, so Emma helped her to start an adorable t-shirt line called Paradisco – and she’s raised $8,000!! 100% of proceeds from the t-shirts go to  Together Rising to help reunite children with their families.

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I’ve just ordered this pink one. I’m going to cut the sleeves off and wear with jean shorts all summer.

PS Emma and I met when we were both marching our children around Nolita in strollers trying to get them to sleep almost seven years ago! Errol was about seven months, Emma’s daughter was about four months. Emma had a thing called a Snoozeshade over her stroller, to block out the sun, and as we paused on a corner waiting for a taxi to pass, I was like ‘WHAT is THAT magical thing’ and voila, a friendship was born. This is why I love New York.


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