What is the Best Lifestyle Magazine?

I am on the hunt for a new monthly magazine subscription. I don’t spend a lot of money on magazines – I mainly read blogs and online mags – but it’s my luxury to have a proper glossy each month. I think it’s the same with all magazines that, once you have read them each month for a year or two, they become a bit same-y. I guess it’s not possible for editors to come up with fresh ideas ad-infinitum, so two years is about my limit. My current subscription is Country Living. Before that I had Good Housekeeping and Woman & Home. All are good magazines that I have enjoyed in the past, but I need something new. I am looking for value for money: something I can read in stages and enjoy over several days, rather than something I consume in 30 minutes. It’s got to have a good mix of topics and pictures because, as we all know, my attention span is limited!

To this end, I had a splurge last week and bought 3 magazines: Easy Living; Essentials; and Home & Antiques.

Easy Living – April 2012 (£3.70)
Oh my goodness, what a pile of pants this magazine is. I bought it as it was £2 and I still feel like I was ripped off. It didn’t show me anything new. I had already read some of it online in different guises (like 4 pages on what Kate Middleton has been wearing this past year). The most interesting article was about women and Twitter, and that was too short. Their fashion was a bit *yawn* boring. It is definitely not the magazine for me.

On the plus side, I quite liked their website (www.easyliving.co.uk) and have bookmarked it with my favourites.

Essentials – April 2012 (£2.95)
I quite liked Essentials. I was drawn to it by the cover story – I love a good Sisters Are Doing It theme. The article didn’t disappoint. It was well written and interesting, but not too heavy. The rest of the magazine didn’t disappoint. It was full of articles, pictures and other items I hadn’t already seen several times online. It’s not the most stylish of magazines, but then it doesn’t pretend to be. Besides, I am certainly not the most stylish of people. On a more shallow note, I didn’t feel old reading it. I could relate to a lot of the items, and there were women featured in there who were older than me. I liked the recipes, the reader’s home pictures, and the “A Few Of Our Favourite Things” feature. At less than £3, this is one of the cheaper women’s magazines on the market. It has a website (www.essentialsmagazine.com), but I found it a little confusing and don’t imagine I’ll visit it often.

Homes & Antiques – April 2012 (£3.80)
The third magazine I bought was BBC Homes & Antiques. The cover picture sold it to me. It’s so pretty – all spring colours and Easter goodness. I really enjoyed this magazine. It was interesting, well written, and chock full of gorgeousness. It’s not a women’s magazine as such, but it is definitely written to appeal to women. The website (www.homesandantiques.com) is ok. It’s not the most fancy, but it is easy to navigate.

So, what is the best lifestyle magazine (for me, anyway?). I don’t quite know. I’m tossing up between Homes & Antiques and Essentials. I think Homes & Antiques is one I will keep back issues of and re-read, but Essentials is something I will get more pleasure out of at the time, and will then pass on to someone else to read and enjoy. I think it may come down to the best subscription.
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