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8.10.19

Notes from September


September is my birthday month and I am now the grand old age of 33. I like being 33 because I like odd numbers, and I also like the number 3. Fascinating huh?

My birthday was very cute and I did the following things: received some beautiful flowers from my husband at my office, had a Caffe Nero Milano hot chocolate, went to the Pizza Hut buffet at lunchtime with my colleague and went to see John Robins' stand up.

However my real favourite thing about September is that I can get out this hat.

Other things I have been...

Reading



I read four books this month and it was a MIXED BAG.
  • The River by Peter Heller was a slow, meandering, very sombre book with long descriptions about rivers, fishing rods and so on. Not one for me.
  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro was great and original, but something stopped me from giving it the old 5 stars. I think it was that I never fully loved the characters. 
  •  The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. I feel like saying I really didn't like this book is doing the sensitive source material a disservice because it is based on a true story and I've no doubt that that story is fascinating. However, the way this book was written was just so simplistic and cliched; it felt like a waste! The cringeworthy descriptions of romance and sex made me eye roll on the bus and the writing reminded me of Shantaram, which is my absolute worst book of all time. Sometimes if I'm sad I look up 1 star reviews of Shantaram on GoodReads because they always cheer me up. 
  • A non fiction book I read was The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin, whose podcast I love. Her theory is that all people fit into one 'tendency' and this dictates how we meet expectations. It is a fun and interesting theory but I still can't decide which tendency I am! 



Listening

I think I have reached peak podcast people. I have even had to unsubscribe from some, it was just getting a bit much. After the August slump, where lots of 'casts take a break, my app was going cray with all the new releases and I'm still working my way through. It's silly really as the only person who says I have to get through them all so quickly is me, it's not like they are going anywhere! I guess I'm scared I'll miss something ToPiCAl and important, like an event with my favourite author that's happening in the community centre at the end of my road. The thing is, if I do whittle down my list and have like, 2 or 3 left to listen to, that also makes me annoyed because WHAT IF I HAVE NO MORE TO LISTEN TO?!? 


Watching 

Great British Bake Off, obviously, and also Bake Off: An Extra Slice which features comedian Tom Allen talking to the studio audience about their bakes. He is a sarcastic dream with the funniest, quickest quips. I watched Hustlers at the cinema and it made stripping look super fun, especially if you look like JLo. As a birthday treat, I watched 3 Men and a Little Lady for the millionth time which is in my top 5 films of all time. Oh the '90s.




Enjoying on Instagram 



Eating

I went to Tibits, a vegetarian buffet style restaurant in London. It was quite pricey cos, London, but all the food was so fresh and interesting, and as I love a plate of picky bits the absolute most I had a whale of a time. Now I have to tell you about the best cake there ever was. It is a vegan ginger cake from this book by Honey & Co (who I am now obsessed with and would like to run not walk to their cafe - in London, of course) but I heard about it from my colleague who made it and brought it into work. Since she brought it in I have made it two times and I think about it daily. It is gingery, moist and has pears inside and on top, with the most delicious crunchy crust. My gosh. This cake. 

Doing 

I went to Friends Fest and it was a fun day because I was with fun people but the event itself I would describe as fine. I will never get over the cocktails, which were £8, in pre-mixed bottles and filled 3/4 of the way with ice. NEVER. As mentioned previously, it was my birthday which was pleasant, although I had to go to work on the actual day. Boo!

October is nice but I don't like the slow crawl towards dark in the morning and dark in the evening. 





16.9.19

12 Habits - Journalling






Journalling, or as it is sometimes called, Morning Pages, is always mentioned in habit lists. Clearing your mind, decreasing anxiety and just generally supporting your wellbeing are all mentioned as reasons why to get on board.

I used to write in my teenage diary every night, and found it a fun way to pass the evenings (pre-internet especially), but I haven't had the same habit as an adult and I miss being able to look back and see what I did/how I was feeling. It's so easy to forget stuff, especially being older!

Anyway, this has been one of the few habits I have actively enjoyed. I wrote for about 5 minutes, or around a page a day. I found it quite therapeutic to get my words out on to a page, and it was an enjoyable novelty to actually write with a pen onto paper. The only thing I didn't love was that I kept forgetting I had to do it and would end up writing right before bed which was frustrating as I was already in getting into bed mode and often couldn't be bothered. This made it seem more cumbersome that it had to be!

I think I will try and keep up with the habit, at least sporadically (a word I learned from Clueless).

September's habit is non-existent because I simply could not think of one. I'm just as annoyed as you.

7.9.19

Notes from August





Goodbye August. I always feel like I don't make the most of you.


Reading

  • This article about Justin Bobby from The Hills made me do a real life lol  
  • An interview with someone who scouts books that would make good films. Where do I sign up for this perfect job? 
  • You know when some things are so true but you don't realise it until someone points them out? 
  • This poem is about oranges and it is great. I have now added a Wendy Cope poetry book to my library list. 
Books I have read are:
  • Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume (childhood fave),
  • Nora Webster by Colm Tobion (not as good as Brooklyn but a gentle, amusing read)
  • This is not a diet book by Bee Wilson (lovely practical advice, am going to purchase)
  • Sandwich: A Global History also by Bee Wilson (fairly interesting)
  • Convenience Store Woman (Loved this book; quirky and comical)
  • Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng (5 stars)
  • Heartburn by Nora Ephron, which was fine but depressed me a bit. Made me sad as it is one of Dolly Alderton's faves and therefore I wanted to like it so I COULD BE LIKE HER. 

Listening

So Drake made my life complete and brought out Care Package on Spotify, which is a collection of his old B sides and general random internet songs, including Trust Issues, my one and only true love. I have been campaigning for this for a year: proof. I also heard Dermot Kennedy on Romesh Ranganathan's podcast and I looooove his voice.

I have been listening to a shit load of podcasts this month as I have a task at work that is long but doesn't require much brain power. Fave episodes include:

Watching

The new series of Stath Lets Flats is out and it makes me weak with laughter. Rich and I watched The Founder, about the man who created McDonalds (spoiler alert: he's a prick). I have latched on to my friend's Now TV so I have been enjoying Ru Paul's Drag Race All Stars (obviously phenomenal but not as great as the main series) and Hills: New Beginnings. I also watched Yesterday at the cinema which was a heart warmer. Lion King was good but not a patch on the original, plus it was weird that the animals had emotions but no facial expressions because they were trying to be too real. I watched  You on Netflix which I found creepy yet compelling.

Loving on Instagram

  • Saw this coat in H&M. Saw it again and want it even more
  • Not usually a fan of this style of retro trainer but love these a whooollle bunch.
  • I love this jacket and I love the way this is shot 
  • Some great life advice from Gretchen Rubin 
  • This building looks like its from the 1950s . Now top of my London list
  • Obsessed with this colour combo



Eating

I have been told to eat Tempeh for protein and I found some with a maple BBQ marinade in my local health food shop and let me tell you the subsequent BLT sandwich I made with it was summin' else. It's bloody expensive mind. I went to Eggbreak in Notting Hill which was BANGING, I love a niche concept for a restaurant if it is done right, and they have some unusual egg dishes as well as non-egg items too.

Doing

I went to my cousin's wedding and it was so much fun - there were llamas and a full on pizza van in the evening! My work had a volunteering day and we helped out at a care farm, doing weeding, animal feeding and so on. There were pigs with massive teeth and they were GREAT. I stroked many a guinea pig and sorted out a vegetable patch. I came home with a cucumber and a marrow and I felt very wholesome.  Rich and I attended a Jurassic Park screening at Bristol Zoo which was mega cute (we saw a shooting star - I think!) but as per usual, I underestimated how cold it would be so I froze my ass off. 

Bye bye summer 2019. September is my birthday month!

13.8.19

7 Good habits I already practice




Over the past year or so, probably coinciding with starting my bullet journal in fact, I've become a lot more interested in self development and self improvement. I think it's tallied with some personal stuff, which has meant I needed a shift in focus and something new to concentrate on.

I would like to talk about the topic of personal development more on my blog in general, but I'm going to start with habits.

Habits are mentioned a whole lot when it comes to self improvement (for good reason) and whilst obviously the intention of creating good habits is to enhance your life, it can sometimes feel like if you don't achieve them you are a failure. I'm really not a lover of motivational quotes (other than a few select phrases here and there) but 'don't forget how badly you once wanted what you have now' is very true and I think it's important to remember how far you've already come and to celebrate what you have achieved.

To that end, here are 8 life improving habits I have already mastered!

1. Making my bed

This crops up a lot in all the self-care lists, and I just see it as second nature and thought everyone did it. I did a poll of the women in my team at work, and I was surprised that it was basically 50/50 between bed makers and non bed makers!

2. Getting up early

Another classic habit on Pinterest lists. I've always been an early one, ever since I was a kid and I used to go in and ask for money from my sleeping parents so I could walk down to the shop and buy allll the magazines and sweets my 10 year old heart desired (for £2). Now it's the cat that wakes me up at an ungodly hour, but she is the cutest alarm so 9 times out of 10 I'll just get up anyway. I love the serenity of being awake when most people are asleep.



3. Organising my diary

I used to constantly double book myself, and I tell you, it was bloody annoying. Now I don't confirm anything until I've checked my bullet journal. I have created a Whatsapp group with only me in it called 'Remember' and I write the date I need to check if I don't have my diary with me at the time. Side note: The personal Whatsapp group thing is a game changer as well FYI.




4. Wearing sunscreen

I used to think this was totally unnecessary and imagine it would break me out all over the shop but I went on a long ass walk last summer in the full sun with just my trusty La Roche Posay SPF 50 and I had a lovely hint of bronze to my face whilst everyone else was burnt to the hills. 



5. Bringing my lunch to work every day

Not only do I hate spending money on lunch every day, I also hate deciding what to eat. There are A LOT of options around my work and I can't cope with the choice, or the possibility I might have a sub standard lunch, as I have high standards when it comes to eating. The easiest way to not have to buy lunch is to just freeze most of your dinners and then take one out the night before. This way you also get a surprise as God only knows what's in those Tupperwares, especially if they're opaque.

6. Rounding up my savings

A classic savings tip - open a savings account with your current bank, then just round up to the nearest pound once you've spent some dolla. E.g. If you've got £93.47, transfer that £3.47 right over. Adds up surprisingly quickly, and you won't miss it! 

7. Hanging my clothes up after wearing them

This is my husband's influence for sure, as he is the tidiest man on earth. I am messy by nature, and when I had a room to myself I not only had a floor-drobe but a bed-drobe, a desk-drobe...you get the picture. Now I have just an organised wardrobe and I put them away as soon as I get home.

Hooray for habits!

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