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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!

7.8.19

12 Habits - Meditation




Another semi-fail. I started off full of enthusiasm for meditation - I downloaded the Headspace app, I dutifully sat in my comfortable yellow armchair, concentrating on my breathing for 3 minutes and trying to ignore the cat as her nice purring turned to biting me savagely on my wrists.

However, it all went a bit downhill once the free sessions ended. I didn't really want to start paying as I wasn't sure if it would be worth it at that point and so I tried to do the free sessions again but it was all a bit half arsed.

I think what I should have done is longer sessions, as I was selected the 3 minute ones but was I really getting any benefit in 3 minutes? I'm just not sure if I got anything out of the whole experience tbh. I do yoga pretty much daily now and I feel this can be somewhat meditative, so I reckon I'll stick with that.

My habit for August is daily journalling.


5.8.19

Notes from July



There may or may not be anyone who cares about my monthly likes and dislikes, discoveries and food comas. Nevertheless, writing them makes me happy. Here is July.


Reading

  • As a former Topshop employee, I found this article about its demise a v. interesting read
  • This open letter so eloquently explains why Cancer Research's poster campaign linking cancer to obesity does more harm than help
  • If the internet has been great for one thing, it's highlighting micro annoyances of being female. Contraceptive pill admin being one of them
  • The Lion Queen, not The Lion King?
  • Trip Advisor's harshest reviewers taken out to dinner. Lols ensue
  • This review of street style fashion from 2010 to now is fun

I also read more books than usual this month, and I am happy to report that they were mostly good or great!

My Mum Tracey Beaker by Jacqueline Wilson and Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume (a re-read) were both nostalgic ones which made me feel warm inside.

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer is different to books I usually read, a true story about a guy that dies (not a spoiler) whilst trying to survive in the Alaskan wilderness. I found him fascinating.

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney was everything my millennial self wanted it to be. The characters aren’t particular warm, nothing big seems to happen, but it’s kind of hypnotic and the writing is addictive. I can’t wait to read Ordinary People.

You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott (a Girl on the Train style thriller) was intriguing but a bit irritating by the end.

Doing

This month I went to France where we have a house in which I lived for one year when I was 6. It is old as shit and I would describe it as modest yet loveable. The heatwave was very much alive so we went to the beach, ate delicious seaside pizza and visited the local open top swimming pool. We wandered about in nearby towns, took sunset strolls and did some impromptu strawberry picking. There were rabbits in the fields and it was all in all, a lovely time. 

I also went on the, now annual, pilgrimage to Torquay. One of my friend's parents lives there so we like to congregate there when it's warm to eat chips, have the best afternoon tea and potter about. This time we went to an antique shop and I bought a 1960s dress, a disco ball and a woven bag. 

I went to Birmingham as my friend wanted to visit the massive Primark. It had an underwhelming Disney cafe where I had some sad pancakes in the shape of Mickey. No tea no shade to Birmingham but I won't be rushing back. 


Eating

This month I did not visit any new Bristol restaurants, but I have been eating a whole bunch of fruit. Summer fruit is my absolute favourite thing, especially cherries which I could (and do) eat by the punnet. I also discovered Lara Bars, which are like Nakd bars but better and they are a treat let me tell you.

Now French food isn't usually all that great for vegetarians but we mostly just eat bread and salads which is fine by me. However, foods that are the absolute BEST in France include baguettes, croissants, carrot rapee (carrot in a delicious vinaigrette), potato dauphinoise, yogurts and madeleines. Oooo mumma. 


Listening

I've been listening to back issues of a podcast called 'Ologies' where Alie Ward talks to various experts about various ologies (e.g. Phonology (linguistics), Egyptology, Mixology and so on). It's interesting and Alie is a charmer. My favourite one so far is the one about cats. 
 

Enjoying on Instagram

Pink and zebra are a classic combo

This vintage looking jumpsuit is a gem

I could cry about how much I love this outfit

Cow print is underrated


Watching

I watched 'When They See Us' on Netflix about the Central Park 5 and let me tell you it was EMOTIONAL. But also it was brilliant. Especially the 4th episode. Watch it now as it is a limited series. I started watching Fleabag 1,000 years after everyone else and the second episode made me laugh so hard on the ferry Rich had to tell me to shut up because he was trying to sleep.

Films what I have watched are: Mary Queen of Scots (enjoyed), Toy Story 4 (meh), The Lion King (enjoyed but a pale comparison of the original).

Buying

Whilst in Birmingham I purchased a spotty top from H&M and a black cardigan from Topshop. I found a website called Rapanui which sells ethically made clothes and I bought a great T-shirt dress, which I would highly recommend. And free returns which you don't often get from smaller sites!
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