There’s nothing like a monthly update halfway through the month, a month late – but that means you’re getting twice the content this time! I’ve been more than a little quiet. A whole host of things have gone on, but I’m not going to beat myself up about them, or apologies. At the end of the day, self-care is key (words I thought I’d never say) and for me that means not beating myself up about a bad month of posting.
I’ve not been wasting my time – I’ve finally bit the bullet and have moved to the blocks editor, and ruing that it took me so long (kind of – I might also be blaming it for the lack of posting in the last few months, even though we know that’s not the case!)
Regardless, that’s enough of my waffling; let’s get stuck right in!
Has the news always been this miserable, has it become worse as we’ve grown older, or is it simply the advent of technology that allows 24/7 access to the bad stuff in the world that brings us down?
In a never-ending news cycle of woe, July hasn’t fared much better than any other month in recent years. I may, arguably, be an all time low. Now we have two blonde buffoons in power.
What a to do.
In more personal news, I changed jobs this August, and I’m loving my new gig! It’s been refreshing to be somewhere new, and I work with a fantastic team and one of my flatmates from Hong Kong happens to work there too! The world is small!
If you’ve been around a couple of years, you will have seen my rave about Christina Henry a couple of times a year, and yes. I’m still going.
This years release (July) was The Girl in Red, Henry’s retelling of Little Red Riding Hood.
It’s fantastic! As raw, real and gritter as previous outings from Christina Henry, Red is an unlikely heroine who is relatable and resilient. She finds herself alone in the middle of an epidemic (not from lack of trying) and is finding her way to, you guessed it, Grandma’s house!
I would put this up there with Alice and Lost Boy – my favourite Christina Henry books. If you loved those, do not pass this offering up!
August saw me picking a comfort read, this time back to The Hunger Games trilogy. The return was prompted by watching the movie adaptations, and having a hankering for the greater detail of the books.
It was nice to be back in a familiar world, one that I have fleshed out more, and differently, to the world presented in the films.
I look forward to dipping back into a few more of my old favourites as autumn sets in.
I couldn’t go through this post without mentioning these books here. I was given all three of the currently-published illustrated Harry Potter books for my birthday. I was given the first one on the Friday night, and thinking that was it, delightedly thumbed through it. It was only as we were manically tidying the flat on the Saturday morning that I discovered, book-by-book, that I had been given all three.
I really was spoiled rotten!
Jim Kay really does an amazing job in these books! He captures aspects of the wizarding world that the films just can’t do any justice too, and to-date I can’t find any fault with his artistic choices.
A particular favourite of mine, are the gnomes in Chamber of Secrets. You’re going to have a source a copy, if you haven’t already, to see what I mean!
This month I ended up back in the safe space. The safe space that is The Great British Bake Off. Little did I know that my timing was near perfect, as a brand new series of Bake Off is imminently landing on our TVs.
I will admit, I was deeply skeptical of the new Bake Off for the longest time, being an avid lover of Mel and Sue, and of course the hero that is Mary Berry.
Going into the new look ready to accept all the changes, I am pleased to say, I love it!
Sandi and Noel are fantastic, and Prue is a revelation (plus I have some serious glasses envy). I’m not a fan of some of the editing decisions, and the second outing on Channel 4 showed a marked improvement, but regardless, I am looking forward to the new season coming this month.
I was looking for comfort viewing, and found it in Death in Paradise. It’s sort of Midsomer Murders, but in warmer climes, and that’s about all I can say about it.
I can understand why it’s done so well, but after three seasons, my interst faded!
In another, brief, nostalgic flash, I dipped into Ugly Betty.
I’ll be honest, I don’t remember being wildly in love with it the first time around, and whilst it is an enjoyable watch – and refreshing in its casting – overall I find myself underwhelmed.
The return to this show didn’t last too long!
Back on the Marvel train this month (not sorry) with Spiderman: Far From Home.
In the abbreviated words of my friend – and the reason I finally made it into the movie theatre – “This film is a coming of age story, a love story, a story about finding yourself. It’s a book end to the the Marvel movies that have come before and a sets the stage for the movies yet to come. It’s emotional, it’s raw, it’s funny, it’s sad, and Jake Gyllenhaal…”
Jake Gyllenhaal is amazing, and that’s all I can say about that. For anything more, you’re going to have to see it for yourselves – that is, if you haven’t already!
So, it was my birthday in August, and it was a whole weekend of fun – including one of my uni friends coming to stay. We settled into a movie night of some old favourites, including The Mummy, released in 1999! Honestly, it’s such a shame you can’t capitalise numbers…
The Mummy is still a joyus film, once that has aged well (yet terribly; looking at you, blue screens) and is, as the boy says, the perfect vehicle for cliche bingo!
I just can’t quite get my head around the fact it’s 20 years old!
The other film we watched was The Princess Diaries. An Anne Hathaway classic, and whilst not remotely related to the books, it is, nonetheless, an enjoyable watch (apparently it’s a catch phrase of mine, “It’s not like that in the book…”)
Let’s be honest though, Julie Andrews steals the show!
Who knew that Hawkeye can sing…
I, for one, did not, and when this popped up on my YouTube, I was blown away. It’s all kinds of good.
There is nothing not to like about Jeremy Renner’s Main Attraction. It’s a song that took me straight back to uni. I don’t mean that it sounds nostalgically dated, rather it’s anthemic and grungy in the very best of ways!
I’ll have to be honest, I was not looking forward to this release. WINNER haven’t managed to get near ‘REALLY REALLY‘, and that really, really sucks. Then there’s the whole YG thing, and… I just wasn’t remotely bothered.
Then on a whim, I watched the trailer, and I was hooked!
This is not what imagined from Jinu (why change Jinwoo, though). 또또또 (Call Anytime) it’s very catchy and chilled – the perfect summer tune. I’m suitably impressed.
It’s been a while since I’ve had Red Velvet on here, and I wasn’t hugely enamoured with ‘The ReVe Festival’ Day 1, but the follow up Day 2 is FANTASTIC!! And, yes, it does deserve the capitals.
Every. Song. Is. Amazing. From the title track, 음파음파 (Umpah Umpah), to the end of the mini album, there is a summery, nostalgic feel.
The songs are redolent music I grew up listening too, and there’s a cosy-warm comfort-factor in that!
As always, I look forward to the next one!
I’m not liking myself much at the moment. I’ve no doubt I’m the only one having cyclical body conscious downers, but recently they’ve seemed particularly vicious.
Trying to work out the root cause is a searching affair, and I’m hoping that, slowly, I’m beginning to get a hold of situation. On the one hand, the rational brain know’s that it’s all fine. On the other, nothing alters the way it makes me feel! But I’ll get there.
So what to do when you’re feeling glum and clothes are just making you feel all kinds of meh?
Focus on the shoes!
These bright orange-red mules, complete with ostentatious bow, were a TK Maxx find, and they just bring such joy!
Feeling out of sorts with yourself can be horribly vicious, but that doesn’t mean it’s all bad – that’s coming from me, and all I see is the bad… But changes are possible, in mindset as much as anything else.
So now I’m choosing to be more positive. It won’t happen overnight, and it’s not going to be consistent, but it’s a start.
I’ve decided to give myself an incentive.
For years, I’ve been lusting after a multitude of patterns to go with the many meters of fabric I’ve been collecting over the years (not sure the boy is too happy about that), and finally I’ve decided to make this a reason to get a wriggle-on in the battle with myself so that I feel good cutting into my fabric stash!
These two patterns are at the top of my list, and I hope we get some sewing on the blog soon!
For this mammoth post, I’m just going to share three items I’ve been loving over the last few months.
First up, the palette I’ve been using most of the summer, my trusty Pony Effect Limitless Master Eye Palette.
All those neutral warm browns speak to my soul, and the shimmers really add to something to a look when out in the sun!
The lipsticks by XO Beauty, the brand from New Zealand YouTuber Shaaanxo, are some of my favourites. The colours are fantastic, and I feel great when I wear them! There are two sets of lipsticks (five each) and now an additional three colours. If liquid lipsticks are your thing, I hear nothing but good things about those on offer from XO Beauty!
Mascara is a conundrum. You think one is good and then it’s just… not!
So far, the Lash Princess Mascara from essence seems to be in for the long haul! I’m very impressed. It’s also a very good example of expensive not always being better (though, to be honest, that’s something that it would take some time to convince me of).
I hadn’t realised how much cooking there was in July till I scrolled back through the photos on my phone. Delights included a vegan cous cous salad that I can’t wait to make again, and the first chicken roasted in the flat – this was a whole hilarious pa-larva that’s a story for another day!
My favourite thing from this month, however, were my carrot cakes. This is laborious as the days is long, but worth every second for these deliciously moist cakes and the best cream cheese icing – and we all know it’s the icing that makes a carrot cake!
To make this bake even better, I used the square cupcake tins I lovingly brought back from Korea (just in case, you understand… This is why I also own a banana shaped cake tin. Not sorry!)
All in all, these are a whole lot of good and now I want to make more – but demands have been made for continuously original baking, so perhaps a Victoria Sandwich, or maybe a homemade Sticky Toffee Pudding? It has dates in it, so it’s good for you… right?
To my shame, I haven’t taken pictures of most (all?) of my culinary endeavours recently.
It’s been a busy couple of months, including two weddings and a 30th, but here is the most defining moment of the summer (definitely no exaggeration, nuh uh!)
The high-point was, obviously, when the boy finally bought me flowers! A major milestone, you might say!
He’d been threatening to take me to the Sunday flower market at Bethnal Green, and he finally did. It was beyond busy, but oh so ‘gramable!
It’s definitely worth a visit if flowers are your thing!
I finally took myself to the Tate Modern to see the Natalia Goncharova exhibition, and I’m so glad I made it.
I’m fond of art, some I like more than others, but it is rare that I will see an exhibition and like everything.
This was that rare occasion.
Natalia’s style is bold, bright and wonderfully diverse.
This snowy painting reminds me of a story book I had when I was little (and if I’m not mistaken, mum has it stored away somewhere). It this book, a village grew and changed through the seasons (or at least that’s how I remember it), and I used to love looking at all the houses. This painting sparked all those memories, and I loved that.
If you ever get the chance to see any of Natalia Goncharova’s work, I highly recommend you go and see it.
So this months curveball is… a watch!
My friend has been sporting the Misfit Command for years now, and when I finally decided it was time to get a smart watch, I knew this was what I’d go for.
This bad boy tracks my steps, buzzes every 40 minutes, tells me who’s messaged or rung, allows me to control the music on my phone and whilst doing all of that, it still looks like a watch.
I love it! Worth ever penny.
I’ve been terrible at posting, but I’m hoping I’ll get back on the very, very, very behind schedule!
See you next month (I hope).
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