The emotional rollercoaster that is 2020 has been continuing, with varying degrees of creative mojo. September is always a bit of a reset: schools start back, Christmas is on the horizon, with halloween and bonfire night between (and who knows what any of that will look like this year) and there’s generally a cosy autumnal anticipation in the air (for me, anyway!)
Whilst there has not been much doing the last few months (outside of work), there has been a lot of thinking, and I’m slowly pulling things together to re-launch some items on my etsy, move the blog forward with some new ideas and generally just get back to doing my creative thing.
So let’s get into some of the things I’ve been enjoying or anticipating over the last few months.
There’s been a lot of reading, and it has been glorious – all topped off with finally managing to get a trip home to see the parents (first time since Christmas) at the end of August and I might have bought one or two of my books back with me. Be prepared for much autumnal comfort re-reading alongside my mammoth (and growing) tbr list. Book people problems!
The return to reading has been aided by finally succumbing to audible. Some favourites include the Alan Bennet narrated Winnie the Pooh, a variety of Jane Austen (Emilia Fox is an excellent narrator) and an audible original podcast series about dinosaurs – I love dinosaurs, and this wee series is pretty awesome.
A book I’d like to showcase is A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown. If you have enjoyed reading Renee Ahdieh’s, in particular her The Wrath and The Dawn and Flame in the Mist duology’s then you will love A Song of Wraiths and Ruin. There is something about these books and their grounding in original or historical folklore and fiction that enriches them.
Roseanne A. Brown draws on West African folklore for this first instalment of her series following our leads Malik and Karina, who have been pitted against one another in a fight to the death. Her world building is wonderful and is a must read for anyone wishing to expand their fantasy repertoire. Now comes the long wait for book number two.
The tv of choice recently has been David Suchet’s Poirot. With thirteen series, and at least four episodes a pop, there’s a wealth to choose from, and they’re a nice lengh and all standalone – no need to watch them all in one sitting, as it were.
My long time love affair with Agatha Christie (which began when mum handed over a batter copy of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd when I wasn’t even in my teens) continues ever thus!
I’m now waiting for Katherine Ryan’s The Duchess to drop on Netflix. Can’t wait. Oh, and I might have to watch Killing Eve, for Sandra Oh and the fas; hion if nothing else.
There was a weekend in August where the boy and I had an extensive Disney session. All the animated greats: The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Peter Pan and 101 Dalmatians. There’s nothing quite like a Disney film to lift the spirits.
Next up, Robin Hood and Basil the Great Mouse Detective, cos fab!
I am delighted to say that BTS have finally release something that I love. Dynamite, their first full English track, is everything I love in a song (which isn’t saying much, let’s be honest, the music tastes are broad). I’ve been bopping to it since it was released.
Another notable release was JYP and Sunmi’s collaboration When We Disco, which, if you’ve listened to JYP’s back catalogue or been exposed to older Korean music, is 80/90’s throwback gloriousness. And honestly, no one dances quite like JYP.
This won’t be for everyone, but no harm in checking it out!
I’ve not being paying huge attention to music in the UK recently, despite listening to Radio 1 in the mornings (Magic radio is more my jam these days) but I heard Out of Control by Gloria Tells recently, and it’s awesome.
I was watching a YouTube video (a renovation, because owning a home decorating dreams) and this song came on over some sped-up footage. Of the back of this one track alone I need to sit down and check out more of Gloria Tell’s musical offerings.
I now live in yoga gear – even on days I don’t do yoga, a number which slowly diminishes month on month. This being said, the wardrobe project continues (a post dedicated to that to come later) and I’ve a whole series of projects lined up from PJ’s to capes. Here are some mood boards of upcoming and potential projects for you:
Since the last post I’ve not changes much about my skincare. I now use Olay products (is that a sign of ageing?) which are luscious, and I’m still battling to find cleansers that match up to my Korean faves, but the Pixie x Caroline Hirons double cleanse number comes really close!
This is my first Pixi product, and I’m enjoying it enough to consider other products, if they come round on offer! The balm portion is very reminiscent of the Banilca co’s clean it zero (which is a massive plus point) and the price of this single matches the price of buying my two favourites separately, but the longer I use it, the less sold I am on the cleansing cream portion of the duo.
One of my favourite experiments of the last two months has been flatbreads from Shivi Ramoutar’s The Ice Kitchen, which is an awesome cookbook focused on cooking for the freezer. I was reading through her book (who doesn’t love reading through a recipe book) and decided I was going to tackle the falafel and the flatbread. The falafel was… not great (but I’ll be having another go now I have a food processor, thanks mum), but the flatbreads, once I got the hang of it, were a roaring success. They even worked with gluten free flour, but I only recommend this if you’re eating them straight away!
Another fab experiment was my match and white chocolate cookies. More on them in another post, coming… eventually!
I finally plucked up the courage to take a trip home in August and it was absolutely fantastic to get out of London for a week. The boy and I hired a car each way, as I’m still not keen on taking public transport, even if the carriages on the west coast line are mostly empty, and then enjoyed a week of gardening (in between showers), eating veg from said garden, much organising and chucking for me, and then liberating a few things to bring back to London. Oh, and some trivial pursuits was played, which is always hilarious as we’re still playing with an edition released in 1983. Just a bit dated…
Two things I’ve had a go at recently have been digital art and earring making (because, sure, I need another craft to add to my armoury!)
I take great joy from creating things, and invariably keep going until I have far more than I need. With this in mind, I’m planning on re-opening my etsy store with overflow makes and updated PDF’s from all my crafting, so you, too, can craft to your hearts content or pick up physical copies of some of the things I make, should you so desire! I’m currently working on updating my etsy and re-doing PDF templates where needed, and even adding a few new items. Keep your eyes peeled!
And so we go into September, a month that is already shaping up to be… well… not as fun as Steptember’s passed. We’ll see what it brings.
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