July has been one of those funny months where suddenly everything happens all at once without warning and it has left me feeling rather chaotic and unprepared for the rest of the year. Thus this love list contains just a few of the things that have helped transition me productively into August and also some favourites that have kept me chilled out and happy though out my eventful July.
I honestly do not know where I would be mentally without my mid-year planner. I was actively on the search for the perfect diary for the longest time, with none of the ones that I came across in the obvious shops (paper chase, WHSmiths, Waterstones) coming up to scratch with what I was looking for. I am such a visual person and naturally when I saw this pastel planner on the John Lewis website by Ban.do I had to have it. Not only is it one of the prettiest diaries I have ever owned (which makes me want to carry it round like an accessory and therefore use it much more than I generally would) but it also has the best lay out to help you visualise and plan your months. It is definitely on the more pricey end at £30.00 but it will see you through from August 2016 to December 2017 and it includes the cutest stickers, month dividers, notes pages and a pouch to store any documents (work rota’s, tickets etc.) so in my mind, and judging by how much I have already used it, it is totally worth it.
My second favourite of July has been reading, which sounds kind of vague so I am going to share my top two books of the month with you. For the past three years I have been studying for my degree and therefore have felt guilty for reading anything unrelated to the course, but having graduated this month I suddenly realised that I could actually read for pleasure again and as a result I have consumed a grand total of twelve books this month.
My favourite of the bunch has got to be Emma Cline’s ‘The Girls’. This book is an illuminating insight into cults, modelled on the criminal acts of Charles Manson. Clines work is bitterly twisted but also disturbingly relatable, a societal thriller from the perspective of femininity. It is one of those books that you just can’t put down and a must read. However the reason I went on to read ‘The Girls’ was due to discovering Robin Wasserman’s ‘Girls on Fire’. Again, Wasserman’s novel is a twisted thriller, however she tells the story of a destructive female friendship but again is so relatable yet so intense. I would recommend both of these books to any person interested in reading a thriller of femininity.
On a completely different note, the weather has been increasingly bipolar in England for the past month and has this (along with the stress) has taken a toll on my skin. I don’t mind admitting that I am terrible at sticking to a skin routine, I just can’t be bothered and I don’t have the time to spend hours rubbing a collection of creams into my face. I just want something easy and simple. I came across Neutrogena’s new pink grapefruit range of skincare this month and decided to give it a try, admittedly originally because grapefruit is one of my all time favourite scents, but after using the ‘daily scrub’ I was hooked. Not only are these products beautifully packaged, smelling like summer and pink but they also do the job and leave your skin feeling super clean and moisturised. The ‘oil-free moisturiser’ doesn’t leave your skin feeling sticky and when dry provides a smooth surface for applying makeup. I am so happy to have found products that actually work and will definitely be re-purchasing these.
Moving on to my favourite topic of food, I have been spending most of my days off brunching at Boston Tea Party. I am blessed to have two BTP’s where I live in Bath and they are such good cafes for breakfast, brunch or just coffee.
My go to order is the salmon and cream cheese bagel and a caramel latte. Everything tastes incredible, the cafe has such a good vibe and its relatively inexpensive. Plus everything is so instagramable. I am really looking forward to spending some afternoons doing work in there once I start university again.
Also on the topic of food, I have started trying to get a lot more fruit and veg into my diet. In the past I have been so put off by buying lots of fruit because of how expensive it seems in supermarkets. I have recently made the move to buying my groceries from our local market instead, which seems like an obvious change to make, but I just never did it before. Since buying from the market I have discovered how much fresher the produce is, plus it is honestly so much cheaper if you buy seasonal. Now, instead of snacking on toast or chocolate in the evenings, I make a huge fruit salad and it feels me up for way longer and gives me so much more energy whilst satisfying my sweet tooth. In addition, my skin has improved drastically. Obviously I still snack on unhealthy things every now and again but I have massively cut down my expenditure on these types of foods and I don’t think I will ever buy fruit and veg from a supermarket again.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about some of my favourites this month, I figured this would be a good introduction to my blog as I plan to continually post about lifestyle. I have attempted to link everything I have spoken about through out so let’s hope that has worked! I would really appreciate any support and/or feedback.