Wow, this feels weird. I haven’t sat down to write a blog post in months, but here I am – back at it. And I do have to admit that I really missed blogging. I love sitting behind my laptop and writing down my thoughts, trying to make them coherent so that anyone reading this can understand what I’m trying to say. I hope I’m succeeding, but if I’m not I apologise; it’s been quite a while and I need to get back into it. I think maybe it’s almost like riding a bike – you never really forget how to do it, but if your bike has been standing in your garage for years, untouched, it’s probably going to take a little bit of getting used to again. That’s what this feels like. I still know how to do it, but I’m going to need a bit of warming up.
As a comeback post I decided to share my July favourites with you (and, let’s be honest, May and June favourites, too), because I really want to start this new journey – if you hadn’t noticed, I kinda changed the name and the design – on a positive note, and at the same time I thought I’d let you guys know what I’ve been up to these past few months. So let’s get to it!
1. Behind Closed Doors – B.A. Paris
My boyfriend gave me this book for my birthday back in April (some of you may remember my birthday post), but I didn’t get to reading it until July because I was struggling through – and I mean really struggling – Umberto Eco’s “The Prague Cemetery” at the time. I was so surprised he got this for me, because even I had forgotten about the fact that I’d seen this book at a book fair last year and was super intrigued by it. But somehow he, the guy who forgets what he had for breakfast, remembered. And it was quite possibly the best gift he’s ever given me. I don’t think I’ve ever finished a book this quickly. I started reading it the moment I finished Eco and almost exactly 24 hours later I turned the last page. So trust me when I say this book is a pageturner – it’s not an understatement. I literally could not put this book down. I’m not going to say too much about it, because I’m planning on posting a book review in the near future, but oh my, this. book. It’s a thriller, which I’m not normally that into (although I did also love The Lie), but it had me hooked from the very beginning.
2. Love Island
I never in a million years expected to ever include a show like Love Island in a favourites post, but here we are. When I saw my entire timeline on Twitter go crazy about this dating reality show, I knew I needed to give it a watch just to see what all the fuss was about. I put on the first episode and I could tell from the moment it started that it was right up my alley. Hey, don’t judge me, we all have our guilty pleasures and reality tv shows is one of mine. I found the concept of it really interesting, because usually these types of programmes center around breaking people up – think Temptation Island kind of thing. But this time, the idea of it is that people join the villa (in flippin’ Mallorca) in order to find love. Now don’t get me wrong, there is still a lot of drama and the show makers do really test the couples, but that’s of course what makes it so juicy and addictive. Both my boyfriend and I were absolutely hooked and the first thing we did every single morning was catch up on the episode that had aired the night before (since we’re not in the U.K. we couldn’t watch it live). My favourite person in the villa was by far Camilla Thurlow; she is just such a sweetheart and I just wanted to wrap her up in a blanket and protect her from the world (although as someone who works in the field of Explosive Ordnance Disposal I doubt she needs any protection at all). I was a bit disappointed her and Jamie didn’t win, but I guess it was to be expected that Kem and Amber would take the crown. There is a certain emptiness in my life now that the show has ended, but apparently there is going to be some sort of reunion programme in Autmn and I’m so looking forward to that. I also can’t wait for next year’s Love Island!
This cute little independent coffee shop has taken my life by storm. To celebrate our ‘monthiversary’ (yes, we’re one of those couples) my boyfriend and I wanted to go out for breakfast and in our search for the perfect place, we stumbled upon this gem. We had the most amazing American pancakes and I just knew this would become one of my favourite spots in my hometown. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen the stories and the posts of me enjoying different types of foods and drinks there – I honestly think I’ve been there at least once a week ever since we had our celebratory breakfast date. In fact, we’re going to celebrate our next ‘monthiversary’ at Foom this weekend with a High Tipsy (which is basically just a High Tea with alcoholic beverages). It’s just so cosy, the food is delicious, the drinks are amazing and I just love spending some time there. It also helps that the interior is absolutely to die for as well (think lots of wood, tropical patterns and a flamingo or two). I just read on their website that they’re going on their annual holiday soon and I already know I’m going to have withdrawals.
Now, this tv show is actually quite old – I think it first aired in 2011. I watched all four seasons a few years ago (I think probably somewhere around 2014-2015), and I loved it. So much so that I recommended it to my parents, persuaded them to buy the first season on DVD and sat down and watched it with them. I believe that was right around the time the fourth season was still airing and somehow we just didn’t finish the first season even though my parents were as hooked as I was. This Summer, however, it got brought up again and this time around we included my boyfriend in all the fun. We started watching it from the very beginning again, and I’m pretty sure we’ve watched at least an episode a day. There was even one Sunday where we just didn’t do anything else but watch Revenge episodes together. I guess it’s safe to say we’re all pretty addicted to it. I mean, I’ve seen the show, I know about some major plot points, but rewatching it has made me fall in love with it all over again. And it makes me happy that the people who play such huge parts in my life are now watching it with me and loving it just as much – if not more.
5. Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water
I never really had a decent skincare routine, but becoming part of the blogging world and following some bloggers who focus on beauty and skincare made me realise that I really wanted to start one. Not to become part of any sort of hype, but because I now see that taking care of your skin is just as important as taking care of your body or your mental health. I’m still just treading the water, taking babysteps, but I’ve started my skincare journey and I’m excited to expand on my routine, try new things and find out what really works for and benefits my skin. And one of those products is the (in)famous Micellar Cleansing Water. When I first made the decision to learn more about skincare and kind of curate my very own routine (in May), I took to Twitter and asked the lovely Rachael from PaleGirlRambling for some advice, and she suggested cleansing and moisturising for a basic beginner’s skincare routine as those are probably the most important steps in any skincare routine. And that is exactly why I picked this product up. It is very hyped, I saw it all over the Internet, and I just felt like I needed to give it a go. Let me tell you, I was not disappointed. My skin has been super clear ever since I started using this, and it’s so easy. I just squirt (well that sounds weird) some of it on a cotton pad and gently swipe it over the different areas of my face. Done. As I was doing my research I did come across a post that said it’s probably best to rinse it off with water (it’s been a long time so I don’t remember the exact post, sorry!) because that person felt like it left some sort of film on her face, but I don’t do that. Mostly because I’m lazy, but also because I haven’t really felt the need to. And as I said, I’ve been using this twice a day (almost) every day for a few months now and my skin has never been more clear.
6. Kruidvat Hydro Day Cream
The next step in my (very short) skincare routine is moisturising and that’s where this hydrating day cream comes into play. Since it’s a day cream, I do only use it in the morning so I should probably look for either a night cream in addition or a replacement that I can use both in the morning and in the evening before I go to bed, but for now I’m just sticking to this as it seems to be doing its job just fine. It’s also not a real and true moisturiser I guess, but it has hydrating properties and promises to hydrate the skin throughout the day. I don’t know, I guess this post is making it very clear that I’m just a beginner and I don’t really know what I’m doing. I’m just trying things out and seeing what works for me. It might not be what I’m ‘supposed’ to do, or what other people do, but it’s my routine and it works, so I’m sticking to it for now. It does have a bit of a scent to it which I would’ve prefered it not to have, BUT it’s not too overpowering and it actually kind of adds to its refreshing qualities. Using this every morning has helped me feel more awake and ready for the day. It also contains UVA and UVB filters, which means it protects the skin from the sun – added bonus!
7. Garnier Skin Naturals BB Light
A few months ago (I’m seeing a trend here…) I was also made aware of the fact that we need to protect our skin from the sun throughout the entire year, and not just during Summer when it’s something obvious and something everybody does almost automatically. That’s when I decided I would start using some form of SPF whenever I need to leave the house. Preferably I would’ve bought an actual (scentless) sun cream, but the one product that seemed perfect was just way over budget and I was no way going to spend that much money for a tiny amount. And then I stumbled upon this BB Cream. It’s affordable, it evens out the skin and it contains SPF. What more could you really want? I wasn’t necessarily looking for a product that would hide blemishes, but since the price for this was so much better I decided to just go for it. Granted, it doesn’t work like a full coverage foundation (but honestly, who am I to talk? I have no idea about any of this stuff), but I don’t really need that so it doesn’t bother me at all. It is a little bit pigmented, so I don’t think I’d use this in Winter because I wouldn’t be tan at all and I think it would look weird, but for now it’s doing what I want it to do without being all in-your-face-I’m-obviously-wearing-makeup, which is perfect for me because I don’t like an overly obvious makeup look. I prefer to be as natural as possible, probably because I’ve never really used makeup and being natural is what I’m used to. In any case, this product does what I want it to do and I’ve been actually using it whenever I need to go out as it’s something that incorporates into your daily routine really easily since it’s completely hassle-free to apply (read: no need for makeup brushes).
8. The Body Shop White Musk Deodorant
I’m making a lot of changes in the types of products I’m using lately, and one of the changes I wanted to make was switching from a spray bottle deodorant (which isn’t really good for the environment) to a roll-on one. I was searching the Internet specifically for an “environmentally friendly deodorant” (those were the exact words I typed into Google) and, obviously, The Body Shop came up. Since we have a Body Shop locally it was a no-brainer and I went there asap. I was a bit disappointed by the fact that they only had the one scent for women – White Musk – while there were a few options for men and I wasn’t too keen on the scent at all. But since it was, literally, my only option I bought it anyway and I have to admit that the scent has grown on me. I actually love it now, and so does my boyfriend (who was in the shop with me and was as sceptical as I was). It is quite expensive, which is why I hope it lasts me a long time. I normally wouldn’t have bought something within this price range, but I was really committed to making that positive change. And, to be fair, yeah it’s expensive, but it also lasts all day. I haven’t felt the need to ‘top up’ even once and I think that’s just absolutely fabulous.
So there you have it, all the bits and bobs I’ve been loving lately! I love how this turned into a super rambly post, and I commend you for making it all the way to the end. I do want to apologise for the lack of pictures, but since the last couple of days have been quite rainy and dull I couldn’t get the lighting to work and, if I’m completely honest, I hated the way the pictures turned out. That’s why I decided not to include any – I was too embarassed to share them with you. I am bringing out a favourites video on my YouTube channel on Monday, though, so if you want to have a peek at everything I mentioned here why don’t you head on over and subscribe, so you won’t miss it when it goes live. As always, thank you for reading and I’ll see you next Friday with a brand new post. I’m back in the game, baby!