This is such a cliché, but I can’t believe August is over already. This year is just flying by, isn’t it? It feels like I was celebrating New Year’s eve just yesterday, and now Summer is very nearly over. If time could slow down just a little bit, that’d be fab. In all seriousness, though, another month has passed so it’s time for a new monthly favourites post!
1. Tanya Burr’s triple chocolate cookies
Even though I’ve had Tanya Burr’s “Tanya Bakes” book lying around for quite a long time now, it wasn’t until the lovely Hannah from luxuryblush wrote this post about one of Tanya’s recipes that I desperately wanted to try it out. And it’s safe to say that me and my family are now obsessed. I think I’ve baked a batch of these at least once every week since the start of August, and they’re always gone within a few days. They are just so. good. I have to admit that I’ve yet to perfect the recipe – even after so many tries. It’s just something I don’t seem to be very good at. Don’t get me wrong, the taste is fine, but they never come out looking the way they’re supposed to (judging by the picture in “Tanya Bakes”). And I don’t think any batch has been exactly the same either. We’ve had batches where we ended up with 10 cookies, some where we had 8 and I think we had about 16 one time – all with the exact same amount of ingredients. I have no idea how that happened, but I’m just going to roll with it and probably continue making these cookies all throughout September as well. If you’re into baking – or chocolate – you need to try these cookies!
As mentioned in my New Year’s Resolutions update post, I started running on August 1st. I honestly didn’t expect too much of it, didn’t really think I would like it. I’ve started running multiple times over the past couple of years – or rather, tried starting. I could never stick to it because I absolutely hated it. And I wasn’t very good at it, either. This time around, though, I wanted to make sure that I’d stick to it. So I went in search of an app that would help me, and I stumbled upon this one. I was actually looking for the app Estée Lalonde is currently using, which she mentioned on her Twitter (I think) and Instagram stories, but I couldn’t find that one anywhere and decided to use 5K Runner instead. To my own surprise, I actually don’t hate it. It’s so nice to get up early, do some yoga (which I’ll take more about just a bit further on), go for a run, have breakfast, have a shower and get on with the rest of my day. I don’t know what it is, but it’s making me feel – emphasis on feel – so much more productive. I mean, you’ve basically just gotten out of bed and have already achieved something. How amazing is that? It’s also so nice to actually see the progress and notice that you’re doing better than the week before.
Together with running, I also started doing some yoga every single day. It started as a way for me to get warmed up for my run and cool down my muscles afterwards (Adriene does a few good yoga routines for runners), but thinking back to a conversation I had with one of my best friends only a few months ago, I remembered her saying that she got into yoga and it was really helping her tone her body and build up some muscle. Now obviously I don’t want to end up looking like a bodybuilder (that’s just not how I roll), but making my body look a little bit more lean and gaining some strength, how could I say no to that? On the mornings when I’m not running, I start the day with a quick morning yoga routine and it’s a really great way for me to wake up my body. It’s so good to have a bit of a stretch after being in bed for 8 hours or more, preparing your muscles for the day ahead. I also try to do an afternoon yoga routine on those days, although I have to admit I haven’t really been able to make that a habit yet. But I’m trying! And then I end each day with a slow-paced, relaxing evening routine. It’s a good way for me to slow down my brain and makes it easier to fall asleep.
I can’t believe I only discovered this nifty little app a month ago. It’s honesly such a game changer. Canva allows you to easily add text to pictures and I’ve been obsessively using it ever since I first discovered it. So many of the gorgeous photos you see on Pinterest are most likely created using Canva – and it’s such a dream to use! You don’t need any particular skills, no need to mess around in Photoshop or any other complicated editing software, just your picture and a bit of drag-and-drop. Actually, you don’t even need to use your own photo, because they’ve got a very wide selection of stock photos you can choose from. They also offer ‘premium’ pictures for $1 a piece. And, if you really want to, you can upgrade to Canva for Work for $12,95 per month and get access to even more pictures and a load of other cool features. But honestly, the free version does the job perfectly for me. It’s especially pushed me to start using Pinterest for my blog (I’d love it if you could follow me), and although I have no idea how to properly use it to direct some traffic to my blog, I am loving creating the lovely graphics for my blog posts! You can also use it to create Twitter or Facebook images – the possibilites are endless.
5. Game of Thrones
I’m not going to spoil anything in case any of you reading this still have some catching up to do, but o. my. god. This show just never disappoints, does it? Except for the fact that we have to apparently wait almost two years for the next season (I mean, what!?), but let’s talk about that another day. Season 7 started on July 16th and what a crazy seven weeks it’s been since then! So many unexpected things happened – the plot twists were never-ending. Some were wonderful, others… not so much. But that is exactly why I love Game of Thrones so much: you can never rely on a happy ending and your beloved character can lose a few battles just as quickly as your most hated villain. It’s heartbreaking and exhilarating at the same time; you never know what’s going to happen next. I loved how some older plotlines were kinda brought back and tied up rather nicely – proof that they hadn’t forgotten about certain characters just yet! I also loved how some characters finally got what they deserved (if you watched this season you’ll know exactly who I’m talking about). I just cannot believe that ending, though; it’s too much. But, like I said, no spoilers so you’ll have to watch it to find out what exactly happens.
I would also like to give an honorable mention to Taylor Swift’s new song, Look What You Made Me Do. I know she’s been getting a lot of backlash for it and a lot of people apparently hate it, but I think it’s super catchy and I can’t stop listening to it. The lyrics are on point and I actually kinda admire her for biting back. Both the video and the lyrics are also filled to the brim with very clever allusions, and even though I don’t really care about all of the drama surrounding/inspiring the song, I can’t not applaud her for that. I also love the bit at the end of the video where she’s basically mocking herself. Yas Taylor, get it girl!
So that’s my round up of everything I’ve been loving in August. What are some of the things you’ve been really enjoying the past month?