5 Things I’ve Been Loving Lately

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Monday, we meet again!  But hey, at least it’s not January anymore; now that the longest month of  the year is done and dusted, it feels like we’re that much closer to spring.  It’s the little things that tend to keep me going this time of year.  You know, something decent to binge watch away those dark nights, fresh recipes to try, colourful spring fashion, and a good ol’ routine that’ll help me keep on top of things – as well as slicing in a little time to do the things I really love. So without further ado, here are five things I’ve been loving lately… 🙂

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1. Snow

I honestly didn’t think we were going to see a sequel to last year’s Beast from the East, but last Thursday evening it started snowing in Cardiff and didn’t stop until 4am the following morning.  It was nowhere near as bad as last year and it was pretty much gone by the afternoon – but there was enough of the stuff to get Bungle excited.  He went absolutely mental when Sunny and I took him out for his walk in the field; it always makes me smile watching him roll around in it! 🙂

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2. Pyjama Shirts

As if I need anymore weird shirts.  Except I really, really do!  Even as I tip-toe further into my thirties, I’m still kind of figuring out my own personal style – but what I have figured out is that I’m a jeans and a nice top kinda girl through and through, and the nice tops I like to wear are shirts.  The weirder the better.  Recently I’ve added a few pyjama shirts to my collection for a bit of variety.  They’re so comfortable and I feel like you can easily dress them up or down.  Sunny bought me a beautiful celestial-printed Neon Rose one for Christmas, and I managed to pick up this green one from Toppers in the January sales.

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3. Outlander

Oh man, I feel like I’ve been totally spoiled for TV over the past few weeks.  My absolute favourite show right now is Outlander (bodice rippers, I just can’t get enough…).  I’m deep into Season 4 which is currently being drip-fed an episode a week via Amazon Prime, and I’ve really reached that point when you watch a series where you’re totally invested and adore every single character.  I LOVE IT.  Also on my weekly watch list right now is  the BBC adaptation of Les Miserables, as well as Cleaning Up on ITV.  I think Sheridan Smith is fab! 🙂

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4. Lunch

If you caught my New Year, New Habits post at the start of the year then you’ll know that I’ve been trying to add a few more easy, healthy recipes to my repertoire – especially for lunch.  I’m absolutely useless when it comes to carving out time to eat a proper meal at lunchtime – I’m definitely a grab and go kind of girl – but it’s something I’m trying to change.  I had a little rejig of my weekly routine at the start of the year and decided to make some extra time to make lunch for myself every day – whether that’s just egg on toast, or something a little fancier like this super easy Mango Chicken.  So far, so good!

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5. Yoga

Another new habit I wanted to set in stone this year was to start either yoga or pilates.  I was slow off the mark on this one, but last week – after seeing a few people talking about it on Social Media – I started Adriene’s 30 Day Dedicate Yoga Journey.  I’m not doing it every single day – bam, bam, bam – just whenever I can squeeze in forty minutes in the morning – I’m a total beginner after all.  Sure, I’d like to tone up a little, but that’s not the main reason I’m doing it – I already feel like having forty minutes of focus and relaxation on a daily basis will be really good for my mental health and general mood.  🙂

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What’s giving you a little boost to get you through to Spring? 🙂

August Favourites

Happy September! It’s safe to say to say that I can’t remember a soggier August. Honestly, I gave up on summer ever arriving halfway through the month, moved on and started getting excited for Autumn. Especially when I started seeing bobble hats in the shops. I’m always in a back to school mode at this time of year; even though my days in the classroom are well and truly over, I still get that fresh start feeling. It’s the perfect time of year for a shake-up! Anyway, here’s what I’ve been enjoying this August.

Food

I picked up these grapes in Tesco on a whim after being taken in by the packaging. “Candyfloss-flavoured grapes”. I was sceptical. I mean, come on! True or not, either way it’s a genius bit of marketing, so much so that I had to try them and find out. They’re the sweetest, nicest grapes I’ve ever had, and you know what? They kind of do taste like candy floss.  Also, I tried Baklava this month for the very first time and – oh lord – have I been missing out!

Also: These Bakewell Tarts

Cardiff

This month I didn’t do as much pottering around my hometown as I usually do because the weather was so crap.  But I did get a sneak peek of a swanky pad with beautiful views over Cardiff Bay, had a lovely meal out at the Custom House with Sunny and also surprised my lovely friend Missy with a trip to Cardiff’s first and only Cat Cafe; Feline Good.

Fashion

All my summery clothes have stayed in the cupboard this summer, and I didn’t really feel in the mood to add to them. Over the last couple of weeks though I’ve been getting excited about Autumn fashion and I picked up this lace, high neck top from Zara.

TV

Game of Thrones.  I already mentioned it in my July Favourites, but this season’s been the best season of Thrones BY. A. MILE.   After the Episode Six bombshell I was searching up theories like mad ready for whopping 80 minute finale and was still clawing the arm rests of my sofa as I watched. Also, in the last week of August I binge-watched Top of the Lake: China Girl.  Honestly, looking at it, it’s not really my sort of thing; I hadn’t seen season one and I wasn’t sure whether I’d stick it out (…the tinkering piano music in the background drove me mad by the end of episode one and it was all just a bit depressing) – but I love Gwendoline Christie and Elisabeth Moss and so I stuck with it and by episode three I was hooked.  Worth a look if you love dark, scandi-esque crime drama with tormented detectives.

Online

If you haven’t seen videos of Carl Bradbury pranking people on Facebook with song lyrics then you need to. He’s basically looked up people whose names are featured in songs and then messaged them via Facebook Chat and the results are hilarious. Sunny and I were in hysterics over breakfast one weekend watching both videos. Definitely check it out, but bear in mind that it’s a bit rude and probably NSFW.

What have you been enjoying this August? 🙂

July Favourites

I feel like this might as well be a November Favourites post because honestly? What a wash-out July has been!  I wore my wellies more this month than any other so far this year, have cwtched up on the sofa under blankets with candles burning, and have had some seriously miserable morning walks with Bungle.  I suppose we shouldn’t really be surprised, the good old British Summertime is has well and truly lived up to its reputation this year, and now that we’re into August, it doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of getting better.  So I’ve decided that I’m moving on to Autumn and have started to get well and truly stuck into browsing AW17 fashion – scarves, boots, coats – which I guarantee will spark a heatwave.  😉

FOOD

I ate some seriously great food in July, not limited to Aloo Parantha, Bubble Waffles and these Breaded Halloumi Sticks at Bill’s in Cardiff Bay.  Yum!

BOOKS

This month I picked up Kerry Egan’s ‘On Living’, which not only has the most beautiful cover but was a lovely read during those dismal July evenings (honestly, what the hell happened to summer?!).  On Living is a book about death.  Kerry Egan – for many years – worked as a Hospice Chaplain, working with patients who were close to or about to die.  The book is basically all the lessons, stories and truths Egan learned from her patients – lessons about “Dancing more, working less and other last thoughts”.  A beautiful book.

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Unfortunately I didn’t get around much this month because the weather’s been so rubbish!  But I’ve got a couple of favourite spots this month.  Number one involves some of the best Indian (and Vegetarian) Food I’ve eaten in a while – The Vegetarian Food Studio in Grangetown (watch out for my blog post on Monday), and number two is K9 Plus 1 in Barry – a cafe for dogs and their owners.


FASHION

The summer sales trump the January ones in my opinion; I always seem to pick up so many great bargains this time of year including these spotted, wide leg trousers from Marks and Spencer which were a total bargain at £5.50 (similar ones here).  I’m going to be wearing them all through Autumn and Winter with t shirts and jumpers.  Another fashion fave this month were these tassle earrings from H&M.  I’ve been after a pair for a while but didn’t want the same red and white ones everyone seems to be wearing.  I spotted these ones and fell in love – even if Sunny called them dodgy and said they looked like they belonged on the end of a curtain tie.

TV

“The North remembers…”  When I heard that the new Season of Game of Thrones had been pushed back until July, to say I was miffed is a bit of an understatement.  But day-am, so far it’s been worth the extra wait.  In our house we wait for Game of Thrones all year and then when it arrives we end up whinging that not enough happens quickly enough and the middle of season drags – but so far it’s been my favourite season yet.  🙂

Also, Poldark.  Always stunning to look at, but… this year it feels like every episode has just been a hour of simpering gazes and soft sighs (I’m looking at you Morwenna).  And now that  *SPOILER* Agatha’s gone, I’m a bit… meh about it all.

ONLINE

We bought my Mum an Amazon Echo Dot for her birthday because she’s gadget mad and constantly wondering what’s happening with the news/weather/traffic.  Anyway, it arrived and Sunny and I were so impressed with it when we set it up for her that when Amazon Prime Day swung around and we picked one up for ourselves.  You can do so much more with it than just check out the latest headlines and whether you’ll need an umbrella (It’s Wales, it’s July – the answer as it turns out is; is yes, yes you do).  You can tune into any Radio Station, check out Trump’s latest Tweet, get a random Blackadder Quote, and we’ve synced our Spotify with it so we can play our favourite music through it’s – pretty decent – speaker.  My favourite addition though has to be the game ‘Yes Sire’ – which you basically have to keep balance in your kingdom by answering simple yes or no questions which increase/decrease your wealth and power (it’s a bit Game of Thrones).  If either goes too high or too low then the King either has you exiled or executed.  Great fun while you’re cooking or doing the washing up 🙂

Hello August!  What have you been loving this July?  Obviously not the weather…  😉

June Favourites

June’s been a funny month. Between the build up to the General Election and then all the heartbreak that’s been in the news, we’ve had heatwaves and cold snaps, and whilst June always feels like that gateway month – the doorway into the summer (with final exams, graduations, cup finals and festivals) – is it just me or has June 2017 felt a little under the weather? That being said, it hasn’t been all bad – and here are my monthly favourites for June.

TV

If you haven’t been watching The Handmaid’s Tale then what the hell have you been doing all month? I read the book in my early twenties and was blown away by Atwood’s dystopian vision of an America where fertility is prized and women are categorised based on their use within Gilead society. Then the TV show came along last month and I was blown away all over again. I’m HOOKED. Elisabeth Moss was absolutely perfect as sarcastic Offred and that riot scene soundtracked with Blondie’s Heart of Glass was stunning.

Also: Orange is the New Black (I said I wasn’t going to binge it over a weekend like last year, but whaddya know? Look what happened! Again. It’s just too good.)

FOOD

How ’bout these salted caramel crepes from Bay 5 Coffee in Barry Island?

BOOKS

I picked up Amy Schumer’s Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo at the beginning of the month because I fancied reading something new but didn’t fancy fiction or anything too serious. I spotted the paperback at the supermarket and – on a whim – plonked it in the trolley alongside my 100% essential cinnamon bun (I’m going to turn into one any day now…) and sausage baked beans. Easy to read, hilarious and inspiring, I devoured it from cover to cover (…along with the cinnamon bun). 😉

CARDIFF

In June I was lucky enough to be invited along to the launch party for rewards app Memberoo (watch out for my blog post on it later this week) at Cardiff’s worst-kept secret bar The Dead Canary. I’ve been dying to go for ages and when I finally got my chance to track it’s unassuming front door and infamous doorbell down on Barrack Lane, it didn’t disappoint. Their new cocktail menu is packed full of drinks inspired by the Mabinogion; full of black knights, cauldrons and lakes of bathtubbin’ virgins. That particular night I was driving and since I didn’t fancy skidding back home on the link road I had to stick to the mocktails. I was prepared to spend the evening swigging a boring lemonade but my Blackbird turned out to be absolutely gorgeous (and not just because it came served in a coup with a feather clipped to the side). But if you’re after something stronger I’d definitely recommend the Black Knight, which comes with a generous dollop of sorbet and a sword.

FASHION

I was pretty well-behaved this month where my wardrobe is concerned – but I did pick up another patterned shirt in the H&M sale for a ‘can’t go wrong’ £7. It’s blue with polka dots and I haven’t taken it off yet. I’ve also been wearing this silver horn pendant that I dug out of the bottom of my jewellery box, which is a dead ringer for that gold Missoma one everyone seems to be wearing.

ONLINE

I’ve been rewatching Sex and the City (…again.  I think I’m up to round 50 now) and one night when I was googling Carrie’s pink Chanel blouse from the end of Season 4 (did I mention I like patterned blouses?) I came across @everyoutfitonsatc over on Instagram. Exactly what I needed on my feed to break up the endless stream of food and flatlays.

What have you been loving this June, and what are you looking forward to in July?