I realised my last ‘little joys’ post was written in mid May. So, I’m long overdue to have a big old catch up celebrating small wins and happy memories over the past 4 months.
Prepare yourself though, this is going to be super long, so grab a cuppa…
Let’s just say, A LOT has been happening… I’m not living that ‘slower paced life’ I once dreamed of and set as one of my goals in January 2023. I have so many things to do and achieve over the next six or so months. As well as, so many stories, books, films, music, nature and places that I’m inspired by to discuss.
My health has generally been up and down, so I try to busy myself to forget what is going on with my mind or body. Yesterday certainly didn’t help with it being ‘National Rainbow Baby Day’.
Anyway, below is going to be a bit of a waffle of all the joyful moments I’ve had over the past 4 months. Including wonderful things I’ve watched, listened to, read, or experienced.
Films I’ve loved…
I saw Oppenheimer when it was released, it was absolutely amazing. Cillian was incredible as always. Josh Hartnett made a cheeky appearance too. I adored Mr. Hartnett in my teens.
I also saw Barbie in the cinema with my lady friends and I hate to say… but, I didn’t really enjoy it. There were moments of laughter of course and I thought Ryan Gosling was amazing, however, I left the cinema on a bit of a downer. I didn’t want to have all these feelings and emotions afterwards… However, I did enjoy the story-line. It was powerful. The ending was a bit questionable though.
Also, we saw Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 when it was released, cried so much, but, epic film.
I also tried watching Yesterday a few weeks ago, but fell asleep… typical me. Will re-watch at some point. I have the most recent Elvis film collecting dust, hopefully going to sit down and watch it soon.
On Netflix, the film I have really enjoyed watching has been Happiness for Beginners. I did binge-watch the After films on Netflix, then on Prime. I also binge watched Harry Potter as they are my comfort films.
TV series and documentaries worth shouting about…
I’ve been watching a lot of series… Finished The Bear S1 on Disney+, it’s really good, we’re about to start S2.
Netflix things: Queen Charlotte (Bridgeton spin off) was incredible. I enjoyed watching Break Point S1 & S2 before Wimbledon. XO Kitty was an easy watch, I really loved it. Was disappointed with the second half of S3 of The Witcher. However, loved the first part. I started re-watching a bit of the Vampire Diaries as I never finished it! Cunk on Earth is hilarious! I started re-watching Schitt’s Creek, I’ve almost finished it, I love David and Moira, Joe seems to think I’m a mix of both of these characters. I started watching At Home With The Fury’s this week, I’m really enjoying it so far, only on episode 2 though. I found the Jake Paul documentary interesting as well… I started watching the Jeen-Yuhs A Kayne Triology… still working my way through.
History 101 is great, it’s a bit like ‘Explained’, if you like short documentary type things.
Selena Gomez’ mental health documentary on Apple TV was an eye-opener and I felt really emotional watching it. Stutz on Netflix is very good too… watched it ages ago, although, not impressed with the recent Jonah Hill controversy.
I have so much on ‘My Lists’ that I need to power through still.
Books/Audiobooks worth raving about…
I FINALLY finished listening to ‘The Myth of Normal’, it was really hard to listen to to begin with as it touches on very traumatic stories and experiences, but once it got to the later chapters, I powered through. At times, I was listening to it solidly for 6 hours a day.
It’s a really long audio-book to listen to. Over 30 hours, I think. Very interesting and very enlightening hearing about the authors life and his clients or patients stories. The connection to trauma and medical conditions is really interesting. Need to tackle some other mental health books and the books I’ve ordered over the past six or so months… Will talk about them in another blog post if you’re interested.
I have been really loving Boy Genuis, ‘the record’ album. Stormzy ‘This is What I mean’ is a great album too. ‘Watch the Throne’ JAY-Z & Kayne West album reminds me of Thailand 2012 and I tend to listen to this album to remind myself “I’m a badass”. Also, liking ‘Bloodshot’ off Enter Shikari’s new album. As well as Beartooth’s ‘Below’ album.
PVRIS songs are beautiful. As are Billie Eilish’s songs. ‘Harry’s House’ is just amazing, saw Harry Styles live a few months back. BEST gig EVER.
Also, went to Slamdunk at the end of May, enjoyed seeing a few bands including PVRIS and Billy Talent, however, we weren’t impressed with how long it took to get in and out of the car-park.
Tina Turner classics have been on the past few weeks too…
We have a few upcoming gigs… one tomorrow evening actually.
Experiences I’ve loved…
We went to one of my favourite boutique hotels in Summer, Artist Residence in Oxfordshire, which is dog friendly, so massive win in my eyes. I like to take Arch where-ever I can as he is my one and only furry child and my husband and I are sadly childless, not by choice. The weather was not so great when we went, however, it was a lovely relaxing break for us. The room was incredible as was the food. The staff were fantastic and attentive too. I wrote about it here if you’re interested.
We did also fly over to Madrid a few times this year, for health related reasons. I haven’t really spoken much about Madrid as it was not a ‘holiday’ in any shape or form, we were there for health procedures, however we had a few nice meals while over there. The second or third time we flew over, we stayed in the Finance District.
We went to this super fancy restaurant for one lunch meal, restaurant was called De Mario, however Joe wasn’t feeling great, he had heat-stroke. I had heat-stroke a few days before… insane weather conditions over there. Sadly, Joe was pretty much silent the entire meal, bless him. While I was enjoying the fancy treat after going through a health-procedure the day before.
Anyway, the food was beautiful, service was amazing and they kept giving us freebies and treats. We had to turn most of them down because I wasn’t drinking alcohol. I rarely drink these days anyway… Joe had one or two alcoholic drinks for free. But, he couldn’t stomach the limoncello or baileys after dinner.. I did enjoy the foodie bits that were free.
Other fave Madrid restaurants are Honest Greens (photo’s below) and Oslen (incredible sandwiches). We visited other foodie places on the other trips, but we wanted to go back to Honest Greens as the food is amazing, we ended up getting a take-away one evening at the hotel, then visited there for breakfast.
I did try a greek vegan wrap on one evening, as I was craving something salty. It was ok.
Also, Milka chocolate choices in Europe is *chefs kiss*. The strawberry cheesecake, oh my. Bought one of these at the airport for my parents for looking after Archie most days while we were away. In Bulgaria they had some wonderful flavours too.
Another experience we both really enjoyed was an overnight spa-break at Pendley Manor in Tring. We bought a package which included the room, 3 course dinner, breakfast and spa treatments.
The full body massage was out of this world. The therapist I had was so good and she was talking me through some tips as she was amazed at how problematic my body was, lol. I was so tight and tense, near enough everywhere on my body. Also, enjoyed the quirky room, the swimming pool, steam room and sauna, the little gym, the foods, walks around the grounds, the PEACOCKS exploring the gardens – I even fed one a bit of a brownie!! We’ve got another spa day booked at Sopwell House in Hertfordshire very soon as well.
The hot-tub is back out in our garden, I’ve been making lots of use of it. Really helps relax me and my muscles after long walks and exercise. And, helps with general pains with Endometriosis.
Joe and I had a date-day in Milton Keynes/Bletchley a few weekends ago. Went to Bletchley Park as Joe has been wanting to go for years… it’s super nerdy about ‘coding’ and the history behind it all. Popped into Pho for the first time for dins while out that way, was delicious. Spicy lemonade and veggie spring rolls were 10/10.
Had another date-day in my home-town, went to The Florist for a roast, browsed around town and adventured to the cinema in the eve to see Oppenheimer.
Attended a few weddings during the Summer months. One was a family wedding. Beautiful day.
Beauty and Fashion loves..
Footner exfoliating socks has to be one of my beauty favourites this Summer, it’s so gross when it starts working it’s magic, but the results are amazing, baby soft feet.
A special shout-out to the brand Bondi Sands, the face SPF 50+ is so good and it’s very well priced. I try to wear SPF every day, however, I do forget sometimes…
I’m loving a lot of hair-care brands such as Redken, Vegamour and Kerastase too.
I’ve had a few beauty treatments at a local salon, including a colourful manicure for free, which was a lovely surprise, as the therapist was training. I gave them half the amount of the manicure price as a tip as the therapist did a beautiful job on my nails.
I also had a few body treatments there as well, which included a dreamy ESPA facial. Really want the head massage done at some point, I need to get rid of so much stress and tension in my head.
I’m treating myself to a back massage this Friday at another local salon, very excited.
Fashion items I’ve been loving… So, I’ve been living in my ‘Pleasing’ purple hoodie and black jumper. Bought some Tatty Devine pieces in August… disco ball ear-rings and iridescent bubble ear-rings. LOVING Skims underwear and loungewear.
I haven’t bought anything clothing wise in about six weeks, trying to cut down spendings and also refusing to buy off ASOS, since I had to chase for 5 refunds this year. That was my go-to fashion website, so I am bit gutted… but, once I’m annoyed by a brand, I won’t buy off them again.
Anyway, also, an interior design item I’m loving is this beautiful sliver storage table that I purchased from Habitat recently. As well as finally purchasing a Dyson Cooling Fan – I’ve been trying to convince Joe to get one for about 3 years, no joke!
I know this doesn’t count as a ‘beauty or fashion product’, more of a health product. I am loving Lemme gummies, I’ve purchased a few a few months back, and just ordered one of her latest inventions, ‘lemme Burn’. Lemme is Kourtney Kardashian’s brand. The matcha gummies are one of my faves, super sweet but does wonders for your insides.
Other joyful moments…
I’ve been really on-top of my step count this August. On target to hit above 10k as an average for the month, if I keep pushing myself. Loving long walks either alone, with my neighbour and old work friend or with Joe and Arch. We’ve done some lovely local routes.
I tried ‘Reformer Pilates’ for the first time a little while back with my lovely neighbour Rach and loved the work-out and how I felt afterwards. It’s a bit more intense than regular pilates. Also, the instructor was incredible. Would like to go back there when I can.
Also, I’m enjoying slowly getting back into Yoga and going on the Exercise Bike for when I want to do a more intense workout. I need to start doing some ‘strength’ exercises again too. I like a variety of work-outs, keeps me entertained.
Most afternoons and evenings, you’ll find me sitting in my egg chair in the garden. One of the best purchases this year.
Foodie faves recently. So, I’m loving Hello Fresh meals occasionally, although there’s sadly not enough variety of veggie options on there.
I’m also on a bit of a truffle hype… well, I’ve loved truffle for years, however, haven’t had it in a little while, until recently.
THIS kebab’s (vegan) are sooo tasty, been having them a lot recently. I generally love all of the THIS products, the vegan sausages are 10/10.
Obsessed with vegan and veggie lasagnes recently. We can make a delicious one, however the Pasta Evangelists ones are also beautiful.
Enjoyed a few roast dinners at my local, always brilliant and super filling.
Random Tim Hortons visit in my home-town (didn’t realise we even had one), reminds me of Canada hols in 2014 and I want to go back there so bad!
Also, bit random, we got a vegetable/fruit wooden planter to eventually start growing vegetables and fruits… but needing to do some research first. Any tips would be massively helpful. I have been told to research growing particular fruits and vegetables for the seasons.
Joe’s mum came down for a few days a little while back, we explored lots of Hertfordshire villages, did so much walking and enjoyed lots of good foods at home, as well as at a few lovely pubs/restaurants I hadn’t been to before.
Other than food highlights, the ladies World Cup was great. Watched almost every match. I was of course rooting for England, but sadly they didn’t win the final, I thought they played amazingly through-out the tournament regardless of the final score. I was so gutted with the result and I thought the ref was so bias towards Spain allowing them to get away with so much. No.18 for Spain should of had a red.
I’m really looking forward to a fun-jam-packed Bank Holiday weekend.
Then, I’m preparing myself for some health IVF investigations, upcoming hospital and medical appointments over the next few months.
I try to balance my health complications and try to enjoy life to the fullest, as much as I possibly can. Sometimes, I over-do it and don’t rest enough, and when I don’t rest or have “me time”, it can make me super moody and emotional at times.
I saw this beautiful quote on Instagram the other day, and I’m going to share it. “You’re not “lazy”, you’re emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausted from spending your life operating in survival mode. And now your body, your mind and your soul are ready to rest and to heal. And that doesn’t make you lazy. It makes you a human being that is learning how to finally nurture and nourish your own needs.” That quote hit deep.
Anyway, this blog post has taken me more than half a day to write, sort photo’s and such. I don’t usually spend so much time “perfecting” a written piece. I’ll still most likely spot writing flaws over the next couple of days. I’m normally like, “write some thoughts, quick re-read and publish”. Then crack on with something else.
I also just wanted to share some lovely stand-out memories rather than focus on the lemons I’m dealing with.