More Adventures & Less Apologies

La libertà è come l’aria: ci si accorge di quanto vale quando comincia a mancare. “

Piero Calamandrei, Jurist and protagonist of La Resistenza

British people apologise too much. I know this to be true and not just a stereotype because, even today, my inclination was to begin this blog post by apologising for my lack of writing over the past couple of weeks. However, not only does my not posting rarely affect anyone other than myself, but it is natural and a wise thing to take a break sometimes, to recalibrate, regroup and get reinspired.

My reason for missing a couple of blog posts was due to a busy schedule and some rather impomptu trips away. After the past eighteen months spent mainly at home with plenty of time to write, read and workout (aka the activities that centre me), I am still – like most people – attempting to figure out how to bring balance into my busier schedule as society opens up and we are afforded the possibility to travel once again.

Just over a two weeks ago, a friend of mine whose Italian wedding I was hoping to attend gave me a call to let me know that the restrictions for entry into Italy would be changing for those who were fully vaccinated like myself. No longer would we have to quarantine for five days! I would be able to attend his wedding in Venice if I was willing to book a flight at less than a week’s notice and get the time off work approved.

“Will you come?” he asked. “Of course, I’ll come!” I said. Okay, second question: “Will you be our celebrant and perform the ceremony?” he asked… “UM YES!” I responded, whilst simultaneously Googling the duties of a civil celebrant online. A civil service, as my friends would be having (before signing the marriage license the next day), can be performed by any person, without the need to authorise the wedding. Basically, I would be Joey Tribbiani, marrying off Monica and Chandler in FRIENDS, without the “giving and taking, sharing and receiving” and in Venice, of course.

A few hours later, I had booked my flights, hotel, multiple COVID-19 tests (my bank account hates me right now) and received the speech I would be performing at the ceremony. What was supposed to be a Saturday night in watching the new Gossip Girl reboot turned into something else entirely.

Fast forward a couple of days and there I was on a blazing Italian end of summer’s day, just an hour outside of Venice, performing the ceremony of some dear friends. Standing in front of a sea of Italian and English guests whom I didn’t know and this lovely couple, the nerves I had been feeling all morning vanished. Watching my friends declare what they mean to each other and seeing how happy they were to have found each other is something I will cherish for the rest of my life. The fact I literally got to play the role of a priestess by pronouncing them, “Husband and Wife” was the icing on the cake, quite frankly.

Following my stellar performance, I actually received multiple offers to perform future weddings ceremonies. Whether you attribute this to an over-consumption of Aperol Spritz or not, it’s official, I’m available for wedding hire… Abroad weddings preferred, but not essential!

It’s funny because I knew no one at the beginning of my weekend in Venice and by the end of it, I hadn’t spent a moment alone. I made friends at the wedding that I would end up spending the rest of the weekend with; walking through Venice, eating pizza, pasta and drinking Aperol Spritz. I couldn’t even shake off my new bestie at the airport as we were boarding planes just 30 minutes apart. Soulmates, much? Many of these new friends live close to me, we have a lot in common, mutual friends in the bride and groom, and yet our paths had never crossed before.

It made me realise how vital it is to get out there and live our lives again, book spontaneous flights you weren’t expecting to book, make bold choices, and make new friends. You can honestly never have enough good people in your life! Life is never truly fixed or settled, and it can all change in a couple of hours if you want it to. Sometimes, even if you don’t! I promise, you won’t realise what you are missing out on until you fly away, disrupt your routine and miss a blog post or two. If I am completely honest, that apology I was going to dish out at the beginning was entirely for myself. Consider it accepted, self.  

Pick The Day

Pick the day. Enjoy it – to the hilt. The day as it comes. People as they come… The past, I think, has helped me appreciate the present – and I don’t want to spoil any of it by fretting about the future.

Audrey Hepburn

We all have times where we feel rather stressed or overwhelmed. I have definitely felt that way this week. It is partly down to an increasingly busy calendar, a bleak state of world affairs and a lack of personal relaxation. In times like these, I find it helpful to remind myself of ways to “pick the day” – in the words of Audrey – rather than having the day pick me.

Image via wehadfacesthen.tumblr.com
  1. Scheduling “Me Time” – For many people, making a plan or commitment to themselves is a tricky promise to keep. If you don’t feel that same sense of obligation to yourself as you do when making plans with others, physically schedule a date with yourself by putting it into your calendar. You’ll be far less likely to cancel if it is scheduled. Then, plan what you are going to use your date for: reading your favourite novel, a trip to the cinema or unwinding with a face mask and a coffee. Everyone has a thing!
  2. 5-10 Minute Workouts – I find that a quick burst of an energy-releasing activity really helps me to refocus and re-centre during busy work days. Take yourself away from your desk, grab your headphones and get outside if you can. I promise it’ll bring you the energy you need to tackle the post-lunch slump with aplomb.
  3. Writing It Down – I find it extremely helpful to write my stressors down on paper in the form of a ‘To-Do List’. Divide your paper into three columns with the headings: ‘personal’, ‘work’, and ‘side-hustle’. In each column list the things you are worried about. Seeing exactly what it is worrying you written down in list form makes it easier to prioritise your most vital tasks. Once you have prioritised them, you can assign pockets of time to each item to ensure you do not procrastinate. Mission #getthingsdone.
  4. Taking a Social Media Break – I am a real advocate of taking a social media detox when you want to increase your productivity or protect your mental health. There are so many different ways to do this; you can turn off notifications for those apps you just can’t seem to keep away from, or even put your phone in another room while focusing on a task. However, if you still want to stay connected but fancy wasting less time on your phone, setting time limits on social apps is an iPhone feature I absolutely swear by. Your phone will alert you when you have run out of time on Instagram, for example, and you won’t be allowed to scroll anymore. A game-changer!
  5. Chatting It Out – I always find I feel much better after a quick confab about anything that is bothering me, even if my first instinct is to keep it all inside. Whether it is a call with a parent, a drink with a mate or Whatsapping your sister, you will most likely feel renewed or, at a minimum, gain a little perspective from sharing your woes.
Image via Cosmopolitan

Perhaps these ideas will help you head into the week with a newfound sense of purpose, lightness and appreciation that comes from feeling in control of your mind, thoughts, emotions. Signing off for some much-needed R&R and my full eight hours. Audrey would be proud!

Every. Damn. Month

I was hoping to be struck by a lightning bolt of inspiration this weekend in order to write about something motivational for this week’s post. However, the reality is I’ve been lying horizontal for the majority of the past 48 hours trying not to be sick. I didn’t really want to write about it because firstly, it’s not a very sexy subject and secondly, I try to be as positive as I can in my writing. That being said, women’s issues just aren’t written about enough. What’s more, women often don’t feel as comfortable discussing struggles about menstruation as they might other health issues. So, here I am, writing about something I kind of wish I didn’t have to.

Personally, I still find it uncomfortable to explain why I can’t go out some weekends, why I don’t drink at certain times of the month or why I feel so low. When colleagues ask me how my weekend was on the Monday morning team meeting, I’ll bring up that great Netflix show I’m watching, whilst cramping in agony as waves of pain and nausea rise up from the depths of my uterus and abdomen. It just doesn’t seem ‘professional’ to share what I go through every few weeks with my colleagues, even if others share every detail of their common cold or tummy bug on Zoom.

It wasn’t always this way for me, and I can say with confidence that I have not experienced the worst version of this pain. I have seen my poor sister be sick outside my university halls and listened to her rank the best tube station toilets in London, all because the nausea could not be held down long enough for her to complete her commute. The truth is, most women I know have similar stories and often, the pain and discomfort doesn’t just last those three to four days you might expect.

Along with the pain, nausea and sickness that make up the worst part of my cycle, there is also the exhaustion, cravings and PMS leading up to the big event, which is enough to make anyone feel utterly crazy. All of this, compounded by a world that simply does not ‘get it’ or truly acknowledge the pain women live with… It sucks.

Image via popsugar.com

Years ago, I had a friend who referred to her period as: ‘Aunt Penny’. I found the name endearing and adopted it too. However, it is just another way that we – as women – bend over backwards to disguise and make what we feel at this time of the month palatable for the patriarchal society we exist in. One that historically does not acknowledge the burden of our monthly struggles. Lest we forget that until this year, we still had a tampon tax here in the U.K!

Similarly, it is no coincidence that it has taken until now for a male contraceptive pill to finally be close to becoming available. From 1960 – when the first women’s contraceptive pill was introduced – the emphasis and onus has overwhelmingly been on women to avoid pregnancy. I could almost understand it, if it were not for the fact that a man can impregnate a women every single time they have sex, whereas there are, in fact, only a couple of days a month in which a woman could become pregnant… The maths doesn’t add up and the progress has taken too long. Have I mentioned we’re exhausted?

In recent years though, I can say I have noticed far more openness with the men in my life being willing to discuss these issues and less likely to shy away from them. It’s a step in the right direction, and one that I hope will lead women to feel more comfortable with sharing the weight of their painful experiences.

But it’s not just men who have a responsibility to do more; I am aware of mine too. I will try not to use the euphemisms as much as I used to or downplay my experiences going forward. And I hope that with with today’s post I can give a voice to my struggles too. After all, the word period is not a dirty word and I should not feel awkward to write it down in black and white. I should feel empowered. You should too. It’s a lot to go through. Every. Damn. Month.

A Look Back At July

“How terrible a thing time is”

Richard Burton

Well, despite a brief window of 30-degree weather for about a week, July definitely did not provide us with the weather we were quite hoping for. But hey, we make do! For me, this past month has consisted of a few more nights in, lovely dinners out trying new restaurants, and a focus on self-care.

So, if you would like some ideas to keep you busy, happy, and channeling summer (even if it is only in your mind), just keep reading. I hope this week’s post can bring you that spring in your step on those days where it seems a little harder to find.

  1. Neon Nails – With nail salons being closed until recently, I have thrown myself into taking care of my nails myself. Whenever people ask me what nail polish brands I like best, I always rave about Barry M because I have found those polishes to last the longest, chip the least and cause minimal damage to my nails. I recently purchased the Hi Vis Neon Matte Nail Paint in ‘Pink Electro’ and it is the perfect shade for summer. I have had so many people ask me where I got my nails done! £3.99 for a summer mani doesn’t seem too bad, right?
  2. The Play That Goes WrongWith the reopening of theatres in London, I grabbed some friends and took to the West End one Sunday for an afternoon of belly-laughs. This show is a brilliant, meta farce, which – like the name suggests – follows the cast of a whodunnit play which goes spectacularly wrong during a live performance. If you are interested in supporting the arts and nabbing some tickets for this wonderful show, click here.
  3. Sob Rock – July brought the release of John Mayer’s much anticipated eighth studio album: Sob Rock, and I was definitely not disapppointed. It is the perfect chilled album to – yes, you guessed it – sob to, or simply enjoy on a cool summer evening. My favourite tracks on the album so far are: Last Train Home, Shot In the Dark and Til The Right One Comes. On certain tracks like: All I Want Is to be With You, I get major Bruce Springsteen I’m On Fire vibes. Yeah, I’m truly in love. Click here to stream on Spotify now!
  4. Refy Beauty – You may have heard of Refy Beauty recently as this brand has been doing the rounds on social media thanks to its growing fanbase. I became aware of the brow products through my sister (if you are not aready following her on Instagram and TikTok, you should: @carolinagmx), who has been using the Refy Brow Sculpt. The brow products are really impressive in helping you to achieve fluffy, full and long-lasting brows. I purchased the Refy Brow Pomade, which I love for filling in my brows. I am definitely going to buy the Brow Sculpt next! Call me a convert from Glossier’s Boy Brow.
  5. Reclaiming Amy – Amy Winehouse is a legend and one of my all-time favourite musicians, so when my father told me there was a new documentary coming out about her life, I was keen to check it out. This BBC Two documentary marks the ten year anniversary of Amy’s death and, unlike the 2015 film, Amy, was made with the consent and collaboration of her parents and closest friends to ‘reclaim’ the story of Amy’s life they felt was unfairly portrayed in that film. Regardless of which story you believe, if you are a fan, you will love to see the mesmerising Amy Winehouse on your screen again. Click here to watch now!
  6. Daphne’s – As we now have the freedom to dine out at restaurants again, I’ve been crafting a hitlist of places in London that I want to visit. One of the places on that list was Daphne’s in South Kensington, a sister restaurant to Knightsbridge’s Harry’s Dolce Vita. Last night, I went there for a much overdue catch up with a friend of mine, and it was truly a gorgeous dining experience. It is an authentic Italian restaurant offering seasonal, Italian country cooking and elegant decor. It was founded by theatre agent Daphne Rye in 1964, who famously discovered film icon Richard Burton. I would recommend the lobster spaghetti and the Queen of Aces cocktail… Treat yourself!
  7. Sex/LifeWhether you have watched this Netflix original series yet or not, you will have most likely heard of it! Sex/Life follows the life of Billie, a married mother of two, who becomes obsessed with reminiscing about her wild days of risqué sex with her dreamboat Aussie ex-boyfriend. Although, it is not the most deep or complex story of recent times, it does address some interesting themes that are quite often not talked about. Namely, what if the ‘happily ever after’ isn’t actually that happy? What if it leaves you feeling a bit empty, misplaced and craving the person that you used to be? Click here to watch the first episode now!
  8. Margot Robbie’s Vogue Feature– Margot Robbie was the cover of British Vogue last month, and her stunning photo spread and accompanying interview were the perfect motivation for me. She spoke a lot about how if she wants something (a role or even to be viewed differently in the industry), she makes it happen for herself. She does this by writing letters to people she wants to work with, producing films with her production company LuckyChap to make sure women are being represented truthfully and, ultimately, by making strategic choices. So many people think of Margot and immediately think of beauty, but she is miles beyond just beauty. Click here to read the interview and see for yourself!

I hope you enjoyed my look back at July, and let me know if you try, do, watch, read or listen to any of my favourite things above. Here’s to the month of August; I am manifesting a whole lot of sun, a potential trip away, and positive vibes only! Pinch, punch, first of the month!

None of the items, shows, or products featured were gifted by the brands mentioned and I was not sponsored for this post. All opinions are my own.

My Summer Bucket List

“‘Cause a little bit of summer’s what the whole year’s all about…”

Wildfire, John Mayer

With the amazing weather we experienced this week now a distant memory, I have decided to preserve Summer the only way I can… in my mind. After all, Summer is more of a state of mind than it is a tangible season, at least here in the U.K.

So, until I’m able to get on a plane and fly away safely, I will be doing my best to bring a little bit of Summer into my life through a range of fun activities and good vibes only. Consequently, I’ve crafted a little bucket list for this Summer. I hope it brings you some ideas for how to manifest the Mykonos vibes, without the need for a PCR test. Aperol Spritz optional, but highly recommended.

  1. Brunches, lunches and dinners outside – I know many of us have graduated to indoor dining now that restrictions have lifted, but I am still of the opinion that outdoor dining is the elite way to eat. Not only does it feel like you are in Spain when you are in fact, in Soho, but it is probably a bit safer right now. Of course, this one might require a bit of cooperation from the weather gods above.
  2. Sunset walks – If you were anything like me in the depths of lockdown, you may have passionately iterated that you never wanted to go on another aimless walk again. Yeah, I certainly made that statement a few times, and I would like to scratch it from the record please. There is something about walks on those long, pink-skied Summer evenings that makes you feel like you are starring in your own rom-com. In terms of where to go, Notting Hill is my favourite place to wander. It’s “surreal, but nice…”
  3. Try Rock Climbing – I have been wanting to try rock climbing for a while now and I feel Summer is the perfect time to tick it off the list. I am hoping to try this soon with a friend of mine who has done it a few times and can show me the ropes. Pun intended.
  4. Clubbing – Need I say more…
  5. Reading in a park in the sun – Is there honestly anything better than a good book and a spot of sunbathing? If you’re still struggling with Hayfever like myself, I would strongly advise you take a Cetirizine before you go. Close your eyes, let the sun soak into your skin and you could be anywhere. Just don’t fall asleep there!
  6. Tennis with friends – A friend of mine recently suggested we play tennis as a fun mid-week activity and booked some courts in her local park. It was such a great night and made me realise how much I miss actually playing sports. So many of us work out at home or at the gym, but I seriously think there is something to be said for bringing back the sports we loved when we were kids.
  7. Cook a Summery meal – Admittedly, I would not generally put cooking on my list of hobbies, however I am trying to get more into it. When something feels like a bit of a chore, a great way to trick your brain into liking it more is by setting yourself a challenge. I want to try to create an original Summer meal that is not only easy to make, but delicious. I’ll let you know how it goes!
  8. Get into Love Island – This year has certainly been a slow burn compared to previous seasons of Love Island but, finally the show has started to heat up. Casa Amor is happening tomorrow and I am ready for the chaos.
  9. Picnic – This one might put you at the mercy of the Weather Channel again, so I would suggest a spontaneous picnic. On a warm day send a message to your friends, grab a blanket and head to Sainsburys to stock up on tinnies and strawberries. A low maintenance and generally cheap afternoon of fun is guaranteed.
  10. Karaoke night – For my birthday a few months ago, I did a karaoke night with the girls and it was the most fun I have had in a while. With private rooms so that you don’t need to worry about embarrassing yourself in front of an audience of strangers, Lucky Voice is the place to be! The waiters can even bring pizza to your room if you get hungry from belting out bangers. As for song suggestions? Anything Britney or Taylor Swift always goes down a treat in my friendship group.

I hope this list has brightened up your rainy evening and given you a few ideas for how to make the most of this Summer. If you try any of the things on the list, please leave me a comment and let me know. Summer loading…

We Have A Problem.

So… a lot has happened in the space of a week. It didn’t come home, but the England squad put in a performance for the ages. We were devastated but oh so proud! At least, the real fans were. The fake ones went to Twitter and Instagram to take out their anger on Sancho, Rashford and Saka in a slew of disgusting racist tweets and comments, showing once again the repellent nature that is not only prevalent in football, but throughout our society.

Listen, we all know that racism exists, however, in the U.K. there is this prevailing rhetoric that “things aren’t as bad over here as they are in the U.S.” Clearly, they are, of course. The main difference I would say is guns, and the fact that it is just more convenient to turn a blind eye to it all and pretend that racism is not a problem over here. It reminds me of a quotation from YOU on Netflix, “People believe whatever supports their world view. ” Those who do not believe there is a problem, will never find one. Those who are curious and committed to do better, will.

Image via England on Twitter

What has angered me the most perhaps about this situation though is the passive attitude of social media companies who do not do anything to limit hate speech and racism on their platforms. Not only have these footballers had to deal with processing their personal and professional disappointment (not to mention that of an entire nation), but they have been subject to the vilest insults online. It is simply unforgivable.

As stories began to emerge about just how bad the online abuse was getting, I, and friends of mine, went to the players’ Instagram profiles to find and report any hate we encountered. However, for every single comment I reported I was met with the same response: “our technology has found that this comment probably does not go against our Community Guidelines.” What is the point in having a ‘Report Comment’ function if Instagram refuses to delete or block racist comments?

Now, I understand that technological mistakes happen. What I cannot understand however, is how Instagram has the technology to flag posts containing information related to Covid-19, but is not able to do the same for racism and hate speech? It is a question of priorities and unfortunately, social media companies are notoriously subject to social pressure when it comes to moral matters.

Finally, a few days ago, after constant pressure from the public, Instagram boss Adam Mosseri made a statement admitting to a “moderation mistake over racist comments”, which has supposedly now been fixed1. Nevertheless, just a quick scroll down through the comment sections of Sancho, Saka or Rashford’s Instagram posts will show you that racist comments and emojis are still very much alive and well.

One year on from George Floyd’s death and the Black Lives Matter protests that swept the globe, one would think that social media companies had sorted out their moderation practises for racist abuse online… It is not only disappointing that they haven’t, but ultimately, dangerous. We have seen rising issues of mental health in the past 18 months due to the pandemic, which is disproportionately worse for people of colour due to existing inequalities in housing, finance and employment2. Let’s not forget that it is not only the footballers who see the comments left on their pages, but also the boys and girls who look up to them.

What is worse than individual acts of racism and discrimination are the organisations, institutions and people in power who not only let individuals get away with it, but favour white rhetoric online. It may not always be obvious, but by not removing racist comments, that is what Instagram is doing. Since the majority of our interaction happens online nowadays, we need to have confidence that social media companies will protect those most vulnerable by blocking hate and taking an actively anti-racist stance. Instagram, do better!

Further Reading:

  1. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-57848106
  2. https://www.rota.org.uk/content/covid-19-mental-illness-and-race-why-are-ethnic-minorities-more-risk

What Comes Next

Believe it or not, we are now closer to 2022 than 2020 at this point in the year… I know. And I would totally put the inspiring, terrible and strange events of the past couple of weeks down to some kind of astrological reasoning… ‘Cancer Rising’ or ‘Mercury in Retrograde’… isn’t that what the Astrologers blame it on when everything starts to go crazy? Unfortunately, I think it’s just humans being humans, and there’s always a hamartia when it comes to us.

From Britney being denied removal of her conservatorship, to Bill Cosby being released from prison and Matt Hancock’s illicit affair whilst flouting social distancing rules, it’s been a messy few weeks. It’s not all bad though; England is in the Euros final against Italy and will play tonight in the hopes of bringing football home. This inspiring event has even caused iconic 00’s girl band Atomic Kitten to reunite and officially release ‘Southgate You’re The One (Football’s Coming Home Again)’. Twelve year old me is screaming…

Denmark v England Semi Final – Image via Gabriela Godinho-Moxon

With society only eight days away from fully reopening here in the U.K. when all Covid-19 restrictions will be lifted, I wonder are things going to get even crazier? Probably. It’s almost like we are all trying to make up for lost time spent in lockdown baking banana bread and watching Tiger King. Gosh, wasn’t that like a decade ago?

There is a real mixture of opinions, of course, with regard to whether people want life to return to full “normalcy” just yet, or if it is irresponsible given the rise in coronavirus cases from the Delta variant. Many people are understandably anxious about The Great Reopening, while others are counting down the days like a child at Christmas with a Cadbury advent calendar.

Regardless of what you believe, I’m sure we can all agree that life is certainly moving at speed again. With a Summer of sport upon us – including Wimbledon, the Euros and the Olympics – bars and restaurants reopening and reunions with loved ones, there are many reasons to celebrate.

So, perhaps the frenetic nature of the past few weeks is down to the cosmos, or maybe, it’s just us trying hard to make up for lost time, seize the day and cram it all in. Honestly, it makes sense. Many of us feel as though we lost some prime years in the pandemic. I was 25 when we went into the first lockdown and 27 by the time we came out of the last one. Plans were put on hold, holidays were cancelled, deadlines were pushed back and life lost its colour for awhile. It all got a bit grey and well, you were there…

I know things are far from ideal right now, but it does feel as though if we are lucky enough to be healthy, vaccinated and coming out the other side of this year, we should shout “YES!” obnoxiously loudly and grab every opportunity that comes our way with aplomb. The colourful hues are slowly coming back now. So, if you feel ready for it, grab your England shirt and go have some adventures – with the unique and grounding perspective that only living through a global pandemic could possibly grant you. #itscominghome

Why Failing Isn’t Really Failure

What do you consider to be a failure? Is it when you tell yourself you are going to do something and you break that promise to yourself? Is it when you put yourself out there and you are rejected for a new job, a venture, or a relationship? Or is a failure when you simply don’t win; financially, professionally, or personally? If so, does that mean that 2nd place is always synonymous with failure?

For me, while those things might be indications of failing, they are not themselves failures. Most importantly, failing does not mean that you are a failure. It is vital to make this distinction because although failing never feels good, it helps us in the long run. It can be difficult to acknowledge the times in your life where you feel as though things have not gone your way, but once you do, you are on your way to learning, growing – and crucially – one step closer to success.

People say this all the time so bear with me, but how boring would life be if we always achieved what we set out to? If we hit the ground running and always pulled through, how would we ever know how much our dreams mean to us and what we truly value?

One of the reasons I love Cristiano Ronaldo is because he utilises every past mistake, criticism, and judgement to drive him toward success. Perhaps if Ronaldo hadn’t felt the pain of defeat in the 2004 Euros, he may never have led Portugal to victory in 2016. How would we ever realise what it means to persevere and come out the other side without these experiences? Ultimately, failing not only makes us more resilient, but it also makes us better, and less entitled, people.

So, does that mean that failing is actually good for us? Well, I certainly think so. Failing teaches us to fight a bit harder, to get more creative, and to consider different paths. Years ago, when I felt like I was failing a little more than usual, I confided in my sister and she offered me some great advice: “There is more than one path to get to where you want.” Sometimes, words just make you sit up and listen… She was right.

In those times when we fail a lot, we should take a step back and listen. Albert Einstein famously said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” and it’s true; why would the outcome change if the input has not? Often, we become so focused on our goals that we go through our lives like a bulldozer, not understanding the damage we are causing to our planet, to society, and to ourselves.

Image via Pinterest

Some of us might become passive rather than active participants in our own lives, which frequently means we do not consider the best path to get to where we want. Knocking on the same door a hundred times does not guarantee it will open, so do not force it. Consider knocking on other doors and you might just find an open window or two on your way. As my mother so wisely put it when I informed her of the topic for today’s blog post: “Fail as many times as you need to become who you want to be.”

The Joys of June

The fact that you are reading this right now signals that we have officially arrived at the last weekend of June. From the availability of vaccinations for all adults in the U.K. to a dramatic group stage of the Euros 2020, it’s been an eventful month.

So, let me tell you what has kept me busy, motivated and (duh!) joyful this month. I hope they might help brighten up some of the greyer days of summer for you too!

  1. Euros 2020 – The Euros 2020 have most definitely injected some much needed excitement back into our lives again, and oh, how we have missed it! Whether you are watching from home with your family or getting down to the pub with your friends, it feels amazing to have a reason to celebrate again. Maybe this year it really is coming home! If not, let Portugal keep the trophy please… one of the two.
  2. The Bold Type – If you haven’t heard of The Bold Type, it is a tv show on Netflix that boasts four seasons, with the fifth and final season dropping any day now. The show follows three Millennial best friends living in New York City who all work for the same women’s magazine. But, before you write it off as just another light-hearted New York dramedy, it is important to highlight the varied, realistic and often incredibly challenging subject matter the show explores; from Breast Cancer to sexual exploration in a raw yet sensitive way. If you are in the 24-30 age bracket then this tv show will definitely make you feel seen.
  3. Drama Queens Podcast – It wouldn’t be a ‘favourites of the month’ post without adding a nostalgia podcast to the list. What can you do when one of your favourite fictional trios from your teenage years offers up a behind the scenes look at the show that sky-rocketed them into Hollywood. This is a podcast for all the One Tree Hill fans, courtesy of the Peyton, Brooke and Hayley, aka the Tree Hill High girls you have always wanted to sit with… and now you can! Click here to listen to the first episode now.
  4. ClassPass – You probably know what ClassPass is; either you are a member and swear by the variety of fitness classes and treatments on there, or you are one of those who wishes they could afford a membership. I belong to the latter group! ClassPass have always offered a free trial whereby you can use 20 credits to try out any fitness classes you like, but if you’ve already exhausted that method, now existing members can also refer friends. I have loved making the most of my friend’s referral to get better at spinning and even try out a Reggaetón dance class. It was so much fun and gives you a huge confidence boost! Click here to check out ClassPass.
  5. Greenlights – Greenlights is Matthew McConaughey’s first book; part autobiography, part guide to catching more ‘greenlights’, aka those moments in your life where you manage to turn red traffic lights to green. McConaughey writes truthfully, lyrically and with bucket-loads of humour about his childhood, entry into Hollywood and personal life. You’ll adore taking a dive into this book if you are a Matthew McConaughey fan or if you are at all interested in the film industry.
  6. Montezuma’s Happiccino Coffee Chocolate – If you love coffee and you love chocolate, then this coffee-flavoured chocolate will make your tummy grumble for more. This bar is not too strong to replace your daily coffee, but definitely energising enough to put an extra spring in your step. Plus, the brand is all about creating a happier, more sustainable planet through fair trading and recyclable/compostable packaging. Click here to give into your cravings!
  7. Vagabond Wines – It’s been a while since I’ve been to a Vagabond wine bar and there are now nine locations throughout London! However, earlier this week I visited the Paddington branch and although the quintessential wine tasting is on pause due to the pandemic, the food and wine is just as delicious as ever. Might I recommend the Mixed Sharing Platter and Truffle Fries… Thank me later!
  8. Clinique Dramatically Different BB-Gel – As the days get warmer and longer, I have not been in the mood to slather a layer of foundation onto my skin. However, when I go out I do like to use a product that will help blur imperfections and keep oil at bay, while letting my skin breath. Enter the Clinique Dramatically Different BB-Gel; it goes onto the skin white and then blends with your natural colouring to provide a light coverage base that allows your natural skin texture to shine through. It’s the product that you need to nail the ‘no makeup makeup’ look this summer, I promise. Click here to check it out!

I hope you enjoyed my Joys of June and let me know if you try, do, watch, read or listen to any of my favourite things above. Here’s to the month of July! I’m manifesting another scorcher of a heat wave and either a Portugal and England Euros 2020 victory. Vamos com tudo / It’s Coming Home kids!

None of the items, shows, or books featured were gifted by the brands mentioned and I was not sponsored for this post. All opinions are my own.

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