Autumn Air

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald

I have undoubtedly watched too many episodes of Gilmore Girls over the years, but, nowadays I find myself gravitating with heavy fascination and wonder toward the season of Autumn or, as Lorelei and Rory call it, (and all Americans, for that matter) “Fall”. Although I have always thought of myself as a Summer person, at present, I cannot help but get excited by the prospect of cosy Saturday mornings in bed with coffee and books whilst leaves turn orange and fall slowly outside.

Not only does Autumn provide the ideal romantic backdrop for so many things that I love; grouping together bookshops and patterned tights, pumpkin spice lattes and Taylor Swift, beanies and horror films, Vogue’s September Issue, and Halloween, but the most exciting part, for me, is the prospect of a new chapter.

In the Western World, the beginning of September is synonymous with the start of the school year, moving into uni halls and stationary shopping. While at first glance, it may seem daunting, or overwhelming even, to feel the days getting darker earlier, the temperature dropping, and a never-ending ‘to-do list’ greeting you on your desk, I find the possibility of reinvention trumps any pressures of the season.

Indeed, Summer is the season of unadulterated fun; a slew of months that signal bikinis, cocktails, and music festivals. Quite frankly, the fun is so consuming that many might reach the end of it, exhausted, penniless, and rather rootless. I found myself chuckling at Dolly Alderton’s articulation of this feeling in an Instagram post on the 1st of September where she revealed a text message to her friend, “Then from next week,” she wrote, “I want an absolute fun sabbatical. No more live music, no more festivals, no more drinks. No more parks and deck chairs. No more pubs. And especially no more crisps.” Of course, Dolly was being fabulously dramatic and wry in the text, as only she can be, but the sentiment is expertly captured. Autumn offers the soil to nurture those feeling rather rootless because Autumn doesn’t require the literalness of a ‘blank page’, Day 1 mentality, or the joining of a new gym, in the way that the 1st of January does.

Coffee moments – Image via Gabriela Godinho-Moxon

The thing about Autumn is that it pushes you out of your comfort zone in a subtle and homey kind of way, causing you to check in with your goals, your mood, and your life; in a manner that feels comforting and warm. Autumn simply exists and flows, and if you want to, you can flow with it, falling like the leaves, transitioning from one state of yourself into another, in a way that is nothing but natural. A new chapter, within the same book of yours.

Grief in Words

Grief is a million things in one. And it can be experienced in a million different ways too. This week, as the world grieves for the victims of 9/11 whose losses never get easier, for the death of Queen Elizabeth II which has uprooted so many, and for Ukrainians who continue to perish so unjustly in their thousands, it occurred to me that grief was just about the only thing to write about in a real way.

Recently, when experiencing my own personal grief, someone told me that “grief is love with nowhere to go.” I felt a sense of crashing relief when that person said those words to me, the kind of relief that only ever comes from feeling ever so slightly understood, in a world where we, as individuals, rarely are. Then, yesterday I saw the Prince of Wales’ statement where he wrote “my grandmother famously said that grief was the price we pay for love” and I was reminded of that feeling I experienced a few months back; that feeling of comprehension, mixed with raw emotion and gratitude.

While it might seem impossible to recognise when we are in the thick, murky waters of grief, we are undoubtedly lucky to feel that strongly and deeply for someone. The depths of our emotions may seem overwhelming but memories can help guide us to the shore; memories that will always exist because of that person and our love for them. And it is those memories that remind us how fragile and fleeting love and life are. But, the question persists, where does the love go once the person is gone?

Image via Gabriela Godinho-Moxon

People often say that time heals most wounds, but I think that there are some emotions that stay with us. I know that is not a particularly inspiring thought, but permanence isn’t always such a bad thing either. People who have lost someone formative in their lives early on will tell you that certain voids cannot be filled. Voids can shapeshift though, to make you a more compassionate and loving person, if you allow the love to stay with you. I think that’s where the love should go, into ourselves, into the cracks that need filling, and hurt that needs healing.

Intense emotions can lessen over time, and people can learn to live without each other, but sadness lingers. While wounds heal, scars remain. And while the world noticeably keeps turning, you may find yourself standing still. When you do, find the words that make you feel inspired to move again. As I have found, there is no way to separate grief from love because the two go hand in hand. If someone offers you a hand though, promise me you’ll take it? In a time defined by crises at every corner, the most dangerous part of grief is loneliness. But, grief is always something to come together for.

Our Obsession with Fraud & Fame

A couple of years ago I wrote a blog post about authenticity and the ways in which we try to be ‘pretty’ online. As the years have flickered past, this subject has not only become more relevant than ever but, more complex. In the space of just a couple of weeks, we have seen the series ‘Inventing Anna’ and the documentary ‘The Tinder Swindler’ land on Netflix. Like many others, I binged both of these in quick succession and it made me curious as to why we are all so very obsessed with fraud and fame?

‘Stop making stupid people famous’ is the text imprinted on a rough bit of wall on a street somewhere in Hollywood. When I came across this image, which has done the rounds on Pinterest over the years, I added it to one of my mood boards. It’s true, I thought. Simultaneously, I noted how I was probably partly to blame for the fame of some of those ‘stupid people’. In telling stories – be it through cinema, art, or reporting – modern culture and social media have a part to play in elevating these figures to prominence, and in some cases, fame. We – as we watch and engage in this culture – are also complicit.

‘Inventing Anna’ – Image via Netflix

The Netflix series ‘Inventing Anna’, tells the story of Anna Sorokin, a Russian-German con-artist and fraudster who masqueraded as a German heiress and defrauded some of the most elite New York financial institutions, banks, and hotels between 2013 and 2017. The story is almost unbelievable in the sense that you might question how some of the supposedly brightest and wealthiest of New York’s elite were not able to see through Sorokin’s lies. It is fascinating and ludicrous in equal measure, which, of course, makes for sparkling television. Plus, we just love a story based on true events, don’t we? It adds a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’. (It is important to point out here – as the series does – that parts of the Netflix hit have been completely made up.)

Sorokin, who used the alias Delvey to fool New York society and establishments, has recently shot to fame as more and more of us have discovered her story through the Netflix series. Another scammer whose story has recently come into focus is that of Simon Leviev (again, an alias), aka the Tinder Swindler. Undeniably, there are many parallels between Sorokin and Leviev in terms of the lies they told, their mutual obsession with social media, luxury fashion, and ostentatious trips.

However, where I believe the two stories diverge is when we consider their victims. As Julia Garner (who plays Anna Delvey in the Netflix series) points out, Sorokin’s victims were largely institutions, businesses, and banks, rather than vulnerable individuals. The vulnerability of Rachel – Sorokin’s friend-turned-foe, who had her debt paid back in full by American Express, and has since profited off Sorokin with a Vanity Fair article, book, and HBO deal – is definitely up for debate… Nonetheless, these institutions who fell prey to Sorokin’s scheme should indeed have known better, done their due diligence, and cared more about what was under the shiny surface, than the arrogant, albeit expensively-dressed, up-and-coming businesswoman Anna appeared to be.

‘The Tinder Swindler’ – Image via Netflix

By contrast, Tinder Swindler’s Leviev defrauded single women in their twenties and thirties, rinsing them for all they were worth. Arguably though, this was not even the worst part of Leviev’s scheme as he emotionally manipulated his victims with abusive messages, voice notes, and phone calls. He made these women fall in love with him and then, used their love as currency to finance his opulent lifestyle and schemes.

Heartbreakingly, many of his victims admit to having suffered severe depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts following the whole ordeal. Perhaps the most infuriating part of the documentary though is that whilst these women are still paying off their debts, Leviev has served a measly five months in prison and is now a free man because, despite all the evidence, legally, Leviev has committed no crime. I’ll just let that one sink in for a moment…

Anna Sorokin may be wrong about many things, but one sharp observation she makes in the series that “men fail upwards” is surely applicable to her sentence of 4-12 years in jail, especially when compared to Leviev’s 15-month sentence. Following his newfound fame, it has been reported that Leviev has expressed aspirations to launch a podcast, book, and dating show. Meanwhile, Sorokin was released from prison on parole in February last year before promptly being taken back into custody for overstaying her visa. Certainly, the disparity between where these two con artists have ended up calls Sorokin’s statement into focus.

‘Inventing Anna’ – Image via Cosmpolitan

But where does all of this leave us… Those of us who enjoy watching these shows, and who are curious about the stories, but uncomfortable with our role in elevating the status of criminals and predators into full-blown celebrities?

Unfortunately, the way society works now (thanks to social media) is that anyone – for good or for evil – can get famous with the right photo, caption, or OOTD (Outfit of the Day). It makes sense that we are feeling guilty for the way we consume culture and behave online when you look at the recent trend of ‘photo dumps’. For those not familiar, ‘photo dumps’ are a trend whereby one might post a crying selfie that follows an artistic-looking, charcoal-activated latte. Basically, the ‘photo dump’ has opened up an avenue to post photos of our lowest or most mundane moments in an attempt to show more authenticity and integrity online. Unlike the Sorokins and Levievs of the world, there are many people nowadays who are keen to use their social media to make others feel a little more ‘seen’.

If this urge to dismantle the idea of social media as a ‘highlight reel’ is to be taken at face value, we are less concerned with looking ‘pretty’ online than we used to be. But is this just another trend that will fall out of fashion in a few months? I would argue that we are more concerned with being ‘pretty’ than ever before. The difference is that now society makes us feel guilty for our filtered existence, so these trends are nothing but a reaction to the pressure we feel to post ‘our authentic selves’. Ultimately, as our obsession with fraud and fame continues to grow, is our role online – and in culture – becoming more influential, and therefore more dangerous, than ever before?

Further Reading/Watching:

https://screenrant.com/tinder-swindler-simon-leviev-jail-no-reason/

https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/inventing-anna-real-rachel-williams-profited-300000-book-deal.html/

Inventing Anna (Netflix drama)

The Tinder Swindler (Netflix documentary)

Being Yourself

“I always thought it would be better to be a fake somebody than a real nobody.”

Tom Ripley, The Talented Mr. Ripley

After a rather lazy morning of watching The Talented Mr. Ripley in bed, I began to think about how difficult it can be to truly be ‘yourself’. Being yourself is an idea that we hear a lot. It is ironic really how often we hear the phrase in a world where it seems your identity is so intrinsically wrapped up in other things; your nationality, your political beliefs, who you know, what you know, what you do, and your passions.

It is ironic because if being ourselves is wrapped up in external factors, how can we ever really get to know who our true selves are? We don’t exist in a chasm. Whilst we are autonomous beings, we are also a product of our environment and the life that happens around us.

The psychology of a character like Mr. Ripley struggling to be himself because he believes he is ‘a real nobody’ is actually a pretty relatable idea. Many of us think that if we do not have the success, money, or status that we desire or think we deserve, we are a ‘nobody’.

The truth is though, even the greatest ‘somebody’ has a demon, a disquiet thought, or past mistake to hide. Without giving too much away if you haven’t seen the movie, Mr. Ripley ultimately realises that your true self is something you cannot escape from: “If I could just go back… if I could rub everything out… starting with myself.”

It is not just characters in movies or books that struggle with their sense of identity but us too. We continuously hear our friends playing down their achievements, see our colleagues hiding parts of themselves in professional environments, and make ourselves smaller to avoid rocking the boat. Then, we might compare ourselves to people on social media or those we consider legends of their fields and, as a result, feel like ‘nobodies’. What have I achieved in comparison to the GOAT? Who am I at the end of the day? What am I worth?

I think we are whoever we decide to be. We can only ever be a ‘nobody’ if that is what we believe. Being a ‘somebody’ will mean something different to everyone, but being yourself – or finding yourself – usually falls somewhere in between the two. We may not exist in a chasm, but in life’s hardest moments, that is when we realise who we are; ‘yourself’ without all the trimmings.

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…

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