Monthly Favourites | March 2018

Welcome back to my Monthly Favourites series! March has flown by – it’s the first month of my ‘year out’ – I have put this in apostrophes because honestly it has been non-stop WERK this month (in a good way!) – and I’ve enjoyed being able to sleep in and manage my time on my own terms. I’m struggling with waking up early but I find that when I do (usually when I have a 9am appointment or 10am meeting), I am a lot – and I mean A LOT – more productive.

There has also been FAR TOO MUCH SNOW this month, which squandered a lot of my plans and monies (shedding tears over train fares!!). Nonetheless, I have managed to see lots of my friends this month, and have absolutely loved catching up with them, as well as spending most of my days in Waterstones, working, reading, writing, relaxing and floating dreamily amongst the shelves.

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Lots of coffee and books this month! ❤

Although one of my best friends has gone off to travel the world this month, I’ve been too busy to miss him! Here are some of my highlights from March – and yes – I can already hear you squealing internally – how are we a quarter of the way through this year already?!

Enjoying…

The Gym – I am delighted to say that I have completed the 30 day gym challenge! I set this challenge for myself on the 6th of February, and the plan – as the name says – was to go to the gym everyday for 30 days. Although I didn’t manage to go everyday back to back due to certain events, I still went consecutively, and made sure I went for 30 days. To hold myself accountable, I uploaded my progress on my personal Instagram on my insta-stories, which I found really helped me, especially because lots of people got in touch to encourage me on the days my motivation was low.

The changes in both my mental and physical health have been incredible, and could be felt 10 days in! I will be writing a blog post on what I learnt from the challenge shortly – but overall I have lost 3 inches all over my stomach area, my cardiovascular fitness has increased dramatically and I have fallen in love with the gym again! I am still going daily at the moment and plan to keep up this habit.

#Dietlife – on a wedding cut at the moment in the countdown to my sister’s wedding at the end of next month. I’m following the Slimming World diet plan/principles from home, as I find this suits my lifestyle the best. It’s easier also for me to maintain in the long run, and better for my mental health. The weight isn’t coming off as fast as being on a low-carb diet, but I’m enjoying the process. Also, slow and easy wins the race right? I am updating my weekly progress on my personal Instagram stories – so you can check that out if you like! I update on Wednesdays as that’s my ‘weigh day’. I have also convinced my friend Diane to get on board, which will be great as we will be rooting for each other!

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Why do I love pasta so much.

Pampering myself – got my nails done properly for the first time ever after seeing my friend’s polished nails. I got a nude-pink colour on acrylic gel extensions. I wasn’t sure about them at first but I really like them now. Makes my nails and fingers seem a lot more feminine!

Watching…

In concert: DVSN!

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I’ve been a fan of them since 2016 after stumbling across their first album September 5th, and was sooo excited to hear that they were touring the UK. Absolutely love Daniel Daley’s voice and it was great to enjoy this with my friend who’s also a fan!

I’m a 90s music gal, so anything that reminds me of 90s R&B like Boys II Men, Brian McKnight, All-4-One etc. is like a win for me. Rolling Stone have described DVSN as “emotive, throwback R&B of the future” – and I couldn’t agree more. They sang all my favourite songs and it’s great going to a concert when you know all the lyrics!

On Youtube

I’ve also been watching and enjoying videos on the following channels this month:

Ali Abdaal – friend, medical student and entrepreneur. His videos are super sleek with some fab content and recommendations that I plan to check out!

Check out his channel here.

Ibz Mo – stumbled across him whilst doing a research project for the University of Southampton and he is absolutely hilarious! He’s great because he has strong values, is living out his passions and really trying to promote access to HE. Also – I literally love how much he hates the University of Exeter!

Check out his channel here.

Grace Fit UK – I’ve been following her for a while now and find a lot of her fitness videos a good place to go to when I’m lacking inspo in the gym with my workouts. I like watching her videos as her personality is quite similar to mine and she’s not afraid of expressing herself or being funny/foolish on camera.

Check out her channel here.

Using…

Spotlight on Apps

I’ve really enjoyed using the following apps this month:

Meetup – this is a great app to organise events and meet new people. I’ve put my new Book Club that I’m starting in Southampton on it and I’m going to several events hosted by people on it in the coming weeks. I can be a bit of a hermit sometimes and so this is a great way to meet new people and try out new activities!

You can find out more about it here.

SlimIt – I’ve started using this app to track my food intake (moved on from Lifesum). Although it’s not the perfect app or the flashiest, it does the job and is great for anyone following the Slimming World diet.

Download it here.

Reading…

I finally finished ‘Disclaimer’ by Renee Knight. Took me forever to read it – not because it wasn’t a good book – it was – I’ve just been super-busy so couldn’t prioritise it. Rating: 3.5/5

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By the window at Waterstones ❤

I also finished ‘Almost Love’ by Louise O’Neill. It’s her first foray into adult fiction (her previous works being YA fiction). I had high hopes for this book but unfortunately it did not meet my expectations and I don’t think it’s as good as her other books. The premise is interesting – it’s about obsessive love and the damaging effects of this – but I’m not sure it was executed to it’s best potential, which is a shame, as her previous books had me hooked from the start. I also found the writing a bit confusing as the story kept moving from present to past to different locations and then present and then back to the past. It was intermingled to such an extent that it was difficult to distinguish what was happening and when. I’m not sure whether this was done intentionally to create a specific effect, but I’m not sure it worked at all. It felt a bit like being confused at sea – which is not the most pleasant sensation. Rating: 1.5/5

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Still a fan of the author and what she stands for though.

I also picked up one of the new Penguin Modern Classics for a £1. They are basically mini-tasters or samplers of various writers works – from across the world by the way – and they are SO GOOD. I absolutely loved reading ‘The Veiled Woman’ by Anais Nin, which contained four short stories. I didn’t realise it was erotica until I had finished the first story (haha), but I actually really enjoyed reading something new for once! Rating: 4/5 – would highly recommend – especially as they are super-slim line and only a £1!

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My first ever cappuccino – not sure how I felt about it. P.S. This is also at the new Cafe Nero in Southampton – Nero is probably my favourite among the coffee chains, but I prefer independent coffee places the most.

I’m currently reading ‘The Power’ by Naomi Alderman, as it’s my April read in time for my first Book Club meet up session in Southampton at the end of next month!

Visiting…

London

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Had a super eventful weekend in London earlier this month, eating out loads and catching up with friends. I went to the famous Elan Cafe in Knightsbridge. Honestly, not sure about the hype around it – there was a queue to get a table in the cafe which I was not happy about! The food is nice but overpriced. I liked it – more so because I was starving and because of the company – but I personally wouldn’t recommend the cafe. I think it’s got the hype around it because it’s really instagrammable – the decor, flowers etc. But it lacks any sort of intimacy and felt rather transactional as an experience.

I also played mini-golf with Cambridge friends, enjoyed my ex-roomate’s baby’s first birthday party and then zoomed off to Tibits in central London to catch up with an old colleague and friend. I absolutely loved the food at Tibits – it’s a vegetarian and vegan restaurant where you load your plate with whatever you want and then pay on the basis of what it weighs. I got lots of dessert and coffee and it was absolutely delicious!

Bristol

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I returned to Bristol this month to hang out with a friend of mine just to simply read and write. It was great and it was absolutely the break I needed to just focus on planning and plotting a good story.

This picture is at Pinkmans Bakery. We stayed there the whole day and it’s great as they serve food suitable for all hours of the day!

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Love bread. Love salmon.

Writing…

Non-fiction

I have loved delving into Psychology again. I met my co-author Paul this month, and we’ve been working hard to meet the deadlines for the book we’ve been contracted to write by Ivy Press on a crash course in Psychology! It’s been really fun to be able to choose interesting topics to write about and relate it to the wider world. If all things go according to schedule, the book should be out by the end of this year!

Fiction

I’ve struggled to meet my 1,000 words per day target, so thinking of setting this to 500 words a day instead – as it’s a bit more realistic – at least at this point in time. But yes, I am absolutely loving have the time to write and daydream and simply dawdle without a care!

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My writing set up in Nero.

Blogging

Still adhering to my goal of uploading one post a week this year! Popular posts on this site this month:

Living

Creativity

Inspiration

More in my Monthly Favourites series:

Thank you to everyone who reads my work, gives me feedback and just supports and believes in me and what I do in general – I appreciate it more than you know!

If you enjoyed this post – be sure to subscribe below. You’ll get a little message in your inbox once a new post goes live. I aim to upload something new once a week ❤

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