Monthly Favourites | July 2018

A list of all the things I enjoyed this month!

I can’t believe it’s already over half-way through 2018. As I reflect on the first seven months of this year, and where I was this time last year, I am truly grateful for my current health and happiness. I’m at a place in my life where I feel like I know what makes me happy, and I am pursuing it with as much enthusiasm and positivity as possible. I’m trying not to ruminate about the future too much, and although the past is always ever-present in the forefront of my mind – I’m working everyday not to let it hold me back, cloud my judgement or enjoyment of the present. Without further ado- !

1. ‘After dark’ by Drake on his latest album – Scorpion.

2. ‘Call Out My Name’ by The Weeknd on his album – My Dear Melancholy.

3. ‘Again’ by Kehlani.

4. Watching the World Cup with my family – by far one of the most unexpected and enjoyable World Cups to date! With the hot weather and happy people, England felt like a different country. I remember coming back to Southampton late one night from London on the coach and looking out from my window – it was the night when England had won the game against Sweden, and everyone was out in the City Centre, drunk and singing. The atmosphere was buzzing, and with the warm weather, I couldn’t help but feel as though I were in a mediterranean city. It was amazing.

5. Love Island. Believe it or not, I got unexpectedly roped into watching a number of episodes as both of my younger siblings made a habit of watching it every evening with snacks and popcorn, like it was movie night every night. I’ve even learnt a number of new things, including the meaning of the word ‘grafting’.

6. Eating baby cucumbers.

7. Helping to host a fantastic Writer’s Workshop in London, Brighton. This was organised by Sarah Odedina, an established publisher, and the woman who oversaw the publication of all the Harry Potter books. Her incredibly talented sister, Ellie, an illustrator who designed the Hogwarts crest, was also present to help us with the organisation of the day. I had such a brilliant day getting to greet and meet wonderfully inspiring authors and delegates. I left with renewed motivation and self-belief when it comes to my writing!

Some writing inspiration from the day include:

“I will write about the things I want to write about – I’ve got something to say and I will write about it the way I want to write about it.” – Patrice Lawrence, Author of Orange Boy and Indigo Donut

“If you can’t see it, you can’t be it.” – Malorie Blackman, Author of Pig Heart Boy and Nought and Crosses

“[It’s not that people aren’t readers]… it’s that they haven’t found the book that inspires them to be a reader.” – Crystal Mahey-Morgan, Independent Publisher

Great line up of speakers!

8. Visiting Barcelona with one of my best mates. It’s the most wonderful city – I absolutely loved the food, lifestyle and people. It was the first time Matthew and I went on holiday together and it was such a blast. We’re already onto thinking about our next holiday – Prague here we come!

Incredible – Parc de la Ciutadella.

9. Being asked out and walking around Southampton in the sunshine with said person.

10. Eating at The Real Greek, again. Lunch menu is the bomb. The greek plate especially with halloumi is 5 stars.

Love the lunch menu here.

11. Hanging out with my favourite family, the Shadabs – visting their house, allotment, meeting all the fam – honestly the banter is endless and I feel really lucky to be reunited with a long-time friend in Southampton ❤ The most recent sloth party where we did nought but sit on the couch and eat endless amounts of homemade pizza and grumble at a terrible movie – Girls Trip – was simply the best way to spend a Sunday!

12. Re-connecting with old school friends and going out in Southampton for dinner and drinks. N.B. GBK food has improved massively!

13. Lovebox festival. Missed SZA on stage due to the queues but loved it loved it loved it.

Sunshine and lots of glitter.

14. Mayfair’s 6th anniversary BBQ. First BBQ of the year for me, believe it or not! The beauty made sure she had halal beef burgers ready for me, and they were on point!

15. Diet ginger beer. Thank you M&S.

16. Networking and female bonding at a team away day at Chilworth Manor. I am part of a fab new team at the University of Southampton (working part-time in marketing) and feel very much at home with them. They are all so much fun and I am loving getting to know them all better and working with them.

17. Eating at Nordic inspired KuPP in Southampton and meeting new people.

I don’t know if I was just super hungry after the gym but this was delicious!

18. This dress in the Zara sales. Monies flying out all the windows this month.

19. Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray. This is a must read for everyone, but especially for those who may be struggling with communication or finding fulfilment in their relationships. It’s fantastic and shows how men and women talk different languages, and because we as individuals are not aware on in-tune with the nuances of each, miscommunication is rampant.

20. Slowly detoxing off my personal social media in pursuit of productivity after watching this fantastic TED Talk by Cal Newport. #DeepWork

21. Oat milk lattes at KOBO.

Best coffee in London.

22. Brunch at Drunch, London.

It’s halal!

23. Lying in bed and reading The Girl Before by JP Delaney. It’s not often that I find a book that’s hard to put down, but this is an international bestselling psychological thriller – and I can see why. I read this within two days – and I would highly recommend it! Rating: 4/5 stars.

24. And finally, this quote, which I feel like sums me up to a TEE:

“Too often, the thing you want most is the one thing you can’t have,” said Meredith Grey in the show Grey’s Anatomy. “Desire leaves us heartbroken, it wears us out. Desire can wreck your life.”

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