Monday, 31 August 2015

Six Creative Things I Want to Do | The Small Desk

If you're reading this post you may also be a fellow creative, and if you are, then I think you'll relate to this post. I am always thinking about the next creative thing I want to do, but then never get around to focussing on one or pursuing any of my ideas. Therefore it might be a good idea, or at least give me some sense of satisfaction to write down the six creative things I want to do during my lifetime. Some of them will take a lot of work to do, and some funding, therefore they won't start for a while, but others I could definitely start on straight away. Let me know if any of these ideas fit with what you want to do too.

1. Open an online shop
Now I specifically want to open a home interiors shop that also has a focus on stationery. I would be very selective in what I sold and only sell brands and products I would buy myself. For example: Ferm Living, Georg Jensen, Hay and Rifle Paper. Let me know in the comments if you would buy from it if it had those brands!

2. Create a podcast series
I've always been one of those people who can't help but get lost in listening to other people's conversations. I'll be at a restaurant and the boyf has to shout 'Alice' to stop me from staring and earwigging in on someone else's conversation. It doesn't matter how interested I am in the company I am with, for some reason I cannot help but listen in on other people's conversations.

I love it when you hear a snapshot of someone's conversation that is so out of context it makes you giggle. My favourite place to overhear people's conversations is walking over Waterloo bridge. There is something about passing over the water and passing by people's lives and conversations that is really moving and enjoyable. All this points to why I've started to love podcasts – especially interviews and conversations between reporters – it is a credible and socially acceptable way to listen in to other people's conversations!

When I talk about my family to anyone they are always really interested to hear about their professions: they are musicians and my Grandma is an actress! So I thought they would be the best people to start a possible series of podcasts called 'Creative careers', or something like that. It would be specifically about how people ended up where they are in their careers. There are so many successful and talented creatives who are unknown, and want to remain under the radar, but whose stories would be so useful and fascinating to others who want to get into the industry.

3. Write a novel
I have started writing a novel, but I have a LONG way to go until I even get around to speculatively sending it to a literary agent. I find I have times where I have a flurry of productivity and get loads written, and other times I'll go a couple of weeks without writing a thing. I think it is important to leave it for a bit, maybe not two weeks (!), so that you gain perspective on it. I need to be stricter with myself in terms of getting some writing done. Hopefully now I've written about it in this post I will feel more pressure to write!?

4. Learn to make pottery
After my Mum bought me two of Philip Leach's hand crafted bowls, I have decided I really want to know how to make pottery. I also feel it would be a great experience; I am always looking at a computer screen, so I think it'd be a good hobby to have that doesn't involve looking at a bright screen!

5. Get my writing on an online lifestyle/news site
I have tried a few times to get my writing on sites like the Debrief and Huffington Post, but so far I have had no luck. I will keep trying, maybe one day! If anyone has had their writing on one of those sites, please leave me a link!

6. Improve my photography
And finally, one that will never change and will always remain my main passion in life is photography. I need to take my camera out with me more! Hopefully one day I will be able to afford my dream camera, which is a Leica. What's your dream camera?

Those are the six creative things I want to do! I'll let you know how I get on, and if you can recommend how I can start doing any of these, please do let me know in the comments below.


Sunday, 30 August 2015

August Favourites 2015 | The Small Desk

August, August, August, where have you gone?! I cannot believe we are heading into September now! One thing I am so glad I am not talking about is 'back to school', but it does feel weird that I haven't had to face that dread of going back to school after the long summer holidays for nearly ten years now. Even though it has been that long I still miss the long summer holidays you get when you're at school; the days where you can lounge on your bed, listening to music and generally doss around because you have all the time in the world, and no responsibilities.

Every year when it comes to August and I'm sitting at my desk in the office I do get jealous of school kids running around doing whatever they please, but then it gets to September and I think, thank GOD I don't have to do homework anymore!

On that note, here are all the things I've loved in the month of August, again in no particular order...

1. Perranporth, Cornwall, with friends
Well I've blogged ALL about this already, so I won't go on too much about it and if you want to read the post then please click the link above. Basically, I went to Perranporth in Cornwall with a group of friends, we went surfing, walking and running on the beach. The weather was amazing for the first half of the holiday and then when the weather was terrible we played an epic game called Werewolf.

2. Shopping and lunch with my sister at Westfield 
Yesterday I took my sister for lunch at Wagamamas in Westfield, and then we went shopping for outfits for my cousin's upcoming wedding. We found nothing, but had a great time chatting and laughing at all the hideous dresses we tried on. My sister also got stuck in a dress, twice! We also went to the photo booth in Urban Outfitters and felt like we were 16!

3. Swimming
I haven't been swimming in ages, but I was inspired by swimming in the sea in Cornwall and went again yesterday. I just go to my local pool, and the changing rooms smell of baby poo, but once I am in the pool and swimming lengths I feel so relaxed and calm. It's the best antidote to stress.

4. The return of the Great British Bake Off
All the hail the Great British Bake Off! It's the TV show that feels like it is wrapping you up in a big fluffy blanket and handing you a cup of tea, whilst the hosts made you chuckle and the contestants surprise and delight you with their amazing creations, and occasionally make you cringe for them! It is also the one TV show that EVERYONE seems to watch, so is excellent for small talk.

5. Hair cut and dyed at The Lounge Soho
I love getting my hair cut and dyed, but I can normally only afford it once or twice a year. So when I do have it done, there is no doubt it will appear in my favourites. My normal hairdresser didn't have time to cut and dye my hair before I went on holiday... NIGHTMARE! Luckily, the boyf recommended the salon he goes to and it was actually pretty good! I had a balayage hair dye and a trim with some 'beachy' waves added in at the end. To see a photo, check out my Instagram.

6. Watching Prudential Ride London
The bike race went through an area close to where I live, so me and the boyf decided to go and watch everyone in what is essentially the bike version of the London marathon. It is so impressive seeing everyone persevere with the gruelling 100 mile course. I particularly enjoyed watching it with the boyf, as it made him so motivated to get a bike, which he now has done!

7. Dad's birthday meal
This year I was on holiday for my Dad's birthday, so kindly my Mum cooked up a pre-birthday dinner so that I could give him his pressies and wish him an early birthday.

8. Dinner with the girls at Masala Zone
If you haven't had a Grand Thali at Masala Zone you are missing out! They are essentially like a plate of Indian tapas all to yourself. I almost had a regular sized one, but then they asked if I wanted rice OR chapati... confusion hit... so I opted for the grand, as you get both! I also very much enjoyed the company of my friends, it wasn't ALL about the food... promise!

9. Saving
This month I have really got to grips with saving for a mortgage. This is just a personal goal of mine that I wanted to document, so I won't go into any more detail here.

10. Invisibilia podcast: The Secret History of Thoughts
I have become slightly obsessed with podcasts recently, and my friend at work recommended Invisibilia. In particular she recommended the episode titled 'The Secret History of Thoughts'. Go listen to it, it will blow your mind.

11. Friends' engagement
Yes the apostrophe is after the 's' – it is two friends. Two friends who I've always known as a couple, and who have been going out almost exactly the same length of time as me and the boyf, got engaged this month! I am so happy for them! I almost cried when the girl sent me a photo of the ring, God knows what I'm going to be like at the wedding! Pass the tissues!

12. Pottery from my Mum
My final favourite of the month is the pottery that my Mum bought me from Devon. She bought me two bowls by the potter, Philip Leach. You can see a photo of them on my Instagram, they are very pretty.

That's all my favourites for August! What have you enjoyed about this month? Is anyone going back to school or Uni?


Monday, 24 August 2015

Artist meets Popstar: John Stezaker and Taylor Swift | The Small Desk

When I first saw the first few seconds of Taylor Swift's video Style, I immediately realised she had gained some serious inspiration from a famous artist. But when I tried to recollect who that artist was I had a total memory blank! I texted my friends and colleagues desperately asking them if they remembered the name of the artist who put landscapes over people's faces, but no-one knew.

Then, on the way home today I remembered the front cover of the magazine where I had first seen this artist's work: it was the 2007 edition of Source magazine. I was pretty impressed that I was able to dredge up that memory! The artist's work on the front cover was John Stezaker.
Stezaker was born in 1949 and was one of the early contemporary artists to react against Pop Art (what a hero!). Although his exhibitions are rare, many of the major galleries hold his work, such as Tate, Whitechapel Gallery and the Saatchi Gallery. One of my favourite pieces by him is from 1978, titled The Trial. His work takes cinematic stills and puts old postcards over the top. I believe the reason they are so successful is a) how different they are and b) how emotional they feel.

With The Trial for example, Stezaker puts a swirling, fast-flowing waterfall over the top of a still of a courtroom drama. The aggressive waterfall is placed over both the defendant and the judge; inferring that both characters are crashing down a metaphorical mountain, and allowing their emotions to flow out of control. The image of the strong current is almost more powerful than actually seeing the facial expressions of the two courtroom attendees.

As a photographic collage-maker, it is easy to see his influences in many bloggers pieces of artwork as well, even though they may never have even heard of him. Another similarity with the internet is his inspiration, which he credits as the Photoroman... have a Google and tell me it doesn't remind you of a meme!

Anyway, that's all I've got for you on Swift and Stezaker! I hope you enjoyed this 'Art' post, and let me know if you'd be interested to read more of these types of posts in the comments below.


Saturday, 22 August 2015

Explore: Perranporth, Cornwall | The Small Desk

On Friday of last week I headed off on the train to the seaside town of Perranporth. We caught the train down from London Paddington to Newquay and then picked up a taxi to Perranporth. It took us about six hours in total. It may actually be quicker to go to Truro, as the lady in the cream tea shop told us on our last day once we had our pre-booked tickets... Probably worth checking that route out if you're planning to go via train from London! 

This was my first friends holiday in just under ten years! Myself and the boyf were staying in a massive house with seven of our friends. I was looking forward to it, but was a bit sceptical thinking there were bound to be arguments about house work, however to my surprise there were none! I think it is because everyone has now moved out and lives by themselves, so know how to keep a place tidy. I'll explain the house in more detail later on in this post under the 'Stay' section. 

This blog post is separated under the same headings I have used for all my other 'Explore' posts; the only heading I haven't put it in the 'Avoid' one, as I really didn't come across anything I would avoid in Perranporth. It is a down to earth town, not pretentious or hipster, and has everything you need. We were planning some day trips out to Padstow and Rock, but we were too pre-occupied with what Perranporth had to offer! Without further chit chat, here is what I would recommend in Perranporth...

1. EAT

On the first night we were desperate to get our hands on some fish and chips, and we chose the highest rated fish and chip place in Perranporth: Pickwicks! It took a while as we chose Haddock from the menu, and not Cod, so if you are in a rush I would recommend choosing Cod. It was exactly what you want from a chippy!

We also tried the local Indian takeaway: Jaipur. We ordered it from Just Eat online and opted to pay cash. It took a while to arrive and they missed one of the meals from the order, but it arrived about 15 minutes later when we alerted them to the error. The food was delicious and there was a good array of veggie dishes.

I was eager to find a healthy veggie place after having curry and enough chips to last me a lifetime, so I had a quick Google and Good2Go came out as the highest rated place. It is a self-contained van right next to the Ice Box ice-cream shop on the main high street. There are lots of options for vegans, veggies and gluten free diets. I had the veggie chilli for dinner one night and went back for the falafel box the next day for lunch! It was that good!

Willow Bistro
On our final night we went to the Willow Bistro. It comes up on Trip Advisor as Perranporth's best restaurant. They were slightly delayed in getting our pre-booked table ready, however there were nine of us, so I'm not blaming anyone! I had cod loin with crushed new potatoes, leeks and peas, it was absolutely scrumptious. Then for dessert I had profiteroles. Slightly regret not having the salted caramel torte... sorry to have let all the bloggers down!



Willow Bistro

The main high street is the place to go if you want to get a bit of shopping done, but it is only really beach equipment and fudge for sale! We only ever went shopping for food, so I am not the best person to advise on this subject.

We did hit a local craft fair at the Memorial Hall on the Thursday – not sure if that is on every Thursday – but the Memorial Hall looks like the best place to find a fair or market in Perranporth.

From the holiday I came home wanting to buy the game: Werewolf. We played it almost every night, it is completely addictive and I strongly urge you to check out the link! Only problem is, is that you need minimum seven people to play.

We booked our accommodation through Cornish Horizons. It is the house shown above. It has five bedrooms, all apart from one (with bunks) can fit double beds and there are two en-suites and one shared bathroom. 

It is only a two minute stroll down a hill to the beach, which was perfect when we were coming back from the sea in our wetsuits. I highly advise renting a house near the beach just for the convenience of being able to go straight into a shower in private after being in a tight uncomfortable wetsuit! It is also really close to the centre of town and just round the corner from a coastal path. 

The best thing about Perranporth is it's vast beach. At two miles long, when the tide is out you can run four miles up and back down the beach, which I did! Well... I ran/walked! The other end of the beach away from the town is incredibly peaceful and you can look out onto the sea without the distraction of a million surfers!

Talking of surfing, this is one of the best things to do in Perranporth. There are numerous shops offering wetsuits, bodyboards, and surf boards for rent. The ones in the town are a lot cheaper than the ones by the beach. However the ones by the beach allow you to leave your valuables with them, which was a massive draw for us. I think we rented a wetsuit and bodyboard for a half-day for around £15 from Ticket to Ride. I went bodyboarding as I wasn't brave enough to surf, but a lot of my friends went surfing and absolutely loved it. Even when it was raining people were still hitting the waves.

As I was saying earlier we were staying just around the corner from a coastal path. One day we decided to do the walk from Perranporth to St Agnes. It is seven miles there and back. We set off at 10.30am and didn't get back until 6.30pm. Some people didn't do the walk back and got in a taxi, so there is always that option if you don't feel like doing seven miles. We also had a break during the day when we had lunch at 'The Driftwood Spars' pub, bought some beer from their brewery and played volleyball on the beach.

The coastal path has so many different things to see along it, including some local mining history. I would definitely advise doing this walk and stopping off at the pub for lunch.

I was debating whether or not to have the 'weird' heading, as I wasn't sure Chrissy's tearoom 100% deserved to be here, but then I remembered the teddy bears and felt it worthy of this slot.

It is the highest rated 'restaurant' on Trip Advisor for Perranporth, so we decided to check it out on our last morning. The cream tea was delicious and I wouldn't criticise the food one bit, it was just the hostess, who I assume may have been Chrissy. She was quite pushy, and then I saw her sewing and making teddy bears on one of the tables in the corner. The decor is extremely kitsch and you can only pay in cash. It felt very dated, but I'm glad we went as I think she is probably seen as pretty much a legend in the town.

That's all I've got on Perranporth for you! I hope you enjoyed this post, and let me know if you've been before, or if you're thinking you might just take a trip there.


Thursday, 13 August 2015

Simple healthy pancake recipe | The Small Desk

Every day at work I get really strong hunger pangs at about 10am. It is really annoying because I normally won't be eating lunch until at least half 12. I used to try and feed the hunger with a chocolate bar or nut bar, but I increasingly felt these were not filling the gap. I realised I wasn't getting any protein, and this is what keeps you full. One of the best things for protein is eggs, and another good source is oats. I know what you're thinking... mmm... egg porridge... yeah, no, not for me either!

I decided to see if I could sort my breakfast out once and for all, and to see if I could go from 7am to 12.30pm simply on the fuel from breakfast. I tried out a variation on a healthy pancake recipe I found online, and it worked! So, now I am sharing this half made-up recipe with you so that you can last longer during the morning and forget about elevenses!

Makes 6 pancakes

You will need:
  • 123g plain wholemeal flour
  • Baking powder
  • 40g oats
  • 2 egg whites
  • 240ml Almond milk
  • Bananas
  • Honey

Step 1
Firstly, find a mixing bowl and scales, and weigh out 123g of plain wholemeal flour, sieving it as you weigh it.

Step 2
Add 1 teaspoon of baking powder to the flour.

Step 3
Add 40g of oats to the flour and baking powder.

Step 4
Mix together the oats, flour and baking powder.

Step 5
Whisk 2 eggs worth of egg white for about one minute.

Step 6
Add 240ml of almond milk to the egg whites and whisk.

Step 7
Pour the egg whites and almond milk mix into the flour mixture, and stir. The mixture should be fairly thick, but still be a bit runny.

Step 8
Get a small frying pan (I used one meant for fried eggs), and heat it on the stove until it is really hot. Otherwise your mixture will stick. Then add your mixture and fry on one side for two minutes, flip, and the other side for a minute. They won't look very brown, as there is no egg yolk in them.

Step 9
Serve with honey and chopped banana.

Step 10
And enjoy your morning without hanger! (Mum – hunger + anger = hanger)


Saturday, 8 August 2015

Why I choose to be an anonymous blogger | The Small Desk

I have often thought that perhaps I should share more about me on this blog: what I look like, my full name, what my job is, etc. I feel like I'm one of the few anonymous bloggers left! But then the fear kicks in. I'm a pretty private person in general. If I know you, and consider you a friend, you'll probably know everything about me, whether you want to or not! But when it comes to those I've never met in person, I'm not so open. I'm still of the generation who doesn't 100% fully trust the Internet, and where fame is met with caution: the year I went to secondary school Jill Dando, a famous TV presenter was stalked and murdered outside her home.

I'm 27. There, I'll give you that, a little piece of me... But when I was 16, as some bloggers are these days, I was using MSN messenger and the news was littered with horror stories of teenagers meeting crazy strangers from the Internet and things going horribly wrong. There was even a deep mistrust of paying for things over the Internet.

I know things have changed, and part of the reason I blog more is because I am starting to trust the Internet more, and seeing everyone's lovely faces on Twitter profiles and blog profiles makes me much more comfortable knowing the audience I am engaging with has smiley, happy faces! And I am so glad to engage with and chat to so many amazing bloggers over Twitter and through comments, but I still have that fear that one day, one crazy day when maybe my blog gains more that a few hundred subscribers and people start to recognise me in the street, I will get worried and will lose my so treasured sense of privacy, which, for me, contributes to an increased feeling of security.

I am also worried that someone in my industry will find this blog and read it and judge me for it. I never want this blog to affect me getting a job in a negative way, and I realise that it could help in a positive way but I just don't want to take that risk.

Basically I am shit at taking risks when it comes to things that I prize so highly: my privacy, my career and my identity. 

You do see a lot of me through my writing on this blog and if you met me after reading this blog you would feel like you already know me in a way. So although I appear anonymous, I promise you there is a real person behind The Small Desk, and one who really wants to join in with this blogging fun. I hope you'll stay reading this blog even though it probably doesn't feel as personal as the others. Just call me Alice, and say hi in the comments!

Also, I completely respect and have a lot of admiration for those who do share more of themselves through blogging, and I don't want to scare you off doing so! It's just not for me, personally. 


Tuesday, 4 August 2015

My dream house: pinterest boards | The Small Desk

Some of my very early blog posts were all about homeware and interiors. It isn't something I've blogged about for a while, but recently as I'm starting to save for a mortgage (£200 so far!), I've been starting to think about interiors again. This means I've been obsessively making Pinterest boards. I used to have one board for my 'dream home', but now I've become more serious and have separate boards for every room in the house! I thought you might be interested to see what ideas I have for my future home and whether you can recommend any similar furniture brands or pattern designers.

My two favourite styles are Arts and Crafts and Mid-Century Modern. However I also love a sprinkling of minimalism with white walls and a clutter-free living environment. These boards are works in progress, so be sure to follow if you're interested in seeing how they develop.

For the bedroom I would love to stick to having a natural wood bed with linen bedding. I've found some really lovely linen bedding from Loaf, which I will have to save up for as it is a little pricey! I am obsessed with Normann Copenhagen and would love to have their little mint green trolley as my bedside table along with their clothes racks. The Ercol Treviso desk is something I already own; I was lucky enough to find it on sale in the Ercol outlet, it is my dream desk! I am also obsessed with the brand, Ferm Living and would love to add some greenery to the bedroom with their standing plant pots. Overall I imagine the colour scheme for this room to be very natural, but with some gold and mint green accents.

Living Room
The living room board is probably one of the most confused looking boards, but this is the room that I have the clearest ideas for. I would love to have the bird and pomegranate William Morris wallpaper covering one wall, with a black Arts and Crafts style fireplace. Opposite this wall I would like a gallery-style wall of prints, photos, mirrors and cross-stitch hoops. Then I would like a large grey sofa up against this wall. I'd also like some armchairs and would have to think about where I'd put the TV and books. I've added a Normann Copenhagen bookcase to this board, but I'm not 100% sure about it. The colour scheme for this room would be dark green. I would like it to beautiful and cosy.

The bathroom board is inspired by Aesop. I would love to have the whole room covered in tiling and lots of storage for towels. I'm sick of storing all my towels under my bed in what is essentially a large plastic bag! I am also in love with Ferm Living's bathroom accessories, especially the hexagon shelf/mirror combo. The colour scheme for this room would be dark wood, black and white, with brushed gold detailing where possible.

My main inspiration for the hallway was seeing a massive round mirror in our hotel in Stockholm. I would also love to have a bench where people can sit and put on their shoes. It might be a nice place to add a rug runner.

Finally, the kitchen. I would love to have a ceramic sink and a pantry. I like the idea of having lots of plain tiling and a neutral colour palette. I would definitely want a shelf that I could devote completely to cook books. I need to do more research on kitchens, this is one board I haven't done as much thinking on.

So those are my dream house Pinterest boards! Do you do this too? Am I obsessed?!


Sunday, 2 August 2015

July Favourites 2015 | The Small Desk

July has been a very busy month, especially in terms of work. I can't remember a day where I finished on time, or didn't spend most of my day trying to answer all the emails in my inbox. It's the sort of busy that sometimes you enjoy, and other times the stress tires you out so much all you can do when you get home is sleep. I've also found myself forgetting a lot of things and making stupid mistakes, which always happens when you have too much to do. I hope I'm not failing everyone!

I've also had quite a busy month in terms of socialising. As I've mentioned before I have been trying quite hard to socialise more since finishing my MA almost two years ago. During this time I had to curb my socialising in order to actually complete the qualification, but as a result it made me quite anxious when it came to socialising. I still don't feel I'm the best at socialising, especially in large groups, and although I enjoy it, I sometimes get quite nervous in anticipation of events. The more you do something, the less it scares you, sometimes... Anyway, without any further chit-chat, here are my July favourites.

1. Sister's graduation
This month my sister finished her two year full-time MA. It was a very intense course, and highly pressurised, so I was super proud of her for finishing it. We also went for a delicious lunch afterwards, and celebrated with some tasty desserts.

2. Starting Travel Bloggers Chat
I always love participating in blogger chats on Twitter, but often find they start too early for me. I also saw that there was a gap in the topics that blogger chats were on, which was travel. These two things combined made me want to start a travel chat that started a bit later, at 9pm, this way I could get involved after work. I decided I couldn't do this alone and that it would be great to get some other bloggers involved. Luckily Jasmin Charlotte and Things Sarah Loves agreed to co-found the chat with me, and Travel Bloggers Chat was born! It is every Thursday at 9pm and we use the hashtag #travelbloggers. I have been overwhelmed by how many people have joined it and it has made me so proud. Jasmin and Sarah have been fantastic and so supportive, thanks guys!

3. Meeting my sister's new boyfriend 
I'll keep this one brief, as I don't want to embarrass my sister, but one of my favourites this month was meeting my sister's new Finnish boyfriend! We went to Polpo for dinner and chatted about all things Finland. I would love to go there one day, especially since my Scandinavian interrailing trip.

4. Boyf's Dad's BBQ birthday
Early in the month it was the boyf's Dad's birthday, and we were invited round for a BBQ. All of his family came and it was great to catch up with everyone. It was also great to see his sister's engagement ring! Cannot wait for that wedding!

5. St Paul's Women's Wimbledon Final
I went to watch the Women's Final with some of my old school friends on the roof of One New Change in St Paul's. It was such a beautiful day, and we sat and had strawberries and cans of Pimms. Afterwards we went to the bar where they film the TV show 'First Dates'!

6. Wimbledon Men's Final at a friend's house
For the Men's final I went round to a friend's house and had more strawberries and little chocolate cakes. I am obsessed with watching the finals of Wimbledon, but rarely watch much else. I was a little disappointed Murray wasn't in the final.

7. Work summer party
This year the boyf made it to the work summer party! It normally takes me about an hour and a half to get home after the party, which makes me dread it, but knowing I had someone to join me on the journey back made the whole thing a lot more enjoyable.

8. Noodles with my Dad
One evening the boyf was out and my mum and sis were out, and neither me or my Dad were doing anything, rather than sit on our own in our separate houses we decided to get take out noodles. It's always good to have a catch up with my Dad!

9. Lunch with my sister
My sister came over for lunch one Saturday and we chatted and chatted and chatted. It was so good to catch up, and laugh about so much silly stuff that only sisters understand.

10. Richmond Park picnic
One super sunny Sunday this month the boyf and I headed out for a picnic in Richmond Park. We took a picnic blanket and bought some fancy M&S lunch and chatted for ages. I even blogged about it.

11. Friend's birthday BBQ
It was one of my friend's 30th birthdays' this month and he had a BBQ to celebrate. It was nice to hang out and I even played some Mario Kart, very badly!

12. Hepworth with my Mum
I went to see the Barbara Hepworth exhibition with my Mum at Tate Britain. I love Hepworth's work, but the curating of the exhibition was terrible. This is on my favourites purely for the time I got to spend with my Mum!

13. Making filo apple tarts with colouredskies
It was one of the girls at my work's last day and I volunteered to make these filo apple tarts. Little did I know how complicated they were, but luckily I had already invited my friend round to help me. It was so much fun baking with her and we also watched the latest Pretty Little Liars.

14. Wahaca with the girls
At the end of the month I went to Wahaca with a couple of my old school friends. It was so good to catch up, chat about the old days and about new and exciting things happening in their lives. I also love Wahaca, I wish I could eat there everyday!

15. Dinner at The Folly in Monument 
This was suggested by one of my friends as a great place to eat, and I would now second that! We went there on a Tuesday and I had an amazing watermelon salad. I had a great time catching up with my friends and getting excited for our summer holiday.

16. Getting my hair done
For the first time in a YEAR I had my hair dyed again! I had balayage, which means it will grow out more naturally than highlights. I love getting my hair done, especially when they give you a head massage!

17. Watching Hector and the Search for Happiness
I watched this by myself on Netflix, and it is such a great film. It is about a psychiatrist who feels he cannot help his patients as he doesn't know what happiness is, so he goes on a round-the-world trip to find out what happiness means to people.

18. Watching Into the Wild
I watched this film with the boyf, and if you haven't seen it I would highly recommend you watch it. It is pretty intense, but the cinematography is absolutely extraordinary.

That's all my favourites this month. Sorry about the lack of blog posts in July, but as you can see I've had a fairly busy old month! What have you been up to? Have you seen any of those films?

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