The Sunday Catch-Up & Current Lifestyle Favourites #6

Another month has passed and, as always over summer, I've been up to a lot. I'm actually kind of sad that it's now mid-August, as it feels the summer has only just begun to get started!


Last month I actually went home to Manchester on a little spontaneous trip. It was lovely to catch up with some old friends and also to see my family. My grandparents were over so we took them to Altricham, where there's an AMAZING food market! I also feel like I've been doing a lot of work social stuff, which is really great. I definitely appreciate the fact that my office is so fun and sociable and everyone's up for a laugh and a night out! 

We went to Bristol Pride for my friend's birthday last month too and luckily the weather held up beautifully for the weekend. We got rainbow glittered up and there was such an amazing atmosphere at the event. We even got to see Busted play, which was a bit of a throwback!

I was back in Bristol just 2 weeks after for the Harbour Festival and sadly, the weather was not on our side this time! It's a really cool free event with multiple music stages with all kinds of sounds on offer, so we just had a wander and it was fun to experience something new! There was also some amazing food on offer at various stalls. We went out in the evening on both nights too, which was fun however on the Sunday, the rain was TORRENTIAL! We were about to buy some food from a stall called Tasty Ragga when it suddenly started HAMMERING it down (in a way you wouldn't have thought was sustainable, but apparently it was...) The two guys running the place actually invited my entire group of friends inside the tent; we zipped it up, got dry, ate amazing food and listened to reggae. It was one of those brilliantly surreal moments...

Last weekend I hosted a few of my friends for an event in Birmingham we all really like, called Magic Door. It's a really fun one and we met up a load of other people we know from our uni days. We spent the Saturday sleeping, watching Lord of the Rings and then eating and drinking our way around Moseley (which has lots of really great independent bars and restaurants)... On Sunday we went to a really great Chinese and Vietnamese restaurant (especially if you're Veggie or Vegan) called Cafe Soya, which is very affordable and not actually a cafe! After that we saw War for the Planet of the Apes, which gave me lots of feels (see below for the review...)

I've had a lot of changes go on in my life recently and they've really made me assess things. I'm thinking about whether or not I need to seriously pursue buying my own flat. It just feels like a huge commitment. I'm happy in Birmingham and like my job, so part of me is wondering: why not? I might as well pay my own mortgage instead of someone else's, right? At the same time though, I've only just turned 24 and want to be flexible work-wise at this age... Either way, I'm going to start cracking down and getting serious about saving in my Help to Buy ISA every single month, because at least then I have the option!

Lifestyle Favourites

The Keepers | This is a fascinating documentary investigating a cold case concerning the murder of a nun, which in turn opens the door to an entire coverup within the Catholic Church. It's incredibly put together with old footage, interviews and so on. It's also told in a very respectful way with the focus on the victim, as opposed to the (alleged) perpetrator (a la Making a Murderer).

Audible | I don't know how it took me so long to jump on the bandwagon but this audiobook subscription service through Amazon is a game-changer. It's allowed me to finish books I've been slogging away at for ages and to make my commute much more productive. It's also great for those tired days when I want to continue a story but I'm so tired that I just want my eyes closed with the lights out! My subscription is around £7 a month for one credit to purchase a book each month, which is just about right. You can also purchase additional books and if you own the Kindle eBook already you get a huge discount. Another great thing is that you can seamlessly switch between your Kindle, the Kindle app and Audible as it records your furthest position in the book, no matter how you got there!

The Handmaid's Tale (Hulu) | The Handmaid's Tale is one of my all-time favourite books so I was so pleased to see it get the adaptation that it deserves! It's a dystopian novel set in a future United States where fertility is a rare gift and women are subjugated as a result. It honours the source material whilst updating and expanding on it. Elisabeth Moss is absolutely fantastic in this performance. The only annoyance is that each episode is only available for 30 days on 4od, so if you haven't started watching then there's no way to catch up!

A&H | This is such an obscure favourite but I'm gonna include it anyway! If you're ever in Birmingham city centre; you HAVE, HAVE, HAVE to go to this sandwich shop in the Great Western Arcade! It's not even really a sandwich shop, it's like an alcohol store mixed with a deli and they just make sandwiches as a side-hustle... Not many people know about it (a colleague introduced it) and it's almost like they're too cool to want your custom with the leisurely service whilst the guys just chill and listen to reggae. But, the sandwiches are some of the best I've ever tasted, like, in my life. The fresh bread is amazing quality and they have every kind of cheese, meat, olive and sundried tomato you could imagine. Plus they seriously stuff the sandwiches with filling so you get your £4 worth!

War for the Planet of the Apes | Ok, I think this is in the top 3 films I've seen this year! I'm  huge fan of this prequel franchise; it asks serious moral questions whilst also delivering on character development, a great story, amazing action sequences, suspense and incredible visuals. Andy Serkis really deserves recognition for his groundbreaking performance as Caesar  - even on the third film in, I can't get over how he conveys these facial expressions in a chimpanzee through the magic of motion capture. This is an absolute must-see! I really hope they remake the original film next...

What have your lifestyle favourites been this month?

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  1. I would really recommend a help to buy ISA. It has been a godsend for me and my boyfriend, it makes us much more regimented when it comes to saving money!

    Danielle xx

  2. I really need to do the same and set-up a Help to Buy ISA and start saving! Although I'm also just 24 and still live with my parents (I work in a city just half an hour away from my house), I know I'm going to want to move out within the next few years and it's always good to have the option to buy if you can.

    I've only been to Birmingham once (I live quite far away), but if I do find myself there again, I'll go on a hunt for that sandwich shop! It sounds really cool.

    Louise | Lipstick & Luxe

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  4. Oh my gosh, I couldn't stop watching The Keepers once I started it. It's located near where I live in PA and it was just so interesting to see how intricate the whole ordeal was. I just love true crime in general. Sorry, my first comment had a typo. XD

    Nicolette | http://www.nicolette.co

  5. Glad to hear you've been having fun recently, I need to read hand maid's tale!

    Lauren x Huggled

  6. Audible sounds like a really great investment! I'll have to give it a bash.

    Abigail Alice x

  7. I'm away to start watching the HandMaids Tail soon, really excited to start it! :) So glad you have had a good month!

    Erin || MakeErinOver

  8. I need to get Audible for when I'm working, I always get so bored! I'm reading the Handmaid's Tale at the moment and I can't wait to start the show x


  9. I live in Manchester at the moment and had no idea Altricham had a food market, I'll definitely have to go!
    Oh, and I keep meaning to watch The Keepers, thanks for reminding me!

    Meghan | The Lipstick Philosopher

  10. Audible sounds like an amazing idea, I love that you can switch seamlessly between that and reading through a Kindle or the Kindle app. It's definitely a big and difficult decision regarding buying a flat. Me and my fiance purchased our first flat and it was the best thing we did, and like that the money we are paying is paying back towards something we own, our own mortgage, but I can see the other side too, it's a huge commitment!

    Kristy | www.thevioletblonde.com

  11. I actually want to watch the keepers, I saw the trailer and it looks interesting

    Candice | Beauty Candy Loves

  12. Good luck with the help to buy isa chick, I am sure it will help. I've owned my own apartment for 5 years as I don't have a family home I could stay if there was ever an issue or I was in between places etc. so I kind of needed somewhere that was always going to be there and be mine for security, if you travel a lot though you can always air b&b it out, my other friend does this and she pays her sister a small percentage to go and change the towels/clean the place in between guests and so she and her sister make some money from it, even if she has people stay for 10 days she can cover the months mortgage so that works well for her so could be something to think of xoxo Sarah from www.iheartcosmetics.co.uk

  13. The Bristol Pride must have been great, it's nice that you've been spending fun times with friends and family. I really need to watch A Handmaid's Tale, the reviews are all really good and it seems to be the type of series I'll enjoy too!

    Julia x
    Last Post: Universal Studios Hollywood, LA | http://juliaspeaksbeauty.blogspot.fr/2017/08/universal-studios-hollywood-los-angeles.html

  14. I really want to watch the Planet of Apes movie - it sounds amazing x


  15. I need to watch The Keepers. I really enjoyed War for The Planet Of The Apes too - much more than the previous one xx


  16. Do the Help to buy ISA. I've heard it's only around for one more year to jump onto before it goes. It's so good to be able to get onto the property ladder early too!


    1. I don't think that's confirmed but I've had one for quite some time - just haven't been putting as much in each month as I should! Xx

  17. Oh my god, I didn't have a clue you were from Manchester too! I need to read Handmaids tale, I've heard such good things.
    Liv| fairyfondant

  18. How exciting about potentially buying your own place! It sounds like you had so much fan this month. I must check the audible subscription too xx



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