The Sunday Catch-Up & Current Lifestyle Favourites #7

The last time I caught up with you, it was just as summer was dying and now it well and truly feels like autumn! Not only has it been a while but the seasons have started to change and fast... This is what I've been up to and the things I've been loving in that time.

The end of summer

I always seem to have so many exciting things on during the summer months that it really was a sad moment for me when I realised it was all over (in a flash, as always)! I know autumn is the month that gets romanticised in the blogging world, but for me summer is all about music, dancing, trips away, eating great food and having my diary packed full of exciting events. I always feel like I can go anywhere and do anything! Now all that's over and my bank balance is looking less than healthy and there's much less to look forward to, I can't help but feel the post-summer blues... I finished off summer with the most amazing time at Manchester Pride (Instagram post) and one last bit of sun in Palma, Mallorca (Instagram posts) - if you want to hear about what I got up to then check out My Week in Lipsticks #5.

Life changes

I've had a few low points in recent months, to put it mildly - I've had some difficult things to deal with personally, however I've had some amazing friends around me who have really been there as moral support. One good thing has happened though and that's my job update - I'm no longer a graduate! Scary as it is, I've now moved into the permanent job I'd been wanting and two years on I can really appreciate all I've learned and how far I've come in that time.

Spending time with family and friends

For my mum's birthday we spend the day at the amazing Titanic Spa in Huddersfield. It's a sustainable eco-spa out in the country and although we didn't stay over, we did do a full day there from morning to evening. It has such a calm, tranquil atmosphere, we had a really lovely lunch (what I ate) and the shop stocks brands like Elemis, Neom, Decleor, Comfort Zone and more. There's a pool, gym, outdoor jacuzzi, relaxation room and a variety of saunas and steam rooms. We also got several treatments - I went for an Elemis Facial, Decleor Foot Treatment and a Comfort Zone Tranquility Massage. As well as leaving me incredibly zen, my skin looked fresh and glowing well into the next week! I also love that we got chocolates and champagne afterwards. If you live in the north west, I can't recommend this spa enough!

A couple of weeks back I took a brief trip down to Bristol, where one of my best friends lives, because she's leaving her job to do a pHd at Oxford (yes, really!) I'd never been to Bristol before she moved there but it's become a bit of a second home to me over that time and I met some really cool people down there through her, so it was great to have one last night at Mr Wolfs and a final breakfast at Spicer and Cole (what I ate)!

The next day I headed home (and had a bit of a nap...) before meeting some of my family back in Birmingham for dinner and drinks. It was really nice to catch up and we had a great meal at Aluna, an eclectic restaurant in the Mailbox, which also has a vast, very good cocktail menu. Afterwards, as my mum was staying the Indigo Hotel, we got a drink at the Marco Pierre White bar at the top of the city. It had live music and amazing panoramic views over Birmingham. The next day I met back up with my mum and we used their spa facilities (I don't usually do this so often, I promise!) before having some lunch.

I recently also got the opportunity to go to a charity gala with my work colleagues with one of the companies we do a lot of business with - attending events is definitely one of the benefits of the industry I'm in and it was good fun. I then headed back to Birmingham and got tapas with a good friend of mine who's just moved back to the city and her boyfriend at Bar Estilo. Do you ever have one of those restaurants you keep trying to go to and it's always full? This place in the Mailbox was that restaurant for me! I'm glad I finally got to go though, because the food was really good and we actually got a lot for our money and a lot of choice. It's also been really great to see so much of my grandparents now I'm back in Birmingham. Good food, a few drinks and great conversation are pretty much what I live for!

Lifestyle Favourites

The Power by Naomi Alderman | I read (or rather listened to on Audible!) this book in its entirety whilst I was away in Palma after a friend recommended it earlier on in summer. If you enjoy intelligent, feminist or dystopian fiction then this is a must-read. The premise is that virtually overnight, women across the world begin to develop electrical powers to varying degrees, which leads the power balance within society to shift, as suddenly men are scared to walk the streets at night and women are seen as violent aggressors. Alderman builds the story from several viewpoints and is incredibly clever in how she exposes the buried realities in our own society by turning the patriarchy on its head.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley | This is a book I've been meaning to read for a really long time, because 1984 is an all-time favourite of mine. This classic dystopia imagines a world where people live within their preordained place in society, never unhappy and never wanting more. Everyone worships at the altar of capitalism and happiness drugs are available virtually on tap. However a young man, the 'savage' John was born outside of society and brought as a curiosity back to the 'civilised' world. Having learned to read using the work of Shakespeare and having grown up rereading it over and over again, he has views on love and religion that are at odds with this society. I had mixed feelings about this book; I know it's kind of on purpose, but the characters are very empty, shallow and difficult to relate to on any level. They're essential just vehicles for the message Huxley is putting forwards and they never really grow and develop (it is definitely not a character-driven narrative). The character we're supposed to sympathise with - John - doesn't really appear until about halfway through, and even then there are elements of him that don't quite translate to a 21st century point of view. I actually think this is a more accurate view of the future than 1984, however one of the problems I find with it is that whilst parts of this world are disturbing, I don't feel the moral outrage I think Huxley wants me to over other elements of it.

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky | This isn't a book I'd heard of, however a friend recommended it and it sounded just my sort of thing so I downloaded it and I was instantly hooked! It's a science fiction novel based around humanity's search for a new home after a nuclear war all but destroys Earth. The story is told over millennia and the narrative is split between the last humans aboard a spaceship (dipping in and out of suspended animation in order to keep the mission going) and the life form accidentally created on the most-promising planet they've spent thousands of years terraforming. I know very few books are truly original these days but I'm actually going to say that this one is! It really is impressive to tell a story over such a period of time whilst maintaining a level of intimacy. I also think it's so clever how the author builds a society, language and culture for creatures that humans are naturally disgusted by. This book asks some really interesting questions about religion, gods and the interpretation of these ideas, where human beings end and machines begin and how much of our humanity we should sacrifice for progress. If you have an interest in science, philosophy, sociology, religion and ethics then I can't recommend it enough!

Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams | After selling off Black Mirror to Netflix, there was definitely a bit of a hole for a unique, science fiction anthology series on Channel 4. Luckily Electric Dreams (inspired by Philip K. Dick's short stories) has filled that slot already! Each episode stands alone, meaning there are some really big names on the billing. Despite that, the stories never feel rushed, and you get an immediate sense of the world the story takes place in. The narrative is quite focused (it's more like a snapshot of one person's story) but you still get a feel for the rest of the episode's universe that kind of leaves you wanting more when it's over!

What have been your lifestyle favourites over the past few weeks?

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Disclosure - products marked * were sent to me for consideration however all opinions remain my own. 

Read more posts from this series here!



  1. Like you, I'm all about summer too! I like Autumn colours but am not a fan of the rain & chill that comes with the change in season!! Bring back summer!

    Sounds like you have had lots of lovely meals and spa days! Congratulations on your permanent job! xx

    Beautylymin| HourglassAmbientLightingEditGiveaway

    1. Ugh couldn't agree more haha and thank you :) xx

  2. I'm glad you've got a good group of friends around to help get you through the low points, and I hope you're okay! Congratulations on the permanent job too!xx

    Hannah | luxuryblush

  3. I really enjoyed The Power. It was a little more violent and shocking than I was prepared for, but so clever and so thought-provoking.

    Congrats on the job!

    Pumpkin Lemonade

  4. Sorry to hear you've had some low points. Congratulations on your permanent job! You spa visit sounded lovely xx


  5. That novel by Naomi Alderman really peaked my interest...I may have to pick that up. Lovely favourites! Congratulations on your job xo


  6. It's funny because I almost went to Spicer and Cole in Bristol today for brunch! We ended up in another cafe though, but now I'll be sure to add it on my list because the breakfast you had looked really yummy!
    It's great that your job is giving you these opportunities and that you're truly enjoying them - it shows that yes, work can have its perks sometimes!

    Julia x
    Last Post: A Guide to Visit Sintra, Portugal | http://juliaspeaksbeauty.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/travel-guide-to-visiting-sintra-portugal.html

  7. I am that weirdo that hates summer and prays for the day when the leaves start changing colour because it means winter is coming. Haha! Congrats on starting your permanent job. I'm not into sci-fi reads but some of these books sound super interesting xxx

  8. Congratulations for your job !

  9. I've just finished reading The Power, it was surprisingly interesting and certainly far more gory than I was expecting in some parts

    Mel ★ http://www.meleaglestone.co.uk

  10. Aww Jasmine, I love these types of posts. Your personality and voice really comes across in your writing and you seem like you are the loveliest girl ever! xx

    Fatima x www.fatimawrites.co.uk

    1. Aw thank you Fatima - so lovely of you to say, I'm glad you enjoy this series :) xx

  11. Congratulations on your permanent job! x

    Maiya | http://www.maiyabellexo.co.uk

  12. Ahh this photo is so cosy & autumnal! Congrats on your job :) xx

    Gemma Louise

  13. Huge congratulations on your perm job! Well deserved.



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