It’s been a strange summer for me this year… The first time I’ve worked through the whole thing! Last year I spent an entire month of the summer in Kenya (in a staff role, but very different to your standard 9 to 5 work), and before that I’d have the whole summer off due to working in a school. I’ve only taken one day off this August, and that was to go to London for a full day photoshoot – not exactly a break! Ah well, no time off in the summer means more time off in autumn and winter…
August Wrap Up
August has been a really exciting month for me – it’s got me well out of my comfort zone trying new things in the blogging world. I’ve properly started using video on IGTV, and attended events which I have then reviewed. It’s been tiring, but great!
The last few months have been crazy for book blogging, but I’m finally getting back into my original routine now. I reviewed three books this month – A Kiss Behind The Castanets by local author Jean Roberts, a humorous travel memoir exploring her move to Spain, An Excuse For Murder by Vanessa Westermann, which was a really good crime/mystery novel, and A Gentle Hug For The Soul by Lindsay Coldrick – a guide to developing your own spiritual toolbox for times of need.
I loved all of them, however A Kiss Behind The Castanets was especially interesting as I got to do a full radio show alongside Jean for Writer’s Block, where we discussed her book and the process behind it. I also made my first IGTV video exploring five chick lit novels that I’ve really enjoyed, which you can watch here on my IGTV channel.
I was hoping to review a recipe this month but sadly I just didn’t have time! I did manage to get one food review in though, which was of a local eatery called Small Talk Tea Rooms. The decor was beautifully vintage and they had such a lovely selection of healthy lunches and tea blends, so I’ll definitely be going back!
Experiences & Events
This is where all of the focus has been this month! I attended two events during August, both being very new for me. The first was The Big Beauty Event in Brightlingsea, which was a lovely Sunday festival featuring beauty treatments, products for sale, and other entertainment and wellness activities. As well as my review I created an IGTV video here!
The other event I attended was a summer soirée with Cotswold Co in Chelmsford, where I got to check out their new summer furniture and upholstery range. There was also a free hand massage from London Grace and a free cocktails from Tiptree Jam, so it made for a great evening!
Products & Services
I’ve posted a few reviews on my blog that have been focused around trekking, so this month I decided to share with you all my trusty Regatta Great Outdoors Mid hiking boots, which are honestly the best pair of shoes I’ve ever owned. They’re so comfy and have been up a mountain (and back down) with me, so I had no problem with giving them a top rating!
I’m still catching up with my travels to Kenya last year and Fuerteventura this year, so I wrote posts for each this month. For Kenya, I shared my safari experiences in Tsavo East National Park, which I was fortunate enough to be able to undertake several times.
For Fuerteventura, I reviewed two of my favourite restaurants in Corralejo – La Casita, which does amazing steak and fish dishes, and Cordon Blue, where we always visit first thing whenever we travel to the island.
I posted one tag post this month, which was the Vogue Parody: 73 Questions About Me post that’s been doing the rounds. Possibly the longest post I’ve every written, but it was fun to answer all those questions!
I guest posted on two different blogs this month – for My Anxious Life I shared Five Places I Go To Unwind For My Mental Health, and for Lea Bella Blogs I wrote a post on Five Things I Love About Canarian Culture.
September In Focus
September is still going to be really busy for me, but I think less intense because I’m now getting into the swing of things with video and events coverage.
I’ve got three more books for this month – one non-fiction and two fiction. The non-fiction is a memoir called At The Narrow Waist Of The World by Marlena Maduro Baraf, exploring the author’s childhood growing up as a Spanish Jew and eventually moving to the US to live a very different lifestyle.
One of my fiction reads is Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano – I read this a while back for NetGalley and it made quite an impression on me, telling the story of a boy who ends up the only survivor of a devastating plane crash. The other is Kaerou Time To Go Home by B. Jeanne Shibahara, a Japanese historical fiction novel set after the Vietnam War.
I had a grand plan to go and visit an eatery whilst out in London for my first ever London-based review, however it sadly didn’t materialise because my photoshoot completely overran! There won’t be anything foodie-related this month, however I’m sure I will make up for it next month and once I’m back from Fuerteventura with loads more food/travel content.
I’ve got another two events lined up for September, one of which is the wonderful Expectant & Beautiful event in Chelmsford. It’s designed for expectant mothers to get some health and wellbeing into their lives – I’m definitely not pregnant, but I’ve been given the opportunity to test it out and I’m so excited!
The other one is the Classic Car show at Walton-on-the-Naze – we go every year, but this time it’s different as it’s now combined with a beauty and crafting event in the Columbine. I’m looking forward to seeing how the two combine! (Wolseley photo below not from the actual show – I’d hope the entrants take better care of their photos than that!)
I’m not sure what happened but I’ve ended up with three products and services to review this month, which is great! The first is the book lover’s journal from Stationery Geek – I can’t wait to review this because it supplements my book blogging activities perfectly. I’ll also be reviewing an amazing pair of socks from Printsfield – I’m not going into detail yet as to what the pattern will be, but they’re personalised and just brilliant and I’m excited to share them with you all!
As for services, I’ll be experiencing a local yoga session – on the beach (eek!) – with Viloma Yoga, which I really can’t wait for! I love yoga, and practising on the beach makes it even more special.
It’s only five weeks until we finally go away again (to Fuerteventura, of course), so this week doesn’t really have a travel focus due to so many other things happening! There will just be one post for this category, which will be of my time at Stilts Backpackers, a gorgeous hostel just a short walk away from Diani Beach in Kenya.
I’m Also Focusing On…
I was nominated for yet another blogging award last month which is amazing, so I’m hoping to get that posted mid-September. I’ve also got a couple of guest posts and contributions going up – a contribution to a post by What Issy Did on living with migraines, and a blogging Q&A for On The Ron.
Another busy month! It’s what keeps me going though, and I’m looking forward to so many new experiences as we move into autumn (anything to distract me from the weather getting colder).
What are you most looking forward to reading about in August? Let me know below, and don’t forget to like and pin as well!