Life Lately ~ August 2021

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Long time, no post! I was chatting the other day to one of my friends and she asked about the blog. I realised that I’ve written a grand total of three blog posts so far this year. Three. For a girl that’s been blogging for 10 whole years, at least 1 x a week (mostly), sometimes daily (hiii 2011), that number felt teeny tiny.

To be honest I’ve felt a bit embarassed by how little I’ve blogged this year. For a decade I’ve been ‘a blogger’, and so to no longer be blogging regularly put me into a bit of a tailspin identity-wise.

I wanted to be blogging more regularly – I’d often sit down to start an article, or brainstorm a bunch of new blog post ideas – only to find that I had either: zero inspiration, or quite literally no time write, shoot, edit and share.

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Dress: Bonsoir of London c/o | Cardigan: American Vintage

Prior to the pandemic, and more so since, I’ve pivoted some of my work efforts to include roles outside of blogging and my own social content. I’m now working with a number of businesses, helping them to craft their own digital presence. I feel VERY lucky to be working with businesses which are truly ‘dream clients’.

My new work makes up a lot of my desk hours during the week, and so I’ve had to learn how to manage my time differently. I have less hours in the week to dedicate to blogging and my own channels, so I have to work ‘smarter’, not ‘harder’.

This week I set myself the goal of getting going again with the blog. And here we are! It is S O lovely to be tapping away on my keyboard again, connecting with you.

Like I said, this blog has been 10 years in the making, and in many ways sharing here, with you, is a big comfort for me. Plus, I truly feel lost without somewhere to highlight my most recent skincare faves (new roundups coming soon!), my home decor updates (again, watch this space) and shopping picks (you get the gist by now . . . it’s coming!).

WHAT DOES ‘LIFE LATELY’ LOOK LIKE RN?

I tend to revert to my go-to life pillars when I’m in ‘reflection mode’, namely: Health, Home, Hustle. So for ease, I’m going to use them here too!

HEALTH

Anyone that knows me knows that I’m a health nerd. Recently I’ve got back into a good gym routine. A new gym opened up closeby and it’s v. boujee. It also has a great coffee shop next door which is my favourite way to round off a workout. And sometimes I skip the workout altogether 😂! But mostly I aim to workout and then grab coffee. It’s felt so good to be back into an exercise rhythm for both my mental and physical health.

One thing which has helped me to get into my gym groove again has been seeing a PT to write up a workout plan. I haven’t actually been going for personal training, but having a PT write up a plan has helped me to focus in the gym and have goals. I’m going to be re-jigging my plan every 12 weeks or so, so actually I’m due again soon. I’ve loved it, and even when I’ve had weeks where I’ve had a lull in energy, I’ve been able to get back into it. Currently I have 2 routines which I’m rotating: one takes around 25 mins and I aim to complete it 2 – 3 x a week, and the other takes around 45 mins and I aim to complete it 1 – 2 x a week.

The other major thing I’ve done for my health recently is to embark on an online health course, namely the Super Immunity 30 Day Programme, by Level Up Health.. You may remember me sharing my Functional Medicine experience at The Maas Clinic a while back. Level Up Health is the new sister co. to The Maas Clinic – it’s an online health education hub – think MasterClass but for health only. The Super Immunity 30 Day Programme is a comprehensive programme designed to help you to press ‘reset’ on your immune system. Oli and I took part in the course trial before it went to market and both LOVED it. In particular what I liked was that the course is tailored to your unique body chemistry – you take a couple of blood tests at the beginning which give you your ‘base’ reading, and you then work through the programme guided by your test results, and re-test at the end to see how things have changed. For me the biggest changes were in my energy, my hormones (it changed my cycle entirely!), sleep and my overall feeling of ‘wellbeing’. If you feel like you want to press ‘reset’ on your health, I highly recommend the course. Laurens and his team are truly experts in the fields of Functional Medicine and Integrated Medicine and the value in this course is unreal. I’m planning to work through it again a little later in the year.

HOME

Home updates! Yay!

I am going to share one of our biggest recent home updates with you on Thursday . . . I know, teaser . . . but this is such a fun one! I’m excited for you to see what we’ve upgraded!

Oli and I updated our outside area a little while back and we love it so much. I shared a little bit about it on Instagram, but I want to shoot it properly and share a before and after because the transformation is dramatic.

And in future plans, we’ve begun to put things in place to update our bathrooms. There’s a reason you’ve NEVER seen them before. If you have any recommendations for good bathroom companies/tiles/fixtures, I am all ears! I’ve started to ‘save’ inspiration on Instagram, and snap pics in nice restaurant loos 😂 I also have my trusty Pinterest boards which I add to on the reg.

I like to include relationships in my ‘home’ segment since they’re as much a part of my foundation as my actual, um, foundations?! My little sister got married and it was the most beautiful day ever ever. Like so many couples, her and her now-hubby had to change their plans many times over, and it was just THE best feeling to be able to finally see them tie the knot. A day we’ll all remember forever. Some of mine and Oli’s friends also had a big wedding party (one year after they said “I do” in a smaller ceremony), and on both occasions the sense of joy and celebration was amplified a million times over. Every freedom feels SO sweet right now. I’ve also been seeing friends and family more often, doing lovely normal things like going to restaurants and to each others’ houses. It’s bliss.

HUSTLE

In addition to my new client work, Charlotte and I have started work on something completely new which we are SO excited to share. We are very much learning through the process. I’ll share more deets when I can!

On the blogging and content creation side of things it’s been so lovely to re-connect with some of my favourite brands, as well as new-to-me ones, and to start working closely with one another once more. I’ve shared some projects recently that I’m really proud of, like this MINI campaign, work with Papier, this beautiful L.K. Bennett ‘hero dress’ and one of my favourite new-to-me brands Love & Roses.

Now that I’ve shuffled my time around a bit I’m looking forward to creating and sharing more regular blog posts here. And, if you’re not already signed up, I send out a weekly newsletter over the weekend called Croissant Reading which is filled with my favourite things from around the web that week! It’s been running for years (I think 5+?!) and it’s one of my most treasured slots of time. I love perusing blogs and sites to bring my favourite links to you! You can sign up here if you’d like to receive it.

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5 RANDOM THINGS BRINGING ME JOY

Since one of the things I’ve most missed, during my blogging lapse, is sharing random things I love with you, here are 5 things currently bringing me joy:

1. Podcasts! In particular there are 2 podcasts I have on rotation RN which I listen to week in week out: Shagged Married Annoyed for weekly LOLs, and The Blonde Files Podcast for my weekly hit of wellbeing chat.

2. The Arket racer back tank top. Anna Newton shared this tank top in her IG Stories and claimed that it is “the best tank”. I trust Anna’s taste implicitly and immediately hit purchase. She was, as always, correct. I love the tan and black colourways, I found the white a bit too see-through for me, so I’ll be buying another couple in the colours I like. It is truly the perfect cut – flattering on the arm pit which randomly is the area I have found other racer back tank tops to be unflattering around.

3. Kuda Cocktails. O.M.G. these ready to serve cocktails are unreal. Founded by a mother and her two daughters, based on their upbringing in Trinidad in the Caribbean, Kuda Cocktails is inspired by the family’s Rum Punch recipe they’ve been sharing with friends for years. I took a bottle to my friends for dinner and it went down a TREAT. Sweet, spicy and beautifully summery. If you’re looking for a new tipple, this is it.

4. Link Nutrition’s Ashwaghandha supplements. I take this supplement daily to help regulate my stress hormone cortisol. I notice a HUGE difference when I do take this vs when I don’t. So much so that when I ran out recently I could noticeably feel myself getting anxious, especially in the morning. For me, ashwaghandha evens me out. It can also be used to encourage a good night’s sleep.

5. SILKE London Hair Wrap. I picked my SILKE London hair wrap up again a couple of months ago after a long break, and haven’t looked back. If you’re struggling with your hair right now, be it the quality, thickness . . . anything, I can’t recommend a SILKE London hair wrap enough. My hair feels SO much healthier for having worn it for the past few months. This is one of my all-time favourite hair hacks. Here’s my original blog post on it from 2016!

WE’RE ALL CAUGHT UP!

I feel like this is one of those situations, similar to when you get together with friends, when you could just talk the night away. But for now, I feel like we’re all caught up!

Again, it’s SO lovely to reconnect with you here.

Have a beautiful balance of your day 😘

Love, Monica x

Photography by Charlotte Bryer-Ash

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