Another month has come and gone and we're now in August, wow. Where does the time go? On the upside, it's only two more months until my trip back to Canada, which in anticipation alone has been the highlight of my year so far. As for what made me happy in July? This month's favourites covers an eclectic mix ranging from a rewatch of a show that ran for eight seasons to a Harry Potter exhibition, and from a very healthy super food salad I've fallen in love with right through to some slightly less healthy but equally scrumptious (and gorgeous) treats of the sweet variety. And there is a sneaky bookish mention in there too with a thank you to a very generous publisher ♥
FlowersI've been meaning to brighten up my room with some flowers for a while now but I didn't want to splurge on a bouquet that will last for just a few weeks and each time I found a houseplant in a shop it didn't come with a matching pot so I kept postponing it. Until I popped by Morrisons a few weeks ago and came across some gorgeous potted plants with pink and purple flowers and beautiful matching ceramic posts for just £2 each! They're the cutest and I love them, and they make my Instagram feed much lovelier and brighter than it was before, check it out here.
ChocolateNow, while chocolate (of course) always makes me happy I want to give a special shout-out to two brands this month. First, and foremost, Cocoa Den which I met at The Bloggers Hangout Tea Party. The lovely Kate asked bloggers at the event what they would like to see being turned into a chocolate creation and I suggested a fox, which she ended up making and gifting to me, how incredible is that? It is covered in gold and looks absolutely stunning. My picture does not do it justice, but it's so beautiful that I don't want to eat it (and that's saying something, because hello chocolate).
The second brand I'd like to highlight this month is the organic and ethical Seed and Bean, which I came across when I was at Wholefoods. I've really been getting into dark chocolate lately and savouring small pieces rather than devouring a whole bar in one sitting to make it more of a special treat. And years ago I had lavender chocolate at a food fair and haven't been able to find it since. So when I came across this brand in a range of unique flavours I had to pick up a few bars. It's absolutely delicious and I already know I'll be popping back into Wholefoods soon to pick up the Lemon and Poppyseed flavour too.
That '70s ShowWhile the summer hiatus usually announces a few TV-less months I've been looking for a show to fill the gap in those evening hours and I whilst browsing Netflix I came across That '70s Show. I've always loved it, however I'd never seen the show in order or even all of it, I kind of just watched it when I came across it on TV. Watching it from the start I now love it even more than I did before, it really is very fun and man Ashton Kutcher was so cute as Kelso! In July alone I've seen the first six seasons, so it should only be another week, maybe two, until I'm finished and I'm not sure what I'll be doing with all those Kelso-less hours...
Hachette Children's BooksWhile I've been blogging in various shapes and forms for about 12 years now, I've only really gotten serious about it in the past year or so (before then I had a diary of sorts on Livejournal and a travel blog to keep in touch with family when I was living in Canada and Australia). However, in the last decade the world has caught up with blogging and it's become a very saturated market and it's quite difficult to stand out from the crowd. So when a brand or PR company seems to genuinely appreciate the work I put into writing about them, despite undoubtedly being inundated with blogger requests, that feels really nice.
In July I received a lovely surprise from Hachette Children's Books, and that was a big box full with some of their most anticipated YA releases. How cool is that? The enclosed letter also said 'Dear Reviewer', rather than 'Dear Blogger, which was a lovely way to close the divide between bloggers and professional reviewers as well. I used to be a professional reviewer and while this isn't my day job any longer, it's nice to know that perhaps with my blogging hobby I can slowly move back into that direction. So thank you very much Hachette for your generosity, I cannot wait to review your gorgeous upcoming books.
Leon's Hot Smoked Salmon Superfood SaladI've been using my UberEats app quite a lot recently because every time someone uses my promo code not only do they get £10 off, but so do I and of course free lunch is the best lunch. They're slowly expanding their selection of restaurant choices and last week I was delighted to see Leon Restaurants was added to it. I a big fan of their halloumi burgers but rather than ordering the same old same old I decided to pick something new and I came across the Hot Smoked Salmon Superfood Salad. I love salmon and I've been trying to be a bit more healthy in my food choices so this seemed like the perfect option. And it so was. The pea/broccoli/mint salad the salmon came with was divine and it was SO huge and filling, really a rather perfect lunch option. Do you want free lunch too? Download the UberEats app and use my referral code on your first order for a £10 (no minimum spend): eats-zarinad52ue.
House of MinaLimaI flailed about designers MinaLima a while back because they published the most gorgeous edition of Peter Pan, ever. But did you know this duo are also behind all the awesome artwork in the Harry Potter films? Some of their art is now on display at the House of MinaLima (where you can buy the beautiful prints too), which has four floors of amazing displays, mostly from the Harry Potter films, but some of their other work is exhibited as well. I took tons of photos and so will do a proper post about this amazing exhibition later on, but I had to highlight it in my July favs as well because it was absolutely fantastic. It's completely free too, so dDefinitely check it out if/when you're in London!
And that's it for my July favourites! What made you happy in the past month?