July 2018 Monthly Favorites

For me, the end of July signals a significant change. August means school will be back in session, and that Fall is right around the corner. I love Fall – it’s my favorite season. But that change always has me feeling a bit regretful for what I might not have accomplished during the warmer months. This summer has been incredibly HOT. So I’ve spent a lot more time inside than out, and I’ve tried to make the most of that, but there will always be moments of reflection as Summer puts on its final show and I wonder what I could have done differently, or accomplished…you know, had it not been oppressively hot out…

I feel like I have a LOT of favorites this month. Some months there’s only a couple of things, while others I find myself with a lengthy list and that’s what happened this month. There’s a bit of everything so lets just jump into it.

My new desk lamp – I picked up this new desk lamp from TaoTronics and it is incredible!!! I struggle from frequent headaches and migraines and it can be difficult to find a balance between needing light to work, and finding the lighting to abrasive and painful (you should see how dim the brightness is on my phone!). This lamp has about ninety bazillion different settings that allow you to adjust it to whatever suits you, or what you might need for a particular project. It goes beyond brightness levels (of which there are TWELVE), and also has didn’t temperatures of lighting as well. Some are the super bright blue toned LED that can be expected of modern lighting, and others are more yellow toned, which is what my eyeballs seem to prefer. I also love the design because that too is adjustable and I have it set up to be right above my computer. Further, the light is non-flickering!! For my head that means so much because flickering and/or flashing light is a huge trigger for me! Oh and there’s a USB port on the light so you can charge a device off it as well. For $30, I really don’t think you can go wrong!

Broadchurch – I’m not sure where to even begin. Watching this show was an emotional experience! I watched the first episode months ago and it was so good and so intense, and well done…and then I just didn’t continue for some reason (I got distracted by something else I’m sure). Now I’ve finished the entire series and I’m so, so, sad that it is over with. All three seasons are utterly incredible and yes, I know… Jodie Whittaker is the new doctor, and Olivia Colman is playing the bloody queen, but ahh! I want more of this lovely show!! For some reason, I had thought there were four seasons, so when I got to the last episode of season three, I was shocked to realize I was done. If you like crime dramas you will likely enjoy this show. It takes place in the town for which the show is named, Broadchurch and follows the story of Danny Latimer a young boy who is murdered. DI Alec Hardy (Tennant) and Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller (Colman) set out to find Danny’s killer. In a small town, there’s always gossip but it’s not a simple story and things are complicated. The stories are complex and unlike a lot of crime shows, I wasn’t always able to guess what happened before it was made clear (some shows I’ve got solved in the first ten minutes, I swear!). There are twists and turns and the show feels more like a movie than just a TV program thanks to its incredible music and cinematography. The acting is brilliant and everything just comes together beautifully. I’m truly sad that this show was only given three seasons. Anyone know of any Broadchurch fanfic?? I have theories for what has happened with the characters since then and I need more!! If you want to watch, I’ve included Amazon links for the show, but the whole series is also on Netflix!

NYX Slide on Eye Pencil in Platinum – I was watching a Simon & Martina, Open the Happy video where she did her makeup routine and she used a silver eye liner under her eyes and I just loved the idea of doing that. I’m sure its really nothing earth shattering, but I had never thought of it before. I couldn’t easily find the pencil she used since Bourjois is not available (easily) in the states (though I really wish that it was!), so I opted for a NYX pencil. I love their slide on pencils – they’re definitely my all-time favorite eye liner because they go on really smoothly, are super pigmented, affordable and cruelty-free! A+! I don’t do my makeup every day, but when I have, I find I’m always reaching for my silver liner for the lower lash line. It’s super simple and easy and I feel like it makes me look less like I’m a vampire (no offense to vampires).

Florence and the Machine, High As Hope – I honestly can’t say that I’ve heard every single Florence and the Machine album, but I kept hearing her new song Hunger on the radio and loved it, so I previewed the rest of the album on iTunes, which I also loved, and then promptly requested it from the library. My favorite song is easily South London Forever, but really, the whole album is excellent! It’s the first new album I’ve listened to entirely in a long time (I can easily get stuck listening to the same music endlessly and don’t branch out as much as I should) and oh it’s just so beautiful. ❤

Högsmæde in winter print – I’ve been working on re-doing my desk / “office” area and my walls are pretty bare. I ordered this print from Etsy and ahh!! – it just makes me so happy! The details are gorgeous and it matched with the frame I wanted to re-purpose perfectly. There was also a cute Högsmæde permission slip included which I’ve since popped into a frame I thrifted, and will eventually place on my nerdy gallery wall above my desk. If I ever feel that its finished, I should share it here.

Gabrielle Aplin, English Rain – this is not a new album, but rather one that I’ve loved for years now. I feel like the only one who still listens to cd’s but I keep a bunch in my car and I came across this one the other day and can’t stop listening to it. It’s just so beautiful. I feel like for some reason, her music isn’t all that popular here. Part of me is perfectly okay with that, but at the same time, I don’t understand it. She’s got an incredible voice with such range and a style that evokes emotions. If you’ve never heard of her, give her music a listen, and start with English Rain!

Hogwarts Mystery – this last one is sort of a funny one. There’s a new video game app that many of you have possibly heard of, called Hogwarts Mystery. In it, you get to play as a Hogwarts student from before the time of Harry Potter. You go to potions class, learn charms, practice flying, and have to accomplish different tasks around the school to solve various mysteries. The game is free with the option to purchase extra coins, diamonds and energy, but I don’t personally do any of that. The game is definitely incredibly easy, and that’s both good and bad. It’s a negative because I don’t find it incredibly challenging (or challenging at all really), but it’s good because it means its a game that is rather mindless, but yet still entertaining and sometimes I enjoy apps like that because I find them calming. As someone who suffers from anxiety, I’ve come to learn that having tools like this to distract myself with, can be incredibly helpful. Overall it’s just a fun game where I can take on the role of a Hogwarts student, and who doesn’t want that?! If you’d like to see a full review of the game, please let us know and we’d be happy to do so!

Okay, that’s it for this month! We’d love to know what you’ve discovered, or have been enjoying during July, so please share with us in the comments!

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