My first time sharing with you guys what I loved most this July, old and new, weird and wonderful. I hope you enjoy 🙂
Gado Gado-I had tried this before but fell in love with this dish in Ubud. None of the recipes I had previously tried made it quite like I had it there. It was also the first meal I made when I got home, chok full of veggies with a delicious peanut sauce and tempeh or tofu it’s delicious and nourishing. Recipe to be up on the blog soon.
Banh Mi-another discovery from my travels, this time in Vietnam. I had tried this once before but nothing could quite prepare me for, or compare to that which I I was served in Ho Chi Minh. This is a bread roll, but not just any bread roll; the Vietnamese have a special way of making their bread so that it is delightfully crunchy on the outside but heavenly fluffy on the inside. Stuffed with sauce, veggies and if you’re lucky, mushrooms or tofu this is a nourishing, delicious and easy meal. I’m currently in the process of developing my own recipe but I doubt it will ever compare.
Fruit Cereal-Unable to find soy yogurt in the supermarket in Bali we decided to get soy milk to pour over our fruit instead. Mangos, Salak fruit, bananas , a sprinkle of granola and soy/rice milk make a surprisingly delightful combination. Bonus: it’s super easy to put together!
All the raw fruit and veggies- Most of this month was spent traveling around South East Asia ( did I say that already?) and as a result, our access to fresh fruit and veggies was limited. What? But surely such countries must be a vegan treasure trove? Yes, markets and shops overflow with vegetables and fruits grown locally but because of the contaminated water which can cause one to get dreadfully sick, we weren’t really able to buy any and it was best to avoid any uncooked food when eating out. The result was that when I came back, fruit and vegetables, which I already loved, tasted incredibly luscious.
Coconut Water-My latest obsession. Everywhere you go in South East Asia you will see coconuts for sale. Watch them be hacked open in front of you and sip with a straw. More hydrating and tastier than water; the benefits are numerous. Also, as you have to ignore your inner eco freak and buy bottled water, coconuts are a better choice because they are natural and can biodegrade or are made into coconut bowls/chopsticks/spoons or used to create art, like these guys!
I’ve loved getting back to my best friends (bookwork alert) this month. My list could go on and on, and I’d like even, to include some books I haven’t yet read but here are some of my favourites from this month.
We should all be Feminists- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Third time reading it- never gets old)
The Hours- Michael Cunningham
Once upon a time in the East -Xialou Guo
Nora Webster – Colm Tóibín
Anything is Possible-Elizabeth Strout
The New York Review of Books
This month has been an EPIC month in terms of music releases. Two of my favourite groups: Haim and Oh Wonder, released albums within one week of each other so they formed much of this month’s soundtrack, but there were a few others:
Side note- my music taste is quite eclectic so bear with me:
Want you Back- Haim
Found it in Silence- Haim ( and all of their album, but I’ll stop here)
That don’t Impress me Much- Haim’s cover for Like a Version
Overgrown- Oh Wonder
Solo – Oh Wonder (Again, I’ll stop before I list the whole album)
Just the way you are- Bruno Mars (Oldie but a goldie)
Don’t Kill my Vibe- Sigrid
Twist that frown upside down- Teen Beach 2 (yes I am 5)
Chasing Pavements- Adele
You will be found- Dear Evan Hansen
Paper Planes- M.I.A
We Won’t – Jaymes Young
White Noise- Ella Vos
Cold Little Heart- Michael Kiwanuka
Agnes- Glass Animals
Say it Again- Frances
Podcasts- I haven’t been listening to as many podcasts this month as I haven’t been walking to and fro as much but my current faves include:
Ladies who Lunch and Ted Talks.
I don’t watch a lot of TV or movies. A couple of months ago this would have been a blank space but my interest in photography along with serious jet lag rekindled my infatuation with the screen.
Dead Poet’s Society- How had I not seen this before? Love, love, love. Robin Williams is gold. Though the end is a bit dramatic/ridiculous but everything up to that point….perfect.
Bloodline- the first season of this is brilliant. Utterly creepy and intriguing, and the cinematography is excellent.
Gilmore Girls- Having a down day? Your good old friend Lorelai is here to cheer you up!
I’ve taken a bit of a step back from Instagram this month but here are a few of my faves:
Travel- took up the greater part of this month. I always say this is my favourite thing to do, but then forget the extent to which it really is my favourite thing to do. Nothing makes me feel so alive. By ‘travel’ I really mean travel. Void of luxuries. Minimal items. I mean, washing your underwear in the sink. Cold showers. And smiles. So many smiles.
Yoga- Yes, I’m on that yoga hype. Before I went away I just completed 30 days of yoga and got back into my routine when I got home (it was difficult to practice in box size rooms). I am awful at yoga, possibly the least flexible 21-year-old in the world and yet, I still love it. I may look laughable doing it, but I’m not doing it for anybody else. I urge you, to cast aside your doubts, insecurities, and commit, the impact it has on your whole well being is incredible.
Journaling- Along with committing to yoga I decided to commit to journaling daily. I could not have foreseen the impact this would have on my mental health. Usually, I would only journal on days of distress but doing it every day helped me to become more in tune with, and muddle through my tangles of emotions.
Rediscovering- I used to play piano, guitar and sing and I loved it. A couple of years ago, for personal reasons, I let my love slide and have only truly rediscovered it this month. Strumming, and struggling to strum, my guitar and tentatively training my voice again has been wonderful. Music, I believe, is the magic of this world. I can’t believe I forgot that.
As I spent this month traveling I had about three outfits with me. It definitely inspired me to pare back my wardrobe even further. It is so liberating to have limited items and saves time. If you only have three outfits to wear, one is dirty, one is too hot/cold, then the decision is made. To change my outfits up a bit I love adding accessories; my two favourite ways to upstyle an outfit are:
Scarves– there are numerous ways you can tie a scarf in your hair, and you can even use it as a top! If you can’t find any second-hand vintage scarves why not raid your Dad’s ties, I found some really cool hippy ties gathering dust in my Dad’s drawers.
Earrings- I love how a pair of earrings can immediately dress up or down an outfit. I’m currently obsessed with dangly earrings. It’s also relatively easy to find vintage earrings that are totally affordable!
Dungarees- I picked a pair of vintage dungarees up just before I set off on my travels and since I’ve come back, I’ve barely taken them off. I’ve always said I love dungarees but that I’m not tall enough to wear them. I dare you to challenge your clothing inhibitions! You may just discover a new look 🙂
Let me know in the comments or on my instagram @afruitfulllife: what were your favourite things to do/listen to/see this past month? I’d love to know!