I know we all probably say this ALL. THE. TIME but for some reason 2017 has REALLY been flying by at rocket speed. How is it September already? Told ya, it’s going way too fast. At the same time, all I see across my social media is chit chat about how much everyone is excited about the fall. I am SO on board! Gimme pumpkin spice everything, chunky knits, candles, layers and blanket scarves. Still, I can’t wait for October because hubby and I will be going on our very much needed “summer” holiday. Back to September… Probably since the very 1st day I went to school, September always meant a fresh start. In my books it’s much more powerful and motivating than January in terms of setting goals and sticking to them. I am currently organizing a proper comeback to the blog this September but for now let’s go back to summer for a little while.
This category was a no-brainer.
Bruges was/is my favourite place of the summer 2017 without a shadow of a doubt.
This cozy little city is absolutely incredible and it was so much more than I expected it to be. Especially, when it comes to waffle and chocolate shops. They were literally everywhere. Needless to say, we went a bit wild with all the treats. Especially, with waffles. Well, I did anyway. No regrets. I will soon publish a separate travel post on Brugge so keep your eyes peeled for it.
Also, we went on a canal boat tour and it was magical. Definitely pick a sunny day for it. It’s one thing I would do over and over again every time we go back. Plus, cycling. I think I looked like a little weirdo smiling from ear to ear riding a bike down the streets of the city. It’s been at least 10 years since I was last on a bike, and I had no idea how I didn’t run anyone over and got to enjoy it as much as I did!
Bruges is a beautiful city to visit all year round, and I’m sure we will go back there for the “fa la la” atmosphere, Christmas markets and more waffles. And chocolate.
This concert we went to in Liverpool was an eye-opener and I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would.
If you don’t know who Hans Zimmer is, but you’re into movies (like myself), you will definitely recognise his score work in such world-famous hits as Batman, Pirates of the Caribbean, Inception, Sherlock Holmes, The Holiday, Pearl Harbour, Gladiator, The Lion King and so many more.
‘Time’ from Inception was my favourite one. Just WOW.
When the concert was over, it left me wanting more. A lot more. It almost felt like it’s only been 15 minutes since it started, even though we’ve been soaking in the genius of this incredible composer and his team of VERY talented musicians for 2+ hours. His presentation of each piece was very humble and effortless. And when he invited Lebo M. (the voice of The Lion King) on stage… first few seconds of his call and you’re not in Liverpool any more, you’re in Africa. Couldn’t recommend Hans Zimmer’s concerts more!
And just when I thought I had my favourite movies listed and ranked (I do that lol), enter Hacksaw Ridge…
You know the kind of films when you have SO MUCH to say about them, you don’t even know where to start. Because they are THAT mindblowing and incredible. Yup, that’s all Hacksaw Ridge.
There’s something very moving about based-on-true-events movies. It’s not a fictional plot any more. Those are not just random characters created by someone’s imagination. It’s an actual REAL story of REAL people.
Hacksaw Ridge takes you back to WW2 and the story of Desmond Doss, a combat medic who saved many lives in one of the most gory and cruel battlefields, Battle of Okinawa. He single-handedly rescued 75 soldiers, including the enemy, not carrying any weapon and not being concerned for his own life.
There is one scene that touched me to the core. When grenades were flying, enemy was pushing closer and closer and most of his unit left the ridge, Desmond stayed and prayed to God, ‘Give me one more, Lord. Just give him one more’. And he ran back into the battlefield to save more injured. His faith was a driving force behind his actions. And God did give him what he prayed for.
It’s not that I haven’t been loving any makeup in summer, but skincare has been my priority.
Now that’s something I never thought I’d say since about 5 years ago I had zero skincare game.
In summer I fell in love with a few new beauty products. There were also disappointments. If you follow me on Twitter, you might remember that a number of weeks ago I had an awful allergic reaction to a product by one brand which I love a lot. As it turns out, it wasn’t the product as a whole or the brand that caused it (because I’m sure it’s incredible and would suit many, I’m sure) but one ingredient I happen to be allergic to – perilla seed oil. Lesson learnt. Sadly, I won’t be able to use it.
Back to my absolute beauty faves of the summer (in no particular order):
1. The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Mask: I reviewed it in this post in detail. To sum it up: it’s 100% vegan and parabens-, silicone-, mineral oil- and paraffin-free + it’s a refreshing and purifying mask perfect for skin that struggles with acne and needs extra cleansing. My skin always feels super soft and squeaky clean after using it, even though first you need to get through the initial 15+ seconds of some hardcore tingling/burning. I personally don’t mind it. The result is worth it.
2. The Body Shop Facial Mask Brush: the mask and this brush pretty much come as a package. Honestly, get the brush. You won’t regret it. I’ve never used a mask brush before and boy, have I been missing out! The bristles are synthetic which means it’s 100% cruelty-free and the brush itself is a must-have. It washes well and dries in no time.
3. Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser: not to be repetitive, I will just redirect you to my full review of it here. It’s worth trying and you won’t regret it. I love my Grapefruit & Patchouli one but if you have sensitive skin and looking for a good non-scented cleanser, here’s the original one.
4. Origins Plantscription SPF 25 Power Anti-Ageing Eye Cream: this beauty was a massive splurge but I was out of any eye cream at the time and thought I’d invest in one of my favourite skincare brands. I wouldn’t say it erases fine lines or makes me look 5 years younger but it does an incredible job at keeping my sensitive under-eye area generously moisturised, protected from the sun and it does help blur out fine lines and makes me look more awake (or at least I hope it does).
5. MAC Prep + Prime Fix+ Spray: it’s not really a “setting spray” but it works amazingly well as a refresher before I put my make up on (works great if, say, you forgot to use your moisturizer). It also makes heavy and sticky foundations lighter and adds some killer pigment to eye shadows. I also use it when I’m finished prepping “the canvas” as it sets the powder well and adds that more dewy finish.
This is a new category I’m trying out and it might not be a regular because, as my man said, ‘What will you feature in your future posts? My toothpaste?’ He’s funny.
I know some men have a beauty arsenal which might make mine look primitive. However, I do believe in moderation when it comes to both men’s and women’s beauty routine. When I cut down on the amount of skincare I was using, I saw improvements almost immediately. Sometimes less is more.
This MB Coastal Cypress & Sea Fennel duo* was a winner in his books. It was very kind of Molton Brown to send this package to my hubby and he thoroughly enjoyed unpacking the box. The bath & shower gel has an amazing formula which isn’t only moisturizing but it’s also nourishing. And it smells so good! The scent lingers on and it’s fresh and manly. The deodorant spray does the job as it’s supposed to (good news, right?) and has a spruced up classic marine scent with notes of cypress, cardamom, bergamot, cedarwood and more.
Great duo for him. Think birthday, anniversary, Christmas and just because.
The day I said ‘I do’. 3 years ago.
I haven’t got to publish a separate blog post on our wedding anniversary this year (no excuses, things got busy and slack) but I couldn’t skip on the most important event of the summer in my favourites. My ultimate favourite date will always be the 12th of August which is our wedding anniversary. Looking back, I can’t believe it’s been 3 (!!!) years. It almost feels like we got married last month tops. Time flies when you’re having fun, right? 🙂 At the same time, it’s ONLY been 3 years. I am looking forward to decades and decades and decades multiplied by forever of being his wife.
Even though it’s a little later than I have planned, I will share a post on marriage and my thoughts about it 3 years down the road. Not to sound too cheesy, but I look at him and see the guy I fell crazy in love with almost 6 years ago. I want to say nothing changed in the sense that he is still (and always is and will be) my everything. But at the same time a lot has changed. Love keeps on growing. And it’s beautiful.
Excuse all the cheese.
Is it a surprise to any of you?
Me? Loving waffles? Shocking.
They were SO GOOD that they had to make it into my 3-in-1 favourites.
Since last month’s visit to Bruges was my first (ever) trip to Belgium, I made it my mission to make sure to sample the heck out of REAL Belgian waffles. It was very successful as you can imagine.
Would I ever be able to describe the taste? No. So I’m leaving you with this delicious picture.
In the cruel world we live in today we all need to chase grace.
I will explain.
We live in the time of grace. Even though the world around seems like the most terrifying place, God’s grace is still present. Instead of calling out to God, ‘Why did You let this happen?’ or ‘Why is it happening?’, we, humans, need to evaluate our own lives and all of our own wrongdoings. God didn’t “let” something “happen” neither does He want to hurt us. If we are completely honest with ourselves, we will admit that we are the root of all the problems (read: sin in us). God’s not angry. He is the definition of love. His grace is still available. And it’s a choice.
Instead of material gain/success/popularity/etc. (which is all fleeting, it won’t last, you won’t have it forever)… Chase love.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourself, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9.
Thank you so much for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed my 3-in-1 Summer Favourites.
*PR samples; this post is not sponsored;
all opinions, ideas & thoughts are my own
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Many thanks for your kindness and support (and patience!) with me trying to get back to blogging PROPERLY. Summer was so busy, and when I did have free time, I had no energy to spend it on all things blogging.
I don’t want to take weeks off anymore.
September always brings this fresh new beginning.
So I am going to hop on that productivity / change / new start wave. Stick around for the ride 😉
My other MONTHLY FAVOURITES you might like:
Leave a comment and let me know what was your favourite place to visit in summer.
What date / event was very special and memorable in your life?
Have you tried any of the beauty products I mentioned & if yes, what did you think about them?