Welcome to Life at Number Eight! My monthly series that lets us recap the month and catch up with everything that has been going on.
This month, as I expected, was one in which my focus was on settling into my new job and finding my daily rhythm. It was about trying to work out how my life would fit around the responsibilities of this role, and I am happy to say that it’s been going really well.
One of my biggest worries when I first started was that I may have to give up yoga, as I am now working in the city I have to take the commute home on public transport into consideration. I have worked out though that if I leave on time I can just make it home to get changed and head off to the studio ready for my 6.30 pm class.
Yoga has been fantastic in keeping me grounded and managing some of my new job anxiety, and I find myself so much clearer the day after. So I am very glad that I have been able to keep this routine.
One of the highlights of this month was making my first two tier cake (pictured below) for a friends birthday who was kind enough to let me run wild with creative control. It was made from my vanilla layer cake recipe and features a 7 inch and a 5 inch tier. It was so much fun to make and I am super grateful to have been able to share in someones birthday celebration.
Other than that, I don’t really have much else to report for this month. So let’s get stuck into the usual recap!
Most Popular Blog Post
As expected, July was a slower month here with only three new recipes published. They are however, some of my all time favourite recipes and sometimes you just have to take quality over quantity!
This month the most popular new post was my super easy vegan basil pesto. This pesto is made with just 5 ingredients and tastes so fresh, you’ll want to use it on everything.
What I Read This Month
This month as I found myself settle back into the routine of catching public transport to and from work, I also fell back into the world of audiobooks. I cannot read on a bus without finding myself queasy, so audiobooks are the perfect solution to allow me to best utilise the time.
Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones by James Clear (2018) Audio
Habit formation is one of those topics that I have always been interested in, because it fascinates me why some things you do automatically while others feel like the hardest things in the world to remember or be motivated to do.
This is a really straight forward book that clearly breaks down the steps to forming a good habit, and breaking a bad one – as the title suggests. It is so simplistic at times that it makes it feel obvious, but then why do we struggle to create new habits?
Clear has made his personal fascination with habit formation the focus of his life, and he credits his ability to successfully form habits as the key to his success in many facets of his life. And this book is all about him sharing exactly what he has learned.
It is an interesting read, particularly if you want to look and learning how to make more tasks habits in your daily life.
The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty (2013)
This was one of the books I picked up at the Lifeline bookfest last month as I looked to give Liane Moriarty another go after reading Big Little Lies last year. And while I thought that book was well written and structured, I found it fit into the category of unlikable characters and for that reason I didn’t really enjoy it.
The Husband’s Secret however I enjoyed much more. The character development and weaving of storylines was done so well that I couldn’t put the book down. The story follows the lives of the residents of a community in Sydney bound by the local school. There is murder, secrets, lies and all sorts of other drama that unfold which makes it the perfect holiday read when all you want to do is get stuck into a book.
While I was reading this book, I noticed something about the way Moriarty writes that reminded me of JK Rowling. She places so much detail into the way she describes a character, to the point that I even questioned if I needed to know so much. But what this does is ensures you know the ins and outs completely of characters and that makes you as the reader, so much more invested in the events that unfold.
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown (2018, org. 2012) Audio
I watched the Brené Brown special The Call to Courage on Netflix last month where I was introduced to her research on vulnerability and following this I wanted to know more. So this month I picked up the book that she spoke about most often during that talk.
I love listening to audiobooks that are narrated by the author, and this feels like just an extension of her talk. I really enjoy the way that Brown talks about the relationship between courage and vulnerability and how we can’t have one without the other. She talks about simply showing up in the arena as being the greatest accomplishment and that we have to look at what we want in life not with the possibility of failure but with the idea that as long as we try, and show up, then we have achieved.
A lot of her messages really resonated with me and challenged the way I have thought about putting myself out there, and being vulnerable, both in my work and my personal life. And I must say it feels scary and empowering all at the same time.
What I Watched This Month
Stranger Things: Season 3
This is one of those shows that everyone watches and I totally get why. I was pretty keen for the release of this series, and to avoid any spoilers I watched the whole series over the first weekend after it was released.
I’ve heard a few criticisms of this series, but I really enjoyed it. While nothing will ever be as good as season 1, I liked the direction of this season and I felt the costumes and set had been elevated to another level, really focusing in on the pop culture of the 80s.
I have thoughts about the end but I won’t go into spoilers. If you’re a fan of the show, this season delivers.
The Lion King
I was super hesitant about going to watch the live action remake of The Lion King. This was my favourite disney movie as a kid, and the first time something on tv had made me cry – a vivid memory still lingering from my childhood. It was that connection and emotion that I was unsure would be able to be delivered with actual animals rather than the big eyed emotive animations.
In the end, I really enjoyed it. It stayed true to the lion king story and while it did take a bit of getting used to the real animals talking, it was done really well. There are some absolutely beautiful scenes, most notably during can you feel the love tonight, but also just the in between moments.
The music, of course was stunning. I was eager to see how Donald Glover performed as Simba and he was fantastic. I am still a little unsure about how I felt about Beyonce as Nala but overall it took me right back to my childhood.
What I Listened To This Month
This month was a good one for new release music from some of my favourite artists. But the song that has been on replay for much of the month is a little outside of my usual playlist. I heard Allday and The Veronica’s play this song live on Triple J one morning (which is the video I have linked below) and the catchy beat has just been stuck in my head ever since.
It’s a funky, chill song and Allday’s brand of rap is super smooth here.
What’s coming up?
August will start for me by celebrating a few birthdays, and then we are jumping on a plane to Sydney just for a quick weekend getaway to celebrate a good friends engagement. We will be visiting Balmain which is a new suburb of Sydney for me, so I am excited to take a look around and hopefully have a few ferry rides around the harbour.
Other than that, I expect the rest of August to be fairly quiet. The weather is starting to warm up already so it will be good to enjoy the winter sunshine before it heats up too much.
Over to you, how was your July and do you have any plans for August?