Hi blog family,
I have thrown myself back into studying, so that has made it a little more difficult to find time and energy to write. But I have missed you so.
After doing my first ever monthly favourite post (May Favourites 2017), I had planned to do one every month, but each month I kept thinking “I don’t have enough favourites for this to be a wholesome post.”
And now I feel like there’s TOO many. How did that happen? My husband often says I’m an “all or nothing” kind of girl. So here are ALL my favourites from this summer.
But…before we get to that, I have a big favour to ask you all.
The Butterfly Awards
I was nominated for International Author/Blogger for the Butterfly awards – a UK based initiative to raise awareness about baby and infant loss, and that provides tremendous support for families who have lost their baby. I don’t feel deserving for such nomination, I don’t think I am an adequate spokesperson for such a earth-shattering experience. I don’t feel strong, I just feel like I had no choice. But in sharing our story, I was held by so much love and for that I want to give something back. Maybe you have followed our story through my blog over the last few months, or maybe you know someone who is going through the loss of their baby and it would help them to know that they are not alone.
If you would like to read my profile that is up for nomination, and send a vote my way by clicking on the red love heart on the page, I would be very grateful.
Their website has so many articles that help to prepare you to meet your baby who has died. I remember in the days after realizing that our daughter would die, I felt so alone and so afraid of what was to come. I felt like I was the only one in the world that this had happened to. And I didn’t know what to google, I didn’t know what to search for. But I had so many questions, and so many fears.
But here, there are posts to prepare you for everything to do with meeting your stillborn baby. There is an article to prepare you for how your baby may look at different gestations – I know that was something that worried me a lot at the time (she was the sweetest little thing I ever did see). There are posts on planning your birth, coping with the physical and emotional pain of a labour that will not give you your living baby, knowing your options on how you can spend those few cherished hours with them after they are born, and how to say goodbye and to go home with empty arms.
I would like to raise awareness for resources like this for those who walk this path of baby and infant loss. It is not easy, but we are not alone. Since then, I have made friends with so many mothers of angels, and many of whom have gone onto have their precious rainbow babies. There is a lot of sadness but there is also so much hope.
Thank you for reading, thank you for supporting me, and thank you for your vote.
Let me know if you have voted, or if you have any problems placing your vote. I know that some people have had some troubles with it not going through.
Now, back to my summer favourites!
—Beauty & Fashion—
98% of the time I am drawn towards natural long dark hair. 2% of the time I want to dye my entire hair some outlandish colour. This summer I decided to indulge in that 2%. Why not.
I didn’t feel ready to make the commitment of dying my entire head, instead just added a little bit of colour to the ends of it – and that was good enough. I initially went pink, but to be honest with you, I didn’t like it too much. I felt the contrast between bright pink and black was too harsh and was not flattering for my skin tone. My mom helped me dye my hair green and I’ve never looked back. I thought I would only keep the colour for a couple of weeks and then go back to my natural dark shade, but looks like it’s here to stay for some more time!
I think I feel most beautiful when I wear Indian clothes. I’m glad I had a couple of opportunities to dress up this summer.
Elizabeth Arden 8 hour intensive lip repair balm
Every night before I sleep I would lather my lips in Vaseline, and then proceed to give my husband goodnight kisses which he always rejects because he doesn’t like “my slimy lips.”
I’ve been using vaseline for years. My bedside table is never without it. My handbag is never without it.
But I had been noticing that my lips were getting more and more chapped. I was complaining about this to my girlfriends, when Emma said “You’re using vaseline?! Don’t do that.” and then Becky chimed in with “Vaseline makes your lips addicted to it and then it constantly needs it.”
Emma recommended Elizabeth Arden’s 8 hour lip balm. I’ve been using ever since our fateful conversation and it has made all the difference. After just 2 days of use, my lips were no longer chapped. And I’m never going back!
MAC Velvet Teddy lipstick
My go to nude shade of lipstick had been previously using was Mac’s Doubleshot which I loved, but I found it’s deep, warm undertones were a little heavy for the summer months, and better suited for the latter half of the year. So in search of a lighter nude shade that would suit my skin tone, I came across Velvet Teddy – a lovely cool brown. I always keep this lipstick in my handbag!
This candle from Anthropologie
This candle, is such a wonderful little addition to coffee table. I love its light, citrusy, fresh scent. And its pastel and golden tones match the look and feel of our home.
I’m a “one mug” kinda gal. Lol. I enjoy always drinking from “my mug”. Previously, I had a sweet mug that said “Mama bear” on it, that my husband and I bought (he has the “papa bear”) when I was pregnant with Mia. After losing Mia, sometimes seeing it made me feel sad – it was sort of a sad but sweet reminder that I was still Mia’s mother, still a mamabear, just without my cub.
So here is my new mug. For now. Until mama bear feels comfortable to be around again. Till then…I’ll settle for babe.
Plate from Zara home
I love pink. Is it obvious? But, living with my husband, I can’t make our home too feminine – so I have to find ways to sneak pink into things. I wanted to get a coloured serving plate for when we had some family over for dinner – and this was perfect. I used it to serve strawberries and chocolate for a simple dessert.
Moon Light from Urban Outfitters Home
This is the most magical corner of our bedroom. For someone who takes a lot of photographs, I don’t actually like to frame any photos on our walls. I’m not sure why that is. I don’t like to have many decorative items out on display, I prefer a more simple, minimalistic look – which at times can come across as a little cold and museum-like. And that’s when ambient lighting comes into save the day.
I just love the way the moon is peeking out of the greenery.
Golden serving spoons from Zara Home
Another thing I bought for the dinner party I hosted a couple of weekends ago. Just a small touch of glamour.
White Jasmine hand soap
It seems I always need a minimum of one item that smells of jasmine in my home. This month, my White Jasmine hand soap from Zara fulfills that requirement.
It was my first time trying Japanese cheesecake (I’m really slow on the food-game, guys). I love how it’s not very sweet, and just so light and fluffy.
Wanda’s pie in the sky in Kensington Market
My husband has taken me here on a couple pie dates this summer. I love their key lime pie and he loves their chocolate pecan pie. I also adore their quiche. Drool. So so good. I can’t wait to take my mom there next time she visits us.
Kerala style Narenga vellam (Lime juice) and Moru ( A spicy yogurt drink)
I’ve been recreating some of my Keralan favourite beverages the last few weeks- which brings such a warm feeling of nostalgia of summers spent in India.
Lime juice: The juice of a few limes, water, sugar
Moru: Yogurt, water, salt, ginger, green chilis, curry leaves
—Heart & Mind—
I always keep a deck of cards in my handbag, just incase there’s some time for an impromptu game of cards – but now also for another reason – my magic! Haha. I decided to invest some time into learning a few card tricks. I know 7 now, each one advancing in it’s difficulty. The first couple I learned were just simple card tricks, that if you just remember the process, the law of probability just make the cards work for you. After I learned those ones, I decided I should try some sleight of hand – which is so hard and I’m so bad at it that it’s laughable. I tried to “perform” my magic on my mom the last time I was home and she was like “…why are you shaking?” I was so nervous haha.
I’m glad I took the time to learn some card tricks. It’s a fun thing to practice and get better at, and of course, it’s a wonderful thing to share with people to dazzle them. Especially children. Kids think I’m some kind of wizard.
This is just such a happy, light hearted game to play with people of all ages.
This Summer my husband and I have loved listening to season one of the Serial Podcast.
“A high-school senior named Hae Min Lee disappeared one day after school in 1999, in Baltimore County, Maryland. A month later, her body was found in a city park. She’d been strangled. Her 17-year-old ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was arrested for the crime, and within a year, he was sentenced to life in prison. The case against him was largely based on the story of one witness, Adnan’s friend Jay, who testified that he helped Adnan bury Hae’s body. But Adnan has always maintained he had nothing to do with Hae’s death. Some people believe he’s telling the truth. Many others don’t.
Sarah Koenig sorted through thousands of documents, listened to trial testimony and police interrogations, and talked to everyone she could find who remembered what happened between Adnan Syed and Hae Min Lee. She discovered that the trial covered up a far more complicated story than the jury – or the public – ever got to hear. The high school scene, the shifting statements to police, the prejudices, the sketchy alibis, the scant forensic evidence — all of it leads back to the most basic questions: How can you know a person’s character? How can you tell what they’re capable of? In Season One of Serial, she looks for answers.”
My cousin Jay sent me this list of 200 thought provoking questions to ask and answer. My husband and I have enjoyed going through a couple questions in the evening before we sleep.
Coldplay in concert
I haven’t been to many concerts in my life. I’m not the biggest coldplay fan but I do know a lot of their songs (they’re just so catchy!). It was a concert for all ages.
Oh my goodness, this concert was such a pleasure to watch and experience. It felt great to be amongst thousands of people singing along and celebrating music. Even if you are not a HUGE coldplay fan, I think it is such a worthwhile way to spend an evening!
We made a trip back to Mia’s stream this summer. It was the first time since the last time. The last time we were there to scatter my daughters ashes. It was a dark, rainy morning. The trees were bare. The water was cold.
This time we went, my heart felt so tender but open. It was a warm August day, and all the trees had come alive. The stream was filled with children playing in the water, catching fish in little nets, jumping rocks, splashing each other. It looked like childhood to me. The place had transformed completely. And all I could think was about how time changes so much. Seasons change. Flowers wilt, and die, and then burst to life once more. Feelings fill and then they disperse into the atmosphere of which we live our mundane every day life. It was strange being here today. But in a lovely way. I put my feet and my hands in the water and felt my daughter all around us. And within
Golden Meadows, summer evenings, pastel skies
Some of my most favourite things about summer!
I hope you enjoyed some of my favourite things from the last few months. What are you favourite things?