My Month In Photos - June 2018.
Oh eck it's been a while hasn't it? A cool fortnight since my last blog post, potentially my longest break ever?
I seem to always start these posts with an apology, with a promise to be better and this time I just can't. My motivation for blogging was zapped (more on that to come in a blog post, oh the irony), my need to be outdoors in this weather not inside tapping away at a laptop became priority and frankly? July will probs be more of the same.
I didn't even know if I was going to write this post as we're already 10 days into July and I have advertisers to promote and social media stats to explore but I also wanted to eek myself back in to writing with a lil 'what I've been up to' post and seen as this monthly roundups are just that.....well I thought I'd best just check in.
What I Did;
June flew by in a haze of heatwaves and weekends away and before I knew it we were zooming head first into July and whadda ya know, summer has arrived. We kicked off the month by spending four blissful days staying with Joss' Nanna in Birmingham which was exactly what I didn't realise I needed. We were there for a v special reason (maybe more to come on that in the future?) but we also planned to help her out with some chores and her garden. I think this weekend was the real kick off of the heatwave, a real taster of what was to come and it ended up being too hot for any of us to do anything other than sit under the parasol and chill and omfg we had the best time. There is something to be said for a completely relaxed weekend with no work to do, lots of cups of tea and having your food cooked for you that is massively underrated when you're a kid on school holidays and bored out of your mind but we had a great time and came home super relaxed.
The following few weeks went really quickly full of normal day to day life (and I think the rain came back for a week or so if I remember rightly) and according to my bullet journal there was lots of trips to the supermarket, lots of babysitting and the first full month of cider selling. It was also my brother's birthday mid month which we celebrated at home with a roast and Father's Day a week later where my brother and I treated my Dad to an Escape Rooms.
I also had my hair cut this month on a whim because it had been about a year and it feels healthier and bouncier than ever - even though I know I'll let it get all scraggly and go another year before having it done again. Jos went back to Birmingham mid month too for a night and I was thoroughly looking forward to an evening alone starfishing in the bed but had a minging nights sleep in the heat.
Jos' family went away for a few days too in June so we had run of the farm where I basically let the dogs out every morning and he ran the whole rest of the operation so that was fun and responsible of me. I did a lot of dog walking this month too for a neighbour, plus dog sat for a friend of Mum's another day AND started taking our dog for runs with me (which I managed at least 2 runs a week so was pretty haps with June's fitness).
And then to end the month I had a few lovely weekends with friends from school. We worked out we have been friends for 15 years this year and I don't feel old enough to have had the same set of pals for that long. We haven't all been together since approx a million years ago due to being split up all over England and Wales but we meet up in small factions when we can and I got to see 3 of them before the month was out. The last weekend of June was spent roadtripping with a friend down to West Wales to stay with another friend who was home from Scotland and it was the hottest weekend ever, combined with a sweaty car and no air con but we had a blast. We went to stay at her parents house in the arse end of nowhere with the best views and it was the most delightful 24 hours. If you know anything about me you'll know I love a roadtrip at the best of times so I was pleased to clock up the miles on my car, plus we had the BEST bbq with her family when we got there and watched movies in bed till some ungodly hour.
What I Watched;
Not a lotta football like the rest of the UK I can tell you that much. Seen as Wales isn't in the World Cup and Welsh people are taught how to hate English sports teams in school*, I haven't watched much of this years competition but have had a sweepstake which I am still in so rooting for Harry Kane and his pals after all. I have however managed to get my recordings box down to a mere 50 programmes which is a feat for me and have enjoyed much reality trash. Particular favs have been Bride and Prejudice and Seven Year Switch which I believe were both Channel 4 and Real Housewives of Atlanta which you can still catch on ITVBe. I have also been watching some good documentary esque programmes like Ambulance, 24 hours in A&E and Police Custody and 999 What's Your Emergency so v much got my fix of real life emergency services. I did also manage to sneak a few films in there including The Goonies which we bought because Jos had never seen it and it's a classic, Stepbrothers and The Greatest Showman which soz not soz I didn't massively like. Soundtrack > film for sure.
What I Worked On;
June was a quiet one creatively but a busy one for admin. When I became a freelancer I didn't realise how much admin I'd do for other people not just myself but part of my ongoing job for Llantwit Major Horticultural Society is their emails, mailing list, newsletter, production of documents and even extends to printing and binding sometimes. I actually don't mind it because being organised it naturally appeals to me but I sure as hell didn't ever expect to say I'd not really done that much 'illustrating' as an illustrator.
I also finished up their GDPR compliance and all the agro that came with that so that took up a lot of my time but Father's Day saw some cards sales come my way via Etsy which was nice. Since then I've had the odd trickle of my blank valentines/anniversary/love cards so seems a lot of you are celebrating your other halves which is cute.
I did have one big commission this month which was the biggest framed portrait I have had to do (both in size and price) which was challenging but fun and I loooooved the results. You'll hopefully see that on my biz Instagram soon!
What I Journaled;
I promise I promise I promise I DO have some bullet journal content lined up for you soon. I have 3 posts waiting in the wings to be exact but haven't erm got round to taking the all important photos yet..... I really have no excuse other than time cos look at all this natural light but I will get them published at some point because I know that's what most of you are here for.
However, June was my last month in my bright sassy yellow number and I have since filled it and moved on to Berry for the last 6 months of the year. I'll go into the set up of my new journal in another post (or at least in July's roundup) but I still crammed a lot of new stuff into my June set up before it's time was up.
The theme for my June title page was green and leaves and it was probably my favourite theme yet. Think lots of plants, lots of cacti, lots of nature and ferns and scenery and then throw in a bit of pine green interiors and an olive coloured top and you pretty much get the idea. I started with my traditional master to do list and blog scheduled which I of course didn't stick to and my weekly spread remained the same, newly colourful, versions of themselves.
I had a fun hour or two sitting on Jos' Nanna's back patio drawing out a map of my garden and how I wanted it to look, complete with key and lots and lots of coloured pencil shading but it was more an excuse to draw than anything else because let's be honest, I had the vision in my head anyway. I had a few packing lists for my several weekends away, plus directions to get to both the houses and a packing list for Jos when he stayed overnight too because the boy can't be trusted to do anything alone.
This month I also ramped up the colour with a new running tracker which I keep alongside my digital tracker on my phone. I like that my phone will do all the tracking for me but I like to keep a physical log too as I never ever run from the house, I always walk first so I like to see in colour in my bujo exactly what my splits were, something my app doesn't record accurately. I also of course had my blog squad world cup sweepstake wall chart spreads completely inspired by Mel and has fast become one of my fav ever layouts. We each had 6 teams in the competition and (on day of writing) just me, Effi and Sarah are still in it. I colour coded my spreads for ease of seeing who was through and who was knocked out and I colour coded it based on what colours their names come up on my Whatsapp in a move which some may call pedantic but most would call genius.
To finish up the month and finish up my bullet journal I did a few spread relating to July as I hadn't set up my new bujo by then, for example the first weekly spread, the master to do list and a big old double pager of things I needed to do before one of my besties and my godson arrived for the first week of the month. I completed the last two spreads of the journal (without ripping any pages out wot?) with a list of things I wanted to take into my next journal, a double page spread of my favourite memories of the last 6 months and to tie it all up into a bow - a quote and Pinterest inspired collage spread.
What I Blogged;
LOL NOT A LOT MY FRIENDS NOT A LOT. I blogged 8 times in June which is fine it's fine but also I used to blog every day so it's a bit of a downfall for me.
Of course there was my normal social media stats, entry to the month, advertisers round up etc but there were also a few little one offs and an actual bullet journal post to celebrate two years of calling myself a fan. There was my first collaboration with a brand in a while with Escape Rooms Cardiff which was a blast and an insight into my new Instagram hashtag #diaryentryfrommyhome with a blog post of the same name.
I also did a very (very) mini blog series mid month all about the wedding season which is in full force from what to buy the bride for her hen do, outfit inspiration to be the sassiest guest and what to buy the happy couple if they dare to break the mould and don't ask for cash.
What I Bought;
Loads and loads and loads of food and petrol is the short of it. I didn't go shopping or go on an online shopping spree bender this month because I knew I had lots of travels upcoming, plus a busy beginning of July and a cheeky trip to Cardiff planned so I kept my dosh for the important things.
What did happen though was me and the blog squad realised my lovely 6 month old Samsung Galaxy bought second hand had been illegally routed before it was mine and was never going to update to latest systems and thus was nul and void to me. A angry exchange with Music Magpie later and the promise of a refund but no new phone meant I frantically fell back into the lap of Apple again and had to buy myself a new (to me) iPhone 7 so good job I saved that money after all. I mean I fell last week and cracked the whole screen but less said about that the better.....
So that's it my loves, another monthly round up done, albeit a little late but at least it caught you all up and got me typing again huh? Hopefully you'll see a bit more of me around here this week and for the rest of this month but if I inevitably fall off the wagon again, don't forget to follow me on Instagram cos I seem to find HOUR for that little platform.