Taking Stock: August 2016 / by daintydora

It's a new month and lots is happening and it feels like a good time to 'Take Stock' in my very un-styled, rather floury kitchen. Weighing, measuring, pouring, peeling, counting. Taking Stock, August 2016Here goes:

Making: loads of things lately: Icelandic Kimchi, Carrot & Apple Breakfast muffins from Deliciously Ella and two batches of Brydie's Lemon & Olive Oil cake, as per the recipe posted on her amazing blog City Hippy Farm Girl. I keep burning it though because a) the difference in altitude (is that a thing?), b) my oven is a unpredictable and keeps switching off half-way through. (Yes I know it's a poor work(wo)man who blames her tools.)

Carrot & Apple Breakfast Muffins in the makingDrinking: Matcha or good old Yorkshire tea with almond milk. Reading: Ruby Wax's 'Sane New World: Taming the Mind'. Lots of insight; some things I already knew, technical facts about the brain that I didn't, and a few strong opinions I don't agree with. She's full-on and honest though which I admire.

Looking: back over all the words I celebrated in my version of this year's 100-day project #100daysofmyfavouritewords

Deciding: to start a newsletter linked to this blog (panic). I'm calling it 'THE WORD'. (Sign-up here or in the side-bar.) Wishing: I was closer to family faraway. It's a matter of geography. Waiting: for nothing and no-one. Just doing it. (I should get me some Nike.) Coveting: a Pashley bike, despite 'forgetting' how to ride. I think it's a confidence thing. Playing: with pattern design. Is it Christmas already?! Wondering: where the year has gone #timepanic

Loving: the sunshine right now, and the clouds. So many beautiful cloud formations. Do you know how the clouds got their names?

Pondering: the edits I need to make to my novel. Considering: the art of procrastination:

Buying: Julie Hewitt lipstick online. How frivolous! I've never bought lipstick online before, 'sight unseen'. It seems like a lot to spend, with postage and all. But then it feels like the slow creep of (ssshhh) autumn ushering in with the onset of August. And it's the kind of thing 'Christine' might do if only she had enough time...(see below). And she'd qualify for free shipping.

Watching: The Girlfriend Experience on Netflix. Chilling, raunchy, psychological, dark and compelling. Take that as a recommendation if you will. Hoping: the lipstick suits me. Marvelling: at our 24/7, ever-connected, soon to be drone-infested world. I don't think it's all so good for us but I can't help but interact with it. Needing: to make a fabulous fancy fascinator/hairband ensemble for a family wedding. I haven't started yet but I've got all the materials I need.

Smelling: the last few spritzes of 'The One' by Dolce & Gabbana. I've loved that perfume and the sturdy, rectangular bottle it comes in. Solid and sophisticated. A proper grown-up affair. It was time for it to be finished though; time to switch up my scents.

Questioning: my decision to start a newsletter. Will I have time? Is it too much work? What if no-one subscribes? Wearing: spots and stripes and lots of coral and what might be considered 'sport-core' or just 'norm-core' but what I consider to be 'comfy-core' for homeworking. Following: Gretchen Rubin's quest for happiness through her podcast 'Happier'. Noticing: a host of tips about creativity and productivity in my digital feeds. I like it. It's helping.

Enjoying: my little garden and all that grows there; the flowers, the herbs, the strawberries (saved from the slugs!), lavender, verbena, the Asiatic lilies my Mum got me, the heather, the Japanese Acer, the holly and of course the weeds. You've got to admire them though, the weeds - they just keep on doing their thing.

Home-grown StrawberriesKnowing: a lot more since I started listening to the TED radio hour podcast. Thinking: about all the things I don't know about, and all the things I do. This quote sums it up best:

“The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.” Einstein

Admiring: the creative adventurers who know so much more about things than me. I bow to knowledge! Sorting: out (attempting to sort out) notes on the backs of envelopes, multiple notepads, digital bookmarks etc, as my ideas, inspirations and to-dos conspire to scatter like wildflowers around my person, landing in abstract, semi-sorted piles that may or may not be properly sifted and mined in the foreseeable future. Bookmarking: technical help videos as I attempt to learn the basics of Adobe InDesign. Baby steps.

Disliking: how soap goes all gooey in the dish, ruining what starts off as beautifully formed 'scented art'. I love soap but this can't go on #firstworldissues

Opening: newsletters and literally absorbing information through my eyeballs. It's actually a process involving many different parts of the brain, creating a 'reality' that is unique to me... (see 'Reading' and you'll understand my thoughts on this.) Giggling: over Celia Walden's column in The Telegraph Magazine. Feeling: excited about the future and the plans I'm putting in place. Watch this space! Snacking: surreptitiously on squares of Divine's 70% Dark Chocolate - with Raspberries. Wishing: sugar wasn't quite such an enemy, but it is.

Listening: to Father John Misty (aka John Tillman). I'm loving his sound right now, especially this song. And this one. I loved the Fleet Foxes too. This was my absolute favourite. 'White Winter Hymnal'. So haunting, so sad. Just gorgeous.

How about you? Is it time to 'Take Stock' in your life?

Find out who started this trend. (Thanks Pip!)

End-note: isn't it interesting how all my images this time have turned out to be food-related?