Due to planning my relaunch for most of February and March, there haven’t been many blog posts at all on thepoppyraptor in 2018. One post that I tend to write monthly, and enjoy writing, is my monthly favourites, so I figured, I’d just re-cap my favourites for the entirety of the year so far! There’s been some pretty intense lows from the start of 2018, but it’s actually been really positive for me to look back and find the things that have made me happy these past few months despite the low points.
OBVIOUSLY the first thing on this list has to be the beauty that is my little dog. I’ve only had her since February but she’s already the centre of my universe. OK, sometimes she’s the most annoying and troublesome little monster in the universe, but when she’s asleep (like right now) she’s just so goddamn cute.
‘Friends’ on Netflix
Yes. Yes. The blessing I didn’t even know I needed in my life. As I’m writing this, I’m on Season 6, having watched it steadily since it became available on Netflix in February. I know a lot of people didn’t really care, as Friends is always being repeated on Comedy Central etc. but as someone who doesn’t have Freeview, I was super excited to see it on Netflix. Also, I’ve never watched all of it in order before, and there are even some episodes popping up that I’ve never seen before! I reckon I’ll have finished Season 10 by the end of May, but I’ll definitely have to limit myself to an episode a day soon before it becomes a full-on addiction!
Vegan ‘Sausage’ Rolls
In January I did Veganuary, which actually went incredibly well. I’ve been a vegetarian for the past few years anyway, so it wasn’t a massive change, but I’ve never really bothered with meat substitutes, as I don’t like the taste and texture of most meat. As part of Veganuary, I tried out some meat substitutes I’d never heard of before, like seitan beef (which is thoroughly disgusting, btw). One absolute gem that I stumbled across however, was Tesco’s frozen veggie sausage rolls, which are also vegan! They are DELICIOUS! In a close second place is Holland & Barrett’s ‘SOS’ rolls, which are also vegan and also delicious. I think the fake sausage in both of these products is tofu, but it tastes so much better than sausage and the pastry is so rich and flaky (but obvs with no butter!). If you’re vegan, or even just vegetarian) you need to try these. You can thank me later.
‘Nevermoor’ by Jessica Townsend
Ah yes, the book that sparked my love for the name Morrigan. This book is officially middle-grade fiction (10-12) but our children’s bookseller at my work had been singing it’s praises all over Christmas and finally, I gave in and bought a copy and I. Absolutely. Loved. It. Many of my colleagues boasted that they read Nevermoor in a day, but I chose to savour the sheer beauty of the prose and read a chapter a night. That is, until one afternoon on my sofa when I flew through the remaining third of the book because I simply couldn’t put it down. The main character, Morrigan Crow is a Cursed Child, born at the wrong time in the wrong place and so absolutely EVERYTHING that goes wrong in her city is blamed on her. Unfortunately, she’s also destined to die on her 11th birthday. That is, until the incredibly odd and eccentric Jupiter North swoops in the night before her birthday and carries her off to the land of Nevermoor, where he officially sponsors her to take part in three trials to become a new member of his secret society, the Wundrous Society. If she gets in, she’ll have what she’s always wanted, friends that are like family, who will love her forever, and a feeling of belonging. But can she pass the trials? (I mean, of course she does, it’s a kid’s book, of course there’s a happy ending but there’s a nice good splodge of mild peril in there that’s enough to keep you turning the pages to find out!).
Ever since I can remember, I’ve always wanted blue hair. I tried wash-in pastel dyes when I was at uni, but it either faded out or went green straight away. Back in November, I paid an inordinate amount to get my black hair lightened up and then dyed vibrant purple. I hated the purple, so started using various blue Directions dyes and found, to my surprise and glee that they don’t fade out at all! These days, I’m keeping my hair in an ombré style, with my blonde roots at the top, mermaidy pastel turquoise that is 8-week undyed blue hair and then a deep blue on the ends that I top up every fortnight or so. Neon Blue by Directions is my go-to colour – despite the name, it’s actually just a deep vibrant colour, similar to navy ink. Surprisingly, my manager hasn’t made any disparaging comments at all (which is quite something from him), so I’ve had absolutely no pressure to change my hair colour back to something more professional, which has also been nice. That said, I’m currently debating cutting all of my hair off in May and rocking a peroxide pixie cut, which might well just be the scariest thing I’ll ever do to my appearance out of choice!
And as that’s nearly 1000 word, I’d better stop there. It’s refreshing to know that I could have carried on, that 2018 hasn’t been all doom and gloom. I’m certainly looking forward to May, though, and the beginning of summer, where I can start to make some decisions and choices about what changes I’m going to make in 2019 to make it a successful year right from the beginning.
Hope you’re doing well 😊 See you soon!