JULY Newsletter
Hello! Welcome back the 'An Edited Life' newsletter! It's here! It's still a thing! Your inbox has not been playing tricks on you! Put simply (and quite dramatically), I felt that I was drowning in my to-do list when I returned from holiday and something had to give, so a short newsletter hiatus was put into place. But now things are back to normal and I've slotted back in to the regular rhythm of writing, recording and creating content - here we are. Speaking of rhythms and routines I cannot tell you how thrilled I've been to enjoy some free-time over the past few weekends. FREE TIME! What is 'dis? I've had cat naps in the afternoon on the sofa. I've eaten almost a whole apple pie whilst watching Killing Eve. And I've read. I've read a lot. I might be slowly turning into my Mum, but to me having time to put my feet up and get in at least a couple of chapters of reading, is a measure of a good weekend. So today's newsletter is about exactly that. Need to carve out more time to satisfy your inner bookworm?
Give these tips a go...

Lesson #20

How To Find More Time In Your Schedule To Read

I'm a homebody who loves routine. I try to be wild and occasionally have a night out where I end up lamenting my early-twenties when I was completely immune of hangovers and could chug back as many Sambuccas as I liked, and wondering why my supposedly comfortable block heels have made my feet feel like they are ON FIRE. But it's the weekends that are spent at home catching up with friends and family, cooking, turning into a prune in the bath, going for walks, starting a new series, eating *all* *the* *food*, which are in my eyes, the best. Stick a few hours of reading into that and there you have the perfect sum of a hard reset two-day break. 

However it's not always the case that I've got a spare three hours to sit and read (RUDE!!), so as much as I find it the most relaxing use of time ever, I need to actively put some work into making time for it. Reading is my medicine. It chills me out like no other and in a world where I pick up my phone way too often, and scroll way too much, it's a moment to press pause. I remember begging my parents for a chair in my bedroom when I was younger, so that I'd have a place to read books and I'd pretend that I was an adult who'd just got back from a long day in the office and that my bedroom was in fact my studio flat in the city. I'd curl up and read my book in my chair and sip my water pretending it was wine. Back then it made me feel like an adult and now it takes me back to my childhood; either way it's a hobby that pushes the scales towards some kind of balance in my life and it's important to notice that. So here's how I've made it a priority for me over the past couple of years... 

SET YOURSELF A CHALLENGE. Because I am a teacher's pet people-pleaser I love to succeed at a challenge (I AM SO FUN). My inner-boffin struggles with failure, so sometimes setting myself a challenged that I've vocalised to others, is the only sure-fire way to get me to see something through to completion. Case in point: my Goodreads 2019 reading challenge. 30 books in a year, for my 30th year on this planet. It's doable, but there's an air of challenge to it and because of that I'm treating it almost like a work task (hear me out as I promise it's still enjoyable!). I'm making it a priority, not feeling guilty for taking time to read everyday, keeping notes of what books I'm excited to read next and updating my Goodreads diligently. The more I take it seriously, the more I read and the more chilled out I become in many aspects of life - WIN, WIN. 

READ ALL-DAY. Now I don't actually mean read all day here. More just read at various points throughout the day, instead of your typical pre-bed routine. Personally I love to read before bed, there are few greater delights than feeling your eyes getting heavy and not really remembering how you fell asleep. But for those who fall asleep the minute they read the first word on the page (a.k.a Mark - bless him), it doesn't make for the most satisfying reading experience. So why not read in the morning first thing when you wake up, or on your commute, or in your lunchbreak, or before you start making dinner in the evenings, or instead of your Netflix binge? I've started to reward myself with little 15 minute sessions once or twice a day when I finish bigger tasks and it's really helped me to up the book ante. 

READ WHAT YOU WANT TO READ. I used to love reading as a child and would visit the library with my Mum every couple of weeks to slowly work my way through every Sweet Valley High and Babysitter's Club book they had. Then University took the joy out of reading for a solid three years. THANKS UNI. Since then I dabbled, picking up non-fiction and self-help books mostly, reading halfway through and losing interest. I LOVE CHIC LIT DAMMIT. So I returned to my roots, reading page-turning fiction; love stories, tales of relationships, breakdowns, your twenties, your thirties, funny stories, sad stories, psychological thrillers. Turns out when you have a pile of books or a list on your Kindle that you actually *want* to read and you're excited to read, you might actually do it. 

JOIN A BOOK CLUB. Joining a bookclub will officially make you feel like an adult (FACT), and it not only gives you a monthly social guarantee, it also makes you accountable for the one book that you need to read in the given timeframe. If you need a bit of a rocket up your arse then this is the option for you. Ask around for local groups, or scour Facebook for ones in your area. If you fancy an online version then have a look for my Instagram stories today, where I'll be sharing the first of my monthly book club series 'The Book Edit' - snappily named right? *rolls eyes at self* Find the book, read along and then at the end of the month we'll all chime in with our thoughts. You in? 
Why not pick up my book? It's chocker with even more organisation tips on how best to plan for your day and set yourself goals that you'll *actually* achieve. 

A Point In The Right Direction

'Spicy Roast Veg & Lentils' from BBC Good Food Seeing as my reading list has mostly been physical this month, I thought I'd share my favourite recipes instead and this one is top of the list. So simple, so healthy and so tasty, this meal from good ol' BBC Good Food has been our favourite weeknight dinner option. 
'BA's Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe' from Bon Appétit There are two things that I adore in life. Testing out cookie recipes (and let's face it - just eating cookies in general), and the Bon Appétit YouTube channel. When these two things combine then magic happens. THESE ARE SO GOOD. Chris Morocco you are a genius man.
'Butternut Squash Steaks & Butter Bean Mash' by HelloFresh I'm going to put it out there and say that butter beans are the superior bean and whoever thought to mash it up and serve it as a side deserves a raise. A delicious veggie meal that looks SO fancy, compared to the minimal effort that it requires. A bit tricky to follow the recipe without the exact amounts, but use the pictures as a guide and you'll be fine.

In case you missed it

My California Travel Guide Every single detail you could ever possibly want to know about our three-week California road trip.
How To Plan a Road Trip All my advice for planning a road trip holiday, and how to make it your most enjoyable, stress-free trip yet.
The Wedding Guest Dress Edit My top picks for wedding guest season for all price-ranges; if like me you kinda hate wearing dresses.
Cali Packing: A Conclusion I squeeze out *another* California post and examine how I did packing-wise; what I should have packed and what I didn't need.


& Other Stories Linen Wrap Dress* A cute Realisation Par-esque dress at a fraction of the cost.
La Redoute Linen Duvet Cover* Linen sheets that keep you cool on clammy nights.
Glossier Brow Flick Detailing Pen*The pen that doesn't look like you've used a Sharpie.
Topshop Nibble T-Shirt* A slightly dressed tee, in the perfect oversized fit.
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