Monthly Review: October 2018

Welcome to the first monthly review! Previously at the end of (some) months, I would write a “Five Highlights From the Month” post to go along with the “Monthly Favourites” videos I would make over on YT. From this point onwards, to streamline my content over the platforms, those two pieces are going to be combined and expanded into the format you see below — a more comprehensive review of the month covering travels, highlights and difficulties, the top content of the month, what I have been loving, and my plans for the upcoming month.

I hope you enjoy the new format – let’s dive into October!

Destinations Visited

New York, New York

Cleveland, Ohio

Favourite Destination

After constantly travelling for almost all of 2018, my body, mind and soul needed this time in Cleveland.

Highlights & Difficulties

This month the highlights and the difficulties all seemed to be intertwined together. October was a serious pause month for me with a central theme of balance.  I came back to Cleveland at the beginning of the month sick, exhausted and in need of some quality time working on other aspects of my life that had inevitably fallen to the wayside while traveling.

Knowing that I wanted to relaunch my blog + Youtube channel while also dedicating time to thinking about bigger picture life stuff (more than just where I was going to be sleeping each night) meant that I had to accept that the majority of my time needed to be sent in this direction. Additionally, my workout routine had become virtually non-existent, my to-do list was only ever expanding, my sleep routine was abysmal, and I wasn’t happy. These things immediately became the priority.

I had tried to deal with my exhaustion and increasing anxiety while moving around; however, it had begun to feel as though I was using all my energy to merely hinder it from getting worse, rather than taking the time to approach and handle the underlying issues head-on. My 7-week cross-country road-trip was the best trip I have ever done (I will be writing more about it next week) as it shifted my perspective on how I want my life to be. Therefore, all I wanted to do this month was focus on my mental and physical health to get myself back to feeling good so that transformation can transpire. I still have a long way to go; but, I am chipping away at it.

Luckily, coming back to Cleveland is always a highlight in itself. I am fortunate to have a fantastic relationship with Mum & Tim (and all their friends) with whom I love spending time, and the city of Cleveland has so much development going on that there are always new and exciting things to do.

Highlights in Cleveland this month include:

  • Seeing The Book of Moron with Mum (not to be confused with The Book of Mormon). This is a hilarious satirical musical comedy. Before it started, we had no idea what the play was about but the two of us love going to the theatre, and the title made us laugh, so we were interested! We ended up crying with laughter the whole way through because — while there was something that was offensive to all — the humor was also highly intelligent and spot-on. Check the schedule to see if there is a performance coming near you!
  • Attending the Cleveland Vibes Clothing Swap. Now that I am going to be having Cleveland as my base for the foreseeable future, I want to get more involved with the creative community, support local events, and make more friends! Over the past couple of weeks, I attended a couple of networking events and have a few more lined up before I leave again. One of the most fun was the Cleveland Vibes Clothing Swap.
  • Getting inspired by the glamour of Scott Bradlee’s Post Modern Jukebox. Have you heard these guys and gals on Youtube? If not, you have to go and listen. They take current pop songs and give them an old jazzy style. Most of the time, I prefer their version to the original! I saw them live a year ago and was blown away by the performance as it is filled with glitz, glamour, and an abundance of talent. This year’s show certainly didn’t disappoint; it was even more fun to watch!
  • My birthday weekend! Last weekend I turned 26! I don’t have that many feelings towards it, and I think it is the first birthday ever where I am just like “k cool”. That being said, I did have a fantastic weekend — seeing Fleetwood Mac live was undoubtedly the highlight. Stevie Nicks is a goddess, and the whole band was just so cool without even trying. Since then, I haven’t been able to stop listening to “Gold Dust Woman”. My lovely Mum treated me to a mani and pedi at a new (to me) salon, and I was taken out for sushi that was so delicious we almost booked a flight to Japan. I also had a small get-together at the house with some of my Cleveland amigos which made me miss the rest of my close friends that are spread around the globe. However, I felt incredibly loved (and very overwhelmed) when my Whatsapp was filled with messages/calls coming from all different time zones.
  • Indulging in a massive book haul. To be fair, I have plenty of books in Cleveland that I haven’t yet read, but I always get books for my birthday!!!! So, I used my Amazon gift cards and bought 11 books. They have already started arriving, and I can’t wait to snuggle up with my nose in one of them very, very soon.
  • Working on a sleeping routine. For the past three weeks, I have been trying to go to barre each weekday morning at 6 am which requires me setting the alarm for 5 and then a backup for 5:20. At first, it was brutal, no matter what time I went to sleep and every other day I would find myself desperately tired and needing to nap in the afternoon. However, in the past two days the craziest thing happened, I naturally woke up 3 minutes before my first alarm (aka at the same time both days). This has never, ever, ever, ever in the history of my life happened and is something I have read about on countless sleeping threads and advice channels. I don’t want to jinx it yet; but, I am looking forward to continuing building a sleeping routine.
  • And, I finally started bullet journaling! I have been “practicing” bullet journaling for the past couple of months, so November marks the first month that I am adequately committed to doing it, and I couldn’t be more excited. I will let you know how it goes this month!

Favourite Posts and Videos

Welcome to – For seemingly obvious reasons, the welcome post to my new and updated blog is my favorite piece of content this month! I spent hours and hours brainstorming, redesigning, and transferring everything over and I was so excited to debut it this week. Thank you to everyone who has sent me lovely and encouraging messages! I appreciate the support so much, and I can’t wait to get this new chapter going!

The Portland City Guide – Over the next few months, one of my main blog focuses is going to be the “City Guides” section. I love putting these guides together and want to make them a one-stop shop for you to have a fantastic array of recommendations when you travel. To ensure I can make these as useful as possible, please let me know what you want to see more or less of in the city guides!

My Cross-Country USA-Road-Trip Vlogs – I finally finished editing all the travel vlogs from my road-trip (21 videos!) and compiled them into a playlist so you can watch them from the beginning! It feels like a long time ago that I was sleeping in that hammock the first few nights!

What I Have Loved This Month

  • Fashion – Since I first learned about Fount, a Cleveland-based leather goods company, I have lusted after their products. Not only are they timeless designs made from the softest Italian leather, but I want to support Cleveland fashion companies. My wishes came true when I received “The Finley Clutch” in Cocoa for my birthday. It is the perfect sized clutch as it is spacious enough to fit everything you could need for an evening out while remaining chic and classic.
  • Beauty – A rose-quartz face roller (similar) may have come home with me from T.J. Maxx, and within a couple of days I was hooked. How did I not realize how much stress and tension I had built up in my face? It hasn’t been long enough for me to give an in-depth review of its benefits, but all I can say so far is that it feels incredible and has dramatically reduced tension in my forehead and around my jawline.
  • Books – As I mentioned earlier, I did a rather large book haul for my birthday and am having a hard time deciding which one to go for first. So, instead, I am going to ignore all of those and talk about Midnight Children by Salmon Rushdie that I started reading this month (still have a long way to go). This marks my first Rushdie work, and I am saddened that it has taken me this long to encounter his beautiful sentences. Considered one of the great books of the 20th century, it deals with India’s transition from British colonialism to independence through the narration of a boy born at the very moment of India’s independence. It has been too long since I read any magical realist literature, so I am enjoying this one immensely.
  • Music – This has been my playlist all month. It is filled with lots of chill artists that I love such as First Aid Kit, Aquilo, Hozier, and Ben Howard, as well as some recent finds like Chance Peña, Ira Wolf, Harry Pane, and Bailey Baum.
  • Food – Shake Shack opened its first Ohio branch in Cleveland recently, and man did it taste good. It tasted far better than the one I had in Brooklyn as we didn’t have to wait an hour in the scorching August heat. Okay, okay, it was cold and wet and one of Cleveland’s sports teams lost another game while we were sitting there, but the food is so delicious!

Plans for November 2018

I am in Cleveland for another couple of weeks. On the calendar is seeing the new Queen movie Bohemian Rhapsody, seeing Elton John in concert, attending the launch party of a new magazine, going to see Renaissance Splendor: Catherine de’ Medici’s Valois Tapestries at the Cleveland Museum of Art and hanging out with old and new friends!

And then I am off to the other side of the world! In a couple of weeks, I am going to be heading off for just over a month to a couple of places that are new to me (yay!) and one that I haven’t been to in a while. I don’t want to say too much more because my flights still aren’t booked (classic!), and we all know how quickly plans can change; but, this trip has the potential to be one of the best (thanks, in part, to my well-rested state).

How was your October? Let me know in the comments below!


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