For now, there won't be any talk of anything else. I'm sorry if this wasn't what you were expecting. I'll be back with regular content soon.

Today, my country, my home, the place where I have the right to a voice I am so grateful for, made a potentially fracturing decision. It was painfully close - the kind of difference of opinion that makes you wonder if the relationship you have with this, the one you love, the place you come from, your home - if that relationship is right for you anymore. It is divisive. It is painful. We went out to have our say, and whilst 51.9% of us feel potentially empowered, vindicated and relief, 48.1% feel fear. Distress. Shame. Discomfort. Uncertainty and perhaps worst of all, disillusioned. We feel we have lost our identity, rather than 'claimed it back' from some invisible keep.

I was one of the 48.1%. I woke and felt the shock. The immediate grief and fear. The outrage. The impending sense of doom. I spent all day feeling like I was in the fallout of something catastrophic, but I couldn't see or hear it, just feel the devastating sense of foreboding in the air. I watched the news with my mouth open, I text my family and friends, I joined my shocked peers on social media, I flew off the handle a little. I made some snap judgements and spoke out of turn.

I thought emotionally about what it meant to me to belong to a country which didn't want to be part of Europe. How it spoke to my character not to be considered European. How some unfortunate idealisms which I abhor had become tangled up in one side of this campaign, and that was the side that won.

I considered growing up an expat child, being abroad for 18 years of my life, and how my identity was tied up in migration. How it could be argued that I belonged more to another country than my home country. Left a bitter taste in my own mouth as I admitted to myself that sometimes this made me consider myself more 'worldly wise' than my neighbours.

I thought about my Jordanian father and my English mother meeting in college in Southend, and how I am a product, directly, of open-mindedness, immigration, inclusiveness. Did this change today?

Did the world change today?

Undeniably, yes. I could spout off hundreds of facts I've read over today, or sign another petition in the hopes of reversing what is done, or insult some other people I don't mean to out of hurt, fear, pride, whatever. The truth of the matter is - I am passionate. Myself and 33 million other people in my home country are passionate. Democracy was called upon and it answered, for better or worse. None of us truly know at this point. Scare-mongering, and fracturing, and incensed words won't bring back these past 24 hours or rewrite what is written. We are a country made of more than one opinion. We are a country made of more than one decision.

What I know is that in order to survive, we have to look forward, together, in one direction. We have to mend. We have to stay passionate. We have to keep arguing, and fighting like hell for what we believe in, and standing our ground. We have to build. We have to choose leaders that are strong enough to lead us. We have to remember that we have #MoreInCommon than what sets us apart. We are here, on this tiny island, together, and we must make this work together.

If we're going to leave, let us do it with grace - let us establish ourselves as a forward-thinking, progressionist, inclusive and fair nation. Let us set an example to inspire and bring positivity to our neighbours. Let us nurture our relationships and treat our fellow Europeans as part of a community still. If we cannot be better together, then let's not just make a case for being apart.

Have you ever had a weekend that felt suspended, like it lasted longer than just a Saturday and Sunday?

That happened to me a couple of weekends ago.

We escaped to the coast, headed as far South as we could get from work, and spent time laughing, exploring, eating and drinking. It felt like the kind of adventure you want to recreate every chance you get, but only really exists for a second before it's gone again. So I thought I'd talk about a teeny, tiny part of it today, just in case any of you ever head to Dorset for some adventuring.

Jenkins and Sons stands out on the high street - all beautiful branding, fairy lights and quaint tables outside, and a warm glow from within - and when visiting, it feels that way. Warm glow, welcoming, the smell of good food and slabs of cake greet you as you walk through the door. The menu is wide and tempting with simply cooked, hearty local fare, but if you want to take advice from our party of four, the Specials board is where it's at. This place specialises unapologetically in meat - primarily locally sourced steak and pork, cuts of which are explained on blackboards dotted around the cosy restaurant.

Our special was rump steak, three of us went for this with different sauces (if you take my word, get the aioli, it was a formative experience), and the meal was served up with the fattest steak chips I've ever seen! The steak was cooked perfectly - I ordered mine medium-well and it was beautifully pink inside, so tender and juicy. The sauce was beautiful and the chips, whilst heavy, were fluffy inside and crispy out - everything you'd want! The fourth member of our bunch ordered the crayfish, squid and samphire risotto and, judging by the exceedingly pleased expression on his face and the silence that descended over the table as we all ate, his meal was as excellent as our own.

The thing that set this place apart however was the atmosphere - maybe it was the day full of sea air and being outdoors, but it felt as though the evening lulled by, lit dimly by candlelight and sunset, the patio windows next to our table left open to the street outside. There was that kind of hum of happy chatter, the clinking of wine glasses and the warmth rising from the pavements outside, still holding the heat of the day. It was such a fantastic place to spend a summer night, and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone - the food and friendliness of the place makes Jenkins and Sons really stand out. 

So this post was actually going to be a Summer Bucket List of sorts in the style of Cupcakes and Cashmere (maybe let me know if you'd still like to see one of these?) but whilst rooting through the archives of the blog, I stumbled on my 30 Before 30 list that I made almost three long years ago, and I thought it might be fun to take a look at my progress and see how I'm muddling along! It IS my twenty-eighth birthday next month so, if nothing else, it might give me a kick up the arse to get on and have some adventures, right?

1. Learn how to make a (really good!) roast dinner. Yeah... About that one... I did assist/half-make an Easter roast dinner for a group of friends back in March which was pretty freaking delicious, if I say so myself, but I'm not sure this counts. I WILL NAIL THIS ONE. 

2. Visit Italy, specifically Rome, and try REAL pizza and gelato. 

3. Go on, or plan, at least one, life-changing 'big trip'. 

4. Land a well-paid job on my career path. Done! I've had a career in publishing since 2012, and I'm now in a really good place in my career, and hopefully looking at progressing soon. TICKED OFF THE LIST.

5. Continue to learn to love myself. This one is just forever ongoing, right?

6. Learn Italian. Hmm. Well. For a long time I was progressing on Duolingo, but then my attention span kind of put paid to that idea. Maybe I'll start again!

7. Buy a 'SAD' lightbox to help me through winter. Totally done and it totally helps! You can read all of my thoughts about my Lumie light in this post.

8. Go and see Kings of Leon again. If they'd ever TOUR again...

9. Visit New York again.  Funnily enough, I did this about 10 months after I first wrote this list! It was an amazing trip that I vlogged (thank goodness) and still look back on nostalgically, even now. 

10. Work internationally. 

11. Take more photographs, practice, get better. Ongoing, but I definitely count where I am as progress!

12. Start a diary/journal. 

13. Give back to my parents. In the sense that I wrote this, my parents now know that I'm secure, I have a career and am financially independent and can take care of myself, which is a relief to both them and myself. PLUS I can now buy them fun things and take them nice places.

14. Build my savings account... This also is still SUPER in progress, but I have a savings account that I contribute to monthly!

15.  ... But also buy an 'investment' designer bag for myself. Pahahaha.

16. Visit Australia/New Zealand. 

17. Write a short story. 

18. Make a home. Our home, whilst not 'perfect', is ours and I love it more than anything. It took us some time to get started, but we now have furniture that is ours, and a really cosy little place that feels just like 'us' in the world.

19. Pitch my first story/feature. To anyone. 

20. Aim to be the healthiest I've ever been & complete a walk/run for a charity. Working on this one suuuuper hard at the moment! It's my goal to make 28 my healthiest age yet.

21. Send letters, postcards, thoughtful messages and 'just because' packages to my family and friends. Yes and no - I'd say I'm a lot more thoughtful now, but I still haven't mastered my mum's level of care package/surprise awesomeness. I did have a fun postcard back-and-forth tradition with one of my closest friends though for a little while!

22. Create new traditions. Whilst this is ongoing, we do have some concrete traditions and things we do that are just 'ours' that we look forward to doing together. I'm sure the list will only grow.

23. Own a pet. WE HAVE A FISH. His name is Marty, he's ace.

24. Grow my library. Does having an almost-full double-width bookcase count? It counts, right?

25. Inspire someone. 

26. Make YouTubes!! Depending on how you look at this one - I love my channel, make videos semi-regularly and have been an active 'YouTuber' since 2014!

27. Finish all the books on this list

28. Meet a personal hero. 

29. Go hiking and fishing in the Lake District.

30. Practice more peace, love, and stillness. Stay in the now. Yoga with Adrienne has helped me make SO much progress where this goal is concerned. It's a work in progress but my anxiety is definitely 1000 times better.

Nine down, a couple ongoing and a roundabout twenty to go... I'm feeling pretty confident! Do you guys have a list of goals you'd like to achieve?

June heralds the official arrival of summer, warmer days (you'd hope) and all things celebrating the lightness and airiness of the outdoors, so it seems only right, when everything is in bloom and so fragrant in nature, to revisit your perfume collection and match what you're wearing to how the season makes us feel - warm, playful, a little more sensual maybe. 'Frolic' seems like a good word for the month of June, so if someone could bottle that up and sell that to me, that'd be fab, but until that time? Here is a quick walk-through some recent picks of mine for summer.

Jo Malone Nectarine Blossom & Honey: If you've been reading since way-back-when, you might remember I got this fragrance as a sample with my first Jo Malone purchase of Pomegranate Noir. Since then, I've been wanting to snap this up for spring and summer months and, when a trip to Dubai coincided with Terminal 3's Jo Malone duty free prices, it was finally time. There's just one word to describe this: juicy. I feel absolutely delicious when I spritz this on to my skin and my boyfriend loves it too - it has all the sweetness of honey with the juicy pulp of nectarine. Everything about this reminds me of sitting in a garden somewhere hot in summer, with peach juice dripping down my fingers. A very sensual, warm and rich summer scent.

Escentric Molecules Molecule 01: Oh, this perfume and I. I first sprayed this on at a counter in Harvey Nics in London and I fell absolutely in love - the concept is the perfume only has one extra molecule added to the water molecules, and it is this molecule which adapts to your natural scent to create something that smells truly like you. Amazing marketing spiel probably, but I was willing to buy into it because on me, this smelt exactly like burnt sweet popcorn. It was absolutely gorgeous and lingered on my skin all evening and night - I could still smell this on the way back to my hotel after seeing Sweeney Todd. I've coveted it ever since and after a Cult Beauty incentive-driven splurge, I finally got my paws on the travel size and... I've been waiting for that scent ever since. For some reason this smells really underwhelming - occasionally I catch grapefruit, sometimes it's a more medicinal smell, but I've never gotten that sweet popcorn smell back, which is cause for some heartbreak. I don't know if the formula has changed or what's going on, but I'm definitely really underwhelmed. Has anyone else ever had a dud bottle of this?!

Let me know what scents you love for the summertime - I hear a lot about Bronze Goddess, is it worth the hype?
As we're heading down to Poole this weekend with friends (and struggling to anticipate anything about the great British 'summertime' weather), I thought I'd make another wishlist post - maybe to serve as some packing inspiration, but mostly because I am loving everything in the shops at the moment and am financially incompetent in terms of being able to buy anything. OH WELL. Let's all lust together, shall we?

iPhone weather tells me it'll be fairly warm but cloudy and rainy along the coast this weekend, and honestly no one really does anything in England without taking an emergency jacket/pair of closed in shoes with them, but I am quietly optimistic for some sunnier spells. We've had such a beautiful start to the week, can't it just continue whilst I'm not in work?

Hope you like these picks and let me know if you're off anywhere exciting soon! I love summer and holiday season - every weekend feels like an opportunity to explore somewhere new.

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