adventures, books & creative lifestyle.

My Favourite Things 9

vivatramp current favourites lifestyle bloggers in the uk vivatramp

September flew by in the blink of an eye. It brought with it celebratory floor picnics, a second surgery for Poppy, a couple of little trips out and waving Cub off for her last year of university. 

September was a challenging month for me regarding my mental health. I reached out for help to find it basically wasn't there.

As a result, I found myself having some big bouts of PTSD-related anxiety and even found myself having spontaneous chest pain which made my PTSD even worse. Oh, what a cycle. 

So yeah, here's hoping that October is kinder to me. 

Whilst all of that was happening, I was coveting fun with loved ones, a family indie biz and a newly-released album.

arnolfini bookshop bristol harbour vivatramp blogthe burger joint bristol food blogthings to do in bristol blog uk vivatramp current favourites

At the start of the month, I headed up to Bristol to see a handful of my best friends. After having an absolutely horrendous breakdown on the train, I dried my snotty nose with a tissue that a kind man gave me and I set about having a peaceful afternoon in the city. I met up with my pals and we strolled around Wapping Wharf, browsed in the Arnolfini bookshop, had a rainy harbourside drink and went for burgers. Unfortunately, I was having some really bad anxiety-induced chest pains relating to the earlier breakdown so I got the train home before the girls headed for cocktails and a sleepover but it was nice to escape my head for a few hours. Next time will be better. 

monthly current favourites vivatramp blog

I was sorting through my clothes the other week when I came across this New Look paisley dress that I picked up from a charity shop a few years back. I used to wear it all the time because it was such an easy piece and I'm glad to have re-discovered it again. 

I like clothes that sort of speak for themselves so that I can just throw them on and create a chilled outfit with minimal effort. This ticks that box for me. It's lightweight, easy to layer and fun. Perfect.

handmade soaps scottish borders bubble trouble soap

My cousin recently set up her own hand-poured soap business, Bubble Trouble Soap, and last month I received a box of soapy goodies to try out for myself. Bubble Trouble Soaps are all about products that are kind to your skin and, as they're based in the Borders, they all come with names lifted from the Scottish dialect. I'm talking Ayebidin', Hae a Whiff O' That and Floo'ers to name a few. 

The first thing that hit me about my box was how good the soaps smelt and I'm not just saying that because the owner is related to me and can, therefore, kick my ass. Only my favourites go in my Favourites. I'm getting a botanical soap dish and a super cool tie-dye soap to add to my collection next. So cool. You can find her on Etsy at Bubble Trouble Soap as well as on Instagram and Facebook

the mother cooker family food blog uk

The Mother Cooker is the passion project of one of my oldest and dearest blogging friends, Gem. If you're looking for a new food website for meal inspiration then this is it. The food photography alone is worth the visit, pals. Gem's passion for what she does is infectious and it shows in the great care she takes with each post, whether she's sharing a light bite for a kid's party or sharing inspiration for tablescapes or even reviewing already-out-there-and-published recipes for her 'Tried and Tasted' series. I've been loving her content this past month and I also love that she has now taken to Insta Stories to share behind-the-scenes insights into her world.

Full of pinnable and cookable recipes, you're probably going to want to give The Mother Cooker a bookmark. 

books are my bag orla keily

Books Are My Bag is a nationwide campaign to celebrate our bookshops up and down the country. Bookshops are magical places, full of knowledgeable bookselling elves that create wonderful displays, but they can often be forgotten due to people's 'click-of-a-button' book buying habits. And so, BAMB are encouraging everyone to head out on the 7th October to purchase that 'must-read' book in store. If you have a bit of cash spare, or have a gift card lying about, head out and spread some love on Bookshop Day. Your bookshop may be doing something to celebrate, you never know. 

Last month, I was lucky enough to receive this year's bag design, designed by blogger favourite Orla Kiely, as well as a gift card to help me on my book-buying way. Now what to spend it on...

alvvays band current favourites blog

Alvvays, of 'Maaaaarry meeeeee, Arrrrrrchiieeeeee' fame, are back with a new album and I have had it kicking around in the background whilst I get on with things for the best part of a week now. I'm all for dreamy pop vibes and this has them in spades. With vocals that descend into little howls and instruments that seem to melt into one another, this is music for the high af and the head-in-the-clouds kids. Great stuff. 

autumn tbr blog book bloggers in the uk vivatramp
(photo credit)

One of the best things about autumn is, arguably, cuddling up underneath a blanket with an atmospheric read and I have been so excited about curating my seasonal TBR pile now that the nights are drawing in. I've got some spoopy reads in mind, that's for sure.

I'll be sharing my Autumn TBR, alongside some tips for curating yours, in the next week so keep those conker-like eyes peeled.  

bbc strictly come dancing blog favourites

Strictly is back, baby! I, unashamedly, adore Strictly. The sequins, the glitter, the mishaps, the new skills, I'm all about it. It also, rather excitedly, signals the lead up to the c-word. No, not that c-word. Minds out the gutter. Filth. 

I may dance like a drunk Kate Bush whenever I hit the dancefloor but that doesn't stop me from behaving like a fifth judge when the dancers take to the stage. I can't wait to watch the series unfold.

birnbeck pier weston super mare things to do in somerset blog

Cub headed back to university towards the end of September so we took a trip to Weston-super-Mare to hit up the cheap homestores for back-to-uni pans and such. We were about to head home, with a boot full of stuff, when we spontaneously decided to grab some fries and sundaes and sit and eat them on the green overlooking Birnbeck Pier. 

I spent a huge chunk of my childhood padding around Weston and looking over at the old pier still fills me with the same excitement as it did as a child, wondering how badly I'd get told off if I ever got close to it. If, like me, you're curious, there's a video on Youtube that someone took when they were exploring it a couple of years back. The green overlooking the pier is a great little spot that is usually quite quiet so if you're local and looking for a bench with a view...


Our garage was in a bit of a sorry state so, after years of saying we would, we finally decided to begin the sort out in September. I had the job of going through pile-upon-pile of childhood drawings, birthday cards and photographs, and it was actually really nice to sit down and be a little sentimental. I'm sure as hell not keeping every single one of my old childhood drawings and stories though...

I love a good clear out, me.  

•  these beautiful fireworks 
  Maddy created this beautiful illustration of Matilda for Doodle Tube
•  Need someone to write on living with IBD, health, and other fun things? Kathleen is available for hire!
•  Bethany and Alice have started What Page Are You On? - a new bookish podcast
  Ella wrote a post on the realities of loss which was so important
  Liv hit 200 subscribers on her Booktube channel. head over and subscribe if you know what's good for you!
  Annie's illustrated affirmations are excellent - would make great gifts too
  the wonderful Mercedes reached 30k subscribers on her channel and announced a readathon!
  Ruby has started a food-related newsletter
  the incredible Laura has done a cracking collage job on Liv's new blog design
  Alice and Liv went on a bookshop crawl in London

•  monthly things that make me happy list
•  a book haul ft. lots of picture books and a freebie or two
  my August favourites as I was a little slow on the uptake last month...
  book reviews of the picture books & a tiny TBR 
  50 creative writing prompts 
  tips for how to survive a book buying ban 

September flew by, for me at least, so it's reassuring to see it broken up into little favourite sound bites. It was a challenging month but, looking back, it wasn't all bad.

If you don't want to leave quite yet, you can stick around and read up on my previous Favourites!



  1. I'm so sorry to hear you've been going through a tough time of it mental-health wise recently. If you would ever like someone to talk to (or at!) about how you are feeling, or just for a general chat about anything at all, please feel free to message me on Twitter day or night. The services may not be there, but I promise you aren't alone <3

    I must admit that I laughed out loud when I got to the Strictly part of this post... It looks like I need to take my mind out of the gutter, so I'm now off to clear my head with some posts from The Mother Cooker now - that crumble looks in-cred-ible.


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