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Little Fires, Thoughtful Friends and Pretty Nails {August’s Little Loves}

Praia del Rey beach

Yes I know I’m late again but I like to go with the ‘better late than never’ ethos where my Little Loves posts are concerned. These positive round-ups have become a staple part of my content over the last 3 years. Talking of which…it’s almost 3 years to the day since I started over-sharing writing on Inside, Outside and Beyond – where HAS the time gone?!

August, like most months has been one of ups and downs – heartache, laughter, relaxation and stress. But you know what they say? You can’t have one without the other. Never a truer word said.

On with the Little Loves show…

Read in August

I always like to invest in a few new books before going on holiday. On occasion I’ve been left without reading material, having underestimated how many I would devour; the mere thought of that now panics me!

I therefore took 5 books with me and ended up getting through 3 of them – not bad for a 10 day holiday. I won’t share all of them with you but as this is a ‘Little Loves’ post, I will share my absolute favourite: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.

Little Fires Everywhere

Before you say it, I am definitely late to the party on this one. I think it was doing the rounds last summer, or possibly the one before, but it’s been on my ‘to read’ list forever and a day. All I can say is that it didn’t disappoint. Brilliantly written with characters who I fell in love with and a plot that had me captivated. Exactly what I look for in a good book.

On a slightly different note, one of my best friends kindly gifted me this gorgeous devotional book before I went on holiday.

Embraced Lysa Terkeurst

She knew it wasn’t going to be an easy break away (my eldest daughter wasn’t able to join us due to ill health) so she thought that having something positive to focus on every day might help. It really did. I love Lysa Terkeurst, her book It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way, impacted me so profoundly earlier this year and this devotional is equally good.

Heard in August

We hired a car on holiday and spent a lot of time driving round Portugal with two teenagers in the back. Said teenagers were generally in charge of the music so Tones and I – Dance Monkey, was the ear-worm of our holiday this year.

Another favourite this month has been Freya Ridings’ Castles.

Watched in August

Where to start with this one? I’ll jump straight in with a highlight from August – Yesterday. Have you seen it? We absolutely loved it! Feel-good fun for the whole family is how I would describe it. Definitely a must-see for any Beetles fans out there.

In terms of TV viewing, we watched The Social Network (Mark Zuckerberg’s rise to fame) last weekend. Another good one to watch if you’ve got teens.


Pretty nails! I’ve never been one to get my nails done regularly. I usually paint them myself and to be honest, they are often too broken to even bother with. But at the start of the school holidays, I promised my youngest daughter that if she could stop biting her nails, I would pay for us both to have gel nails before our trip to Portugal.

Gel Nails

I’ve loved having nails worth showing off for once. After three weeks they are now starting to grow out but I’ll be so sad to see them go.

A couple of months ago I ventured out of my skinny jean rut and purchased a pair of straight leg cropped jeans from River Island. I can’t tell you how comfortable they are, I think I may never go back!

Straight Leg Jeans River Island


I’ve not done brilliantly on the baking front this month. Banana cake has been a recurring theme but that’s more to do with the fact that I don’t like throwing past-their-best bananas away!

We made a trip to Praia del Rey in Portugal, as you will probably have guessed from all the beach photographs.

Praia del rey sunset

We also made a trip to London at the beginning of August. Did I tell you that we bumped into Ovie from Love Island whilst shopping on Oxford Street? It made my daughter’s day!

London marching band

And lastly…

So that just about wraps up August. I intend to write a full write up of summer as I do every season but know it’s going to be a long one so need to muster up the energy! My younger two went back to school today and it all feels a bit final. Are you feeling like that? There’s something a bit sad about summer coming to an end isn’t there? Anyway, I shall refrain from getting maudlin as this is supposed to be about my ‘loves’ after all!

I hope you’ve had a happy August. What has been your highlight?

Inside, Outside & Beyond




  • Mary Mayfield

    It’s easy to decide on my highlight – being persuaded by my youngest daughter to go swimming in a sea-loch the last evening of our short Scottish break. Fortunately there aren’t any photos 🙂

    • Suzanne W

      I always admire ANYONE who can get into freezing cold fresh water so well done you!

  • Sally

    I love that part of Portugal, I’d love to have had more time to explore.

    • Suzanne W

      It really is so beautiful. We went to Lisbon for the day too. It’s pretty unspoilt and far more traditional than the Algarve. Not as warm though!

  • Jenny

    Oh adding that book to my read list right now. I still am struggling between wanting a kindle or sticking to books. I love holding a book but storing them afterwards is a nightmare. Love the blue nails. Sounds like an amazing summer.

    • Suzanne W

      Yes it’s difficult lugging all the books away on holiday and also the print is too small for me these days – a kindle might solve that problem!

  • Gail

    Don’t worry, Suzanne, I’ve only just posted my Little Loves this morning! Better late than never as you say. Oh, I’ve heard so many good things about Yesterday, I can’t wait to watch it. I love your nails, so colourful and bright. I’ve been painting my nails blue lately – can’t believe the difference such a simple thing is making to my mood! xx

  • I definitely feel a bit sad that summer is over! Your nails are lovely, Portugal looks beautiful and I’m still intending to read that book! Better late than never, right?

  • I loved that book! I read it last year ad still think about it now. Have you read her other one ‘Everything I Never Told You’? That was fab too (though I preferred Little Fires Everywhere). It sounds like the time you had in Portugal was what you all needed – somewhere I would really like to explore one day. I’m so sorry your girl couldn’t join you, that must have been tough. I think of you all often and hope that she’s making progress. The back to school transition sucks doesn’t it? As much as I love the start of Autumn and September in particular, this year I’m definitely more in the mindset of ‘roll on October half term’!

  • Tracey Williams

    You beat me in writing up Little Loves as I only did mine on Friday. Oooo I have that book in my reading box so I think I might read it next. I know what you mean about feeling a little sad about the summer coming to an end, I always have mixed emotions. Glad you were able to take some time to relax in Portugal xx

  • Kerri-Ann

    What a lovely and thoughtful gift off your friend. And once you go gels you never go back! It’s my monthly treat. Your summer sounds lovely, sadly without your daughter. I hope you’ve settled back into a routine now

  • Lauren Woodward

    I love Freya Ridings! Her voice is just stunning isn’t it?

    • Suzanne W

      Yes it really is! I’ve not really properly spent much time listening to her before.

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