So far July has NOT been my favourite month. It’s too hot and I feel disorganised and flustered, which I have for most of this year, but at least up till now it hasn’t been sticky and humid.

Still, there are a few favourite things over the last month or so that have certainly brightened up the hot and sticky days, so here are my July favourites.

Trek Protein Flapjacks

My current favourite snack, Trek sent me a couple of boxes of these so they should keep me going a while!

I have been experimenting with how I eat during long Roller Derby training sessions. On Saturdays particularly we train over lunch, and often have a 10-minute break to eat. I’ve found that having something like pasta or a sandwich can leave me feeling a bit sluggish in the second half of the session, but also eating nothing isn’t really an option.

So I’ve been trying out using a carbohydrate energy drink during the session, and just having an energy bar in the break.

I’m loving these flapjacks from Trek, they are made with Gluten free oats and topped with enough chocolate to make them feel like a treat. They have a 2:1 carbs to protein ratio, which makes them a perfect recovery food, as well as fuelling the rest of my training session.

The only downside is that the chocolate topping can go a little gooey in the hot weather, so keep them in the fridge and don’t store them in your pocket!

Plum Savings

Being self-employed and on an irregular income, I find saving money really hard. I want to put some by, even if it’s just so I can spend it on new Roller Skates, but I’ve not had much luck.

I’ve tried setting up a regular direct debit, but always end up cancelling it because it’s at an inconvenient time, or I have a few slow months.

Enter Plum.

I was a little nervous when I signed up a couple of weeks ago. In case, a) it stole all my money, or b) it made me go overdrawn, but so far it’s been brilliant. The idea is it analyses your spending and then squirrels away little bits that you can afford once a week or so. So far it’s taken £2-£3 a time, amounts I barely notice, but that are actually building up quite quickly.

Plum doesn’t pay interest, so my plan is every time it gets to £20 or so to withdraw it and place it in an interest-bearing savings account.

It is definitely helping me save money I wouldn’t otherwise save, and it all works through Facebook messenger, though I do need to turn off the annoying daily messages telling my bank balance as I already have an app for that!

Full disclosure, this is my personal referral link. If 3 of you sign up and start using it they’ll give me £25, which would be lovely! If you like it, you also get your own referral link you can give to your friends and family.

Paying for Coffee with my Watch

A random entry at number 3, because my Fitbit Versa is really brightening up my life right now.

Not because of its sleek stylings, or uncanny ability to tell me I haven’t slept very well at all actually, or any of the other reasons I mentioned in my review.

But because I swear nothing makes me happier than paying for my coffee using the Starbucks app on it. Every time I do it I want to run outside going “I JUST PAID FOR MY COFFEE WITH MY WATCH! IT’S THE FUTURE!”

If they ever get Fitbit pay working with my bank account I may just have a heart attack.

Virtual Races

I discovered Virtual Races thanks to Mr LLL. He signed up to run a marathon over a week. I settled for a 10k just because I badly wanted the Harry Potter style medal.

I went out, I ran a 10k, I uploaded my evidence and a few days later this epic medal arrived.

I now have my eye on the Galactic 5 Mile and the Gin for the Win 10 Mile.

Pep & Co

Because when you’re skint and have the urge to shop, it’s nice to know that Poundland sell clothes.

Earlier this year I bought some nice, cosy, novelty slogan sweatshirts in the sale to keep me warm. Then, over the last month or so I have become obsessed with the Pep & Co section in my local Poundland and have bought 3 pairs of shorty pyjamas to deal with the heat, one cute shirred off the shoulder embroidered top (pictures coming soon!) and a pair of red and white stripy shoes.

Is the quality amazing? No. Has anything I bought cost more than £4? No. A lot of the stuff is cheap, polyester print cold shoulder tops and leggings style stuff, but hidden amongst it are some gems, so I will continue obsessively searching the racks.

And that (and fans, both electric and manual) is what has been keeping me sane in July.