8.20.2017

Creative Block

10 Berners St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 3NP, UK

The Lightbulb Moment...

As of late, on the occasions where I'm lucky enough to work from my postcard and candle covered desk, my morning routine usually goes as follows: wake up around 7:30am and try to remember to read my devotionals in bed. 8:00am shower, brush teeth and find clean loungewear to throw on. 8:45am eat porridge and drink coffee at desk. 9:15am stare blankly into space, idly flicking between answering e-mails, looking at meme's on Facebook and wondering why on earth I simply cannot just do one thing at a time and stick to it. You see, I am a woman who thrives on structure, and as much as I hate to admit it, I do my best work under strict routine, I am truly a 9-5 (or 8 - wheneverigettheworkouttotheclientoclock in the architecture world) person. I like being able to plan around deadlines, specific timings and deliverables, and having to manage that on one's own is not easy - I salute all you freelancers! So with no strict routine for me on the horizon as such, and well - effectively being my own boss (it's not as fun as I thought it would be I'll tell you that!) I have my dear friends.... run out of steam. A creative block I guess. 
The distant chill in the air tells me that summer is winding down. People have pulled out their Autumn appropriate trench coats and have banished their flip flops to the back of their wardrobes until warmer weather appears the following year. Summer is a sequentially busy series of months, with most people jetting off to sunny shores, planning events, sorting out work related issues and there is a general sense of slow moving buzz all around, but as August slowly inches towards September, things feel like they're calming down. September feels like a new start, a fresh page in a new book. Not quite as extreme as January, but more of a 'oh the year is coming to a close in the next few months.. what did I want to achieve?' kind of way. So in realising that September is on it's way, I'm trying to find new ways to keep inspired during this period of lull, and for me I've found that through reading, journalling, listening and documenting, I've found my creativity slowly reigniting. Maybe I'll put together a brief detailed list of the podcasts and music I listen to whilst working, or the books that have kept me on the positive path as of late. Anyway - How have you all been? How has your summer panned out?

What I Wore...



DUSTER JACKET - asos | TEE - h&m | JEANS - c/o boden | BLOCK HEEL (similar) - primark | GLASSES - london retro | LIPSTICK - colourpop





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8.08.2017

"Specs Appeal".

Mayfair, London, UK

#ClulowCares


My glasses have very much become a part of my identity now, and I don't mind one little bit. People often ask me why I don't just wear contact lenses, and I reply along the lines of me actually loving the look of glasses on myself and others. A lot of the time I don't feel *complete* without a pair of specs gracefully resting upon my nose, so you can imagine the horror I felt when I realised that my eyesight had worsened quite dramatically and I couldn't wear my old glasses as my prescription was way outdated. When David Clulow got in contact with me, asking if I'd like to come and get my eyes re-tested and pick out a new pair of prescription frames - well, it was my lucky day as I'd been putting it off for a whole YEAR.

8.06.2017

Carpe Diem.

Elstree, UK

Seize The Day.

So, what happens when things don't quite go to plan? Well, as human beings, naturally we panic, we overthink, we worry, we get agitated - angry even and we freeze. June, July, and a few days into August have been mostly be a mixture of myself feeling frozen with fear, not quite sure what I'm supposed to be doing or where I should be, but waking up daily, sitting at my desk reading a few scattered, "unfortunately you've been unsuccessful this time" e-mails and constantly refining my cv and portfolio, occasionally wondering "hmmm, what's going on with me?", and then filling myself with bad thoughts and labels such as "maybe my work is crap" or "maybe I'm just not cut out for it". 
I went to Hillsong London's annual conference on Thursday and Craig Groschel gave an awesome and very relevant word on comparison. He mentioned comparison being the thief of joy and our human obsession with being bigger, stronger, better and smarter than others. He himself said that he struggles with with wanting people to think he's doing well, and thinking he's important. But the key was to staying focused on your own race and not comparing yourself to others. Essentially - Your time will come if you just keep running your race, and running it well. It's something I most definitely needed to hear and it came at a perfect time, right when I felt like giving up. I gotta tell you, after seven years of working and studying when you get to the finish line and things don't work out like you had envisioned it kinda feels like heartbreak. So having to manage what two heartbreaks in quick succession of each other has left me feeling blue. Internet folk have been super kind this week, with people kindly reminding me of all I've achieved so far and I'm trying to remind myself of such each passing day, with every application I send off with fingers crossed and prayers attached. Our worth is not attributed to titles, or what people see or think of us, our worth quite literally rests in what we think of ourselves and nothing else to be quite honest. So as a collective, let's start being nicer to ourselves, big up yourself for all your achievements, it could be something as small as getting out of bed in the morning (which I actually think is quite an achievement particularly on days where you feel your worst), to smashing your goals, left, right and centre. Let's keep running that good race, keeping in mind how far we've come so far.

What I Wore...

DRESS - Boden | SHOES - Boden | BOOK - Alexa Chung 'It' 

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8.01.2017

COPENHAGEN : A Budget Friendly City Guide.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Smørrebrød, Endless Flowers & Damn Good Beer. Velkommen til København!


Hej! You may have gathered from my small Insta-Spam last week that I've recently returned from a very short but sweet trip to Denmark's capital, Copenhagen. Myself and Kristabel were challenged by Hoppa to find the crème de la crème of the city on a tight budget, now it's no secret that most of the Scandinavian countries are a little more on the expensive side when it comes to travelling in Europe, but that shouldn't deter you from booking a quick trip to this little treasure trove of delicious food, bicycles and incredible design. In our three days, we budgeted the following: 

Accommodation - Airbnb = £35 / 291 DKK per person (a night). Food & Drink = £30 / 250 DKK per person per day. Bike Hire = £10 / 84 DKK per day. Entertainment = FREE! 
I've broken down my tip's and tricks to getting the best of Copenhagen on a budget into FIVE things that I found to be of importance or a great help in regards to Penny Pinching or  'Krone Pinching'...


1.) RIDE A BIKE!
So I'll be straight up and say that if you (like myself) cannot ride a bike, you may find it difficult to navigate the city and you could miss out on some absolute gems! There are plenty of bike rental services dotted across the city, with the most popular being the Bycyklen or the Donkey Bike rentals as they are quite literally on every other street - Both of which I have the scars to show I could not ride (learning how to ride a bike last minute at the age of 25 is not recommended). If like myself you can't cycle, or simply would prefer another alternative, the local bus service is brilliant, easy to navigate and fairly reasonably priced. What I will say is that choosing to walk everywhere which is what we did for the most part until we gave up and hopped on the bus, is not advisable (even for Londoners!), I ended up with horrifically swollen and bleeding feet after three days of aggressively walking everywhere to avoid bikes and save money! (40,000 steps in one day anyone...)


2.) BE A TOURIST.
Embrace your tourist status and do ALL the free things you can! The Visit Copenhagen website is chock-a-block with things that will satisfy all tastes and ages, so I'd recommend making a brief list of all the places you'd like to visit, map where they are in relation to each other and make a day out of visiting a few places a day. We booked onto a free Sandeman'swalking tour, which run in both English and in Spanish. Sandeman’s also run other (paid) tours for food, drink and other parts of the capital too! Other places to visit / things to do are;
  • Freetown Christiania, which is an autonomous neighbourhood in Christanshavn, filled with colourful people, delicious veggie fare and some other uh.. ‘Green’ delights if you’re that way inclined.
  • The Botanical Gardens, which is home to the famous 1874 Old Palm House and over 13,000 different species of plants! Entrance is free which is a plus too!
  • Snap colourful houses in one of Copenhagen’s most picturesque neighbourhoods, Nyboder
  • Spot the changing of the guards in Amalienborg where the Danish Royal Family resides.
  • Do a spot of Window Shopping - or actual shopping if you’re not on a budget and want to soak up all the Scandi fashion on Strøget, Copenhagen’s main shopping district.
  • Chill out and grab a coffee in quiet Jaegersborggade, which is filled with cute and kitsch indie stores and hipster central coffee joints. (Pop along to Palermo Hollywood for cute and kitsch things, or Knast for incredible homeware)
  • Soak up Touristy vibes and get a photo of the colourful houses of Nyhavn.

3.) AIRBNB IT.
Consider an alternative to a traditional hotel in order to save a few pennies for more smorrebrod (can you tell I’m missing it?). We stayed in an incredibly beautiful and spacious apartment in the Norrebro district, which was quiet and filled with very kind and friendly locals for around 291 DKK a night. We stayed here, Uffe was a wonderful host and the flat was beautifully furnished.


4.) EAH (EAT AT HOME!).
To save money, I’d recommend eating at least one meal a day in your Accomodation. We opted to have breakfast in the flat we were renting as our host provided us with lot’s of coffee and tea options, so we went to Netto and picked up Milk, Bread, Cereal, Fruit etc to start the day right. It saved time, and it also saved money. But if you are wanting to eat or drink out, check out: Taxa (Try the Fries with Basil Mayo and their Smorrebrod), Meyers Bageri (Their cinnamon rolls are second to none!), Original Coffee (These were dotted around the city, and they do a mean cold brew if you’re coffee inclined like myself), Paper Island (For an absolute spread of varying food and drinks trucks, and a beautiful view over the Copenhagen Harbour), or if you’re already going to the Design Musuem consider stopping for a Carlsberg, or a Cake in their Kaffe.


5). THE GREAT OUTDOORS.
Danes are serious about their Hygge, as you should be too! So consider spending some time outside, particularly in the warmer months as the city is brimming with beautiful outdoor spaces such as, Fælledparken, Superkilen Park, The Kings Garden Playground, or even Assistens Cemetary, which holds the remains of philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, Storyteller Hans Christien Andersen. Danes are incredibly friendly, as I found it was easy to strike up conversation with people even simply in passing, or mostly in my case, falling from my bike…

All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Copenhagen, and I’m already planning a return in Spring with my sister. As always when travelling, it was a pleasure to be able to engage with another culture and way of life, and after visiting I can honestly say I finally get why the Danes are the happiest in the world, with so many clean, kid friendly open spaces, bike lanes, great beers and such a relaxed culture, it has been a pleasure for two headless chicken Londoners to reduce the pace of life a little.

If you're wanting a taste of Scandinavia, without the flights and bikes, how does a competition to have a Scandinavian 5 Course lunch with wine and champagne on arrival sound? All you need to do is post / comment your favourite holiday hack on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. Entries must include the @arrive_happy (Twitter) or @arrivehappy (Instagram) handles and the hashtag #HoppaHacks to be counted! (Check out the hashtag to see a few of mine and Kristabel's Hoppa Hacks!). The competition ends 10th August and the winner will be announced on the 11th of August. Check out the competition link here for more details and to see Kristabel's vlog of the trip!

Have you ever been to Copenhagen? If so, what did you do whilst you were there!

This post was in collaboration with Hoppa, all words and photography are my own*

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7.26.2017

Masculin et Féminin.

Architecture, Being A Woman & Blackness.

With very little sleep under my belt as I'd just landed from Copenhagen, last week Friday I went to a meeting I'd been bubbling with excitement over. Not only because of the content and topic of the meeting, but rather because I was about to meet with an Architect. But not just any architect, a black woman Architect. If you know anything about the Architecture world in the United Kingdom you'll know that the profession is far from diverse, with men making up to 94% of the profession here. So meeting another woman in the industry who looks like me, who will have had a similar past, upbringing, social and cultural values like me was so pleasant. I graduated with a Masters in Architecture this month and I was the sole black female to graduate on the MArch course of 2017. As much as people like to say, 'don't put labels on yourself', I carry the label of being a black woman in a profession that is very much white male with utmost pride.

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