Self Improvement.

Marylebone, London, UK

"Better In Time"

First things first, thank you all for the flurry of encouraging and kind messages in regards to my post on exactly why I moved back to London. I always feel so overwhelmed with the outpouring of love I receive from this little space on the web, and it still feels so strange (but very lovely!) that people *actually* care and are interested in the mundane aspects of ones life, but I digress. Everyone keeps telling me one of two things every time they discover I have *finally* finished Architecture School. The first being that I should enjoy my time sans employment and use it to rest and just do things I wouldn't be able to do if I was in a full time job. The second being that my time will come and that I shouldn't lose hope and veer off into a different path (which feels very tempting at the moment..). So I've been doing just that - Channeling any time I'm not using to freelance or apply for jobs into creating somewhat meaningful content for the blog, read more of the books I have stacked in piles around my room and generally learn a few new skills. Who said you couldn't teach an old dog new tricks eh?
I've been using some of my free time to learn new skills or practice and improve on old ones. I'm currently improving my conversational French with the help of Duolingo, as well as attempting to learn Spanish (Hola fellow Narcos fans!) and Japanese (Attack on Titan caused this...). I've also been attempting to get a little more creative with the editing for my blog posts. Sitting on Photoshop is genuinely one of the things I actually quite enjoy in this life, so I've been happily clicking away putting polka dots and brush strokes on just about everything and anything - What say you on the new graphic style? I'm even considering jumping back into the world of YouTube, but who knows! Anyway, things will get better in time. In the meantime, lets try to enjoy the journey and better ourselves along the way.

What I Wore...

DRESS - zara | HEELS c/o boden | GLASSES - rayban | EARRINGS - h&m | BAG  c/o boden



Little Treasures.

Moving places often means that I end up losing, and occasionally finding little gems that are near and dear to my heart. By nature, I am a hoarder. I get very attached to items because I attach very specific memories to them, and to see them go often pains my heart. So I have a lot of 'stuff', despite giving six bin bags full of things to charity a few weeks ago... Some of my most treasured pieces aren't particularly expensive, and some aren't even valuable - more so things I have found or remembered and I'm quite in love with at the moment.
Gold Leaf Necklace from Yasumi's shop | I can't quite remember how Yasumi and I e-met, but I do know it was about two - three years ago. I was captivated by the blog she ran with her husband Hiro and their appetite for finding the beauty in what most would consider the mundane. I bought this leaf necklace from Yasumi in Autumn 2016 - almost a year ago now! And it remains one of my favourites. 
Irish Cream Coffee by Beanies (Stolen from my sister..) | It's no secret that I've replaced blood with coffee. I found half a jar of Irish cream coffee in the tea cupboard and thought mmm this sounds relish, let's give it a whirl, and from that moment I was hooked. Much to my sisters dismay, I've now just finished the jar and I'll be re-ordering some soon. It's coffee but with a much warmer hug, perfect those "fffffffhhhhh!' days.
Book gifted to me by my friend Domi | After I spent a good two weeks post my degree show in May / June lying motionless in bed, eating my weight in Chinese food and crying out all the exhaustion and stress I had kept pent up, my slightly worried flatmate kindly presented me with Amanda Lovelace's 'the princess saves herself in this one' after seeing one too many sad Insta story of me fervently reading Rupi Kaur's 'Milk & Honey'. If you like myself are into that genre of poetry, you may also like Lovelace's pieces.
Flowers & Shadows | Working from home / my desk means I get to enjoy the suns rays dancing about my bedroom. My sister brought home a bouquet of roses last night and I always get so unreasonably happy when there are fresh flowers in the house. I feel like it's a good omen or something - Am I the only one who thinks the same? I've always thought of flowers as the pinnacle of romance (for me anyway) and I've only ever been bought flowers once in my life, by two of my friends for my eighteenth birthday many moons ago. My favourites are white tulips.

Have a lovely bank holiday weekend friends!



London Calling!

Regent St, London, UK
boden abingdon trench

Oi Oi!

I realised I didn't really explain my move back to the south. I sort of just packed up and left. It all sort of just *happened* really, but reader, it was not my intention at all to return to London. You see, I am an excessive planner. I like to live in a dream land of premeditated thoughts and occurrings - essentially in my head, everything works out perfectly, but in real life, uh... things never quite pan out as expected. You see, I had been applying for Architecture jobs from about April / May, I was diligent in my applications, had a successful exhibition (companies even left cards for me to contact them in regards to working for them!) and I graduated with a 2:1, in my head I had this shit in the bag, I'd worked really hard and hard work is all you need right? I was so happy and positive, on the right track it seemed, but things started to fall apart just before I finished and only went from bad to worse. From heartbreak, to having aforementioned cards stolen (No joke), to a distinct lack of responses from job applications in my personal inbox, and with time and money running out, my dream of staying in my perfect little flat in Liverpool swiftly came to an abrupt halt towards the end of June. As I packed up my things into my Dad's minivan, I couldn't quite believe it and I struggled to hold tears back as I ate the Cheeseburger my Dad and Sister had lovingly gotten me for the four hour ride back. How could I have flopped like this?!
radley lavender gardens
radley lavender gardens
boden abingdon trench
radley lavender gardens
radley lavender gardens
So my Tumblr dreams of finding a lush one bedroom flat smack bang in the Liverpool city centre and filling it with plants and beige furniture, whilst being a serious working woman evaporated before my very eyes. But in the same vein, I'm very very very glad I was able to move back to London instead. My blog was borne out of loneliness, despair and boredom during undergrad almost seven years ago, and along that journey, I've made very good friends out of people on the internet (shout out Sherida, Kristabel and Supal), I've connected with people on-line who for some reason enjoy my sob stories (I promise I'll have some good news to report soon guys - I'm speaking it into existence), and I've worked with brands who similarly for some reason want to work with me. All of this has absolutely kept me on the straight and narrow. Being back in London has provided me with a plethora of blog opportunities, opportunities that will pay da bills (because-still-unemployed-sigh.gif), keep me busy and keep my creative juices flowing. So I guess I'm here. I'm back in LDN Town. For the long haul? Who knows, life right now is so unsettled and the landscape is ever changing, but I'm trying to enjoy the journey and keep on keeping on.

What I Wore...

JUMPER - h&m | SKIRT - asos | TRENCH COAT - boden | BAG c/o radley | SHOES - dr martens | NAILS - Zoya



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



"Specs Appeal".

Mayfair, London, UK


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.


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' 



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'...

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...)

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.

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.

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.

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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