Hmm, how is it almost mid-August?! That means it’s almost September and September means it’s practically 3 months from Christmas! AGH! This year is going far too quickly…
Here’s 10 things that I’m loving this August:
1 .Emma Block’s illustration of me
I’ve been a long time fan of London-based illustrator Emma Block‘s work. For my little sister’s 21st birthday, I commissioned her to do a bespoke illustration that might have gone down as one of the best presents she ever received. She hosted a pop-up shop this weekend at west elm on Tottenham Court Rd and alongside selling her beautiful prints and cards, was doing live portraits. Having not had the opportunity to have one done myself before, Emma drew this beauty for me. She totally nailed the side eye and polka dots!
Emma also does lots of workshops. I’ve been to her brush stroke lettering class, taught with Teri of The Lovely Drawer, but I am going to be booking a spot on her watercolour class at Quill London soon too. Do check ’em out – they are awesome!
2. Affordable homeware
I have lots of friends buying their first homes or starting to get as in to the homeware scene as I am, but getting on the property ladder can be bloody expensive. Finding nice, affordable homeware used to be a real challenge and generally would end up with an IKEA shopping spree because really that’s as good as it gets (not knocking IKEA at all…I love me some IKEA). Well, those days are gone my friend cos’ high street homeware is sizzling at the moment. If you’re skint + need some home kicks, check out these 3 bad boys to get started:
3. My new west elm desk set up*
I’m going to a bedroom makeover post soonish but I recently got rid of a large set of IKEA drawers in my room and filled it with a little desk nook with west elm’s Mid Century Mini Desk in white. I haven’t yet decided whether or not to use it as a dressing table or an actual desk but for now, it’s multi purpose. Still not dressed properly but I’ll share finished snaps soon!
4. Bao, Fitzrovia
Lucky for me, Bao has opened their second restaurant a hop and skip away from the west elm store. I recently discovered it with my friend Ryan and was in bao bun heaven. They also have a Soho branch but I have yet to go there and not been deterred by the ridiculous queue. Fitzrovia’s outpost is far more spacious and we didn’t have to queue at all. Boom.
As we were just there for lunch we ordered around 6 dishes to share between us. We started with crispy prawn heads, garlicky prawns and beef cheek patties. I didn’t actually spend enough time looking at the menu to work out what the actual names were for all of these but the descriptions give you a good idea. They were all ridiculous tasty, especially the beef cheek.
Then came the buns. Oh my god. The buns. We went for a classic pork bao each and then split a black cod (which was like a seriously posh, out-of-this-world fish finger sandwich) and a confit of duck bun. Could’ve probably eaten a lot more because they were just SO good but decided to behave ourselves…until next time.
5. Everything on this playlist
6. Bullet journalling
Ok – I admit it. I’m turning in to a total Pinterest cliché but this one has really got me. I’ve always loved the idea of keeping a diary or scrapbook of some description but I am USELESS at maintaining it. A bullet journal gives me a lot more flexibility as there’s not really a time restraint on it and it’s more varied than your bog standard diary. I’ve got a whole variety of things in there so far: books I want to read, exercise tracker, monthly goals, focus words for the year, restaurants I want to try etc. I’m finding it SO therapeutic making the pages look pretty and having that time away from a screen, where I can really focus on the things I want to achieve. Of course, my bullet journal is in a Rifle Paper Co book.
I bought it last weekend. No words needed. I am in love.
8. Lee Crutchley’s ‘How To Be Happy: Or At Least Less Sad’ book
I stumbled upon this book whilst on a recent Amazon spree and bought it on a whim because the reviews were banging. I am SO glad I did. It’s not a self-help book, it’s a workbook filled with exercises that are designed to help you realise all the happy things you’ve got going on. I’ve only done a couple of the exercises so far but I love the concept and I have a feeling this book & I are going to get on like a house on fire.
9. Not living in Central London
I’m a Londoner and for the most part, I love my city but because I now work from home so avoid rush hour commuting and never really have a need to go in to Central at a weekend unless it’s for a celebration of some description, on the odd occasion that I do have to do either of those things, I have absolutely detested it. Perhaps it’s just the volume of people and the fact that everyone dawdles (I hate dawdlers) but the crowds just make me curse the big smoke. Throw some good weather in to the mix and it’s even more hellish. I was on Southbank on a Saturday the other week and every young’ish girl that walked past was wearing a flower crown. Eh?! We’re coming to the end of festival season folks and frankly flower crowns are ONLY acceptable to wear at one, not in the middle of a capital city. This is a long way of saying that I REALLY appreciate living where I live (big up Surbiton) and having the space around me but still being in close proximity to everything. So much so that I’m working on a guide to the area I live in to post on here in a few weeks.
10. Origin’s 10-min Rescue Mask
My sister bought me this gem for my birthday back in July and although I don’t tend to get major skin issues now that I am well, WELL out of my teens, for the odd rough day (particularly hungover ones), this mask is a god send. It does exactly what it says on the tin and revives tired looking, troublesome skin in, well, 10 minutes. I’m such a huge fan of Origins skincare anyway but this is without a doubt one of my new staples.
*I should state that I do actually work for west elm but as with everything on this blog, all thoughts are my own and before getting this job I was, and still am, the brand’s number one fan in the UK so it’d be CRIMINAL not to throw in to the mix periodically!