Category Archives: Inspiration


April 11, 2016

swimming pool |


^ a project to keep me spending time doing more and shopping less, appreciating more and coveting less, creating more and consuming less. Most of my list involves food, because I basically think about it all the time. It also helps me make the most of a season that isn’t my favourite, because my natural state is several layers of wool and jumpers and a yearning for rainy day.

So who fancies joining me?! Make your own summer bucket list (as big or small as you like!) and hashtag #bucketlistsummer2016 ️


  • make ice lollies
  • have a picnic (with some frisbee action)
  • BBQ outdoors
  • go camping
  • new country walks
  • make some good iced tea/iced coffee
  • hire bikes
  • find a summer soundtrack
  • have a bonfire? (bit difficult when you live in London, but a girl can dream)
  • have a water balloon fight
  • perfect a new up-do
  • make something lemonadey
  • make something smoresy (maybe these? Or no-bake frozen smores)
  • pick your own berries (and make strawberry cheesecake…or jam)
  • check out a new GF bakery
  • visit the lavender fields
  • day trip to a national trust property
  • make ice cream
  • play tennis
  • fly a kite
  • go to a fair

What do you think – have I missed off something that just screams ‘summer!!’ to you? Let me in on your summer bucket list in the comments :)

#quantified2016: one month down

January 31, 2016

Day designer planner review

January, that long, depressing, wet and poor month is finally at an end. You probably listened to all the goal-setting podcasts. You charged that gym membership. You bought a nutribullet and juiced ALL THE THINGS.

I didn’t actually write a post about this before the turning of the calendar, but I did do my goal-setting at the beginning of the year. Happily most of them were continuations of things I’d started to put in place in 2015…

continue reading


October 17, 2015

I feel like this is a really important point to be made – don’t go thinking that I don’t want Big Magic to be a No.1 New York Times Bestseller, because I do. I have an ego that’s very strong and it wants the same things everyone else’s ego wants, which is everything. It wants everything, it wants 10 of them, it wants them in blue and it wants it tomorrow morning at 7am…it wants and it doesn’t know how to do anything by want, that’s the definition of an ego. Don’t be kidded into thinking I’ve conquered that or that doesn’t exist within me because it absolutely does.

Here’s the thing though, I know that’s not the only thing that I am, and I also know that I’m never going to get rid of that thing, because I also know that that’s a common human denominator of what it means to be a person. I had a friend who was a therapist who had a great line that said “desire is the design flaw”. It’s the glitch in the software system, we all have that. And beautiful things can come out of that desire, because that’s where the urge to make art comes from and where the urge to have romance comes from and to explore the world – all of that is sort of ego-driven from wanting. I want stuff. I’m full of what, brimming over with want…and always was.

But I’m not only that. There’s other parts of me that I think are more interesting, and the part of me that I think is the most interesting is my soul. My soul just wants wonder and connection and creativity, and y’know, forgiveness…and everything my wants are such good things.”

^ Elizabeth Glibert dropping truthbombs on the 100th episode of the Lively Show podcast. I had to go back and transcribe it for myself and really take it in. Because that incredible urge to want things is often so strong, that it sometimes seems to crowd out the desires we have that are less tangible – to want to create, to want to love, to want more time. And especially when you’re an aesthetics addict and collector of many useless small things. Especially when you love instagram and pinterest and do you really need to decorate the house to have people over to celebrate thanksgiving? No, but it’s so satisfying, somehow. Make the world beautiful! Make it pretty! But then also trying to remember that you can just suck the joy out of life desiring one that looks too perfect instead of listening to the other desires of your soul. File under ‘things I’m trying to remember’ as I continue trying to streamline my life and make room for all the good things, instead of only the pretty ones.



September 30, 2015

We interrupt this scheduled nothingness for this PSA: listen to this album, listen to it all, revel in wit and the wordplay and the insanely, wonderful visceral way Lin Manuel Miranda can bring history to life and omg Angelica and Alexander and omg Burr, sit down and omg founding father beef. This is everything right now and I already know it off by heart and am 100% brokenhearted that we couldn’t get tickets in October, and that I didn’t think to book ages ago when I first knew it was booking. WHAT AN IDIOT.


March 29, 2015

So, I think I’ve found another spirit city. Thanks to a weekend of lashing rain and biting wind, the Amsterdam I will remember (until we visit next) is a muted palette of greys and creams, brick and brown water. The bikes that sit everywhere drip-drip-dripped and co-ordinated dames und herren pedaled around with open umbrellas in one hand and handlebars in the other.

Speaking of cyclists, here’s an accurate depiction of how I felt during my 72 hours in Amsterdam, chancing my life at every crossing and cycle lane. I have never wished for owl-like neck reflexes so much in my life.

But, the potential for becoming a traffic-death statistic aside, I fell in love with candle-thin houses, three windows wide in the most gentrified city I’ve ever walked around – at least, obviously, the most central parts. Gratifying, actually, to see so many independent shops and eateries, even if they’ve all been hit with the hipster stick, (though, who am I kidding? I love a good sans serif logo design as much as the next person…). It was a city of casually-dressed cyclists riding ancient-looking sit-up-and-beg bikes (unlike London where so many people who cycle to work kit out like they’re Bradley Wiggins and act like they’re climbing the pyrenees rather than trying to get to their desks)

I wish the sun had shined a little so I could a) wear the other shoes I’d shoved into my backpack b) don the sunnies I had so optimistically purchased from Topshop and c) hire some bikes and enjoy Vondelpark a little more…but we ended up checking off so many restaurants, bars and museums, probably because of the weather, I almost can’t complain. (Almost).

Thank god for the internet and glutenvrij tips, too. How did we cope before Google? Moeders was one of my favourite meals we ate, Pancakes! does gluten-free dutch pancakes (NOM) and Greenwoods offered gluten-free bread topped with some amazing avocado-chicken-cottage cheese-poached egg goodness. So. Good. Don’t go to Amsterdam without stopping into Wynand Fockink either, for some tasty, tasty liqueur. If you like beer then Cafe Gollem is a can’t-miss and De Zotte near the Leidseplein was my favourite place for a great atmosphere to have a chilled-out drink.

Also, tip: do as we did and go Thursday-Saturday. Probably because we stayed away from the area around Centraal station, we managed to be leaving the dam just as the Stag parties were getting going…and that was some pretty sweet timing, I’ll say.

Monday calls…and my feet may ache from the cobblestones but I feel refreshed going into the week. If you need me, I’ll be reading The Miniaturist and daydreaming about those canal houses…

Monday reminder

November 3, 2014

Taking me forward into my week:

Cherokee legend has it that the battle between two ‘wolves’ is waged inside us all. One is bad: made up of anger, jealousy, sorrow, spite, guilt, resentment, lies and false pride. The other is good; it is joy and peace, kindness, love, empathy, generosity and truth. Which one wins?
The one you feed.

National Poetry Day

October 2, 2014

When I heard the learn’d astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me
When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them;
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.
– Walt Whitman