February 13, 2017
collective london work space

Happy Monday!

Another week, another step closer to spring. It’s weird, but I’m loving this awkward inbetween season. I wake up every day excited cos we’ve got an extra few minutes of daylight. Little things eh?

I’ve been reading through my old content this week, looking for little nuggets of inspiration to take forwards, and I re-read a couple of my first Happy Monday posts. It was only two years ago, but it’s crazy to see how much I’ve changed since then.

Despite my many wobbly moments, I feel so much more confident and sure about life. The last few months have been tricky, but it’s like they were growing pains, and now I feel a little taller and a lot happier with everything. I’m more aware of who I am and what I want.

I know that I’m a bit silly and foolish sometimes, but I also know that I’m bright and curious and desperate to understand the world. I want to experience EVERYTHING and I want to do it NOW, which makes me seem impatient and flaky sometimes.

But the older I get, the more sure I am about what (and who) really matters to me. I know what parts of me I’m willing and want to work on, and what I’m not ready to sacrifice to anyone’s judgements and prejudices.

So here’s to feeling optimistic, happy and inspired again. Here’s to being myself, in all my cheerful, enthusiastic, idealistic, creative, irritating, drank-too-much-wine, never-on-time, can’t-strategise-to-save-my-life glory.

Here’s what made me smile this week!

collective london work space

1. Singapore. I’m going to be so unbelievably broke by the end of this year, but Gary and I have booked a holiday to Singapore! He has a British Airways companion voucher that expires at the end of May, so we booked return flights at the beginning of that month for just under £350 each. We’d originally looked at doing Barbados but the flight times just didn’t quite mesh with our leave from work, so we went for Singapore instead. And now I’ve started researching it, I think I’m actually even more excited than I would be for the Caribbean. The food looks like it’s going to be INSANE.

2. Weekday cooking. Speaking of food, I’ve got into this rather nice habit of using weekday dinners to work on my new blog recipes. The winners this week are smokey lentil and tomato stew, and a hybrid spinach & turkey Thai curry/risotto. Sooo yummy, and I’m excited to share them next week!

3. #YouCanSitWithUsLDN. If you watch my Instagram Stories, you’ll have seen that the lovely Kristabel organised a faaab blogger’s afternoon in Euston yesterday. I went along with Charlie, and it such a great event! Everyone was really helpful and very friendly, and I got the chance to meet some of my fave internet people in real life, as well as catch up with old friends ♥ (And if you’re interested in joining the next one, sign up to Kristabel’s newsletter for future updates.)

4. Pug under the table. The girls and I went for a Japan-planning brunch on Saturday and a pug puppy popped over to our table for a cuddle. SO SQUISHY.

5. Lightroom. My ‘Growth’ goal for this month is to try some new things with my photography. So in an attempt to improve my skills, last week was my designated ‘Lightroom Week’. I experimented with some of the tools I hadn’t tried before, and played around with my settings, and I’m so happy with how my latest shots have turned out! This week’s rule is that I’m only allowed to shoot in Manual. I know the basics, but struggle to put them into practise, so this will be interesting!

6. Skinny jeans. I bought a new pair of jeans in H&M last week. They’re a dark grey-blue and suuuuper skinny and magic. I was convinced they were going to be awful, because I had to go up TWO sizes from my usual size 12 (H&M is weird like that), but actually they’re incredibly flattering and make my butt look amazing. So that’s nice.

7. Drunk pizza date. Gary and I tried out Franco Manca’s £30 Valentine’s Day deal on Friday, and discovered that my alcohol tolerance has apparently shrunk to nothing. I had half a bottle of wine with dinner, and turned into a giggling dancing child.

8. (Almost) daily blogging. I missed Wednesday (because the photos I’d taken for my Snapseed editing post hadn’t been uploaded to Dropbox like I thought they had), but other than that: I did a whole week of daily blogging! It might seem silly, but it’s been months and MONTHS since I last managed to push myself to write every day, so I’m pretty proud of myself. Long may it last!

9. Filming with Chiquito. I spent Thursday evening devouring churros and laughing my head off with Chiquito’s marketing team. It was one of the most silly experiences of my life so keep an eye on the Chiquito Facebook page tomorrow, because you guys are in for a TREAT… ?

10. Guide books. Is there anything more exciting than planning a holiday? I’ve bought the Lonely Planet guide books for Japan, Singapore and the Cyclades islands (oh yeah, I’m going to Greece for a wedding in the summer… did I mention that?) and they’re basically all I read at the moment. At this rate I’m going to complete my 2017 Goodreads Reading Challenge on guide books alone…

lonely planet flatlay

I don’t have much planned for this week. Gary and I will probably have dinner together tomorrow, but we’re not really ones for Valentine’s Day stuff.

Other than that, I’m going to sleep lots (I feel weirdly tired at the moment), cook lots, and see if I can find a Musical Theatre group to sign up to. The one I applied to last week is fully booked, but I’m determined to get back on stage this year!

I should probably also go to the gym at some point, but I’m starting to think that, considering I only go once a week at the moment, my membership money would be better spent paying back the multiple flights I’ve already booked…

What’s been your highlight of the week? ♥


* Amanda visited Phang Nga elephant park in Thailand, and had a long chat with the director about the grey areas of “ethical” elephant tourism. It’s a really interesting read!

* I’ve been loving Chloe‘s posts recently, and this one about feeling content with life is one of my absolute favourites from this week.

* Amber‘s post on Instagram and fake followers, fake comments and fake everything had me nodding along with every word. I’m so over the bots!


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