21 // San Francisco, you stole the show

1Brace yourselves, it’s going to be a long one! Mikee and I got back from our trip just last week after attempting to get around California without being able to drive.

ARE YOU CRAZY?! I can hear you saying from the other side of the screen… The answer is yes, frankly we are, but we did pretty darn well!

Our first stop was San Francisco for 5 days. Out of the three places we visited it was the easiest of places to get around as a pedestrian and using public transport. Although it’s considerably small for a city, it still felt pretty vast and full of all the wonderful things that life has to offer, with each area offering very different things. I could probably write an awful lot about our stay but I’ll try and keep it simple with a breakdown of things we did and things someone else might find useful.


Our flights were booked via Norwegian airlines, direct to LA from Gatwick on one of their new Dreamliners, it was a pretty cool plane with bigger windows which had dimming buttons on. The flights were around £500 each.

We got a connecting flight up to San Francisco, with a four hour stop over as I wasn’t sure how long it would take to get through passport control, customs, baggage collection and then checking in again. FYI It turns out we only really needed two hours.

We then got a Delta airlines flight to San Fran which ended up being a little late with a bit on confusion as to which gate we were leaving from. They had an awesome plane snack for the 50min flight of fresh veg and hummus which was very welcome after the other plane.


WALKING – So so so much walking… Up, down and all around.

MUNI – only $2.25 a ride, or you can get a week pass for $35. They run around every twenty mins and the routes were pretty easy to figure out. We just ended up paying for singles the entire time as we did a lot of using our legs.

BIKES! – Much fun, many hills. If you’re a cyclist and you live there, you have that firm bum achievement unlocked! It was around $30 each for a 24 hour period from Bike Rental San Francisco, it was cheaper than some of the other touristy bike rental places and we didn’t have those cheesy logo packs on our bikes… I imagine you can get it for cheaper if you hire a bicycle for a longer time.

BART – Simpson? We only got it on two occasions but it seemed pretty efficient and cheap. The cost was calculated on where you’re going from and to, to get from close to Fishermans Wharf to San Francisco Airport it was around $10.

TAXI – Only used this once, after our long assed flight and we couldn’t be bothered to deal with thinking, I think it was around $40 for a half an hour ride?

FERRY – We caught the ferry twice, once to get back to San Francisco from Sausalito, I believe there are two that serve the route but we got the Golden Gate Ferry. Tickets were mid price range and we could take the bikes on board. The second time was to get to Alcatraz and back.

One thing we didn’t get was the old school trams, but if you’re interested I think a single ticket is around $6.

Our other airbnb travellers also recommended Lyft but we didn’t have US numbers so we couldn’t get it working on our phones.


We stayed at a really fantastic airbnb. The wonderful hosts Amy and Michael own the whole property and live on the third floor of the house, while renting out the rooms on the second floor and ground level rooms to airbnb travellers. This was actually really lovely, as we got to meet some new, interesting, friendly and excited folks while we were there – getting tips and info from them while getting to have lovely conversations with new people. Amy came down to chat to us a few times, also giving us some wonderful suggestions for places to go. The place was toward the the middle of San Francisco in Laurel Heights so we found it really useful for getting around to all the places we wanted to see. If anyone is headed to San Francisco and is looking for a place to stay I would really big up staying here as we couldn’t believe how lucky we were to have found such a great place!


Breakfast and lunch were our own concoctions from Trader Joe’s

Dinner was a burger and fries from Buzz Burgers

This was our first day and we walked just under ten miles. My back was killing by the end of the day but it was so worth it.

We walked through the entire park up to Ocean Beach, stopping at the Conservatory of Flowers ( absolutely beautiful and the entry fee is so cheap in comparison to Kew Gardens in London we had to do it), Stow Lake (we rented a pedal boat and had lunch on the lake – we saw some interesting birds – including humming birds, lots and lots of turtles, a dog wearing a balaclava with ear shapes and two heron nests in a tree), we walked through the academy of sciences garden but didn’t go in. The park is massive and stunning – it took us about three or four hours to walk through.

456789101112Once we reached the beach we did what all people should do when they’ve been subjected to a pebble beach all their lives and took of our shoes and rejoiced at the sight of flat sand. The sand was a beautiful sight to behold, as was the Pacific ocean and the view of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area to our right and the rest of San Francisco to our left. I wish we had have had the chance to go back before we left to watch the sunrise or something but sleep was more important.

15 14 13We walked from the beach to the Sutro Bath ruins in about ten minutes. Explored the incredible area, it’s hard to think it was once a rather majestic looking public bathhouse, but the ruins are beautiful and the cave next to them really helped to show how crazy the sea is around there, being able to hear it smash into the rocks that surround you and then watch the tides crash at the end of the cave.

16171819After we wandered around here, we walked up to the USS San Francisco memorial which is surrounded by actual parts of the damaged ship. From here we went on a hike up to a point where we could finally see the bridge, and a very pretty bridge it is. Then tired and achey we walked all the way up to the Legion of Honour, then home after our burgers and perfect garlic fries. Passing out happily.


Breakfast was our Trader Joe’s concoction at our airbnb

Lunch was Señor Sisig – brilliant massive Fillipino fusion burritos

Ice cream was had from Humphrey Slocombe

We had lots of wine and Sangria at Wines of California Wine Bar on Pier 39

Finally dinner was at Boudin Bakery for fishy soupy bread bowls

We didn’t have anything booked to do today, and our host recommended we find Señor Sisig, a Fillipino food truck that sells massive burritos, so food became our agenda. Señor Sisig was based near Fishermans Wharf that day so we wandered around there after failing to get pastries from Mr Holmes’ Bakehouse. It’s probably a good thing because I wanted to nap after the burrito and pastry wouldn’t have helped. We wandered from the ferry building all the way up to Pier 39, marvelling at naked people walking down the street and the sea lions being lazy, fat and happy. I had gotten sunburned on our epic walking day, so I decided to get a hat, and so did Mikee. After our triumphant hat purchases we decided to grab some drinks from the wine bar that was close by… After that we wondered over to get some dinner at Boudin Bakery, where they were so busy they popped us in their private dining room on a huge table… I got the crab bisque and Mikee got the clam chowder in the bread bowls, both of us were really happy and very stuffed from the delicious food so we decided to walk it off. Walking up A LOT of hills through other areas which I wish we had time to explore properly, eventually giving up and deciding to get the Muni back where our hosts had started the fire pit in their back garden. We sat with them for a little while, chatting before heading to bed.

2526272829303132      33DAY THREE: THE MISSION & TWIN PEAKS

We had brunch at our airbnb.

Perfect Chai-tea from Samovar Tea Lounge

Rice-free Burritos for dinner from La Taqueria

Ice cream from Bi-Rite creamery

Donut from a random shop just to get some change

Today we went to the Mission district! This was probably one of my favourite days from the trip. We saw all the wonderful graffiti and all the cute little shops on Valencia street. We had perfect chai tea, how it’s supposed to be from Samovar Tea Lounge while sitting and talking to a lovely lady who had lived in San Francisco for the last 40 years and who had an incredible sweet rescue dog called Ginger. I bought myself a bracelet, and we looked at all the great art around, and got some serious inspiration for how to decorate our new home… I’m now on the hunt for a lot of cacti hah. I had read about La Taqueria for rice free carnitas burritos, the line was very long, the food was delicious and just the perfect amount to be just about full but not overly. We decided to walk to Dolores Park and visit the ice cream place next to it after our awesome burritos. Bi-Rite Creamery along with Humphrey Slocombe were on recommended lists, I personally preferred the ice cream from Bi-Rite. I had earl grey flavour and it was to die for. Following this we walked to the top of Dolores park and then got a bus to the bottom of Twin Peaks where we climbed to the top to watch the sunset and froze our little butts off, looking at views all over the city. This was probably the least pedestrian friendly place to get to/off but we got out alive and back home with our selves intact.


Food – supplies from Wholefoods, my friend Christina kept telling me to get the vegan donuts from there and they were really good.

We got up early and walked down to Haight Ashbury to hire our bikes from Bike Rental San Francisco – not the most original name but at least it gets to the point. We hired two bikes for 24 hours and went off on our way. It was a little overcast which was perfect as it meant we wouldn’t get too sweaty and sunburned on our ride. We took the route they recommended and cycled over the bridge. It was beautiful, Mikee has said it was one of his favourite days even though he really disliked being on a manmade structure that high above the ocean. After the Golden Gate Bridge there’s a really fun incline running all the way down to Sausalito where we’d been recommended to explore. We were going to try and get up to Muir Woods but Mikee was having chest pains and I was just rubbish at going up hills so we decided to stop here and wonder around. It was very pretty, but I wasn’t really sure what we could do around there so we just went and sat on a beach that got a little too windy in the end. We got the ferry back, then cycled all the way to the cycle shop before we realised they had closed half an hour earlier than I thought they said they would… but it worked out well for us in the end in order for us to get to our following morning destination. Cycling in San Francisco was actually a lot easier than we expected, so it was really enjoyable apart from having to go up the hills – down was rather fun though. Before we headed home we explored Amoeba music which was massive! Full of vinyl and special edition posters from local shows, and we felt the music love in there. When we got home we cooked dinner at our airbnb and snoozed the night away.

41424344 45 46 47 48 49 5039DAY FIVE: ALCATRAZ & KARI ORVIK

Breakfast at our airbnb

Lunch from American Eatery in the Ferry Building Marketplace

Drinks from the Magnolia Pub in Haight Ashbury

Dinner from Burma Superstar on Clement Street

Our last full day in San Francisco we got up super early in order to cycle from our airbnb to Fishermans Wharf to drop off our bikes when the shop opened and to make it to our Alcatraz Ferry on time. It was a really fun ride, and we got to our destination point in great time. The ferry to Alcatraz probably took about ten minutes once we were on the boat.

51525354Alcatraz was beautiful! If you go it is definitely the tourist thing to make sure you do. We booked on Alcatraz cruises, who I think are the only people allowed to take you on to the actual island, we got the 9:30am boat and spent about two and a half hours there. It was amazing to see the buildings, learn the history, see all of the birds who live there now and the Ai Weiwei show that was on in one of the buildings… The audio tour which was recommended everywhere is really great. It was included in the visit so you don’t have to pay extra for it. You basically have six people talking you through your journey around the prison, three former officers and three former inmates giving you recounts of what happened there while they had been there. It was amazing to hear about a three day riot that went on inside the prison and it was incredible to hear about the three people who managed to escape, see the heads they had fashioned and put in their beds and the holes they’d so diligently dug to get into the laundry shafts.

55565758We got the boat back and went to one of the most special things we could have done. I’d been researching on Pinterest what we could doin San Fran and I came across an old black and white photograph and discovered there used to be a photography studio in San Francisco called Photobooth where they shot on aluminium. It closed but now a lovely lady called Kari Orvik is carrying on working with the process. I got in touch with her and arranged to have our portraits shot on tintypes to remember our trip. Kari herself was lovely and interesting to chat to, and it was amazing to see the process of the tintypes – it’s just magical being able to go into a darkroom and see images appear suddenly on whatever material you’ve shot on. In this case when the plate went into the fix the image turned from negative to positive in almost an instant which was such an amazing thing to see. I’m now itching to try my hand at it in London.

5960After having our portraits shot we got the bus to Haight Ashbury, enjoyed some drinks at lovely pub which had some interesting beers on tap, then decided to go to this Burmese restaurant that had been recommended by our host and by Kari who shot the portraits. We walked there which took about half an hour from where were were and waited outside for maybe twenty mins before a space opened up at the community table and so we enjoyed delicious food on our last night, I would really recommend the Burmese rice from there – Mikee ordered it and I could have eaten the entire plate it was so delicious.

The following morning we finished packing up our stuff, feeling a bit melancholy about leaving because we’d totally fallen in love with San Francisco. We made sure our room was clean and got our hosts a little gift, left a little message in their note book and hopped out the door. We got a bus, then the Bart and we were right at the airport ready to get our flight to Palm Springs… I think this post is long enough so I’ll cover Palm Springs and Coachella in the next one, and then LA after that!

San Francisco – we will see you again for sure!

20 // California!

This Thursday Mikee and I are heading off to California for 20 days. I’ve been so excited for two months I must have been driving everyone mad around me, including my colleagues and Mikee. Sorry, not sorry though.

It’s going to be a bit of a challenge as neither me or Mikee drive – so I’m going to keep you updated with how we get on here as not every traveller drives… So our experience might be helpful to someone else.

The first leg will cover San Francisco, I’ve been dying to go for years! While we’re there we have plans to visit Alcatraz, Golden Gate Park, hiring bikes and cycling over the bridge and attempting to get up to the Muir Woods with just the use of our legs, we’re going to explore and eat and have our portraits taken on tintypes at Kari Orvik’s studio. She’s agreed to show us the process so I can’t wait to visit her darkroom and see how this works.

The second leg will then involve a trip to Palm Springs. We’re staying in the Ace Hotel for one night, which I can’t wait for. We’re then meeting with a lovely Canadian couple who we’re then going to Coachella with. Bring on the sunshine, the music, the art, the metallic temporary tattoos, the shower queues, the food and all of the sunscreen in the universe. I can’t wait to go again and I can’t wait for Mikee to experience it. I fell in love when Christina and I went in 2011 and have been daydreaming about going back practically every day since we left.

Once the festival finishes, our lovely Canadian buddies are going to kindly give us a ride to LA where we’re staying in Santa Monica. LA will be harder than San Francisco to navigate without a car as it was built to be navigated by car – so I’m feeling rather daunted currently but I know it’s doable with good planning. I’m hoping we can make the most of the beach, the city and some of the artier and more foody parts with being prepared.

There will be a lot of food involved which I am tres excited about – hopefully we don’t return home fat, but even if we do at least we’ll be happy.

19 // The Important Things


I’m not really the kind of person to make a fuss about my health, diet or exercise. My exercise mainly consists of walking, sleeping and occasionally running for public transport when I’m late. My diet swings back and forth between moderately healthy, pizza and quite a lot of sugar. I’m totally addicted, but recently I’ve reached a point where I’m realising more and more how important it is to take good care of yourself and I’m feeling like I need to make a change.

In January I got ill for the fourth time in four months, with tonsillitis and a very painful ear infection, feeling absolutely dire I knew it had to be down to something I was doing. Being ill all the time is no way to live so I’ve been trying to take action to get my body toward a position where it’s on its way to being happy and healthy which is the motivation for this post.

I made a vow to myself after I recovered from my last illness that I need to do my best to not get ill again. Which basically means re-educating myself as to what actually keeps us/me healthy and positive and in a place away from feeling like an ill mess or like my body can’t deal with what’s being thrown at it. With spring here I feel like I can make a start on this commitment and I’d like to take this blog on a journey through this process with me.

I want to look at how I can improve my diet to be more consistently healthy, while breaking free from my sugar shackles (I think this is going to be the most difficult part). I’ve been watching a lot of incredible food documentaries and it’s amazing how you don’t consider what is actually in your food when you’re eating. I’ve also started to explore the concept of exercise and how I want it to fit in with my life – so far I’ve discovered I like pilates. It’s more in tune with my attitude than yoga is and I really appreciate doing exercise which intends to strengthen your core muscles which is something my body is certainly in need of.

So perhaps I can take you on my journey of a clueless person attempting to improve their overall wellbeing. Because I don’t think I’m the only clueless person out here when it comes to this stuff, and my body is the only one I have – making this an incredibly important task.

If anyone has any tips, they’d be greatly appreciated.

18 // Twenty Six

25LowApologies for being so pants at actually updating on what’s been going on over the last few months – we got plunged into a world of crazy when 2015 started. In the first week, my housemate who also happened to be one of my closest friends moved out and we had a new friend move in, someone I know witnessed something scandalous, and Mikee and I put an offer in on a flat… Which then got accepted… And so big news! Now we’re homeowners!!!

It involved lots of decisions and paperwork and being told where to sign things and asked to read about things we didn’t really know about. It can be a bit of a confusing time so I think I’m going to do a bit of a walk through post with some advice on that in the future. We moved in at the start of March and have been busy with cleaning and painting and all of that while working lots! Again, something to go into another time.

My post today is about my birthday which happens to be tomorrow. Over the last couple of years I’ve been setting myself the challenge of doing a set amount of things for the age I am. So when I turned 25 I set myself 25 things to do (I read about the idea on A Beautiful Mess and thought it was great). Tomorrow I turn 26 – so time to look at how I did and set myself a new bunch of challenges!

So for the 25 things I wanted to accomplish over the last year have been:

  1. 1. Finish the proposal for the Wish Book and see how people feel about it. – DONE and starting a new adventure with it – a plan is in action and things are being made. A little more momentum is needed but I think you’ll forgive me if I deal with this house stuff first. I really can’t wait to start the project again though.
  2. 2. Get a really steady stream of freelance work even if it kills me it’s what I love to do. – It’s slowly happening
  3. 3. Visit San Francisco finally! – I failed this year but the plans were made and in a week and a half I will be there!!!
  4. 4. Keep doing projects around music. – DONE Working on YBP still and started working with Catherine Okada, though I’d love to do more things. Does anyone wish they had more time? 
  5. 5. Input this plan for my blog and write regularly. – Fail… clearly.
  6. 6. Buy a good camera that I can create awesome work with. – DONE!! I bought a Canon 5D mkii, and I love it to pieces.
  7. 7. Shoot more medium format (I forgot how beautiful the results are). Fail… To be fair I lent my Hasselbald to my brother for his birthday last year and haven’t got it back… So I haven’t been able to.
  8. 8. Be okay with losing that second part of my childhood. – Done. I lost my little Biff two days after my birthday last year. It broke my heart but I’m okay now, I still miss him every single day but my mum has Lyyli now so I have another little friend I can visit. Plus Mikee and I really want to get a sausage dog now we own our own place, so watch this space!
  9. 9. If I have projects which don’t have particular deadlines set them myself and don’t put them off. – I’m getting better at this but I still get rather distracted but the other million and one things that seem to be going on. 
  10. 10. Go on a girly trip with my bum chum when she visits. – We did this! My first ever trip to Italy! See my post about Ice Cream and Pizza land. It was so much fun and so beautiful, I would certainly recommend going to Lake Como.
  11. 11. Make sure to spend some time for myself every week to stop myself from burning out and to keep coming up with inventive ideas of things to do so my life is not just work. – Now we have our own place I’m starting to do this more by making sure I have a really good bath regularly as it’s my creative relaxing place. 
  12. 12. Be better at keeping in contact with friends who I don’t see that often. – I’ve been trying!
  13. 13. Restart doing the everyday opposites. – Fail, but I recently spent a week at Project Sunlight at Unilever and it kickstarted some ideas for some more every day opposites. So maybe while we’re on holiday again I might use any free time to do fun creative things such as this.
  14. 14. Get my website up and running. – DONE thanks to the amazing Kim Lawler
  15. 15. Figure out my style when it comes to illustration. – Figuring it out. It defy involves a combination of analog and digital whether that’s illustration or photography then post manipulation I think I’m getting there.
  16. 16. Try not to get too stressed if me and Mikee go and get our own place. – DONE! Didn’t get too stressed apart from with Estate Agents.
  17. 17. Do more craft things! – Not as much as I’d have liked to, but I’ve been making the cut out type pieces fairly regularly. Can’t wait till we have our new home set up more so I have a real workspace.
  18. 18. Write a business plan. – Fail.
  19. 19. Don’t be scared of chasing my dream and taking the risk that’s going to need because it’ll be the best decision I’ll make if I succeed. – I’m not scared of chasing it anymore, I’m being strategic though.
  20. 20. Remember not to compare myself to people I find successful – I’m at a completely different stage to them. – DONE. I find these people inspiring I will also achieve my goals one day the same way they have while keeping in mind to make sure I spend time on the other more important things in my life such as the people around me.
  21. 21. Bake more. – I tried, I failed but I’ve deffo gotten more into cooking with the help of Pinterest
  22. 22. Visit my friends more. – Been a bit of a fail but I did make it out of London for one of them to go on my first ever trip to Birmingham. Hooray! It wasn’t as terrible as some may think, in actual fact it was quite pleasant. 
  23. 23. Write a song – I love music, I wont be very good at it but lets give it a go. – Started. I have two lines down. 85% fail?
  24. 24. Watch more classic films that every person needs to have seen. – I’ve watched more, so I’d say that’s a success.
  25. 25. Keep laughing, taking risks, revelling in challenges, loving and living every day to the fullest. – Doing it.

Not too bad 18/25 – room for improvement but it’s pretty good going. I need to print the next list out and put it somewhere I can see everyday so remind myself of these things.

So for being 26 I will try to…

  1. 1. Visit San Francisco – It’s been on the list for three years now, I’m not sure if it’s cheating but I know it’s going to happen.
  2. 2. Take part in the MOMA 100 Days of Making
  3. 3. Focus on my body, it’s the only one I have and I must make sure I keep it happy and healthy.
  4. 4. Exercise more.
  5. 5. Get the wish project trundling along faster.
  6. 6. Enjoy making our place our own.
  7. 7. Start selling the hand cut quotes
  8. 8. Collaborate with more friends.
  9. 9. Treat my mum and show her how grateful we are for all of her help
  10. 10. I really want to improve this blog
  11. 11. I would love to start using a dark room again.
  12. 12. Write the rest of my two line song.
  13. 13. Practical one – develop a filing system that will work (also never name a job final – that’ll just jinx it)
  14. 14. Enter the ADC Young Guns competition again now I have some more ground to stand on, I doubt I’ll get anywhere but it’s worth entering.
  15. 15. Learn to dance for fun
  16. 16. Treat the moments I have for myself with respect and really think about what I’m doing
  17. 17. Learn to cook some damn Finnish food
  18. 18. Start visiting the sauna at the Finnish Church in London, now I live rather close to it.
  19. 19. Walk home when I have time.
  20. 20. Maybe get a bike. It’s really nice being able to rely on myself to get places.
  21. 21. Learn to like tea without sugar.
  22. 22. Get a furry friend.
  23. 23. Figure out a way to grow some of my own.
  24. 24. Feel comfortable with washing my hair less – I wash it every day and it’s not good for my hair or for the environment
  25. 25. Become more aware of what I’m using up and what I’m doing with the things I use.
  26. 26. Make sure the people around me feel loved

Let’s see how I go!

17 // Time To Reflect

EastbourneThe end of the year always calls for a time to look back, remember what happened and look forward to the amazing things to come in the next year. I’m a fan of reminiscing, you can learn a lot from looking back and it can remind you of why you’re where you are and nudge you toward what you want. This is mostly for me but get ready for an essay.

This year I’ve definitely grown a lot. I feel like I’ve levelled up in every way imaginable and that process has changed me, making me look more carefully at the things in my life forcing myself to take action if something doesn’t sit quite right. It’s also made me far more confident than I felt before.

A year ago I wrote a post on my old blog site reflecting on how 2013 had gone and explaining my little ritual that I do on New Year: At the strike of midnight I open up the back door to let the old year out and open up the front door to let the new year in, I stand at my front door – welcome the new year and I make a deal with it. Last year my deal was that if I worked hard, the year would help me to make sure that my freelance work got on the ground running. I’ve only started charging for my work this last year so I wanted to make sure I did well.

HighfiveWithTypeAnd now I feel I can give myself a big pat on the back, give 2014 a high five, grateful for what I’ve achieved: I’ve set up my website with the help of brilliant Kim Lawler. I got awesome stationery printed to go with it. I bought the camera I’d been craving to have for the last three years. I somehow landed myself in a job which I hope will teach me a lot and be helpful in the next little bit of time climbing up the mountain. I set myself up for the joys of HMRC with my freelance income – making it feel official, and actually working on freelance jobs… Amazingly I haven’t had to seek out work this year, I’ve just worked on some lovely briefs for lovely people and done well at it. Even if the last two months of this year were utterly crazy with adjusting to the demands of my new job and working on three large freelance projects – I even got invited to a blogger event. The deal with 2014 worked and it’s my greatest achievement so far – Aside from making clients happy, I’m so lucky to do what I love and what I’m good at for my living and it’s why I do this dance of late nights at my laptop – it’s not hard.

10888584_10152922630852482_2801263013617882595_nThis last year has seen some big changes outside of work. I heartbreakingly lost my dog, my little pal who had been with me since I was eleven. I had wished so badly for a dog of my own – looking through the big yellow dog book our family owned and eventually my mum gave in – I saved up the small amount of pocket money I was given every month and out of it came little Biff. He was my best friend, my secret keeper and he would always back me up – through the tough times at school when I was to meak to stand up for myself I got to come home to his happy face and everything would be fine. I miss him so much now it’s ridiculous but I will never forget him or that experience. And now we have Lyyli, a sassy little lady who is helping us get past the pain of losing our little family member, who my mum will no doubt endeavour to dress up at every opportunity for her own amusement.


11094_10152922631247482_4582513296395198038_nAnother big thing is Mikee and I starting the hunt for our first real home. Estate agents have driven me bananas for a multitude of reasons, but luckily the complexity of paperwork and all of the things we’ve had to go through haven’t – mostly thanks to the brilliant broker we’ve worked with (if anyone wants his number do write to me and I’ll pass it on). We came so close to getting a place in the perfect location and the perfect price but the seller backed out leaving us back in square one again. So we’re starting the hunt again in 2015 and hopefully this time next year we’ll have found ourselves a home – something we can make our own… And that makes me excited for the year to come. We also celebrated our ten year anniversary this year, we’re going to celebrate next year though with a trip to California to visit San Francisco, LA and go to Coachella – super excited for that too.

IMG_6272Talking of festivals, I’m super proud of Mikee. His awesome friend Alex asked him to play violin at a recording session for You Me At Six’s deluxe release of Cavalier Youth, which in turn led to a video recording and finally playing an acoustic set with them at Reading Festival. He also recorded on Lucy Rose’s new album. And played at Bestival with the beautiful Catherine Okada who amazingly got me tickets to attend, resulting in a last minute adventure with some unlikely friends down to the Isle of White to spend the weekend there camping with amazing music and catching up with some lovely people. Hazel also wins the award for the calmest driver I’ve ever been in a car with.


10393847_10152891809032482_4142057965979247382_nMusic wise, this year has been kinda slow with the gigs as I had to prioritise my work. But I went to see Sivu at least three times (go see him perform if you can), Grouplove with my original gig buddy. Cut Copy which was so much fun (we also ate at the same place pre show) their opening act Rufus were great too. I saw Wild Beasts which was a beautiful gig, but tarnished by the fact I was a wreck when I saw them as it was the same day that Biff died – we had to leave early because I was crying too much. We also Dan Croll but we only really went to catch We The Wild opening for him and then also fell in love with Jack Garratt at the same gig – he’s brilliant too if you want to listen to some fantastic music. I also went to lots of Catherine Okada gigs which were lovely, I’ve seem to have always been busy before, but she’s got such a lovely voice and beautiful songs I can’t recommend her music enough.

10857959_10152891808117482_8996687627599158388_nThis year saw trips near and far occur. It’s probably the year I’ve travelled most and I want to keep it up. We started off in good old Finland, Mikee celebrated his 25th birthday by ice fishing in the middle of Kangasala with me and my Vaari, in minus 20 degree weather. We also went for a trip down to Helsinki and explored the quiet zoo and walked on the frozen Baltic Ocean.

Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 23.06.38I spent the day at the Bluebell woods with mine and Mikee’s families, walking around the beautiful forrest taking photos and entertaining my niece. We also went on a day trip to Port Lympne with my family in the summer which was great – you can see all the way out to the sea while going around in a Safari vehicle to see all of the animals, most of which are roaming freely.

IMG_2711I went to Italy with my lovely friend Christina, we visited Lake Como, staying in Como but then going for an adventure to Bellagio and then Milan. It was my first time to Italy and it was beautiful, hot and full of tasty food. I ate so much gelato that if I kept that up regularly I’d probably turn into it. I will go back some day, hopefully not in the too far distant future.

Lake como on emiliabuggins.comWhile Christina was in London, we also went to visit Kew Gardens with my housemate Aaron. I love that part of London, I don’t go very often as it’s quite far but it is beautiful and Kew was stunning, I want to go an explore more in the spring time.

1453297_10152891805392482_6011281228836119303_nI also had a touristy day exploring London with my brilliant friend Jess. She’s my oldest friend and the one who caused the me and Mikee thing to happen. Having disappeared to Australia for two years it was amazing to catch up with her and know that although we’re different people to who we were when we were eleven, we can still see each other as if no time passed.

10885331_10152922631117482_3576311693751248590_nAnd lastly I went to Birmingham for the first time. Probably my first trip out of London to go and visit friends. It was different to how I expected it but I’ll have to visit some more to get a better taste of it… I do now know though that the typical Brummy accent everyone expects to hear isn’t typical to Birmingham though, just the Black Country as it’s called. Though anyone outside of the south of England sounds weird to me.

10407853_10152922630967482_1223768638187966577_nThis has also been the last year of living with my housemate Aaron. I’ve lived with him the entire time I’ve been in London since I moved up for university in 2008, he is part of what makes it what it is. We’ve spent practically a quarter of our lives living in the same space, so I’d say he now qualifies as my family. Now six and a half years later, I’m really sad to see him leave but the time has come, it’s the end of an era with more exciting stories to come and be told at future catch ups instead of in the Bermuda kitchen, the sauna, my room, Christina’s room, Antonia’s room or the living room. I’ll sign this off with a wish for him, for this move to help him find the inspiration to make his dreams into a reality.

IMG_4672For 2015 I have a few things I want to achieve – I am going to keep the details close to my chest again but needless to say through this process of deal making with the welcoming of the new years – I’m learning life IS what you make it. Sometimes lucky accidents happen but these things come about because of good timing and because of you. I’m learning that wishing your life away and being negative doesn’t work – sometimes you’re going to fall down of course –  but take some time to sit there, reflect, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get right back on with it because if you have a burning desire deep in your heart the only thing that’s really going to satisfy you is chasing it to the end of the world. I’m keeping my mantra from last year:

BeFearlessHappy new year darlings, see you on the flip side of the future.

16 // Workshop at The Turpentine

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in BrixtonI’ve never really taken an interest in jewellery. I used to really love making it when I was a kid, like funny bracelets for my mum but it never really got any further than that. The most my adult self wears is a necklace which I keep trinket memories on. It started out with a little silver heart with pink sapphires in that my dad bought me when I turned 18, and my mum closely followed by getting me a little red glass heart from Finland. Both meant a lot so I put both on the same chain, and I’ve worn it since then only adding the odd thing when it seems right. So far I have a locket I bought myself (also a heart) to remind myself to have confidence in myself, I have a little blue rabbit which I’ve had since I was a child to remind me of the limitless imagination you have at that age and to never forget it, and an origami crane – after having folded a zillion of them – that charm reminds me that perseverance and patience pay off.

Those of you who used to look at Canvas Shoes Are Silly In The Rain or who know me in person will know that my little dog Biff died in April, two days after my birthday. I was heart broken afterward and really wanted to find something to add to the necklace that reminded me off him. The closest thing that I could find were things that looked like foxes and nothing ever felt right so I kind of just forgot about it until recently.

I was very kindly invited by StreetHub to take part in a Silver Necklace making workshop at The Turpentine in Brixton, a creative hub launched by three lovely talented ladies. The space has been open since may and it brings art and design into people’s lives, whether that is by purchasing something unique and handmade or helping them get a little more creative through learning new skills.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect, having never looked into it before but I accepted and off I went on Wednesday after work down to where one of my favourite music venues lives. To spend a couple of hours making a pendant – and of course, my decided subject was little old Biff – I didn’t mind that it could potentially look like a blob, it would still be a Biffy blob.

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in BrixtonI have to say the evening was brilliant and I really enjoyed myself. The Turpentine has such a great space full of cool, creative things that you just want to buy everything and be poor. I must admit I came away with a giant sausage dog teacup and saucer by Dash&Found – I really want one of the jugs from the same people too which you can see above. I think I have a problem and need an actual dog in my life.

Anyway, we started the evening by sketching our designs out. I couldn’t get the shape to look right forward facing so I decided to attempt a profile which looked vaguely achievable. While Jude the teacher explained how they’d come to set up shop in May after three years of touring craft fairs and then deciding to bite the bullet and set up their own creative place where they host workshops and act as a hub for emerging crafty peoples awesome work. One of the other workshops that sounds fun is their drink and draw which I might have to convince some friends to go along to.

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in Brixton Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in Brixton

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in BrixtonAfter we’d decided on what we were going to do, Jude showed us the next step – how to set up and use the piercing saw, something she’d spent a whole term on while she was at uni at Central Saint Martins, and here we were learning it in two mins. And then it was tool time! After the oddly difficult task of getting the blade into the saw the correct way up, it was surprisingly easy to cut the metal – following the shape of the design which was now stuck to the piece of silver.

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in Brixton Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in Brixton

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in BrixtonI spoke to the lovely girls who were also attending. Em, above, runs a blog called Catch52 – where she’s tried to do something new every week for 52 weeks straight and to post about it everything she’s been up to, which is such a brilliant idea. Shelley, below, has been writing a crafty blog called Shelley Makes since the beginning of the year where she creates some really lovely stuff, and is always attempting new processes.

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in Brixton

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in BrixtonWe were shown how to use the drill to get through the metal so we could either cut into the metal some more or create a hole for the jump rings to go through to attach the pendant to the necklace. I used the drill to make Biff’s eye, and the pop a hole where his ear should be which would then have the jump ring run through it, and this is pretty much what he looks like.

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in Brixton

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in BrixtonWe sanded down our pieces, smoothing the edges and preparing them to either look brushed or so they could be put through the polishing machine. I decided to use the uber scratchy sandpaper to give the lil doggy face a hairy look, which made more sense to me than keeping him smooth.

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in Brixton

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in BrixtonWe were then shown how to put the jump rings in and how to attach this to the chain and to attach this to the chain. I opted not to have a chain as he was just going to go join my other keepsakes.

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in Brixton

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in BrixtonThe other two lovely girls there were Saima (in the red jumper below) who writes LDNShopaholic, a fashion and lifestyle blog based in London, and Shoshana, above, an illustrator (you can find her work here)and youtuber who runs a channel called Shosh and Mer with her wife Meredith.

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in Brixton Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in Brixton Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in Brixton

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in BrixtonIf you ever find yourself in Brixton do pop along, it’s super close to the market so it’s easy to visit or even make a trip out of if you want to treat yourself to some delicious food. If you find yourself interested in the workshops I’d really recommend it, it was interesting, fun, and I got to come out with something super special while meeting some awesome new people with similar interests. Everyone came up with such nice pieces in the end too, two geometric shapes – quite hard to do as it’s difficult to cut in straight lines, an arrow, a bow tie, a bird in a flame and little Biff. I will certainly be going back when I’m down in Brixton.

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in Brixton

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in BrixtonMany thanks to StreetHub and The Turpentine for asking me along.

15 // Favourite Pins This Week

Dogs dogs dogs. I love dogs. I’m really not a cat person, I do like them but I wouldn’t want a feline friend – I’m all about the happy little waggy tailed doggies. Sometimes when I’m feeling too busy, a bit down or just need a little pick me up I’ll use their happy little faces to boost my mood. So I figured I’d share the love. Happy Sunday everyone! This is all.

327a980c35c46b604fe0ca9e68aa6e07 4932982252_c3e98f0a32_bDmitry-Maximov-Illustrations-13dog55_1000 tumblr_m9ky7efFvI1qkdpmeo1_1280 tumblr_mubbt641YN1qjx6w1o1_1280 920123_513457175382305_519573411_o flat,800x800,070,f.u1I’m interested in finding out what makes people happy – if you’re on the search for a little pick me up or something to boost your mood, what do you find?

14 // Long Time No Post


Wow. Things have been busy I must say. Summer has been and gone and slowly been replaced by the cold air and darker nights that Autumn provides. Why do people call it Fall? Autumn is so much nicer. Times have been a changing completely – not only in the weather.

Over the past few months, Mikee and I have been on the road to buying a flat only to have the seller pull out last minute disappointing our dreams of having a balcony garden with brunches outside on the weekend… It would have been small but it would have been ours. So our search continues on again with the perspective that if something doesn’t become ours then it’s just what’s meant to happen.

I’ve also recently started a new job at Ogilvy & Mather. I honestly wasn’t looking to change my role as I really enjoyed my job at Dhub. I had creative freedom and the work and environment gave me confidence I didn’t feel in my previous role, while my colleagues enriched my experience and my life. I can honestly say the founder James is such a kind, inspiring and motivating guy it was an honour to work with him and the rest of the team. However I was contacted out of the blue asking if I’d like to interview for a role at Ogilvy which seemed like an opportunity not to pass up. After speaking with the global executive creative director for the Unilever account I was offered a role almost on the spot to be involved with working in their team as a designer who will also be developing art direction for various client needs. It’s a massive unexpected change but I’ve welcomed it with open arms and am enjoying it so far. Hooray! I’m still going to be working on freelance projects. I’m currently working on something for Yellow Bird Project while also working on a website design for the company Mikee works for which is great.

A friend recently kindly took some of my films to be processed that I had lying around and these images were from the spring from my Birthday when I went exploring the beach at home with Mikee and my awesome friend Emma and the light was really awesome. So much has changed since this day it’s bananas, both good and bad… I’m excited to see what’s going to come, hopefully everything is going to work out for the better from here. Everything happens for a reason right?

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