At this point, I'm a failing minimalist. I mean, have you seen my Pinterest? My ideal home is stripped bare, with hints of white, marble, and dozens of plants... whereas my little London flat is a far cry from that right now. Sure, there are hints of inspiration; the high ceilings, the fireplace in my bedroom, and then there are calls for help, such as the chest of drawers inside my bedroom fireplace that my landlady put there.

It's a tricky thing, finding a place to call home, and once you're there, making it actually feel like home. I'm still working on it, but there are a few things I've dotted around that give me a sense of belonging and peace when I get in from a long day's work.


MY TERRARIUM
This has been a little side project of mine for a few months, and I'm so happy with the result. After tending to my teeny tiny cacti, and my looming white orchids, I decided to give something a little more complex a go. I did go down the safer route of using succulents, which need little maintenance and water, but getting the layering right was crucial, and even now the tallest plant bursting from the bowl isn't very happy.

The beauty of my terrarium is both the stillness and effort it took to create it. I have it by my bedside so I can look into it when I'm drifting off, and then again in the morning. Plus the little laughing buddha seems very at home in between the juicy leaves.



ART
While few and far between, my art collection is slowing growing. This was the first piece I hung in my flat, and I love how you can look deep into the golden waves before noticing the boats and the gull and the whale. This piece is especially dear to me as it is hand-printed by my boyfriend's sister, and having seen some of her other art pieces from university, I can't wait to see her little Etsy store grow and grow.



HOME SCENTS
In this photo, you can see my battle between the older elements of the house (my flat is the ground floor of a beautiful old Victorian house, complete with tiny garden) and the beauty of simply made, substantial design such as this Organic Aromas Nebulizing Diffuser*. I've dabbled with aromatherapy before (check out why I love eucalyptus oil on my rougher days) but nothing works as efficiently as this diffuser, which douses my home in fresh scents just moments after I've switched it on. The only real drawback is that I can't use thicker oils, or those thinned out with carrier oils, but it means my scent collection is now full of organic, pure scents that can be used in so many different ways. It also projects multi-coloured light, which is a bit off-putting.

As of late, I've been using Tisserand Organic Lemon Essential Oil for a refreshing citrus burst. I keep the diffuser in my living room, but depending on how long I leave it on for, the whole flat can become lemony-fresh! It's also a really nice change from the lavender scents I keep in my bedroom.

As I'm renting my place at the moment, there's not a lot I can do about the interiors (and everything that breaks down... one of my colleagues likened my house to The Money Pit, but I suppose that's what you get in London these days). It's little touches like these that add a bit of character to the place - perhaps I'll do a plant tour next?

When I was small, I used to sit in the garden in summer with my mum and think she was crazy for drinking tea. Tea in the sun! Sweat dripping down your neck and a hot drink in your mouth... Bleh. No way.

Now, however, I've found the perfect balance. When it's rainy (which it is for the most part of the British summer, cue eye-roll here), I rifle through my tea cupboard - yes, I have a cupboard full of tea - for my freshest blends, and have them hot. This includes vitamin-boosting Apple + Blackcurrant T Plus tea*, refreshing Garden Mint Twinings tea*, and a late-night favourite, Clipper Sleep Easy Tea. Recently, it's been soothing me into a deep sleep on week nights, and also comes in cute unbleached bags too.

However, on hot days, I like to chill out with an iced green chai. Since discovering Yogi Tea's Chai Green tea*, I've been trying to find the perfect moment to pair it with, and I've come to the conclusion that this is a tea to be drunk cold on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

My recipe allows for brewing a little in advance, but it's totally worth it! The green tea mellows out the usually powerful chai taste, and when mixed with a lightly creamy plant-based milk, ice, and hint of sugar, it's a real delight.

You'll note from the photo that I've also spruced things up with a little mint from my garden (how amazing is that, I can grow plants!) but that's totally optional. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do if you give it a go.



ICED GREEN CHAI
Serves: 1

1 Yogi Tea Chai Green teabag
250ml water
120ml plant-based milk
1 tsp raw cane sugar
+
Ice cubes

  1. Boil 250ml water and pour into a cup
  2. Steep the Yogi Tea Green Chai teabag in the water for around seven minutes
  3. Remove the bag, and leave the tea to cool, putting in the fridge once cool enough
  4. Leave in the fridge for 30 minutes, or for however long you want to leave it
  5. Pour into the mug or glass you want to drink out of, adding the plant-based milk (I opted for oat milk, and Yogi Tea recommend rice milk) and sugar
  6. Stir, pop in a few ice cubes if you like, and there you have it!




I love vegetarian restaurants. The moment you walk through the doors, you know you can enjoy everything to the full; the smells, the tastes, the chatter. As a vegetarian of a few years now, it's something I'll never get tired of, that relaxation when going to eat at a restaurant catered to vegetarians and vegans.

The Gate restaurant in Islington in one such place. It might not have the Instagram chic of Ethos, and it could do with an overall theme (right now, it's straying into a friendly village vibe) but its food really shines as an artisan of vegetarian cuisine.

I went along last week with my flatmate Campbell (who isn't vegetarian) to give their food a go. The visit started off relaxed, a glance through their menu (which does differ somewhat to their website) and a friendly chat with the lovely waitress led to a big bottle of Belu sparkling water, a cut above the rest in terms of ethics, and a revelation that they serve organic wine by the glass.

After picking through the deliciously seasoned olives, and a starter of asparagus, lightly cooked so still with that fresh crunch, my thai green curry arrived. Now, up until this point I'd been enjoying myself, but the presentation of the curry took me by surprise! Sticky rice rolled in a leaf and dotted with seeds, and a bowl of the creamiest, coconut curry full of sweetcorn, mushroom, tofu, and watercress - my mouth is watering writing about it!

And for the meat eater, the biggest veggie platter of all time - I've never seen so much food! I believe it was billed as The Green Dragon, with avocado, peppers, tofu, and teriyaki sauce. He was definitely pleased.

We chowed down and looked around the restaurant a little; there was a real mix of visitors, which is always a good sign, with this undoubtedly boosted by their child-friendly attitude and first restaurant to be certified autism-friendly.

Finally, we topped off the meal with two desserts; a chocolate cake, and a vegan meringue (I barely could tell the difference from regular meringue) topped with coconut cream (my favourite part) and fresh mango. Too sweet? Perhaps, but I can't deny a treat!

Overall, I'd say The Gate is the perfect restaurant to go to as a group. It might not be as intimate as some places, but its food can make anyone smile - including non-vegetarians, coeliacs, and vegans - and there's enough space and good service to cater for larger groups, a rarity in central London!


It's rare that I talk about the more corporate side of blogging, but this was too good an opportunity to let it pass.

For the past year or so, I've enjoyed going to meet-ups and networking events with a view to widen reach of my blog, and also speak to other bloggers about their own. It's always nice to walk in a room with people who care about writing and reading as much as I do, and the fact they know how great blogging is means there's always an instant connection!

However, it's fairly easy to forget names, domains, handles, etc. I am surprisingly good with faces though - it's been nice to spot a few friendly bloggers outside of the online world and almost feel like a fan of a celebrity. All in all, it's warranted need of some business cards, and like everything I do, they had to be as sustainable as possible for me to feel okay with it!

That's where my trip to Moo came in. I've looked through green business cards before, and while few and far between, Moo's green business cards seemed to be well considered for the eco-friendly shopper.

First off, paper for the cards is sourced from sustainable forests (you can read more about this is done on the FSC website). With the majority of paper products that I buy (and yes, that includes the glamorous world of toilet roll) I always look for the FSC logo, to make sure it's sustainably sourced. While there's often a toss-up between recycled paper, and FSC sourced paper, I've been told by more than one printer that I work with professionally that FSC is kinder to the environment, needing less harsh dyes to bleach paper back to a regular white.

The box that these business cards come in is made from 100% recycled pulp board too. This is such a nice change from plastic boxes, and it's a charming little thing to hold too.

Finally, when whoever you've gifted your card to has no need to keep hold of it any more, the card can be recycled and is biodegradable too. I'm planning a post explaining the differences between compostable and biodegradable, but essentially if it does end up in a landfill, it will be broken down by bacteria and return to nature.

If you're looking to also purchase some cards in the future, I'd totally recommend these ones. You can also get an exclusive 10% off your order, by clicking through to Moo's site directly from here too. Enjoy!


I am so happy with my new piercing. It was almost a surprise to me when I had it done - I'm not usually one for making rash decisions, especially ones that are semi-permanent. However, I've been wanting a helix piercing (top of the ear) for so long, and if you've seen my Pinterest, you'll see all the helix earring jewellery I'm coveting at the moment too.

So, first thing's first; I did my research before getting pierced. The night before, I decided it was high time to get it sorted, and although I wasn't sure that I could waltz straight into a salon and have it sorted, I wanted to visit the piercing studio on the Saturday to at least book it in.

After combing through reviews, I decided Cold Steel in Camden was the best place to go. While their website seems pretty hardcore, their 90+ reviews rating them close to 5 stars was the biggest convincer. Piercing since my birth year, I couldn't argue with that amount of experience either!

On the Saturday, I headed to Camden to get my ear done. I was a little anxious, nerves rolling around my stomach, but knew this was it. I went along with a friend, who also wanted the same done, and we entered the dark entrance a little scared but also excited!

Inside was a simple reception area, the desk being a jewellery counter full of different studs and rings. The receptionist was thorough with us, asking us if we had eaten recently (you should eat up to 4 hours before a piercing to avoid feeling whammy), consumed alcohol in the last 24 hours (alcohol thins the blood, making it unsafe to pierce someone under the influence) or got any medical history they may need to know about. Once we'd gone through that, we were told we'd have to wait 20 minutes before getting it done (an eeek! moment), so we filled out long forms about our current health, signed these, and learnt how to clean our piercings, which I'll go into in a minute.

Before being pierced, we were told that it would be done by hand (the only safe way to have a helix piercing; guns are for lobes only), without anaesthetic or ice. My first reaction was a long grimace - I hate pain. But when asked why, I was told it was the most natural way to have it done, and that these elements can interfere with the accuracy and also enjoyment of having a piercing done.

We both headed into the piercer's room together - holding hands with each other while each of us got them done. It's probably one of my girlier moments, getting rosy cheeks and breathing quickly, but after selecting the height of the piercing, I laid back without nerves and had what can only be described as a long-lasting bee-sting sensation go through my ear. I didn't even bleed!

Two weeks on, and my piercing is in pretty good shape. It's taken a few knocks so far, bled once, and for my first week left me feeling run down (which is common with piercings), but there has been no bad reaction to the industry standard titanium ball closure earring, and I will be able to replace it with whatever jewellery I choose in just under four months!

For maintenance, I clean my piercing every night in a solution of 1/2 pure sea salt (no anti-caking agent) to 1 pint of warm water. I apply a soaked cotton ball to the area, or leave my ear to rest in a small cup of the solution until it goes cold.

Right now, this is the only piercing I have, although I'm planning having my lobes redone after they closed up from years of not bothering with earrings. And then perhaps an orbital piercing too... we'll see...