4 lessons from turning 24


Last weekend I celebrated by 24th birthday at home in Belgium, and it was the first year that I felt a touch of nerves at not being able to avoid being an adult anymore. This has been the most fast-paced year I’ve had and although there have been a few tough moments, I feel like I’ve jumped from 15 to 24 and learnt an incredible amount along the way. Which is why I’ve listed below some of the things I wish I had known this time last year:

There’s no need to be perfect

Something I’ve been struggling with for way too long. I’ve learnt that I have created a very perfect person that I expect myself to be, and yet know that it’s impossible to achieve. At the end of the day, the people around you like you for who you are…. And the ones who don’t are probably just fighting their own demons and are welcome to go do that far away from you.

Don’t stress over things that haven’t happened yet

Because they honestly might not. My parents always told me this quote that went “My life has been full of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened” and I’ve never related to it more. I’ve had entire weeks ruined because I’m stressed about something that might potentially go wrong at work. And whether it’s a future argument between colleagues or a project you really don’t want to work on – don’t waste your energy stressing on the would/should/coulds

You come first

Working full time in a busy (slightly crazy) environment has really taken its toll on me. At first, I took things at work so personally that every challenge felt like it was live or die, and if I couldn’t get something done well enough or on time, I was a failure. Luckily I noticed just in time that I was getting close to insanity, and with the help of my family I took the time to step back and reconsider where I was and what I was doing. Conclusion: my health, both mental and physical, is my priority – and at the end of the day the world will not stop turning if I’m not the hardest working employee that ever lived.

Nothing comes before family

Not really a new one, but a golden rule. I think that having moved around as kids really solidified my relationship with my brothers and my parents because we were all we had in strange new places. Living a country away from my parents now, I recognise more than ever that they’re my biggest fans.

Here’s to the next year of trying to follow these tips, I’ll let you know if I manage…!


A Trip to Café Monico, Shaftesbury Avenue

Another new favourite of mine in central London – Café Monico is a new brasserie by Soho House that is just in the centre of Shaftesbury Avenue. Recommended to me by a colleague, I couldn’t say no after scrolling through their menu.


Having arrived early (as usual), I started the evening waiting for my boyfriend at the bar downstairs with a glass of wine and just loved the people watching – the atmosphere was buzzing with business men and women standing around with plates of charcuterie and cocktails.


We were seated upstairs on the rounded balcony where a waiter asked us of any allergies. I mentioned I was gluten-free but said that I was used to picking the right things from menus so not to worry. When my steak tartare arrived, the man kindly brought over some gluten-free toast with it! It’s little things like that which make me very happy🙂


As a main course, we both had the moules frites which, as you can see, went down very quickly. The garlic and wine sauce was one of the best I’ve had. At this point, you could tell that the plays in the area were ending as the place filled up and the waiters were getting more and more difficult to reach. However, it was a lovely evening with lovely food and lovely wine and I’m already looking forward to our next trip!

Sleeping Like a Pro


Completely out of the blue, I recently went through a bout of sleepless nights. And I don’t mean tossing and turning for a couple hours, but the whole shebang: awake all night, counting sheep, trying to bore myself to sleep with philosophy books… Until I got so angry that I gave up on sleep as a concept.

Note: counting sheep does not work.

I think that the reason behind it all was stress, but I found a few things along the way that really helped me get back into the rhythm of regular sleeping. I found that a bedtime routine is the best trick, so here are a couple of my tips for getting ready for a good night’s sleep.


  • Camomile tea

The first thing I do when getting ready for bed, particularly when I’m not feeling very tired is to make myself a hot cup of tea; either good old camomile or Clipper Snore & Peace. Particularly when it’s getting cold outside, I find this is the cosiest way to tell my brain that I’m winding down for the night. (tip: this Anthro mug is on sale right now!)

  • Candles

Yes, it’s an addiction. At this point I have about four candles that I alternate depending on my mood, and unsurprisingly, the one that works before bed is the This Works Deep Sleep Heavenly candle. This one has the perfect mix of camomile and lavender scents that help with the zoning out process.

  • A good book

Although not exactly relaxing, I’m currently reading a Peter James thriller. It’s a page turner and I look forward to reading it every night so it works for me, and I’m desperately trying not to watch TV in bed so I find thrillers do the trick.

  • Pillow Spray

Anther This Works product, the Deep Sleep Pillow Spray has become an absolute favourite. No idea how it works but I really do notice that it helps me fall asleep. It also has a slightly different scent to the candle so I often use them together.

  • Sleeping pills

Last resort: take a pill. Going to bed after a few restless nights is a horrible feeling, and sometimes the stress of desperately wanting to fall asleep can keep you awake itself. When I get into this kind of rut, I tend to take the herbal version of Nytol. It was recommended to me by a friend and although I’m sure the non-herbal one works better, those always make me a bit nervous so I try to stay away.

One last note: it’s not currently in my daily routine but if you’re struggling with sleep I could not recommend meditation enough. It can be unbelievably difficult to switch off from your thoughts, but forcing yourself to do it for short moments through mindfulness makes a really big difference.

Try these out and let me know if you have any more recommendations🙂

Sleep well!

Two Weeks in Sicily



Villa Elena was an absolute dream. Up at the top of a hill in the middle of rural Sicily – the villa had views over all of southern Sicily, and the pizza oven was definitely a plus too.


Arriving to my brothers swimming in the pool and my dad cooking pasta made it feel like we were definitely in Italy, and the jetlag (from waking up for a 5:00 flight) suddenly disappeared.

Days on end at the pool were so great, but I would have to say that the highlight of the trip was a day at the Masseria del Feudo vineyard – filled with endless food, wine and wine…!


To no surprise the food was definitey the highlight of the trip, and although I felt horrible from the sheer amounts of food that I ate on some days, I have to say that the gluten free pasta from a brand called Barilla was really the best pasta I’ve had in years – tastes like normal pasta.. Who would have thought?? (FYI: sunglasses are the RollRights from Taylor Morris)

img_20160910_191440Although September was pretty late for a summer holiday, it made for perfect pool weather, tanning on our golden swan, and tanning weather for a pale kid like me :)There was also a stunning daily sunset that turned all of the views into a dark orange!
img_1024I could have definitely gotten used to this lifestyle!img_2372


Home Comforts


There’s nothing better than a bundle of home comforts after a bad day at work. I’ve collated my most needed, most used and most loved for those times where you feel like you’d rather hide under the blankets and take a break from the world!

Capri Blue Aloha Orchid Candle:

One of  my favourite things to do when I walk in the door after a long day is to turn on the TV and light some candles. My favourite one this summer has no doubt been Aloha Orchid  from Anthropologie. It brings me straight back to lovely childhood memories of being on holiday, and makes my whole living room smell fresh and homey.



If you haven’t already noticed, I’m a slight coffee addict… My bright red Nespresso machine gets turned on first thing every morning, and is always the first step to a cosy moment at home.


The perfect way to zone out – turn Netflix on and get the sketchbook out. Pinterest usually works for some inspiration and I then go from there. I’m not particularly good at this but I like doing it and just hide all the really bad ones into my booklet🙂



A bit of a new obsession since moving into a flat with a balcony, gardening is now my happy time🙂 I started by growing a few little lavender and strawberry plants, and now I’m on to chilis, tomatoes, sunflowers… You get the picture.


Dealing with pretty regular and random bouts of anxiety can make me feel pretty horrible at times. Something that definitely helps manage my daily stress levels in particular is an app called Headspace. It’s free to download and has a 10 step guild to meditation (made easy). They’re each only 10 minutes so it’s not too difficult to dedicate the time. I usually do it just before leaving for work to help my overall frame of mind.

Give it a go and let me know how you get on🙂

Slow Cooked Lamb with Kale & Leek Salad

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If you haven’t yet heard of the Hemsley sisters, you’re missing out. After they created a complete spiraliser craze a couple years back, I was one of the first to pick up their cook book ‘The Art of Eating Well’ and it’s become my new food bible. Most of their recipes are low carb and gluten free, and they talk you through fresh ingredients and the best produce you can use for each dish.


This Sunday was the perfect day (aka TV & laundry day) to test out their slow cooked lamb and we enjoyed it so much and I thought it would be rude not to share…

The recipe is pretty simple: add garlic, anchovies and thyme to lamb and leave it covered in the over for 3 hours.

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The kale & leek salad needs to be done at least an hour or two before serving, as you mix it with olive oil, mint and lemon, which helps soften the kale over time.

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Try this out and let me know what you think – if you like it I’d also recommend their ragu or curry with coconut rice recipes, or my cucumber salad that was inspired by this book.Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 20.31.09

Bon appetit🙂


Pharmacy Favourites:


Before I start this post I have to admit that I pick up most of my skincare products at Belgian pharmacies because they’re usually much cheaper, but you can find all of these in the UK somewhat easily, so I’ve added links to the cheapest UK prices for them throughout the post.

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Lait & Micellar Water:
I cannot recommend La Roche-Posay enough – their products are some of the only ones that I can be sure that my skin will not react to, and they always have a nice scent but nothing too strongly perfumed. I just feel very very clean after using these products.


Soap & Glory Smoothie Breakfast Scrub:
Not one for scrubs because of sensitive skin, I have begun using this on my legs no more than once a week and have really noticed smoother, softer skin. It also smells amazing…🙂


OGX Coconut Milk:
This is the one product that I always save up my Boots points for! I have tried a few different OGX hair products and they’re all great – but this coconut milk shampoo & conditioner leaves my hair smelling amazing even the day after washing, and it really seems to nourish my hair without leaving a heavy or greasy feeling.


Neal’s Yard Refining Cleanser:
This is one of those lovely face washes that comes with a little muslin cloth, so you put it onto dry skin and then use the hot wet cloth to gently cleanse the skin. I have been using this for a couple months now and feel like it really works with my skin – gentle but still gives the impression if giving you a full clean. If you suffer from eczema and have never tried Almond Oil, I would highly recommend popping into a Neal’s Yard store and checking that out too!


L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil:
Shower oils are my new obsession, and this little beauty is where it started. Not a cheap one, but this shower oil is just the nicest texture and smells amazing! My bathroom also stays smelling like this all day, which isn’t a bad plus.

Rituals Yogi Flow:
I cannot express to you how good this smells. I’d say about 95% of why I use this product is the smell, and the other 5% is because it comes out as a kind of gel and foams up when you mix it with water into such a nice texture.

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Oil:
Have you noticed my little obsession with shower oils by any chance? As with the La Roche-Posay products above though, this shower oil is great for everyday use, and smells lovely but is not too overpowering. Out of all of these, it also keeps my skin the most hydrated after use so I would definitely recommend it for anyone who has eczema.


So there you go, my secret pharmacy obsessions..! Let me know what you save up your Boots points for, or if you have any recommendations🙂

Crazy for Kikki K

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After having only just found out about this shop before Christmas, I have somehow managed to buy about half the shop!


Just outside the Covent Garden tube stop, this shop is so inviting with its simplistic yet colourful & exciting design. Notebooks, stationery, handbags… What more could someone ask for?? Having spent just a little (/way too much) time in this shop, let me tell you about my favourites:

The Mindfulness Book:

2016 resolution? Practice mindfulness. Thanks to my lovely little mindfulness book that I recieved as a Christmas present, this task has become lemon squeezy. Taking the time to write down my monthly progress and reflect on what the past month has been like gives me that little bit of motivation to meditate more and see everything through a mindful eye.


The 2016 Planners:

I collect notebooks like no man’s business, but dropped everything when I picked up one of these Kikki K 2016 planners. Having not even gotten the largest one  they sell, it is still pretty huge, and gives me plenty of space to write up my daily to-do lists. You also get a sneaky little treat at the beginning of every month courtely of Kikki K online🙂

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The Important Documents Binder:

If you’re anything like me with papers, you might just stack them all in a hidden drawer somewhere and pretend they don’t exist… Only to hate yourself when you can’t find your NHS number or proof of address when you need it! This binder not only looks pretty damn nice on my desk, but also makes me really enjoy filing my documents (honestly!). It comes with stickers, too, so you can’t really go wrong.




Let me know what you think and if I’ve missed any of your favourites…So that I can go buy those too!



Flat Iron Covent Garden – Restaurant Review


The best way to celebrate two years together, you ask? Steak. Lots of it.

I have to admit I was a bit reluctant to try out this new restaurant because although its Shoreditch restaurants are so very loved, I’ve never walked past it without seeing a massive queue, and you can’t book in advance. Although that butcher in the window was pretty mesmerising…


Soooo in order to pull the good girlfriend card, I left work as early as possible and got to the restaurant by 6, to add myself to the hour long waiting list. Met the boy at our favourite pub around the corner just in time for a drink, and got a text about 45 minutes later saying our table was ready!

Walked past the incredible bar in the centre of the restaurant while being seated, with a casual bartender chipping off ice from a big block of ice into an endless row of cocktails.


Then steak. That’s pretty much the menu, and I approved… big time.


The steak was perfect, the wine was perfect, the fries were perfect… and cheap too! For such a fancy meal, I was pretty sure they’d given us the wrong bill by the end of the night!


The meal was also rounded off perfectly, when the lovely waitress gave us mini steak knives, which were our tokens for free salted caramel ice creams!



We walked out very full and very happy, with salted caramel ice creams to go. By this time the waiting list had extended to THREE hours!

Top 5 Lipstick Loves


The Everyday – Between the Sheets by Charlotte Tilbury
The most recent addition to my collection, Between the Sheets has immediately become my daily must-have, always in my bag for when my look needs a little pick me up. It’s the perfect ‘your lips but better.’

The Red Number – Cruella by Nars
Perfect for adding something fun to a simple look, and ideal for the festive season. This is the first red lipstick I have ever bought but I fell in love at first sight and it works perfectly with my strawberry blonde hair and pale skin.

The Winter Wonder – Creme Cup by Mac
All I wore over the winter season, this lipstick is perfectly cute and girly. Pretty sure this would be flattering on any skin type but it’s the perfect underestimated shade for my pale skin and lack of freckles in the winter. Creds to In the Frow for getting me hooked!IMG_0736

The Office Lip – Sex Machine by Nars
The first Nars product I ever bought, and have never looked back. This lipstick just adds a little sparkle to your look, and is perfect for the office as it stays all day!Image-1.jpg

The Evening Look – Lovelorn by Mac
Perfect for switching a work look into a fun evening look. Never thought I would be one for a bright pink lipstick but I have been absolutely addicted to this one since picking it up a few months back.IMG_0735

And here’s a sneaky Christmas polaroid featuring the Cruella lip pencil (: