A quick run down of some of the things that have been getting me through this autumn



I love camomile tea, especially in the autumn. This relaxing blend from Clipper is all organic and is has perhaps knocked my favourite, pure camomile tea off the top spot on my shelf with its added lavender and lemon balm.


This was the perfect escapism novel for the mood I’ve been in this autumn. It’s a novel I got quietly swept up into featuring some romance and a holiday setting. While it’s not too hard a read (think more Austen than Pynchon) Brookner throws in some really piercing psychological insights, and it reads really beautifully.


If you’ve read my blog before you’ll know I love affinity designer. So unsurprisingly I’m absolutely love V1.5 and all of its new features.


This lovely sage green colour has been my favourite for the season, replacing Essie’s Bordeaux from its perch. I feel like it’s going to be part of my go to neutrals rotation for seasons to come too.


I’ve been a big fan of Kaye Blevgad’s for a while and I’ve been wearing this protective hand ring for a few years now and I absolutely love it. I decided to take the plunge and get another, and I’m so glad I did. If you’re in the market for some really interesting and well made jewellery definitely check Datter out, Kaye’s just released a whole new line and I’m pining for the snake pin she’s made.


The Everygirl has just had so many top articles recently, and they’ve tackled a lot of difficult and really important topics. Expect a more in depth review to come.


I am absolutely in love with the Eat Natural apricot, yogurt and almond bars. They are pretty much the only thing I want with my evening cup of tea, quite often beating out chocolate (not always though). They’re super tasty and feel really indulgent if you’re looking to change up your snacks.


By default the bus has become one of my favourites because I absolutely hate the tube. If I can manage to will myself to get up 20 minutes earlier I’ll be taking swapping it out for the hellish rush hour underground commute.

I love food. Eating is genuinely one of my favourite activities in the day, and as such my day revolves around my meal times. But cooking on a weeknight can be time consuming, and isn’t always the top priority when you’ve got a to do list as long as your arm.

This vegetarian thai red curry noodle soup (or very saucy curry depending on your definition) has fast become one of my favourite quick dinners now the weather’s a bit colder. I thought I’d share the recipe here for anyone looking for a super tasty fast fix, between day and night jobs


3 tbsp thai red curry paste

2 cloves garlic

Half a thumb of fresh ginger

3-4 servings stick rice noodles

1 can (500ml) coconut milk (this can be low fat)

3 cups (700ml) stock (whatever kind you prefer, I usually use vegetable)

2 sweet potatoes – peeled and diced in to 1cm cubes

3 heads of pak choi (this is also good with spring greens, 2 ½ cups or so, if you can’t get pak choi)

Sliced spring onions and fresh coriander to garnish


  • Chop up all of your veg. Garlic and Ginger should be finely chopped, or put through a crusher if you have one. The sweet potato should be in rough 1cm cubes, and the pak choi should be divided into leaf and stem, with the stems sliced up.
  • Fry off the garlic and ginger in a little bit of oil, I like ground nut but use whatever you have as long as it doesn’t have a strong flavour.
  • Then add the curry paste into the pan and heat through
  • Add the liquids (coconut milk and stock) to the pan, with the sweet potato. Bring to the boil with the lid on.
  • After 5 minutes or so, once the sweet potato has just begun to soften, add in the pak choi stems*
  • Cook the noodles as per packet instructions in a separate pan, you could do it all in the same pan, but I usually struggle for space.
  • Add the pak choi leaves just before serving so they wilt a little
  • Serve in bowls with some (optional) sliced spring onion and fresh coriander

*If you’re going to batch cook this one to keep for later (as I so often do) I’d suggest taking your extra portions off just before you’d add in the pak choi, then adding it in chopped to the divided tubs. That way you avoid over cooking the pak choi when you reheat, and the noodles don’t go stodgy. When you reheat, just put the contents of the tub into a pan/the microwave, and cook the noodles.

What are your favourite quick warming winter recipes?

Instagram is the one social media outlet I probably spend too much time one. I could scroll pretty much endlessly. I particularly love it for finding new inspiration and new art and artists I like. In the name of sharing, as is the social media way, I thought I’d post my 10 favourite artists on Instagram right now*.

*10 by no means covers all or really even a tiny fraction of the artists I’m loving, but I thought I should show some restraint.


I always hope there’s going to be a post from Mike Lowery in my feed when I scroll through. His illustrated facts and stories are the best, you really do learn something new every day if you’re following him. He’s also made some little camping mugs with lumberjacks on which are the absolute cutest.


I love the vibrancy of Mark Conlan’s work. His little series of Unexpected Discoveries has been so much fun to follow, especially with the little sneak peaks into his sketch book.


The blocked style of Barbara Wurszt’s work is so distinctive and different to anyone else I follow on Instagram, which means that despite their simplicity  her characters have so much individual personality.


It’s a daily dose of the ever lovely Sad Ghost Club, need I say more?


I started following Ryan quite a while ago, on tumblr, and it’s been so much fun to see him grow and his style evolve. His sketches have such a distinct style, and really make me want to pick up a proper pencil more.


Manjit Thapp is a cool lady who draws cool ladies (and other awesome things) and you should check her out, it’s that simple.


I could spend hours looking at Gizem Vural’s abstract patterns, they  always seem so carefully balanced together and yet so carefree in their construction.


Hannah Warren’s work always seems to be on the move, it speeds into my feed and I can’t help but feel energised after seeing it (especially this little pup)



I love Kaye Blegvad’s jewellery, the two rings I wear everyday are both by her. But the fun element of the things, and I really do mean things, she’s been putting up on Instagram recently have rekindled my love of her artwork as well.


The main reason I love Alessandra Genualdo’s posts is the expressions of the women she draws. They always remind me of that quote “if they’re smiling it’s not art”, or something like that, these are some artistic (and realistic, who’s smiling all the time?) ladies.

Who else should I be following?

November’s never my favourite month. It’s cold and grey, and by the time we’re in the 11th month of the year I’ve lost all of my post-summer/new school year energy and it’s still too long til Christmas. In an attempt to cheer myself up and have something to keep me going and making in the coming month, I’ve come up with a list of 7 things you can do to put some pep in your step no matter how much time you have.


A DAY…Have a Digital Detox

We live in a world where we’re constantly connected, constantly checking our phones, constantly hungry for the next notification. Having the world at our fingertips is amazing, but it can also become a burden. You feel like you have to check your phone, or your email, or how many wordpress views you have. Doing a digital detox allows you to take a step back from that cycle and realise that you don’t need to be by your phone 24/7, as well as making you a more active participant in every conversation, every interaction, you have that day. So commit to one day without screens, meet up with friends, go to that gallery you’ve always meant to, rest your eyes, just for a little while. It’s easier than you think. The Everygirl about doing one, if you’re looking for more information.

AN HOUR…Get Outside

It’s very tempting when the weather is cold and grey just to stay inside with a cup of tea and 7 jumpers on where its warm and cosy. There’s nothing wrong with that, I predict that probably around 80% of my November will be just that. But that means it’s even more important to get outside. Your mum was right; fresh air is good for you. It’s also nice just to have a change of space and see something different. If you can get out of the city all the better, if not just go somewhere new (and green). If you’re in London, you can find some really great walking trails near you on the TFL website – who knew? 

HALF AN HOUR…Make Something Tasty

Make your self one of these Apple Pie Sundaes. I can personally vouch for their deliciousness, and they’re a perfect autumn indulgence without all of the work of actually baking a pie. (I also highly recommend checking out more of Dana’s recipes, she’s never steered me wrong)

15 MINUTES…Read This

Commencement speeches are usually filled with the same old clichés and forgotten almost as soon as they’re delivered. But when David Foster Wallace spoke at Kenyon College 11 years ago, on May 21 2005, something stuck. His speech has been reprinted in the Wall Street Journal, turned into a book, and viewed over a million times on Youtube. It’s remained popular for a reason. I’ve read, and reread, and reread it, for a reason. It reminds you of the importance of thinking, of learning to think, and of stepping back from your reality and realising that a lot of how you experience the world is something you choose. If you’re looking for some food for thought this month, look no further than this.

10 MINUTES … Try Calm

I’ve recently realised how much of an effect meditation can have on your mood. Calm is such a great app if you’re just starting out as you can do guided (quite a few of which are free to try out) and unguided meditations depending on what you want to have a go at. You can try it in less than ten minutes, and I promise you’ll feel better about your day after you’ve finished it.    

5 MINUTES…Say Thank You

Taking five minutes out of your day to say thank you to someone you don’t appreciate enough is so easy, but something we don’t do enough. Call your Mum. Write a card to your Granddad. Take your friend out for a drink. Stop and thank that barista who always gives you the biggest slice of cake.  Actively recognising the good things and people in your life is good for you but it’s also good for the around you.

30 SECONDS…Watch This

I’m a big podcaster. I listen to podcasts when I travel, when I work, when I take a break, whenever really. I know a lot of people need silence when they’re working, but I really like to have something else stimulating my brain as I go, especially if I’m designing. Podcasts are a great way of finding inspiration even when you’re working. Not only have podcasts helped inspire my design work, they help inform my daytime life too. Right now, after the cult success of Serial, we seem to be in the age of the podcast. Despite the growing market This American Life remains the classic.


This American Life was the podcast that seriously got me into podcasting. The range of topics, the quality of the journalism, and, of course, Ira Glass’s dulcet tones, are unbeatable and make for hours of enjoyment. But with a back catalogue so vast (there’s nearly 450 hours of podcasting joy in the archive) it’s hard to know where to start. That’s where this list comes in. It’s a shortlist of my personal favourite episodes. I’ve tried to include a range of the kinds of episodes This American Life has put out, so there should be something here for everyone. So without any further ado, an in no particular order, here are some of my favourites:

361: Fear of Sleep

Fear of Sleep contains one of the funniest acts in all of the This American Life archive. Comedian Mike Birbiglia performs a section from his one man show, Sleepwalk with Me, which was later turned into a feature film. It’s hard not to see why, Mike’s stories of his sleepwalking will undoubtedly have you in stitches. I listened to this one on the bus to my internship last year, and I had the whole of the lower floor giving me sideways glances within minutes. I’ve since listened to it 3 more times, and it still cracks me up. The other stories in the episode are just as fascinating, if not quite as funny. Be warned the short section on bed bugs might give you the heebie-jeebies.

355: Giant Pool of Money

If you liked the Big Short you’ll like this episode, even if you didn’t like The Big Short you’ll still like it. Giant Pool of Money deals with the housing crisis and the market crash of 2008 ina  way that’s straight forward without being dull. This is essential listening for anyone who wants to understand what happened 8 years ago, and why, which should be pretty much everyone. There’s not much more to say. Just listen to it.

253: The Middle of Nowhere

I think I’ve probably told every one of my friends about the island of Nauru. Out of all of the episodes listed here, 253 is the one which has stuck with me the most. Nauru is a little island in the Pacific which packs a big punch, I won’t give any details here as not to ruin it. While Act One is the clear stand out, for me, Act Two is definitely not to be missed either. The episode transitions from a physical middle of nowhere, to being stuck in a metaphorical, or rather bureaucratic, middle of nowhere. Episode 253 is a tale of two halves one of which is foreign the other very familiar, and yet both as fascinating as each other.

403: Nummi

I generally enjoy the episodes which are based in one location the most. They have the most in-depth stories. NUMMI is one such episode. Despite that, I wasn’t initially sure it was for me. How wrong I was. Based around a joint venture between General Motors and Toyota in 1984, NUMMI tells the story of the car plant which had hoped to change the fate of the American car industry. But this isn’t really a story about cars, it’s a story about how businesses work and how hard it can be to change and adapt, even when you know exactly what to do. NUMMI also gives a fascinating insight into how a successful production line works. Just like the workers from Fremont, we are taken into the world of Toyota and given an all access look into the philosophies that drive the Japanese giant’s process. Even if you’re not, and let’s face it most of us aren’t, running a multimillion dollar car factory those are lessons which all creators can learn form.

449: Middle School

Middle School is equal parts hysterical and heartbreaking, much like the reliving your own tweens would be. This episode was created at the request of a young listener, and it nails just how tumultuous and terrifying being 12 is. Listening to these middle school experiences takes you right back to that awful time where every little thing has the potential to be life changing, where every wrong decision, every grade, every fight with a friend feels like it puts you on the precipice of destruction. It’s an experience your brain, thankfully, attempts to erase but Middle School takes you right back and shows you have far you’ve come without belittling the experiences of those 12 year olds interviewed. Those same 12 year olds come up with some of the funniest lines of the show – no one sees the world quite as directly as someone 4ft high.

Where should my next delve into their archive be?