Last year I wrote a long list of self-care tips/ideas. I still stand by my list of 48 practical ideas for self-care, and I still try to do as many of them as I can. If you want to change up your routine I’d still recommend giving it a read. But since that post, the world has changed and I have changed, and so there are some more thoughts I’d like to add, because now that I know more I’m not sure if that was the best approach to the topic, although it was perhaps a good approach to blogging.

Self-care begins with looking after yourself in the most basic way, and that doesn’t just mean home spas and long walks. It doesn’t have to mean a fancy gym subscription. Self-care includes the tiny things too, it can mean taking a shower, putting on your comfiest clothes or dressing up a little for the first time in a few days, it can mean taking time off even if it’s only 10 minutes. A lot of what’s called self-care at the minute can be a real luxury.

In my opinion, looking after yourself becoming an aspirational idea is really dangerous. The more I see people writing about self-care the more I see it being commodified and used as a way to sell more, mainly to young women. It’s a $400billion industry now, rather than just a practice. That industry is fulfilling a desire, if not a need, and there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that. However, when something like self-care becomes commodified we need to be more careful about how we talk about it. Should the basic act of looking after yourself be used to sell bubble bath and nail varnish?

I am by no means saying that taking a bath and painting your nails are bad things or frivolous things. They’re things I love. And when you can, taking that extra time, or spending that extra bit of money on looking after yourself is wonderful. But I think that we need to be more inclusive with how we talk about self-care. Self-care is for everyone because it’s something we all have to do in order to get through the day.

As I’ve become more pressed over the last year I’ve come to realise that when I have no time what self-care means to me is completely different to what it means when I have all the time in the world to blog about it. I’ve also started to realise that I feel under pressure to look after myself in a certain way. If I haven’t put a face mask on this week am I not looking after myself? If I haven’t taken a screen-free afternoon am I becoming a robot? If I haven’t taken the time to cook for myself and just reheated meals I’ve pre-frozen am I not taking enough care of my mental and physical health? On the one hand, these reminders are probably leading me to a more positive place. But on the other hand looking after myself shouldn’t be a stressful experience.

And I if I am stressed, if I am unhappy that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m failing. It doesn’t mean I just have to do more self-care. The more we’re given these self-care practices, the more responsibilty is put on us to fix all of our problems on our own. That falling apart is failing. Falling apart isn’t fun, but it isn’t your fault.

This post hasn’t had a clear argument I know, but that’s because I don’t have one as of yet. Instead, I’m trying to interrogate my own thinking. I’d love to know your thoughts on self-care, and the self-care industry. Where do you stand on self-care? What do you do to look after yourself?

*I promise this will be the last post revisit style piece for a while, just once I got started it was hard to stop!

This is the second post in my mini home series. Now you know the lay of the land, I thought I’d share a few of my favourite design pieces that really make the space feel like it belongs to someone who’s slightly cooler than me!


The most obvious piece to talk about is the biggest piece of art work in my room. It’s a mixed media piece that I picked up at one of the Ruskin Art School sales when I was living in Oxford. When I first saw it, it instantly made me feel. It reminded me a bit of the work done by Chad Wys who I’ve been a huge fan of for a long while, but it has something slightly more delicate to it. It’s quite a muted piece so it works really well in my space and helps keep my room a calm sanctuary-like space.


Another favourite that I picked up in Oxford is a postcard sized Jenny Saville print. I had an A2 size poster print of this on my wall all 3 years when I was in Oxford, and made sure I picked up a smaller size so I could carry it with me in the future. I picked it up from Modern Art Oxford, which was somewhere I spent a lot of time – I used to have a standing Saturday lunch date with myself in their café. The gallery is right next to my old college and I volunteered there for about a year too. So, it’s a print that’s attached to a lot of memories as well as being of an absolutely stunning painting. I could happily live in a room covered in Saville paintings and never get bored of them.


This kind of ugly King Charles Cavalier print cushion by Keaton Henson is quite a new addition to my room. It sits on my desk chair and keeps me company. For some reason the illustrated pooch and I feel like kindred spirits, I fear that if I had a patronus that he would be it. I love the way that the cover harks back to those porcelain dog figurines in a weird and distinctively Keaton way. Twists or hand crafted takes on classics make up a lot of my favourite designs.


I managed to pick up a copy of Mr Bingo’s Hate Mail for £3 at Urban Outfitters by chance after looking at it longingly for a number of months, and it’s a definite contender for bargain of the year. If you haven’t heard about/seen/already bought it, Hate Mail is a collection of illustrated hate mail that Mr Bingo sent on vintage postcards to willing weirdos. Not only is a great coffee table book to impress friends and visitors (perhaps not your mum though) it’s also a great pick me up. Whenever I need a little cheering up, or someone has really irked me, I reach for it and flick through to find a new postcard design.


Okay so these aren’t really homewares, but they are design pieces that are often in my room (because I am) so I’ve decided they count, and I’m in charge here. I own four rings from Datter, which is the incredible Kaye Blegvad’s jewellery line, and there’s still so much more that I want. They are by far my favourite pieces of jewellery and I’ve received so many lovely comments on them. All of her pieces really feel crafted, they’re slightly irregular and the marks on them have a lovely distinctive line to them. They are oldest to newest as you go left to right, with the oldest being about 4 years old now. They’re the kind of design pieces where their character and the care that went into making them rubs off on you (literally and metaphorically) to the extent that I now don’t feel like myself without them.


Last but not least I want to talk about the Berlin Bear I got for my 21st birthday that’s on my bookshelf. I was born in Berlin, and when I was younger (I think 13 or so) my family went back for trip so that my parents could show me all of their old haunts. While we were there, there was one of those city-wide art projects on where a load of artists are given the same blank statue to decorate and make their own. In this case, a selection of countries (perhaps cities – it was at least a decade ago) were given Berlin bears to decorate. I was obsessed with taking pictures of every single one I found and documenting it. That might have been the start of my interest in trying to find the design in every city. So, when I turned 21, my parents got me the Berlin version of the bear, which I still love now and reminds me of them and that trip. 

I feel like we’re fully into the swing of soup season. It’s chilly outside and all I want to do is curl up with a bowl of something comforting and warm. I only started making soup about a year ago, the hand-held blender was much too intimidating I had images of being drenched in red like I was in a Tarantino film. But I’m so glad I got over that fear because these days I always have a tub of homemade soup to hand either on the stove or saving for later in the fridge. So, in what has now become a bit of a quarterly tradition, I thought I’d share a few recipes of my favourites with you.

All of the soups here are vegetarian, and they can all be made vegan with some very simple substitutions so there should be something for everyone. All of these recipes make around 4 portions for lunch or dinner.


So, this tomato soup uses coconut milk rather than cream. Initially I was a bit apprehensive about using the coconut, but you can’t really taste it at all and it’s a healthy throwback to my childhood favourite (still a favourite if I’m honest) canned tomato soup. This is also the simplest soup to make.

  • 1 Red onion – diced
  • 2 Cloves of garlic – minced
  • 1 Red pepper – diced
  • 2 Cans of tinned tomatoes
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes – halved or quartered
  • 500ml Stock of your choice (add more if needed at the end)
  • 4 TBSP Tomato puree
  • 1 TBSP mixed herbs
  • 1 TSP Smoked paprika
  • 1 TSP Chilli flakes (optional)


  1. Put the pepper and cherry tomatoes on a baking tray and roast in the oven at 200C for 15-20mins
  2. Fry the onion for 5 minutes or until soft in a large saucepan
  3. Fry the garlic for 2 minutes or so, and add in the herbs and spices
  4. Stir in the tomato puree
  5. Add the tinned tomatoes and coconut milk, leave to simmer for 10 minutes
  6. Add the stock, and the roasted pepper and tomatoes
  7. Blend!
  8. Season well
  9. Serve alone, with a cashew cream or grilled cheese.



This recipe was inspired by my holiday to Portugal in the summer. Every restaurant we ate at seemed to have some variation of this soup on the menu and it was so tasty that I wanted to recreate it as soon as I got home.

  • 1 White onion – diced
  • 2 Cloves of garlic – minced
  • 1 Butternut squash – diced
  • 1 Courgette – diced
  • 1 Large carrot – diced
  • 500ml Stock of your choice (add more if needed at the end)
  • 2 TSP Mixed herbs
  • 1 TSP Chilli flakes (optional)
  • Handful of watercress for serving


  1. Fry the onion for 5 minutes in a big saucepan
  2. Add the garlic and fry for an additional 2 minutes, and add in the herbs and spices
  3. Add the courgette and fry for 4-5 minutes
  4. Add the squash and carrot (you can also add in a stick or so of celery but I can never get through the leftovers), then cover with the stock
  5. Leave to boil for 20 minutes or until everything is very soft
  6. Blend!
  7. Season well
  8. Stir in the watercress when serving so it’s just wilted


The first time I ate French Onion soup a dear friend cooked enough to feed a small army of our loved ones. It was delicious. Now this recipe takes quite a bit longer than the others so that you can get the most flavour out of the onions, so I tend to see it as a bit of a treat and let me tell you it is so worth it. I tend to set this one going at the start of a big Sunday meal prep session and just let it do its thing while I cook everything. FYI – this one is pretty much Mary Berry’s recipe.

  • 50g Butter
  • 1 TBSP Olive oil
  • 6-7 Large onions – halved and sliced
  • 1 TSP Sugar
  • 4 Cloves of garlic – minced
  • 2 TBSP plain flour
  • 1 TBSP Mixed herbs
  • 250ml White wine (if you’d prefer not to use wine, just add additional stock)
  • 1L Stock of your choice
  • 4 slices of bread (optional for serving)
  • 140g grated cheese (optional for serving)


  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan
  2. Fry the onions over a low heat for at least half an hour or until fully caramelised, adding in the sugar about halfway through (keep stirring!)
  3. Add the garlic and herbs and fry for an additional 2-3 minutes
  4. Sprinkle in the flour
  5. Gradually add in the wine and stock, stirring as you go
  6. Simmer for 15-20 minutes
  7. Serve by putting the soup in heatproof bowls, the topping with the bread and cheese and putting under the grill – or if you’re lazy like me, you can just top the soup with the grilled cheese on toast

I’m a complete homebody so I thought it was about time that I did a mini-series about my room. This is the longest time I’ve had a single space to call my own since I lived at home. I live in a shared house, so my room is the only space that I can really call my own, and now I’ve been there for a year it really is my own. I’ve dismantled and built furniture, decorated, and even filled the whole space with the scent of lavender and tea tree.

I make my one room work pretty hard. Because it is my only real space, it has to do everything. I’m very lucky that I have a room that’s big enough to be able to handle everything I want from it. If I’m honest I didn’t expect to have quite so much space in London, but I’m so so glad that I do.

My room is laid out in sections by use. That’s in part by design and in part because of where the immovable elements of the room are, but more to come on that in a future post! There’s a sleeping area, my semi-bathroom, a living room, and my office. I’ve drawn a little diagram to help give a little context to the tour, and because I always struggle to join up YouTube room tours where the camera cuts around. I also just really wanted to draw a semi-architectural diagram.

I’ve decorated the space in as much white, and light neutral colours as I can to try and capitalise on the small amount of light I have in my room and to make the space feel even bigger and more calming.


My bed is my favourite place in the world. Moving to London was the first time I had a double bed in my life and let me tell you it was a glorious step up. The blanket my grandma crocheted for me sits at its foot, and a sensible, I think, number of decorative pillows sit at the top when it’s made including my sleepy sloth friend. The side table is often home to too much rubbish, but when I have it in check it’s just my light, some of the jewelry I don’t wear every day, my book and a few other little bits. The rug on the floor is something I’ve had since I was at Oxford, and I really think it makes the space feel homelier. It’s a lovely grey pattern, that’s just subtle enough for my liking.


My little living area is a relatively new development and is in a bit of a thoroughfare tucked under the mantle of an old fireplace. On the mantel, I have all of my books (I’m trying not to let the collection expand too far), some art, and either a candle or my oil burner. I also have a string of fairy lights that I got for Christmas last year spread across the mantel which I turn on for my evening/relax lighting. The star of the show though is my big rattan chair. This is my watch TV or read spot and I absolutely love it. It’s snug and cozy, but still light and airy enough to go with the room without being imposing. The side table next to it is perfect for tea and biscuits as well as storing a few bits including my speaker and my journal.


I have a strange shower set up in my room. I have a shower and a sink to myself, but no toilet, and no division from the rest of the room. I’m not complaining though. I love having a shower to myself, knowing I can get in whenever I want and hang out in my towel for as long as it takes for me to procrastinate. I have an open shelving unit with all of my toiletries (it’s effectively a medicine and makeup cabinet) and my spare towels, as well as a few selected cleaning supplies. It’s a bit of a pain to clean and dust but it does the job.


I love that my workspace is physically divided off from the rest of my room. This little space contains my desk, chair, and all of my work materials, as well as acting as storage for my bike and laundry dryer. This area has the best (and only) natural light with the patio door and skylight, which makes it the ideal working space. The main feature of the area is my desk, but I also have a little open shelving unit that helps divide the space and contains a random assortment of items from photos, to tea, to fruit, to washi tapes, my collection of letters and spare paper. My “office” is also the most decorated area of the room with my prints and postcards all up on the walls, as well as my resolution tracker.

Keep your eyes peeled for the next post in this miniseries all about my favourite design pieces in my room, which will be here in the next few days.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while or even just glanced down my Instagram feed you will know that I don’t really use a lot of colour in my work. I feel like that line based monochrome style makes my work more easily identifiable and I just generally feel like it gets across the point I want in the simplest way possible, which is my favourite way to do anything.

But recently, the pieces that have been catching my eye the most use more colour. I love George Greaves and Manjit Thapp and Faye Moorhouse. They’re all so different but they all use colour so well. I love seeing rich hues and textures working together. I love seeing how colour can bring an image to life. And I used to use a lot more colour, throughout my school career the works I was known for were coloured pencil drawings like the one below.

So, I’ve decided to take a step out of my comfort zone and set myself a challenge. For the next 10 weeks, I am going to create at least one fully coloured piece every week. I’ll be posting everything I make over on my Instagram so if you’re not following me there, what are you waiting for?!

I’ll also be doing a recap at the end of the 10 weeks here, to share what I’ve learned and a few of my favourites.

To kick the challenge off I thought I’d share my first piece with you here before it goes up on Instagram.

I’m really excited to see where this challenge takes me and to see the new kinds of work it will allow me to produce, I’m thinking there might be more scenes, new styles of portraiture and even some more detailed work.

I’m thinking these kinds of challenges will become a bit more of a regular thing, to link in with my goal of trying out more new things and learning some new design skills. I’d love your feedback on if this kind of stuff interests you and if you’d want to see more of the behind the scenes, or if you’d prefer just to see the outcomes on Instagram.