May and June just flew by, didn’t they? It’s now mid July and the Montreux Jazz and the Festival de la Cité here in Lausanne have been and gone, and the weather has really warmed up. It’s probably my favourite time of the year to be in Lausanne, but it’s crazy to think that we went from coat weather in early June to full on heat wave at the end of the month. I’ve even had to ask friends and family to pop by my apartment whist I’ve been away to water the plants, so they don’t completely die in the 35°C heat.

The last two months have been chockablock with what was quite an intense mix of work and play. I took a week off in May for our canal boat holiday and a long weekend in Stockholm with some of my best friends in June. I’ve also had some work trips including an incredible press trip with IKEA to Almhult for their global press event, and I had a few furniture and tile showroom visits for a shop that I’m decorating.

Quick side note – if you’re visiting Stockholm soon a few of my favourite restaurants include Kaferang for brunch (featured in the photos below), Pat’s Place for incredible Thai food and the restaurant in the Fotografiska museum.

Realistically, the last two months have probably been closer to a “normal” and, most importantly, a more sustainable work-life balance than I’ve had since starting to work for myself. As well as trying to work less during the evenings, I also took a whole week off and a long weekend where I didn’t do any work. It felt amazing to completely disconnect. That said, I’ve also felt an immense sense of guilt for taking time off, for reading, for picking up a magazine, or even for taking the time to cook a meal. You know that feeling when you’re trying to disconnect and enjoy time off but your mind is overloaded with things you feel you should be doing instead? I keep trying to remind myself that time off is necessary but it’s hard to turn that nagging feeling off.

It’s definitely something I need to work on.

Anyway, enough of the deep stuff, let’s get into my current favourites:

  • Talking of reading, I have just finished Educated by Tara Westover which I got through in a matter of days. One of my best friends recommended it and I really enjoyed it. It was discomforting and distressing but I couldn’t put it down. Tara was born into a survivalist mormon family and the memoir traces her life, her craving for an education, and the conflict between the beliefs she was brought up with and her own beliefs. It is hard to think that one person could have lived through all of the events that Tara lived through, and had the strength of mind to keep pulling herself through. This one is well worth a read.
  • As the weather has been so warm and I’ve been wearing my hair up a lot, I’ve been trying to get my hair into a healthier routine by not washing it as often as I have been and by using better shampoos. I was sent the Aveda Rosemary Mint shampoo & conditioner as a press sample and have since repurchased them both. Love them both and love the scent.
  • The single item of clothing that I’ve probably worn the most recently has to be this One Hundred Stars robe. It’s the most versatile piece. I’ve been wearing over a t-shirt and jeans on the cooler days, over a bikini by the lake and just around the house as a cover-up. I didn’t expect to get quite so much wear out of it but I love it.
  • After watching one of Caroline Hiron’s videos (the one and only skin guru whose advice I actually listen to), I bought the Skin Defence SPF 50 from The Body Shop and have been using it every day after my moisturizer but before applying any make-up. It’s thin, doesn’t leave white traces and easy to apply. It might not be the best suncream for a day at the beach but I feel like it’s really good day-to-day protection. I’ve recommended this to so many friends.

Onto the lows of the month:

I’ve been a little quiet on social media recently after a series of negative messages and a general feeling that I have to justify myself to people. I realise that I put a lot of my life online and that leaves it open to criticism which unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll ever really be able to just brush off like I should.

The comments are rarely anything too personal or hurtful but it’s a collection of things like people being critical of me going to the market on a Wednesday morning because people with “real jobs” just don’t have that luxury, or someone suggesting that if I have time to go to for a gym class, I probably have time to reply to their email. Little digs like that really get me down and make me wonder what I want to be sharing and where I should draw the line. I don’t think I’ve quite figured it out just yet but I’m thinking of having a big of a re-jig.

Right, that’s enough dwelling on the negatives – the last two months have also been so full of joy and love, and so many things that I’m so excited to share with you.

  • Clive and I went to an absolutely beautiful wedding in May in central London. After a week of non-stop rain, it ended up being a lovely sunny day surrounded by the most wonderful people. I felt very lucky to be part of such a magical day… I mean, check out the view from the dinner location! (above)
  • For our week off in May, Clive and I rented a canal boat and fell in love with life on the water as bargees :D. It was a quirky holiday and we were the youngest people out there by a long way, but it was one of the best weeks of my life. I’m just editing a vlog from the week if you’d like to watch it, make sure to check out my YouTube channel. It was such a peaceful and rewarding holiday and I would recommend it in a heartbeat. There will be a lot more information about the company we rented with and where we went in the vlog for those interested.
  • We’ve been talking about buying a canal boat in London for a little while now and having a full week on the boat allowed us to start dreaming up our own boat design. We wrote lists and I sketched out possible layouts for the space and I feel like this is something that we’ve dreamed about for a long time and that we’re both taking steps to make it happen. I’m so excited!!

The next two months are gearing up to be quite busy work wise with a very exciting shop design that should come to completion sometime at the end of September. After two restaurants, lots of shop windows, a few offices and a handful of houses, this is the very first shop I’m working on and I’m very excited to see it come together! Lots more news and hopefully a series of renovation videos coming soon! Make sure you’re subscribed to my YouTube channel if you’re not already.

As always, a big thank you for stopping by for a read. Come back soon! xS