Where to Eat in London

Last month, I went to London for the first time with my friends Amy and Vinny. It was a super quick trip. We took the red eye Wednesday night and came back Sunday. I honestly wish I could have stayed longer because I absolutely fell IN LOVE with London. I’m already plotting my next trip back. Before I went, everyone kept telling me that the food in London was not good. So I went in with low expectations. My expectations were wildly wrong because I found some AMAZING food spots in London that I want to share with you. These were my favorites from the trip – ones I would not only highly recommend but would go back again.

Sketch – Go to Sketch for Afternoon Tea. Sure, it’s pretty pricey but you get unlimited tea and refills on the sandwiches and treats. The decor at Sketch was honestly probably one of the best decorated restaurants I had ever been to. It was cool, sophisticated and so instagrammable.

Dishoom – London is well known for it’s Indian food and Dishoom is one of their popular spots. I’m a huge fan of Indian food but I find it not as popular here in the states. I was excited to go to Dishoom and see what all the hype was about. It did not disappoint. The food was so incredibly good. We tried to go again another night but the wait was too long. I would highly recommend making reservations for this place or you might end up waiting upwards of two hours.

Chiltern Firehouse – Shoutout to Jackie Schimmel of the Bitch Bible for talking about Chiltern Firehouse on her podcast. If it’s good enough for Jackie, it’s good enough for me. We went here for brunch. I obviously had to get the avocado toast (which not going to lie, I didn’t think looked very appetizing) but boy was I wrong. This was absolutely delish! Chiltern is a little on the pricey side but if you’re looking for a nice brunch or dinner option I would highly recommend.

Breakfast Club – This is a The Girls Who Brunch after all so I had to add some of my favorite brunch spots. Breakfast Club is a great little diner-esque spot that has an amazingly delicious brunch. Be prepared to wait on line because it’s a popular spot.

Granger & Co. – The cutest little spot in Notting Hill. I mean look at all these amazing drinks. From the coffee to the blood mary – this was a great place for brunch. I got the pancakes – which I would say I normally don’t ever order but they were delectable!

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to get to London. I will definitely be making another trip (hopefully soon!). If you have ever been to London, let me know your favorite spots to eat so I can add them for my next trip!

Three Ways to Improve Your Mental Health

You all know by know that mental health is something I take very seriously. It’s something I’ve been open about in the past, as I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression.

If you are feeling anxious or low, I’ve come up with three different tips to improve your mental health.

#1: Make changes in your home

We come home to relax and unwind, but if your home is causing you to feel stress, then you probably need to make a few changes. So, you might want to declutter your home if a lack of space is getting you down, and you should get on top of any repairs if there are any niggling issues that are adding to your stress levels. This is something I am planning on doing this weekend. I want to declutter and get rid of items that I just don’t need.

You might want to include a few additions to your home too. Houseplants are great stress-relievers, so add one to two to your home, as you will instantly feel calmer by the scents and aesthetics they provide. Be sure to place a plant grow light nearby to give them a chance to grow and flourish. 

You might also add works of art and personal photos to your walls, as these can both invoke feelings of calm and happiness. Think about the other elements of home decor that are personal to your tastes, and add them to your home to boost your happiness levels. 

#2: Make changes to your diet

I’ll be honest here, I haven’t had the most healthy diet recently and this has definitely affected my mood. Sugary goods, takeout and processed foods have all been linked to depression. Not only that but it makes you feel like crap.

It’s important to improve your diet, which can be difficult, especially if you regularly reach out for unhealthier options for comfort eating purposes. Still, it’s worth having a clear-out in your kitchen, as if you replace junk items with foods that can improve your mental health, you will be unable to eat something bad for you. 

By eating a healthier diet, you will also be less prone to other health issues, of course. The knock-on effect of this is that you will then have less to worry and stress about, so let that be another incentive to improve your diet. 

#3: Make changes to your daily routines

If you regularly suffer from stress and low moods, it might be because of your daily routines. 

If you never carve time into your schedule for relaxation purposes, you might be pushing yourself towards burnout, especially if you are always busying yourself with something. On the other hand, you might spend too much time of your time relaxing, and this is problematic, especially if you’re forever sat on the sofa with your feet up. A sedentary lifestyle can lead to depression and other health issues. 

Consider what you do during the week. If you’re always busy busy busy, you really do need to slow down once in a while for the betterment of your stress levels. And if you’re forever sitting on the sofa being lazy, you need to make a change to your routine and exercise more, as you will feel both the physical and mental health benefits if you do. 

Keep in mind, these tips might not be easy but they definitely help! These are some tips that I myself need to incorporate into my daily routine. Hope you all have a healthy and happy weekend!

 

 

From Fixer Upper to Dream Apartment

I just recently moved into a new apartment. While it’s not exactly a fixer upper because it’s a brand new construction, I came into a blank space with no idea where to start. If you’re like me, you probably have a to do list as long as your arm, and you haven’t even considered your costings yet. Here are some ways to fix up your brand new space without breaking the bank.

If it’s a TRUE fixer upper:

Before you do anything with your new apartment, you must ensure that it is fit to enter. A simple hard hat may not do. Some fixer uppers haven’t been lived in for decades, and they have seen better days. They may have structural issues and are at risk from letting in damp. You need to instruct a qualified surveyor to assess the safety of your site. Top floor apartments, in particular, can let in water if the guttering isn’t sound. Look up and check the roof. Are there any leaks or slipped tiles? Many mid century apartments have flat roofs so need inspecting more regularly than most. Check your windows for drafts and cracks. If your glazing needs replacing, consider vinyl replacement windows to cut costs and ensure that you don’t lose heat from your interior. Ensure that all utilities are connected including mains drainage, electricity and gas. These are the things you might easily forget about but they’re super important!

Figuring out your budget:

It’s vital that you go room by room and construct a budget for your plans. Yes, you might want that granite quartz kitchen counter but can you afford it? There’s nothing worse than starting a project, only to then realize that you don’t have the money to finish it. List every job no matter how tiny to get the most accurate budget possible. Apartments are naturally smaller than houses but it’s easy to spend money. Once you have budgeted for your plans, get started!

The fun part, decorate!

This may or may not be your forever dream apartment, so don’t be too concerned about following trends or opting for color palettes that maximize resale value. If you aren’t planning to sell, then what’s the point? Try and opt for decor and fittings that suit your lifestyle. Go for the exposed bricks walls, the integrated kitchen appliances and the white walls to create a fresh and bright ambiance to your pad. Create an apartment that makes you excited to come home each day.

 

Make Food Fun!

Do you ever go through ruts where you can’t think of what to eat, or you don’t really crave anything? Ever just eat the same thing over and over again? Especially after a long day of work, the last thing I want to do is think about what I’m going to cook – or even worse have to grocery shop for. I’m on a mission to enjoy the process of food again. Here are some tips I have to make food fun!

Make Dinnertime an Experience

The best place to start when it comes to falling in love with your food again is to do as much as possible to make dinnertime an experience. There are a lot of factors that you need to keep in mind when you are looking to achieve this, and it is important to embrace this. By turning dinnertime into an experience, you make it exciting and something to look forward to. A lot of people view preparing and making dinner as a chore, and a lot of this is to do with mindset. By viewing it as a complete experience, you can look at it as a more positive experience, and this will enhance your enjoyment. Turn on your favorite podcast or jam out to your favorite song while you cook.

Expand Your Culinary Skills

Expanding your culinary skills is another massive thing to think about when trying to rekindle your love for food. If you can learn and try out new recipes, you will be well-placed to improve your knowledge and understanding of culinary skills. You could even extend to baking as well, allowing you to make cakes and tasty treats. Visit Loaves and Dishes for some recipes that will help you with this, and get the process started right now. I love looking up new recipes on the weekends and try to plan out my what I’m going to cook for the week. Try to switch it up with something you’ve never tried before!

Treat Yourself by Eating Out

If you want to really have a great food experience, you need to treat yourself by eating out now and again (something I partake a little too much in haha!). There are a lot of factors that play a part in helping you find the perfect restaurant, and it really depends a lot on what you want to eat. I’ve written some blog posts that might help! Check out the top 5 brunch spots in LA for starters! Rewarding yourself by eating out is an excellent way of viewing food as a treat, and it removes some of the stress of having to cook yourself. 

Learning new recipes, cooking and baking more, and enjoying eating out on occasions is essential. Food is one of the best experiences we can have, and this is something that can really help enhance and enrich your life. 

I’m always looking for new restaurants or recipes to try out, so if you guys have any favorites let me know in the comments below!

2019’s Hot Accessory Trends

2019 is well under way, but it isn’t too late to embrace some of the more fashionable trends to hit magazines, streets, and venues across the world. From pearls to baker boy hats, and snakeskin boots to scarves for your handbag, there’s plenty of options for the discerning fashionista, whether you’re heading to the beaches of Maui or the streets of Los Angeles. You don’t have to spend a fortune to achieve some of these looks, either.

Pearls

Pearls are everywhere this year. Rather than pearl necklaces of the 1950s, though, celebrities have been adorned in contemporary styled pearls. While pearls are striking and memorable, they don’t have to be expensive, and if you aren’t comfortable wearing them around your neck, consider earrings, hair berets, and bracelets. 

The pearls don’t have to be perfectly round, either – the more natural look of slightly misshapen pearls is very popular.

Anklets

If you’re heading to the beach, or any hot climate, you could even opt for a pearl anklet. Anklets are another fashion item that have made a firm return to the spotlight this year, and you will find many a collection and style in any good jewelry store

Anklets are not only on trend, they are are a great way to show off your tanned ankles and draw attention down to your carefully chosen footwear.

Combat Boots

If you follow all the top models and influencers on Instagram, you’ll see that they’re all rocking a pair of black combat boots. I happened to get a pair while I was in London and I’m obsessed. You can dress up or dress down a pair of combat boots to suit your own personal style!

Snakeskin Boots

Alternatively, if you prefer patterned feet, you can opt for another of this year’s fashionable footwear trends – snakeskin boots. 

Prints like this are bold, and they can appear quite masculine, so it isn’t surprising that they are typically accompanied by ruffle dresses and feminine long coats.

Bag Scarves

Why let your neck have all the scarf wearing fun? This year, women are adding scarves to their bags rather than their bodies. They tend to be bold and colorful, can incorporate prints and patterns, and they are usually tied around the handle, or even into the straps of the bag. 

How To Get Your Creative Projects Started!

Ever wanted to get started on a creative project? And yet, for some reason, doing so can be such a hard process. You may feel overwhelmed even by the first steps, or maybe you’re confused and unsure of how to start. Thankfully, this is something you can grow and develop out of, but for those just getting started, getting started is a scary process.

So, finding measures to help kickstart your goals in this capacity can be a truly worthwhile venture. Here is how to get started:

Just Start
It sounds so simple. But sooner or later, you’re going to have to start this practice in the scope that makes the most difference to you. You cannot evade step one. As Lao Tzu said, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Just start. If you wish to be a writer, start writing something in a note taking application, even if it’s absolutely terrible. If you want to paint, buy some paints and try to paint something. If you want to sing, sing to your favorite songs and take up classes. You will tell yourself one thousand reasons as to why you aren’t ready just yet, and then by the time you’ve settled all of those you’ll tell yourself one thousand more. 

The only step forward is to begin, even if you’re far from perfect, you’ll get there. Consider the term ‘writer’. Is a writer someone who writes for an online content company as a subcontractor? Is it an author? Is it someone who has written the best stand up comedy to live life as a professional? Yes, but  it’s also just someone who writes. That is all you need to get started.

Get Your Ideas Down
Getting your ideas down on paper is the most important step. You might have a great idea strike you while you’re brushing your teeth, and then if you fail to note it down, or draw it, or use a mind map, or scrapbook stickers to keep yourself within this creative output, getting your ideas down is going to be a troubling issue.

Develop An Understanding
Learn from those who have developed a project you care about before. Study the greats, or those within your peer group. Join writing groups. Care for the craft, because you need to learn the rules before you subvert them. If you can do this, you are sure to develop the correct understanding to help guide your action towards skill.

Alright, now go get started! 

What To Do When You’re Feeling Anxious

Anxiety can creep up at any moment. For me it usually happens when I’m trying to fall asleep. My chest will start to tighten, my heart races and it honestly feels like little spiders are crawling in my heart. It’s not a fun feeling. It’s taken me a year to get a handle on my anxiety, and by no means am I cured. I still get that creepy crawly feeling every once in a while but not nearly as bad as I used to get. These are tips that I like to do when I’m feeling anxious to help with those feelings.

  1. Take a deep breath. This might sound simple but taking a few deep breaths really helps to calm down your nervous system.
  2. Try meditating. This is definitely something I need to do more often but meditation can really help. I love the app Headspace, because I find the guys voice to be very soothing.
  3. Go for a walk. Getting outside in the fresh air and taking a walk can help you to relax.
  4. Talk to someone. When I’m feeling super anxious, I’ll text my best friend or give my parents a call. Talk to someone you trust, who won’t judge you when you’re having these anxious thoughts. The worst person to talk to is the one who tells you to “just get over it”. Anxiety is not something you can “just get over”.
  5. Try CDB. I enjoy using a CBD vape, my favorite is lavender flavored and you can get it here.
  6. Exercise. This is one of those things you might not do in the moment, but exercising regularly can help combat those anxious feelings.
  7. Music. Listen to your favorite song, or watch a music video. I find music to be very therapeutic.
  8. Therapy. I think EVERYONE can use therapy. I actually love going to therapy and I think people should feel encouraged to talk about their feelings more.
  9. Medication. I’m not a doctor, so please go see a doctor if you wanting to learn more about medication. But for me, medication has been a game changer with my anxiety.
  10. Just know that it will pass. When you’re feeling anxious, it sometimes seems like you will feel like this way forever. But try to remind yourself, that this feeling will pass.

If you guys have any tips on what you do when you’re feeling anxious, let me know in the comments below!

Mental Health Awareness Month

Hi guys! It’s been a while. I really wanted to post something because May is Mental Health Awareness Month. As some of you may know, I suffer from anxiety (and occasionally depression). It’s something that’s somewhat new to me, and I shared my experience here. Mental Health has always had a negative stigma attached to it. People are afraid to talk about it because they’re afraid people will judge them, or think they are weak. I really want to share my experience with it because I want to break away from that stigma. Anxiety doesn’t make me weak, it doesn’t make me any less than…it’s just a part of who I am.

Recently, Chrissy Teigan just opened up about her struggle with post-partum depression. Selena Gomez, Shawn Mendes, Demi Lovato and many other celebrities have come forward with their own stories about their struggle with mental health. The truth is, people might look like they are living their best life on Instagram but you really don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes. Everyone has struggles in their lives, some more than others. For me the past year and a half, my struggle has been with anxiety and depression. With the help of family, friends and some medication I’m in a much better place that I was a year ago. But the truth is, some days are just hard.

I want to share more posts with you this month about how to help deal with your own mental health journey and give you tips and advice that has worked for me. The more open we all are about the struggles we face, the less stigma is attached. You might not feel comfortable sharing your own journey, but just know that you are not alone. If any of you have dealt with anxiety or depression or any other mental health issue, I want you to know that you have a friend right here.

For now, I’m sending you all some love. <3

What to do in Los Angeles – LA Travel Guide

Dress: Reformation {similar} // Shoes: BCBG {similar} // Bag: Revolve // Earrings: BaubleBar {similar} // Ring: Monica Vinader

I lived in Los Angeles for the past four years, so I would say I know the city pretty well. LA is a fun city with great weather and tons to do. But it can be a bit overwhelming because the city is so spread out. So I wanted to create my LA Travel Guide for you and break things up into different categories. It’s a pretty extensive list, so let’s get started!

Where to eat brunch:

Great White – Venice
This is one of my all time favorite brunch spots. It’s small and usually always busy so be prepared for a wait. The food is delish and on the healthier side. Plus everything here is very instagrammable. I highly recommend the Shaken Latte with their Avocado Toast

Franklin & Co – Hollywood
If you like Bloody Mary’s you won’t want to miss Franklin & Co. Also their biscuits and gravy are hands down the best I’ve ever had.

Kreation – West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Venice and more
If you want to get the real LA sense of brunch, go to Kreation. It’s as healthy as it can get. All their foods and juices are made there with super high quality fresh ingredients. Their acai bowls are my favorite!

Best rooftop bars:

Waldorf Astoria – Beverly Hills
The Waldorf Astoria is a pretty new hotel that just opened up in Beverly Hills and it has hands down the best views. You can see all the way down to Santa Monica on one end and Downtown LA on the other. Plus this is a great celebrity sitting spot. I’ve seen Mariah Carey, Gretchen Rossi from Housewives and Tristan Thompson all on the roof!

EP&LP – West Hollywood
If you’re in Weho and looking for a fun spot to go out at night and the weather is good, which most likely it will be because duh it’s LA, go to EP&LP. Opened only a couple years ago, this place is always popping and usually has a line.

Hotel Shangri La – Santa Monica
This is a fun day drinking spot in Santa Monica. It’s a pretty small rooftop bar but it overlooks the ocean. On a clear day it’s got some of the most gorgeous views you’ll ever see.

Where to go if you’re feeling bad and boujee:

The Ivy – Beverly Hills
The Ivy is a well known staple in LA. They have two locations but I prefer the location on Robertson. Their patio is so beautiful. The food honestly isn’t my favorite and it’s very overpriced, but it’s the place to be seen. Plus you can’t beat the decor, it’s adorable.

The Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel –  Beverly Hills
Another hot spot in BH. I’ve gone here a few times for lunch, and I have to say it’s always been a hit. The Beverly Hills Hotel is a classic Hollywood spot.

Baltaire – Brentwood
Baltaire is my favorite steakhouse in LA. If your parents are in town, or you have a work dinner take them to Baltaire. You have to try their lobster mac and cheese. To. Die. For.

Where to shop or window shop:

Rodeo Drive – Beverly Hills
Any movie that takes place in Beverly Hills has at least one scene on Rodeo Drive. It’s a beautiful spot in Beverly Hills with all of the most expensive shops in town. Treat yourself, or just window shop. Either way, it’s a must go see.

Abbott Kinney – Venice
Abbott Kinney is hands down one of my favorite streets in LA. It has the cutest boutique shops, and restaurants. They also have a lot of street vendors selling handmade jewelry and other items. I could seriously spend all day here just shopping and eating.

Century City Mall – Century City
They just completely redid this mall last year and it is seriously the most beautiful mall I’ve ever been to. So pretty I even had a date there, but that’s a whole other story. This was my go-to mall to see movies at the AMC theatre, but also to get Shake Shack. Us NY girls love our Shake Shack.

The Grove – West Hollywood
The Grove is an outdoor mall that’s small but simply stunning. I love it during the winter time because they deck it out with Christmas decor. It was the only part of LA that actually felt like the holidays. They also have great shops and restaurants so definitely check it out.

Best hikes to see the views:

Runyon Canyon – Hollywood
Whenever you say anything about hiking, people automatically assume Runyon. It’s the most common hiking trail in LA and for good reason. It’s got stunning views of the entire city. It’s a great workout, yet it’s definitely still manageable for people like me that don’t really work out.

Solstice Canyon – Malibu
I like this hike because it’s kind of in the woodsy areas of Malibu. It’s not your typical hike, and there’s a little more to look at then just a pretty view.

Griffith Park / Hollywood Sign – Hollywood
Similar to Runyon, this is a pretty easy hike it’s just long. But it takes you right behind the Hollywood sign, which is pretty cool. I recommend you do it at least once. But beware of the horse poop.

Honorable mentions:

Salt and Straw – Venice, Larchmont, West Hollywood
My favorite ice cream EVER. They have different monthly flavors and I would literally go the first week of every month to try them. Honestly, I still think about them every day. Salt and Straw if you are reading this, please open up a shop in NYC. Thanks.

Olive & Thyme – Burbank
If you’re in the valley – go to Olive and Thyme. It’s one of the cutest cafes with seriously the most delicious food. It’s perfect to sit outside and enjoy the beautiful California air with some delicious avocado toast.

Jon and Vinny’s – Brentwood or Weho
Normally I would say, Californian’s don’t do Italian food that great. It’s more of a NY thing. However, Jon and Vinny’s is THE BOMB. If you’re craving Italian food, go here you won’t be disappointed.

Honestly my list could go on and on but here are the main places that I think you should go see in LA. If you have any questions or anything, please let me know in the comments below!