Things I Love: Summer in London!

Photo from the amazing and fabulous Southbank!

This time of year, it seems like everyone is on holiday: Facebook feeds are overflowing with seaside pictures, Instagram is full of tanned bikini bodies and most people I know are either blissfully enjoying faraway shores or frantically (yet very excitedly) packing their bags. It's almost enough to make me forget that I did go on holiday this year - and it was a pretty important one, too! But since it happened so early in the year, it basically feels like I'm spending the summer in London.

...which, I'm realising, I don't mind at all.


Why I Refuse to Do a Digital Detox

Yesterday, while purchasing a £3 book at the Southbank book market, I saw this sign saying, "The Smartphone Generation Doesn't Watch Where It's Going" and it made me smile because David always has to remind me to put my phone away when crossing the street. In the aftermath of the happy marriage between social media and smartphones, everyone seems obsessed with detoxing from everything that keeps us connected. Apparently, your kids are worried about you, tech bosses are (somehow) switching off and even Ian Somerhalder is doing it. And don't get me started on the countless YouTube videos spreading like wildfire through Facebook, all somewhere along the lines of:

I Forgot My Phone at Home and Realised the Sky Was Still Blue
I Got So Jealous of My Best Friend's Facebook Profile that I Forgot How Blessed I Am
Our Nose is So Deep Into Our Phones that We Haven't Actually Spoken For Years

...and similar.

I reserve the same brand of disdain and dislike for this kind of detoxes as I do for food-related ones.


Moving Soon!

Disclaimer: as much as I wish we were moving to this flat, we're not. It's just one of those amazing Pinterest pictures that are there to make you drool a lot and curse your paycheck.

So, after a never-ending search, we found, once again, that we're better off taking a less obvious path to our goals (it's a bit like looking for a job and how you're better off contacting companies you're interested in before they advertise the actual position, as opposed to just answering a job ad). Frustrated with soaring London rents and the prospect of "agency fees" (which is pretty much like throwing your cash into the sea, or, if you're feeling less poetic, the toilet), we had a brainstorm about what we could actually do to find ourselves a deal. What we came up with was to offer room-painting or other flat-fixing services in exchange for cheaper rent. The work itself would, of course, be done by my amazing husband. 

As a result, we found a flat in just a week - after almost a year of "traditional" flat search!

Aside from the excitement of exploring a brand new area of London, we're also looking forward to having our own space (FINALLY) and decorating (well, that's mostly me). What I'm not looking forward to is having to pay almost double rents next month - officially the poorest month of the year! But it's all worth it just to have a place to call our own. 


My Birthday Present

On my 21st birthday, I only had one birthday present - from myself. I was working in Italy for the first time and decided to give myself a treat, so I went to the local jewellery shop and found the brand Nomination, whose customiseable stainless steel bracelets were all the rage among young Italians back then. I bought a bracelet with my name on it in gold letters - and still wear it.

Ten years later, I was in Amalfi for my birthday with my new husband. And we were passing by a local jewellery shop that carried Nomination.


High Heels, Sharp Brains

One of the reasons why ELLE UK is my favourite magazine is because they have such an original view on topics close to women's hearts. Last month, they published a piece by a writer I really like, Nigerian Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (her latest novel Americanah is absolutely marvellous). In ELLE, Chimamanda talked about how, as a woman, you're expected to dress down to be taken seriously.


Stuffing My Face at the V-Delicious Show (and more)

One thing I love about London are all the stuff-your-face-friendly veggie events that seem to pop up every once in a while - you remember me going crazy at the London VegFest? Well, I've eaten my weight in vegan cupcakes twice since: once was at the Brighton VegFest and once was at the V-Delicious Show this Sunday.


Honeymooners: A Photo Post

Our honeymoon began...with a search party.

Two days after our wedding, as we were frantically scrambling our belongings together at my mum's house to catch the train for the airport, David quite matter-of-factly mentioned the small, insignificant detail that he had lost - LOST!! - his wedding ring. Yep, the one that had barely spent two days on his finger. I dropped everything and searched suitcases, bed sheets and bathroom cabinets...until it showed up in his backpack (really).  All rings on the correct fingers and suitcases in tow, we began our newlywed voyage towards Agropoli, a tiny village near Salerno, Italy, where David's mum was born and where my new husband spent most of his summers as a kid. We were also set to visit parts of the rest of the Amalfi Coast.

Sweden to Italy may seem like an easy trip, but this was one of the most difficult trips I'd ever made, mostly due to Italian trains' absolutely ridiculous scheduling problems and constant delays. We arrived at destination at 11pm and had to wake David's aunt up for the keys to the flat! Once inside, we discovered that neither the water nor the power was working, so we had to wake up yet another aunt (almost the entire building belongs to David's family) for help. As soon as we'd settled down, we took a stroll around Agropoli, discovering not only stunning views but also a little fish restaurant that were kind enough to make me a grilled veggie plate. After this late-night dinner, we finally passed out in bed, sleeping well into the next morning.


Beyond Skin Sale!

So today I clicked into what can only be described as vegan shoe heaven (or wallet hell, depends on how you see it) - Beyond Skin's vegan shoe sale. I swear, if I still lived in Italy or California, or anywhere with a climate that allows for year-round open shoes, I could make out my entire shoe wardrobe just from this sale.  Sky-high heels with stunning geometric prints, patent sandals, dainty flats - yep, I think we've got most of basic (and beyond) footwear needs covered.