Being 24

Your body exists purely for the pleasure of men or the criticism of females. Be pleasantly plump in all the right places in order to please the men in your life, but appropriately slender elsewhere so as not to be excluded from all the latest unforgiving fashions you must adopt in order to be deemed stylish.

Oh, and abs are now essential thanks to the new craze for all things fitness. But you mustn't get too muscular of course. We wouldn't want you to 'look like a man.'

Be adequately well shod so as not to elicit displeased remarks from your mother or disparaging glances from your boss, and yet not too snobby for Primark. Let's face it, your wallet is more Primark than Louboutin anyway, and nothing is worse than friends saying 'so how exactly can you afford that?'

Your cupboard should be full of weird health fads and superfoods like chia seeds, coconut oil, quinoa and kale. But don't dare let your healthy lifestyle prevent you from checking out the newest burger joint, nor from washing down those curly fries topped with mac 'n' cheese with a craft beer or gallons of red wine. Your quest for that perfect body shall not interfere with your social life! You must have both!

Be sufficiently well read to understand any oblique references to Dickens or Austen or Shakespeare over dinner, but also indulge in celebrity culture and reality TV so as not to be left out in lunch break conversations.

Meditate, practice yoga, be mindful, enjoy the great outdoors and get up at sunrise to go for a hike followed by a green juice and some artfully presented fruit, which you'll instagram, of course. But also make sure you go out until sunrise, dancing in a packed, sweaty, dark room to music so good you feel like you're having some kind of heavenly, out of body experience, worshipping at the altar of house/techno/jazz/folk/whatever's your poison. But get the balance right. Too much of the former, you're lame, too much of the latter, you're wild and out of control and need to calm down and grow up.

Find time for all of the above. Alongside your full time job (which you love, of course), you easily find the time to exercise 6 times a week, cook wonderfully healthy dishes from scratch every night, read the news, watch the latest hit TV show, meet up with your friends, read a book, go out for dinner, go out for drinks, keep in touch with your parents and those far away, get ridiculously drunk and spend all night out dancing, go shopping and keep your wardrobe relevant, have a savings account with actual money in it, meditate, cultivate your interest in that thing that you're interested in, nurture your relationship and prioritise date nights, spend your evenings dating eligible or otherwise bachelors, have hilarious weekends away with your friends, romantic trips away with your other half, and remember to visit your Granny.

If you can do all this whilst maintaining your sanity, then I think you deserve some kind of medal.

I feel the pressure to do everything and be everything to everyone quite keenly and it's been stressing me out lately and making me not very fun to be around. It's easy to let pressures get to you, to feel like you have to be the perfect friend, employee, daughter, girlfriend and have a perfect body, diet, social life, bank account, wardrobe..... But most of these perceived pressures are created internally, not externally, and that's the bit that I have to try to remember. 

I need to remember to relax and let go sometimes.

Because, really, it's pretty bloody good being 24.



In January we spent three nights in Amsterdam, to celebrate Dimitris turning another year older. It was freezing cold and a dense grey mist hung over the canals making for a spectacularly eerie scene, but chilling us to the bone and making us rush from museum to cafe to reheat with copious amounts of tea. The Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh museum were particular, if obvious, highlights, as were our thoroughly researched restaurant choices - Moeders and Baut

Baut was a 'long term pop up' which closed on 31st March, but has now reopened in a different location under 'Baut Zuid.' I would thoroughly recommend it if you're going to be in Amsterdam soon, as it was probably the most exciting restaurant experience I've had. We opted for the surprise menu, with the staff being extremely helpful  and reassuring in catering to my nut allergy, and were brought four different dishes, details of most of which I've unhelpfully forgotten, thanks to all the wine (hey, I was on holiday). My favourite, though, had to be the fillet steak topped with foie gras... Totally decadent, and totally delicious.

Despite the cold weather, it was actually really nice to get away in January. It definitely brightened an otherwise long, cold, miserable month, and it was nice to explore Amsterdam in a much calmer, more cultured way than I did as a hedonistic 18 year old amidst a month's worth of shoe string travel with my best friend... although I reckon both variations are necessary!


Workwear Inspiration

When I pictured myself in the workplace, I saw myself pencil-skirted, wasp-waisted, sharply tailored with killer heels and immaculate make-up.

The reality is, however, somewhat different. Pencil skirts and killer heels somewhat impede running up and down the stairs after your boss, carrying office equipment here and there and crawling under the desk to plug in or unplug said office equipment. Sometimes the mornings are too early for immaculate make-up and perfect hair, and on the whole the budget just doesn't cut it for anything remotely 'sharply tailored.' The twenty minute walk does preclude any kind of killer heel, but they do live under my desk, so I very much fall into that oh-so-80s trap of 'trainers to commute, heels at the office.' (Russell and Bromley loafers, I'm coming for you one day.)

I'm willing to accept all of the above. However, there have been a few too many occasions when I've found myself at work feeling scruffy and just a bit of a sartorial disaster. I have a few items in my wardrobe (dresses, shirt and trousers combos) that make me feel like I know what I'm doing in the workplace and in general, but frankly, they're too few.

Although my list of New Years Resolutions is already as long as my arm, I thought I would add "Get killer work wardrobe" to the list. With that in mind, I've been trawling pinterest for some inspiration, and thought I would share it below.

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I'm far too much a scruff bag for this to ever happen, but if I could please just transform into a Blair Eadie - Olivia Palermo super-groomed hybrid goddess, I would be extremely grateful. 



Current obsessions

A few of the things currently helping me get through bleak January! I may be full of good intentions and resolutions, but the weather is definitely not helping me to keep them...

Instant transportation to a palm-tree lined beach, 50s style bikini tops and sticky blue cocktails.

I'm lusting after Russell & Bromley Chester loafers and Flynn Skye maxi dresses, not for the same outfit obviously....

Obviously I'm a sucker for anything backless and maxi. Constantly daydreaming about wearing these on a beach in Greece too, sand in my toes, salty hair, cocktail in hand, smell of coconut suncream in the air... hurry up summer.

This lot are keeping my skin happy, my eyes bright and adding little elements of much needed luxury.

Caudalie Vinosource serum, Chanel Élégante lipstick, Diptyque Feu de Bois candle, Benefit They're Real (worth the hype) and good old YSL Touche Eclat, but with a little sexy makeover.

Extreme girl crushing on Hannah Wants. (And she's coming to Edinburgh in March, yay!)

Every single recipe I've made so far from Natasha Corrett's Honestly Healthy books has been delicious, and I'm feeling really smug about my new super healthy dinners.

My favourite one so far is probably the caramelised pear salad  (this one) I recently made for Julia, and it was delicious! She loved it too - don't worry, I'm absolutely not subjecting my friends to paltry, boring, diet meals. The recipes are so good you can definitely serve them for others - they're not 'diet' recipes, just healthy ones. Win.

This NARS palette, And God Created Woman, is everything you could ever look for in a palette, brilliant title included.

I'm still just as into my Naked 1 palette and Bobbi Brown Old Hollywood as ever, but the NARS one wins for portability. I don't take anything else with me when I'm travelling now. In terms of eyeshadow obviously! Seriously though, it's perfect. Neutral, muted everyday eyes all the way up to seriously smoky and sexy eyes, and the texture and pigmentation are bang on too.

Surprise tulips are also warming my heart, and the perfect little precursor to an upcoming weekend in Amsterdam.

Other than these little things and summertime daydreams, I'm trying to spend as much time in the sauna as possible (warmth!), having lots of baths and drinking lots of baileys! Well you've got to balance all that healthy eating out with a bit of indulgence, don't you?

How are you battling through January? Any tips for beating the January blues?