One Year Living In LA

One year ago yesterday marks our big move from London to Los Angles. I can’t believe how quickly this year has gone. I’ve totally forgotten the stress of packing up our flat in London and organising our big move, we had so many emotions and things to do. Now a year on, we easily have the nicest apartment we’ve ever lived in, we’re starting to make friends and feel settled into our LA lifestyle. Obviously old Rona is fucking up our plans, as it is with everyone all over the globe.

I want to be totally transparent and talk about some of the things that have sucked. Like, I’ve been unemployed for a year and one week now. I came to the US on Dave’s visa as a spouse, which meant i needed to apply for a work permit, this arrived at the very end of February just Covid-19 hit LA and everything shut down. At the beginning of lockdown, i was applying for roles with no luck, I have since stopped as it was getting disheartening. I am however working on setting up a store to sell prints and I’m currently designing a range of Holiday cards. That I hope to sell this year.

With only one income this also had a knock on effect on furnished our apartment, this happened a lot slower than we would have liked it to. The living room is now complete, the bedroom is getting there and eventually we will do our balcony and get more kitchen bits we are missing. On the flip side our apartment is easily the nicest place we have ever lived. The natural light we get all day is just dreamy and the fact we furnished it slowly did mean we now have furniture we truly love. It could do with a couple more plants but otherwise were really pleased with it.

Another thing has been on hold is Dave getting a car, he has passed his theory test and has his driving test booked in but with everything closing this was moved from doing it in March to August. Delaying getting a car that little bit longer and you really need a car in LA, everything is so far apart. Thankfully this is back on track and i think once we have a car things will really open up to us. We love exploring and have explored lots of Venice and Santa Monica – well as much as safely able too during Covid restrictions. It will be nice to start venturing out further afield. We have a couple of road trips planned and soon as its safe to do so we’ll be off to explore new states.

Things we love about living here, our apartment, I know I mentioned it above but its just so damn nice! The fact its always sunny, hardly ever have to check the weather as it’s most likely to be sunny and warm. People here are really friendly, especially compared to London! There are so many independent stores (i will be spending all my money once earning on Abbot Kinney) and, probably our favourite thing is we can walk to the beach. I’ve always lived in cities and never thought I’d like to live near the sea but now I couldn’t imagine not. Also, I love the sea breeze. In land is about 10 degrees hotter than where we are in Venice, I couldn’t cope with that heat.

We’ve started making more friends and it’s so bloody nice. One of the main reasons I wanted to get a job aside from earning money is I wanted to make friends. I really miss my friends and can’t wait for Covid to be over so friends and family can come visit and see where we live. Thankfully we’ve been making friends with our neighbours, they are all super friendly, similar to us in age and bonus they all have the cutest dogs! As much as Covid has sucked and put a stop to lots of things we had planned, it has meant we’ve made friends with our neighbours. We play lawn games like corn hole and ladder ball. Some other friends I’ve made out here have come through instagram or just meeting people while on our weekly visit to the beach. Everyone here is very friendly. Having people to hang out with has really boosted our moods and cemented the fact we made the right decision to move across the globe. It’s really hard to start again and making new friends is the hardest, we really lucked out!

We are so happy we took the risk to move countries and start again, as it was bloody scary! Now we just need Covid-19 to fuck off so family and friends can come and visit us and we can go home for a visit, and to stock up on Marmite and Cadburys chocolate. We were due to go home in May but had to cancel it, hopefully next year we can make it home and see our loved ones. I’m looking forward to hugging my mom & dad!

Balcony Dreaming

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Planning our balcony decor

Now I’m getting a little ahead of myself here as we haven’t finished furnishing the bedroom and I’m already planning the balcony. We have a plan for the bedroom but lack the funds right now -thanks to old Rona. Its a little on hold with me not managing to land a job right now due to the saturated job market.

At least we know what we want just need to implement it when we’re able too. That doesn’t stop me jumping ahead and planning our small outdoor space. I really enjoy the concept planning and designing stage of any new project. I usually start by creating a Pinterest board, then move onto making a refined mood-board on photoshop with my main ideas, that way its easier to show Dave and get him onboard with my concepts. Finally I mock up an illustration, although I think in real life it would have more plants and maybe some more candles.

I have some strong ideas of how I’d like this space to look with lots of rattan furniture, festoon lighting and lots of plants! Hopefully it’ll be a lovely zone where we can enjoy the views over courtyard and snuggle up with a good book and glass of wine in the evenings.

Image links 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Image links 1, 2, 3

Furniture wise i have my eyes on this love seat and matching arm chairs both from Target. Then this little side table from Urban Outfitters, I also really like this plant stand from there too. I’m really into rattan at the moment and think it works perfectly for outdoor areas. We’d love to string up some festoon lights and have some hanging plants to give us a little privacy between us and our next door neighbours living room window. I’m also envisioning lots of candles, especially a couple of anti misquote ones. Those pesky mosquitoes come around at dusk.

If you have any top tips for styling small outdoor spaces do let me know in the comments below! Also if you can recommend any good places for outdoor decor or furniture.

Image links 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

All image used in mood boards are linked to source below the image.
Illustrations by Amy Purfield-Clark 

Nice Surprises

Last week i had a lovely surprise in the post. My Momma had sent me a H&M parcel with a couple of lovely new bits of clothing, just as a treat. It was such a nice and unexpected surprise!

In the parcel was this dress and red hair band along with a couple other bits which I will no doubt show you very soon. Momma knows me very well as I love anything polka-dots and red is my favourite colour! I knew I would pair the hair band with the dress and after a little alteration on the dress – it was a little big, instead of sending it back & waiting for the smaller size i took it in on my sewing machine. I also snipped off the frill that was on the sleeve and shoulder join. I loved the frill but with the dress still being slightly big the frill drew attention to it and I must admit i prefer it without the frill detail on me.

I wore this outfit on Saturday for a trail walk but didn’t manage to get any snaps of it while out and about. Soon as we got home we had a mini photo-shoot as it’s been a while since I shared an outfit post. In-fact it felt like ages since I had posed for any pictures, at first I felt a little rusty but a little look on my Pinterest board I found some inspiration for indoor images. I feel incredibly grateful for our beautiful apartment, it really makes the best back drop!

*Some affiliate links included

Dress – H&M
Hair Band – H&M
Sandals – DKNY
Vogue US

Photos by Dave Cox
Illustration by Amy Purfield-Clark

Bake With Me: Blueberry & Choc Chip Muffins

Blueberry & Choc Chip Muffin Recipe

Now I know in my last recipe I mentioned about cutting back on sweet treats at home and I wanted to let you know that I baked these muffins back in April for our friends birthday and I’m only just getting around to typing up the recipe. These muffins were too tasty and easy to bake for me not to share the recipe with y’all. I’ve added a couple extra ingredients like cinnamon and chocolate chips to the original recipe i found off google but if those extras aren’t your bag just stick to the classic blueberries. It’ll still turn out yummy!

I am still trying hard to cut down on the sweet treats and only have them on special occasions, like birthdays or you know a Sunday night with half a bottle of wine and a film, you know those special occasions… I jest with y’all.

If you give these muffins ago, let me know in the comments how they turn out and if you share any snaps on insta be sure to tag me so i can see your yummy muffins!


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used GF)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for tops of muffins
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup milk (dairy and non-dairy both work too)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Blueberries (frozen work too)
  • Chocolate chips (add as many as you like)
  • 1 teaspoon or a large sprinkling of cinnamon (optional)

Instructions

This was the first time baking these muffins and when i say they were easy, its an understatement! I couldn’t believe how well they turned out!

  • Preheat 400 degrees. Line the tray with paper muffin cups or grease the tray if you do not have paper cups. If you wanted to make bigger muffins, only line 8 cups with paper and fill the remaining cups with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water to help the muffins bake evenly
  • Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and a large sprinkling of cinnamon (if you like it, i bloody love the stuff) combine all ingredients in a large bowl and set aside
  • Add oil to a measuring jug (that holds at least 1 cup). Add the egg then fill the jug to the 1-cup line with milk (1/3 to 1/2 cup milk). Add vanilla and whisk to combine
  • Add wet mixture to the dry ingredients in the bowl, use a fork to combine. Do not over mix. The muffin batter will be quite thick. Now it’s time to fold in the blueberries and choc chips
  • Divide the batter between muffin cups. Don’t forget to Sprinkle a little sugar on top of each muffin
  • Bake muffins 20 minutes or until tops are no longer wet, insert a toothpick into the middle of a muffin comes and if comes out clean they are good to go. Transfer to a cooling rack and enjoy with a cup of tea