John Lewis is a dangerous place for me to go to. That place should come with a warning label whenever I’m around, because as soon as I walk in, it’s futile. Goodbye, hard earned cash. Hello snazzy cushions.

I’m not going to lie, when me and my boyfriend first moved in together, I didn’t have my heart set on a red and orange colour scheme in my living room. In fact, if you asked me at the time, they probably would’ve been my least likely pairing. I’m more monochromatic, or soft neutrals. Not orange and red. However, I made the mistake of asking my boyfriend to take an interest in interiors, and he had his heart set on red and orange. So, foot-in-mouth, I had to cooperate.

And actually, now I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The highlight has to be my mix and match cushions, mostly acquired during a highly intense shopping spree in John Lewis. Geometric and stripes? I hear you ask, eyebrows raised. Why not?!

I’m always on the look out for new cushions, I love the idea of having a big ol’ comfy sofa chockablock with cushions. So whilst my JL addiction is currently dormant, it’s only a matter of time…

John Lewis scatter geometric stripe cushions

Next month I’m going to New York for the first time with my bestie (EEEEEEEEK!), which has meant traffic to online retailers has skyrocketed from just my IP address these past few months. Any excuse to shop eh? So I thought I’d put together a little edit of my New York travel wish list. Take note, boyfriend.
Polyvore New York wishlist

A girl can dream, right?! If you want to follow me on Polyvore (I’m a newbie but already can feel an addiction brewing) then please, do check it out: http://mikaelabartlett.polyvore.com/

Oh, and if you have recommendations for New York, hit me up! I need all the help I can get!

… and other things I never thought I would type.

 

I like to think of my life as a book, with each year representing chapters. 2016 was the chapter that never seemed to end, where everything gets turned on its head, your favourite character dies and the plot twists in several unusual ways. All in one chapter. I find these kind of books overwhelming, where I need to set it down and walk away slowly for half an hour so I can reflect on what the bloody hell just happened.

 

That was 2016 for me.

 

Going beyond the general shitness of Brexit, celebrity deaths, rising house prices and boiler breakdowns (curse you), I was handed even more shite in the form of a new job that I sincerely regretted taking and health issues that stopped me from living my life.

 

So this past weekend, in an attempt to distract myself from other worries and woes, I decided to use up some overripe bananas and bake banana bread. Finally! I hear you scream, context.

 

To cut a long story short, the banana bread was a fail.

 

And it made me think. Not just about chucking it out the window, although it did cross my mind once or twice. But how my approach to life has often resembled my approach to baking. There are certain structures, certain standards of baking that you tend to follow in order to create something delicious. You can alter to an extent, but the general principles need to be followed. But I don’t, because I’m a terrible baker.

 

I like to divert, and change things up, and exhaust myself and learn about what it is that makes me tick. And sometimes it has disastrous consequences, but sometimes it makes everything fall into place.

 

When I finally realised that what I wanted to do was write, and specialise in beauty, you can imagine the raised eyebrows and questioning looks from people. How do you make the leap from medical research to writing about lipsticks?

 

If I’m honest, I learnt a lot about myself in 2016. I discovered that I could be a geek and a beauty buff. I can be passionate about research as well as absolutely obsessing over the latest eyebrow pomade and that’s just me. It might appear as a clusterfuck to other people, but it’s who I am, and I have learnt to accept that. No rules, or structure really ‘fits’ with me, and that is a wonderful thing.

 

The banana bread was not a wonderful thing, just sayin’.

 

(Also, props to me for weaving 2 tenuous metaphors into 1 blogpost. GCSE English, you beauty.)

 

Self-reflecting on 2016 | Kensington phonebox