As soon as you step through the virtual doorway to Our Story Time, you will find yourself lost amongst gifts and homewares to make your home that little bit magical. Having been chatting to Huma, Our Story Time’s creator & curator, through Instagram for a while (and comparing newborn baby notes!) I was excited to discover more about her & the incredible job she does painting the storybook world her thoughtfully chosen independent designs live in. Everything about Our Story Time has a sprinkle of Huma’s magic touch – her words are a delight to read, and the genuine passion she has for sharing her story and vision make the shop and all its delights truly special. If you’ve ever thought about opening your own retail space online and are a lover of beautifully-woven stories, read on… Read More
When Mughda Sapte from Kindred & Wild contacted me to see if I’d like to try out her newly launched bathsalts*, I, quite rightly, jumped at the chance. The recommendation for a long hot bath followed by a book and bed to really take advantage of the salt’s relaxing lavender properties sounded like a dream to a new mum like me. Sadly, it *was* a dream … in the sense that it didn’t come true *eye roll*. Turns out, 4 months into motherhood (yes, the reason I’ve been absent from the blog this long. Turns out pregnancy and raising a small human are entirely brain-consuming) and I’m still hopelessly optimistic about what I can achieve in a day/hour/minute. Read More
Oh March, you bringer of Spring, you. Still a coats and scarf kind of a month, but with enough sun peeking through the clouds and warming our backs to give us hope for the new season. Another funny old month (looking like the theme for 2017 so far), I slowly regained some of the positivity February cruelly stole, continuing to make self-care a big priority and start thinking more deeply about my spending. For that reason, I quit my yoga studio 🙁 Despite my love for Triyoga, I simply could no longer justify the £100/month price tag out of the measly salary I have left after rent, bills etc. So I diligently stuck to Yoga with Adrienne’s Yoga Revolution course on YouTube, making a ritual out of getting on the mat for half an hour after work each day, in a quiet space in the bedroom where the light gently glows as the day ends. At the moment, I prefer practising alone – the bus journeys and crowded classes were starting to bug me – and I think it’s good to mix up your routine once in a while anyway. Other good things included getting ma hair did (annual event. Greys be gone!), finishing off a couple of pieces for issue 7 of The Holborn and reading ‘The Muse‘ by Jessie Burton (I much preferred it to The Miniturist actually). Read More
The independent makers: Irish edition. With St Patrick’s Day right around the corner bringing its’ shamrocks, Guinness and greenness (right on trend with Pantone this year), I thought I’d look across the short sea separating our two lands and discover some of the best Irish independent makers around. Whilst researching I found myself drawn towards minimalist, gentle pieces which would become a part of your home for many years to come. I love the concept of this, though the practicality seems unlikely in my home right now…maybe next time we move? Read More
We often put all our energy into creating a fresher, cleaner version of ourselves in January. And from a logical ‘first day of a new year’ perspective, it does make sense. But I think there’s something to be said for cocooning yourself up until March. For this is when the evenings lighten, the sun slowly starts to warm our bodies and souls, and new blooms shyly start peeping through the thawing soil. This is when I truly feel my mind reawaken, bursting with ideas and optimism for the rest of the year. This year, I’m putting a lot of effort into making spring the season when ‘everything changes’. For over three years I’ve been quietly, studiously working away evenings and weekends on blog and feature writing; taking a wide variety of evening and online courses to improve my skills and bending the ears of anyone I come into contact with about wanting to work for myself. It’s been like the longest, safest hibernation ever! So this Spring I’m vowing to finally polish my online presence, focus in on my service offering and start a small online business (watch this space!). In the meantime, here are three things you could embrace this spring season: Read More
The independent makers: wall hangings edition. Following my Top 10 round-up of independent ceramicists, next on the table (well, wall) is a selection of gorgeous woven wall hangings. I’ve really fallen in love with the tactility of wall hangings over the past year – I believe they bring a lovely textile addition to an otherwise smooth wall of prints and photos. Initially eye catching thanks to the variations in colour and shape, the harder you look, the more you notice the unique patterns created by the yarn used. I’d really like to try a weaving workshop this year myself as I’m sure this is exactly the kind of craft which would bring hours of creative contemplation. Read More
This month has been hard. For many reasons: from the plain irritating (stolen phone, hacked blog, stressful inspections at work) to the more emotionally exhausting. My much looked forward to Staycation was less of the planned ‘Let’s embrace freelance life/yoga/healthy eating’ and more of a ‘Oh, hi anxiety – so pleased you’re here again.’ I was even too anxious to go to yoga – too many people in the class, ahh! So I spent a week on the sofa with Parks & Rec & annoyingly wasn’t able to pull myself out of it once I was back at work either. All blogging & social media went out the media as I battled a serious mental block. I know consistency is key with blogging, absolutely, but I also recognise that looking after yourself is the key to well, everything. Sigh….. However, a long weekend back in Suffolk and some fresh air has just about got me back on my feet and ready to jump into March head-first. And despite all the hard days, there was plenty of enjoyable, inspiring stuff too, such as…. Read More
- 70 tabs open on your phone, plus another 30 on your laptop.
- 4 magazines you’ve flicking through, rereading the same articles over and over again.
- 3 books on the go at once. You pick one up, can’t remember any of the character’s back stories, think about starting again, but instead grab a magazine (vicious circle: see above).
- Zoning out during a phone call, agreeing with the speaker whilst your brain says ‘Ummm, what are we talking about again?!’ Why? Because you’re writing your to-do list at the same time.
…And I haven’t even mentioned the billion things we do with our phones in hand (watching TV, walking down the street, eating, ‘sleeping’…) Read More
I thought I’d start a monthly round-up of things which have inspired me and/or created a moment of joy in my life over the past month. We do and consumer so much both online and you know, in real life, every four weeks that’s it hard to to keep track & reflect on it all. So this is firstly, a nice way for me to remember what stood out and secondly, hopefully you will discover something new that can inspire your own independent life too! Have a read & then tell me in the comments what’s been bringing you inspiration and enjoyment this first month of 2017.
When Pantone announced Greenery as its colour of the year, I was less than impressed, especially after the pastel tones of 2016*. Why? Because: confession – green is my second least favourite colour, after brown. (I know – *quite* the revelation!) I never buy any clothes or homewares in this colour, especially not in the insanely acidic bright Greenery seems to be. I do, however, like the concept of the colour being reflective of the outdoors and fresh, new beginnings. There are other shades of green I might be tempted by though: moss, jewel and forest are rich, luxuriant tones. So whilst I initially endeavored to find charming shades of Pantone’s hottest shade for 2017, it just didn’t quite work out that way. Instead, I was drawn to the more natural toned-down versions of green, and was rather happy to connect it with nature and natural products. So here is a small round-up of a few homewares which celebrate green and greenery and can all be found in stores stocking the best independent products.