self discovery

An independent life: 2016 review


independent life year in review 2016 inspire and enjoy


In 2017, I plan to continue on my independent living journey & thought a check-in on my 2016 review may help encourage you to think positively about the days and months behind & all that was achieved in just 12 short months. Below, I break down a few of the components which I believe contribute to an independent life, which you can read more about in my original post: ‘What is an independent life?’    Read More

small business



Jewellery Making workshop Promises Promises review inspire and enjoy

Having recently tried & loved a calligraphy workshop, the oft forgotten desire to try my hand at new things has been fully relit, hurray! So when London Local Etsy team asked me to review a workshop at their recent Etsy Christmas market, I couldn’t wait to give a Promises Promises jewellery making workshop a try. As I’ve mentioned before, one thing I really wanted to start building this year has been my collection of minimal jewellery by independent makers. I’ve done quite well so far with Annabelle Lucilla earrings & a Wild Fawn necklace and I’ve now happily added to this little collection with a necklace made myself. If you quite fancy creating something of your own too, read on to see how I got on – perhaps 2017 is the year you try it for yourself?    Read More

small business

Etsy Made Local maker: MBotanicals natural skincare



I’ve recently been starting to pay a little more attention to what I put on my skin, knowing that I’d like to eventually switch fully to natural skincare and make-up. Not only better for the environment and my skin, but also another way to support small businesses and become a part of the independent life I’m working on.  So discovering MBotanicals has come at just the right time. By really focusing on the most powerful natural ingredients, Rebecca Wright creates simple but effective skincare, soaps & those all important candles. I was kindly gifted a sample of products for review so I’ll start with that & then you can meet Rebecca to discover a little more about the maker behind MBotanicals.  Read More

small business

Etsy Made Local maker: Wild Fawn jewellery | Interview



For some time now I’ve been hankering after a slightly simpler life. Mine isn’t especially overwhelming compared with others but sometimes it’s a bit much for me. It’s not just the physical accumulation of ‘stuff’ which is currently bothering me, but my whole digital life is pretty overwhelming too. Yours too? I thought going digital was supposed to be the answer to the problem! Anyway. Whilst the bigger task of downsizing and ‘living minimally’ still seems rather daunting to me, a beautifully simple piece of jewellery is a  lovely reminder that less, is indeed, more.

So when Emma Barnes from Wild Fawn Jewellery recently offered me a necklace* from her eco-friendly silver jewellery collection, I took it as a chance to slowly start building towards and thinking about this simpler life which has alluded me thus far. A delicately hammered circle suspended by both sides on a simple silver chain has so far been the perfect statement/non-statement piece I’ve owned for some time. For me, there’s something about knowing the full process of how my necklace was made that serves as a reassurance that not all ‘things’ have to be ‘stuff‘. Some objects add to your life in a quiet yet strong way and this is one of them.

Emma will be selling Wild Fawn Jewellery at the London Local Team Etsy Made Local market this weekend. First though, read on for more about Emma and Wild Fawn Jewellery – a perfect read for anyone who’s been consciously considering buying ethically and simply.    Read More

small business

Ruth Allen | Outdoor Therapist | Interview


White Peak Ruth Allen interview

Back in Suffolk this weekend I’m struck once again by the invisible weight on my shoulders lifting as my train chugs into the familiar countryside. Despite being a city dweller almost as long as my childhood surrounded by fields and coast, I’m still surprised by the effect being home and enveloped by nature has on me. I feel calmer, breathe deeper and my anxiety diminishes.

Yet you don’t have to be out of a grey jungle to feel these effects, as Ruth Allen’s peaceful Instagram feed proves. Browsing her account (@whitepeak_ruth) takes you deep into the natural environment, with the mountains she loves featuring highly and her thought-provoking captions allowing you a minute to pause, breathe and later mull over Ruth’s words. The outdoors has had an enormous impact on Ruth’s journey, leading her from a job and life that no longer felt right to her current interest in outdoor therapeutic practice. This passion sits comfortably alongside her talents as a writer, illustrator, mountaineer and wild runner. This quest for an independent life is one of the many things that urged me to contact Ruth and share her story.  An interview to take your time with this one, tea in hand and an acknowledgement that with each reread you will find something new to wonder over….    Read More

small business

Modern Calligraphy workshop with Alice Gabb


Alice Gabb calligrapher interview workshop image India Hobson At the start of the year I made a list of creative endeavours I wished to have a go at by the time 2017 rolls around. This list included courses and workshops in origami, knitting, writing, cooking, photography, Italian, sewing, crochet and calligraphy. So, no big stretch there at all… Looking at it, I have managed a Blogging Your Way Photography course, a Freelance Journalism course and ummm, I downloaded DuoLingo. So with what feels like mere weeks of the year left, I eagerly bought a ticket for a ‘Modern Calligraphy for the New & Curious‘ workshop with lettering lovely Alice Gabb and headed over to East London one afternoon to try my hand (literally) at something completely new.    Read More

small business

5 Pinterest | Independent Designers


Pinterest independent designers Inspire and Enjoy

Hello Pinterest addicts! Which I’m guessing is everyone, because why wouldn’t you be? Months ago, on the quest to ‘know myself better’ I answered some quick-fire questions about what I absolutely can’t live without, and at the top of that list was ‘Visual Inspiration‘. Be it through magazines photography, design, Instagram, stationery, beautiful textiles or of course Pinterest, having a part of my world filled with colour, pattern, hand-lettering and inspiring designers just makes it that little bit better, you know? And as a big lover of independent designers, I tirelessly trawled through my Pinterest account to bring you the best of the best accounts to follow for design, craft & colour.    Read More

small business

Top 5 independent makers | notebooks


five best unique notebooks | inspire and enjoy

I know it’s not just me who can’t resist a lovely new notebook. No matter how advanced our phones, tablets and laptops, there’s still something about pen, paper and whatever’s on your mind that’s more satisfying (and wonderfully pretty) than any tech bit of equipment. I’ve recently started experimenting with bullet journalling & think any of these delights above would help keep me on task.    Read More