Friday, 25 May 2018

7 Summer Paper Craft Tutorials

Hello!

One of my favourite things about this time of year is there's so many long weekends! Here in the UK we've had quite a few in that last couple of months, which i'm definitely not complaining about as i'm a huge fan of switching of that 6am alarm.
The slight challenge here is the weather never seems to quite get the same memo and the visions of spending a Monday lunchtime in a sunny park or beer garden is often more Instagram than reality.

So with a three day weekend ahead, i've pulled together a list some of my favourite summery DIY craft tutorials for you to have at the ready come rain or shine! Enjoy!


1. Bring some paper blooms to your home with this gorgeous crepe paper flower tutorial from A Beautiful Mess - i'd switch out the pinks for some bright yellow sunflowers as i'm having a yellow crush!

floral garland tutorial

2. If you're more of a cactus person than florals (me!) there's a great video tutorial from Good to Know where you can make these 3D cacti which are so bright and fun. The tutorial is so easy to follow too which is always a bonus!

cactus tutorial

3. Just in case you haven't already got enough notebooks, there's a great tutorial over at I SPY DIY to make your own gold leaf notebooks. Metallics are definitely a favourite on stationery and this is such a simple way to transform one of those notebooks you've got laying around...

make your own notebook

4. If you're going to be sending cards or letters, no doubt you'll have spent time choosing the card, so why choose a plain white envelope when you can make yourself a supply of these bright string-tie envelopes? I love this tutorial from Minieco

envelope DIY tutorial

5. Is there anything more colourful in the sky than seeing hot air balloons, this could be a mobile or a garland and is another creative tutorial from Happiness is Homemade

hot air balloon tutorial

6. With the mixed weather we definitely see a lot of rainbows and one of the recent craft tutorials at The House that Lars Built is this beautiful tissue paper rainbow! Incredible!

rainbow paper tutorial

7. And if you're going to be doing some baking over the weekend, why not add these fun tissue paper cupcake toppers from Tell Love and Party?




Hope you have a great weekend!

Monday, 7 May 2018

Office Crush #73

Source: Anthropologie

Friday, 4 May 2018

F is for...Flamingo!

Hello!

After what has felt like the longest winter ever, it finally feels like we're getting some better weather! The blossom trees in my garden are in full bloom, daffodils once again making an appearance in vases around my house and my summer wardrobe is down from the attic!

This is one of my favourite times to go shopping too, as i love browsing all of the summer outdoor picnicware and planning for Saturday afternoons with friends (come rain or shine...). And once again, you can't go near a store without seeing the flamingo finally out of hibernation - i love the vibrant pinks and am so happy the flamingo has well and truly arrived in our stationery world too.
There's everything from flamingo prints to novelty stationery and accessories, and i've pulled together my top picks to share with you.

Happy Friday!



1. Set of Flamingo Paper Clips, Caribou Milk
2. Mustard Flamingo Pen,  Ryman
3. Printed Notebook,  Coconut Lane
4. Flamingo Print, duck & duffel
5. Flamingo Shaped Party Bags, Ginger Ray
6. Flamingo Hand Painted Pencils, Not Only Polka Dots

Thursday, 3 May 2018

What I Read: April

Hey there!

I still can't quite believe we're in May, summer is on the horizon and hopefully we're heading for a well deserved hot summer where we can move from sofas to picnic blankets to enjoy our favourite books in the sunshine.

Four months into my 2018 reading challenge, i'm still feeling pretty on track as i've read 17 out of the 50 books i've targeted myself to get through this year. Hooray! So what did i read in April?




1. Misogynation by Laura Bates (***)
"A collection of essays from bestselling author and founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, Laura Bates."

This book brings together essays from the Guardian newspaper by Laura Bates and yep, this book definitely spoke to my feminist side. There's so much in the media at the moment highlighting many issues faced by women, whether it's gender equality reports from big corporations, the #metoo campaign, ongoing high profile court cases or just women speaking more openly with friends about everyday sexism, and this book brings together all of that and more. It definitely is a book that opens your eyes and is one you'll be reciting examples from to friends, because there's definitely still a long road ahead.

2. Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon (****)
"Madeline Whittier is allergic to the outside world. So allergic, in fact, that she has never left the house in all of her seventeen years. But when Olly moves in next door, and wants to talk to Maddie, tiny holes start to appear in the protective bubble her mother has built around her. Olly writes his IM address on a piece of paper, shows it at her window, and suddenly, a door opens. But does Maddie dare to step outside her comfort zone? Everything, Everything is about the thrill and heartbreak that happens when we break out of our shell to do crazy, sometimes death-defying things for love."

I bought this book so long ago and it's been catching my eye on my bookshelf for some time. I even remember picking it up to read it several times and putting it back because i wasn't quite sure i wanted to fall into a YA love story just yet... And i'm glad i kept it for when i was feeling poorly, because it's a really cute pick-me-up kinda book. It's not just text either, there's diagrams and lists and IM dialogue which are fun and bring the story to life. You just want Madeline and Olly to make it, and i definitely felt the anxiety of will he break her hear or not...as is the risk with first love! I won't spoil the ending, although i did feel it was a bit of rush to the finish line, but then again i'm the one who read this in one sitting...

3. The Motivation Myth by Jeff Haden (***)
"Jeff Haden knows what many people don't: that success is less about searching for motivation and more about muddling through until you achieve something motivating. (Adam Grant, author of Give and Take, Originals, and Option B with Sheryl Sandberg)"

I really really wanted to love this book. I mean i liked it. I just thought i would feel a little more motivated finishing it...or perhaps that's not the point!? The first few chapters were really useful, and i found myself challenging my own perceptions of what motivation is. What Jeff Haden is trying to change in our minds is that motivation is not a spark that you need to go achieve your goals, but that you can do it already. It's about breaking it down into smaller milestones to achieve as stepping stones to the longer term goal. I took away some useful notes from the first part, however i couldn't help feeling like i'd heard the second half of the book before from other reading.

4. Agatha Raisin and the Murderous Marriage by M.C. Beaton (****)
"After pursuing him for nearly four years, Agatha is finally about to marry James Lacey, the handsome Colonel next door. But there's just one little problem."

Another month and another Agatha Raisin story! I'm still trying to work my way through the series in chronological order and i had to wait patiently for this one to become available in the library. Totally. Worth. It. Finally, Agatha and James are getting married! As confused as i was as to how the 'little problem' came about, and a little annoyed as Agatha Raisin is anything but stupid...it was a really fun story once again. If you're looking for a light hearted read, i can definitely recommend the series.


So onto May, and if you head over to my Instagram you'll see the first book i've already started this month...

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

A New Arrival at Kikki K

Hello!

Happy 1st May! It's crazy how fast it feels like this year is going, but i do love the month of May.

This month always feels like the start of the summer and also a chance to start new things, in the same way January is...just with more daylight and less frosty mornings. I'm going to be spending this month reflecting on how i'm doing with my goals for the year and kick-starting some of those habits again (more on that next week...)

Whilst browsing for all the essential tools, with an obligatory stop at Kikki K for beautiful yet practical journals i never knew i needed, i spotted that they are also expecting a new arrival very shortly...a whole new range of super cute, ever-so-handy new baby stationery called So Loved.

Seriously, it's really really cute...

Kikki K

Kikki K

There are so many adorable items in the range too, from gifts to cards, memory boxes and journals - definitely great ideas for any baby showers or a treat for new mums out there.

new baby journal

Because one more journal to record the whole journey to look back on never hurt anyone right?

baby advice cards

I've already got these advice cards jotted down as a gift for my cousin's baby shower as soon as they're available!

congratulations card pom pom

This is my kinda congratulations card - it has pom poms...

milestone cards kikki k

I'm pretty sure there isn't an Instagram mum out there without milestone cards - love the prints on these ones!

bunny gift bag

I could just have this bunny gift bag hanging up at home right? That's not that weird?

spotty wrap

Yep this wrap will look great on all my birthday gifts this year please

baby journal

I really love the idea of writing down a positive affirmation, or a good feeling each day, and i think this daily journal is a great gift for friends or family to document their pregnancy

feeding sleeping journal
And for anyone who wants to document their lack of sleep, a rather colourful feeding and sleeping journal

letters to my child

I know i've watched too many movies but there's something about writing letters for the future, which is so nostalgic. No shoe box time capsules buried in the garden here!

funny new baby card

Well this is card is both very amusing and very terrifyingly true



As a huge fan of Kikki K, i'm really looking forward to the So Loved range launching in the UK and having some super cute and very useful gifts for friends and family who are expecting this summer!


Monday, 30 April 2018

Office Crush #72


Monday, 16 April 2018

Office Crush #71

Source: Abduzeedo

Monday, 9 April 2018

Office Crush #70

DIY home office

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

What I Read: March

Hello!

If you read my post last month, you may know i've set myself a rather ambitious target of 50 books to read this year which i'm tracking with the ever-handy GoodReads app! I'm surprisingly pretty on target at the moment, and i've had another good month of keeping up my routine of listening to audiobooks on my commute or whilst doing the 'big clean' at the weekend. I definitely need to make more time to read actual books too, but somehow March has just flown by!

So, the books i've read in March...


1. Brave by Rose McGowan (****)
I've been wanting to read this book since it was published at the end of January and it finally came into my library app! I loved Rose McGowan in Charmed, and probably like most people had read a lot in the media about her ordeal in Hollywood, which she covers in this book alongside a look back at her life. This book is more than just a memoir though, it's a call to all women to stand up and be brave. And it's a raw, emotional, and pretty darn angry call at that! I mean seriously, what a life...she literally grew up in a cult and then found herself moving from one to another, with Hollywood the biggest and most dangerous of them all. I can't recommend this book enough! Whether you're a woman, a man, a feminist or not..it's a powerful read.

2. The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood (*****)
I recently devoured the entire Season 1 of The Handmaids Tale on a flight to Chicago (without realising there was a pre-teen boy gawping at the screen across the aisle from me! Cringe!) and i'm officially obsessed. I know a lot of people had read this book in school, but somehow i hadn't and i loved the TV show so much i just had to read the book. And you know I found i really enjoyed the book knowing the full premise, although i can imagine from the way it's written there's definitely some 'penny dropping' moments where the reader realises what's actually happening in Gilead! It's a world which is shocking in so many ways and yet worryingly familiar. There were even times when as the reader, i accepted the reality - there are powerful men, there are kinda powerful women, then there's everybody else there to feed the power one way or another...oh wait!

3. Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley by M.C. Beaton (***)
I couldn't go without another Agatha Raisin book now could i? Who can resist a light hearted trip to Carsley (it's in the Cotswolds don't you know)? I'm determined to work my way through these books in order and the Walkers of Dembley was the lastest installment. Whilst i once again enjoyed the characters, and especially seeing the relationship develop further between James and Agatha, something for me didn't feel right with this book. I got confused between the different points of view and the introduction of so many new characters, whilst still intertwining with the Carsley lot! I didn't really take to the new characters in the same way i've welcomed those before, and not just because there were murderers amongst them...

4. Secret Smile by Nicci French (*****)
This one was a little bit of a guilty pleasure! It reminded me a little bit of The Girl on the Train, a real page turner and the characters were constantly developing. The first half of the book in particular i felt like i couldn't put it down, i definitely made myself late for work more than once thanks to Brendan's psychological torture. The premise is that Miranda's rather over-stepping ex-fling finds his way back into her life by starting to date her sister, and so the mind games begin! To everyone else he plays the charming, doting boyfriend spinning tales to wind Miranda up, making her look like she can't get over him. He's off the charts creepy and the suspense of wondering what he's going to do next is what kept me hooked. I do agree with the lot of the reviews though, the last few chapters of the book felt like i'd skipped a chunk of the book by accident, like something was missing or perhaps the publication deadline was looming...Still, definitely one for anyone who loves a good thriller!


Would love to hear of any book recommendations for April!

Monday, 2 April 2018

Office Crush #69

pastel home office

Monday, 26 March 2018

Office Crush #68

Source: DigsDigs

Monday, 19 March 2018

Office Crush #67

Source: Milk Decoration

Monday, 12 March 2018

Office Crush #66


Source: Lifestylezz

Monday, 5 March 2018

Office Crush #65

stylish home office

Source: Little BIGBELL

Thursday, 1 March 2018

What I Read: February

Hello!

One of my goals for this year is to hit a rather challenging reading target of 50 books within the year. Writing this down again actually sounds quite terrifying, however i suppose that's around 1 book per week and i have got myself into a really good routine with my audiobooks on my commute (a lovely 2 hours per day!) and also reading in bed as i wind down from a busy day with a book and tea.

As i'm reading so much, i thought it would be great to share what i've been reading with you each month and what better place to start that 1st March, which also happens to be World Book Day! So i've taken this as a sign and have looked back on the books i read last month...


1. The Book of Joan by Lidia Yuknavitch (***)
This was one of my ebook downloads from the library app at the beginning of the month. I was really intrigued by the future-apocalyptic concept, as i had really gotten into the Wool trilogy a couple of years ago. It's description sets the scene as world wars having transformed the earth, the world changed with a cult leader and a group of rebels uniting under a female heroine to dismantle his rule. I was intrigued. Even moreso upon reading that the book "raises questions about what it means to be human, the fluidity of sex and gender, and the role of art as a means for survival." I mean seriously, i had no idea what this book was going to be about! And honestly, having finished this a couple weeks ago, i still don't! It's one of those books that i feel like i should've liked it more, that i should've got some higher meaning from the feminist leads. I did really root for the women. I wanted Joan to kick De Men's ass. I wanted them to win. There were definitely chapters which had me hooked and wanting to know more, and some that stretched my mind, but there were equally as many i wished i could skip. This is a book that requires you to have an open mind, but for anyone who enjoys a feminist read and sci-fi, this could be for you!

2. Light is the New Black by Rebecca Campbell (****)
I'd read some amazing reviews on this book and was really excited to finally read it. I really wasn't too sure what to expect, a book "for a new breed of women who are here to be bright lights in the world". But in a year where it feels like equality is taking a stand and women have a stronger voice than before, it was high on my reading list for this year. When i reflect on this book, it's hard to put into words what i learnt and what exactly it was about but it dawned on me just now, it's left me with a feeling. And that feeling really is like a little light, a little more empowerment and a little more confidence that i'm on the right path. So that's gotta be a good thing!

3. The Potted Gardener by M.C. Beaton (*****)
I have a confession. I'm completely addicted to the Agatha Raisin books! They are the perfect companion on my commute home on audio. If you haven't read any of them before, Agatha is a former PR big-wig who's now retired and move to a quiet Cotswold village but her rather brash personality is forever getting her in trouble. And close to a murder investigation or two! It'd been a little while since i last listened to one of the series, and perhaps that's why i loved this one so much. All the characters coming back into my life, popping by Agatha's for a very British cup off tea, was nothing short of delightful whilst heading back down the M1 in the dark on gloomy February evenings. It also made me laugh out loud several times, i mean who knew village garden shows were such high stakes? Now just to wait for Book 5 to come off reserve...

4. The Secret Life of Cows by Rosamund Young (*****)
So i love animals. I'm one of those people who cannot walk by a cat in the street without desperately trying to get it's attention with those really loud kissy noises, or be anywhere near rabbits without wanting a cuddle. I heard about this book through a friend, and it's based on anecdotes from Rosamund's farm, where she's spent years observing the personalities of the cows, sheep, pigs and hens that have lived there. And oh my gosh, it is fascinating! Who knew cows like to play games? Or make friends for life at a young age? Or babysit for each other? Or could be so caring, intelligent and funny? It's a really interesting book and gives a delightful look into the lives of cows that we don't see everyday. I'll be completely honest I've also read some criticism of the book's author as telling stories of intelligent and caring animals, whilst still having a farm which sells them for dairy/meat...whilst part of me does agree with this, it really doesn't take away how much i enjoyed reading this book.

If you've ready any of these books i'd love to know what you thought of them too!

Monday, 26 February 2018

Office Crush #64

pink scandi office home
Source: Caisson Studios

Saturday, 24 February 2018

We Need To Talk About: Anna Grunduls Design

Hello!

Finally it's Saturday afternoon and that time of the day when i find myself fully de-work-moded after a good night's sleep, housework is almost done and i can sit myself at my desk with a cup of tea and try to pretend there definitely isn't a bar of galaxy in my fridge..

I really wanted to share with you today a new find i had over the last week, which is the beautiful colouring stationery from the very lovely Anna Grunduls Design where you can find cards, wrap, washi tape, notebooks and more all illustrated and just waiting for your colouring pencils!

colouring in card

DIY washi tape

Flamingo card

I actually love the idea of the maps, both on the cards and on the bigger posters! These would be such a good idea to get creative with in the build up to a holiday, or if you're into travelling around the USA like some of my friends are you could start to colour in all of the states you've visited over time!

america coloring in

america color in

I think the big poster designs would be great too, especially for a cosy Sunday night when you just want to relax ahead of the week to come, or are with friends and family as something to do over a cup of tea and a biscuit or two...

colouring in poster
 
flamingo poster

The designs are all illustrated by Anna herself, who is based from her studio in Warsaw, Poland. Having spent quite some time this week browsing her online store, i'm genuinely blown away by how beautiful her products are. You can really tell how passionate she is about sharing her creativity and she admits how long she can spend on some of the designs!

Anna Grunduls Design

colouring in orange

Anna Grunduls Design

Make sure you keep checking back on the blog to see what i bought when my order arrives! Very excited!

xxx

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Mothers Day Edit


Hello lovelies!

I'm really trying hard to get organised for March with all of the different events i've got coming up! My mum is going to be a very spoilt lady as it's her birthday in the first week of the month and then we've got Mother's Day a little earlier this year (at least it feels earlier!?) so she's got two weekends of gifts, my cups of tea and a bit of fuss!
I'm still going back and forth over gift ideas, why are mum's always so hard to shop for...however one thing i've had no trouble finding is the perfect Mother's Day card!

If you've followed my blog for a while, you'll know i always like to make sure i'm sharing with you some of my favourite cards for special occasions. Hopefully i'm able to give you some inspiration (and a reminder!), so i'm delighted to support the lovely people over at Just A Card this year by featuring some of their creative followers incredible designs from their Mothers Day card ranges!! 

Just A Card

Just A Card is a cause i've been following for some time and really do believe passionately in. I mean it's so simple, just think about it...when you're visiting new galleries or indie stores, browsing an online store or designer's website, every purchase, even just a card, makes such a difference to small businesses and their ability to keep creating!

So go on...have a browse, and remember every small purchase makes a difference (and you'll probably make someone's day too!)

floral mothers day card

mothers day checklist
 Source: KA Graphic Design

different mothers day cards
Source: Pretty Neat

louise slater card
Source: Louise Slater 

dinosaur card
 Source: Hatchling Makes


If you haven't already got your Mother's Day card, i hope my top picks helped give you a little inspiration and do make sure you check out the Just A Card campaign on social media too! Let me know what you think!

xxx

Monday, 19 February 2018

Office Crush #63

green home office
Source: Ideal Home