Get the Look: Midnight Safari

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Could there be a colour more voluptuously beautiful yet scarily daring than navy blue? With years of being made to feel like you need to decorate your homes with whites and creams “to bring the light in”, “it’s all the about the light!” the thought of actively choosing a dark colour to make your room feel intentionally dingy-er can feel a bit frightening. But alas, do not fret as you can delve into the depths of the dark blue and come out beaming knowing that you make the right choice. The key here is – balance. If you’re opting for a dark blue, lift things with lighter shaded cushions, wall frames and rugs and a touch of gold here and there won’t hurt either.

So after an evening spent trawling the high street online (under a blanket with a cup of tea, naturally), I have pulled together a rather lovely look that will make you feel like you are sitting under the midnight sky on safari every night….maybe. But you get the idea, this look is perfect to set the ambience in your living room or really make you embrace the night time in your bedroom. Below are all the links to these wonderful high street finds.

  1. Tall Window Mirror – Tesco
  2. Soft Mole Coloured Blanket – H & M
  3. Geometric Box Print – Society 6
  4. Geometric Mountain Print – Society 6
  5. Copper Clock – Tesco
  6. Geometric Lamp – Primark
  7. Yellow Cushion – H & M
  8. Blue Tapestry Cushion – Marks and Spencers
  9. Zebra Cushion – Marks and Spencers
  10. Elephant Candle – Primark
  11. Magazine Rack – H & M
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5 of the Best UK Podcasts for Creative People

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Ah, the wonder that is the Podcast – don’t you just love them? Having become a bit of a seasoned Londoner in recent years, attempting to delve into your bag and hold a book open wide on a packed tube has become a bit of a no-no – by the time I’ve got it open, I’ve probably toppled into the nearest person and mistaken their arm for a tube rail. So alas, I turned to podcasts and frankly, they are bloody brilliant. Not only do you feel like you’re learning something new on your daily commute, they are such a fab talking point and I’ve had so many interesting conversations with my pals sparked by podcasts. Also, if you’re a creative being, it’s often hard to indulge in creativity and get inspired on a regular basis and I just find podcasts are a great way to find creativity in your day to day. So to share my love and get you listening, here are 5 of my favourites:

1. Ctrl Alt Delete Podcast with Emma Gannon

I get excited every time this podcast drops each week, as they are just always so damn good. Starting out writing the blog ‘Girl Lost in the City’, Emma Gannon then went on to release a book called ‘Ctrl Alt Delete’ about how she grew up online. From the success of her book and the relatability of it, it naturally lead her to creating this podcast all about other individuals who are mastering the online world, whilst also tackling issues everyone faces with being prevalent online. With guests such as Liv Purvis, Estée Lalonde, Seth Godin and Zoella gracing her airwaves, she really knows how to nail an interview in such a relatable way and chats through issues of the online world that effect us all.

2. Filler: A Creative Industries Podcast

I fell in love with this podcast a couple of years ago and have been eagerly awaiting them to release more for the best part of a year – but don’t fret, there’s still around 24 episodes for you to delve into! Filler podcast, co-hosted and produced by the charismatic Harry Hitchens and Matt Shore, is a podcast dedicated to the creative industries where they listen to the stories of some of the industry’s brightest stars. Wishing to make the whole thing feel like an informal chat and catch up, they record each episode in a coffee shop, which means you hear the odd endearing coffee cup clink in the background. With guests ranging from YouTuber and filmmaker Ben Brown to the creator of Cereal magazine, the conversations are guaranteed to capture you and get you scrolling rapidly to the notes section of your phone to tap down their wisdom.

3. Get it On with Dawn O’Porter

If you’ve always been a little bit intrigued about what someone’s style might say about them and the flared, sequinned and ruffled journey that we all inevitably end up on at some point, then you’ll love this podcast. With Dawn O’Porter at the helm, she just makes the whole thing feel like a right laugh, makes you realise you should embrace the weird and wonderful things about your style and just always make sure you wear what makes you happy. Her wonderful ways just feel so comforting and just makes you wish everyone was such advocates for people embracing their quirks. Okay enough rambling, so how does this podcast work then? Well, each week Dawn interviews a different guest and chats to them all about how their style came to be, things they love about fashion and most importantly how this is all inextricably linked with their personality. This is such a great podcast to make you reconsider that clothes aren’t just a frivolity, they actually say a lot.

4. Hey It’s Ok Podcast by Glamour Magazine

Who knew Glamour Magazine’s editor, Jo Elvin was so damn hilarious?! As the main host of this podcast, her witty, dry and no holds barred sense of humour compliments proceedings and all the guests she has on so wonderfully. Based on Glamour Magazine’s long running real-talk column ‘Hey it’s Ok..’ that lists all the things we actually do but are sometimes too ashamed to admit, Jo and her guests that week discuss various issues, big or small but oh so relatable, in comical fashion.  Previous episodes have included everyone from Dawn French and Graham Norton to Caroline Flack and Emma Willis. If you download this podcast for the train, then be prepared to stifle your giggles as much as possible!

5. At Home With…by Anna and Lily

Finally my two favourite YouTubers have released a podcast – hurrah! With Anna and Lily being two online influencers I’ve looked up to for a while for their hard working spirit and real talk ways, I was over the moon when they released that they were going to be having their own podcast together. Not only that but it combines two of my favourite things, super impressive creatives and their inevitably gorgeous homes. So for me, it’s a win win. With only four episodes under their belt so far, it’s easy to get caught up and with Lisa Eldridge being in those first four, you’ll totally want too.

10 Tips For Creating a Cosy Home When You’re Renting

If you’re anything like me, when you’re an lover of interior design it can be quite annoying with rental properties that you can’t fully put your stamp on it. When you have that eureka moment of what that room could look like and then you realise that oh, tough luck – the creamy magnolia wall and navy blue carpet are here to stay. So rather than fight it, why not embrace it and create a space that feels cosy and as ‘you’ as you can possibly make it?

To get you inspired, I have rounded up some ideas of things I feel have really made a difference our teeny rental flat in London to make it homely.

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1. Embrace Rugs

Now this is isn’t a phrase I use often, but let me tell you – you need to embrace those bloomin’ lovely rugs. And in all their shapes and sizes at that. As we were in the process of trying to cosy up our lounge, nothing made more of a difference than getting a snuggly shaggy rug and plonking it in the middle of the room to bring that extra comfort level to proceedings. It didn’t cost much in the grand scheme of things and is definitely something we will take to our new home, wherever that may be.

2. Invest in good lighting

As Mickey Flanagan once said, nothing beats a bit of ‘ambi-enceee’ when it comes to setting the scene. Hate that pine cabinet in the corner? Put on some mood lighting. Can’t deal with those hideous carpets? Put on some mood lighting. Great lighting can literally hide a multitude of sins and is actually one thing I feel is well worth investing in. If you know there’s a certain style you will always love, invest in individual lighting in this style, so it can be moved around the various flats and houses you move into. I have a floor standing tripod lamp and a side table lamp with a pineapple base that I invested in and I absolutely love them They were so worth it – they cosy things up nicely and they’re always one of the first things guests spot when they come to visit.

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3. Learn to love leaning

Weird subtitle I know, but you need embrace the ability to ‘lean’ things as a way to personalise your walls without making a permanent mark. We have things leaning literally everywhere, from mirrors to picture frames on shelves. So before you hit that nail into the wall with all the while knowing you will most likely incur a fine, think about how it looks propped up instead. You’ll surprise yourself how creative you can get.

4. Use book shelves as focal points

With so many cheap options of bookcases in IKEA or opportunities to transform old ones yourself, this is a great way to open up areas for personalisation. But don’t just go piling all your books on the shelves any which way, oh no no! Curate that ‘shelfie’! Mix books stacked with nic nacs, photo frames, candles – whatever you fancy. Then when you get bored, just mix things up again and try something different.

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5. Beautify your bed

If you’re a city dweller like me with a rather tiny bedroom, there’s a strong likelihood your bed will be a big – if not – the only focal point in your room, so use this opportunity as your perfect canvas. Spend time choosing a colour scheme and choose sheets, scatter cushions and blankets accordingly. Snuggle that place up! With your lamp alongside you for ‘ambience’, you’ll be well on your way to ultimate cosy.

6. Bring it to life, literally

I know so many friends who felt their homes weren’t quite complete without a few plants to take care of. Not only are these lovely green things proven to be psychologically beneficial, they really give it that home-like trait when you feel like there’s something there to take care of. I’m a huge fan of big tree plants such as monstera plants or fiddle fig trees and herbs are fab too – easy to look after and dual purpose. A tip for upping the plant factor with minimal effort is to throw some fake plants into the mix. Your friends will be none-the-wiser as to what’s real and what’s not, so prepare to watch them as they stand in awe at your green fingered ways.

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7. Scent your home with candles and diffusers

We all know that familiar smell of when we return home to our parents, that scent of fond memories and cosiness. So why not embrace the same idea by creating a particular scent to your home that you look forward to coming home to too? You can do this with a reed diffuser or just by lighting candles in the evening. The nicest thing too is that when you do come to move, that scent will always remind you of those wonderful memories made in that particular home.

8. Invest in pieces you know you’ll always love

The last thing you want to do is buy everything especially for the rental property you currently live in. Not only will you likely rush the purchase and keep them cheap and cheerful, it’s also unlikely you’ll be wanting to take them with you onto the next place. So you really need to think about those things that are going to be versatile in whatever space you find yourself in and really choose pieces you love. Good examples of these sorts of items are lamps and rugs as mentioned earlier, mirrors, art and stand alone pieces of decoration that you know you’ll always want in your home.

Photo Credits: Miami Design District / Home Designing / Sheerluxe / Amara / Pop Sugar / Urban Outfitters / Etsy

Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Oaty Traybake

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This is the dreamiest of traybakes and is the perfect mid week pick me up or lunch box filler! The sharp tang of the raspberry and the dark chocolate is just a match made in heaven and the best bit? They’re a definite healthier option to other sweet treats AND they only take under half an hour to whip up. Do you need any more convincing?! I think not…

You will need:

  • 150g of fresh raspberries
  • 6 Squares of dark chocolate
  • 50g butter
  • 75g Honey
  • 200g Oats
  • 50g ground almonds
  • a tablespoon of pumpkin seeds
  • a tablespoon of flaked almonds
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C and grease a baking tin measuring roughly 20 x 20cm. Using baking paper, cut a piece just larger than the tin and cut small slits at each corner and put this into the baking tray. The paper should sit nicely and be kept in place by the butter.
  2. Put the butter and the honey into a saucepan and melt over a low/medium heat. Once melted, take this off the heat and stir in the oats, ground almonds, flaked almonds and pumpkin seeds. Mix until everything is nicely coated.
  3. Spoon half the mixture into the pre-lined tin and spread to cover the base of the tin. Roughly mash your raspberries and spoon this on top of the oaty mixture in the tray.
  4. Finally top the raspberries with your remaining oaty mixture and smooth down the top with the back of a spoon.
  5. Pop in the oven for 10-15 minutes until nicely browned on top.
  6. Once cooked, take out of the oven and leave to cool. Put a saucepan of water on the hob and bring to the boil. Place on top of this a bowl with your squares of chocolate inside. Once up to boil, turn down the heat and allow the chocolate to gently melt.
  7. Using a teaspoon, take a scoop of the chocolate and lightly drizzle it bit by bit over the tray bake in diagonal lines.
  8. Once fully cooled, cut the tray bake into 14 pieces.

I’d love to know what you think of this recipe! I personally loved the ease of making something so delicious and I shall definitely be making it next time my friends pop round.

 

An Evening of Calligraphy at Quill London

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Last Saturday I got the chance to take a Beginner’s Modern Calligraphy Class at Quill London and I had the best time. Me and my friend Sally booked the class a fair while ago and so we’d both been looking forward to it for quite some time!

The shop and school is based in Angel on Amwell Street and it is just the cutest inside. As we made our way into the shop passing lots of delicate and pretty stationery perched on the surfaces and in the windows, we took our seats at the table and were handed a nice glass of bubbly and a slice of cake – so far, so good. I eagerly snap snapped away at the many Instagram-able things surrounding us.

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We had our calligraphy set all laid out in front of us with a envelope of paper, a nib, pen and an ink pot that was all ours to take home at the end of the class in a fancy little canvas bag. Our teacher was called Julia and she was so, so lovely and made the whole thing a real hoot. We started off with little line exercises and then gradually worked up from writing letters, to joining letters and then trying out our own phrases along with playing with the baseline. It was all very therapeutic and the two and half hours of calligraphy practically whipped by. With the rain thrumming down outside and us all sat inside this dinky little shop decorated in soothing whites and pale pinks, it was the loveliest way to spend a Saturday evening.

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When I got home I was left in the happiest of moods feeling very inspired and excited to try out my new skill. I think my excitability that lingered after the class may have been part of the reason I could’t fall asleep until 5am (pretty wild, I know) and instead spent a good hour or so practicing the calligraphy lessons I had learned. There’s nothing quite like a head whirring with creative ideas to stop this gal from getting her z’s!

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All in all I was super impressed and will be signing up for another class very soon! They offer lots of others classes such as brush calligraphy, digitalising calligraphy and making paper flowers if you fancy getting your creative on – www.quilllondon.com.

 

June | My week in pictures

It’s Sunday evening and the ‘ugh it’s Monday tomorrow’ feels are already setting in. This week has been filled with lots of lovely things, time to see family and friends and to explore new hobbies. All in all, I’ve been left feeling really inspired, loving this sunny weather finally arriving (although it is now raining…) and feeling altogether optimistic for the summer months ahead. So I thought it would be nice to take a look back at my week in pictures as a snapshot into all the moments and things I’ve enjoyed this week.

  1. Baking is always something I find so relaxing to do but never really seem to find the time for. So this weekend I made these amazing oaty traybake bars and they were so quick and easy to do. There will be a recipe heading to the blog soon!
  2. Flower School is back on at work and I’ve been snapping away at all of the students creations. My favourites this week were these gorge candle arrangement which just look lovely on mass.
  3. I met my lovely sister after work one night this week for cocktails and a little shop around Oxford Street. We ended up going to this place near Selfridge’s that I’ve had my eye on for a while called Mole Taco Bar – a gorgeously decorated Mexican. The cocktails were lush and the guacamole seemed endless which can only ever be a good thing!
  4. Friday evening James and I went to Honest Burger in Clapham Common and I think it might be my new favourite place to eat. It’s really chilled and the prices are actually pretty good, with a burger and chips being only around £10. They do a deal for burgers and cinema tickets for the cute cinema across the road which I think will be our next one to tick off the list.
  5. This is the amazing Mint Julep cocktail I had in Honest Burger. Being a big lover of the mojito, this new minty beverage has a new place in my heart next to it’s other minty friend.
  6. During the week I had to pop to New Covent Garden Flower Market to look at tropical plants for an event proposal I was working on at work. I’m all for tropical plants at the moment and really fancy getting a monstera tree for in our lounge, although I have been told they do grow wildly out of control!
  7. My favourite thing this week has to be the Calligraphy class I went to at Quill London in Angel. I had the best time and have been left feeling really inspired and in a slightl calligraphy loving haze. Watch this space as I will be doing a full blog post about the class very soon.
  8. I am loving the bright festival trend this summer and fancied doing a little nod to it this year. So I was very pleased when I came across these gems in Primark this week, they make me feel like I have a party on my feet when I wear them and I’ve had lots of other people admiring them too!
  9. On Saturday I met my friend Sally for a long overdue catch up over coffee at Poilane in Chelsea. It’s such a relaxing cafe and we always seem to end up in there every time we see one another!

 

Easy Healthy Weekend Brunch

IMG_7399Hurrah it’s finally the weekend! Now that my body clock is pretty much hard-wired to wake up at 7am every morning for work, I decided to get out of bed and whip up this little feast for breakfast. My boyfriend made this yesterday and Snapchatted me whilst I was at work. Cue a very jealous me sat at my work desk, so I made him teach me this morning how to make this quick dish and it is just as tasty as I thought it would be! There’s nothing better a gooey poached egg to know you’ve nailed breakfast. This is a great one if you fancy a full English but would prefer a healthier option.

You will need:

  • Mushrooms
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Turkey Sausages
  • Spinach
  • Wholemeal bread
  • Coconut Oil
  • Eggs
  • Dried Rosemary
  • Salt

This is a bit of a throw it all in kind of recipe so use as many or as little of each thing as you like!

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Chop up the mushrooms and place these along with the whole cherry tomatoes and the sausages into a oven dish.
  2. Drizzle the vegetables with coconut oil and scatter some dried rosemary and salt over the top too. Toss this through the vegetables and then put this into the oven for 10-15 minutes to cook.
  3. Get the bread in the toaster and put a saucepan of water onto the hob to boil.
  4. Once the water is up to boil, turn it down to a rolling simmer and put some white wine vinegar into the water.
  5. Create a mini whirlpool in your saucepan of water using a wooden spoon and once it’s spinning break your egg into the centre of it close to the water’s surface.
  6. Once the white of the egg feels fairly solid and the yolk is squidgy, remove this onto a plate with kitchen towel on top. This will soak up any excess water so that it doesn’t transfer onto your plate when you dish up.
  7. Place some spinach in with the veggies for 3-5 minutes until slightly wilted.
  8. By now everything should all be ready to go so pop your pieces of toast onto your plate and place your eggs on top of these. Now slice the sausages and scatter this along with your vegetables on top of your toast.
  9. Enjoy!