CREATING A BLOGGING SPACE WITH LONDON OFFICES

Post date: 1 September 2014

This morning I'm playing interior designer after a company called London Offices (who rent 1000's of serviced office spaces across central London) contacted me to take part in a competition they were running. With £300 of Made.com vouchers at stake I sat last night and read exactly what I needed to do. I had to create an office environment of my choice. What would the colour scheme be? Where would I draw my inspiration from? What kind of facilities would it have? 
 
So of course I wanted to create a creative hub. Somewhere that bloggers and freelance writers could come,  check in and work, but I didn't want it to look too gimmicky. Forget bright Ikea furniture and beanbags. It still had to look chic. Imaging blogging for the 25+ age group. It would be like a freelance studio where you could rent desks by the day. With that said, here's just some of the inspiration I brought together to start off.
 




Design aspects would include the following:
  • Exposed brick walls
  • A blackboard wall for all to write on
  • Indoor garden with lots of cacti - that way no one needs to remember to water the plants
  • A bar which opens from 5pm onwards for after work drinks
  • An area perfect for bloggers with a huge amount of different backgrounds and backdrops to take photographs on
  • A chilled out seating area with a magazine library, including magazines from across the world and independent magazines to help with creativity
  • Coffee stations with a variety of different blends and syrups. Everyone knows a freelancer's vice is coffee
  • An Instagram wall where people can print out and hang up their favourite Instagram pictures
Imaging a big open plan loft space, like you'd find in New York. Huge windows so the place would be incredibly light. When you work in a creative environment open plan is perfect so you can bounce ideas of other people. This wouldn't be like any normal work place as everyone knows a freelancers job isn't nine to five so this workspace would be open 24 hours, with energy saving lighting and a code to gain entry for safety. 
 
In terms of colour palette and texture I'd want one wall of exposed brick. Brushed metal and copper would bring an industrial feel to it, while this is juxtaposed with timber and greenery. I'd even have an indoor garden because everyone knows how good plant life is for general well-being. 

And my favourite part of the whole office? Taking inspiration from the Instagram HQ - a free pic'n'mix for those times when only sweets will do. Here are a few bits I've found online to help you create this look in your own home. How amazing is this arrow sign by the way?


1. Broadway Arrow Table Lamp £89.00 Made.com 2. Be Happy Print £44 Bodie and Fou 3. Metro Eames Style Office Chair £99.00 Atlantic Shopping 4. Rankin Desk in Black Metal £299.00 Made.com 5. Venturi Left Hand Facing Sofa £1249.00 Made.com  Ikea 6. Knodd Bin with Lid £16.00 7. Love, Life and Family Print £44.00 Bodie and Fou 8. Starkey Statement Cluster Light £79.00 Made.com

WHEN THE WEIGHT OF "WHAT IF" LIFTS

Post date: 31 August 2014


Ever have one of those days where you feel content. And I mean really content. Like if you were told by someone up above that this was your life forever more, you'd think OK, I can deal with that. That's kind of how I feel right now.

I'd like to think I'm a glass-half-full girl but the last year, up until August had been kind of tough. I've written plenty of times that moving to London didn't work out so we don't need to read all about that, but with that and various other things I'd spent the best part of seven months feeling rubbish. Like not wanting to get out of bed rubbish.

I didn't want to go to work, I didn't want to write, I didn't want to see anyone. At one point I didn't even want to leave my bedroom. I not melodramatic enough to say it was some form of depression, I had a lot to be thankful for in my life I know that, but I would say I felt like shit.

Then I moved back into the bossom of my Northern family and life got good.

Imagining spending so much of your life chasing something, never really feeling settled with life. Thinking there's more to life that what you had at the moment. Then you finally find what you think you've been looking for and it turns out to be, for a better way of putting it, a bad choice.

Well that was me.

And then I returned to my pre-London life and it felt good. Really good. I moved into my new flat, I got my first car, I went back into a work environment where my weirdness was deemed totally acceptable and I was surrounded by family and friends once again.

The weighty feeling of "what if" completely disappeared from my shoulders. I can't express how good that feels. Having a "what if" hanging over you for nearly ten years, and for it then to go, is a really peaceful feeling.

It was like I had finally found my step once again, I went back to being myself - something I hadn't been since last October. Don't believe everything you see on Facebook or Instagram. I only really showed the best parts of my life, like everyone does. I'm not going to snap myself in bed for over 24 hours not wanting to get up because nobody needs to be seeing that.

I started to love blogging again. I finally had my own kitchen to blog about recipes in, I had a bedroom big enough and gorgeous enough to photograph outfit posts in and I had my creativity back. Being shortlisted for the Best Lifestyle Blog really gave me a kick up the arse and made me want to get I Heart Fashion back to its best - I gave her a little redesign and made a list of new posts I wanted to try out. And now I've got my mojo back.

I think it's obvious to most of my friends and family how happy I am. It was like one content day turned into one content week and here I am, two months down the line since moving home and - although I don't like tempting fate - I'm pretty happy with life right now. Of course there are going to be bad days, when motivation for work has up and left and my skin resembles a massive pepperoni pizza (two things I'm going to try sort out this month), but in the grand scheme of things my heart and head feel at peace. 

At last. 

DIY: CITRUS BATH SALTS AND CHOCOLATE ORANGE BODY SCRUB

Post date:

Having spent most of Friday on Pinterest looking for inspiration for the blog, and different things to cover, I came across some recipes for bath time goodies such as bath salts and body scrub. I decided with a whole Sunday of nothing to do but clean, I'd give these a bash.

They were both actually super easy to make, but totally worth it. All I'm going to say is you'll probably want to eat them once you take in this amazing smells - I'd advise not to obviously. 

First up we have Citrus Bath Salts and all you need for this is:
  • A glass container (I bought these from Ikea) 
  • Epsom salts (which you can get from most pharmacies)
  • The juice of one lemon
  • The juice from half a lime
  • Peel from an orange and leftover lemon

It's as simple as combining the whole lot together and viola. Citrus bath salts ready for a Sunday night pampering.



Next on my list of pampering treats to make was this gorgeous-smelling orange and chocolate body scrub. Again, really easy to make, you'll need the following ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • 1/3 almond oil
  • 1/3 cocoa powder
  • 10 drops of orange extract

Mix up the sugars, cocoa powder and oil before adding the orange extract. It smells soooo good. Use this before you get in the shower for maximum effect to get rid of all your dry skin. I seem to have patches all over my body from the constant self-tanning I've done over summer so this is going to be the perfect antidote. 





 Let me know if you give these a try, or even if you experiment with other recipes. I'm going to try lemon and green tea bath salts, and perhaps chocolate mint body scrub next, using peppermint extract instead of orange.

FLORALS IN THE FOOD AISLE

Post date: 29 August 2014


Before we start, I thought I'd finally found the perfect place to shoot in my bedroom but the lighting (or my broken camera perhaps) seems to have made it look like I'm sporting a fetching pair of nude opaque tights. If you can ignore that, I'd like to introduce my new supermarket bargain of the year. 

For those that say you can't pick up a fashion find whilst shopping for grub then I'm hoping this little bargain, coming in at £20, will go some way to help change your mind. I've already raved on about the jewellery at George for Asda and now check this floral high-waisted skirt and Breton off-the-shoulder top. 

OK, so maybe I'm a little late in the season to start wearing something this summery - especially as, whilst I was picking these up, I was also looking at winter coats - but I didn't want to not buy it, just because of a bit of frost bite.

The top is actually a little longer in the body instead of this cropped style but because I'm a pear shape and hold all my weight towards the bottom of my body, I rolled this up and teamed it with this gorgeous floral high waisted skirt. I could have done with a size smaller in the skirt if I'm honest but that's only because I'd like it to sit slightly higher on my waist. 

The top was £6 and the skirt £14 - I literally LOVE Asda at the moment. Who'd have thought supermarket chic would be so appealing.




GET THE LOOK: SIXTIES SCENE

Post date: 28 August 2014


I very rarely get this inspired over a fashion editorial but Marie Claire's September issue here in the UK completely knocked it out of the park with their Sixties Scene spread. I was already completely in love with the whole 60s vibe Gucci and Saint Laurent were giving off for the season ahead, but having seen what the high street has to offer, I'm pretty sure I'm going to be in this era throughout autumn and winter.
 
Texture is key to this trend, with shearling, velvet and fur topping the list, while newness comes from hits of metallic and denim. The obvious look is a collared dress and a pea coat but I really want to invest in some nice skirts, tights and pointed flats, teamed with a turtleneck and jacket thrown over. I'm obsessed with this leopard print Pepe Jeans jacket pictured above, but as it's not out just yet I couldn't get a link to it. I'll make sure I do though once it's out.
 
Below are just a few pieces I found on the high street which capture this trend perfectly. OK, so the biker jacket is a tad pricey but I loved it too much to not put in. But everything else is within reach of payday. Are you a fan of the return to the sixties? If not, which era would you like to see hit the fashion pack once again? I'm over the 90's - it makes me feel really old. Period.


1. Real Sheepskin Biker Jacket £495 Topshop 2. Patch pocket A-Line Skirt £36 Topshop 3. Oxblood Felt Fedora £25 Miss Selfridge 4. Metallic Flat Point Shoes £22 Oasis 5. Knitted Jumper £14.99 H&M 6. Pink Crop Faux Fur Jacket £65 Warehouse 7. Purple Knitted Turtleneck £85 Henri Lloyd 8. Dogtooth Trousers £42 Topshop 9. Fluffy Teddy Coat £85 Warehouse 10. Colourblock Leather Chelsea Boot £65 Warehouse 11. Stephanie Leather Clutch £25 Oasis 12. Grey Faux Leather Biker Skirt £38 Warehouse