Stationery Love And Dream Office Spaces!


This week marks National Stationery Week here in the UK. A week to celebrate the glory of all things stationery and also to highlight the importance of the hand written word - the fact that writing matters. In fact there is a huge connection between the act of handwriting and the influence this has on the rational adult mind. Anyone who journals will probably know how beneficial they find this for their wellbeing and for dealing with anxiety and stress. As a generation we all wrote so much as kids but now all we do is tap away at a computer, and future generations will likely not take pen to paper very much at all. This in itself is such an interesting topic and I for one still believe in the power and the benefits of the written word. Yet like so many of us, I now struggle to put to pen to paper and actually write more than just a few scribbled words on my shopping list! 

Interested in this topic? Read more here: Handwriting vs typing: is the pen still mightier than the keyboard? via The Guardian.

Paperchase Blogger Event April 2016 Flat Lay

But the subject of writing and of journalling is one I'd like to come back to at another point in time! For today I'm thinking dream workspaces and the beauty of stationery, how it can make our spaces come to life and give us the inspiration and motivation that we need to get us through the day.

In fact just this morning as I walked across London with my other half we got to a discussion about the pros and cons of the current craze of hot desking or 'activity based workplaces' and it occurred to me that this too has a link to today's post. While many employers may be moving to embrace the hot desk mantra, often employees in this situation are left feeling disconnected at not having their own space in which to 'nest' and call home during their working day. Time and again I'm struck by how important the right space is for our productivity as well as our wellbeing at work.

What are your thoughts on the hot desk trend? Read more here: 'Hot Desking' Is A Big Trend - Here's Why A Lot Of People Hate It via Business Insider.

Last night I was pleased to have the opportunity to assist in leading a blogging event with Paperchase held in their flagship Tottenham Court Road store and we got ourselves involved in doing just that. Creating beautiful 'dream workspace' layouts, flat-lays using gorgeous stationery, motivational quotes and fun but functional office based essentials in a way that showed how creative and inspirational we can make our workspace. I was really impressed by the creative compositions that the bloggers so swiftly put together so I thought today I'd share some of my own thoughts on what makes a working space great. If you missed it you might also find my recent post on how to create a healthier workspace useful too.



1. Embrace Your Workplace Style

  • Decide what you want and need the space to do for you.
  • Consider what sort of style and trend appeals to you. Perhaps industrial, country, modern, classic?
  • What are you trying to achieve in your space? Are you in desperate need of a constant supply of inspiration, motivation, productivity? How can you bring this to the space?
  • Finally have a good think about the essential key things that you need to get the job done. Notebooks? Pens? Staplers? Paperclips?! How can you incorporate these in a fun but functional way?

2. Storage Matters

  • Bear in mind the practicalities of the space in which you're working. How can you style a smart, fun but also functional space? What storage might you need?

3. Consider Your Own Work Wellbeing As Well As Productivity Boosters

  • Keep clutter to a minimum, maybe implement plants for greenery (bring the outside in for wellbeing), keep things light and bright, will you need a clock for timing and ensuring you take regular breaks etc?

4. Visual Is Key

  • Inspire yourself with visual props. Perhaps motivational quotes, posters? What will keep you feeling creative? Keep these things in eyeshot to keep you feeling happy and motivated.

5. Play With Pops Of Colour Or Colour Themes

  • Will you opt for a one-colour theme? Perhaps keep it muted but with pops of different colour? Maybe calm? Maybe bright? What appeals to you?
  • Certain colours help with different things, blue is calming, yellow is good for creativity, green is good for longs hours and stress. Perhaps you want to bring this into your space if you have a particular need to address?

6. Personalise With Individual Touches

  • Once you have pulled your main theme together, how will you add in a little bit of yourself and your own personality? Photo frames holding your favourite memories? Your favourite mug for your coffee break? Something fun that speaks to you and makes you feel at home in your space! 


What would you do if you had free reign to be as creative as possible with your workspace? Plus are you a stationery lover too? How do you use stationery to accessorise and perk up your space? 

Let me know your thoughts and happy National Stationery Week to all you fellow stationery fans out there!



Keeping It Simple: Declutter Time, Space And Mind


As I mentioned in last weeks March favourites post, I recently attended a one day course organised by Guardian Masterclasses that was focused on living a healthier, happier life. Something I'm sure we all wish to do in whatever way that may mean for us. There were a number of fantastic speakers throughout the day covering all sorts of useful topics that both inspired and very usefully informed at the same time.

Image Source: Pexels

Image Source: Pexels

One such speaker was Juliet Landau-Pope a Certified Declutter Coach and Study Skills Expert. Now I'll start off by saying that I never knew such a role even existed but with my penchant for keeping organised I'm surprised I hadn't picked up on such a job much sooner! Not only that but Juliet is a member of the Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers in the UK - er hello, how do I join this association please?!

But aside from my marvelling at these very facts, I wanted to share with you today some of the very fine words of wisdom imparted by Juliet on the day. Ways to really think about the clutter in your life and how you may deal with it going forward.

Juliet identifies clutter into three very specific sections: TIME, PHYSICAL, EMOTIONAL. 

Decluttering your lifestyle isn't just about clearing up the odds and ends on your desktop, it's about really thinking fully about your whole outlook and what you're choosing to allow into your work and life on a daily basis. So with spring firmly within our grasp, here are three great things to think about when it comes to refreshing both mind and space for the new season - and indeed for the longer term future of your overall health and wellbeing.



1. Be Mindful Of What You Put Into Your TIME Not Just Your Space:

We often only think of clutter as physical items, which it is, but clutter can also embody what you cram into your time. Are you filling your diary with unnecessary appointments and adding mounds of jumble to your to-do list just to keep up with modern pressure to always appear busy? 

Quite a while back now I wrote a post about the so called 'Cult Of Busy' and I think this is something that still rings completely true. We live in a society where we somehow feel inadequate if we're not rushed off of our feet every single second of every single day. We add things to our lives just in order to keep ourselves busy and then convince ourselves that these things are just as crucial and important as our truly critical everyday tasks, creating extra stress at every turn.

USEFUL ACTION POINT: Why not take some time this week to sit down with your diary and your to-do lists, or whatever it is that you personally use to organise your time, and really be honest with yourself about what actually needs doing versus what is being created for the sake of being busy. At first glance you'll probably tell me that everything is crucial. But take a moment to honestly think about that - is this really true? And how can you make better choices about how you're going to use your time going forward?

Don't be afraid to have a gap here and there. As Juliet so correctly stated, we've become human-doings and have forgotten how to be human-beings. Find a point in your day where you can just 'be' for a minute and don't let the outside world make you feel guilty about that. Don't be scared to say no to unproductive activities that do not serve you. I'm sure we can all identify at least one thing in the coming month that we just don't need to do, an area from which we can claw back some of that much needed, precious time. Clear those wasted moments from your schedule and then leave them clear, don't cave to the desire to refill the space with something else.


2. Retail Therapy Is The Biggest Con. Is All That PHYSICAL 'Stuff' Really Making You Feel Better?

Sorry but it's true and deep down we all know it. When it comes to our physical clutter we all have far too much stuff crammed into our space. We live in a consumer driven society where shopping is now a leisure activity and we struggle daily to get away from it. Don't worry I'm just as guilty of this as the next person but we need to make a conscious effort to be more mindful of what we buy and put into our space. Not only to restrict the clutter but to save us all some much needed cash as well!

Of course it's very easy to say that we should simply declutter our space and let go of everything that's getting in our way. For many of us it's not always that simple. Physical items can hold an awful lot of weight and significance and can be hard to part with. A fellow blogger, Sophie from The Private Life of a Girl, wrote in a post at the beginning of this year that when decluttering your space you should be ruthless but not unkind and that point has stayed with me ever since. Finding a balance between what you need and what you love can be hard but is important. Being ruthless is great, but don't break your heart by overdoing it and regretting it later down the line. You can read more in Sophie's original post here: 5 Helpful Tips To Successfully Declutter Your Space.

USEFUL ACTION POINTS: Juliet had so much sound advice when it came to physical clutter. So if you're planning a re-jig of the unwanted physical jumble in your life, I'll leave you with a few points to think about before you get started:

a. Start somewhere that will have an immediate impact so that you can see the benefit straight away. For example Juliet suggests starting in your bedroom as getting rid of unnecessary clutter in that space will instantly have a positive impact on your nights rest, thus creating a desire to continue in other areas as you can already quickly see the benefits.

b. Consider - right here right now, what do I really love and really need? Focus on the present and not on the past because if everything matters then surely nothing matters? Try not to attach too much meaning to each and every item.

c. For things that you no longer need but are perhaps struggling to part with, find a purposeful and meaningful way to let go and take one small step towards doing so. For example when I moved house recently I knew I no longer had the space for the many, many dance and theatre books that I had collected during my time training in musical theatre many moons ago! I no longer needed them, everything in them would now be online anyway, but they represented a huge part of my life that I was perhaps frightened to fully let go of.

Now, I've happily donated my clothes and other items to charity on many an occasion but in this instance I needed to know these books would be loved by people with the same passion as me. In the end, via a friend who is a teacher, I donated them to a local school with a strong performing arts background, with students studying the exact same things that I was many years ago. I felt they would be loved and enjoyed and come in useful in the same way that they did for me and that made it a little bit easier to let them go.


3. We Have So Many Expectations Of What Life Should Be. Don't Let EMOTIONAL Voices Taunt.

Emotional clutter is a tricky one. We have so many expectations from both external and internal sources about what life should be. It kind of ties in to the time clutter and allies with our need to fill our diaries in order to make ourselves feel worthwhile. Those 'should, would, could' voices in our heads undermine our sense of worth and overwhelm us time and time again.

As I've written previously in my post about letting ourselves be we really need to stop should'ing all over ourselves. But often we don't even notice the negative voices that are guiding us through the day to day. Taking our emotional clutter into account and working to improve it can really help us to tackle the other aspects of our busy lifestyles too, so it's something worth thinking about if you're finding yourself constantly flustered and disappointed by your sense of achievement.

USEFUL ACTION POINT: These internal voices tend to gather themselves up to highest speed the more flustered and hectic that we get. One such time that they can really stress us out is as we're about to leave the house, say for work in the morning, or for a family day out. 

Take a brief moment once you're ready to leave the house but before you go out of that front door: Pause. Sit. Breathe. Focus. Just take one minute of silence and stillness to gather yourself. You'll be amazed at the difference it will make to your day and to the emotional stress that you're probably already putting yourself under despite the fact that your day has only just begun!


So I hope some of this advice provides interesting thought if you're considering an upcoming spring clean and know that you need to do more than just tidy out a few drawers in your workspace. Clutter is so much more than just the physical but it all ties in to creating our busy, stress filled everyday lives. Stepping back and thinking honestly about these areas might really help us all to make positive, longer term changes to our space, schedules and our minds. 

I'd love to hear from you if you have any further thoughts about clutter and spring cleaning? What ideas do you have that have worked out well for you? 

Enjoy your week everyone and hope to see you back here soon.



3 Quick Ways To Create A Healthier Workspace

With spring just a knocking on our doors as we speak and a lovely glimpse of spring sunshine in the sky, today seemed like a good day to think about how we can embrace nature and use it to help create a healthier working space. So I'm sharing three super quick and easy ways to instantly refresh your workspace and in doing so give your work wellbeing a much needed extra boost.

Image Source: Pexels

Image Source: Pexels


1. Let Your Space Breathe: First and foremost try to let your working space 'breathe' as much as possible. I know this might not seem very inviting during the colder months, and not exactly refreshing when times are extra hot, but making sure that air circulates and clears as often as possible is really beneficial. It also gets rid of stale air and any nasty germs that are doing the rounds. 

Spring is certainly the time to embrace letting the fresh air in. Open those windows, doors and allow clean air to circulate. Don't over rely on heaters or air conditioners. It's especially effective to do this just after a fresh rainfall when that clean, rainy air can really help to cleanse your space.

2. Seek Out Natural Light: Over half of workers in the UK don't have access to natural light in their working environment. Natural light really makes a huge difference to your wellbeing in the office and something many people now look for when trying to create a healthier environment to work in.

If you can embrace natural light then make the very most of it in your working space. If you're not so lucky then consider bringing in full spectrum light bulbs that simulate natural light, as well as task focused lamps in areas where you need extra clarity and help. Plus ensure you're getting away from your desk and getting out in the fresh air on your lunch breaks and for shorter breaks throughout the day as much as possible.

3. Go Green And Bring Nature In: Studies have shown that workers who have greenery around them or who are able to see green open spaces from their workspace are actually more productive and their moods are suitably boosted. Bringing a bit of nature into your space is great for your wellbeing. It also encourages a little thing called micro-restoration, helping your brain to recharge throughout the day

Personally I'm a big fan of cacti and succulent type plants! They look pretty cool, don't have to take up much space and they don't need an awful lot of maintenance so for anyone out there like me who doesn't have the best track record when it comes to keeping plants alive, then these beauties are definitely the way to go. Another bonus is their lack of pollen so if you or your colleagues suffer from allergies then they aren't likely to offend!


What do you do to keep your work place feeling fresh and healthy? Do you think you'll be able to use and implement any of the above? 



Beautiful Things For A New Home Or Office


I think I mentioned last week that we're currently in the process of moving house. It's been a bit of a bigger task than expected because where we are now has a lot more storage than where we're heading. As usual when there's space to fill you fill it and over the past few years we've squirrelled away a lot of stuff that we really should've sorted out sooner! But now that the mega clear out and clean up has been completed I thought I'd share a few moving home or office related bits and pieces on the blog today. Seeing as that's all that's been on my mind just recently.

Now I could focus on a to do list of all of the practical but ultimately quite boring things that need to be done when moving but that's not what I had in mind today! Nope, I wanted to make this post a fun resource focused on making your new house or office feel like home. So I've put together a list of places to shop for unique homewares because I know I'm always looking for new ways to inspire me and to liven up my space and I imagine other people are too! Things that would be really beautiful for anyone setting up a new space. Plus I've been clipping and pinning ideas from all over the place. Click the picture above for furnishing fun or head over to Pinterest to my Dream Office and Taking Notes boards that are choc full of beautiful things to get you feeling inspired.


There are many beautiful places to pick up pretty home accessories, candles, cushions, prints and all sorts of things these days, especially online. This list could be endless but some of my current favourites would have to include the following:

1. Urban Outfitters have a really beautiful home section full of very unique and unusual pieces. Beautiful art and prints, urban inspired furnishings, electricals with a vintage feel, lighting and gorgeous stationery.

2. Bold & Noble we have a map of the world print from Bold & Noble and it's just gorgeous! Prints put together using the written place names of the area of which it's depicting. Unusual and also quite useful!

3. Home & Pantry don't have the hugest online range but what they do have is gorgeous! Scandinavian inspired decor, prints, modern and unique furnishings. Have a browse and I'm sure you'll find something to fall in love with.

4. H&M Home who doesn't love H&M! And their foray into homeware is just as loveable as well as very affordable. Cushions, throws, rugs, kitchen ware, vases and other lovely and reasonably priced items to help style your new space without having to break the bank.

5. Oliver Bonas I love the quirky and modern feel of the home section in Oliver Bonas. Beautiful accessories, photo frames and really individual furniture. Lots of inspiration for sparkling up your new surroundings.

Where do you like to shop for new home and office prettiness? Have I missed your favourite off of this list? Let me know and if you're looking to furnish a new space then I hope you enjoy browsing for ideas and find these suggestions useful.