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!



A Crafty Afternoon With Paperchase!


Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE stationery?! Hmmm, Yes I think I might have! So imagine my excitement when an email popped into my inbox inviting me to a bloggers event run by Paperchase, with the chance to craft some Christmas treats AND have a sneak peek at the upcoming Spring Summer 2016 ranges. Yep, sign me up, I'm in!

Paperchase SS16 Preview Wedding Pinwheels

The afternoon took place at the Paperchase Flagship Store on Tottenham Court Road. If you've never visited this particular branch, and have a passion for the Paperchase brand, then you really should make a note to swing by. It's huge, covering three floors full of stationery, gifty goodness. You can lose yourself for hours amongst the delights on offer, every line and every item can be lapped up for your sheer paper supply delight!

Paperchase Tottenham Court Road Store

We began our afternoon with a look at the upcoming Spring and Summer 2016 ranges. The design sourcing manager and one of Paperchase's in-house designers talked us through everything from Valentines Day to Easter and all of the other beautiful ranges in between. Telling us of the inspiration behind each collection and how they take each idea through to fruition.

Although some of the product designs are outsourced many are created in-house and the starting point of an idea can be as simple as an i-Phone photograph of some fruit and veg on a stall outside of Goodge Street Station. From this simple beginning, a main design is created, a range is envisioned and the process sparks to life. Slogans are thought up, products and how they will integrate with the design and be part of the range are decided and suddenly the Paperchase signature quirky style is brought forth from that one single moment of inspiration.

I've always engaged with the brand for its unique and constantly evolving style. I know many friends who also love to browse the aisles of a Paperchase store even if they aren't in the market for stationery! There's just so much to love and admire.

Paperchase SS16 Preview Get Organised Collection

There are some really beautiful selections to look forward to in 2016. One of my absolute favourites was the copper and black, marquetry wood styled 'Get Organised' offering. Beautiful to do lists, notepads, desk accessories and much, much more, make up this smart and chic design that will certainly be welcome on my desk in the very near future.

I also fell in love with the wedding stationery, especially the gorgeous geometric designs below. Just a pity I won't be needing it - unless I can convince my other half to have another wedding just for the excuse to add a little of this loveliness to my collection!

Paperchase SS16 Preview Wedding Stationery
Paperchase SS16 Preview Wedding Stationery

Easter sees some funky and fun florals coming our way whilst the Mothers Day collections include a beautiful, darker but vibrant, floral pattern that I think all mothers will love. That's another reason that Paperchase is always a favourite place of mine to turn to for cards, gifts and paper inspiration. They always come up with something more unique than your usual pink hearts at valentines and flowers for all other occasions, whilst still providing something thoughtful and on target for the event in hand.

Paperchase SS16 Preview Easter Collection
Paperchase SS16 Preview Mothers Day Madame Romantica

Another favourite of mine had to be the gorgeous turquoise and animal print 'Serengeti'. There are some really lovely, as well as very fun pieces to choose from in this selection including an absolute must grab zebra stapler. 

Plus for the first time I believe, Paperchase has created a gym inspired set, designed to motivate you to hit the treadmill in style. With some really fun and tongue in cheek slogans, you can expect backpacks, water bottles and wash bags galore. Everything you need by your desk to ensure that you get in a bit of movement in the very best of style.

Paperchase SS16 Preview Serengeti Collection
Paperchase SS16 Preview Get Fit Collection

After delighting at all that is new to look forward to next year, we went back to the current season and it was time to get down to some serious Christmas crafting and styling for the holidays up ahead of us. So we took ourselves over to the dedicated area to make a start on the creative activities. 

Paperchase Blogger Event 2015

Task one involved a supermarket sweep style effort with us bloggers making our merry way down to the Christmas section, armed with a generous £25 gift voucher and a need for speed, gathering together the best decorations we could find to forthwith design and decorate our colourful mini Christmas trees. I say colourful but I had in fact opted for the black tree and was looking to vamp it up, Vegas style, with a little gold and silver bling and the one piece that I absolutely couldn't resist, Elvis The Bulldog! 

The Paperchase Christmas range this year offers all sorts of bright and sparkly delights, from offbeat bright pink flamingoes, giant orange carrots and bulldog tree decorations to the more traditional reindeers, snowmen and Christmas sparkle. There's also a beautiful mint green collection which would make a subtle but stand out difference to the usual reds, golds and rich greens that we might usually see. 

Following a successful tree decorating frenzy we moved on to making beautiful pinwheels with the very lovely Laura, Freelance Designer and owner of Things By Laura. Aside from being a pinwheel making extraordinaire, Laura designs for weddings, events and retail displays with a passion for paper craft. Her designs are all totally beautiful and completely bespoke. You should definitely check out her portfolio if you're a lover of all things creative, especially if you're planning an upcoming wedding. Inspiration galore and so very original and inviting.

Paperchase Blogger Event Pinwheel Making
Paperchase Christmas Range 2015
Paperchase Christmas Tree Styling

And thus our creative afternoon came to a close and we made our way out into the blustery winter weather clutching our beautiful newly decorated trees all ready in time for the upcoming festivities. 

Thank you to Paperchase and to Laura for an inspiring day and the chance to meet likeminded bloggers and creatives. I'm certainly looking forward to adding some of that beautiful SS16 goodness to my ever burgeoning stationery collection when it hits the shelves next year. I hope you've enjoyed having a little pre-release peek with me here on the blog today and that all this prettiness helps to get you through this mid-week hump in style!



Don't miss the What Now 'Unwind This Christmas' GIVEAWAY! Enter to win a gorgeous box of goodies to help you relax this holiday season. Click on the picture to find out more.


What's On My Desk? Getting Ready For Summer

Hello everyone and welcome to the merry summer month of June! I thought with the dawning of the new month and in the spirit of getting back to business after a bit of holiday time here on the blog recently, today would be a good day to run through some new items that will be gracing my desk and helping me navigate the upcoming summer months. So today I have for you an updated What's On My Desk?

What's On my Desk Summer

First I'm going to begin with a recent purchase that I think is ideal to mention at the beginning of June, half way through the year, the Daily Greatness Business Planner.

I personally really need to get my working life back on track after taking a little step back to reflect over the last six weeks or so. I'm trying to get involved in more freelance projects which need me to be mega organised and set targets and goals in order to ensure I'm actually getting somewhere. Plus I really want to spend the next six months looking at what I'm doing with this blog and upping my game, organising my content a little better and reaching out to more people in order to collaborate, interview and generally grow this little corner of the internet for the better (I hope).

I've mentioned before my passion for old fashioned paper and pen, and whilst I use my laptop, phone and various apps to organise my life on the go, I was still craving a place to really be able to lay out my thoughts, goals and actions in one place.

Daily Greatness Business Planner

I can't wait to get stuck into using this planner. It isn't dated, hence why starting it midway through the year is going to be completely fine, but it will help me organise my thoughts in a much more practical way than I currently seem to be doing.

With weekly, monthly and quarterly checklists, a place to write out your business plan, budgeting sections, prompts for weekly goals and general positive action points, quotes and ideas running throughout, I just know this is going to become my working life bible over the next few months. I'm so glad I finally decided to purchase one after a few months of pondering!

Daily Greatness Business Planner

Next up, when last having a browse around Rymans wondering what new stationery I could justify buying as I do on a regular basis, I decided to pick up this simple Acrylic Smart Phone Holder (link to similar) to keep by my side when actually sitting at my desk. 

At times I keep my phone on silent when I'm working in order to avoid being too distracted, especially if I have a lot to get done. I wanted to get something simple like this to prop up my phone so that I can still glimpse out of the corner of my eye if anything major happens in terms of phone calls. This is exactly what I needed, a no frills little stand that's just the ticket!

Phone Holder

Anyone who follows me on Instagram may have noticed a number of food posts coming their way recently. You may have read my previous post, Healthy Foodie Inspiration where I mention a couple of my favourite recipe books. Well, I'm still completely loving those but have recently added Get The Glow by Madeleine Shaw to my collection and have to say this is turning out to be a real winner.

Get The Glow Madeleine Shaw

The recipes are all incredibly delicious plus they don't really involve a whole lot of odd sounding and confusing ingredients, nor a great deal of time that you just don't have in the week in order to make delicious healthy meals.

I have so many favourite recipes from this book so far but a special mention has to go to the Ginger Beef Kebabs so simple and ridiculously delicious. As well as the Thai Chicken Soup with Toasted Peanuts (pictured below). We used unsalted cashews and added some wholewheat soba noodles to take it from a lighter lunch dish to a more substantial evening meal, but it was so good, so simple and definitely something we will be making on a regular basis. 

Thai Chicken Soup Get The Glow

On the subject of trying to maintain a healthier diet, for my next item I wanted to mention something I've taken to snacking on at my desk and on the go - the gluten free cereal bars from Nakd. My favourite flavour being Apple Pie as pictured below.

I've been making lots of my own healthy snack bites from the aforementioned cook books and having tried out a number of varied recipes. I will save my tales of homemade snack balls for another post! However if I'm out and about or just haven't had the time to make a fresh batch of my own snacks then I think that reaching for these Nakd bars is the next best thing.

Many such bars on the market are of course full of lots of added sugars and other nasties that take them quickly from the promise of a healthy to snack to something even worse than chowing down on a bar of chocolate. However I was recently watching nutritionist Ameila Freer discuss how if you must reach for something on the run then you want to look for snacks with the least ingredients. Therefore being as natural as possible and hopefully not so bad for you. 

The Nakd bars have very few ingredients, are cold-pressed and never baked therefore maintaining much more of their nutritional value and have no added sugars or syrups. Maybe not quite nutritionally perfect but they're pretty good as well as being blooming tasty too. Apple Pie is great - I also love the Banana Bread and the Cocoa Delight. Good to keep in your desk drawer or your work bag for any in between meeting emergencies.

Nakd Snack Bar

At the end of this month I'll be braving the Glastonbury Festival again for the first time in six years! So I wanted to invest in a portable mobile phone charger as I thought it would come in useful when on the go in general as well as hopefully provide a little extra power during the festival season.

I've opted to give the Anker Astro Mini a try as it sounds like a pretty useful piece of kit, is a nice compact size and well to be honest it was reduced from £39.99 to £9.99 so seemed like a worthwhile purchase for my particular purposes. I'm a bit cheeky including this here I guess as I haven't actually given it a proper test run yet but I thought I'd add it in then report back in a few weeks to let you know how I get on. Hopefully it will do the trick and provide enough extra power to render itself useful - I'm feeling optimistic!

Anker Mobile Charger

No edition of What's On My Desk would be complete without including a little notebook love! This time in the form of these three cute little paperbacks by Liberty from Waterstones (similar here). Bright and summery I couldn't resist these and they will play an important part in my summer note taking and planning. One is lined, one has squares (no excuse not to keep a note of my finances now) and one is simply pretty and plain with pastel coloured pages. Easy to carry with you, cute and perfectly formed. I'm looking forward to using these and feeling colourful and inspired as I do so.

Liberty Notebooks

Last but not least is the Orico Jazzy Moisturising Body Wash* that I was lucky to receive in a goody bag at a recent event and have really enjoyed using. Ok so body wash as part of a desk based post might seem a little odd. However, if you're someone who likes to take a trip to the gym or go for a run in your lunch break and are looking for something to really freshen and reawaken you before you head back to your desk in the afternoon, then this might be something worth keeping in your gym bag or desk drawer for such an occasion. 

The scent is fresh and revitalising - jazzy is certainly the right word here! It isn't drying in any way and will wake you up with a burst of fruity goodness from the Mandarin and Orange essential oils. It is also a certified organic and cruelty free product and is generally just delightful.

Orico Body Wash.jpg


So there we have my personal summer favourites and I hope some useful recommendations and ideas for you if you're after anything similar to the ideas above.

What are your summer work and desk side essentials? Have you tried out any of the above or do you have any suggestions or ideas you think I might like to try out? Do let me know, I love to hear new thoughts and hear your personal experiences with the same or similar products.

Bye for now everyone and see you again soon. Enjoy the rest of your Monday!



World Stationery Day GIVEAWAY!

Hello everyone. I hope this Wednesday finds you well.

As you probably know I've been going on and on about about the fact that it's National Stationery Week this week, and that I have a personal penchant for all things bright and beautiful that fall under this particular category!

TWNB Stationery Giveaway

Well in honour of this week and the fact that today is in fact World Stationery Day I wanted to share my passion for paper and offer one reader the chance to win the little bundle of beauties pictured above.

Entry is simple. Track me down on Twitter @TheWhatNowBlog, find the tweet related to the post, retweet and follow. Then at midday tomorrow I will pick a winner at random, contact via DM and post the lovely selection out ready for use in the office next week.

I'm hoping this process will work - just wanted to keep it quick and simple. Best of luck and Happy World Stationery Day all!


PLUS DON'T FORGET to join myself and guest host Uli from Found Some Paper for this evenings #CareerBlogChat at 7:30pm. Review the topic, questions and all details here.


THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. The winner has been contacted. Thank you so much to everyone for entering.