DIY minimal desk tidy

how to make a simple letter rack

i'm a sucker for a clean desk but as much as i try i find bills and paperwork still sneaking their way back. i want them close to hand but i also want them tidy so when i get round to going through them i've not lost that all important receipt or appointment card!

i always keep my wood offcuts when i'm working on DIY's- you never know when they may come in handy for propping up furniture or testing out power tools! turns out they're quite handy for making a desk tidy or letter rack- who'd have thought it?

all you need for this DIY is plywood (i used offcuts but you can cut yours from a sheet of ply) and some wood glue. easy peasy!

wooden desk tutorial

here's how i made my letter rack!

1. cut a thin rectangle of plywood or balsa wood to use as a base (mine measures 7 x 14cm.)

2. cut two wooden triangles (mine are 14cm across the bottom and 7cm high.) 

3. apply wood glue along the bottom/base of the triangles and glue them onto the rectangle base as shown in the image above.

4. leave to dry then stuff all your miscellaneous paperwork in- hurrah!

easy desk tidy tutorial
DIY | triangle desk tidy

i'm pretty happy with it- hope you like!

back soon

caroline x 

how to care for indoor plants

5 tips for keeping indoor plants

one of the things that gives me the most happiness at home is my plants. they add life to our space, they improve the air quality and they make me feel more grounded and calm. i have a whole bunch of them and my knack for buying them doesn't seem to be slowing down so i've become pretty competent at keeping things alive! i thought i'd share a few tips that i've learnt on my path to keeping healthy indoor plants.

1. get to know your plants.

whenever i buy a plant i google it when i get home- yep seriously. if you're a newbie to keeping plants (or have a talent for killing them) its a good idea to find out what they like from day 1! keep a notebook with the species/name of your plants, how much water they like and what environment they prefer (full sun/shade etc.) i often repot my plants and lose the original labels so if i write it down in a notebook i can check the name and look online if it seems unhappy or isn't growing well later down the line..

2. how much to water.

i water my plants once a week and resist the urge to top them up in between as i had a tendency to over water them in the past. plants like cacti and succulents are easy to keep as they require even less watering -strangely this didn't suit me at first and i showed them too much love by watering them until they became soggy and rotted. now I only spritz them with a spray bottle once a week, lesson learnt! 

signs your plants need more water:

top soil is dry to touch and cracked. 
pick up the plant, if it feels very light it will be dried out.
falling leaves, or curling up with yellow/brown edges.
if the soil is pulling away from the edges of the container it's probably thirsty!
very slow growth.

signs you plant need less water:

mould on the soil surface.
wet roots or excess water in the bottom of your planter.
plant feels heavy or waterlogged when lifted.
brown patches on the leaves
young and old leaves are both falling off.

you can water plants from the top (avoid the leaves) or you can put your planter on a plate/bowl and water from the bottom and let the roots pull up the water. it's usually preferable to water from the bottom up but it's way more time consuming (and i rarely do it unless the planter comes with it's own dish!)

if you have plants that like humidity spray the leaves with a spray bottle and keep them away from draughts. remember most plants like a little extra water during the growing season but in winter you can usually reduce the amount of water you give.   

3. give them light

i'll usually have my indoor plants on tables or drawers next to windows where they benefit from the light but aren't punished by the heat. check what type of light your plants prefer- if you plant likes direct sun it'll be great to sit on a window ledge, if it prefers shade it could do well in a hanging planter away from the windows. if they're starting to flag try moving them to a different position, i rotate new or struggling house plants every month or so, i find its the best way to figure out where they're suited! in winter i might move them into a more optimum position for light on dark days.

4. feed and clean

it's only in the last year that i started to actually feed my plants (ooops!) and they do look greener, i simply add baby bio to my indoor watering can every other week during the summer. when transplanting you can add slow release fertiliser.

if you have indoor plants with big leaves like swiss cheese or rubber plants they can become really dusty and clogged. invest in some leaf wipes and give them a clean. remove any dead or dying leaves/stems to encourage new growth!

5. a new home.

i'm terrible at repotting, i had some big plants that were desperately in need of a bigger home and i finally got around to repotting them this summer. since then i've already seen a growth spurt so i should have done it earlier!
if your plants have outgrown their existing pots or you see roots growing through the drainage holes transplant them into a bigger pot. if you don't have drainage holes in your planter or know the plants likes less water add a layer of gravel at the bottom to help prevent them becoming waterlogged (particularly with succulents!)

i'm pretty good with keeping plants these days, some of my plants are 3-7 years old so i can tell when they need a little less/extra water now from experience. i still have my share of disasters though, each plant is different and there are some that i just don't get on well with. i used to have a talent for killing indoor ferns but i've managed to keep all of my newer ones healthy by keeping a closer eye on the soil moisture and leaf colour.. so far so good but i won't count my chickens yet!

if you'd like some recommendations for easy care house plants let me know..

back soon!

caroline x

hello weekend

weekend! i'm heading to mallorca tomorrow, i've never been before so let me know if there is anything i should totally do. i don't know about you but the week before i go away is always a mad panic to get stuff done before i leave (feel like i need a holiday to recover from getting ready for holiday?!)

i'm off to throw my stuff in a suitcase- have a wicked weekend!

100% obsessed with korean beauty packaging.

first brexit now bake off, damn you!

this is so true..

love these minimal tattoos.

so this is making me pretty hungry!

chat soon!

caroline x

DIY embroidered cacti purse

how to sew a cacti purse craft tutorial

it's been a while since i picked up a needle and thread but this DIY was the perfect way to get back into the swing of things! i love the embroidered tee's that have been flooding the high street this summer (particularly brandy melville) so why not try my own?

i wanted to create a simple cacti pattern that i could stitch onto a purse, i'm heading on holiday this weekend and i thought it would make the perfect travel companion!

hello weekend

uk lifestyle and interior blog

i don't have any concrete plans for this weekend... yay. 
we've had loads of parties and weddings to go to recently so it's nice to have a few days where i can do things in my own time. i'm taking part in a memory walk for alzheimer's society, after that i'll go for coffee, buy some flowers, potter around the market.. nice stuff i haven't managed to do for a while (can't wait.)

hope you have a lovely w/end.

omg, could not be more excited to watch this.. i love theroux!

- whoever created this is my spirit animal.

- seen this series yet? WATCH IT.

- 5 useful apps for freelancers.

- 10 hobbies that make you smarter?

- just going to be sick, brb.

back soon

caroline x

5 things you need for a cosy night in

pamper night essentials

as we inch closer towards october i'm starting to get excited about autumnal nights, i've always looked forward the time of year when our days become shorter and our evenings get darker! i find autumn a magical time of year, although i miss the balmy days of summer i adore the change in season and the giant mugs of hot chocolate it brings. 

with our summer drawing to a close i thought it was the perfect time to talk pampering! i've been meaning to put together a post about my perfect night in for a while. james and i are creatures of habit- we both love to spend a sunday night relaxing together.

here are five things i think you need for the perfect night in!

5 things you need for a cosy night in

unleash your pamper products.

i start the night off with a long bubble bath (essential right?) i throw in my favourite products, give my skin a good polish with lush exfoliator or my molten brown bar and finish up with a healthy lather of moisturiser. i'm still using this DIY cream minus the aloe vera.

during the week i try and keep up with my skincare regime but on a pamper night i love to go the extra mile and treat my skin to a few extra products in my arsenal. first up- getting rid of any make up residue with my aesop facewash, then i opt for a face mask, current faves are my antipodes aura manuka honey* and aesop parsley seed mask, both of these are gentle but deep cleansing. i tend to give my skin a good spritz of serozinc toner after and then finish off with my power duo- estee lauder advanced night repair ampoules* and revitalizing supreme +* to plump my skin. my skin always drinks up products after a face mask so this rich cream is a lovely way to finish. 

after my face is fully loaded i move onto my hands, cuticle oil and hand cream is a must especially if i've had a gel mani. i love to give myself a pedicure at home too, starting off with a foot soak and scrub, i give my toes a quick tidy and polish and then slather them in moisturiser for a head to toe pamper session.

create some atmosphere.

a cosy night isn't complete with a few essential ingredients- candlelight and soft lighting is key! i have a big collection of scented candles but i'll only burn one at a time, for extra light and atmosphere i'll light tall taper candles with tea lights scattered around at various heights. i also like to grab a big knitted throw and some oversized cushions or pillows to pile on the sofa to snuggle into. i might have a small lamp or string of fairy lights on but NEVER the ceiling lights.

grab some snacks.

food, my other great love! a night in is always a little indulgent so you have to have some tasty snacks to hand. if i'm being healthier it may be a picky selection of meats, crackers, olives, dips and vegetables. other nights i'll pop to m&s or waitrose and grab a pizza and a bottle of pinot! if all else fails we reach for the phone and get a take out. we don't really tend to eat desserts but we always have popcorn and hot chocolate within easy reach.. obvs.

wear comfy threads.

..aka pyjamas or joggers! i love investing in new pj's and loungewear, comfort and oversized wins every time folks. if i want to look less slob-esque i'll wear a pair of boyfriend jeans and a tee.

don't forget the entertainment.

i remember telling a friend james and i had an evening of 'netflix and chill' planned before i twigged as to that particular code (AWKS) but getting stuck into a good boxset or film is a big part of any night in for me. at the minute we just finished watching 'the night of' (currently on sky atlantic or catch the boxset on now tv) we've also been working out way through new episodes of narcos and bloodline on netflix. if you're into a good documentary or crime store check out my fave netflix offerings!

my last piece of advise? put your phone on airplane mode, cause nobody should come between a girl and her night off!

back soon

caroline x

DIY tasselled planter

how to make a tasselled planter

i have a lot of plants and a love of tassels so i figured i'd made some tasselled planters. call me crazy but i think they turned out pretty darn cute? i decided to share them with you in case there are some other plant loving tassel making fans out there..

hello weekend

victoria beckham x estee lauder

ah friday i've missed you! james and i have two weddings to attend this weekend so it's going to be pretty darn busy. i've mostly spent this week catching up on work after being in ireland so it'll be nice to bust some moves on the dancefloor.

the gorgeous selection of make up above is from the estee lauder x victoria beckham collection* which lands next week. the bronzer compact is a thing of beauty, i'll defo be channelling my inner vic with her classic nude lip combo at this weekends celebrations...

have an awesome few days, here's some fun stuff:

- new ikea catalogue, i repeat new ikea catalogue!!

cutest cupcake DIY ever?

- v. cool way to transfer your writing onto digital devices.

- embroidery goals.

- straight on the a/w wishlist!

back soon!

caroline x

DIY shibori peg bag

how to shibori dye fabrics

keeping up with the cycle of washing, drying and packing away laundry feels never ending some weeks! my washing line gets a fair amount of use in the summer months so i decided to make myself a shibori peg bag to keep things neat and pretty!

scandi style tips for your home office

home decor- home office style ideas
scandinavian styling ideas

having a workspace that i enjoy makes it much more bearable when i have to put in long hours. if you work from home or spend your evenings online having a functional office is the key to being more productive. scandinavian styling really suits home offices, their more minimal approach looks fresh and clean with the added bonus of keeping things organised and tidy. personally i'm far more productive when i keep clutter at bay, following a few rules to simplify my desk works miracles!

- streamline your desk.

keep only what you need on your desk. i have a huge collection of stationery but having it all out at once would be a logistical nightmare. keep the pens and smaller items needed daily in a pot or organiser and put everything else away. be ruthless and invest in storage boxes or baskets to store things neatly out of sight. i keep all my camera equipment, hard drives, usb's and ugly cables in simple white ikea boxes until i need them. taking five minutes in the evening to put everything back in it's place pays off when you return to work the following day.

- pick complimentary accessories.

scandi workspaces are very easy to style and a few key accessories will really unify the look, keeping to black, white or grey accessories is probably the most effective approach. this dark grey desk lamp* and glass display box* from sainsbury's compliment each other perfectly. an industrial memo board like mine keeps things neat but still fits that 'scandi' vibe. i love keeping my pens in design letters cups and these normann wall pockets are a great way to store desk supplies too!

- keep a happy balance.

you don't want to create a space that is so sparse it's uninviting. a minimal approach to styling doesn't mean removing everything, it's just being more selective. you can have prints and personal items in the space just think about how to style them- would they look better framed above your desk? or could you pin them to a memo board? 

i don't need 5 types of paperclips on my desk but i do need foliage, whether it's a plant of some eucalyptus in a glass vase! a scented candle will create a nice inviting atmosphere without cluttering a desk. play around until you reach a happy medium!

interior style blog

i hope this has given you a few ideas! are you a fan of scandi style offices too?

back soon

caroline x

DIY citronella candle

handmade candle tutorial

my fave thing about summer is sitting outside enjoying the company of friends and family.. the worst part is waking up the next day covered in mosquito bites (seriously. every. time)

when i go on holiday i bring a whole heap of insect repellent but i have a tendency to forget to wear any at home. this year i've been burning citronella candles outside instead, its a smell that always reminds me of summer holidays and helps keeps those pesky bugs at bay.