A new year is quite often cast as a new slate, a time to get motivated and start afresh. But sometimes the flicking over of the calendar isn’t all we need to get going, and once the heady haze of overly ambitious new year’s resolutions has settled we need to realise that we can start afresh whenever we want. These are the things that are inspiring me to keep going through this month and try and treat every day like the first of January.


I’ve mentioned this one on this blog before, but it’s worth mentioning again. The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck is a book about, well, not giving a fuck. Or rather, it’s about realising that you can’t give a fuck about everything and so you need to really think about where you spend your fucks. My word for this year is caring (a more family friendly way of saying fuck giving I guess) because I want to be more conscious of what I care about. I need to stop caring about the things that make me feel bad or anxious and start caring more about the things and people that I love, and this book has really helped clarify that for me. I will say it’s writing is a little repetitive and you don’t need to read all of it to get the message, but the wisdom it imparts mean it’s something I keeping dipping back into. I’ve also been rethinking caring through the lens of the very gorgeous Learning to Love You More by Harrell Fletcher & Miranda July.


I go through phases of TED talks: I get into them, I watch too many, then I get sick of them. I’m back into them again currently and these two are the ones that are inspiring me. Neither of them are very new but they’re both very good. Young-ha Kim’s ‘Be an artist, right now!’ has motivated me to get making again because I love it. I miss making things with my hands and actually drawing or painting. I used to make so much when I was little. Now I want to reconnect with that childhood joy and get making again, even if it isn’t good, because “we are all born artists.” In a similar vein, Stefan Sagmeister ‘Happiness by Design’ has got me thinking about finding the joy in my process and how design can bring you joy, whether that’s in creating it, seeing it or using it.


I know, this is a big one. But I’ve only just discovered the design community that’s filming and vlogging on youtube (yes, I have been living under a rock). Once I know a bit more I might put a full post up on design-tubers. There are so many cool people putting themselves out there. I’ve seen so many interesting events through their eyes and it has given me so many ideas of things I want to do and try this year. They’re also creating some awesome work! Some of my favourites include: Natasha Nuttall, Hollie Arnett, Charli Marie, and Frannerd


This is an oldie but a goodie. I recently found myself in need of an extra podcast and remembered the Elizabeth Gilbert’s Magic Lessons which I used to dip in and out of. The podcast features lots of really interesting and inspirational creative people talking about their creative struggles and how to live a creative life, as well as Elizabeth’s conversations with “ordinary” people who want to be more creative. It’s a bit like creative therapy, but more fun than that sounds. Elizabeth has been empowering creative people for years with her writing, and listening to her sage words of wisdom always makes me feel better and like I want to get going. If you run out of episodes, I’d suggest checking out her book Big Magic or the Raise Your Hand Say Yes podcast by Tiffany Han.


I’ve been living in London for a little while now, and I realise I haven’t been taking advantage of the city. There’s so much to do and see here, that if I’m quite honest I’ve been a bit overwhelmed and not done anything. But that is going to change. I’m going to take inspiration from the city I’m in whether that’s going to more museums or shows, or just trying to find the excitement in getting to be here. I was also very kindly gifted a National Art Pass for Christmas which is going to open even more doors to adventure this year.

What’s inspiring you this month?

Still stuck on those last few Christmas gifts? Feeling uninspired, or running low on cash? I’ve got you covered, with my top 5 DIY gifts. I’m not going to lie, these aren’t as easy as just buying someone a box of chocolates but they are a lot more thoughtful.


Everyone loves some greenery in their life, and it’s been scientifically proven that having plants in your home is good for you. But, not everyone is the best at keeping plants alive (hi!). That’s where the terrarium comes in, not only are they really lovely to look at they’re also really hard to mess up. Apartment Therapy has some really great instructions and tips for putting one together. Added bonus, they’re much less spiky to carry than a cactus.


Still got that box of chocolates on your mind? This one should satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. It’s the perfect antidote to the loss of Bake Off and any new year’s diets. All you need to do is measure and add the dry ingredients for cookies into a jar, then add a label with instructions for adding the wet ingredients. For all in one instructions, The Very Best Baking has everything you need. If you’re looking for a different cookie recipe, these are some of my favourites:

For healthier sorts, Lee Hersh’s Cherry Pistachio Energy Balls

Or for slightly more indulgence, go with these brownies from the ever wonderful Oh Lady Cake

My favourite choice chip cookies from Tanya Burr, you’ll probably need to scale down this recipe to fit it in a jar.

Keep the festive season going with some gingerbread, don’t forget to gift a little person cutter with your jar for this one.


I found out this year that homemade soap is surprisingly easy to pull together, so I’ve added it to this list. There are so many variations that can make the humble bar of soap something really special and it’s easy to bulk make if you have a lot of gifts to put together. A Beautiful Mess has so many you can peruse, from colour block soaps to spiced latte soap, to soap on a rope, and loads more beside those. If you’re feeling fancy you can even make a little popsicle tray/sled to deliver your soap on. 


If you can’t knit but still want to give the gift of toastiness to your loved one, this is for you. A Beautiful Mess (again, can you tell I love their DIYs) has all of the instructions you need to turn an old jumper or any knitted item really (where are my Helgas at?) into a lovely pair of homemade mittens. If you want to make them extra special have a go at putting some embroidery, maybes some initials. 


Still don’t think that DIT gifts can be modern and stylish? Think again, these marble effect coasters from Homey Oh My will please even the most discerning of customers. They’re also really fun and easy to make – always a bonus. If you’ve got any friends who have recently moved or just love homeware this is the DIY for you.

Not sure I would be much of a blogger these days without doing a run down of my christmas favourites, so here it is, a list of 10 things I’ve been loving this festive season.


  1. I’m not much of a hat person but this cashmere number has been keeping me warm all winter, so much so I’m not sure I’m going to take it off.
  2. Wrapping paper was one of the hardest picks for me this year, nothing has really reached out and grabbed me, but in the end I went with this trio from Cath Kidston because it made me nostalgic for Christmases from before I knew what Christmas was.
  3. I’ve recently become a bit obsessed with my oil burner, I think the mix of lavender and geranium essential oil might actually be my version of catnip. Now it’s Christmas I’ve been going with cinnamon and pine scents though.
  4. Now I’m a “grown up” (quotes definitely needed) mulled wine is one of the things I look forward to the most about winter. This is the reasonably priced best supermarket bottle I’ve had so far.
  5. My polaroid camera is a favourite all year round, but I’m making a special effort to use it more over the holidays because I’m getting to see so many people I love.
  6. I’ve lusted over Rifle Paper’s stationery for a long while, but this Christmas I finally took the plunge and bought these cards amongst others, and I don’t regret it at all.
  7. Miracle on 34th Street  couldn’t not be a festive favourite.
  8. Mince pies are always a favourite, this year I’ve been reaching for these ones from sainsbury’s.
  9.  This is technically a bit of a cheat, because I’ve not got to experience it yet this festive period, but something I’m really looking forward to being reunited with at home is the wood burning stove.
  10. Perhaps not the most exciting but this invisible tape has seen me through many festive periods before and hasn’t let me down yet. It’s not an over statement to say that this little dispenser changed my life.

Lebkuchen are one of my absolute favourite christmas treats. They’re a kind of german gingerbread that’s somewhere between a cake and a biscuit. This year has been the first year I’ve tried to make them myself though (I normally just rely on sainsbury’s). I was really pleased with how they turned out so I thought I’d share the recipe so you can try them for yourselves.



  • 250g plain flour
  • 85g ground almonds
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200ml clear honey
  • 1 lemon zest, finely grated
  • 85g butter
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch each ground cloves, grated nutmeg and black pepper (or replace all the spices lebkuchen spice mix if you find them)
  • 1 tsp baking powder


100g icing sugar

15ml water

30g bar dark or milk chocolate (I go for dark)


  1. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl
  2. Heat the butter and honey on a low heat.
  3. Once the butter has melted add in the dry ingredients mix and the lemon zest. Mix well until it forms into a dough.
  4. Leave to cool, covered, for 10-20 mins
  5. Put your oven on at 160C
  6. Break the dough into around 30 balls (they should be a bit smaller than a golf ball) then squish them into the shape of a cookie.
  7. Put them onto as many lined trays as you need, and bake for 15mins (no more!)
  8. Leave to cool (for real though leave them to cool, I know they smell good)
  9. Once they’re cool you’re ready to ice. Mix the icing sugar and water in a bowl, you might need a little more water but see how you feel. Dip one half (semi circle type half, you could do either, but this is easier) into the icing, leave to set.
  10. Melt the chocolate in a bain marie (a bowl over a pan of boiling water) and dip the other half of the lebkuchen into the chocolate.
  11. Leave to cool then enjoy!

There’s so much going in London throughout the year, but even more so over the festive period, some might say it’s even too much. But I’ve sorted through never ending list of and pulled out a couple of gems so you don’t have to.

1. Experience Christmas Past at the Charles Dicken’s Museum, where the rooms that Dickens lived and worked in will be decorated for the festive period as they would have been then.  (30th November – 8th January)

2. Take a wander down the mile-long festive trail in Kew Gardens at night and see it lit up with more than 60,000 lights, ft. a sparkling Christmas tree and colour-changing reeds.  (23rd November – 2nd January)

3. Go skating at Somerset House, then, if you’re feeling fancy, visit Fortnum’s Lodge to warm up after (17 November – 15 January)

4. Visit the giant Christmas Tree Oslo gifts Britain every year at Trafalgar Square, if you’re lucky you might even catch some caroling 

5. Get magical at Hogwarts in the Snow at the Warner Bros Studio (19th November – 29th January)

6. See the Christmas lights on Oxford Street, I pass them every day and I’m still not tired of seeing them 

7. Enjoy some mulled wine and pick up some Christmas Gifts at the Winter Festival at the South Bank Centre (11th November – 22nd January)

8. Eat, drink, and be merry in Borough Market – I’m particularly excited for the Eve of Cheese. (7th December – 24th December (14th December for the Cheese))

9. Take a break from shopping and enjoy some carols at St Martin-in-the-Fields Church (Check for dates and times)

10. Sit on Santa’s lap or watch La Soiree in the Leicester Square grotto  (11th November – 24th December)