Because I’m living on my own, this year will be the first year I decorate a tree, and the rest of my room, from scratch. Without the primary school throw back tree decorations and the aged tinsel stash from the loft to rely on I’ve decided to turn to DIY, because, well, tree decorations are expensive. I also think adding a personal touch to Christmas decorations can make it all them more special, and making something yourself means it’s going to be exactly what you wanted. These are some of the DIYs I’m thinking of making this year.


I love how minimal and easy these are. While I love a bit of over the top Christmas, I feel like sometimes something pared back and classy can have just as much effect.


These couldn’t be easier. I might even adapt the printable and add my own patterns in. If you run out of space on your tree they could even work as mini free standing trees for a mantle piece or desk.


You can’t beat a bit of origami. All you need is a piece of paper, and it would be so easy to personalise this one using different prints and colours so it matches the look you’re going for. I might try these as bunting as well as single hanging ornaments as well.


These fabric baubles couldn’t be lovelier. I personally love the blue designs they’ve used, but you could so easily change them up and personalise the designs to whatever suits you. The idea of having soft decorations as well as the are traditional kind feels like a bit of a school throw back but also adds a certain homeliness into the mix.


While there’s probably going to be a lot of tinsel and fairy lights going on around my room, I really love these hanging chandeliers to add some variety. I love how the colours and textures really make it fun, you could adapt and reuse these for other festive occasions too.


These aren’t really decorations, and I’m not sure when I’ll have chance to make them. But if you’re hosting Christmas this year, or just throwing any kind of festive dinner party, these origami tree napkins are such a fun and special touch to any table decorating you do.

To help you fill in the printable Gift Planner I posted a few days ago I thought I’d share some of the coolest creative gifts I’ve seen in the lead up to the festive period. I’ve put the caveat of ‘grown up’ on this list because, and I’m not sure how, almost everything I’ve pulled isn’t really PG13. Hopefully these will give you some inspiration for that difficult someone in your life, or maybes just give you something else to add to your own Christmas list*.


Good for: Every creative you know

Price: £13.50ish ($16.50)

GFDA’s advice is always so on point, and in mug form its even better. Sometimes everyone needs to be reminded to “Be Fucking Bold” (No. 213), and when better to see that advice then when you’re working with a little caffeine boost for extra boldness? It looks good, it sounds good, and it tastes good. GFDA  have load of other great stuff in their shop too, if mugs just aren’t you cup of tea (ba dum bum tsh)


Good for: Fans of Cards Against Humanity

Price: £4

This Design Pack for Cards Against Humanity (if your designer doesn’t have CAH already, you’ll need to get the original cards too) contains 30 fully-illustrated cards by some of the best graphic designers in the world, including Milton Glaser (I <3 NY), Susan Kare (the Apple Macintosh), and Erik Spiekermann (MetaDesign). What’s better is that all of the proceeds from the sales of the expansion pack go to The Chicago Design Museum. As well as a great stocking filler this also makes a fun ‘thanks for having me over’ gift instead of/as well as a bottle of wine. If you’re into silly, yet challenging, card games you should also totally check out Person Do Thing – it’s great not just because it was made by some friends of mine and it has some of my work in it.


Good for: Anyone who might need a pep talk, or loves a bit of creative self care

Price: £12-15ish ($10-$12)

As Bigcartel said when they launched their anniversary pack with Adam JK, “No one knows the artist’s struggle better than Adam J. Kurtz”. I couldn’t agree more. Pick Me Up is an interactive book for getting through the darker parts of life, kind of a creative self-help workbook but way more fun than that sounds. It’s Adam’s follow up to the cult favourite 1 Page At A Time. The Unsolicited Advice planner is now in its 6th year. It’s exactly what it sounds like, a planner with advice and activities to help you get through the year. Both of them  I basically want everything from his Gift Shop, so make sure you have a browse as well.


Good for: Plant lovers

Price: £53ish ($65)

I firmly believe that having a plant on your desk is good for you. But finding the perfect planter to give your succulent, fern, or cactus, to give your plant a little extra something can be tough. I feel like everyone and their nan has seen these tiny boob plant pots, but there’s a good reason. They’re so good – they’re fun and really well designed. Group partner have just listed a load of new designs though, so if there wasn’t one that caught your eye before, there might be now.


Good for: People with coffee tables

Price: £30

Everyone knows about Mr Bingo’s Hate Mail postcards, but not everyone has a copy, and they should. So why not spice up your friend’s coffee table with a signed copy, and maybes even a bookmark if you want to go all out. Also you should still be reading this early enough to buy his advent calendar, which you should 100% do, it’s way healthier than the chocolate kind.

What’s on your Christmas list? 

*Dear loved ones, please don’t read this post as me making hints at my own Christmas list!

The one thing that is guaranteed to put me in a festive mood is Christmas music. I have a personal rule not to listen to Christmas music before December, but as soon as the first hits I go pretty hard. Because I listen to so much Christmas music, variety is key to not hearing the jingle bells in my dreams. These are the 5 albums I’ll probably be playing the most this holiday season.


Listen if you’re: looking for a classic

White Christmas is one of my all-time favourite Christmas films, I watch it at least once every year so I always associate Bing Crosby with the festive season. This album has all of the standards you’d expect on a 40s Christmas record.


Listen if you’re: looking for a jazzier classic

Is there anything better than Ella Fitzgerald singing while you lounge in front of an open fire? This is always the image that this album conjures up for me, even if I’m stuck on the tube. This one’s a bit more upbeat and, well, swingy than White Christmas so it’s the perfect pick me up.


Listen if you’re: wanting an update on the usual standards

I love She & Him (Zooey Deschanel of New Girl and Elf fame, and M. Ward off of Masters of Folk) at any time of the year, but particularly at Christmas-time. Their festive album is perfectly titled, it’s a record of holiday standards that just sound very She & Him, the perfect mix of vintage and modern. I like to mix this one in with the traditional big hitters like Ella and Bing for a bit of a break.


Listen if you’re: after something a bit different/not quite so upbeat

Sufjan Steven’s Songs for Christmas is a mix of winter classics like Silent Night and some originals all performed in Sufjan Steven’s signature, slightly melancholic, style. This one’s great if you’ve listened to too many jingle bells in a row and you want something Christmas themed without it being wrapped in fairy lights and covered in fake snow.


Listen if you’re: sick of all of the singing

Simple, jazzy, a bit plinky-plonky (you know what I mean) and not a voice in sight, that’s A Charlie Brown Christmas. I didn’t know about this one until a few years ago, but it’s now my go to background working music for December.


You’ll notice that I haven’t included Now That’s What I Call Christmas (or a similar cheesy compilation) or, shock horror, any Michael Bublé on this list. I’m as partial to a bit of Slade in the winter months as anyone else, but because those pop classics will be on literally everywhere I turn from shops to the office, to walking past my house mates’ doors, I don’t actively seek them out. But rest assured they haven’t been forgotten. What albums are on your Christmas playlist?

Everyone knows that sitting down for prolonged periods of time, for example working at a desk all day before coming home to work at a desk again, is pretty bad for your health. So I’ve come up with a small range of exercises I like to do at my desk, so then I feel better about my sedentary lifestyle and hopefully won’t end up a hunchback at 40. I thought I’d share some of my favourites, so that everyone else can look silly, but do themselves some good, too:

1 Everything rests on your SHOULDERS

Good for: back and posture

Description: Stand up and give those shoulders a roll. Then squeeze your shoulders together as much as you can – it’s okay if it looks like you’re doing the funky chicken. Hold this for 10 seconds, and then release.

2 The paper PUSHer

Good for: arms

Description: Put both hands on your desk and step back until your body is at a 45 degree angle. Then do some push ups. Good for those of us who can’t quite do a proper push up yet!

3 The WEIGHT of this knowledge is too great

Good for: arms

Description: Find the heaviest book you can, this will often be an unused dictionary. Stand with your feet shoulder with apart. Hold the book behind your head, then raise it to a stretch. Lower it back down. Repeat until the weight of the knowledge of this great exercise is too great

4 SEALing the deal

Good for: stress relief, arms and abs

Description: Okay so you have to do this one beside your desk, but I love it so much I had to include it. It’s somewhere between a seal push up and yoga. Bend down to touch your toes, then walk your hands, keeping your legs straight, until your body is at 90 degrees (downward dog). Push your body forward so your chest is over your arms, and let your back bow (cobra). Then push back into the first position. If you want to work out your arms more, bend them as you move forward so that your body scoops upward.

5 I ain’t done SQUAT

Good for: butt and thighs

Description: About a step in front of your chair, stand feet shoulder width apart. Then squat until your butt just touches the chair. Stand back up and repeat until your legs are saying “I don’t think your ready for this jelly”.

6 I’m TRI-ing my best

Good for: arms

Description: Facing away from your desk take a step forward. Then, standing with your feet shoulder width apart, put your hands back on the desk and lower your body to a pseudo-seated position. Raise back up, and repeat, feeling those triceps burn.

7 Up against the WALL

Good for: quads

Description: Stand with your back up against the wall, then slid down til your legs are bent at 90 degrees. Hold this squat for as long as you can before sliding back up the wall. Repeat if you’re brave.

8 I’m TIP TOEing around this client

Good for: calves

Description: Stand with your feet together behind your chair, holding the back if you need it for balance, raise your self up onto you tip toes. Hold for it for 5 seconds, and then lower. For added difficulty don’t lower yourself all the way back down to the ground.

9 I’ve ABSolutely got to have that RAISE

Good for: abs and thighs

Description: Sitting down, straighten and raise one leg just off the chair and hold for 10 seconds. Then lower it back down to the floor. Repeat on the other side. If you’re feeling wild try raising both legs at once!

NB: These exercises should be done responsibly, and do not guarantee to make you look like Beyonce.

I was going to do another top five blogs I’ve been reading this month post, but then I realised there was really only one that I wanted to talk about, Cocorrina . So, that’s what I’m going to do. This is a more in depth review of the one blog I’m loving above all else at the minute (I think I might do more of this kind of long review as well as quick run downs).


Founded in 2012, by Corina Nika, Cocorrina is a design studio and blog. Corina’s blog includes everything from her design work, to recipes, to tips on freelancing. Her site is quite minimal and really shows off her visual content.


Firstly, and most obviously, Cocorrina’s based around something I love (and something you probably love to if you’re on my blog) design. Secondly, you can tell she cares about her content. Her design work is always on point, and you can tell she really puts a lot of time and thought into every pattern and passion piece she puts up. I’ve particularly been loving her The Freelance Life series, which contains loads of great advice about freelancing. Corina’s style is clear but also personal, you know that she’s got experience and she’s not just talking about things without caring about them.


If you’re a designer, budding or otherwise, check out her series The Freelance Life . As mentioned above it has some really great advice on freelancing and design and covers a whole range of topics, some of which I had never really thought about. I’d also check out her courses if you’re looking to hone some specific skills, I’ve not used any of them, but judging by the standard of her work they’re likely to be great. If you’re not a designer and looking for some great visual stimulation, have a look through her design and downloadables sections, and you might just find yourself a new wallpaper in the process. In the mood for some more lifestyle based stuff? She also has some really nice, and beautifully photographed, recipes and some swoon worthy outfit inspiration.


  • Facebook – for updates of what Corina’s up to, mainly blog based
  • Twitter – for updates of what Corina’s up to, a mix of blog and personal stuff
  • Instagram – for some serious location envy, there are a lot of gorgeous shots of island life in Kefalonia
  • Pinterest – for Corina’s curation of everything from design, to fashion to food
  • Dribble – for a look at some of her stunning design work