I’m a complete homebody so I thought it was about time that I did a mini-series about my room. This is the longest time I’ve had a single space to call my own since I lived at home. I live in a shared house, so my room is the only space that I can really call my own, and now I’ve been there for a year it really is my own. I’ve dismantled and built furniture, decorated, and even filled the whole space with the scent of lavender and tea tree.

I make my one room work pretty hard. Because it is my only real space, it has to do everything. I’m very lucky that I have a room that’s big enough to be able to handle everything I want from it. If I’m honest I didn’t expect to have quite so much space in London, but I’m so so glad that I do.

My room is laid out in sections by use. That’s in part by design and in part because of where the immovable elements of the room are, but more to come on that in a future post! There’s a sleeping area, my semi-bathroom, a living room, and my office. I’ve drawn a little diagram to help give a little context to the tour, and because I always struggle to join up YouTube room tours where the camera cuts around. I also just really wanted to draw a semi-architectural diagram.

I’ve decorated the space in as much white, and light neutral colours as I can to try and capitalise on the small amount of light I have in my room and to make the space feel even bigger and more calming.


My bed is my favourite place in the world. Moving to London was the first time I had a double bed in my life and let me tell you it was a glorious step up. The blanket my grandma crocheted for me sits at its foot, and a sensible, I think, number of decorative pillows sit at the top when it’s made including my sleepy sloth friend. The side table is often home to too much rubbish, but when I have it in check it’s just my light, some of the jewelry I don’t wear every day, my book and a few other little bits. The rug on the floor is something I’ve had since I was at Oxford, and I really think it makes the space feel homelier. It’s a lovely grey pattern, that’s just subtle enough for my liking.


My little living area is a relatively new development and is in a bit of a thoroughfare tucked under the mantle of an old fireplace. On the mantel, I have all of my books (I’m trying not to let the collection expand too far), some art, and either a candle or my oil burner. I also have a string of fairy lights that I got for Christmas last year spread across the mantel which I turn on for my evening/relax lighting. The star of the show though is my big rattan chair. This is my watch TV or read spot and I absolutely love it. It’s snug and cozy, but still light and airy enough to go with the room without being imposing. The side table next to it is perfect for tea and biscuits as well as storing a few bits including my speaker and my journal.


I have a strange shower set up in my room. I have a shower and a sink to myself, but no toilet, and no division from the rest of the room. I’m not complaining though. I love having a shower to myself, knowing I can get in whenever I want and hang out in my towel for as long as it takes for me to procrastinate. I have an open shelving unit with all of my toiletries (it’s effectively a medicine and makeup cabinet) and my spare towels, as well as a few selected cleaning supplies. It’s a bit of a pain to clean and dust but it does the job.


I love that my workspace is physically divided off from the rest of my room. This little space contains my desk, chair, and all of my work materials, as well as acting as storage for my bike and laundry dryer. This area has the best (and only) natural light with the patio door and skylight, which makes it the ideal working space. The main feature of the area is my desk, but I also have a little open shelving unit that helps divide the space and contains a random assortment of items from photos, to tea, to fruit, to washi tapes, my collection of letters and spare paper. My “office” is also the most decorated area of the room with my prints and postcards all up on the walls, as well as my resolution tracker.

Keep your eyes peeled for the next post in this miniseries all about my favourite design pieces in my room, which will be here in the next few days.

Celebrating your own achievements is so important. You have to recognise your own progress and acknowledge how far you’ve come. Not only is it nice to give yourself a little pat on the back, it’s essential to keep you growing and striving forward for the right reasons. Mini-celebrations are sometimes just as important as the big ones because every big project is made up of little steps and each one of those is a milestone and a learning opportunity in its own right.

You can’t just celebrate your own achievements. You need to recognise those of the people you love. For me, one of the best ways to see if someone truly cares about you is if they’re there for you when you’re winning as well as when you’re losing. It can be a lot harder to put your own problems to one side and celebrate someone else, especially if you feel they’ve done something you want to achieve. But if you love someone, that love should be the bigger feeling and you should share in their joy and help them remember how important it is to acknowledge their achievements too. Hopefully, they’ll do the same for you too.

Here are some of the best ways I’ve found to celebrate my wins and those of the people I value most…


Taking a night off, to do whatever you want (for me that means Netflix and a bar of Ritter Sport) is such a great, and simple, way to celebrate a small success. So many studies have shown that the thing that makes us feel happiest is having free time to spend doing something we love, so give yourself the luxury of some breathing space. I feel like a night off is also particularly great if you’ve been working on a project or spending a bit extra time to get something right.


I wrote a whole post about the importance of treating yo self, but I had to put it in this list. Everything here is essentially a variation on treat yo self, but I’m thinking specifically here of the Tom Haverford style of buy yourself something nice. If there’s been something you’ve been waiting to get or wanting for a while, use a small victory as an excuse to get it. Not only is it nice to get something nice, when you buy something as a bit of a self-reward the item itself gets caught up in the victory and will act as a reminder of your achievement in the future.


If you don’t want to buy something but you still want to make sure you remember the little things, write it down. Again, so many studies have shown that writing things down makes them stick in your memory so much more. So, take the time to jot them down in a diary or journal or even write a letter to your future self.

The Story Behind: My Greeting Card Designs


Writing it down doesn’t just work for your own wins, if you want to celebrate a friend there is nothing better than sending a hand-written note, or even a little care package filled with victorious goodies. If you’re looking for a card to put your thoughts in and to express your joy there are two in my shop that I designed just for this kind of situation: my YAY card is great for all celebrations and is one of my bestsellers, and my Number 1 Fan card is perfect to tell someone you’re their, well, number 1 fan. Making that bit of extra effort to celebrate someone else’s success is one of the best ways to show that you care.


Or, there’s always the option of going all out and throwing yourself or your friend a mini party to celebrate. That doesn’t have to mean canapes and a band (unless you want it to), it can just be having a pizza night or going out to the cinema together. You can do whatever you want as long as you’re celebrating in style.


If you don’t want to do anything big, just break with routine. Have a special dinner. Take a more scenic route to work. Have a morning shower instead of an evening one. Call your mum a day early. Just do something to mark it as something a bit special. If you’re celebrating a loved one, take on a task they would normally do. Do they normally cook you dinner? Put the oven on. Do they always organise group gatherings? Take the reins. Acknowledge all they do for you, and all they’re doing for themselves at the same time.

Around this time last year, I wrote a post called 8 Things to do before 8AM. It was all about the morning routine I had, and how I was using it to kick start my day. If you’ve seen that post, or my review of my favourite posts of the year, you’ll know that it got a lot of positive comments.

But when I went back over it, I realised it wasn’t quite accurate to my morning routine now, a year into being a “grown up” so I thought I’d give it a little update. These are the 8 things I actually do before 8 am (the time I have to leave for work – I’m not sure if I would get up quite so early otherwise).


I am such a bad snoozer. I have tried everything, and I have done it for so long that I just get back into bed on autopilot. Currently, I have my alarm on the other side of the room (in a tricky to reach and ever-changing position) so that I give myself the best shot I can of getting up quickly. I have a Newgate alarm clock which is really loud and isn’t as easy to snooze as my phone, plus it means that the first thing I seen on a morning isn’t a blue glowing screen which has to be good for me – right? If you struggle with hitting snooze I highly recommend them.


This was in my last list, but it has remained really important. I always have a glass (or half a glass) or water as soon as I can when I get up. It leaves me thinking much more clearly and I’m always thirstier than I realise when I get to it. This isn’t so much of a “this is an incredible morning routine” post, I’m a normal person, but if there’s one thing you take away from this drink your water folks. I even leave a glass out overnight, so I have no excuses and don’t even have to go into the kitchen (AKA I don’t have to get dressed first)


As I said last year I am never going to be the kind of person who goes on a run or goes to soul cycle before breakfast. I’ve attempted it, more than once, and it just isn’t me. But I do try and have a stretch, or, if I’ve managed not to snooze (so this maybes happens once a week), work my way through this fitness blender video because I have the worst core strength/back issues for a 24-year-old. It’s quite low impact so I don’t get sweaty but it leaves me feeling like I’ve achieved something before I even get to work. Thankfully I’ve done it so many times I can just look at a clock and do it without the video now.

*If you don’t use Fitness Blender it’s an ace source of workouts (of all levels/styles/lengths) for when you don’t want to go out.


It barely takes any time and makes me feel nice when I get home. Plus, I watched this commencement speech and I figured if it had any chance of changing my life it was worth it.


Every night I make my lunch for the next day, pack my bag, and lay out my clothes. I even put my oyster card and passes in my coat pockets. Having all of that work done before I even wake up means my mornings are much more streamlined, and I have fewer panics when my brain is still too foggy to function properly.


Okay, okay hear me out. I know we’re not supposed to check our phones on a morning. We’re meant to be screen free and happy, unburdened by the outside world. But I’m a person in the real world and I do a job where my day can change at the drop of a hat. So I do check my email (not my social media) before I leave for work, if for no other reason than I need to know I’m going to the right office.


I normally write out my to do list for the day the night before, to capture any tasks from the previous day I haven’t done yet. But on a morning, I like to have a quick scan of that list to remind me what I have to do, and to decide what my focus is going to be. At the minute that involves checking my personal kanban board. I’ve found the practice of having just one or sometimes two things as my main priorities for the day makes me a lot more productive and it leaves me feeling better about what I have achieved at the end of the day.


In 2016 when I was a mere London baby, I had not learned the perils of the Piccadilly line. I didn’t realise how a leaf can cause months of disruption, or how an ill-timed trip out can leave you stuck in a mob outside of a closed station. Thus, I have made many mistakes and had far too many stressful commutes. But like a phoenix, I have risen an almost always well-informed traveller. I check TFL and Citymapper a few times before I leave, and on my way to the station to make sure I get the optimal route. When I have time, I like to get off a stop early and go for a stroll before getting to the office to walk off the feeling of being a sweaty human sardine.

As you may or may not know I recently relaunched my portfolio and opened a little store filled with illustrated goodies. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long while but it wasn’t until recently that I was confident enough in myself to start selling my work and my skills properly. I don’t really like talking about myself, as much as my regular blogging may suggest otherwise, and I certainly don’t like trying to tell people I’m talented, in part because I’m still trying to convince myself.

Throughout the process of setting up the store, and of writing this blog for over a year, I’ve come up with a few ways to get more comfortable with selling myself as someone who’s very uncomfortable with doing so and I thought I would share my learnings with you too, on the off chance they can help someone else.


You are not the centre of the universe. No one cares as much about your self-promotion or your latest project as much as you do. I don’t say that to be mean, because as soon as I realised that talking about my work became a lot easier for a whole number of reasons. First, it took the pressure off for my work to be perfect. Second, once I realised there are very few people who see every tweet/Instagram (thanks algorithm)/blog post it dawned on me that it was okay, and actually necessary to talk about my work more than once. Third, it meant that I could, and should sell myself harder. There are very few people I see talk about their work and I go “oh no, wait, that’s super arrogant”. If I see someone doing good work 9 times out of 10 I’m just excited to see it.


This sounds really basic but having something you’re really proud of and want to share with the world makes promoting it so much easier. For me, that means making sure I’m undertaking a project for the right reasons e.g. making things I think will make people happy or serve a purpose rather than just having something to sell. It also meant, for my latest big project, my store and portfolio ***LINK***, testing the website with friends to check that it was ready to go out into the world before I even thought about sharing it with you guys. Things don’t have to be perfect, but you have to be happy with them.


Once you have work you want to shout about from the rooftops, make sure you’re talking about the work. If you’re uncomfortable selling yourself, sell the work. It’s way easier to talk about some great greeting cards rather than how great you are as an illustrator. Even when you’re talking about your process rather than focusing on your own artistic epiphany (who even has those) talk about the people you designed for, the tools you used, the problem you want to solve, that way you’re making your work personal without having to talk overtly about yourself. The sneaky trick with this one is that you’re inadvertently showing off your skills.


If you’re feeling self-conscious about spamming people, diversify where you talk about your work and how you talk about it. Rather than tweeting please buy my hand knitted socks 5 times a day, try writing a blog post about why knitted socks are super cosy for winter, or do an Instagram story of your snug feet, or even try and get featured on someone else’s site. Building awareness doesn’t have to mean hitting people over the head with something. Integrate your promotion into useful content and people are far more likely to engage, and you’re far more likely to feel comfortable about doing it because you’re adding value while writing about yourself.


Ask your friends and family what they would say about your or how they would sell your products. Using their words can take the pressure off you and help you see your work from someone else’s perspective. If you feel a bit more confident, ask them to share your work as well. That way it’s not always you talking about your own work, and you can tap into their networks too.


At some point you’re just going to have to accept that you’re wonderful and say it loud and proud. Embrace your inner Beyonce and just own it.*

*I’m still working on this one.

I love tea. I love tea so much I made an illustrated zine all about it. So it may come as no excuse that I also love a good tea break when I’m at work. You can often find me refilling my mug with a perfectly steaming brew, between tasks, in moments of stress or lulls in work.

But a tea break isn’t just about what’s in the mug.

The Story Behind: My Zine


It’s in its name. A tea break is half tea and half break. That means it’s an excuse to get up from your desk and away from your screen and take a couple of minutes out for yourself. For me those minutes are kind of sacred, to the extent that I will turn down offers of a cuppa so I can get up and make my own. Sometimes you just need a little bit of time out to recenter yourself or just think through a problem without the distractions. There’s just something about going through the motions of making a cup of tea that really opened up my mind, maybes it’s the thing of doing something with my hands on autopilot. Once you get back to your desk with your tea there’s a change in your environment and your thinking. You work between sips, which changes your rhythm and how you’re working in a really lovely way – this has often led to half drunk cold cups of tea though.


I think it’s a universally acknowledged truth that no office aircon is ever just right. No one has ever uttered the phrase “oh Barbara, you know what, the temperature in here is perfect”. It will always be too hot, or too cold. I feel like that’s especially true now we’re in a transitional season where no one’s quite sure if the central heating should be on. Making yourself a cup of tea is the perfect way to warm your hands after hours of typing or to rehydrate after you’ve lost every drop of moisture in your body to an overzealous aircon unit.

The Story Behind: My Zine


The tea round is a true British office tradition. Yorkshire tea (the best tea company) even made a rap about it. Please go and watch it. The tea round is a way of bringing people together, and showing a little care in the workplace. It’s also a great way to find out who has a weird drink request. Next time you stand up to make a cuppa offer to make a round and bask in the warm glow of office appreciation. Plus, hopefully, making one round of seven cups means you’ll get at least one back in the future.


While “blessed be the tea makers” taking on the tea round doesn’t have to be a solo endeavour. Sometimes you just need an extra pair of hands, in one office I worked at a tea round could mean anything up to 11 mugs, which I certainly couldn’t have carried on my own. But calling someone else up to join you on a tea run can also be a great excuse to have a chat. Whether that means networking or having a gossip, almost certainly a gossip, use the tea round as a reason for a natter. If you need a longer catch up, you can always pop out or just as someone to grab cuppa with you and use the brew as a way to open up a conversation.

If you enjoyed this post, or are a tea lover, check out my zine  – it’s an ode to my love of tea and it’s super powers. You can even get 10% off if you sign up to my newsletter in the sidebar!