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How I Show My Love of Travel in My Home Decor

First row: Cork globe / Hand painted globe / Wooden globe
Second row: Upcycled vintage plate / Embroidery loop / Enamel mug
Third row: Reykjavik skyline print / Mickey Mouse Christmas decoration / Oui Madame print
Fourth row: Pressed silver fern / Jamaica bamboo tray / Kakapo print

Do you swear, every year, that THIS year will be the year that you have a calm December? I absolutely do and then always end up laughing at how positively stupid I must be, because the last 31 days of every.single.year are always mental. In 2015, I had jury service, quit my job and went to Berlin. In 2016, I was a bridesmaid at a wedding and randomly decided to go to South Africa. And 2017? 16 days before Christmas, I'm moving house.

Peanut Butter Cookies: My Mum's Recipe

peanut butter cookies

It's not that long ago since I wrote about how much I love home. I have a wonderful relationship with my mum and my love of food very much stems from her. Ready meals were extremely rare, takeaways few and far between, and the importance of home cooking was very strong. My mum's baking remains legendary amongst my friends (AJ forever craves her apple pie, Phoebe misses her banana cake all the way from Australia!), and I like looking through the recipe book she made for me when I moved to university for inspiration on what to bake next.

[Lifestyle] Christmas Homewares Wish List

Christmas is a big deal in my family. My mum has boxes upon boxes in the loft full of Christmas paraphenalia ranging from bottle openers, napkins and the same bizarre glittery decoration that she always hangs from the downstairs toilet ceiling (not the prettiest thing in the world, but it wouldn't be Christmas without it!). I love that the whole house is Chrismas-fied; you want a satsuma? It's in the Christmas bowl. You want to crack a nut? Use the Christmas nutcracker? You need the toilet? Make sure you use the Christmas loo roll! I've compiled my favourite items for you to make every inch of your home as Christmassy as possible. After all, it's only 31 days to go!

Christmas tree chopping board
£4 George at Asda
Cocktail napkin
£6 Anthropologie
Christmas dessert plate
£14 Anthropologie
Christmas pudding serving platter
£14 Matalan

Christmas tea towel
£11.99 Mollie and Fred

Fairy light teapot
£30 Hunky Dory

Emma Bridgewater Mince Pie Plate
£19.95 Exclusively for Fortnum & Mason
 And finally, the favourite piece in my family that will come out again this year...

Merry Christmas Bitches pint glass
£8 Urban Outfitters
How do you decorate your house for Christmas?

[Home Decor] Sheridan Australia SS15 Preview

It's been three months since I took the plunge and moved in with my boyfriend. We're still renting as it's completely impossible for us to buy somewhere in London, which means my Pinterest boards full of beautiful wallpaper and amazing sofas are still merely a pipe dream. But there are small things I can do to make the flat a bit more palatable and it very much involves one of my favourite thing: soft furnishings.

Sheridan is an Australian interiors brand now available in the UK, focusing on quality fabrics with a decorative twist; basics that look plain but feel beautiful, and bolder prints for those of us who fancy a bit more of a statement in our bedrooms. Floral was the dominant theme in the patterned fabrics, relying on pale blues and pinks - the pastel hues reminiscent of all the coats available in stores right now, just proving that trends aren't only a thing for your wardrobe. The piece I loved the most was actually in the kid's section: a brightly coloured chevron blanket. I'd definitely have that thrown over a rocking chair in a bay window in my dream house. The nautical feel for the 'safe' bedding included some great quilted pillowcases and cylindrical cushions that I could fall asleep quite happily on.

Sheridan is going beyond furnishings now and has introduced loungewear and bathroom basics. The jumpers are slubby and comfy, perfect for lazing around the house but I know I'd wear them with skinny jeans and trainers on a blustery London morning commute. The robe could make you feel exactly as though you're in a five-star hotel and about to hit the spa, I don't think I'd ever take it off it I owned it.

What do you think of my little Sheridan bird pillow* as a new addition to my bed? Perfectly suited, don't you think?

Cushion covers: Dunelm Mill
Bird cushion: Sheridan*
Bed sheets: Ikea
(I was invited to the Sheridan press day and kindly given the pink bird pillow in a gift bag. I was not paid to write this post and all opinions and my own and completely honest!)

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I Want to Try This: Frostbeard Book Scented Candles

As much as I love my Kindle for convenience, there is nothing better than starting a love affair with a new book. They say that smells can evoke powerful memories; for me, the smell of ink on paper stirs something in me that rushes through fond thoughts of my favourite novels. I remember crying in the back of my parents' car the first time I read To Kill a Mockingbird aged 15, and reading Vernon God Little out loud to my friends in a tent at a very wet Download festival, and attempting to hold the final Harry Potter book in one hand while I read it at 1am on the day of its release. 

That's why I'm completely intrigued by Frostbeard's Book Scented Candles. They've taken the iconic parts of globally loved novels and turned them into actual smells to make you feel as though you're really there. I can't think of a more perfect gift for the extreme bibliophiles in my life, and obviously, for me too! My favourite? The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy inspired 'Don't Panic (Fresh Towel)' scent.

Check out Frostbeard's full range on Etsy and let me know which one is your favourite!

Etsy Hunting: Wall Art

There are two blank spaces on the wall in my new flat that I'm getting really frustrated with. They are crying out for something interesting to spice up the place, and not just a standard film/musician poster. Here's a few of my favourites, all Etsy finds, and any help whittling them down is appreciated!

This basically sums up everything I'm interested in, and it's available in loads of colours
£9.60 from AmandaCatherineDes
One of my favourite films of all time, this poster shows how magical it really is
£11.52 from WellsIllustration
Perfect for my lounge where there's more books than space
£13.45 from ParadaCreations
The best til last?! Subtle geekery as I'm supposed to be a grown-up apparently. Want this so much.
£9.60 from EntropyTradingCo

Purse Palpitations Week #8

Oh the shops are full of such goodies right now. It hurts me that I can't afford to splurge on all of these! I'd better start writing to Santa!

OK, they look like Noel Fielding's gone crazy in the glitter aisle, but oh they are so pretty. Opaque tights and a big statement necklace are needed with these.
ASOS £45
Really want these adorable elbow patches to sew onto a plain grey jumper.
eBay £4.99
Looking at this blazer actually physically hurts me. I want to dress in the reject material from Mary Poppins' handbag!
River Island £35
Two months in to living in my new flat and there's still a big space above our lounge mantlepiece that's driving me crazy with its emptiness. How about this?
AmandaCatherineDes on Etsy £9.63

Purse Palpitations Week #7

Getting into the spirit of Halloween slightly earlier with this week's Purse Palpitations - channeling my inner goth. My 14 year old self would be so proud!
I have so many chunky knits, but somehow I haven't got a black one. This is mine come payday.
£45 Topshop
Oh good god, punk cutlery. This is all shades of bloody amazing.
£5.99 - £7.99 per item Zara Home
This and my stripy blazer are just meant to be together
£7.99 New Look
I would wear this all year round!
£27.23 Romwe

Life: What I've Learnt From House Sharing

I've lived away from home for nearly 5 years (with a brief return to the parents' after uni in between), and for all of that time I've been a house share of some sort.  House sharing is a cheap way to live, especially when you move in with strangers in a large house. 

My 1st ever house share at university

2nd house share

The lovely people in my final uni flat share
And there's been 2 more since then. But I'm finally at the end of my tether and can't wait to move on to the next phase of living with a good friend instead! These are the main things I've learnt since moving out. They may be slightly biased based on the last year of my house sharing life...

1) NEVER buy anything that is of good quality for the shared areas (especially the kitchen). Just use the cheap crap everyone else doesn't care about.

2) Invest in some good earplugs. Whether it's creaky floorboards, parties, or an over-enthusiastic housemate with her new boyfriend, you will need these.

3) There will always be somebody who cannot flush the toilet/wipe down surfaces/manage basic personal hygiene. It's confusing to somebody who can tidy up their own bodily functions, but that's just the way it is.

4) By the end of your time there, there will definitely be at least one person you cannot stand the sight of. The feeling will be mutual.

5) Somebody will always think they can get away with 'borrowing' aka stealing your washing powder/toothpaste/orange juice. Name it, hide it, spit in it. They'll learn.

6) Have your social life away from your house. You'll soon realise the value of being somewhere other than your small over-priced room.

7) Pretty up your room. It makes the whole thing so much more bearable!

8) Have something that catches/zaps bugs. When your stepdad isn't around to catch that moth, you can't just sleep in the hallway.

9) Cook your week's worth of meals over the weekend. Then freeze it and cook when necessary. It's time-saving, cheap and means nobody will try and nick it.

10) Have your own TV. If you end up living with people who watch god-awful faux historical dramas on the SyFy channel all the time, you get a bit annoyed. 

Good luck to any of you moving house soon!

Shopping: A Vintage Armchair

In 6 weeks time I'm moving into a flat with one of my best friends and for the first time ever, we're going into a place unfurnished. Since moving out of the family home, I've lived in shared housing, with furniture provided. This is convenient if you're moving year to year as I was at university, but now I want to put my stamp on a place and make it more of a home then just a house. Ms O and I are far too over-excited about colour schemes and decorations and it means that we're getting to buy furniture, something completely new for me.

In a moment of nonchalant eBay browsing I found this incredibly kitsch and undeniably perfect armchair and I knew it would fit our new lounge like a glove. 

I can't wait to curl up on it with a hot chocolate in front of a classic DVD box set in winter. 

All photos property of Shopped and Dropped, do not re-use without permission.

Life: June 2012

Finally bought Sherlock Series 2 on DVD
My amazing new throw from Urban Outfitters
The MASSIVE steak I had at Hawksmoor
Brilliant street art in East London

My nephew ready for his swimming lesson
Bargains from Carnaby Street
The Queen's Diamond Jubilee floatilla
Cakes at work to celebrate passing my first 3 months

Me and the girls at the PCC Pyjama Party
My Marmite ring for Marmite Afternoon Tea
Playing games with the family
The tasteful postcard from my GBF

Jubilee cake at work
Michael Jackson statue
Cosy blankets at Taste London
National Bourbon Day at Charlotte's Bistro
All photos property of Shopped and Dropped, do not re-use without permission.

Shopping: Cath Kidston Sale

Cath Kidston has become an adjective in recent years; a name to describe anything floral, kitsch or with a new item with a vintage feel. It is undeniably cute stuff that gives an essence of homely without being stuffy. Granny chic, if you will. 

Their sales are always a great way to find those little extra home accessories that give your room a little pop. I picked up this set of 4 cereal bowls for £15 reduced from £22 - the understated pastel colours and simple polka dots are enough to perk up a dull morning's Weetabix, but nothing wild.

Here's my pick of the sale items, available online and in store now:
Top left: Petal half apron £12
Top right: Chicken quilted tea cosy £8
Bottom left: Boat hand towels £9
Bottom right: Floral ribbon £4
Photos from
As of 20th November 2014, any products marked with an asterisk (*) have been provided as a sample for unbiased review