Proper Notebooks from PaperBlanks


Much like my obsession with shoes, I can never resist a lovely new notebook. I always carry one in my handbag, and there's one next to my bed in case of any late night moments of inspiration! As much as I am a sucker for digital technology, nothing quite beats writing by hand.

These great little notebooks from paperblanks perfectly address my love of paper. Created using acid-free, sustainable forest paper, these are easily the fanciest notebooks I own. I was treated to three pieces from the Nocturnelle collection, and a reproduction design based on a cover designed in 1829 by publishers A & W Galignani for The Poetical Works of Thomas Moore. The covers suggest the fine Moroccan leather preferred for the bindings of that era, as well as the sturdiness, careful finishing and ridged spine respected by discerning bibliophiles.

Stationery doesn't have to be boring, and with notebooks as beautiful as these, who wouldn't want to write in style? For all you paper fans, the paperblanks shop has loads of journals, planners and notebooks to choose from. You can even jazz up your iPad or digital device with a luxurious protective cover!

Thanks to paperblanks for sending me these three notebooks to try!

White House Week


This week marked the ten year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. President Obama travelled to New Orleans to meet with the city's Mayor and residents who have rebuilt their lives.

Watch President Obama's speech below.

Here's the rebuilding and recovery in numbers.

The White House

Bookcase Dilemma


Help! I am a self-confessed book addict and I'm slowly running out of storage space for my lovely literature! A custom built bookcase is stocked full of paperbacks, coffee table books and other terrific tomes and I'm finding it difficult to find storage options.

So readers, how do you store your favorite books? Do you use a traditional bookcase or something a bit more modern? How often do you cleanse your book pile, or is this something you couldn't bear?

All suggestions and tips gratefully welcomed, plus a photo or two of your storage solutions would be great!

Photos of my very cluttered bookcase!

Trip to Bicester Village


Earlier this week I took a trip to Bicester Village to indulge in some retail therapy. For those of you not familiar with Bicester, it's a designer outlet village stocked full of brands including Ralph Lauren, Prada, Tory Burch, Givenchy and Salvatore Ferragmo. Nestled outside Oxford and a short journey from London, this it the place to visit if you're after quality at a reduced price.

Tory Burch is always the first place I visit, and there was a great range of items on sale from last season as well as some unique pieces. The outlet store is perhaps the best place to get some Tory shoes- you are spoilt for choice!

Talking of shoes I saw these great loafers in Church's- they came in a gorgeous range of royal colors!

On this trip, my pennies were spent in Ferragmo and on these fab grey, blue and black Varinas.

The Perfect Summer Picnic


I can't believe that it's nearly the end of August? When did this happen?! Savour the last few days of summer and plan a picnic with these tips from Laurel & Wolf.

Keep all your bases covered

Head to your favourite park and lay down your picnic blanket. Keep in mind that the blanket is the base so you’ll probably want to coordinate the rest of your picnic decor with it. Laurel & Wolf's in-house designer Jessica opted for one in striped neutrals and pastel tones with and a slightly worn feel to soften the rest of the picnic decor.

Support is necessary when you’re dining on the ground and pillows kind of have a way of pulling the whole ‘perfect picnic’ look together. Jessica chose nautical stripes, navy, and pretty pastel cushions to pair with the blanket.

Delicious food

Sandwiches prepared on ciabatta are always a good go-to. Pair them with grapes or your fruit of choice on a simple melamine tray.

Fresh-squeezed lemonade is a picnic must. Pour it into colorful plastic glasses for a festive look with no risk of broken glass. Since your food and drink won’t be sitting on a solid surface, a serving tray is much-needed. Plop a few reusable ice cubes (this way you don’t have to deal with the mess of melted ice) and a fun straw into your cup, add a bouquet of fresh blooms on the side, and you have a look that’s made for Pinterest.

Make sure to finish it off with dessert!

Fun activities

If you’re going to be lounging around all day it’s smart to pack easy outdoor activities like croquet to keep everyone entertained. You should also bring an extra blanket in case your party grows or it starts to get chilly. If you lose track of time and you’re suddenly picnicking in the dark, charming lanterns will keep your party well-lit. Carry all your extra goods in a rustic crate and your picnic will look complete.

Laurel & Wolf
Put it all together, blast some summer jams from a cute, portable speaker and you’ve officially created the perfect picnic.

For more tips check out the Laurel & Wolf Blog.

White House Week


Official White House Photo
Want to jam along to the President's playlist? If you head over to Spotify then you can! A mix of Nina Simone, Justin Timberlake and Joni Mitchell will keep you going through the rest of the summer! Find out the whole mix here.

Earlier this week, President Obama hosted the first Demo Day, part of his agenda to support and encourage entrepreneurship and the growth of start-ups. Find out more about the event and listen to the President's remarks below.

My Travel Wishlist


I'm experiencing a serious case of wanderlust. I'm in the middle of planning a serious trip for next year (more on that when it's official....) and making list upon list of the different things I want to do, see and experience.

Travel is the best experience you can get, and I attribute the opportunities I've had to see the world that have made me the individual I am today. I love to experience new cultures, see new things and embrace the challenges (and fun!) that travelling brings.

So let's get all gooey eyed by these amazing locations...


The shopping, the food, the sights...I've been twice before, but I really want to go back!


Maybe this will be the city in which I'll learn to ride a bicycle! Or perhaps I'll stick to strolling along the canals instead. 


Texas has been on my wishlist for a while now! Would love to visit Dallas and stop at the George W Bush Presidential Library.


Blame my love of Starbucks and Sleepless in Seattle for this one... but really, what an amazing place!


Near the top of my list, I'd love to walk across Golden Gate Bridge, take a stroll through the Presidio and visit Alcatraz! 


I had an amazing time when I was in Sydney in 2010. This is top of my list! 


As a Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries fan, this is a close second on my visit list! (I have the locations list all ready to go...)


The political junkie in me would love to visit the Parliament Buildings and sit in on a session. 


Several friends have been to HK and it's home to one of my favourite bag designers, Louella Odie! 

All photos Wikimedia apart from Sydney Opera House and Montmartre (Author's Own.)

Know Your Value | msnbc


If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you'll be aware that I've started contributing to msnbc's Know Your Value hub.

Packed full of inspiring and useful information, the hub is the brainchild of Morning Joe anchor Mika Brzezinski, in her quest for women to understand their professional and personal worth.

I've penned a few posts for the hub- the first was about starting my business, and I've also shared my thoughts on how millennials are defining success and the top ten tips I've learned from the fierce women I've interviewed.

I hope you'll find the hub as useful and empowering as I have! You can join in with the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #KnowYourValue. 

10 Clever Ways To Design Your Small Apartment On​ A Budget


Getting your first apartment or home is an exciting and momentous landmark in your life! After the initial excitement has calmed down, you will probably be thinking 'how can I design my pad on a budget?' 

Laurel & Wolf CEO and Founder Leura Fine is solving that problem by offering a professional service for a flat fee. Laurel & Wolf is the world's leading online interior design marketplace, providing online interior design services for residential and commercial spaces. 

So whether you're just moving in or want to redesign your current space, these 10 clever ways to design your small apartment on a budget will come in handy! 

Delightful Decor: 

Adding simple shelving allows you to instantly spruce up the look of your walls and showcase special items and artwork around the house. It is also a convenient way to present small items like clocks and vases in an organized and creative fashion.

Simplistic Storage:  

Items don’t always have to be hidden away-open organizers are perfect for easy-access and allow you to show off your favorite dishes and kitchenware. Easier to install than cabinets, Metro racks come in many different sizes and are often used in restaurant kitchens. These ideas can also be applied when storing food

Enchanting Entry: 

A pretty entryway is a great way to add an interesting design touch to your home. Drawers, shelves, and hooks are perfect for storing coats and other items when guests (or you) walk in, and a chair can add a pop of color. To create this piece, removes shelves from a bookshelf and place hooks along the inner wall. Vintage or handcrafted boxes add personal appeal.

Miraculous Mirrors: 

Mirrors and wall art add visual interest and are a wonderful way to occupy empty wall space. Mirrors also increase the amount of light in a room and will make it appear bigger. Position one opposite a window for the greatest effect.

Playful Pillows: 

Pillows add personality. Choose patterns or images that complement the walls and upholstery, or pick pillows to stand out as accents in the room. They can be placed almost anywhere, and always make the room a bit more welcoming.

Lavish Lighting: 

Lighting in just the right place can make a huge difference for the rest of the room. Take into account the amount of window light you will have, and remember to pick a lamp that will look proportional to your other furniture. It can be a sparkling element in the room, so place small lamps on tables, and pick tall ones that can stand out on their own.

Radical Rug: 

Rugs can be used to brighten up dull floors or even cover up old carpeting, especially when you can’t afford to do much remodeling. By picking the right pattern and color, you can instantly liven up a space, so don’t be afraid to choose a piece with plenty of personality.

Delectable Dining: 

Dining in small spaces does not have to be boring. The clear table gives the illusion of more space, and combined with the art piece it makes the space contemporary. Round tables also work best in corners, and plastic and glass make for an easy cleanup.

Inventive Insides: 

Many vintage pieces and other large items can be used in place of furniture, so be creative with what you bring into the house. By turning plant-pots and baskets upside down, you not only have a new decorative element in the room, but also a stylish surface to place vases, coasters, and other items.

Laurel & Wolf

Fabulous Furnishings: 

Furniture is not limited to the main rooms-feel free to add a chair or table to your bathroom. Choose pieces in different colors to give the space an eclectic feel, and create some extra storage and sitting space.

White House Week


To mark the recent revamp of the White House Blog, the Administration has released a list of their favorite blog posts of all time!

My personal faves? The White House goes West Wing for Big Block of Cheese Day and going behind the scenes with the White House Curator. Check out the videos below!

What are your thoughts on the newly redesigned White House site? Check out the thoughts behind the action here. 

Steppin' Out with Yosi Samra


I do lots of travelling, and whether it be a short haul or a long haul journey I always like to travel with a pair of flat shoes. Endless time spent in airports or in various stations calls for something comfortable and easy to carry. 

Yosi Samra has the ideal solution in the form of its popular foldable flat. Available in an amazing range of designs, styles and colors, the flats fold comfortably up in their own pouch and don't take up any space in a handbag or tote. I took my pair away on a recent trip to Edinburgh and used them constantly. From early breakfast meetings, to drinks in the bar, my YS flats were super handy and stylish! 

All of the YS flats have a luxe look and look great dressed up or down. I keep my pair in my bag constantly now, and often find myself reaching for them when my feet begin to tire in the middle of a long day. 

I wouldn't travel with anything else - and suggest you don't do the same! 

* I was sent a pair of Yosi Samra flats. All opinions are my own.*

The best essie colors


Naked nails are not my thing! I love wearing nail polish and experimenting with lots of different colors and styles whatever the season!

essie is my favorite nail polish brand- the colors are amazing and the quality of the polish stands out from others that I have tried. I'll usually wear the brighter colors on my toes, and will alternate between pinks, greys and dark purples or blues on my fingers.

Here are my favorite essie colors:

Tour de finance: a great fuschia shade with a hint of shimmer!

Under where: a lovely orchid color perfect for spring and summer!

After school boy blazer: the perfect navy blue shade

Tuck it in my tux: when I'm after a neutral mani, this is the shade I turn to.

What are your favorite nail polish colors? Share your suggestions in the comments! 

White House Week


This week marked the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. President Obama hosted a discussion at the White House to mark the landmark anniversary, featuring Congressman John Lewis, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry and others.

You can watch the discussion and President Obama's remarks below:

Paper vs. Digital


I'm all about everything tech. I love my Mac, am attached to my iPhone and my tablet is always by my bedside. So whilst my devices rule my life, the humble paper and pen still has a place.

The paper vs. digital debate is one that takes place around the world. Every student, journalist, marketer, secretary, lawyer and CEO has their preference, and some just can't choose! My calendar is all digital and is synced between my MacBook and iPhone. I used to also have a paper diary, but there's something frustrating about having to scrub off a canceled appointment in a pretty book when it's written in pen. (Similarly, I have stacks of lovely notebooks that I am too afraid to use due to the potential of having to cross out or erase words! Hands up if you feel this too!)

I use paper for all of my lists- to-do, shopping, work projects, social media scheduling and for planning articles or posts that require research. There's something cathartic about this experience, plus I can choose from a pretty extensive range of Sharpie markers, colored pens, ink or the humble pencil to jot down my thoughts.

When it comes to sending a thank you note, paper always wins. And you all know about my love of a handwritten thank you card! ;)

Which side do you support in the paper vs. digital debate? Let me know in the comments! 
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