Home style: I got the blues

I’ve never been much of a blue person, but recently I’ve found myself drawn to all things azure. 

Blue is known for its calming effect, but I think it’s sophisticated, too. It brings to mind sparkling seas and sunny climes – especially when pared with white.

Fancy bringing a bit of blue cool to your home? Here are some easy pieces…

Clockwise from top left:

Photo frame, Oliver Bonas – £12.50

Vase, Next – £12

Rug, Next – from £80 

Cushion cover, H&M – £3.99

Are you a fan of blue?

Picture this: a month in photos

It’s amazing how often we snap away without remembering. Chances are your phone’s photo library is a great snapshot of what you get up to day to day. Here’s my last month(ish) in pics from my camera roll…

Top row (left-right): 1. My start of the year reading material. Check out my review of Reasons to Stay Alive. 2. Loving my Tatty Devine and scarf combo 3. When your mocha is too pretty to drink.

Middle row: 1. My proudest crochet creation to date! 2. Three wicks are better than one. 3. Tea and wool is my life.

Bottom row: 1. The best creme brûlée 2. Finally getting back into keeping fit after Christmas. 3. A little peek at my latest project.

Instagram: @ninabird21

Home heroes: stylish storage


Storage isn’t usually something we make a feature of, but when I saw these boxes in TK Maxx I knew they would keep things tidy and look great at the same time.

They look fab on a shelf or desk, and serve double duty by keeping your surfaces clear of clutter.

I’m a big fan of hand written quotes, and these stay just the right side of the uplifting/cheesy divide. There’s certainly something to be said for surrounding yourself with positive words.
Finding an exact item in TK Maxx is always tricky, but my local store had a whole aisle of these beauties. 

There were boxes which were like little chests, and even ones which looked like books but had a sneaky space for all your nick naks. If you like to have all your bits and pieces close at hand but neatly stored away, you can’t go wrong with these.

I got both of my boxes for just under £9. If you’re feeling crafty, you could make your own version for next to nothing, by covering an old shoe box in wrapping paper or leftover wallpaper.

How do you store your bits and bobs?

Crochet: getting started


Since taking up crochet about a year ago, I’ve been trying to spread the yarn love to everyone I know. I’d never been a practical person before I picked up a crochet hook, so believe me when I say anyone can do it. Here are my top tips if you’re thinking of giving crochet a try.

Learn the basics

All you need to get started is a hook and some wool. Different weights of wool used different sized hooks. The pattern or tutorial will tell you which hook size to use, and there will also be a suggestion on the yarn’s label.

Be careful if you’re using American websites, as crochet terms mean different things in the UK and US. You can find conversion charts online.

Get inspired
Knowing the type of things you’d like to make will help you stay motivated as you try to get to grips with your new skill. You might not actually be able to attempt those complicated designs yet, but at least you know what you’re aiming for. There are so many different styles of crochet, and different uses for it too. I’ve saved some of my favourites to my crochet board on Pinterest.

Find help online

Video tutorials are a great way to learn – Sarah-Jayne at Bella Coco makes brilliant ones. At first written instructions are really difficult to follow, but video tutorials give you enough basic skills to start using written patterns too.

Stick at it

There will be times when you have no idea what you’re doing, and there will be mistakes – lots of mistakes! Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get it right at first. Recognise your progress, however small, and most importantly enjoy it.

Good luck!