I never thought I'd get as excited about homeware shopping as I do for shoe shopping, but it's happened.
I recently received some Homebase vouchers to decorate our bathroom, and after buying everything, we'd got some vouchers left over, so I took it upon myself to buy a few bits and bobs to update our home.
Now don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with the way it's decorated, but sometimes you just need to buy a few 'bits and bobs' to freshen things up a little, y'know?
Rob's been banging on about getting a globe for a while now, and I spotted this little beauty in Homebase for just £9.99 - It's amazing how much an ornament and a plant can liven the place up a little!
Something else Rob (and myself - not gonna lie!) has wanted for a while is a drinks tray. As much as I'd love a vintage trolley to place our drinks on, we just don't really have the space at the moment, but when I spotted this tray I just knew I had to have it! I also bought Martini and Margarita glasses, plus a cocktail shaker and added some limes and lemons ready for when we pour our gin and tonics!
If you're wanting a bit of a home re-fresh but struggling for inspiration, I'd strongly suggest setting yourself up a Pinterest account. It's my go-to place when I need to feel inspired. You can check out my 'Home' board here! Alternatively, if you'd rather have a professional's opinion, you could hire an interior designer, or opt for interior package deals like these ones at David Phillips. Sometimes it can be a good thing to have a fresh pair of eyes to look at things, especially if you've been staring at the same four walls for quite some time.
I've put together a shopping list of simple things that can turn your home around...
1. Flowers. It's amazing how much of a difference fresh flowers can make. I usually tend to go to the florist, but you'd be surprised by how amazing (and budget friendly) Aldi's flowers are! Peonies always brighten up a room.
2. Candles. My personal absolute favourite is Orange Blossom from Jo Malone. It instantly makes the room seem relaxing and it smells amazing!
3. A fish tank. Am I a dweeb if I admit that fish tanks completely mesmerise me? Probably, but it's something I've secretly always wanted. If you can afford to go all out and have the tropical fish then you definitely should. I could honestly sit and watch fish swim around a fish tank for ages #dweeb.
4. Wall art. If I'm looking for wall art, I usually tend to go to Urban Outfitters or Etsy for something quirky and unique. If you've got a creative streak in you, why not try and create something yourself? Pop it in a chunky gold frame and voila!
5. Cushions. Girls, don't let your boyfriend tell you cushions are unnecessary! They are totally necessary! And they look super cute. Habitat and TK Maxx are my go-to places for all things cushion-y.
I've been doing some thinking. Quite a lot of thinking, actually. The past few months, I feel like I've been having an out-of-body experience where my mind hasn't been attached to the life I've been living. The lights were on, but nobody was home.
Last month, I lost someone very close to me, and I never expected it to hit me as hard as it did. Without going into too much detail, losing someone so young with so much life left to live really makes you question everything, and in particular, I think it shocked me into wondering where I'm going with my life and what path I want to take.
My passion has always been with writing, and that's why I started this blog. It was my own little corner of the Internet where I could gush about the new Valentino collection, or make a Topshop wish list, or show off my new shoes that I'd been so proud of. But recently I've been feeling a little disconnected from this blog. I'm constantly wanting to change it, or comparing myself to other bloggers out there. I suppose that's why I've decided to start a fresh (you may notice that all previous blog posts have disappeared).
When it comes to The Fashion Diaries, I've been chasing my tail trying to find that old Liv that used to get home from college and couldn't wait to sit down in front of her laptop and write down all of her thoughts. I never used to care what people thought about my writing, because really, it didn't matter to me who was reading... it was more of a documentation of things for myself to look back on.
But blogging has changed so much.
Blogging is now an industry and a career. Bloggers are now celebrities: signing book deals, becoming the face of fashion brands and travelling the world. What a lot of consumers don't see is the "business" side of things. The statistics you have to disclose to PR's to get into fashion week. How they scruitinise you because of what platforms you use. Are you utilising SEO? Do you have a good CPM? What is your bounce rate?
There is definitely a lot of pressure to produce fresh content. Especially for fashion bloggers, because you're deemed to be failing if you don't own a pair of sliders or culottes - the current trend, which will no doubt be something new next week.
It's exhausting. It's surreal. And it's taken me a while to adjust to it and think "okay... woah... is this still something I want to do?". Somewhere amongst those stats and acronyms is probably where I became disorientated.
Although part of me wants to take a breather and just write about whatever the hell I want - even if that includes last seasons sale items (shock horror), the other part of me is scared of getting left behind. And for someone who is so passionate about their writing and wants to do it as a career, that's pretty terrifying.
So I'm taking things back to the start. Even though I've had a lot on my mind, The Fashion Diaries is still a huge priority for me. I now know exactly which route I want to take and I'm going about it with a refreshed attitude. I'm falling back in love with blogging.
Written by Olivia
I desparately need to organise my book shelf. It's just a scrambled mess and because of this, I rarely pick a book out from it.
Bookshelf styling has been a big thing recently, and I'm constantly being reminded how untidy my own is by Pinterest and bloggers and such.
SO... I'm making it my mission to make things a little tidier around here, and hopefully that'll get me back into the swing of reading again. I've compiled a list of my must-have accessories to jazz up that bookshelf.
1. Of course, the book shelf is the most important thing. If it's something timeless and classic you want, then opt for this grand ol' thing from Furniture Plus. If you're going for something a bit more quirky, then I'm loving this leaning book shelf from Urban Outfitters.
2. I just ADORE this Spaceboy wall art and think it would look super cute on a book shelf.
3. Candle holders are always a must. Although I'd try and refrain from putting these on the shelves lower down as it might burn the shelf above. Speaking from experience here. Ahem.
4. I have TONS of magazines and I always want to keep hold of them, but they can look messy on the shelf. Having one of these storage trays is a good way of making things look a little tidier.
5. I already have a million of these pretty decorated bowls, and they always look fabulous on book shelves. You can even put sweets in them if you wish ;-)
6. A plant, of course. Make sure it's a house plant though otherwise it'll die quickly. Again... speaking from experience!
7. Finally, a GLOBE (or some other abstract orniment). I've been looking for one like this for ages, and what's more? It's miniature size so it'll fit so lovely on the book shelf!