This week has been a busy one. As the whole of the UK breathed a heavy collective sigh at the return to work/normality after the Christmas and NY break, I’m sure I wasn’t the only thinking ‘what now?!’. I made the stupid decision to go caffeine-free, sugar-free and alcohol-free for January, having spent most of December eating and drinking whatever I liked. Mainly to have something to do. The first few days consisted of painful (first world problems I know) withdrawal, headaches and bitchface (painful for the husband. Sorry). BUT I am over the worst of it and feel a lot less bloated thanks to cutting my sugar and salt intake. Did anyone literally survive on cheese and chocolate after Christmas Day? I did have 1 tiny (large) glass of wine on Tuesday night, 1 whole day into my detox… OK so maybe I was a bit optimistic thinking I could stick to dry January after Boris slapped us with another lockdown (large glass of Gavi in hand as I type this). Don’t get me wrong though, I am 100% behind the lockdown and neccessary measures to support the NHS who are on their knees trying to fight this pandemic. My sister is in the Ambulance Service and to say my heart goes out to her and all of the NHS is an understatement – YOU GUYS ARE INCREDIBLE. We’ve been burning through Rightmove this week, checking listsings, viewing properties, schmoozing estate agents, we even managed to put in 2 offers on potential investments. Alongside all that we’ve been trying to get out and about as much as possible and walk along our local beach. The dogs have never walked this much. They hate it. I haven’t ventured back into the sea yet however. To say I was a bit put off after my last sea swim on Christmas Day would be putting it mildly. Though I have researched the local open water swimming club which I plan on contacting as soon as I find the nerve. Aside from that we’re really loving our rental. I set myself a challenge over Christmas to source our NY dinner party table setting from charity shops which was great fun. I managed to find some stunning dinnerware from Sue Ryder which I’ve put on my Insta page. Its all about the layering, using both thrifted and new pieces to create an indulgent table lay without spending £££. Sue Ryder is a fantastic charity with stores all over, selling furniture and homeware at insane prices. I’ve now got the urge for charity shop hauls when lockdown is lifted.
Anyway, 2021 is officially steaming ahead, and the season of resolutions, goal setting and habit building is upon us. As we begin a new year, we find ourselves in lockdown 3.0, with a bleak outlook at the 360-odd days ahead of us. Nevertheless it’s the perfect time to get organised and take stock of all the things we want to achieve over the next 12 months, as well as reflect on what we achieved in 2020. Because despite all the doom and gloom, great things DID happen. To all of us. For us – we managed to start a new life down in Cornwall – something we’d dreamt about for a long time and I’ll be honest, at the start of lockdown 2020 we didn’t think we’d be able to pull it off. In a world dominated by digital, the most authentic, writing can be a fantastic therapy away from all the negative stuff. Away from the news, away from the stress, away from the monotomy of the 4 walls we find ourselves captive in. Typing just doesn’t inspire creativity in the same way as the act of writing. Which brings me to this week’s blog post, which is dedicated to all the dreamy notebooks and diaries I’m lusting after this January. If you want to let a loved one know you’re thinking of them, or you know someone that would benefit from putting pen to paper during this THIRD lockdown we find oursleves in, notebooks can be posted with minimal cost and hey, fit nicely through the letterbox! If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s to value and treasure eachother – this includes our independent retailers. Some of the best indy brands have been affected by the pandemic and, if we want them to survive, it’s very much a case of ‘use them or lose them’ in the months and years ahead. To help you out, from the comfort of your sofa, this week’s blog post brings together the very best online shops for stationery addicts.
Stay safe. Lauren x
Ticking all the boxes this cute to boot notebook is ethically produced ensuring fair working practices, using recycled/re-purposed materials and the inks used in the printing are certified eco-friendly. Not to mention it’s designed and made with love in the UK, and has whales on. Win win win.
Here’s to actually having plans in 2021. The Oxford Diary is your jumbo sidekick for the next 12 months. Designed with the most amazing retro textured fabric cover to keep your notebook looking on point all year long. Including 100% recycled internal paper, with bonus page features like Zodiac traits, bucet lists, goals and dream setting.
What’s dot grid paper, you ask? Let me explain. Rhodia’s dot matrix has grey geometric dots, providing a subtle guide for notes and sketches. It’s like having the freedom of blank paper without worrying that you can’t write in a straight line. Plus, the dots are invisible when xeroxed or scanned. Bound in faux leather, the Goalbook also features a 6-page table of contents plus an undated annual calendar and monthly pages to make it a great all-rounder.
The Royal Horticultural Society Diary 2021 brings together a beautiful selection of botanical illustrations by Rear-Admiral John Paul Wellington Furse, part of the collection held in the world-famous RHS Lindley Library. A beautifully produced diary illustrated in colour throughout, perfect gifting for the horticulturalist in your life.
If you know, or if you yourself are a keen Wes Anderson fan, then this notebook will be an essential purchase. Gorgeously detailed, you’ll want to keep this journal in perfect condition, hidden under your pillow, full of secrets.
A dreamy world of ‘paper goods and printed happiness’, Sukie is inspired by nature, folk art and printed collection by owners Darrell and Julia’s travels. Based in East Sussex, they constantly innovate new styles of notebook using original printing techniques such as screen printing, all using either FSC approved, recycled or ‘rescued’ papers. As well as this romantic print of Paris, you’ll find loads of whimsical designs to choose from.
Uncompromising in style and quality, Yop & Tom are a UK brand serving up vegan journals and planners.
Brought to you by Ethical Market again, its prettymuch the same notebook as the whale one listed earlier. Except it has dogs on. Yay!
Those that know me, know that I am obsessed with octopus. Well cephalopods in general (check me out with the scientific names). Infact one of my favourite books is Other Minds by Peter Godfrey-Smith – a wonderous journey of discussion and study into evolution and philosophy. Anyway this notebook is a nod to one of the coolest MFs in the oceans.
Satisfying chunky notebooks, bound in a faux leather, giving the ultimate vibes in geek chic. These notebooks will make great book shelf additions once you’re done filling them with feelings. The pages are alternately ruled and plain and there are three colours available.
Bauhaus was an influential art and design movement that began in 1919 in Weimar, Germany. The movement championed geometric, abstract style featuring little sentiment or emotion and no historical nods, and its aesthetic continues to influence architects, designers and artists today. This notebook is the ideal gift for any creative.
The Daily Review Planner is “the coach you carry with you” – the perfect tool for anyone looking to achieve their goals, lead a more fulfilled life and be more focused each day. There are inspirational quotes on each page to help keep you motivated each day, not to mention it’s intricate cover design.
Papier’s hardback diaries make getting organised a decadent affair. Inside it’s downright sexy cover, you’ll find weekly, monthly and yearly overviews, plus plenty of space for all your goals, important dates and to-dos.
Designed to inspire and challenge your creativity, Doodle Moo’s Creative weekly Planner is perfect for a gift for any time of the year. As it’s dateless you can dip in and out at any time. Divided over 12 sections, each section covers a different topic, with exercises aimed to boost creativity and motivation.
Oozing French class, this diary will make you dream you’re in Paris, writing short stories in the back of a smokey café (before they banned smoking indoors). But seriously this notebook is seriously chic. Making it a strong contender for WFH escapism.
For entertainment purposes alone this notebook scores well. You’ll spend hours identifying each of the iconic performers on it’s cover. Heck, if anything, you’ll use it as a crib sheet to watch each original performance from start to finish, using the notebook to record the whole experience.
Probably my favourite gift in this guide, purely for its sentimental capabilities. If you’re gifting this to a loved one, insert a photo or postcard-sized keepsake for them to cherish along with their musings. A heartfelt token as we spend another lockdown (bastard covid) apart.
Not just for teachers. This gorgeous diary can be personlised for any recipient, although is ideal for teachers. Available in navy or pink, as much as I don’t like the mildly sexist connotations that present, they make lovely gifts. Created by Brighton based Posh Totty Designs.