A Handmade Christmas - My Favourite Resources

Thursday, 5 November 2015


Today I thought I'd share some of my favourite resources for handmade things with you (both for patterns/inspiration and for buying materials).

⋆ Ravelry - Ravelry is incredible for browsing through knitting and crocheting patterns; lots and lots are free, others come with a slight fee and yet others aren't purchasable online, but are in a book, but still, it's all good inspiration and at the very least, if you want the pattern, they send you in the right direction. Feel free to add me, I'm @chailattetogo on there :)
Some Favourites: Women's Ballet Slippers || Yoga Shawl || The 100 Stitch Slouch || Drop Stitch Cowl

⋆ A Beautiful Mess - I think most of you (if not all) will be aware of the amazing a Beautiful Mess website. Some of their DIY projects are way too out there for me, but others I think I could really get on board with.
Some Favourites: All of their Photo Books || Kitchen Wall Art

⋆ Purl Soho - This website makes me sad that I can't go to their physical shop in New York (once I realised it wasn't London Soho that is), luckily they share the most beautiful knitting, sewing, and crocheting patterns online.
Some Favourites: Colourblock Bias Blanket || Quilted Zipper Pouches || Edged Linen Wrap

⋆ Love Knitting is great if you're looking to buy wool online (or anything else you might need for knitted/crocheted items for that matter). They also have a huge amount of patterns you can browse through; some are free and some you can buy.

Are you planning to make some gifts this year? If so (or if you're just into making in general), I'd love to hear your favourite sources for patterns/inspirations.

Love,

Johanna



More Iceland Photos + My Strange Desire to Move to Sweden

Thursday, 29 October 2015

I realised that I never posted the remainder of the photos from Iceland, so I thought I'd do that now. If you didn't see the first post, you can have a look here. After some days of less than ideal weather, we got very lucky on the Monday, so we decided to try and see as much of the Golden Circle as possible. The photo above is of the Gullfoss waterfall, which was just breathtakingly beautiful. To get an idea of scale, check out the people in the top right.



Again: Gullfoss
This one was taken near the Secret Lagoon. We got there after a pretty long day and didn't have swimwear on us, but we both thought it'd be a pretty cool place to hang out, especially in the evening.



Why yes, I do really want to sort my books by colour now. This my friends was taken in the beautiful, beautiful Laundromat café (I think there's a couple of them in other cities too, because I later discovered, I actually have it on my Copenhagen list too); we ended up going here for breakfast 3(!) times. Yep, that's how we roll. The veggie full english breakfast type thing (at the weekend) came with fried potatoes, hummous, brie, eggs, fresh fruit, pancakes and chocolate butter. It was delightful, and speaking of delightful, I could have literally bathed in their Chai Lattes, they were the most comforting thing I've ever drunk, they felt like a very loving hug. But let's get back to the pancakes with chocolate butter, or, the real reason why we went there three times. I liked them a lot, but Daniel was in love with them, so much so, that he asked for them on the days when they weren't actually on the menu. Just look how happy he is:


They also have fresh fruit flavoured (tap) water which was delightful, and it was a nice touch that it was free, even though it tasted so much better than just tap water.

Whilst we're on the topic of food recommendations, if you ever do find yourself in Reykjavik, I highly recommend that you have yourself some Gelato at Bada Bing (absolutely delicious and huge portions) and a couple of cinnamon swirls from Bakeri Sandholt (I think that was the one, sorry about being unsure).

---

I really (really!) loved Iceland, I didn't want to leave and I'd go back in a heartbeat. It just felt like a place I could call home. I have this with the nordic countries in general; something about them just makes my heart wish I could live there, and this feeling is the strongest with Sweden. To me, it just seems like Swedish people (and scandinavian people in general) are kinder, more genuine and like they do things better and value the right things. I just really kind of feel like I belong there, not the UK. I feel like their culture fits my personality so much better, like it fits it perfectly. I know that not everything is perfect there (even though it sure seems that way to me), but I feel like I could deal with those imperfections better than with the ones here. I keep finding myself frustrated at how much culture and society here demand that you need to be extraverted, people are telling me that to be successful, you just need to be more obtrusive, but that's just not me, and it's really not something I believe in either. And it feels like, different things are valued in Sweden, less masculine things.

This is weird right? Especially considering that I've only been to Sweden once; it's all based on a feeling (though a feeling I get from reading about Scandinavian countries; here's a very random example). Has anyone of you ever had that feeling that you belong in a different country? Can anyone tell me the bad and the ugly about Sweden, so I can maybe loose this desire and realise that I'm just dreaming up something that doesn't exist?

As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Love,

Johanna

A Handmade Christmas

Sunday, 25 October 2015

I read somewhere today that it's just 60 days to Christmas, how crazy is that? I know, I know, it's still pretty early to actually get festive, and I'm certainly not planning to (not yet!), but what I am planning to do is to handmake as many presents as I can this year - though hopefully not in a childish way. I don't know just how many I'll manage yet, but I was thinking of maybe attempting to linocut and print cards, to knit and crochet some accessories and to sew some straight forward items of clothing? The reason for wanting to do this is 1) that I really like making things these days (and was oh so pleased when a sewing machine joined me in my efforts for my birthday) and 2) that I just really like the idea of actually spending a considerable amount of time on each present (from deciding what they might need, to choosing the pattern and the fabric/yarn to actually making it over hours and hours), to me, there's just something very loving about this process.

I thought that when I can, I could document my process on here a little bit (which is why I would kindly ask and friends or family members reading this who expect a present, to stop reading until after Christmas). It would be incredible if anyone else wanted to let me know any ideas/tips that they might have too :).

I spoke about how I write down ideas for presents in Wunderlist yesterday and I'm pleased to say that I've already found quite a few things that I think would be cool to make for some of my nearest and dearest, so I thought today I'd just share some of my ideas.

For someone who easily gets cold - a cosy blanket to keep them warm
♥ Quick Crochet Blanket or
♥ Eleventh Hour Blanket or
♥ A Triangle Quilt

For someone who likes to brighten up an outfit with a fun accessory - a clutch to hold their essentials
♥ (Most likely fake) Leather and Cotton Clutch Purse
♥ Contemporary Clutch (I'm planning on getting the book with the patterns soon)

... or a different pattern cowl.
♥ Patricia Infinity Cowl

For someone who likes to keep warm on the go - cosy wrist warmers
♥ Crochet Fingerless Mittens (also from that book

For someone who likes Netflix evenings/days as much as I do - some comfortable pyjama bottoms
♥ Easy Women's Boxers (I've nearly finished making one pair of these for myself; I'm missing the elastic band, so right now, they are HUGE, but I think I will like them)
♥ Margot Pyjama Bottoms (I've got the book and I've actually made these before as well, and they are SO.COSY, see here for photographic evidence)

The main thing that's keeping me from getting started right now is deciding where to get my materials from and if you have suggestions, I would love to hear them. For the wooly items, I'm looking for chunky to super chunky yarn from a responsible manufacturer (if at all possible, from the UK and vaguely affordable). For the sewing ones, I'm looking for (ideally) organic fabric (again, preferably for under 10 pounds a meter).

Are you planning to make any presents yet this year? I'd love to hear about it. I hope you have a great start to the week tomorrow.

Love,

Johanna

P.S. I'm not sure what of these things to make yet, these are just ideas. If I find the wool though, I'm definitely planning to make (at least) one blanket.

Wunderlist Wisdom - My Ultimate Guide

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Recently I've been falling more and more in love with this little app called Wunderlist. It's essentially a beautiful to-do list app, but it's made so well and the options for using it are limitless. I spoke about it on here before, but since I feel that I've really gotten the hang of it now, I thought I'd share my favourite ways to use it. 

Grocery Shopping - I share this list with Daniel (sharing between users is very straight forward). The desktop app makes it super quick to write out the ingredients that I need for a recipe, whereas the phone app is great for when I think of something we need on the go. Having done that, it's super easy for whomever goes shopping first to get whatever's possible to get at that shop... it's a great way to keep an up-to-date list of what's needed. 

♥ Travelling - I have a "Cities [Eat | Drink | Do]" list in which I've listed any city I'm hoping to visit one day as a task and then in the subtasks, I keep track of for example restaurants in that city that I read about on blogs. I find this super helpful, because before I started doing this, whilst I'd have the memory that there was somewhere I really wanted to go in a particular city, I could never find that particular blogpost again, strange huh? The internet is such a small place... I've also made it a habit to mark any place we've actually tried and liked with a star, so if someone asks for recommendations, I've made it easy for myself to remember. 

Read | Watch | Do - for this I have a folder in which I keep different lists for books (divided into job relevant and pleasure reads), films and activities. Again, I think this is a great way to save recommendations straight away and all in one local place. For this one I also often make use of Wunderlist’s plugin, particularly when I come across a book on Amazon I’d like to read; it really couldn’t be simpler.

” - Another folder. In this one I’ve got lists for books, films and recipes that I read/watched/made and liked. I used to find it so difficult to respond to people asking if I had recently watched, read or made anything I could recommend and I knew I had, but just couldn’t think about it (can you tell I’ve got a terrible memory?). It’s also great when you’re having a crappy day and you want to for example watch and eat something comforting.

Present Ideas and Birthdays - I keep a list with just the names of my nearest and dearest, and then in their descriptions, I put their birthdays as the due date and a reminder 7-10 days before, and in the sub-tasks, I put down any ideas I have for presents that they might like (where possible with a link). Note: I'm still not very good at actually sending cards, I'm working on that, but at least the reminder's are in place haha. (A. I am so sorry you still don't have a card, you will get one, even if birthday card would be a slightly ridiculous thing to call it by now)

Food - of course there has to be a whole folder for food duuuuh. Here I have individual lists for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks and Baking and I again use the plugin to save recipes I come across online straight to the appropriate list. I guess this is what other people would do on Pinterest, and I still do this sometimes, but I find this one more useful in a practical sense, when I’m for example out and just want to get a quick idea. 

♥ MSc - I started a Master's course a couple of weeks back, so I obviously started a folder for this one too in which I have lists for the modules I'm taking this term to keep track of readings I need to do etc. Little tip if you're not very familiar with Wunderlist, if you have group work at university, you could use Wunderlist to collaborate by sharing a list and allocating the tasks on it, and commenting on the tasks - pretty handy. 

Daily Tasks - I don’t actually keep this one as a separate list (I like to keep things clean), but have it in my inbox. Anything I need to/want to do on a daily basis, I put in there and set it as “repeat everyday” and I tell it to remind me at a certain time everyday. This is mainly for dull stuff, but it’s really helped me to get it done, because I try to just quickly do it, when the reminder pops up.

Small Stuff - Again, this one doesn’t have its own list, and I spoke about it before, but I try to write it down with a reminder, whenever I said I’d do something for someone else, because it’s happened way too often that I had the intention and then just forgot, and I don’t like being that person, I like to be the one who delivers on what they said, they’d do. 

I know some of these might be really obvious to other people, I just know that they weren’t for me, and only came over time, so I thought I’d share my Wunderlist Wisdom and I hope it helps at least some of you.

All the love,

Johanna

P.S. Yes, I know it’s a little sad to write this on a Saturday night, but I’m in bed, because I’m ill, so I thought I might as well. I hope you’re doing more exciting things at the time I post this (and yes, also being in bed and watching Netflix totally counts!)


Our Icelandic Adventure: Reykjadalur

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

We're back from Iceland, and whilst I'm normally quite ready to go back when we do, this time I was definitely a little bit sad - I loved this beautiful island. By now I'm really quite certain that I'm made to live in a nordic country, maybe this could happen one day? 
After arriving in really sunny weather (and sadly spending about 2 hours of it trying to sort out getting the car we'd already arranged before, which is a story for another day) on Friday, the weather didn't look so promising the next day. We had been planning to go whale watching on Saturday, but were told that the weather was too bad. So what do two bright individuals decide to do in bad weather? Of course it could only be: Hike three kilometres up and around a mountain to get to a geothermal, bathable hot river. It was absolutely beautiful, but also pretty challenging; it was incredibly windy and on the way down it started pouring with rain. At times we were genuinely a little scared that we'd blow out of the way and fall down the side of the mountain, and we got so, so soaked on our way down (did you know that it's not just a comedy thing where people turn their shoes up-side-down and water flows out?), but I still absolutely LOVED every moment of it. I also really came to appreciate my hiking boots, I'm not sure my ankles would have held up otherwise.

We had planned to do two more stops that day, as well as eat in a restaurant I had especially picked up that would be somewhere, just a little out of the way, on the way back. What actually happened was that we were on that mountain a lot longer and got a lot wetter and exhausted than anticipated, so we went back for a hot shower and Dominos. Yep, there I said it. We were in a cool country, and on just one night, we decided to call it a day, get Dominos (shout out to the lovely people there who delivered to us even without an icelandic number, you saved our evening!) and watch a film. It was a perfect day. 


5 Years!

Monday, 24 August 2015


Last weekend, Daniel and I celebrated our 5 week anniversary and you know what? I did not take a single photo (because I for once actually didn't bring a camera and decided to leave my phone in the bag wahey), so instead I thought I'd pick one (many in one) of us that makes me smile when I look at it.

Anyway, I thought I couldn't not blog about this, 5 years is a pretty big milestone, and I'm very fortunate to report that I'm still so very happy with this man and so grateful to have him. He balances me so well and doesn't give me weird looks when I burst out dancing in the kitchen, but instead joins in. It's like our weirdnesses go together really well.

So on our actual celebration evening, we went for dinner at The Gate, my/our favourite restaurant, and as was to be expected, it was absolutely delightful. We had decided during the day that if the timing was right, we'd go to the cinema afterwards, but hadn't booked any tickets or anything in case it wouldn't work time-wise, and this we should soon find out led to an absolutely hilarious encounter at the cinema.
We wanted to see Trainwreck, which I'll be honest, I wasn't too sure about, but Daniel had heard good things about it. We were a little late, especially after trying very hard to find somewhere that allowed us to not pay the ridiculous parking charges, and when we finally made it to the counter, our conversation with the person there, let's call him Dave, went something like this (it's a week later, so it's not word by word, but the meaning is about the same):

Us: "Two tickets for Trainwreck please"
Dave: "Are you sure"
--- Daniel and I exchange slightly confused looks at this point, not sure whether he means because we're so late ---
Us: "Yes please"
Dave: "It's awful"
Us: "Hmm ok"
Dave: "You should see The Man from U.N.C.L.E, it's really good, much better"
--- more confusion for Daniel and me ---
Us: "I think we'll give Trainwreck a go"
Dave: *Brings up seating plan for The Man from U.N.C.L.E*
Us: "Is that for Trainwreck?"
Dave: "No, it's for The Man from U.N.C.LE, I told you Trainwreck is terrible"
Us: "Hmm, we'd still like to see it please"
Dave: "Ok, but you're wasting your money"
Us: "Sometimes we like a crappy film, we'll take our chances"
Dave: "Well, I actually know this great website where I can watch all these films for free, I watched both and The Man from U.N.C.L.E is much better. Trainwreck is really bad"
Us: "PLEASE JUST GIVE US TICKETS TO TRAINWRECK. We won't blame you if it's bad"

And then, he actually did, can you believe it? Only took us what felt like 25 minutes. We could absolutely not believe how this encounter went down and it made us laugh so hard. Also: we liked Trainwreck and laughed quite a lot; I thought it was a nice lighthearted film. Not that there is that much to get, but I think the guy at the till might just not have gotten the bit that you could get.

Have you seen the film? What did you think?

Anyway, that's the funny story of our 5 year anniversary evening. Here's to many, many more years together and many hilarious, happy, impromptu dance-off moments together :)

Giant's Causeway

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

I went to Ireland with Daniel and his family last week for the wedding of one of his cousins. The wedding was really nice; I won't share photos of the wedding, just because I'm not sure if the people in the photos would approve and I don't really have any of just Daniel and I. I will share photos of one of our day trips though, which I hope you'll enjoy. We went on a trip to Giant's Causeway and whilst we disappointedly did not see a single giant, we did get to see the most beautiful scenery, it was simply stunning. Luckily I had my camera, even though I don't think I could do the beauty there justice. 

Do you love Ireland as much as I do? If you do, I'd love to hear what your favourite places are. 

Love, 

Johanna 












Kleine Glücksmomente - A Spontaneous 2000s Dance Off Party for Two

Wednesday, 22 July 2015


I decided to do this new little feature every now and again called 'Kleine Glücksmomente' which as you may or may not know, is German for something like 'little moments of joy' - seems pretty suitable on a blog called Joy and Laughter, don't you think.

The first one has to be about the other night, when Daniel and I got back from shopping. I think it came about, because there was some Taylor Swift song on the radio whilst we were driving, so when Daniel and I got in and started unpacking, I thought I'd put on another one to make our unpacking a little more fun - and so much more fun it got. One song led to the next and before we knew it, we were ecstatically dancing and rocking out in the kitchen. It was so much fun and completely filled me with happiness.

Here goes the playlist (leaving out the ones we ended up skipping):

1. Taylor Swift - Shake it off (of course)
2. Taylor Swift - Blank Space (stayed with the Swifty theme just a little longer)
3. Missy Elliot - Work it (Thanks to Rosie for the inspiration; she'd just published her hen do post that day)
4. Snoop Dogg ft. Pharrell - Drop it like it's hot (hahaha)
5. N.E.R.D - She wants to move (yeah she does)
6. N.E.R.D - Lapdance (not in that way though)

and we ended pretty strong:

7. Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit (did I ever tell you about how much I used to love Nirvana? I still love them, but thankfully I introduced some other music into my iTunes at some point)

I'd love to hear what your favourite 'burst-into-dancing' tunes are; please, please, please share :)

Things to Try Thursday - 09/07/15

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Already Thursday again? Say what say what? I'm please to report, that we finally seem to properly be getting into healthier food again, and this time it's a family effort. D and his sister are on board too, and it's all helped along by the arrival of our beautiful, new, shiny spiralizer (I'm literally so excited about it, it turns veg into noodles, didn't you know?). Daniel even asked me if we could go to Waitrose together after work, if that's not romance, I don't know what is! And yesterday, we spent the 1 hour of the day we had together, prepping food for lunch today; including making some pesto and moonblush tomatoes (if you haven't tried them, definitely check them out, they reignited my love for sundried tomatoes). We're basically too cool for school, I know. Here's some more stuff I'd like to try:

♥ Can someone make this for me? Pretty please? Cheesy Potato, Corn and Zucchini Galette

♥  I keep coming across this and was always put off by the long list of ingredients, but after being reassured that it's not bad really by the lovely Catherine, I now think I might have to give it a go; I mean come on - A Veggie Chilli with Roasted Sweet Potato?

♥ Oh my word this looks delicious - Roasted Vegetable and Lentil Salad with Feta and Yoghurt and Garlic Dressing

♥ I think that's quite a lot of sugar, but would probably still be delicious with less/without it - Cantaloupe Popsicles

♥ I'm forever in love with cinnamon rolls - Kanelsnurrer (I'm also now in love with this blogger's photography)



Life Lately - July 2015 Edition

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Hi. Since I mainly want this blog as a photo journal, I thought it was time for a little catch up. I have to say that even though I'm job hunting, I'm fairly content at the moment; I'm finding a lot of joy in the little things, which is a good thing in my books. I mentioned on Twitter this morning, that having "konmari-ed" my wardrobe is really making me this little bit happier every single day, because 1. I'm finding it so much easier to get dressed in the morning and 2. I'm always loving the clothes I'm wearing (I'm not saying I look great because of this every day, but I feel really good in what I'm wearing, all the clothes that didn't make me feel good are gone); I genuinely catch myself thinking about it several times a day, most days. You can read my post about it here.

I went to see my mum the weekend before last and it was splendid; delicious food, beautiful walks and plenty of wonderful conversations. Also: so much love for "Rhabarberschorle" - Rhubarb juice mixed with sparkling water, so delicious, but sadly doesn't seem to be available anywhere in the UK.

Nothing has changed about my obsession with tea, especially iced tea with plenty of water (see here if interested). I'm especially liking it made with this tea at the moment. My mum got it for me (THANKS MUM!), it's got some green tea, stinging nettle (I do appreciate that not necessarily sounding delicious), lemon grass, ginger etc in and I really like it. It's from this website.

And then finally: I've been working away for the new blog on employee engagement that I want to start, see above for a little preview :)

What have you been up to? I'd love to hear :) I hope you're having a lovely week. I'm going to have to go, because we just received our spiraliser in the post, and as you can imagine, that's pretty exciting. 




Things to Try Thursday - 02/07/15

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Hello beautiful people, how are you doing? I'm good now (slightly hot maybe), but I once again had a late trip to Moorfields this week because of my eye playing up, which wasn't ideal, especially not with a job interview the next morning. However, turns out, my eye and lack of sleep were the least of my worries, because I soon realised that messed up trains would be the much bigger problem. Anyway, it actually went ok, I think, and the interviewer made me more than happy when he commented on the font I'd used in my presentation; I just love it when people notice the subtle things that I spend a fair amount of time thinking about.
I'm still very excitedly working away on my new blog to be. It might not have any actual entries yet, but it does have an 'About' page, so that's something. I know I say this time and time again, but the more I read and think about employee engagement, the more I want to work in it, to use my energy to make a difference in people's work lives, so that's that. What's happening in your lives? I'd love to hear!

Anyway, let's talk about some things I came across last week that I thought were try worthy.

Food


♥ Lots of ingredients, but reads like something that my taste buds would sincerely enjoy - Veggie Burger and Pink Coleslaw

♥ Om-nom-nom - Sweet Potato & Carrot Mash Bowl (with roasted chickpeas and garlicky spinach)

♥ This sounds like I literally need it in my life (belly) right now - Grilled Sriracha Tahini Sweet Potato Skewers with Halloumi (probably my happiest find this week)

♥ Ehm, yes please! Sounds utterly delicious - Honey Ginger and Coconut Popsicles

Handmade [Other]


I really want to get back into making Lino/Rubber Stamp (and stencils too)... We did it at school, and even though I still have scars from it, I really enjoyed it (I think anyway). Here are some projects I like:

♥ This one seems super simple, but the end result looks so cool - Design Guide Paper 02 by Emma Dime

♥ I love the idea of handmaking cards, maybe an invitation to a tea party or something? - Hand Carved Stamp by Elise Joy



My Favourite, Simple Summer Drink

Tuesday, 30 June 2015



Just a quick post today. I wanted to tell you about my new favourite drink this summer; and no, it's not beer. I probably should have put it in a Kilner Jar with a pretty straw, but I don't have one to hand at the moment, and I thought hey, why not show it how I drink it, which is admittedly, by the pint.
It's so simple, it's not even a recipe, it's more something that maybe one of you wants to try too. I read the (very technical term) tea water on Nishaantishu, and whilst I'm not entirely sure what she meant with it, it made me try the following and I just found it too refreshing to not share.

1. Mix:
* a little lemon juice (a teaspoon or so)
* a couple of tablespoons of Earl Grey (as in from a cup of tea)
* a lot (proportionally speaking) of drinking
 water
... and possibly some ice-cubes.

2. Enjoy

Sometimes I also replace the Earl Grey with Green Tea to mix it up a little.

What's your favourite summer drink?
I hope you're having a splendid day :)

P.S. Obviously make your own choice about how much lemon juice to use (or leaving it out altogether), I've heard that if you drink too much, it can be bad for your teeth; I drink it highly diluted and never before brushing my teeth, but I'm clearly no authority on dental health or health in general for that matter.

Things to Try Thursday - 25/06/15

Thursday, 25 June 2015


A delicious little goats cheese tart I had at a restaurant called Verde. I'm going back to this weekend!
Let me tell you people, I'm having a very exciting week, well my kind of exciting. After my course finished last Wednesday, I spent a couple of days just letting it sink in, I didn't do anymore reading on it or anything, I just wanted to give my brain some time to process what I learnt (I need that sometimes) and I came back feeling really refreshed this week. I've been meaning to start a blog about employee engagement for a looong time now, think around a year, and now I'm finally working on it! I'm using Squarespace this time round and it's just so much fun; I can't wait for it to be ready to go live. The other thing I'm excited about is that I'm going to Germany tomorrow to visit my mum for her birthday on Saturday - wahey to getting to spend some quality family time together. Like I said, all round an exciting week. Here's some things I'd quite like to try.

Food


♥ Oh yum! Combining sundried tomatoes with broccoli is genius - Greek Broccoli Salad

Definitely wanting to get our popsicle making on again:

♥ Chocolate Yoghurt Ombre Pops | Coconut and Mango Rice Pudding Pops | Chai Creamsicles
(all via this list)
&
These also sound amazing Rhubarb and Elderflower Ice-Lollies (how beautiful and delicious do they look?)

Handmade [Other]


♥ Always love a very simple top - Sewn Raglan Shirt Tunic in Linen Grid

I recently started falling in love with the A Beautiful Mess Site again (I'm doing their Blog Life course at the moment, which is proving very useful to me) and their blog has seriously made me look forward so much to getting our own house at some point in the future. Here's some projects I particularly liked the look of:

♥ Gotta bring all these instagram beauties into the house - 10 Ideas for Square Photos

♥ Absolutely in love with this Corner Gallery Wall

♥ I don't even drink coffee, but 1) this could work for tea too and 2) Daniel does and I like the look and smell of it - Espresso Cart

Like I already told you, we had a big tidy at the weekend. One thing that I haven't found a good solution for is my jewellery. Does anyone have any good suggestions?

How's your week been? Have you come across anything exciting you'd like to make?
Much love,

Johanna

Book tip: The Life Changing Art of Tidying

Monday, 22 June 2015

I've become obsessed with folding clothes* - in the best possible way, but let's start at the beginning: I kept coming across this book The Life Changing Art of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever (link here if you're interested) which, let's be honest, is a pretty bold title - changing your life through tidying, yeah right. I was intrigued though, so I ordered it (and had Daniel make a lot of fun of me for buying a book about clutter and tidying, which would surely just add clutter to our room).

It came on Friday and I LOVED it; how can a book about tidying be such a pleasant read? I finished it on Saturday and genuinely couldn't wait to get tidying, so after turning an old skirt into some yarn in the morning (well attempting to and yep, turning more hippie by the day) I got to it. I won't go into the method (because you should totally read the book), but let me just tell you that I'm a total convert and I'm really hoping that I'll be able to keep it up, because the way our room and bathroom are organised now does make me happy.

(I also like this article about it)



fairly random selection of books and also, Daniel would like me to point out that his meticulous card organisation was in place beforehand. 


One thing I'm not on board with though, is the throwing away aspect; I'm not saying other people should be burdened with my old stuff, but the charity shop for example was happy to take the clothes I sorted out and like I introduced earlier, I'm planning on becoming very good at turning old, unwanted pieces of clothes into funky yarn to then turn into crochteted/knitted baskets/bags/you name it. Overall though, I think keeping your house organised with this method, can help to shop and give gifts a lot more consciously (something I said before and will probably say a million more times, has become very important to me); I just don't think that means perfectly usable things should go in the trash when there may be better alternatives (which of course there aren't always).

I don't want to end on a negative, so let's get back to the positive. In a way, I do think the book is a game changer - I really did find her writing (even if translated, it's about what's between the lines anyway isn't it) inspiring and uplifting and I'm loving our room at the moment, and most important of all I guess, I can see myself keeping it up; I can only recommend it (do try to recycle where reasonable though ;) ).

Have you read the book? What did you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Have a lovely evening.
Love,

Johanna

* Unrelated to this post really, but I just wanted to get it out there; people often use the term OCD for when people are very neat and tidy and like things organised and it really bothers me. It's like saying someone's depressed when they're just having a bad day or are a little sad, both are actual illnesses. OCD is not that cute, little perk someone has, it's a crippling mental illness that can seriously impact people's days. Rant over.

Exciting News: I'm going on an MBTI course!

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Hello you beautiful people, I hope you're all having a wonderful weekend with plenty of comforting cups of tea and a good book.

I'm so happy to share with you that last week I finally made the decision to sign up for doing the MBTI foundation course (my decision was helped a lot by the 20% off OPP kindly offered on those courses if done in June). I've been fascinated by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, a personality type indicator used for personal development, for years now, and I'm so so excited to properly learn about it and to by the end of it hopefully (let's all cross our fingers) have the qualification necessary to administer the test and give feedback on it.

I want to tell you so much about it, but I think it's probably better if I wait until after the course (so what I'm telling you is based on actual knowledge), but if you want to find out more about it, just google it. I'm just so excited, because I think it'll go so well with what I want to do in my career more generally (i.e. help people become more engaged in their work, see here for more info). According to OPP (the European distributor of it), applications of it include:

• Conflict management
• Decision-making
• Leadership development
• Managing change
• Building resilience
• Team development
• Career development and orientation
(link to their page on it here)

How perfect does that sound?? I spent the weekend doing the first (online) module for the course (so interesting), and am about to go to Oxford for three days to do the main taught bit of the course. Did I mention that I'm excited?

I hope you have a splendid Sunday evening.
Love,

Johanna

Things to Try Thursday - 11/06/15

Thursday, 11 June 2015

How refreshing do these watermelon juices from Borough Market look?

Hello beautiful people, it's once again Thursday (in case you didn't notice) and it's actually sunny today which is a nice touch; I was wrapped in a blanket for most of this week up till now, because I for some reason insisted on wearing shorts, so this is a nice little change. We've had pretty tasty food over the last week or two as well; delicious mushroom risotto with mushrooms from Borough market, Halloumi and courgette burgers with smoked paprika sweet potato wedges and a harissa-lime dip, as well as some delicious sea salt dark chocolate and oat cookies (based on Rosie's, but with a few changes due to availability issues for the spelt flour and my desire to put oats in). They were tasty and the best is, I still have cookie dough in the fridge! I also really want to try these with Lindt's coconut dark chocolate and their caramel fleur de sel dark chocolate nom nom.

Anyway, here we go with some things to try, eating and otherwise.

Food and Drink

♥ This seems like a fairly summery dish - Grilled Aubergines with Olive Oil, Garlic, Parsley and Feta Cheese

♥ I think this herby-sweet combination could work a treat - Herby Shortbread Clouds

♥ Hello delicious potential brunch recipe - Spiced Sweet Potato with Crispy Fried Egg

♥ This Ultimate Veggie Sandwich looks ultimately exciting and tasty (I'm actually keeping this tab open, because I might have to make it for lunch)

♥ A Simple Olive Oil and Parsley Pasta - yumm-ay

Knitting & Co

♥ I'm in love with the simplicity of this jumper. I bought some green wool the other day which I might just have to use for this - Il Grande Favorito

♥ I just love the colour of this one - although that's not the actual pattern, you can find the pattern here

♥ Quilting seems like something pretty fun to get into as well, doesn't it? Beautiful Tiny Tile Quilt

♥ I'm not sure if I could rock these, but I think they're definitely very cool - Floral Lace Shorts

Have a great remainder of the week.
Love,

Johanna

Things to Try Thursday - 04/06/15 Making

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Today I thought I'd give this a slightly different focus, one of hand-making things, because one, I just haven't come across that many recipes I'd like to try this week and two because I just keep finding myself incredibly excited when I come across cool patterns (which Daniel finds very entertaining, but don't you worry, I'm not going to take offence from anyone who does the same when putting their hands on a new deck of cards hehe). I learnt how to knit from Siobhan last year and haven't looked back since. I've enjoyed knitting so so much and I definitely want to continue it, but now I also want to learn more; I want to learn how to crochet and how to sew. I think the reason why I am enjoying it so much is because I recently realised that I'm an incredibly habtic person; I love feeling different materials, which is probably also why I talk about coziness so much. Anyway, I know it's not necessarily the season for knitwear, but I thought I'd put together a little Things to Try Thursday for patterns that I've come across and that I'd like to make, and I'm considering including a little 'others' section for them in my upcoming Things to Try Thursday, what do you think?

Here we go:

♥ | I love how the simple crocheting on the edges transforms these fairly simple pieces - Edged Linen Wrap & Blanket (wouldn't these blankets make the most wonderful gift for a mum-to-be?)

♥ | This seems like a perfect first sewing project, I might even attempt this without a sewing machine, or is that completely crazy? - Incredibly Simple Scarves

♥ | How cozy does this look? (I know I know, it's finally getting warm and I'm posting cozy scarves, but then you gotta make them some time so they're ready for when it gets cold, right?) - Cozy cowl

♥ | This Yoga Shawl is just dreamy. I think it'd be the sort of piece that I'd live in.

♥ | I'm actually attempting to make this one at the moment - Crochet Basket

 ♥ | I really want the crochet workshop book from Erika Knight, particularly because I want to make this Crocheted Laptop Cover and this Contemporary Clutch

I'd love to hear what you're making at the moment/what patterns/projects you've saved for making in the future :)

Have a lovely day,

Johanna

On clothes

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

*Not a fair representation of my/our wardrobe, it's really a lot messier and fuller!


Over the last couple of years, I started to pay a little more attention to the things I buy, from cosmetics to appliances to clothes. I question whether I really need something now, to avoid being wasteful. Now, I'm not saying I only buy the absolute essential, nor that I'm actually being good even by my own standards, but I usually ask myself the question whether I a) really need it or b) whether I think it would make me happier, and if so, I try to go for good quality that will last a while, though I'll admit here and now that I still own for example H&M clothes, but I'm in the process of making those (and other labels too) a minority in my wardrobe. I love H&M as much as the next person, I'm just working towards finding a different balance.

I'm trying to spend more on clothes. Yes you read that correctly, more. I don't mean buying more clothes, but spending more money on good quality pieces that I will a) get a lot of wear out of and b) that I at least think have been produced fairly. I used to think that if something was really simple and plain, like a tank top or a simple long sleeve, the sort of thing I'd wear on a daily basis, it shouldn't cost much, because you know, it wasn't special. The irony of that only got to me a couple of months ago. Shouldn't the fact that I wear those on a daily basis mean the exact opposite? Shouldn't it mean that they're what I spend the most on or let me rephrase, buy the best quality (which of course isn't always synonymous) for the clothes that will be in contact with my skin for the majority of the time rather than the clothes I'll wear for one or two special occasions? I decided that I should. And boy am I glad I did, the good quality/fairly produced/slightly more expensive clothes I bought recently feel SO GOOD ON MY SKIN. It literally makes me happy several times a day. 

I know I can't make you feel it, but I'm trying to bring across, just how cozy this feels!






I am so glad there's finally brands out there that produce clothes that are not only (if that can ever be an only, it's so important, but hopefully you get what I mean) produced fairly, but also clothes that feel wonderful and that I like the look of; because, even if it's incredibly shallow, if I don't like the look of the clothes, I might buy them and feel slightly better about myself, but I wouldn't wear them, which, even if not an as grave waste, would still be a waste.

Armed Angels is my favourite brand for good looking and fair clothes at the moment. They don't have a UK site yet, but should you find yourself in Germany, I definitely recommend finding a shop that stocks some of their products (or if you're super keen, they also deliver to the UK). I could easily order for several hundred pounds from their site, but I'm just going to give you a link to my absolute favourite product from them: click. This is the top I'm wearing in the photo above and it literally feels so good. I didn't even know clothes could feel this good on my skin, and since I basically live in this top, I've bought it twice. And the best/worst is, I wasn't even going to buy it first, because it's just SO simple; in hindsight though, that's what I love most about it :)

Like I mentioned before, the concept of having a capsule wardrobe absolutely fascinates me and it's something I'd definitely like to work towards with good clothes. I'm finally admitting that I just like to live in cozy tops and that that's ok. 

Do you have any fair labels that you love? I don't really know any brands like this in the UK yet, so if you know any, I'd hugely appreciate it if you could share them with me. In the meantime, have a great day.

Love,

Johanna 

P.S. I'm also really getting into making things/clothes/accessories lately, I find it so gratifying it's unreal, but maybe I'll talk about that in another post, for now, here's a photo of me rocking the funky necklace I made a couple of weeks ago:



Photo Diary: The Dark Knight Trilogy, A Sunny Walk and The Gate

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Last Bank Holiday monday, Daniel and I, cool kids that we are, decided to go to the Prince Charles Cinema to see the Dark Knight Trilogy and I'm pleased to inform you that it was absolutely tremendous. We started our film date off with some Wholefoods food, salad and hot food box, sushi and pizza - dreamy and the films, hopefully you'll all know just how great they are. 

In order to counteract staying inside a dark room all day for one day, I went for a lovely little sunny walk another day. 


And then yesterday we went on another date night using two of Daniel's birthday presents from his family: a voucher to our (my) favourite restaurant The Gate and tickets to see Dylan Moran, here's some photos of what we had for dinner :)

Pear and raspberry juice, it's so delicious, it's velvet-y and gentle? I know gentle is a strange way to describe a drink, I guess you'll just have to try it :)

Grilled asparagus rotolo with herbed ricotta - nom nom nom.

Mushroom stuffed gnocchi - so delightfully delicious I will probably dream about this dish.

Herb polenta chips with garlic aioli - a must...

Sticky date pudding - there are no words for how delicious this was, maybe photos though, this is the original photo where you can see how Daniel could literally not stay away. 

I hope you all had a lovely week :) I'd love to hear about it.
Love,

Johanna