Simple Living

6 Ways to Spend Less Time Online

28th August 2015

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Every now and then I like to take an internet break. I love to completely unplug from the virtual world and connect with family, friends and the environment. My best ideas and creativity come when I’m away from technology, and too much time online makes me feel busy and restless.

I haven’t been online very much of late. It wasn’t intentional, I just got swept away with a book and the fresh air of the Cotswolds (see photos). We all know too much screen time isn’t good for us, but it’s not always easy to find the perfect balance. Especially when, like me, you have a blog and a day job.

I’m always looking for ways to simplify my time online, and after a little internet break I thought I’d share what I do to push back. Don’t get me wrong, I love the world wide web, it’s just good to have a digital detox once in a while.

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1. Unsubscribe

I ruthlessly filter every email that arrives in my inbox. By taking a few moments to unsubscribe, or mark as spam, I’ve cut incoming emails by roughly a third. I also set a little time each day to check and respond to every email, and when this is complete I file them. It’s a little obsessive, but I love a clear inbox!

2. Simplify notifications

The only phone notifications I have activated are texts and tweets. That way I’m not tempted to pick up my phone every time it flashes. And when I’m out my mobile tends to stay in my bag to stop me aimlessly scrolling through social media, and missing the world around me.

3. Limit sharing

This year I cut back on what I post and share. In the past I’ve certainly posted and tweeted things that weren’t necessary. And there’s enough random online noise without me adding to it! Although I love to be part of the online community, I no longer feel I have to participate all day long.

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4. Limit following

As much as I’d love to follow every newsfeed, blog and inspirational Instagram account there simply aren’t enough hours in the day.

5. No internet before 9am or after 10pm

When this is possible it makes a huge difference. The early hours are precious and I like to plan my day without distractions. I prefer a slow paced morning, and if I see what the world is doing before I’ve even got out of bed I can feel completely overwhelmed. I also like to fully unwind before I go to bed, and that means unplugging. Sorry, internet.

6. Enjoy internet free days because they’re invigorating! 

Although my recent digital detox wasn’t intentional, I try to have time away as often as I can. Taking a step back makes me assess what I miss and what I don’t. And I’d rather my ideas come from my relationship with the real world than the online one.

And finally, when I’m online I try to take plenty of breaks. Looking out of the window at something in the distance is kind to my eyes.

Have you reached a happy internet / life balance?

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Kaftan – c/o White Stuff
Jeans – For All Mankind | Sandals – from Santorini | Scarf – Muji
Sunglasses – Prada | Basket – Old Made
My photographs were taken at Westonbirt Arboretum and Burford.

This post is in collaboration with White Stuff.

My Home Nature Indoors

5 Home Display Tips + Styling The Seasons

21st August 2015

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AUGUST IS LIKE THE SUNDAY OF SUMMER

I’m often changing my home displays, you could say it is something of an addiction. As a child my mum – a former window dresser – was the same. I learn’t a lot from her.

When I managed agnes b. on Marylebone High Street I loved merchandising the store. Creating window displays that made people stop in their tracks was a great feeling.

When it comes to home displays there are no rules. Your home is the place to express yourself, and if something makes you happy then I say go for it! Here are a few things I consider when styling, for anyone who fancies a little insight.

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1. Firstly, remove everything from the surface you are going to style and give it a dust down.

2. Decide on the focus or theme. Do you have a colour in mind, or a particular object you’d like to show off? Maybe you’ve been inspired by something in a magazine. Or perhaps you simply fancy a change. Whatever your motivation it is good to have a starting point.

3. Begin arranging your things and don’t forget to take objects from all over your home. Think about seasonal items, for example fir cones or garden flowers. I like to include a postcard, small picture or something vintage because they add character. Remember you can move everything as often as you wish, just try different arrangements and have fun.

4. If things aren’t working perhaps group them in threes, especially objects of different heights. And use things of the same colour or texture. On my shelf I’ve included terracotta, concrete, ceramic glaze and wood, which are linked by splashes of greenery. Plants and flowers always soften and unite a display.

5. Keep moving things until you’re happy, then step back to see how it looks. When you’re content put away the excess and don’t be tempted to ruin your masterpiece with clutter!

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My displays are for this month’s Styling the Seasons, run by Katy and Charlotte. Styling the Seasons involves taking a surface in your home and dressing it to represent the month and what it means to you. I hope to make this is a regular feature so do join in if you have time, I’d love to see how you’ve styled August.

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Links to all items:
Eames chair – Amara | Eames table – Amara | Cushion – Fine Little Day
Anglepoise lamp – John Lewis | Architectmade birds – Hus & Hem | Diptyque candle – John Lewis
French basket – Old Made | Book – Vintage | Mug – Local hardware store
Concrete pot – Grace & Thorn | Terracotta tumbler – Sparrow & Co | Tiny dish – Vintage
Audrey Hepburn postcard – From the current exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery

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Candy Pop has been shortlisted for an Amara Blog Award. I’d love to get to the second round and I’d be honoured to have your vote (please vote here – it only takes a few seconds). Thank you so much!

Monthly Snapshots

Snapshots of July

14th August 2015

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Wild blooms in London :: Simple and beautiful :: Cute squares of colour printed by Huggle Up :: Summer in the city :: It’s the time for pink hydrangeas :: Gathering garden flowers with my mum :: Afternoon tea in my parent’s garden :: My July shot for A Year of Moments with Lobster & Swan :: Lavender’s blue dilly dilly

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Adorable succulents and cacti at Grace & Thorn :: All good things are wild and free, a print by Jade at Ginger Pickle :: A week of scorchio! :: A garden rose and foxglove at Aesme Studio :: Oxford is made up of flowers, bikes and history :: Raindrops on hollyhocks :: House camouflage :: Peonies are the Gucci of flowers :: A day of tea and photography with Vanessa

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Window box Wednesday :: A very happy floral Friday :: Calligraphy fun at the Boden press day with Jeska and Sara :: Tea and garden flowers with Alex :: A picnic followed by back-to-back Woody Allen films :: A very happy door :: Oh I do love a carousel :: The party season with Boden in Soho :: Whenever I catch up with Jeska this happens

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No trip to Herefordshire would be complete without visiting Hus and Hem :: Two window boxes are better than one :: Finding simplicity in Notting Hill :: My beautiful fridge :: The mandatory Liberty of London shot :: Spending my birthday in the National Portrait Gallery with Audrey :: I’d like to live in Peppercorn cottage :: I left with a cinnamon bun and a French basket to carry it in :: Hello Dumbleton Cottage!

July was definitely a flower filled month. I took a much needed break from work spending time with my parents in Herefordshire and going on numerous trips to London. It was fantastic to take advantage of a few Candy Pop invitations!

I hope you had a fabulous month and August is shaping up beautifully. You can view all my snapshot posts here and follow me over on Instagram.

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Candy Pop has been shortlisted for an Amara Blog Award. How exciting! I’d love to get to the second round and I’d be honoured to have your vote (please vote here – it only takes a few seconds). Thank you!