Wednesday Wants: Back to School

OK, so I’m not *actually* going back to school. BUT, I do have a shiny new studio in our shiny new house to set up and fill with shiny things!

Most things are still in boxes after the move, although my desk is up at least! I have a load of amazing second hand white metal peg boards to put up before I do any serious unpacking though….can’t wait to fill them with stuff!

Anyways, I get all excited at this time of year with all the “back to school” things around… you’ll probably already know, I’m pretty stationery obsessed anyway, so this is a super tempting time for me!

Here are my current lust-after picks…..

I’m super into rose gold, copper and brass at the moment….it’s featuring heavily in our new home decor for sure. And how classy would these babies look on my lush new desk, huh?

Brass Scissors by HAY via Really Well Made, £9.00

Brass Scissors by HAY via Really Well Made, £9.00

I’ve also been crazy about neons for a while now, and well, I’m in love with this clever case by Undercover on Not on the High Street. I’m CONSTANTLY losing all those important strings and things that you need to connect all the gadgets, and I HATE them not having a real home. So, against all the odds, I’ve actually chosen a really *sensible* something for once!

Cables and Wires tidy case by Undercover via Not on the High Street, £34.95

Cables and Wires tidy case by Undercover via Not on the High Street, £34.95

So the third and final thing on the list is basically EVERYTHING at Paperchase. They do it to me every time… collections FILLED with shiny new things I WANT WANT WANT. Here are a few of my particular favourites though…..

Pony Party List Clip Board, £6.00

Pony Party List Clip Board, £6.00

Monster Mashup Stickers, £1.50

Monster Mashup Stickers, £1.50

Pony Party Sticky Tabs, £2.50

Pony Party Sticky Tabs, £2.50

Chips Lunch Bag, £12.00

Chips Lunch Bag, £12.00

Unicorn Pencil Case, £6.00

Unicorn Pencil Case, £6.00

What are your favourites? Do you get to shop for a bunch of “back to school” stuff?
Ems x

Wednesday Wants: Donkey Week!

Happy International Donkey Week!

As if we needed an excuse to admire these wonderful creatures, this week has been established by The Donkey Sanctuary to help show us how important donkeys (and mules!) are, and how very special they are too! If you follow my Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram accounts, you may have noticed a flurry of donkey-related activity lately, and that’s because I recently began to volunteer for the charity as a fundraiser. It’s such a wonderful charity to support….they operate all over the world, rescuing donkeys in need, educating communities who rely on donkeys for their livelihoods, giving donkey-assisted-therapy to children with additional needs, and providing outreach work in the community to care homes and hospices.

Last week I helped out at the fabulous new “For the Love of….” Donkey Sanctuary cafe and charity shop in Otley, and on Saturday it was officially opened! This week I’ll be baking some treats to sell there on Saturday, as part of the charity’s first ever mass participation event, “Bake it for Donkeys“!

Perhaps most challenging of all, I’ve volunteered to co-ordinate this year’s fundraising gala, “The Pumpkin Ball“, which will take place in Leeds this October. The event promises to be a wonderful night of fun, with a yummy three course dinner, live band, DJ, auctions, raffles and some other fun besides! Do let me know if you’re interested in coming, and I can let you know more about tickets!

Later this month (Friday 22nd May in Otley, to be precise!) I’m helping host a Pamper Party to launch ticket sales of the ball, so if you’re in the area, do let me know and I can reserve some tickets for you. There’ll be wine, treatments, pamper products and give aways, as well as special access to the new shop and some of the gorgeous ball gowns donated to the shop for you to buy and wear to the ball!

Anyways, back to my weekly list of wants….. I thought that in honour of Donkey Week, I’d pick out some of my favourites from the Donkey Sanctuary shop. You can also buy all these things online, and delivery is even free in the UK!

I love the brightly coloured ‘designer ears’ range of products at the shop…they’re so fun and vibrant! These cards are great to keep in to use for any occasion, and come in a set of six.

On Saturday a friend of the new shop’s manager baked 200 donkey biscuits for the opening….and they were delicious! Make your own at home with this super cute little biscuit cutter!

And to go with your biscuits, a cup of tea from this brilliant mug! I love the ‘antics’ range, which features lots of cheeky donkeys in cleverly drawn shenanigans.

Washing up isn’t such a chore with donkeys there to cheer the proceedings….I love these two and the enormous mountain of cups (it feels like that sometimes when it comes to washing up!).

The best thing by far in the shop though is the amazing collection of hand knitted donkeys for sale. Each one is made with love by a Donkey Sanctuary supporter, and is totally unique! There are donkeys with eye lashes, donkeys with glittery silver shoes, donkeys with big pink bonnets, and lots besides. If you’re a keen knitter and would like to help out by making a donkey, you can get hold of a pattern here.….there’s also a crochet pattern if that’s more your thing!

Ems x


Wednesday Wants: It’s National Stationery Week!

Did you know it’s National Stationery Week?! Now I don’t need any excuse to get excited about stationery, but this seemed like a good reason to feature what is certainly one of my favourite things on this week’s ‘Wants’ list. And what better way to indulge in some of my other favourite things….robots, neons, dinosaurs, mythical creatures…..stationery does it all!

It’s glossy, it’s blue, it’s covered in robots. Oh, and you can fill it with cool pens. What’s not to like?!

How adorable is this illustrated notebook by the talented Emma Randall? I love the blue unicorn, and that cheeky octopus!

I’ve been ever so slightly obsessed with neons for over a year now. Fluorescent stuff reminds me of my childhood, especially when that stuff is stationery. It puts me in mind of staking out Woolworths in the school holidays, plotting how best to spend my pocket money. So of course, I’m crazy about these super cute bear highlighters with their sweet expressions.

Just think of the things I could neon-ify with these babies…..

Fluoro meets Egyptology. Way cool. I’d stencil hieroglyphs onto everything with this. Probably with my neon pens.

And when I have to be a little more grown up, these lush Liberty prints will help soften the blow. I love adding pretty stickers to parcels when I send out my orders, and these would make packing even more satisfying.

Dinosaurs on parcels, on envelopes, on notebooks, on little notes, on the back of my hand, and probably all over the walls if I had my way….all possible with these bad boys.

And what could be more of a productivity boost than a bright yellow notebook telling you to ‘Make if Happen’? For lists, doodlings and planning great adventures….I’m pretty sure this notebook could help me make it happen. (Also, these Panama notebooks have proven to be super practical for me….they’re a great size for carrying around, and the supple cover holds its own even at the bottom of my junk filled handbags!)

Happy National Stationery Week everyone! Go forth and treat yourself to a fancy new pen or something!

Ems x


Wednesday Wants: More for the garden

Whilst I was looking for garden tools for last week’s Wednesday Wants post, I came across so many other lovely gardeny things that I just had to write another post about some of the things I’ve found! As I mentioned, we’ll soon be moving to a new home, and as we’re finally buying (yippee!) we can really make it our own and invest some real effort into the garden. There’ll be lots of planting and re-arranging I’m sure, but I’d also love some pretty furniture and other things to go out there….hence this list!…..

I just adore festoon lights, and I’d love to drape them all across the garden for evenings outside.

I can’t wait to get back into composting again….and this composter has to be the cutest out there. I’d love to have bees too, so I’d have to be careful not to confuse the two!

I am *always* losing track of time in the garden, so I very much need a big clock out there to remind me!

I love to watch the birds and plan to have lots of places for them to nest and feed. I love the copper roof on this feeder, which is nice and open so I can see what they’re doing, but they also feel safe out of sight of bigger birds above!

I’ve always wanted a cast iron garden furniture set and I think it will work perfectly in our new garden (and look stunning sitting on the Yorkstone terrace!). This set features a lovely long table, perfect for barbecues and garden parties, as well as a parasol for those of us who burn easily! The chairs come complete with super comfy pads, and are even stackable!

I’m just imagining sitting there, gin in hand, with the smell of the wisteria in the air…..I cant WAIT!

Ems x

Wednesday Wants: tools for my new garden

Well I think most of us enjoyed a rather nice show of sun last week. And whilst it’s not quite as exquisite as it was, the rumours of a coming heatwave and the recent memory of blue skies and warmth have me thinking of being outdoors.

There’s the added factor that with our impending house move, I’m starting to think about our lovely new garden. I got really into my gardening when we had a rather large outdoor space to tend to in Hitchin, but knowing we wouldn’t be in this house for long I’ve not really invested any time in the garden here. I can’t wait to get my hands on my very own, ‘forever’ garden though, and that’s got me thinking (as I do) about shopping for exciting things to help me make it beautiful…..

OK, so I already have a little Haws watering can (in a pretty powder blue), but I think this copper one is rather special. It is said that you can improve the quality of water by bringing it into contact with copper, so this can is sure to help my plants along. Plus it’s really shiny and pretty. Just because it’s for the garden, it doesn’t mean I have to be *completely* practical!

And because I’m aiming for some pretty impressive boarders as well as smaller pots, I’m going to need something a little heftier to help me water in bulk. This nine litre galvanised can with copper trim has a top and a back handle, to help feeble little me pick it up and dispense the water more easily.

And keeping with the copper theme….The PKS bronze (aka copper and tin) tools are made to last a lifetime. The Castor trowel has a smooth beech handle and pointed, heart-shaped blade. The sharp edge and scoop shape make it a most practical trowel for general weeding and planting. And yes, again, isn’t it pretty?!

I’ve never really gone in for more specialised tools before, but I have to say that something to help me with those tricky bits of stray grass and weeds would be a God-send. The PKS Tabit weeding tool is specifically designed for lifting perennial weeds such as creeping buttercup and small clumps of grass without disturbing the surrounding plants. The pronged point gets underneath the roots, then using the rounded underside you can lever the interloper out!

Er, yeah, so I’m really into copper right now. Anyway, I love to label pretty much anything that stands still long enough. I’m the proud owner of not one, but four label makers, and so it only seems fitting that I get to label the garden too. These copper ‘Tee’ labels by Burgon and Ball are easy to engrave using a ball point pen, plus the copper helps to repel pests such as slugs. Bonus!

I’ve always bought cheap secateurs in the past, which is a total false economy as they don’t last long at all. There’s also the issue of my feeble little hands, which really struggle with pruning, but I’ve found that a pair of ratchet pruners could help me immensely. These ones by Darlac have a slim profile, perfect for my small hands, and the squeeze/release action reduces effort by up to a third. And they’re gold. Gold.

Not all pruning requires such hard-core toolage though, and for the more delicate plants, dead-heading and flower arranging, these mini snips look great. They work like embroidery snips and come in a handy pocket size, perfect for well, keeping in your pocket!

I bought a kneeler to use in our last garden, and used it precisely once.  The problem is that you have to move it around with you, and I’m so forgetful I just ended up leaving it behind each time I moved. Plus I usually have my hands full whilst gardening, so something that’s actually attached to me sounds like a much better idea! These leather knee pads are made in Shropshire from carefully selected British leather, and feature a soft lining to cushion your knees as you work. They are attached to an elasticated velcro band to make them easy to get on and off, as well as fit anyone (even me with my chubby knees), and are built to last a lifetime.

And on the subject of forgetfulness, if I got a penny for every time I lost my tools in the garden, I’d be able to afford to pay Monty Don to come and work for me full time. Enter this tool pouch, which you wear as a belt around the waist so you always have your most-used tools with you. I’d keep my nice bronze trowel in the main back pocket and my secatuers in that handy pointed pocket at the front.


Whilst shopping I also came across lots of wonderful non-tool things for the garden too….so perhaps I’ll share those next week!


Do you have a garden? Do you have any tips or recommendations?


Ems x



Wednesday Wants… Easter eggs and other gift ideas

For weeks now I’ve been ogling the supermarket shelves as they’ve filled up with rows on rows of Easter treats. There’s no worse time of the year for chocolate temptation, in my opinion….as much as Christmas tends to bring with it more than its fair share of chocolatey goodness, there are so many other treats on offer that chocolate pales in comparison. We’ve already eaten our first Cream Eggs (keenly lamenting the loss of their traditional recipe), and scoffed more than one bag of Mini Eggs, which are clearly the work of the devil due to their temptation factor.

As usual though, I’m also massively drawn to pretty packaging, and I just adore the look of some of the more ‘luxury’ type of Easter treats. None more so than Booja Booja‘s Easter Collection which looks simply divine….

Featuring hand-painted, papier-maché Easter eggs made in Kashmir, each is hand-packed in Norfolk with delicious chocolate truffles in several flavours. If you’ve not tried Booja Booja chocolates before, I highly recommend that you do. And once you have, I bet you’ll find it hard to believe that they’re vegan, and free of gluten, dairy and soya.

The truffles are seriously luxurious, rich and dreamy and melt-in-the-mouth. You can choose from Hazelnut Crunch, Around Midnight Espresso, Banoffee Toffee, Almond and Sea Salt Caramel, or Fine de Champagne. Small eggs, which include three truffles are £9.99, whilst the large eggs, which contain twelve truffles, are £24.99. Plus of course you get to keep the beautiful egg once you’ve finished off the contents, and use it to hoard treasures and trinkets!

Booja Booja Hazelnut Crunch Easter Egg, Under A Glass Sky

Booja Booja ‘Hazelnut Crunch’ Easter Egg

Booja Booja 'Around Midnight Espresso' Easter Egg, Under A Glass Sky

Booja Booja ‘Around Midnight Espresso’ Easter Egg

Booja Booja 'Banoffee Toffee ' Easter Egg, Under A Glass Sky

Booja Booja ‘Banoffee Toffee ‘ Easter Egg

If you’re trying to kerb your chocolate consumption though, perhaps try this yummy sounding lip balm from Sweet Cecily’s. The entire range is hand-made and natural, paraben and SLS free, and never tested on animals. This one even looks like a chocolate bar….but with the advantage that it won’t go straight to your hips!

If you really must ditch the chocolate entirely though, I think these adorable egg cups by Quail Ceramics are a perfect Easter treat. I’ve long since lusted after their adorable animal inspired treasures, and these three are just so perfect for a Spring breakfast spread.

And because it’s not *all* about food (well, almost), I think this super cute trinket dish would make an adorable Easter gift. Just look at that podgy little bunny, waiting to tidy up your treasures! He’d be a lovely addition to a dressing table, or would be perfect to pop next to the sink for when you need to take your rings off!

I hope you have a lovely Easter filled with whatever treats tickle your fancy!

Ems x

Wednesday Wants: Wills Vegan Shoes

So you may have seen me wax lyrical about the super lush vegan bags by MATT & NAT recently, and I’m still eagerly planning my haul when I place a new order following my wardrobe clear-out! I’ve never found it quite so easy to fawn over vegan shoes though…..I’ve just never found a collection that both fitted the ethical bill, and also left me drooling. It’s a bit like when you look at the veggie options at a restaurant and the chef has clearly assumed you’re veggie because you’re trying to be healthy and so you must just want a salad…..wanting ethically produced shoes doesn’t mean I have no desire to wear something practical and fashionable!

However, whilst internetting earlier this week I came across a brand called Wills and realised I’d finally found my vegan shoe crush.

Will Green founded Wills “with a passion to provide animal and human friendly shoes with high-street styles and prices.” The aim of the brand is to bridge the gap between everyday people and ethically produced shoes. The entire range is free of animal products while workers are paid in accordance with European guidelines.

Shoes are made with microfibers that look, wear, breathe and resist water just like leather, and because they’re priced to compete with high street brands, there is no excuse not to make a more ethical choice! There is a range for men too, and Will looks to me an awful lot like John Krasinski, which is always a good sign in my opinion!

It was initially the super comfy looking boots which caught my eye, but as I’m focussing on those tiny signs that Spring is on its way, I opted for a ‘want’ list that was a little more geared to the coming seasons…..

Perforated Oxfords in Navy, £75.00

Perforated Oxfords in Navy, £75.00

Brogues in Chestnut, £69

Brogues in Chestnut, £69

Fringed Loafers in Black, £65

Fringed Loafers in Black, £65

Mary Jane Kitten Heels in Black, £64

Mary Jane Kitten Heels in Black, £64

Lace up Heels in Caramel, £49

Lace up Heels in Caramel, £49

So now it’s just a case of getting those shoes cleared out of the wardrobe so that I can fill it up with some of these beauties!

Ems x


PS. Shipping to the UK is only £4, with free returns! And furthermore, if you head to the website now you can get a voucher code for free delivery on your first order! x

Wednesday Wants: Matt & Nat vegan handbags

So I’m trying to have a clear out before we move again. The largest box when we moved still hasn’t been un-packed….it is filled with my handbags (the ones I don’t use on a day to day basis) and I’ve vowed to reduce them by selling them on Ebay and giving them away to charity. I’ve needed to do this for some time in honesty….there are many lovely bags that I no longer use but are in great shape and deserve a new home. But how to incentivise myself?

Well, more bags obviously.

Now I know that sounds silly, but stick with me….. I’m thinking that if I can make space and raise funds by clearing out the majority of bags in that box, I’ll have space and funds for at least a *few* replacements. Just one or two. Maybe three. But ones I’ll use more, and whilst I’m at it, I’ll make them vegan ones too.

Enter MATT & NAT. I treated myself to one of their gorgeous purses last year before going on honeymoon, as well as a pale blue handbag for when I was Bridesmaid. And I bally love them.

The quality is outstanding, the design delicious, and as if that weren’t enough, they are excellent value to boot. And if that’s not enough to convince you, just check out their ethical credentials…..

MATT & NAT stands for MAT(T)ERIAL + NATURE. It’s is a vegan brand, therefore there are no animal products used in production. No real leather, no animal derived glues, no nasties. The linings inside all MATT & NAT bags are made from 100% recycled plastic bottles, and, in addition to being vegan, sustainable materials are constantly sourced in their design  such as cork and rubber.

Various vegan leathers are used, including PU and PVC (PU being favoured as it is less harmful for the environment than PVC). One of their factories operates by the SA8000 standard and they intend to make this standard a bigger part of production going forward. The team diligently visits each factory and builds strong personal relationships with owners, as well as encouraging everyone to volunteer as much as possible. Oh, and at the HQ in Montreal, they have vegetarian pot luck days and eat vegan cakes. I want to work there!

Anyways, being the conscientious person I am (*cough*), I thought I’d do my research and short list some bags for my new ‘capsule’ collection. Well, at least I’m hoping that by having my eyes on the prize, I’ll actually get that sorting done! So without further ado, here is my shortlist…..

Matt & Nat, "Kite" in Champagne, £115

Matt & Nat “Kite” in Champagne, £115


Matt & Nat "Deeter" in Citrus, £113

Matt & Nat “Deeter” in Citrus, £113


Matt & Nat "Wellington" in Iris, £108

Matt & Nat “Wellington” in Iris, £108


Matt & Nat "Hemlock" in Nature, £125

Matt & Nat “Hemlock” in Nature, £125


Matt & Nat "Tardy" in Walnut, £115

Matt & Nat “Tardy” in Walnut, £115


Matt & Nat "Parabole" in Midnight, £90

Matt & Nat “Parabole” in Midnight, £90


Matt & Nat "Malone" in Black, £95

Matt & Nat “Malone” in Black, £95


To die for, right? Now just to figure out the short-short list!

You can buy these lush handbags, as well as men’s bags, tablet cases and wallets via the MATT & NAT website, as well as on They are also available at a number of UK independent stores, including What Sarah Did in Hitchin, Hertfordshire (where I first found them, thanks Sarah!),  Accent in Leeds, Dynamite in Hebden Bridge, Nood in Manchester, Swish in Edinburgh and many stores in London.

Ems x

Wednesday Wants…. Iiiiiiiit’s snoooooowiiing!!!!!

Yeah, so I’m a bit excited about the snow. I love snow. It’s magical and festive and fun and beautiful. Snow, snow, snow, snow, snow.

I’ve been out in the snow (being a dog owner means going out, whatever the weather) and although it’s not fallen thick enough here to build a snowman or anything, I still loved wrapping up warm to go out and stomp about in the lovely stuff. And because it’s not so heavy that we’re snowed in, and I don’t have to stress about driving anywhere or getting to anything important, I can continue to get excited about the snow….and, being me, I do this by way of shopping!…..


Hamax, Lillehammer Rodel Maxi Wooden Sledge, £130

I am firmly of the belief that sledging is an activity for grown ups. Not only do you need to be careful and responsible (*cough*) to control a sledge safely, but children don’t have nearly enough weight to them to make the most of it. Enter the Hamax ‘Lillehammer’ maxi sledge, which you can find at Simply Piste and order on NEXT DAY DELIVERY!

This is a super practical sledge which can be folded up neatly to carry along to your nearest snowy hill. It has steel runners for excellent, er, slippiness, AND it’s big enough for two to sit on! It looks exactly like a sledge should in my opinion, a classic design that says you’re not messing about. None of this slipping around on a bin liner or baking sheet nonsense!

Dress Your Own Snowman Kit

Dress Your Own Snowman Kit, £9.99

The last thing you want to be doing when your hands are numb with cold and your feet are frozen into your wellies is to have to scout about for accessories for your snowman! But fear not! The ‘Dress Your Own Snowman‘ kit will mean you have everything to hand when the snow starts falling. The kit includes a soft filled material nose, five black buttons (two to use as eyes and three to use on his chest), a red felt scarf and a black felt hat, all in a nifty bag. Indomitable spirit not included.

Arctic Force Snowball Crossbow

Arctic Force Snowball Crossbow, £13.95

I’ve been fancying myself as a crossbow pro ever since I started watching The Walking Dead. Daryl is easily the coolest character, and not least because of his choice of zombie-beating weapon. And I know he’d approve of this snowball equivalent from Arctic Force. It has a trajectory of 60 feet, and boasts adjustable arms for a more accurate aim. The easy pull mechanism will ensure you’re fastest on the draw, so really your opponents won’t stand a chance.

Wrap up warm folks and enjoy the snow if you’re lucky enough to have it!

Ems x


Wednesday Wants: Blue suede shoes

Elvis Blue Suede Shoes


OK, so I’m a big Elvis fan. And I’m just as big a fan of shoes. Ergo…..I clearly need me some blue suede shoes!

I suppose a small obsession began when I first saw The Shoe Embassy stall at Old Spitalfields Market…they have the most wonderful collection and it happens to include some super lush blue suede numbers. And ever since, I’ve spotted different pairs here and there and thought how much I *want* some….although them not being the most practical choice I’ve yet to make a purchase.

Still, this feature is all about *wants* and not *needs* so here’s a round up of blue suede shoes I’d like to add to my shoe rack…..


Shoe Embassy, Al Capone in Indigo, £55

Shoe Embassy, Al Capone in Indigo, £55

These are the ones that started it all off! I actually have a pair in the Amber which is a gorgeously versatile tan shade. They are super comfy and go with anything. I love the cross between brogue and pixie boot! Now I just need their blue counterparts!

Shoe Embassy, Brick Lane in Indigo, £69

Shoe Embassy, Brick Lane in Indigo, £69

For a more boyish, less pixie-like brogue though, I’m loving these, also from Shoe Embassy. They’re adorably vintage looking, but with (if my other Shoe Embassy brogues are anything to go by!) the benefit of incredible comfort and seriously hard wearing.

Clarks, Chorus Voice in Violet, £ 55

Clarks, Chorus Voice in Violet, £55

Hello! How gorgeous are these?! The shade is amazing, as is that beautiful detail at the vamp. I adore the heel and vintage feel of these. Imagine them with a wiggle dress at a wedding or cocktail party! Lush!

Clarks, Chorus Thrill in Navy, £50

Clarks, Chorus Thrill in Navy, £50

If that vibrant indigo isn’t your bag, these navy stunners are a treat. I love a t-bar, and not just because it reminds me of dressing up in my Nanna’s shoes from the fifties as a little girl…they are mega practical and comfy to boot!

J. Crew, Lowell Boots in Dark Navy, Regular calf £298.00 / Extended Calf £318.00  

J. Crew, Lowell Boots in Dark Navy, Regular calf £298.00 / Extended Calf £318.00

Now what could be lovelier than a pair of stunning blue suede *boots* I hear you cry! Well, a pair of blue suede boots that will actually fit your legs in, that’s what! These J. Crew boots are all kinds of wonderful….they have that Puss In Boots appeal for sure, and I think they’d look amazing with a tweed mini skirt. Plus they’re available in two calf sizes, so that those of us with normal sized legs can get in them! Love!

J. Crew Collection, Lace-Up Houndstooth Pumps, £398

J. Crew Collection, Lace-Up Houndstooth Pumps, £398

And saving the best till last… about these?!?! I literally gasped when I saw these. Look at that hounds tooth panel! Look at the pointy blue toe! And the laces! I die.

Ems x