Home and Style Finds: Valentine’s Day Gifts

Valentine Gift GuidePlease excuse the lack of gift ideas for the gent in your life but from my experience (and perhaps yours) a lie-in, a tasty breakfast, a pint in the pub, followed by a film on the projector, will be appreciated more. Add some blooms to that list, and I’ll be happy too.

If you are celebrating on Sunday though, here’s some simple gift ideas that are a stylish alternative to a box of chocolates and a dozen red roses.

1| Barlow Earrings (£30) from Haykin. Simple. Timeless. French. What can I say?

2| C’est Si Bon Sweatshirt (£50) from Hush. This brand is grand and the sweatshirt is perfect for the music lover in your life.

3| Say it with flowers with this delightful Rifle Paper Co. Journal (£13.00) via The Paper Parlour.

4| Menfolk. Lots of lasses I know love candles. Not all, but a lot. Take note. This stylish candle (£17) from & Other Stories will do the job nicely. You’re welcome.

5| Toys aren’t just for kids. This Soft Toy (£48.50) from The Pippa and Ike Show is an alternative choice for the softy in your life.

6| Taking the next step in a relationship? Empty a bedside drawer in your home for your new beau to keep their bits and pieces in. Have a spare toothbrush on hand like this from Future and Found or go one step further and gift a spare key to your home with a key ring – these cord key rings from Haykin are tip-top.

7| Know your OH’s favourite novel? Look out for new illustrated copies or journals like Jane Eyre (£14) from Anthropologie.

8| Calling all list makers! Treating yourself this Sunday? How about this Kate Spade Pen (£30) from Amara?

Lately: Spring, Blooms and X Files


February has been a much more likeable month so far. I think we can be friends in fact *shakeshands*. Despite hideous weather, an annoyingly sticky frying pan that ruined Pancake Day, my mobile phone playing up (again) and the house being in a constant state of mess – all is well. I’ve even had time to list all the positive stuff going on, which in itself makes me feel better straight away.

1 | X Files is back! EEP. I love that show so much and have many happy memories watching it with my mum while dad worked his night shifts. Oh Mulder.

2 | My Matt & Nat backpack has proven to be the best gift for my shoulders, I’m so pleased with it. If you’re thinking of investing in a backpack, I can’t recommend this brand enough. Recently new additions to the bag include a Caroline Gardener Notebook, Morris & Co Hand Cream and a Black Bobble Water Bottle c/o Amara. Oh and I treated myself to a bag of Coltsfoot Rock from the local sweet shop too.

3| Walking with Polly has got better and better. She still has her moments (chasing after deers and jumping up at all and sundry – facepalm) but 80% of the time she’s an absolute delight. She loves other dogs and humans and just wants to play and be everyone’s friend. I love her so much!

4| A brilliant roller derby training week. I’ve ticked off more minimum skills, and my roller derby buddy in crime has already started training with the team – she’s awesome! We spent the weekend undoing our hard work drinking wine, eating cheese and grapes and watching league games in absolute awe.

5| We’ve been listening to more records than usual (we have a new dining routine – but that’s another post) and I especially love Joanna Newsom’s new album that includes song lyric art prints too.

6| Baking. Saturdays are a good day to bake so you have lots of goodies for weekend walks, and cosy nights in. I love having a tin full of baked goodness in the house and I’m grateful I’ve got the time to get back into baking again.

7 | Finding small signs of a spring (albeit fleeting) out on my travels. I’ve spotted snowdrops and blossom this week. Blossom!

8| Thoughts of our holiday to Australia. Apparently it’s silly hot over in Western Australia at the moment and with only 7 weeks to go till we leave I’m hoping it’s going to be a sunshine-filled holiday. I can’t wait to see family, go for long walks and dip in the ocean!

9| Polly’s face when her monthly treat box arrived c/o BarkBeats. The box contained lots of healthy snacks and toys, including gluten-free baked biscuits and a squeaky gem toy which she loves. Fancy treating your pooch to a monthly box? Simply enter Mathilde50 at the checkout to receive a 50% discount on your first box (valid till 31st of December; only for the first box; cannot be combined with other discount codes; unsubscribe at any point).

10| Adding colour to the lounge. A simple injection of colour, in the form a new sofa, has made all the difference in waking up our living space. I’ll share our new sofa on the blog once I’ve had chance to tidy up properly (Polly is shedding hairs non-stop and I can’t keep up).

Lifestye bloggersJoanna Newsom instagram hyacinths barkbeatssnowdrops in February uk lifestyle bloggers Habitatuk lifestyle bloggers uk lifestyle bloggers Yorkshire Bloggers

How’s February been treating you so far?

5 Positive Things To Do This Week #166


1| Try a new herbal tea

2| Have lunch with a friend

3 |Seek snowdrops

4| Plant something colourful in your window boxes (or if you don’t have any – get on it!)

5| Clean mirrors/windows to let a little extra light into your rooms

Brew up and see more 5 Positive Things To Do This Week posts here. Oh and don’t forget to share your positive moments over on Instagram and tag with #sharethepositive

Home and Style Finds: Introducing Haykin

UK stockists of Carni Socks

I’m super-stoked today to introduce my friend’s new online store, Haykin, specialising in goods of colour and simplicity. Shake those tail feathers!

After months of hard work, love and dedication, the launch day has arrived and I’m excited to share just a small selection of my favourite Haykin goods. No need to hold your horses (or purses), my friends. Feel free to head straight over and say hello!

Created and curated by Yorkshire-based Katy Barraclough, the shop celebrates the founder’s long-held love affair with bold, bright colours and her affection for simple, timeless design.

Haykin features designers, makers and independent designers from across the globe (all new to me, which is really exciting) including Federica Bubani, Saniyo, Odd Pears and Puc to name a few; plus Haykin’s own-branded cushions, handmade in Katy’s hometown of Ilkley, Yorkshire.


Like? I’m besotted with the timeless Titlee jewellery range, all handmade in Paris. This delicate collection is right up my street. And those stunning Puc bags? Damn! One in every colour please.

Besotted too? Throughout launch week Haykin is offering 10% discount on orders until midnight Thursday 11 February. Simply use HAYKINLAUNCH10 at the checkout.

To discover more about Haykin, visit haykinshop.com or follow the store’s latest news and updates via its blog blog.haykinshop.com, TwitterFacebook or Instagram @haykinshop.

Katy Barraclough, owner of Haykin


At Home: Paint it, Black

Black Feature Wall

Via Cote Maison

My interpretation of a feature wall as a teenager, was a sliding wardrobe in my bedroom covered in posters of my beloved heroes: The Verve, The Rolling Stones and The Stone Roses. I’d fill every inch of those doors, then spread the posters and magazine cut-outs to neighbouring walls, much to my mum’s dismay.

Nowadays my tastes have changed (although I am still partial to a framed poster or two) and a feature wall simply means adding a simple coat of contrasting paint to a wall. So, my friends, let’s discuss painting the walls black.

First up, I’m obsessed with this matte black finish. But as with everything, I like to wait and sit on ideas for a while before I jump in. I’ve found so much inspiration that I’m struggling to decide which room would benefit from this makeover the most, but seeing as the office could really do with one, I think that’s where we will begin. Although I’m seriously coveting the copper/black kitchen in the photograph above.

Here’s why you should paint your wall/s black, Rolling Stones style.



Via Design Milk

Black is ridiculously versatile. Add contrasting colours to make them pop (pink works really well), woods add warmth and whites help to achieve a modern and Scandinavian feel. It’s a no brainer.

Black Feature Wall

Via Hunted Interior

Black adds drama, elegance and can be a neutral backdrop for displaying art and collections to your walls.

Black Feature Walk

Via Dulux

Oh this bathroom (another room on our list to makeover!).  White is a great accent for black especially if you warm the room with plants and wooden accessories. The tiles on the wall and floor paired with the period details contrast really well with the contemporary bathroom suite.

Black walls

Via Brit + Co

I just want to hug this space so much. Maybe leave us alone for a minute…

I’m back! Those painted brick walls are something else. I do love our red brick kitchen feature wall but there’s something rather special about this. Something to think about if we ever refit the kitchen. Oh my.

Black walls

Via Digs Digs

The Scandi look. There’s a few things I love about this room. The shelves, the floor, the chair, the Mac computer (I can dream!) but overall it’s all about the one simple black wall. Maybe starting of small in one room might give us the confidence to do something special elsewhere? Now I just need to find the perfect matte paint and be brave!

Have you got a room painted black?