Friday, 26 September 2014

Wait, I'm Scandinavian?! | My time in Denmark

As a child I always identified with being Irish, with my flaming red hair and cheeky attitude I spent much of my time playing in fields and attended a Gaelic speaking school. Participated in horsing riding and even Irish dancing for a time. I loved my crazy little childhood adventures of climbing up the small 'waterfall' into the forest and sledging in the snow down the field usually occupied with cows. 

When I was eight however I moved permanently to England where I have spent the past thirteen years of my life, developing a great love for British heritage, pastimes and afternoon tea. When asked I refer to myself as British as that is where I have truly lived. A mixture of both England and Ireland. But with my southern accent and cultural attitudes I am quite fundamentally attached to my English roots. 

Yet often throughout my life I was told the story of my parents romance. One of which being how my father had compiled a mental list of what he wanted in a wife. On his list included that she would be a blonde Scandinavian, until he told himself to get real and happily decided on 'half Scandinavian'. Fortunately for him he fell in love with my beautiful mother who happens to be half Danish. Now this story has been accounted to me many times. It wasn't until a couple of years ago that I truly realised this meant I had as much of a claim to a Scandinavian heritage as I do to my English one (minus never actually living there). It really took me by surprise! Utterly a revelation! Being Danish is not something I ever equate myself to. Yet I am. It is odd how something as simple as the heritage of your family can influence your perception and sense of home in this grand world. 

I look at all these jaw dropping Scandinavian girls full of such elegant style and pose on instagram and the such, and very often fail to realise I too have claim to the culture and beauty of the very country's aesthetic. In summer 2013 I was blessed enough to take a trip 'around' Sweden, even visiting Denmark for a day. I adored the beauty of the place. The architecture complemented the landscape in such a way that both added character and worked together. The people were astounding beautiful, male and female alike. The public transport was brilliant. The landscapes like that out of a novel full of an abundance of deep blue lakes and plush dark green forests resembling Christmas trees. Now I know I live in an equally wonder country full of luscious landscapes but there just seemed to be something more in Scandinavia. 

While in Sweden people often automatically spoke to me in Swedish. A pleasant and surprising compliment as I didn't feel particularly Swedish or feel that I looked particularly Swedish. I in no way can speak fluent Swedish but made a great attempt to learn as much as I could. It is such a marvellous thing to be able to communicate in more than your mother-tongue. It is an odd concept, even a dreamy ideal to find myself attached to a country and a culture I have never really been exposed too. To wonder how different an upbringing and outlook I may of had riding bikes across different plains, surrounding by pastel, barn looking homes. I would love to visit there again to explore more, to learn more about my family and understand a culture I haven't yet had a chance to be apart of. 

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Friday, 19 September 2014

Overcoming Post University Blues

The summer is drawing to a close. Everyone seems to be returning back to university but you. The past three years have been a time of constant adjustment but now you're living back with your family, looking for work, for your next big adventure and you're not really sure what you should be adjusting too...

For years and years life is forever looking forwards. Working towards the next set of exams, from GCSEs to A levels to a degree. To summer holidays and part time jobs. To blissful social time. To chilling in bed all day delightfully watching netflix to your hearts content. So right now it's pretty weird. There are so many options to pursue and so much free time, it's difficult to know what to do with yourself. To feel uplifted and driven. We're simply blessed with too much choice and too much freedom. 

And it's rough. That's the honest truth of it. Ironic I know. And so I've been pondering on ways to boost through this down, uncertain little time. Because in comparison to the rest of forever, it's hardly anything. Life is always looking forward but it's also for the now. And so, I think it's time to make plans, set goals and do little things that make you happy right now as well as those that are more long term/the future. Just because a degree is nicely tucked under your belt does not mean we have to sink off into the old school 'you're stuck in one job forever and that's the end of that' mentality. Now is the time to take advantage of that education, all that free time and to simply be with the people who mean the most to you. 

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Friday, 5 September 2014

Yellow & Grey | Home Decor Inspiration

Image source: 1, 2, 3, 4

Having very recently finished university my mind is drawn to the absolute thrills of overall home design and home hauls. Starting on the ever optimistic pathway that is graduate life, home wears are no longer a 'must be bought quickly for university' thing, but have become a great source of excitement and consideration.

While grey and yellow initially seem to be an odd colour combination, it is one that works surprisingly well. One that is a hot youtuber favourite right now and big in the interior design world. The yellow tones add a warming effect while the grey keeps the design crisp and modern. This look is ideal for the more gender neutral home decor and works wonders in communal living spaces. Personally I find it very easy to get carried away the idea of a dollhouse full of pastel furniture, Kitchen Aid mixers and Roberts radios, however it's important to remember the men in our lives who definitely would not appreciate such a pallet! And so this trend is perfect! It's such a calming mix between the two. 

Image source: 5, 6, 7

It can be experimented with by a full blown room make over or adding simple touches many of which can be done at home with a little DIY. For example, I love the quirky geometric print backdrop in the first image. (You can find the tutorial for it here.) A few cushions thrown on the sofa or bed, or simply some yellow flowers to add a pop of sunshine. 

While the first compilation of images offer a soft approach to the trend, full of a subtle blend of geometric shapes and white tones. The ones above appear far more bold in their approach, rustic and refined all in one. Sticking to their guns, even a simple chest of draws has become a DIY project to showcase a grey ombre effect. (The above is the Ikea, 3 draw chest in pine.) And the touches of typography offer a strong graphic design feel to the room. However if the strong grey and mustard tones are too much for you, teal offers a beautiful accompaniment that softens the overall look and feel.  
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