March isn’t quite what we expected at all and we want to give you a blog post that will help you navigate it, insofar as a lifestyle blog can help in a global health crisis. We can’t source you toilet roll or give you a personal sedan chair ride to work, but we can give you a few tips that will hopefully keep you comfy, cosy and calm in troubled times. Whether it’s distracting yourself with DIY or keeping anxiety at bay with creative pursuits, we’ve got a few tips on things that might help take the edge off. These are, of course, for when you’re not working. Please do your work*
*Mainly aimed at Robyn who finds it challenging to work at home
One of the days in March we always anticipated being tough was Mother’s Day. But luckily for us, Robyn-and-Emma-in-2019 came up with Other’s Day: a digital and hopefully (though looking increasingly unlikely) physical happening that we run alongside Mother’s Day to provide support and solidarity to those who find the day a challenge. Expect interviews, IGTVs and social sharing designed to give you a virtual squeeze if you aren’t in the position to celebrate on the 22nd. If you’re looking to support someone else this year, this card from Paper Doll Illustrations is just the thing. You can DM her to order – we think it’s pretty perfect.
Scent that space
We both love WXY Candles. They smell like actual heaven, are plant-based, non-toxic, affordable with prices from £12 up, AND they give 3% of their profits to charity. Also, we both know the team through Instagram and can confirm they are a ruddy delight. So in this weird time, when we’re all thinking about small businesses, here’s one worth supporting. Also, this isn’t an ad – WXY haven’t asked us for a mention – we just think they’re fricking great and deserve a shout-out.
Build Your Own Bespoke Rug Online
It’s no secret that our styles are wildly, wildly different. It’s the main reason we’re still friends and haven’t trampled each other to death trying to get to the last beige vase in a sale. So when we tried out Designer Carpet’s online rug builder? The results were predictably unique. We both live in homes with wooden (ahem, Emma’s are cheap laminate) floors, so rugs are an absolute must to bring warmth, texture and depth to a room. But for us both, rugs have always been something of a blind spot – one of the things we message each other about the most, and often struggle to be satisfied with. Which means being to build your own fully customisable, quality floor dressing is like music to our woefully untrained ears. All their made-to-measure rugs are made from their huge range of branded carpets or remnants, which is why they’re able to offer so much choice and actually, on every carpet page you can click to create a rug from it, so whether you’re renting or own and want to keep your floors just the way they are, you can get your design on however you like. Honestly, even if you’re not shopping for a rug, you could lose hours just playing around.
Emma: guys, you know me – I love beige things that are plain, so I’ve created the rug of dreams that is all of those things, but that plays with texture a little on the trim. I went for the Alternative Flooring Wool Croft Stronsay with the Cotton Herringbone trim in Bone. And I would absolutely be adding a Stain Guard to that to combat Mr Crap Flat’s spilling habit.
Robyn: a rug you say? Best make that rug as colourful and vintage-feeling as humanly possible. And enormous. I went for the Westex Contemporary Design Angelica Basil. I also went for a whipped edge that they match to the colours in the rug cos with a pattern like that, you need to keep the added extras really low-key. I would be using their priority queue jump feature cos I’m a. impatient and b. poorly-organised so always need things in a rush.
Find Some Joy
It’s a weird time. It’s a sad time. It’s all a bit fraught and nobody quite knows what to do with themselves. So, if you’re self-isolating, stuck at a workplace you can’t transfer to home or trying to pretend none of it’s happening, here are a few places for an instant hit of joy. We’ll start with dogs, because, really, there is nothing more joyful in the world. Noelaniig runs an Instagram account all about the dogs she rescues and fosters. And if the sight of an soft pitbull playing with an overly-confident chihuahua puppy doesn’t make you smile, it’s already too late (only kidding – there’s always hope, guys). Positive News does exactly what it says on the tin (it doesn’t come in a tin) – it rounds up all the good shit that’s happening in the world and serves it up in a magazine and online. If ever there was something worth the subscription fee, this is it. And, if you’re feeling helpless about Coronavirus and want to do a Good Thing, Becky Wass’ #viralkindness campaign has created a flyer you can pop through your neighbours’ letterboxes in case they need help. Download it here and mentally high-five the awesome initiative.
Nest for All You’re Worth
When it’s cold outside, you’ll usually find both of us under a blanket (different blankets), with a candle on, curled up in a big jumper, watching Drag Race, while staying perfectly still. So we’re going through a global pandemic, we’ll be doubling down on our nesting abilities by shopping our own homes to make everything even more cosy. If you’re going to be trapped indoors, you may as well make it a nice place to be.
Reclaim your Time and Do Things for YOU
Not usually got time for hobbies? You might have just gained back two or more hours because your commute is off so now is a perfect time to get going on the things you couldn’t fit in ordinarily. Hop back on that couch to 5k regime. Or take up cross stitch again. Writing, journaling, decoupage, knitting, baking, trampolining – you can give it a bash now and hopefully when we’re back to normal it’ll be so ingrained in your day it’ll easily be accommodated full time.
Get your Head Stuck in a Book
There’s no better form of escapism than reading so now could be a good time to get back into a book or two. Whether that’s via an online bookclub or setting up some Skype sessions with your mates, being a bookworm doesn’t have to be a solitary pursuit. And there are plenty of organisations that will post your books to you if you don’t fancy heading to the library, from Books that Matter, with only the finest female authors to My Chronical Book Box for all your crime and sci-fi needs.
Loungewear your Ass Off
Robyn: I like colours and loungewear tends to be grey so I’m not going to lie, I find it a bit of a struggle. For me, if I’m padding about the house I want everything to be oversized and as stretchy as you like. So Stalf would be my first stop for a stripey co-ord set that I’d happily pop out for the milk in. Then an massive jumper is essential, see this beauty from Jigsaw. And nothing makes me happier than a cheery pair of socks, like these beauties from Gap. Job. Done.
Emma: You know what I love? Grey. And beige. So right now, loungewear is really doing it for me. I have an email alert set up for when The Frankie Shop restock this unbelievable three-piece and I have my eye on this Arket cashmere set. Then I’m also flirting with this crew neck from Margaret Howell, because I shop on a cost-per-wear basis, and it would get so many wears, both at home and – once the weirdness is over – back outside again. But then, at the same time, I’ve been living in this H&M jumper that’s now down to £7 in the sale. Highs and lows, guys.
Create a Spa Set-Up at Home
You know who didn’t mind padding around the house with a face full of moisturising matter? Elizabeth bloody Taylor. So make like Liz and take up a beauty regime more complicated than Walter White’s chemical shopping list. What better time to try multi masking? Or a peel? Want to exfoliate? Be our guest. Now’s the time to dedicate some time to getting your skin in tip condition without scaring the shit out of your colleagues. If you’re just starting out and looking for a regime that is a. super simple and b. gloriously inexpensive then check out the Inkey List, The Ordinary, Boots Ingredients or Superdrug Me+ for items that say exactly what they do on the tin and cost less than a tenner.
If in Doubt, Get the Best Delivered to your Door
I’m (it’s Robyn here) using the current climate for an excuse to sign up to some wanton delivery services to ensure all my key needs are met. First up is cheese. Glorious cheese. I’m thinking a three month subscription to the Cheese Geek or a few weeks of the Hello Cheese box (yes I think I can polish off one weekly). Then I might give Oddbox a go to make sure I’m getting all my greens while ensuring their funny shaped fruit and veg doesn’t go to waste. I’m also considering giving Farmdrop a spin because, as the granddaughter of a farmer, it’s important to me that farmers get fairly paid for all the produce they supply. Now, is there a Dandelion and Burdock delivery service?