WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

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NEW YEAR, NEW GEAR

Essentials, Lifestyle, Home + Interiorsdanielle coppermanComment

Having basically three different jobs and within each, a thousand other jobs, my organisational skills are lacking. I mean, they're there, but they're all over the place. In a quest to control my organisation and my schedules, projects and plans, I'm guilty of overorganising in a way that isn't organised at all. I make notes, but one isn't enough, so I make notes in several note books, as phone reminders, in my electronic calendar, in my paper calendar, on my laptop notes and often other scraps. It works, because I rarely forget things, but when I forget things I know I've written down somewhere, I can't always find it, or it ends up taking much longer than I thought I'd intended it to by the 4th time I'd written a reminder about it.

I'm gradually learning that the more clutter you have the less clear you feel emotionally, and dupliactes of notes and reminders definitely has this effect on me. So this year, I'm taking in upon myself to adopt more focused and functional organsiational methods. I often give myself a hard time assuming other people are far more organised than myself, but I'm also learning that no one is as sorted as they seem, and no one really has it all figured out. Our lives and schedules are all so different and are constantly changing, and finding methods that best fit you and your life is key to feeling centred and in control. Below: a few of my favourite

1. Rectangle Notebooks from Edblad. I find it so much easier to make linear lists, and also love the colours these notebooks come in. They have a range of soft, muted colours with warm, grey pages, as well as a brown kraft option (and also different shapes and sizes).
 

2. Black Suede Weekly Planner from Muji. Super soft with really functional page layouts including monthly views, weekly pages with more planning space and plenty of pages at the back for (more) notes.

3. Monthly wall planner from Muji. I couldn't find this online but there are plenty currently instore (and on sale at the moment as most people were probably organised enough to buy theirs at the end of last year). I love the size and layout, as you can input up to 5 seperate topics for each day, to organise your plans and duties into categories. This one's for the Monica Geller's out there.

4. Eraser Pens from Amazon. Simply life changing. I was transported back to my school days as soon as mine arrived in the post. This helps to keep things neat, and it's also even more satisfying to rub out a to-do item once it's done than it previously has been to cross it out. It's next level.

5. Fineline Stabilo Pens from Amazon.

6. Pentel Felt Tip Colour Pens from Amazon. Pure fun.

7. For other Stationary I love Choosing Keeping's selection.

Find other recent favourites of mine here, here and here.

GIFTS FOR THE TABLE AND FOR THE EYES

Essentials, Review, Lifestyledanielle coppermanComment

The good thing (one of many) about home ware is that trends aren’t so much of a thing. Your personal tastes, however, well that’s another story and perhaps you’re someone who’s mind is ever changing or who is affected by indecision. Personally, I see indecision as a good thing, showing openness and good judgment in a person (even if it does mean everything takes longer than it should do). I rarely buy home ware in matching sets and although there are a few themes around my house (as you’ll notice from the image links above), it doesn’t look like a scene from an Ikea catalogue. I like to buy from different stores / artists, and I buy what I like, not what I think will ‘go’. With clothing and outfit construction, you have to commit because piecing conflicting items together will look odd; you will look crazy. But with home ware, there is less demand for committal in that you can find a place for everything, and if something doesn’t fit in one room, you can make it fit in another. Maybe I just tell myself these things as a way to make myself feel better about buying so many plates, or maybe it’s true, and even a very good reason to spend more money filling my kitchen cupboards than my wardrobe.

ABOVE | some of my current favourite kitchen pieces, good for christmas home styling and to give or receive as gifts (click to shop).

BELOW | A shortened list of my constant go-to home ware destinations (click to browse). 

NomThe House DoctorAnthropologieZara HomeDot & BoH & M HomeUrban Outfitters Home, HAYDominoFish's EddyEtsyEbayWest ElmGranit, Car Boot Sales and Flea Markets, Bailey Doesn't BarkWasaraHelena EmmansFood 52Such & SuchCairoMomosan Shop.

 

 

SIXTEEN CLEANSING, CALMING AND LOW MAINTENANCE INDOOR PLANTS

Wellbeing, Lifestyledanielle coppermanComment

My mind is telling me, no. No, you don't need any more plants, and no, you definitely don't have space for them. But my room; my room is telling me yes.

Cacti. Palm Prints. Succulents. I don't know whats happened this year but there are days when I think I've woken up on a gloomy day in Hawaii, not East London. Corners of my room resemble the jungle. I spend more time and money on foliage than I do clothing myself. And now I'm spending my Saturday night writing about plants. 

House plants, succas and cacti add effortless atmosphere to a home. Their intense colours and delicate detail and the way even the smallest plant studs a room with instant character are just a few reasons why they've become more popular than selfie sticks this year (let's keep it that way, please + thanks). But not only do they look good, they also have the ability to cleanse, detoxify and purify the air that we live in.

Poor air quality isn't generally a persons main concern. We all know that traffic/smoke/fumes/chemicals etc pollute the air in which we breath, but most people assume that when we're cooped up indoors, we're generally pretty safe. However, in some cases, indoor air can be more polluted than that outside. And since studies show that people spend up to 90% of their time indoors (this study is clearly based on people in the UK as, if we could, I'm sure we'd all be on the beach), our indoor environments should be as safe as possible.

. Cooking can fill the house with smoke and steam, and when this evaporates or settles, it can encourage a build up of bacteria and germs. Cooking can cause the release of excess moisture into the air, increase dampness, and produce dangerous pollutants such as carbon monoxide. Germs and bacteria will thrive in this kind of atmosphere, which is why ventilation is so vital.
. Hot showers also produce a lot of steam, especially in poorly ventilated bathrooms, which can encourage the growth of mould, excess moisture and stubborn germs.
. Household cleaning products, decorating products like wax, oils and paints, cosmetics, air fresheners and things like insect repellants can also contribute to the build up of threatening chemicals in our homes and workplaces. A study by the Environmental Working Group identified over 450 air contaminants within 21 household products. Some people think that as long as we aren't spraying these into our mouths, there is no real concern. However, we will breath in the air in which these chemical diffuse, and we will touch things like surfaces/carpets/walls which have been sprayed or 'cleaned' with such products.

Your home or workplace could be having severely detrimental effects on your health, being responsible for or contributing to things like as headaches, dizziness, fatigue, respiratory irritations, stress, mood swings and dry skin. So, now that i've made you feel incredibly claustrophobic and on the verge of suffocation as you sit at your laptop in what was once an innocent place of comfort, I'll give you some tips on the easiest way to cleanse the air. You can improve your ventilation systems, open your windows at least once a day to encourage circulation of fresh air, buy your cleaning products more responsibly - ensuring they are as natural as possible (you can even make your own with things like vinegar and lemon juice) - and, this one's my favourite: buy some plants. They will right all the wrong going on indoors. Things like poor ventilation, dust build up, dampness and moisture contaminate the air around us. The good news is that, like pretty much everything on this planet, there is an inexpensive, natural solution. Certain plants absorb some of these damaging particles from the air at the same time as they take in carbon dioxide, which is then processed into oxygen. They can help to purify and renew the air and renew energy, as well as getting rid of damaging pollutants such as formaldehyde [a compound found in many products, from plywood and paneling, to cleaning products and shampoos], benzene [a compound in the air from emissions caused by burning coals or oils and also found in products like waxes, resins, oils, inks, paints and plastic, among other things], carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, toxins, bacteria and viruses. 

C L E A N S I N G   H O U S E   P L A N T S

FIDDLE LEAF FIG TREE
. Helps | clean indoor air.
. Needs | bright, indirect light and to be watered every so often. You will know if it needs more light, as it will begin to grow towards the light. Water when the top inch of soil feels dry. Fertilise monthly. Dust often - their large leaves collect dust easily, so keep them clean.

SPIDER PLANT [CHLOROPHYTUM]
. Helps | remove formaldehyde and xylene. 
. Needs | Bright, indirect sunlight. Do not let the soil dry out. In the first year after purchasing, water occasionally, and thereafter, water moderately.

DRACAENA
. Helps | remove benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and xylene. However, these plants can be toxic to animals.
. Needs | Low light, and low humidity. Water whenever the top two inches of soil feel dry. It is an undemanding plant. Wipe the leaves to keep clean, as removing any dust will open up the pores and allow the plant to exchange air freely.

IVY
. Helps | Ivy is one of the most affective plants at absorbing formaldehyde, as well as other harmful substances. It is also known to filter out airborne fecal-matter particles.
. Needs | bright light and to be kept on the dry side.

CACTI
. Helps | eliminate bacteria and reduce radiation. Cacti absorb carbon dioxide at night to release oxygen, renewing the oxygen in our indoor air.
. Needs | to be kept relatively dry. During their growing season, water once a week, or every two weeks. When the weather is cooler, water less, as cacti go enter a rest period after the warmer months.

BAMBOO FERN
. Helps | by removing formaldehyde and acting as a natural humidifier. Bamboo can grow incredibly tall and is one of the best plants at filtering pollutants from the air.
. Needs | full, bright sunlight. 

WEEPING FIG
. Helps | by removing pollutants such as formaldehyde and benzene.
. Needs | Indirect light and watering only when the soil has completely dried out.

BOSTON FERN
. Helps | by acting as a natural air humidifier, removing formaldehyde and is know to be one of the best plants for purifying the air.
. Needs | to stay relatively moist. Check the soil daily and water to keep moist. Give it a good soak once or twice a month too.

PEACE LILY
. Helps | remove formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene.
. Needs | watering every so often. You can usually tell by the condition of the leaves. When they begin to wilt, water the plant. Loves indoor, indirect sunlight. A very low-maintenance plant - a lazy gardeners dream.

RUBBER PLANT
. Helps | remove chemicals and toxins from the air, and emits high levels of oxygen.
. Needs | semi sun, semi shade. 

UMBRELLA TREE
. Helps | purify the air.
. Needs | indirect sunlight and irregular watering. Be careful not to overwater.

SWISS CHEESE PLANT / MONSTERA
. Helps | has good all round air cleaning properties and is particularly good at humidifying air conditioned environments.
. Needs | Bright, indirect light. Water only when the soil is dry.

MASS CANE
. Helps | at general air purifying and removing formaldehyde.
. Needs | Water only when the soil surface is dry. Keep in moderate-bright natural light.

ARECA PALM
. Helps | General air purifier, especially as it grows larger.
. Needs | watering often enough to keep the soil relatively moist.

SNAKE PLANT
. Helps | filtering out formaldehyde and other air pollutants.
. Needs | low light and relatively humid conditions.

ALOE VERA
. Helps | clear formaldehyde and benzene. Aloe releases oxygen and even absorbed carbon dioxide at night - meaning it cleanses the air for us whilst we sleep! The leaves of the plant become speckled with white dots as a warning, when the amount of toxins in the air exceed a healthy level. The plants can also be used physically for its gel - which you can obtain by snapping the leaves. The gel can heal cuts and infections and help to cool and sooth irritations such as sunburn or rashes.
. Needs | to be kept in a sunny spot. Watering every so often, but not too much. There is more danger of aloe being overwatered than under watered, as they like dry soil. Water every 1-2 weeks, only when the soil is completely dry. Water event less in the wintertime.

P L A C E S   F O R   P L A N T S  |  L O N D O N

Grace & Thorn / House Of Hackney / The Green Room / That Flower Shop / Petersham Nurseries / Columbia Road Flower Market / Botany Shop E5 / Angel Flowers

NATIVE + CO, LONDON

Review, Lifestyledanielle coppermanComment

Since May, I've been waiting to move into my new apartment. That doesn't mean I've been living rough, but that does mean my belongings have been packed into boxes and bags, and split between my home in Bath, and my temporary residency in Notting Hill. It's really hard to find anything.

An up-side to the situation is that I've had a great-fun time living in Notting Hill, a part of London I never would have seen myself living in otherwise. I house sat for a friend whilst she was having a jolly in a camper van halfway across the world, and enjoyed adopting some new local shops, exploring the area, and walking through Holland or Hyde park whenever the weather encouraged me to. It was good strange but strange all the same living without my local amenities, my neighbourhood friends, familiar transport routes and my local fresh vegetable store, the owners of which I'd become pretty friendly with (by friendly, I mean a bit of fruit banter and a 10p discount here and there).

An up-side to the situation is that I've had a great-fun time living in Notting Hill, a part of London I never would have seen myself living in otherwise. I house sat for a friend whilst she was having a jolly in a camper van halfway across the world, and enjoyed adopting some new local shops, exploring the area, and walking through Holland or Hyde park whenever the weather encouraged me to. It was good strange but strange all the same living without my local amenities, my neighbourhood friends, familiar transport routes and my local fresh vegetable store, the owners of which I'd become pretty friendly with (by friendly, I mean a bit of fruit banter and a 10p discount here and there).

ANTHROPOLOGIE

Review, Lifestyledanielle coppermanComment

It was on the first of many days spent traipsing leisurely around Anthropologie with my sister that it first dawned on me that buying things for my kitchen made me happier than buying things for my wardrobe. At 19/20, I felt like this was not something I should openly admit, confiding only in my family and close friends. Even before this moment in the history of my retail habits, I had been teased for my excitement over car boot sales and charity shop bric-a-brac, picking up egg cups and old cutlery, for, what people mocked, my 'bottom drawer'. Living at home with my parents still, I had very little use or need for these things, unless i was to transform  my bedroom into an intimate cafe. I'm the sort of person who would probably buy a baby's outfit for fear of not finding it again when I actually came to need it. Hopefully it won't come to that though.

Anthropologie is an American brand, which came over to England at just the right time in my life. I can spend an hour, quite easily, walking around the vast wonderland of enchanting floors, picking up bowls, flicking through books, smelling hand soaps and stroking the bedding. Everything is really unique and made with care. Some collections are collaborated with designers, others are seasonal and some stock is rotated all year round. They have more minimal products like pale or plain crockery which is inoffensive and easy to incorporate into any kitchen/home. Then they have a more bohemian selection of things, with brightly coloured patterns, prints and block colouring, which I imagine fitting in nicely with a hippy dippy home or at a picnic in the Spring. Their designers travel the world for inspiration and to broaden the range, uncovering special products and collaborating with unique artists from all over the world to influence new collections. All of their products are sourced both locally and from all over the world. Some of my favourite pieces include handmade stoneware, hand glazed pottery and hand painted items where no two are the same. I have a hand painted fruit bowl that I took about 25 minutes to choose, as each one was unique in its own way and even more brilliant because of it.

Their stock is always changing, but there are also continued items too - carried through each collection - like cereal bowls, glasses, mugs and food storage. It's reassuring to know if you break something, you'll quite easily be able to replace it, or if your housemates start stealing your favourite mug (that's aimed at you, Wiggins), then you can tell them where to go. Quite literally.

Best For: Mugs, plates, bowls, table linen, candles and gifts. If in doubt, Anthropologie will always have something to suit even the most difficult person to buy for. Personalised Alphabet plates or mugs, if nothing else. Simple. 
Average Price: Mugs (£4.95) Plates (£4.95-12) Platters (£20-£68) Breakfast Bowls (£4.95-£6.95)

MY FAVOURITE OUTLETS
Bath, Regent Street, Kings Road, Santa Monica, West Broadway & Chelsea Market, New York.