Flower Arranging with Marks & Spencer

Flower ArrangingFlower Arranging with Marks and Spencer

Flower arranging has always been an enchanting mystery to me. When I was younger my grandmother would always have beautiful bouquets of flowers scattered throughout her house. All of which she had arranged herself. It looked so simple, but no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t recreate it myself. In more recent years – after moving into my own apartment – the allure of fresh flowers has grown. However without any knowledge of how to arrange flowers, I was at a loss. Enter Marks and Spencer, their flower expert Simon Richards, and a special flower arranging class they set up for an intimate group of bloggers.

Flower Arranging Tip 1: Carnival of Colour

For their stand at Chelsea Flower Show this year, Marks and Spencer created their own carnival of colour. Reflecting on this, Simon’s first tip was all about adding colour to your patio, garden party, bbq, dining table etc. We were shown how to add colourful arrangements to our tables, with flowers such as peonies, sunflowers and more. The great thing about this style of arrangement is that there are no real rules. Pop them into bowls, glasses, onto plates. Scatter them across the table. Basically have your way with them.

Simon Says- have fun with colour, and be spontaneous!

Flower Arranging Tip 2: Roses/Bouquets

Next, Simon gave us tips on how to arrange the perfect hand-tied bouquet, and he did so with everyone’s favourite – the rose. Roses are a classic. No one can turn their noses up at a well groomed bouquet of roses, right? I’d had my eye on the cream and dusky pink roses all evening, so I was very excited for this tutorial. We were shown how to create an even bouquet. Starting with one flower in the middle, hold the stems around 1/3 of the way down with one hand, and gradually add flower-by-flower in a “fanning” technique; slowly rotating them as you go. Afterwards, simply wrap your ribbon/twine around the bouquet – whilst still holding it in the same place – and secure.

You can find some of the roses we used for our arranging here.

Simon Says – fan out/rotate your flowers as your add them to the bunch!

Flower Arranging Tip 3: At Home

Of course what we all want to know is how do we integrate this into our homes. They key thing here is to find a fitting vase. This could be any shape or size, as long as it fits into your interior. That said, different flowers will often look better in different types of vase. Tall, thin vases work better with a minimal amount of flowers. Whereas wider lipped vases look much nicer with large bouquets, and big blooms. I myself prefer a shorter, wider vase, which works with a variety of flowers.

Simon Says – for a contemporary look, choose a short, round vase!

Check out more photos from the event, and my attempts at flower arranging at home below.



This post is in collaboration with Marks & Spencer however all views, photos and words are my own.


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Conscious Living, with Love from Berlin

love from berlinConscious Living, with Love from Berlin

Today I’d like to talk a little bit about lifestyle, conscious living and friendship. I’ve been reading my friend Rae’s blog (Love from Berlin) for several years, in fact it’s how we became friends in the first place. Last year we finally met in Berlin, and the most amazing thing happened. We sat and talked for hours on topics ranging from fashion, to travel, culture and feminism. Even though we had spoken on social media in the past, it was still wonderful to know that our views were so similar. She has such a positive outlook on life. So when she re-branded her blog late last year, it made a lot of sense that the theme was ‘conscious lifestyle and creation’:

“A conscious lifestyle is all about being aware and present while making decisions and choices about how we live our lives and treat ourselves, others, and the world around us. This concept is the backbone of everything that you will find here on LFB.”

Conscious Living…

LFB’s re-brand came with several new features, one being the Conscious Living Interview series. And guess who Rae asked to help kick off the series? Me! Of course I was delighted, and accepted straight away. The interview tackles questions on topics such as empathy, social media, blogging and of course, conscious living. Here’s a little sneak peak at one of my answers:

In the blogging world, many bloggers feel the pressure to stay on top of trends, purchase new things for reviews, accept gifts etc. How do you balance the mass consumption and product selling side of blogging with living consciously?

“It certainly isn’t easy, and I’ll be the first to admit that I succumbed to the pressure when I first started blogging. I found myself buying excessive amounts of beauty products “for the blog”, and writing about everything and anything, just to keep up with people and “the trends”. Pretty soon I realised that this wasn’t any way to continue. I try to live consciously, and I think my recent lifestyle change has really helped with this. Finding my own blog voice, and feeling confident in myself are big contributing factors.”

You can find out my feelings on all of these and more, at Love from Berlin.

Blogs I’ll Still Be Reading in 2016

in-the-window-interior-design-2Old photo is old…but relevant

Looking back at my ‘Blogs I’ll Still Be Reading in 2015‘ I’m pretty darn proud of myself. My predications were spot on. Actually what I should be saying is, well done to my favourite bloggers for all the awesome content they brought out during 2015. Well I don’t expect next year to be much different, but my reading preferences have altered slightly; some of my old favourites are still in there, but there’s some new additions too.

Blogs I’ll Still Be Reading in 2016

  • Park and Cube – Inspirational photography and awesome lifestyle posts.
  • Joe Allam – Full of interesting content for lovers of photography.
  • The Bearded Bakery – Mike always posts the best recipes…and he uses a lot of matcha!
  • Worship Blues – Meaningful words and photos. A blog with a lot of soul.
  • Vasilieva – An image heavy blog, with a hauntingly beautiful photography style.
  • I Heart Alice – I love Alice’s photos, her style, and her personality. This lovely lady is a triple threat!
  • Chopstickpanorama – I had to include VA! She continues to help drive me to do my best. And I just love her photos!
  • Style and Wellbeing – It can be difficult to find a blog that fits your style exactly, but I fell in love as soon as I set eyes upon Brittany’s blog.


I hope to continue discovering more amazing blogs in 2016. Feel free to leave your own, or your favourite blogs in the comments below.


An Open Letter to Cereal Magazine | My Norfolk


Almost exactly one year ago I paid a trip home to Norwich and wrote about it here on my blog. I spoke of the joys of having a place to call “home”, and somewhere to relax. Not much has changed in that sense, but the way that I look at Norfolk has. After reading various issues of my favourite travel publication (Cereal), I’ve come to appreciate the little things that make a city or county so wonderful. I picked up the SHhhh Beginner’s Guide to Norwich whilst I was back, and it inspired to do my own little series. After all, I am a proud Norfolkian (if that’s what you call us). So in true Cereal style, I would like to introduce you to My Norfolk.

The more I think about it, the more astounded I am that Cereal have yet to feature Norfolk in one of their issues. Not only because the aesthetic fits perfectly, but because it is a hauntingly beautiful part of England. So this is my open letter to Cereal magazine. Please come to Norfolk and experience it through the eyes of a local. Stop for a strong coffee in one of Norwich’s speciality coffee shops (Strangers, for example) – something to sip on as you browse the carefully curated shelves of Finch. Spend your afternoon taking a walk along one of our beautiful coast lines (canine companion optional). And of course a walk is always best undertaken with the goal of finishing at a pub/tea room, and we have an abundance of both. You see, we have plenty to offer in Norfolk. You just give us a chance.

Yours, Emma

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5 Japanese Fashion Instagram Accounts You Should Be Following

You may remember my ‘5 Japanese Fashion Instagram Accounts You Should Be Following‘ post from 2013. Well it just so happens to be my number one post on the blog, so I thought it was about time to do a new updated version. Here I have picked out 5 new Japanese fashion Instagram accounts, each of which I personally follow and take inspiration from.

japanese fashion instagram

Who? @wakatsukichinatsu (Designer)
Why? I had to start this post with a legend. Chinatsu Wakatsuki is a former gravure idol, who went on to produce the popular brand WC, and become a gyaru icon. After leaving the brand (and some annoying legal troubles), she brought back WC’s lovable oddball Kumatan. She continues to post updates on the brand and her life, alongside personal style photos.

japanese fashion instagram

Who? @_mitake_ (Model)
Why? Mitake’s photos are colourful, eccentric and sometimes risqué (i.e NSFW). This may not be surprising to some, as Mitake is actually a former AV (adult video) actress. It would seem that she is now pursuing a career in modelling, but she certainly hasn’t lost her cheeky side. If you’re after a slightly alternative view of Tokyo, Mitake is your woman.

japanese fashion instagram

Who? @izu_stagram (Model)
Why? I first started following Izu (aka Izuoka Misaki) when she won Popteen’s (a sweet gyaru magazine) model grand prix. I loved her youthfulness. She later went on to model for JELLY magazine and released several pop singles. Her personal style has funnily enough evolved with my own tastes, and she now has a more minimal approach to fashion. I love her chic, clean photos, which offer an insight into her career as a model.

japanese fashion instagram

Who? @rina__sakurai (Model)
Why? I remember avidly reading Rina Sakurai’s – better known as Sakurina – blogs around 5 years ago, and it’s safe to say that she hasn’t changed one bit. She still models for Ageha (which is now back after a short hiatus), which she often refers to in her photos. Her Instagram is an explosion of pink, diamonds and everything agejo.

japanese fashion instagram

Who? @seee_official (Editor/Model)
Why? Former Seventeen model Emi Suzuki is surely known by all fans of Japanese fashion. She has since gone on to become Editor in Chief of S’eee magazine, as well as a devoted mother. Her daughter often features on her Instagram, alongside minimalist prints and outfit posts.

Do you have some favourite Instagram users?
Let me know in the comments!

Source: Please see the individual Instagram accounts listed above.

Let’s Get Personal…

After posting my fashion and beauty highlights of 2014, I thought it was only right that I do a more personal roundup of the year. These highlights are things you may not necessarily have seen on the blog, but they’re just as important.

I gave up my ‘day job’ to blog full-time…

It wasn’t easy, but I finally decided that I would give ‘full-time blogging’ a go. I blogged pretty much everyday for 6 months, which made for a very interesting learning curve. It was tough. I started this blog as a hobby, and doing it as a job made it all a bit too serious. Eventually I decided that it wasn’t for me, which in hindsight makes a lot of sense, but I learnt a lot and I don’t regret it at all.

I conquered a blogging fear…

2014 saw me finally take the plunge and show my face on YouTube. I followed my intro video with some Q & A style videos about life in Japan, and some brand exclusives. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to upload a new video for a few months, but I’m still glad I moved to YouTube because making videos is so much fun and the positive response has been lovely.
I met some amazing people, and made some even more amazing friends…
I’ve always been a big believer that blogging brings people together, and it just so happened that blogging brought me together with some wonderful people this year. The Nuffnang foodie crew was created, and it saw a small group of us bond over our love of food, blogging and general silliness. I also met V.A. (another foodie) who has now become one of my closest friends, if you hadn’t guess by the ridiculous amount of posts with mentions of her in them. Hmmm maybe I should be saying that food blogging brings people together?
I upped my photography game…
I invested in a new DSLR, and my first Nikon (the D3200) – along with a couple of lenses. It really gave me the push to finally make 2014 the year that I took my photography seriously again. With the lacklustre effort I was putting into my photos earlier on the blog, you’d never believe I have a degree in photography. I decided that I would take more time in my composition, and I’d actually make use of all the buttons on my camera (you hear that V.A?). Still, I believe you can always continue learning and improving any skill. My new photo series ‘A London Life…’ encapsulates my efforts and desires perfectly.
But mostly, I grew as a person…
Yes, I am going to be super cliche and get all soppy on you. This blog has really opened up a world of wonders for me. I am continuously surprised by people and the opportunities given to me, but mostly I’m surprised by myself. I’m not one to brag, but I’m pretty damn proud of what I’ve accomplished with this blog. I hope I can continue to work hard and improve in 2015.

Blogs I’ll Still Be Reading in 2015

With all my blog highlights etc. I decided that I wanted to share the love and tell you about some of my favourite blogs of 2014. These aren’t just any blogs, they’re the ones that I will still be reading in 2015.

Anyone who knows my blogging habits will know that Park and Cube is my all-time favourite blog. Shini’s posts are decadent yet tasteful, without loosing sight of reality. In a nutshell this is an elegant blog with beautiful photography, that continues to inspire me on a daily basis.

There’s no doubt about it, In My Sunday Best is a beautiful blog to scroll through, but it’s the ideas and execution that really keep me reading Sade’s blog. It’s also quite a chilled blog. By that I mean that just by reading it I feel relaxed and happy. There’s not many blogs I can say that about.

Hecticophilia is a lifestyle blog unlike most that I have come across. I always feel that I learn a little something from Jesse’s blog. Whether it’s about her, france or the best place to grab a cocktail in London, it’s always feels personal and unique. As my friend, Jesse is a constant inspiration to me, and I really think her blog does that for her readers.
Ok I’ll admit it, I read Epiphannie’s blog purely because I love her personality. She’s such a fun, lovely person, and that definitely shines through in her posts. I also love her colourful and pristine her outfit posts are. There are so many fashion blogs out there, but there aren’t many that really stick in your mind – this is one of those few.

Not Just Another Milla is a blog I feel a personal link with. Milla and I have a lot in common, not to mention our views and passion for politics. However it’s her time spent in Paris and Tokyo, as well as her love for matcha and the Japanese language that really made me feel a connection with this wonderful, articulate lady.

Yasumi and Hiro are a wife and husband blogging team, which makes for a refreshing change. They often feature fashion, lifestyle and travel posts with a difference. This duo are incredibly humbling, and I can’t help but fall in love with their delightful point of views. I can promise you that all of the posts on this blog are unlike anything you will have read elsewhere.