Sunday’s Spotlight on….Origami-Est

February 11, 2016

 

I ‘met’ Est through social media – her Instagram account Origami_est is stunning and has over 10k followers, we also connected through a wonderful support network  for women in business that we both belong to. Est makes stunning things out of paper. I have admired her work for a long time, and now we get to shine the torch on her business and her for today’s Sunday’s Spotlight.

 

 

You’ve made a very successful business out of paper, what inspired you to start Origami – Est?

Do you know, it’s something that was totally organic. I didn’t wake up one morning and think HERE’s my business plan! I have always loved origami, there’s something about making a simple square of paper into a three dimensional treasure that is highly addictive. About 3 years ago I decided to start making my paper creations as gifts for friends, I guess we’d got to that age where we could afford the random paraphernalia we wanted so I was searching for more unique gifts. After a short while, people began asking for commissions of origami! I was so shocked, but also flattered and began to blog about it. It was when a complete stranger from New Zealand emailed for a commission that I realised, this paper folding thing might have mileage. I began with little village craft fairs (mostly people thought I was overpriced and too garish) and a little bigcartel store. Within a few months I had contact from potential stockists, lots of online sales and an increasing interest via social media. All totally organic.

 

I love your Instagram, account can you give us any pointers on how you’ve grown their following?

Seriously, I’m very honoured to be asked – I feel like a complete amateur! I did however, quickly learn it’s not simply about producing beautiful photos (though this is important) , it’s about being an active member of the Instagram community you belong to. Showing people a little of the personality of the brand, befriending likeminded creatives or businesses, commenting on other people’s photos & not remaining an isolated account. It requires a fair amount of hard-work, but it does pay off & begins to grow – yes this word again – ORGANICALLY. One of the biggest thing to know though, is that the Instagram world can be brilliantly fun but also brilliantly fickle. Don’t be offended when you loose followers, especially if it’s when you share something that is slightly more personal than you normally post. Those are the people are clearly the ones who don’t get YOU, don’t get your brand, and that’s ok.

 

Your latest collection features lots of copper, tell us about it?

Oh my life, I feel like this collection is my favourite yet. I had the idea for it months ago & had been itching to put it together and launch it asap! I LOVE copper – who doesn’t right now?! And I wanted to get as much of it in the collection as possible. I was also desperate to try a new technique. To add colour and shape to the paper AFTER it’s been folded. This collection combines some utterly stunning colours; charcoal black, smoke grey, sugar lilac, snow white with a brilliant accent of COPPER. I feel it brings a unique celebration of the folded paper’s shape and form.

 

 

I see you’ve recently ventured into the world of workshops, sounds exciting, tell us more?

Workshops are something I LOVE! I was running them a couple of years ago but when I became a mum it was initially less practical. I am so pleased to have started again. Who wouldn’t love seeing people discover a new skill for themselves while having a fabulous natter?! Most people comment on how therapeutic it is. I’ve met some amazing people. My workshops tend to be based in Kent but I have a few coming up in London, as well as a guest appearance in the Midlands at STUDIO NL.

 

Tell us a little bit more about the woman behind the brand?

I’m a pretty regular lady. I have a husband, who just so happens to be a vicar. I have a beautiful daughter who’s just turned two. I live with two gorgeous house rabbits, Hugo & Florence. I live a seven minute walk from the sea (yes we regularly time it!). I have a passion for seeing modern day slavery abolished. I am addicted to tattoos. I have been in my thirties for 4 months and I’m loving it so far.

 

Set from Origami Est making a lampshade

 

I hope you found this Spotlight interesting?

 

If you are interested in being featured on Sunday’s Spotlight, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

 

Nat x

 

Psssst – My followers get 10% off if they use the code STYLEMESUNDAY

Top 5 Tips – How to have a great nights sleep

February 10, 2016

 

Sleep has been not come easily recently in this household. We’ve had to go back to basics. So I’ve been looking into top tips for getting a good nights kip.

 

If you have young children chances are you’re probably done for. But if you’d like to hear some of my suggestions for getting the kids into a good routine this post on sleep training might come in handy.

 

Ho to get a good nights sleep

 

Top Tips for a Tip Top Nights Sleep.

 

1. No TV – This is an absolute must for us. The bedroom is for sleeping and well… I’ll let your imagination run wild there, but it is definitely not for watching TV. The temptation is strong I get it, I remember the days of being able to lazy in bed the whole day watching and and smoking cigarettes (classy) as a grubby student, but that luxury is well and truly over for anyway, so leave the TV downstairs.

 

2. Good bed linen – We have just been lucky enough to have been sent some exquisite bedding from The White Company. Their bedding is bloody amazing but if that’s too pricey for you then go for the best linen your budget will allow. There’s nothing worse (well clearly there is, indulge me a little) than cheap, scratchy, bobbly quilt covers.

 

3. Clean bedding – That feeling of jumping into a bed lightly smelling off washing powder with just-washed bed linen is just amazing. We wash our sheets once a week. Ok hands up I don’t actually wash them myself, my cleaner does.  Any longer than a week I feel like it needs a refresh. Although if I was actually doing it myself I would probably stretch it a little longer. Ha.

 

4. Meditating – Listening to meditation, whale sounds, white noise whatever floats your boat. If it helps, do it. There are plenty of apps for this so look into the ones that work for you. It really does work.

 

5. No mobile phones. Of course except if it is to listen to whale nosies! This is hardest one for me. Scrolling through IG then flicking over to FB then Twitter, then back to IG to see what I’ve missed since I’ve been looking at FB and Twitter. Even I annoy myself. The thing for a great nights sleep is to leave that phone/ tablet/ sleep-stealing/ mind-numbing monitor well away from the bedroom.

 

Sleeping Cat

 

One day I might just follow my own advice!

 

What’s your best tips for get to sleep?

 

Nat x

 

I opened up the question to Instagram a while back, here are their top tips for a good nights kip:

 

@sophosborne I always spritz my pillow with @thisworksofficial Sleep Spray & they do a Baby version too.

@claremullarkey Definitely turning off your phone half an hour before bed. x

@mrs_sidders I use a herbal sleep balm its amazing @stylemesunday 

@scg_personaldefinitely switching off phone, avoiding ‘stressful’ conversations such as to do lists and not having too much caffeine. Dark choc before bed makes me wired!!

@sausagedog2 Cotton proper pyjamas. Not sweats. No t-shirts etc etc. Proper pyjamas.

@sausagedog2 Also, 3 duvets. Winter, Autumn/Spring, Summer. Don’t hate on me. I know its indulgent.

@sausagedog2 But these are hard lessons learnt from an ex jaded insomniac.

@akapeachie Don’t drink a big glass of water just before! I always wake up in the middle of the night bursting!!

@katieantoniou Investing in a good mattress is the best money you’ll ever spend. (As a narcoleptic, I’ve spent more time in bed than most! ) Buy a duvet one size bigger than your bed- that way no one gets left in the cold if someone gets a bit greedy with the covers during the night.

@countryseasideliving Epsom salt bath, clipper sleep tea, lavender essential oil in my diffuser and writing 5 things I am grateful for – which after a day with little people can be testing! Xx

@countryseasideliving Ahh yes and freshly washed bedding we actually always have bedding from the white company and their huge fluffy towels they are amazing!  X

@elliemay Fresh sheets, Vicks vapour rub (just ‘cos I love it) Kids packed off to nana & grands and hubby on the sofa 😆👌🏼😴 

@chloelovestoshop A massage of a good facial oil just before lights out (Kiehls midnight oil current favourite) a top quality pair of cotton or silk pyjamas, a tempur pillow and no water before bed!! Oh and not too much Instagram (yeah, right!) 😜 😴😴😴

 

Bed with a cat

Sunday’s Monday Mantra – Don’t be a Dick

February 8, 2016

Monday mantra - don't be a dick

Street Style Sunday – Overalls

February 6, 2016

 

I am extremely late to this party, as these are my first pair of dungarees since I was a nipper. I think it’s because I’m not a size 8 I have been wary that they could ever suit me. However I’m loving these ones from Wrap London. Perfect with heels or trainers, and so easy to grab in the morning because they are as comfy as an old pair of gloves.

 

Street Style Sunday - dungarees

denim overalls - dungarees

Street Style - denim dungarees from Wrap

 

Dungarees | Top | Shoes | Glasses

 

I guess the moral of the story is don’t write anything off without trying it out for yourself first. You never know you might just LOVE it.

 

What do you think of the dungarees? Would you wear denim overalls?

 

I’ve have started up a new IG account exclusively for Street Style Sunday – so follow me on and tag me in your favourite outfits for a chance of a repost.

 

Hope you’re having a lovely Sunday!

 

Love Nat x

The dungarees and top were kindly gifted to me by Wrap. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Why YOU should become a blogger

February 3, 2016

 

Bear with me here because there are many people who think that the last thing we need is another blogger on the block  (sorry Jenny) in this already oversaturated industry.

 

BUT I say if you have been mulling over delving into the dark, murky waters of blogging don’t worry about what anyone else thinks.

 

Here’s reasons why you won’t regret becoming a blogger and then a few pointers at the end about why it might be the worst thing you ever did (to keep it balanced):

 

CREATIVE OUTLET – It is a great outlet to express your creative side. Blogging allows you to dip your toes in and explore things you like doing. Ever dreamed of writing a novel?  Well blogging is the perfect place to test out your writing skills and see how your audience reacts. For me, oh I do love dicking about with some flowers and a flat lay to satisfy my creative juices.

 

Flat lay dried flowers

 

THERAPY – Talking to people face to face is not always easy, I know this all too well. Blogging allows me to get myself heard without actually having to look anyone in the eyes and talk/cry. See my Happiness Is Not Always Something You Can See as a prime example. This post really brought around a huge change for me, many people reached out, and helped me realise that everything was not totally hopeless, and for that I am truly grateful.

 

happiness is not something you can always see

 

MEMORIES – I used to be crap at taking photos. There are so many stunning holidays and special moments that I wish I had snapped. Blogging has forced me to remember to keep my camera close by my side.  I know what a difference good pictures make to a great blog post. I have also massively increased my photography skills just by seeing what works and what doesn’t – there’s nothing like a big screen to highlight the horrible bits. So now I have tons of great pictures to treasure.

 

CAMERA READY – Sometimes when all I’ve felt like doing is throwing on my trackies and doing the school run in last nights make up, blogging has made be rethink. I now have to be ready at all times just in case I walk past a ‘good’ wall. Or god forbid someone might recognise me. My Insta-husband may not quite agree with me on this one 😉

 

Style Me Sunday

 

ONLINE DIARY – Sometimes I look back at what I posted 3 years and cringe, but sometimes I look back and smile and remember what we were like back then. Good memories captured forever.

 

EXPRESS YOURSELF – Whether you want to talk about breastfeeding your 10 year old kid or changing the world one step at a time, your blog is your domain, no one or nothing should dictate to you about what you do and don’t write. If that has to be anonymously or not, so be it, it’s your time to say exactly what you want to say.

 

FAILED MODEL – Ever dreamed of being a model when you were a little girl, only to be told you were too short, tall, big, ugly, commercial-looking? Yep me too.  Blogging is the perfect place to let all your model/ diva tendencies out to full effect.  F**k all those people who told you you’ll never be a model – because now blogging allows you to be the hottest thing since Cara D (even if it is only in your head).

 

And lastly I feel it’s my duty to give you the dark side too, here’s why it might be the WORST thing you ever did: 

 

Peoples comments may be very hurtful, and there’s always the risk of a complete nutter or two cyber stalking you.

You become addicted to social media and there no longer a clear definition between where your right hand ends and your iPhone begins.

You care too much about stats and rankings. Personally I never look at my stats because brands I work with don’t tend to ask for them, but I know people can get a bit obsessed with this and that is not good.

You look at everything in squares – oooo that will look so good on Instagram – the threat is all too real people.

 

So think carefully, but if that’s what you want to do what are you waiting for – GO FOR IT.

 

Have you ever thought about blogging? What kind of blog would you like to have?

 

Love Nat x

Sunday’s guest post from Elaine…

February 2, 2016

 

Is Your Child Maria Montessori Material?

 

Montessori

 

I don’t know about you, but when I saw the above  of what the educational guru suggests one’s child’s should be doing according to age….well, I just about fell off my child-sized chair laughing. Mateo has been in a Montessori for 2 years. At least, I think he has. Perhaps he’s been buggering off to sniff glue with the local squirrels.

 

This is the adapted Age Appropriate Chores for Children – according to the del Cerro household:

 

Age 3 to 6 tasks (Mateo is nearly 5)

 

Help sweep. Mateo loves to arrive at the last minute, when the pile of remnants is ready to go into the pan with one final, satisfying sweep. How much damage can be done with a short-handled broom? That’s a rhetoric question. The shorter the handle, the more control, right? Wrong. It merely means it is easier to flick crap off floor onto ceiling, behind fridge, into parent’s eyes and screaming mouth.

 

Help vacuum. This entails wrestling hoover from parent’s hands and proceeding to wipe out anything and everyone within a 2 feet reach. A midget version of Gladiator’s Duel. Imagine a mouse with a Q-tip and temper.

 

Help prepare meals and snacks. At school “Mateo LOVES to help. He just needs to be asked once.” Apparently, Mateo is a different child when at school. At home: repeat request for help at least 7 times. Proven winning strategy: Threaten death or dangle favourite toy over dustbin. Do not show displeasure when an entire box of cereal is upended into an eggcup. On the floor. Or when “get an apple” results in a bite mark taken out of all 6 apples, followed with “I don’t like apples.”

 

Set table. Mateo loves this. It’s the only time he’s allowed to touch a knife or anything remotely important. Try to remain calm and act thankful when you end up with 14 knives, 1 Tupperware container and 3 very expensive wine glasses in a weird layout on dining room table. Oh, and a cat on the chair to provide conversation.

 

Clear table. Let your child carry their plate to the kitchen. It’s okay if the sauce/remaining food falls onto his face “I CAN’T SEE ANYTHING, THE PLATE IS IN MY FACE, WOAH SOMETHING IS IN MY EYES”, then clothes, then floor, enroute. That’s why we teach him how to sweep, remember? See point 1.  F you, Maria.

 

Help wash dishes. Lock away all pets first (including goldfish and dry land tortoises). Do not ever let the sink be plugged. Ever. Maintain an open plughole at all times. Start using plastic crockery if you ever want to use it a second time. Rubber gloves are a bad idea as they can carry a lot more water than one might think. Up the stairs and to the sitting room.

 

Feed pets. This is also called ‘make your pets love then hate you’. Keep the plunger and vet phone number close to hand. “Do not give them jalapenios or frijoles, they are not Mexican!”

 

Clean mirrors and windows. Did this once. Never again. I mean, it’s fine if you clean your mirrors and windows with plain water (who does that?). Here, have some Windex. What harm? Never look away. Not even for one second. It’s very difficult to get toothpaste off mirrors and windows.

 

Make their bed. Not to be attempted if you like hospital corners or suffer from even the tiniest amount of OCD.

 

Help fold clothes. Shut up, Maria.

 

Tend to the garden. What, that 15yr old hydrangea he just dug up? That’s absolutely not bothering me at all. Remove secateurs, for the plants and child’s sake.

 

Tidy their room. Known as shoving crap into every corner possible. Or putting every single toy, stray clothing and piece of tiny lego (100s at last count) inside duvet cover. On a good day, there’s at least one pet in there too.

 

Polishing silver. There’s a reason it says to keep that shit away from eyes (and furniture *sobs*).

 

Wipe table before and after meals. Smear that shit everywhere. Preferably with a linen napkin that is hand wash only.

 

NB. The Toddler Tasks…. Well, these are all the above but with supervision. They’re an intro to the 3-6 yrs list. A sort of soft opening. The one worth noting here is the last one “Pick out clothes to wear“. This has no supervision, you’re supposed to let your child do this unaided, unguided and ALONE. We all know how naturally blessed a toddler is in the art of sartorialistic choices. If you know me or my husband – this was the ultimate “letting go” of any kind of control. It brought about MANY painful tears. Sobs, actually, and none were from the child. I’m not talking a superhero costume, by the way. Compared to what Mateo chooses for himself, his Batman costume is the equivalent of a bespoke suit.

 

The conclusion I have reached (for my own sanity, if nothing else), is that Maria Montessori must have been talking about girls.

 

Elaine

Sunday’s Monday Mantra – I choose Happy

February 1, 2016

i choose happy - yellow tulips

Street Style Sunday – A tourist in London

January 31, 2016

 

The other weekend we decided to go to the Tower of London, up the Shard (that is not a euphemism btw), to Borough Market, the Southbank and generally walk around London taking in all the sights, as there’s still so much I haven’t seen or experienced even though I’ve lived here nearly all of life, except a brief stint in North Essex.

 

WE WERE TOURISTS IN OUR OWN TOWN.

 

So grab your camera, and walking shoes and explore your own hometown through fresh eyes – I highly recommend it.

 

London

Shard - london

Tower brigade and the thames

style me sunday in a denim pinafore dress

I have found a very similar denim dress if you want to get one.

 

Love Nat x

Jenny Lewis in Malawi Part 2

January 29, 2016

I interviewed Jenny Lewis a few days ago about her time in Malawi for WaterAid  as part of an extension of her One Day Young project.

Here are some more photos she wanted to share with us. And if you want to hear her voice here’s a link to Jenny talking to the BBC:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03fz383

 

Postnatal ward in Malawi

This is the post delivery room… the beds were taken so Esnart who is in Labour and has been for 20 hours waits patiently on the floor she has already been moved in and out of the delivery room that only has 2 beds twice today. Ethel proudly holds her granddaughter while her daughter Miriam lays on the floor in pain bleeding heavily from the birth two hours before. The midwives seem concerned but Ethel said it was the same for her when she had children and is completely relaxed. There is a woman to my left who has given herself an abortion and has been writing in pain for two days …on my right lies Joyce with her baby born this morning. A few hours later there are five women sitting on this mat with their new babies. This is where they will spend the night until they are allowed to leave the centre and walk home..upto 13 hours walk away.

Postnatal ward Malawi
This is the other side of the post delivery room where i was standing to take the previous picture, its pretty clear to see the state of this room. I was here for 10 days and didn’t once see it cleaned.

Jennylewis maternity room in malawi

 Two women in labour.
jennylewis hand washing are a for midwives
Hand washing area for midwives
jenny lewis malawi wateraid
Labour room
jennylewis soap for hand washing
 Soap for hand washing.
Women carrying water in africa
The women collect water for all their needs washing / drinking/ cooking and have to provide the midwives with water for the birth. All this needs to be carried from the water pump about a twenty minute walk from the centre. The community is angry the water is shared by the hundreds of women staying at the health centre as this creates queues and when the water table  is low there is no water pressure in the pump it pretty much dribbles out. This water is not clean and of course carries a risk to anyone drinking it.

If you would like to donate to WaterAid please donate here for every pound donated the UK government double it. Let’s help transform the lives around the world with clean water and sanitation. 

Being Brave

January 28, 2016

 

I’ve been watching Mary Portas Secret Shopper (I think she’s bloody brilliant)  and in the last episode she recited a poem that someone had told her once, and it really resonated with me.

 

 

London, blue fur coat and denim pinafore dress

 

 

similar dress | socks | similar hat | similar trainers | similar coat | old non-prescription glasses

“Come to the edge, he said.
We are afraid, they said.
Come to the edge, he said.
They came to the edge,
He pushed them and they flew.
Come to the edge, Life said.
They said: We are afraid.
Come to the edge, Life said.
They came. It pushed them…
And they flew.”

 

Don’t be afraid of going after your dreams. What’s the worst that could happen?

 

Love Nat x

All rights reserved © Style Me Sunday

Theme by Blogmilk + Coded by Brandi Bernoskie