16 June 2015

The Simple Things

We were both young, when I first saw you… how else do you introduce a Love Story? If you have this song on iTunes, hitting play now would definitely be fitting for this review.

I am indebted to Sarah for bringing my attention to the existence of The Simple Things. The blogging world is a bit like a Hansel and Gretel breadcrumb trail at times! If this magazine is the end point of the trail less travelled by, I am so very glad I took it.

At the risk of sounding like a fanatical Twihard, Belieber or Swiftie, within moments of opening this magazine it honestly felt like coming home; it is that first cup of tea in the morning, or snuggling up in a blanket on a cold winter's night.

The Simple Things is a publication about "taking the time to live well". It combines stunning photography, craft and home ideas, self-care and fashion too.

It takes the best parts of the glossy fashion magazines - the human elements. If Vogue is Fashion Bible, The Simple Things is top contender for Life Bible.

I am aware time is precious and my ramblings don't exactly adhere to this… So I have decided to write my review as seven simple reasons The Simple Things and I are a perfect pair.

Cardigan Contentment

It is a running joke in our family that mum and I are obsessed with cardigans. It began with Monsoon kids (6 going on 60) and a bright pink fleece number. This trendsetting continued into sixth form, my style described as "preppy chic"…

Safe to say, the cardigan is not a universal love. So imagine my reaction when I saw "why we love a cardi" emblazoned across the cover. Years of believing only Rachel Berry and Professor Lupin understood me, finally the love is shared. 

The feature describes it as "your real friend on chilly summer evenings", which is so true. Even on holiday, I always pop a lightweight cardigan in my bag. We British know better than most… never trust weather!

Back in Britain, the cardigan sees me through all four seasons. In winter, it's the chunky knits, but I arguably prefer summer offerings even more, from kimono to waterfall draping. Here are my latest candidates for the cardi cupboard: 
Urban Outfitters, £42                              ASOS Marketplace, £16.99                           Urban Outfitters, £39

Spotted: Two-Tone Brogues

I think Blair Waldorf would have approved of my last stylessential, but this one is still eluding my Wardrobe…  If this picture I spotted, from across from the cardigan article, was therefore not "meant to be", I will eat my kimono.

Back in January two-tone brogues topped my Wednesday Wishlist. Nonetheless, while I searched high and low my wardrobe remained without - it seemed both highstreet and 'world wide' web were not on the same wavelength. Yet here they were, six months later - the shoes of my dreams. I promptly googled the website - agnes and norman.

Okay, perhaps the "too good to be true" did come into play here, confession time. They were men's shoes...

Not to be deterred, however, I ventured into the woman's section I did find a pair of possibly even nicer brogues. A little pricy, though I do think this is an item worth investing for quality. I also know they would quickly become "compulsive wearing" - something I do have a knack for. I think the middle pair may push that limit, but they were too pretty not to share!   

       agnes and norman, £139                            ASOS Marketplace, £225                                  Alice Temperly, £120

Nature Narratives

"nature never did betray the heart that loved her" - William Wordsworth

Nature poetry is my calling card in Literature, namely Edward Thomas and basically all the Romantic poets - Wordsworth and Shelley if we're going to be specific. In the past I have taken a notebook with me walking, sometimes Millie in tow, and stopped by the Bath Spa University lake to write.

Reading John Lewis' piece was so calming and really allowed me to escape for a time. The caption alone - "field of dreams" - was enough to get you outside! Even if 'outside' was, in this case, the garden…

Language Love

As I revealed in my recent post on blogging tips, I can't resist a good pun/wordplay. The Simple Things also adopts this philosophy with aplomb. The fact I am a self-confessed Berry addict makes the following even more wonderful… I will definitely be trying some of the berry recipes inside! 

Top of the list is homemade berry ice-cream, with little more than cream and berries. I quite like the idea of experimenting and trying greek yoghurt too; it has more of a tang than cream, and with banana/berries and honey is so much nicer than shop yoghurt.

I also need to try some cocktails, elaborating on my iced tea creations! The magazine has some wonderful ideas to "mix up a moonshine".

Caption Corner

One of the very first items we implemented, from my Features Editor manifesto, was "caption column"; students' satirical responses to a featured image. Seeing a strikingly similar feature - complete with alliterative title - in The Simple Things was quite surreal! I have to confess I am still working on a giraffe caption. So far I am having more gi-gaffes than golden puns. 


My latest post was on how to make the perfect iced tea. My instagram is a virtual tea cupboard. One of my "post ideas" for the next month was exactly this - my day in different drinks, namely tea. From green tea to iced Rose tea - with the odd coffee in between. As CS Lewis says, "you can never have a cup (or article feature) large enough". 

Creature Comforts

A year ago I ticked off a bucket list item - a chair in my room. I love it for reading, and features in an upcoming blog post on my new room… 

Nonetheless, I came across this while flicking through The Simple Things and it is pretty much the chair I visualised when it was still on the dream board.

It has rabbits on it. Point made. I still have a giant peter rabbit music toy, who sits on the shelf above my current chair. 

I rarely consider entering these types of competitions because: a) I feel guilty (does anyone else get this?!) b) I never particularly want the  prize. This chair has changed things!

I feel I am running risk of turning "meant to be" into the new "fetch"… or worse, bae. For literal creature comforts, the Dogs in Blankets section of the Miscellaneous page was Millie-made.


I took out my first ever magazine subscription, a day after buying, which in itself was a form of self-care as I am terrible for spending money on myself! I've also ordered previous volumes from this year, to tie me over until July.

This magazine captures what I hope to achieve, through my little blogging home here; an escape from the ever-growing negativity in the media world, which exploits flaws and fears.

One of the reasons I love the blogging community, with Elizabeth's self-care sundays and five happy things on Little Winter, is the growing focus on mindfulness, another topic which is covered in this month's issue.

Self-care is definitely something I need to focus on more. From the nostalgia of tree decoration and ordering coffee non-skinny, to customising christmas with Etsy quote coasters; it is finding those things that make you truly happy.

On that note, I've made a good start already - The Simple Things is definitely on the list of "things that make me Smile".



  1. I might have to keep my eyes peeled for this! It sounds really good! Great article lovely, keep it up xxx

    1. It's given me faith in journalism again - finally something that celebrates rather than tears to pieces!

  2. So glad you like the Simple Things, it really is a lovely magazine! xx

    1. It's truly wonderful cannot wait for the next issue :)

  3. What you're saying is completely true. I know that everybody must say the same thing, but I just think that you put it in a way that everyone can understand. I'm sure you'll reach so many people with what you've got to say.


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