Stationery and plant pots

Smug in Islington is one of those shops that has many of the things I like to buy: pretty notebooks, stationery and plant pots. An odd mix, you might think but it doesn’t feel like that as it’s also a shop that’s beautifully curated. And of course the bright yellow set of steps just inside the shop also help. I used to pop up to Islington frequently, but have got out of the habit. It’s one of those places that when I do go, I think it’s a place I should go to more often, and them promptly forget about again, until the next time.

On my recent trip up to the Business Design Centre, I was determined not to miss the opportunity to have a good look round. And so I did.

Sigh, pretty books and notebooks

Plant-based stationery, completely perfect for me! It’s one of those shops that would be easy to say I’ll have one of each please, and be entirely happy with the treasures you end up taking home.

Notebooks and notelets

Boxes of pencils, erasers and even more notebooks. The cycling one was a particular favourite. But it was the rubbers that provoked memories of school days and how much thought and time went into replenishing my supplies for the new school term, and the more unusual the rubber, the better. I’m sure though there were at least a couple of the pink and blue varieties pictured below at times.

pencils, rubbers and more notebooks.jpg

Now onto the plant pots. The pastel shades and quite peculiar “love heart” plants, and how they’re displayed just make them work. I normally opt for brights over pastels, but the pinks. greens and neutrals just work. The fact that most of them hold succulents is neither here nor there…

succulents in a pink pot in smug islington
Green pots and plants

So with a dose of Smug under my belt, all was well with my world and happy and contented - I avoided using the word smug there - my day could continue. And maybe this time, my next visit might happen a little more quickly.

15 great notebooks from The Works

I've written before, many times in fact, about being a notebook fiend and I'm making no apology for this post. There's something about notebooks, and having the right one for the task at hand that makes them so irresistible.  Or to me anyway, although I suspect I'm not alone.

It's not unheard of for me to buy a notebook without an intended use in mind. And I have several here waiting for just the right the right occasion. It's also not unheard of for me to have several on the go at once; there's different sizes, always at least one in my handbag and despite having many of my to do lists electronically, I'd be lost without a notebook and a pen in my bag.  

Even when we head off cycling somewhere new it's likely that I'll have a small postcard sized book in my wicker basket to note down sights, smells, sounds and things I want to remember, sometimes to share here, but often so I can be sure to know which memory is from where. I think it's the small things that really make the big memories come alive.

So it goes without saying that I'm always on the lookout for a good source of notebooks, because for me, it's not something to leave to chance. It's true that almost every time we visit a National Trust property, or I'm at a RHS garden or partner garden, they're what I'm drawn to in the shop. I've recently discovered The Works and have been pleasantly surprised by the sheer range of notebooks in their stationery section, as well as their prices. 

As you can see from my selection in this post, their range covers everything from inspirational quotes to geometric designs and there's many, many more designs on their site. I've chosen my favourite fifteen notebooks, and it would have been so easy to choose at least half as many again.

So whatever your preferred notebook style, I suspect there's something there for you.  Are you, like me, a notebook fiend, and if so, what's your notebook style?


* This is a collaborative post but all views and opinions are my own.

A month full of notebooks

And you know how much I like notebooks - it's been a good month!  I've been back to TK Maxx in Orpington, I just popped in one lunchtime to see what they had. And ended up leaving with more than I bargained for, ah well I'm sure they'll come in handy.

It started with a pretty daily planner, which has a tear off strip on the side for the to do list part, a clever idea I thought.

A flowery desk planner

And then I spotted the A5 notebooks, and I knew it was dangerous. And how could I choose?







Yes, clearly I didn't choose, I bought them all - but at £5,99 a pop that wasn't so bad. I like their motivational messages too - and in the right order, there's the starting of a plan too.

But that's not all.  There was one more I couldn't resist.



I love this bold design and at the moment it's in the pigeon shelves in the porch, so every time I walk past it it catches my eye and reminds me what to do.

notebook displayed in my porch - giving me a motivational boost as i walk past

And if that wasn't enough, earlier in the week I was at the TK Maxx and Homesense Christmas in July event - more on that next week - and I left with a lovely personalised notebook.  And yes, my personalisation was 139a - what else?! - I even watched it being done, absolutely fascinating.

personalised 139a notebook

So my July in paper has been all about notebooks. But you can never have too many, right?

The Reading Residence