The Underrated Quality That Is Being Nice

Dress* - Joy  | Sunglasses - Primark

In the hierarchy of good qualities to possess, being nice doesn't score all too highly. Fun-loving, outgoing, enthusiastic; they all sound like qualities that make up a person you'd want to be around so they score pretty well. Good looks unfortunately still seem to define to what extent you're worthy of attention so they bump up your score too. And if you're funny? Well you just hit the jackpot because you've achieved the most coveted quality of them all. Don't have any of those qualities? Well you might be 'nice'; the quality that will make you feel like you're nothing special.

Imagine you're describing someone. 'They're very nice' should be a compliment, but instead it's somewhat of a backhanded one; it's used when there's nothing else to say about someone. 'Nice' is seen as a bit of a dirty word, despite the fact that it's actually a very, well, nice one. But what's so wrong with being nice? In fact, isn't niceness one of the purest and most valuable qualities of all? I rate niceness very highly, possibly because I think I'm quite a nice person myself. Someone could be the funniest, best looking person in the world, but if they're not also a very nice person they're not really worth knowing at all.

I often worry when meeting new people, not just because I'm generally shy anyway, but because I'm so bogged down in overthinking everything I say and do around them. Am I being interesting enough? Do they think I'm funny? The thing is, I'm always friendly, I'm always nice and especially on first meeting, that should be what counts and that's what should make a lasting impression. Obviously, I'm in no way saying that any of the other qualities mentioned are bad, just that the one I'm specifically discussing is underrated in comparison.

Aside from a quality in a person, 'nice' is still a seemingly dirty word. Last week when the weather was beautiful I wore this gorgeous Joy dress to work and I received a lot of compliments from people who said my dress was 'nice'. In fact I even had three different people stop me in the street to say it was nice. And it is isn't it? It's bloomin' lovely. In the past I've been guilty of thinking that when people say something is 'nice' it means it's actually not very nice. I realise now that this was, in fact, a complete lack of understanding on my part as to the definition of nice.

(nice: giving pleasure or satisfaction; pleasant or attractive)

I'd like to talk a little bit about this nice dress. The lovely people at Joy offered to send me something and this leapt out at me right away. Floaty florals are fast becoming my go to spring style and this dress makes me feel a little bit like an actual boho sass queen (the temptation to twirl about in it all day is real). I've been dressing it down with trainers, which seems to be another go to for me this spring; something pretty on top worn with trainers to give an outfit everyday comfort and practicality. Equally it could be a strong contender for a summer wedding outfit with some cute white heels.

So here's to being nice, the extremely underrated quality that just happens to also be the most important one of all and here's to wearing nice dresses.

Do you rate niceness?

Amy x

Unique Ways To Display Plants And Flowers

Are you bored of me talking about plants yet? #crazyplantlady

I wanted to dedicate a post to talking about the ways I display my plants and flowers because, unbeknownst to my former non-plant lady self, you don't have to keep them in the pot and you don't always have to bring out the same old vase every time you buy fresh flowers. Over the past couple of years I've become a little more creative with the ways I've been displaying my plants and flowers and wanted to share a few on here (because seriously, are you bored of me talking about plants yet?). Also  please note that these are not the most revolutionary or original ideas that will wow your socks off, but I have been putting a bit more effort in recently and have loved what I've come up with.

M U G S ,  C U P S  A N D  S A U C E R S  |  Does anyone else have way more mugs in their cupboard than they know what to do with? Even with a full dishwasher I could probably have the full cast of Les Mis over for a cuppa and have mugs to spare. So I've started using some of mine differently; you guessed it, they've got plants in them. I've been using saucers and cute little plates as plant pot stands for ages, but only recently had the (not-so) revolutionary idea of using the actual cups and mugs to keep the plants in too. However tempting it was to use this giant yellow mug from Dunelm for a huge morning coffee, it goes too well with my yellow flowered cactus to not pair them together. It's been a while since I've had any plants small enough to display in teacups, but I recently bought some new plant babies that look super cute displayed in a cup and saucer.
Top plant lady tip: for drainage pop a layer of little stones in the bottom of the cup.

Yellow mug| Sage cup and saucer* (both Dunelm)

G L A S S E S  A N D  J A R S  |  I love me a good clip jar, but aside from the odd batch of granola, I rarely actually keep anything in them (this girl ain't got time for decanting absolutely everything into jars just to keep them in a cupboard) so I've started doubling them up as vases when I have flowers and also for popping dried gypsophila into. There's something about them that just looks a bit more interesting than a standard vase especially when they're grouped together and I'm forever looking for new things to keep dried gypsophila in; I love buying it fresh, but always think it's a waste to get rid of when it looks so nice dried too!

 Large Kilner clip jar| Small Kilner preserving jarMedium Kilner preserving jar| Palm leaf candle holder* (all Dunelm)

P H O T O F R A M E S  |  Out of all these ideas, this is probably my most original (in that I thought of it myself, I have no doubt that other people most definitely will have done it before though). I actually first did this with dried gypsophila when we had a couple of frames to fill, but couldn't decide on pictures for them. I absolutely adore it pressed in the glass frames and I'm definitely going to add some colour to those by mixing in some other pressed flowers too. I've also got a couple of similar frames with polaroid style photos in that could look cute with a simple pop of gypsophila added in to. The possibilities of dried gypsophila are endless guys!

Large wooden frame| Copper frame* (both Dunelm)

How do you display your plants and flowers? Let me know if you try any of these!

Amy x

*Gifted items. Opinions and crazy plant lady vibes my own.

22 Leaves To Take Out Of My Sister's Book

Today is my sister's 22nd birthday and I wanted to write a post to mark the occasion. Bethany has PMLD (profound and multiple learning difficulties) and we're always trying to teach her new things to help her development so I thought it would be nice to turn that around and consider some of the things she's taught me instead.

A Botanical Lookbook Fit For A Plant Lady

I think it's become pretty obvious on my blog and even more so on my Instagram feed that I'm a plant lady, in a rather big way. It started small, with a few odd plants dotted around the house, as anyone might have. Over time I added a couple more, then a few others and before I knew it my sole aim was to transform my house into an indoor garden (as discussed in this post). Well now I'm taking it a whole step further and dressing like a garden too. A couple of weeks ago I popped into Tessies and fell in love with all of their botanical pieces so when they asked me a few days later if I wanted to style any of their items for my blog, the idea of a botanical lookbook was already firmly in my mind. Without further ado myself and Violet headed out armed with a bag of outfits and high hopes that our local garden centre would make a good shoot location...(shout out to Southwood Garden Centre for being up for this and not throwing us out).
Ganton Ave, Cottingham HU16 5HG, UK

Getting The Most Out Of A Staycation

I've spoken before about how I love a good staycation (who doesn't really?) and since I haven't had a passport for a little while, I've tried to explore more of the UK in the past year. Last week Ashton and I took ourselves away for the night to the dreamiest hotel in the cute village of Haworth in West Yorkshire and it was the perfect relaxing little break. While I was editing the pictures for this post I got thinking about the reasons why it was so perfect and thought I'd collate them all here so hopefully you can find yourself an equally idyllic staycation (and I can refer back to them for my next one, which will hopefully be very soon...recommendations?)
Haworth, Keighley BD22, UK

Why Do We Find It Easier To Self-Deprecate Than Self-Cheerlead?

Dress* - Joanie Clothing | Shoes - Asos  | Bag - Fiorelli (old)

We're a generation of self-deprecators aren't we? I mean, according to spell check self-deprecator isn't even a word, but I'm pretty sure I could make it my job title and get promoted through the ranks fairly quickly. I'm certainly not the only one either; scroll through Instagram and you'll come across multiple self-deprecating captions because yes, we'll post numerous pictures of ourselves, but god forbid we actually think that they're nice or that we look at all good in any of them. That would just make us awfully big-headed, not at all relatable and just generally horrid human beings wouldn't it? According to ourselves, we keep posting photos to our Instagram grid that we categorically do not like, while simultaneously trying to grow our following by asking people to like what we don't. The thing is, I find self-deprecation funny, it presents my personality in its rawest form and I am far more likely to relate to someone who can also poke fun at themselves and accept that they, like everyone else, are not perfect. But the fact remains that I only really feel comfortable putting myself out there alongside a healthy dose of self-critical rhetoric.