Thursday, 31 December 2015

Uni Room Tour

This post was definitely more suited to pre Christmas. My room had stayed relatively clean for almost 3 months, solely because I was living under the constant belief that I would be writing up a room tour that weekend. Typico of me and my life I only managed to take these photos 2 hours before my train home to Surrey. I had just put myself through a massive tidying/organising sesh to make my return to Leeds as cosy and welcoming as possible... I even dug out the hoover.

Now, if any of you follow me on twitter/snapchat (@pollyvdsz) you may have heard that along with many areas in the North of England, my accommodation flooded on Boxing Day. So, everything in these photos is now in one of two boxes: "water damaged and smelly" and "dry and thrown into this box so probs broken lol". It hasn't really sunk in because I wasn't there and haven't seen any photos of my room in particular, but I know that the water level came up to mattress height so a lot of it is buggered. Very luckily we're all insured and are being put up in a hotel for the next few weeks, so it will be fine. But now, let's take a look at the room that once was...

9 3/4 pillow - Harry Potter Studio Tour | Christmas pillows - Primark | Pinapple & Kitty pillows - Amy Hodkin | Rose gold lamp - Homebase | Phone case - obv

Let's just get straight to the main attraction, my bed. It's where I spend the majority of my time, nicely tucked behind that curtain so passers by can't see me. Ground floor struggles. This is also where the vague colour scheme of grey begins. Did I mention I have an almost double sized bed? Just that little detail has made my quality of life SO MUCH better. Being comfy is everything. That double duvet was the only one me and Beth could find at 5:30pm on a Sunday (when we realised we wouldn't have one for the night and probably shouldn't have stopped for that 3rd coffee on the drive to Leeds as 90% of shops were closed) and is in fact the most comfortable I've ever had. Big up to Sainsbury's. 

Under my bed I have a couple of boxes containing clothes I didn't need in my wardrobe and other bits and bobs. My favourite is the box nearest the head of the bed where I keep pyjamas and a hot water bottle. It's V useful because it saves me from chucking my loungewear on the floor. :)

I wish I knew the name of the artist of those two grey prints! 

This is my view from bed. I aim to fill up that wall space with lots of motivational posters, and the two grey ones and two hidden behind that mound of scarfs on the right were from a print festival in the Corn Exchange. I've seen so many craft fairs and the like there, it's lovely! Next to my wash basket is a little radiator and just enough space for me to stand, warm my bum and think about life. Oh and the scarf mound is hanging from a set of hooks attached to the curtain rail. It hasn't fallen down yet...

Mirror - Ikea | Makeup bag - | Coffee print | Be good & Brave print | Grey throw - Ikea

Next to my bed is a set of shelves attached to the wall. I store all my face & hair items on top, as well as my water filter because the tap water tastes like metal and worry. Just poking into the picture is my desk chair which I've covered with a lovely grey throw from Ikea. It's a nice trick to improve an ugly (red) piece of furniture, and again, grey. I didn't take pictures of the inside of my wardrobe because that was the one relatively messy part, but I was so surprised that all the clothes I took with me fit just fine. On top of it is my pathetic drying rack which has bent under the weight of my heavy wash loads (I'm trying to be £ efficient).

Plants & their pots - Ikea | Kitty pot - Anthropologie | Mug - John Lewis | Tub - Ikea

Coal/teal print | Grid pot | Copper coaster - Anthropologie

Okay these shelves are my PRIDE AND JOY. It's so important to surround yourself with inspiration and prettiness so above my desk, I've done just that.  From the top left are my design books, held up by the most beautiful bottle of Vodka (thank u mum). The Tough Love prints I sold a few months ago are the biggest feature here, for when I need a kick up the arse emotionally. On the bottom shelf are more notebooks, mostly used as props for product/blog photography, more prints, the NICEST mug from John Lewis that was only £3 (!!), I also picked up a coral version which usually sits on top and matches the print behind perfectly (heh heh). I keep pens in the giant pencil sharpener and rings/watches in that ADORABLE kitty pot. And at the end I store my recipe books in a tub for easy access. I've scattered various plants and cacti around these pieces to add some greenery, which really does make all the difference. Remembering to water them is a right pain though. 

The mysterious red square in the corner is my notice board, but it's really ugly because it hurts to pin photos up so they're very scattered. It may as well not even be a notice board. It feels like wood covered in fabric.

Tray - John Lewis - Acrylic organiser - maybe Muji | White pot - Homebase

This is my attempt at desk organisation. I haven't photographed my desk as a whole which yes is a bit annoying, but we all know social media is only for the highlights. Along from this is my monitor, one of the best purchases ever because I can watch catch up TV & Netflix while I work, woo! Also I don't know why I have so many tapes. I can't use that many tapes.

Porridge soap - Lush | Soap holder - Homebase - Adorable milk bottle - I can't remember!

This is all I'm prepared to show you of my bathroom, as the rest is 40% toilet, 50% shower and 10% blue sink which nobody needs to see in detail. I probably should have photographed the mini basket (from Tiger) I have hanging from the hook on the back of the door. It's SO useful as it has three hooks under it which I use to hang my towels, and in the basket I store face masks. I really advise buying hooks that have more hooks, it's genius. 

Fun fact: on the floor I have a grey squishy matt that has a hole so it can surround a toilet's base. I bought this thinking I was very clever and wise but then got home to realise the toilet's base goes into the wall, not touching the floor, so now I just have a stupid shaped matt.

Black faux fur - Urban Outfitters | Camel - H&M | Green - Anthropologie

My coats hang just as you walk through the door, partially obscuring the already teeny mirror. Below them is now the shoe graveyard.

Little bowl - Urban Outfitters | Plant - a Florist in Leeds | White pot - Anthropologie | Copper plate - Vintage

I bought this large copper plate a few months ago, determined to find a use for it, and actually I think it works well as my little "essentials" drop off as I walk through the door. I've only forgotten my keys ONCE. On it I keep every day items like my keys, spare change, earphones and glasses, as well as some drinks to grab as I leave and a collection of nice tea bags (that I'll definitely be taking with me to uni now I've designed a travel mug!). In the pot I keep pins for the notice board, ready for when I'm prepared to use them. I usually keep a bowl of bananas next to this so I can have one in the morning as I usually don't have the time for a nice breakfast before uni.

And finally, I get to read this sweet piece of decor gifted to me by Beth (thank u) every day before I head out. I adore it.

So there's my uni room! If you're heading to Leeds in September next year and want to know a little more about my accommodation/how I'm finding it, pop me a tweet and I'll see if I can help :)

Polly xo

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Relatively Healthy Uni Meals

After seeing how many people tried out my last two recipes (the veggie bake and banana oat pancakes) I thought I'd make an effort to record more meals that I enjoy for you! This post has been a long time coming, but I can't blame myself for focusing on my degree, right? So get those taste buds ready. I hope you enjoy the clickbait titles.

Chunky Mash Meal

I absolutely loved this meal! It was so filling and comforting, plus my leftovers served as the nicest lunch at uni the next day. You can of course mix up the fillings to suit your tongue, but here's what I did.

You will need:
  • One large potato
  • Smoked bacon 
  • Half an onion
  • Some broccoli/spinach/peas (a green vegetable of your choice)
  • Pesto
  • Cheese
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
There are two ways of cooking your potato. The one I did here was annoyingly complicated and took almost 3 hours. Mainly because the oven wasn't on for the first hour... but let's not dwell. If you'd like to have stuffed jacket potatoes, wash your potato then rub it with a little bit of olive oil and salt before popping it in the oven for an hour at 220 celsius. If you'd like a load of mash, peel your potato, chop it up into medium sized chunks and pop in boiling water until you can easily stick a fork through them. (20-30 mins)

While the potato is cooking, chop up your onions and bacon and pop them in a frying pan. You can use some olive oil for this, but bacon does release its own fat. When they're almost done (onions are floppy and golden, bacon is dark pink) you can add in the greens. If you're boiling the potato you could chuck the greens in there instead for up to 5 minutes.

Once your baked potato is cooked, leave it to cool slightly then chop it in half. Spoon the insides out into a bowl (careful not to break the skin!) and roughly mash with a fork. I say fork because I don't own a masher yet. That's why it's a chunky mash. If you have the time/ability to fully mash a potato with a fork then don't talk to me. If you've boiled the potato, drain them then put them in a bowl and again, roughly mash with a fork. You can then mix in the rest of your ingredients, a couple of spoonfuls of pesto and some grated cheese.

You now have the chunky mash, which you can either put into a baking tray or stuff back into your potato skins. For the latter, I'd do it by hand rather than a spoon. Top both with a sprinkle of cheese then back in the oven for 5 minutes.

 I Love Myself Bangers N Mash

Sometimes you just NEED an internal hug, and you absolutely cannot go wrong with sausages, potato and gravy, but this is my way of making it less boring. My Romanian flatmate found the term "bangers n mash" very odd, and yes it really is... what the heck.

You will need:

  • One small sweet potato (or half a medium)
  • An onion
  • A couple heads of broccoli 
  • Butter
  • Really nice sausages (I LOVE Cumberland pork & apple ones)
  • Gravy (powdered Bisto is my norm)
  • One clove of garlic
  • Olive oil
Pop your sausages in the oven according to their cooking guidelines. 

Peel and chop up your sweet potato into small-ish chunks, you can see mine below. I like to chop them small because they cook quicker and are easier to mash with a fork. Boil those away in a saucepan for about 15 minutes, and pop some chopped broccoli in half way though. Next time I'll probably add spinach as well for the last 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, fry your chopped onion on a moderate heat in some olive oil, add the garlic, mix up some gravy (however much you need) and pour it in. Leave this sizzling away at a low heat, stirring occasionally.

Once you can easily stick a fork through your sweet potato bits, drain them and then get mashing. I used some Ikea tupperware for this because I still don't have adequately sized bowls, but hey, less washing up! You can add a small amount of butter here if you wish. Add as much as you need to the plate as leave the rest in the fridge for later.

Now all you need to do is add the sausages, pour on your onion gravy and dribble everywhere.

Not A Takeaway Pizza

I'd just like to announce that I've been at uni for 62 days and I haven't bought a readymade pizza yet. Let that sink in. Honestly WHERE is my medal. Well, for those of you trying to count how many you've consumed in your time at uni, or how much that's cost you, this recipe should change ur freakin world. I never thought anything would satisfy me the way a Texas BBQ does.


  • Wholemeal wraps
  • Passata (tomato puree from a carton/can)
  • Paprika (I like the smoked version!)
  • Oregano 
  • Garlic
  • A spoonful of pesto
  • A Pinch of salt/pepper
Topping ideas: 
  • Chorizo 
  • Ham
  • Veggie meat alternatives
  • Bell peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Onion
  • Mushrooms
  • Actually, anything. That's the beauty of pizza.
  • Cheese
Turn your oven onto 220 degrees celsius and pop in the wrap on a pizza tray. This will crisp up the wrap so that it doesn't go all soggy when the sauce is applied. I usually have it in the oven while I'm chopping up my ingredients, but if you think that'll take more than 5 minutes, maybe put it in half way through.

Chop up all your ingredients into small pieces. They won't be in the oven for very long so they need to be small enough to cook through. 

I've given you the ingredients I use in my tomato sauce, but measurements are to taste and will vary depending on how many you're cooking for. Start with pouring as much passata as you think you'll need into a small bowl. A teaspoonful of paprika should do, but I don't think there's such a thing as too much paprika. Then sprinkle in the rest of the herbs/seasoning, a spoonful of pesto (or two) and mix well.

Take your wrap(s) out of the oven and spoon on your sauce. Spread a thick layer around, almost touching the edges - there's no crust on this pizza! Then decorate your pizza however your tummy wants and put in the oven for up to 10 minutes. You should check after 6-8 minutes. When the sauce has turned darker and the cheese is bubbling, it's ready!

To serve you could leave it to cool for a minute then cut into pieces to share, fold into a calzone or throw on some lettuce and make it a pizza wrap.


I really hope you enjoyed these recipes! Please let me know if you try any of them and if so, do tweet/instagram me photos!! I'm never not happy to see food.

Polly xo


Tuesday, 25 August 2015

I have a co designer!

Halls Sweet Halls art print set - £5 - out 27/08/2015

A lot of you probably don't know this yet, but as of July, I got myself a co designer! It's about bloody time I had some help around here, right? Charlotte (Twitter, Instagram) officially joined the Sighh team (I use the term "team" loosely as for the past 2 years, the members were a lonesome me, myself and I) in July. You may recognise her as the person I collaborated with to produce the Cacti phone case.

This post might be a long'n but it is one hell of a milestone for the business and me personally. I want to record this both for me to look back on and, for those who are interested, to know more about what's happening behind the scenes.


Making the decision to allow someone into your design process is VERY HARD, let me tell you. Well it was for me anyway. I'd never designed as part of a team before and honestly I'm not much of a team player. I find it very hard to trust people. This REALLY holds me back in business and in life - but lets save that therapy session for another time! Luckily, Charlotte, the ray of sunshine that she is, has made the process so much easier. thank u charlotte

Fears about working with someone:
-Giving critique. I still take critique personally, but on our uni course they have group crits all the time, so Charlotte is well used to it and takes feedback on board!
-Admin would put them off. Charlotte regularly expresses wanting to help me with the post & packaging. This is a good sign.
-Their style would be too different. I'm so pleasantly surprised by how quickly she's adapted to my way of working and I'm sure our joint effort will develop into something much better as time goes on.

Fears about not working with someone:
-Combusting at uni and having to close the shop for good.
-Never fulfilling my ambition to make Sighh a studio full of young, ambitious designers.
-Never learning how to work closely with another designer.

Mini Interview

So, to introduce you to this Charlotte person I've asked her a few questions which you can read below. Disclaimer: I'm aware about the possibility of extreme bias, she wants to keep her job and all :) lol :)

Introduce yourself to the peoeples.

Hello! My name is Charlotte, I'm 19 and a student studying graphic design at LCA! (Really boring intro, sorry)

Now, I've completely forgotten how we decided to work together. I know I came to you about the cacti drawing you posted on Instagram, but how did it move from a collab to you joining Sighh?

I remember we started talking on twitter because you tweeted something about going to LCA and I was like HI :) I showed you around when you came up, and we had a fun time eating in Giraffe where I had to have pasta filled with beans :-(
After the collab, you mentioned you needed someone to help you if/when you moved to uni and I thought that it would be a great opportunity for me, even if it was just packing and emails! It was the perfect situation because we'd both be doing the same course, at the same uni, and both had a passion for design! I think everything just fell into place after that!

Have you been surprised by anything in particular, now you've seen what goes on behind the scenes?

I think the main thing that's shocked me is the amount of work there actually is! Most people probably assume that you just get an order and post it out, but that's not the case at all. Obviously I'm limited as to what I can do right now, working from home, but I am eager to get stuck in when we move to Leeds! 
Also, searching for the right supplier and making sure all of the samples are correct is something that I wasn't really expecting (probably because Polly is such a perfectionist) and it does cause some problems/delays which you never really hear about otherwise.

What's the worst/most annoying part of the job? (It's okay, I probably feel it too)

Right now, I'd say not being able to help you out! Working through a computer has given me this amazing opportunity BUT I can't wait to start working together properly, I feel a bit out of the loop 300 miles away!

Good answer. Take 10 points. Do you think working for Sighh will help your career/design ability? How?

Oh definitely! It's already taught me so much, especially with working with another person - which is essential experience for design! It will also help me build confidence with talking to proper business people, and hopefully give myself some exposure as an actual designer!

What do you think you add to the business?

This seems like the interview question I never had :) 
Since I've already done my first year, I feel like I'm quite experienced within design already. We're both on the same wavelength, and its great to work together with someone who has a similar knowledge! We can also bounce ideas off each other, which is super helpful and exciting when something great comes along! I'm familiar with all of the same software, and we both have a passion for design, which I think is the main thing.

What's been your favourite project so far?

I'd probably say the university prints! It was the first project that I started from scratch, and had a lot of input in. I'm so excited for them to be released! (My student house definitely needs the bin one).

What's your favourite product?

Its super popular already, but I think the cross stitch design! It's so timeless and matches with everything. Other than that, OBVIOUSLY I have to pick my lil cacti case because that's my baby!

Do you like working for Sighh? :) PS this is not an appropriate time to hand in your notice :)

OF COURSE! It's the best job I've ever had, everything is so flexible and relaxed (most of the time), and its in my desired field so its perfect! Working with Polly is great, I'm so excited to be spending more time together in the coming year.

To Conclude

This doesn't mean I'm done, that I can't be bothered any more. It means I'm finally mature enough to realise someone can only go so far on their own. I'm excited for Sighh to grow further, produce new products, work from a studio, do everything twice as fast as before. All the best design studios are made up of multiple people, and if all goes well, maybe Sighh will evolve into one...


Halls Sweet Halls - Making

I decided to preview the Halls Sweet Halls print set in this post because, as she mentioned above, it's the first project which Charlotte had a great deal of input.

I wanted to create passive aggressive prints for uni students, and halls seemed like a good place to start. Given a description of my vision for the set, one and a half quotes and some pointers, she designed these from scratch while I worked on the new tote bag (WOO EXCITING TEASER). Over the week she sent me screen shots of her progression and I gave feedback here and there.

The first row: some of Charlotte's first draft. After more feedback, she produced her final draft - the second row. As you'll notice she experimented with a range of colour schemes, and one of them was perfect. I think it's mature, as unisex as Sighh gets and easy to integrate into a colour schemed room.

It was then my task to take her layouts and make them ABSOLUTELY CENTRED AND COLOUR CO-ORDINATED to achieve the final set, pictured above.

So, what do you think of the prints? Of me EMPLOYING a real human? Let me know in the comments below, or tweet me! @pollyvdsz @SighhDesigns. Ideally more students will join in the future, but we shall see!

Polly xo


Monday, 17 August 2015

Banana + Blackberry Oat Pancakes

Hello people! Long time no blog. My excuse is I've been working tirelessly on new products for Sighh, so have had very little time to wash my hair, let alone plan new posts. But finally, here's something. 

This morning (10am) I was sipping my cuppa tea, mourning over the days where I'd wake up craving breakfast. I seem to have utterly buggered up my morning appetite and it's all too sad. So, I started listing breakfast foods in my head. "Do I want bacon? We do have a lot of bacon. No, nothing that greasy. Muesli? No, I don't feel like excess milk. Porridge? Naa, I'm not feeling that texture right now... but we do have blackberries... and banana" So I decided to fry up some porridge (minus the milk).

Below is a rough breakdown of the ingredients I used, and a couple more that I'd definitely add in the future. This recipe feeds one person, or two not very hungry people, and is gluten free! It's also free of dairy and meat but more and more people seem to be interested in avoiding gluten these days.
  • Roughly 1 cup of plain oats (I used the 1/2 cup measurement above, then added more later)
  • 1 ripe (mushable) banana, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • A sprinkle of cinnamon 
  • A handful of blackberries
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil (to fry in) 
Recommended extras/alternatives:
  • 1 small apple, grated (can replace the banana, but I do recommend banana)
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raisins 
  • Chopped strawberries
  • 1 or 2 squares of dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
Now you've chosen your favourite ingredients, here's how to put them together!

In a small bowl, mush up your banana with a fork (or any professional mushing device you may own). Then add the oats, blackberries/any extras and the egg. You could whisk up your egg separately, but that doesn't make for a pretty blog photo.

Once the mixture is all blended (it should look a little less oaty than the above, this was after just a couple of stirs), check that it isn't runny. You want a thick mixture that you can spoon out onto the pan without it loosing its shape. If it's too runny, it will break when you try to flip it.

Heat up your non-stick frying pan then add the teaspoon of coconut oil. Once melted, blob out a rather heaped tablespoonful of mixture and smooth it out gently with a fork. It probably won't be a perfect circle, but this isn't my first time. *Turns away from camera and flicks hair with spatula*

The first side should take 2-4 minutes, but keep nudging the edges to see if the underside is done. If it's golden brown, and more importantly, holds together, you can flip it. The next side shouldn't take more than a minute!

Now sit down and love yourself for making a quick, healthy breakfast that you can definitely Instagram, provided the right lighting. The banana added an amazing caramel taste, and the combination of blackberries and cinnamon gave a hearty, seasonal taste that made me crave Autumn even more. 

Would you make this? Let me know! I was SO impressed with the response to my veggie bake, and eager to make more tasty foods for us all to try. 

Polly xo


Sunday, 19 July 2015

Slimline VS Premium Wrap Around

Premium Wrap Around £18 (left) + Slimline £12.50 - £14 (right)

Hopefully you've seen my excited tweets/snapchats about the new cases coming out, because I'm VERY CHUFFED and want you guys to know all about them! When they first arrived I was adamant about replacing the current Slimlines completely, but soon realised this probably wasn't the best business decision. They are more expensive and not available for all the phone types that the Slimlines are. Excluding a significant part of my customer base just isn't justified when these cases have been well loved for two whole years! So although the Premium Wrap Arounds will be my case of choice from now on, I wanted to write out the pros and cons of both so you can make an informed decision on your next purchase.


  • They cost less. I'm able to price these from £12.50 - £14 which is a competitive price, and affordable for younger teens/people on a budget.
  • Slim and lightweight. These cases are ideal for people who don't like having a bulky case on their phone but want the security of protection from scratches/minor bumps and something to make their plain phone less boring!
  • Case edges slightly rise over the screen of the case.
  • Easy to take on and off.
  • Although print is sprayed on, they are very smooth and more hardwearing than you'd think!
  • Designs only cover the back of the case, leaving sides transparent, which looks very sleek.
  • Easy to wipe off dirt, however can be stained over time.
  • Available for a huge variety of phone types.
  • 2 month guarantee.

Middle case is Slimline, two others are Premium.

  • Plastic has been known to crack. I have definitely noticed that my supplier is using an inferior plastic case type than last year, which has made me even more adamant to get the premium cases. I've never had a case crack before, and I put this down to being careful when I take the cases on and off. I know that a lot of people like to play with the corners of cases when they're bored by pinging them. This will definitely weaken the plastic, leading to cracking. Referring back to the last "pro", I am able to issue a replacement to most customers who experience any damage I deem a product fault.
  • Print is sprayed on. The supplier does add a protective layer over the print to protect it from wearing, but it can be damaged over time by sweaty hands/rubbing. for about 6-7 months this was a very big issue, but I'm pleased to say the print has definitely improved over the past couple of months and seems MUCH sturdier. 
  • Print is sprayed on (part 2). On phones with edges like right angles (iPhone 5, etc) this is no problem at all, the print is cut off in a straight line. However, on phones such as the iPhone 5c and Samsung Galaxies, the curved edges mean that when the print is sprayed on it spreads out. This distorts the design slightly along the edge, as it fades out to white. This is not an issue for most people, but I have had complaints.
  • Print can be stained over time, but most people replace their cases every 3-4 months so this shouldn't be much of an issue (unless you're an avid fake tanner who chose a white design).
  • Colours print darker. Any designer knows the PAIN of trying to get your work to print how it looks on screen. These cases do turn out darker than I'd like, which has limited my designs hugely. But this is no issue with black and white cases, which is why I've brought out a lot recently!
For two years these cases have been my best selling product, thousands of happy, returning customers can't be wrong! I just think my new alternative could make them a LOT happier...

Premium Wrap Around

  • These cases have a smooth, glossy finish just like the ones you'd find on the highstreet!
  • Case edges slightly rise over the screen of the case.
  • As hard cases, they offer more protection.
  • Colours print much brighter. This will open up SO many new possibilities for designs *squeal*. Previous case designs will also look much better, for example the "hidden gems" pastel colours will pop wonderfully. This means some designs will not be available in slimline, such as the Cocktails one, because the colours just DON'T look right dulled.
  • (A pro for me) I will finally be able to send phone case samples to potential promoters for review, because I'm so confident in the quality.

(The colour difference is really hard to demonstrate with the camera I used, as it tries to contrast colours so much! The slimline version looks a lot better here than IRL, so you'll have to trust my opinion. Also the Premium case on the right doesn't look as sharp as it is IRL because of the focus on the left case.)

  • They cost more than the Slimline cases. When I first started Sighh, the cases I saw other artists providing were Premium Wrap Around for £22-£30. I knew, however, my target market would just not be willing to pay that much. I didn't believe my designs worthy, either (they weren't). I searched for MONTHS to find a supplier who could provide me with a way to affordably stock these without bulk ordering 100+ of each design, in each phone model... (Look how many designs I have. That would be impossible.). So, I settled with the Slimline which are really good cases, just not what I've always wanted. So after two years of asking (nagging), this same supplier has managed to get the equipment necessary to produce the Premium cases for an affordable price, and I couldn't be more happy.
  • Pro within the con: These are only £4 more expensive than my current style. That's not even a McDonalds chicken legend meal, which would only last seconds!
  • Limited phone type availability. Currently these cases are only made for iPhones (4/4S, 5/5S, 5C, 6, 6 PLUS) and Samsung galaxies (S3, S3 MINI, S4, S4 MINI, S5, S6, S6 EDGE).
  • Tough to remove (they're territorial) but that comes with all hard cases.

So which would you prefer? Do you like your Sighh cases the way they are and feel no need to upgrade? Do you change your case regularly, so see no need to spend extra? Or do you prefer to invest in a case that'll last you as long as you want? Maybe you'll stick to Slimline for impulse buys and only opt for the Premium when you adore the design. Let me know!


Polly xo


Sunday, 21 June 2015

The Best Roast Veg Ever

If you've watched my snapchat story at any point over the past two months, you may know this recipe off by heart (it's my favourite thing to eat right now... okay!). However, I've had lots of messages from people genuinely interested in the details, wanting to try it out themselves - plus some positive reviews from those who have - so I thought a proper post would be good for anyone curious.

It's essentially roasted vegetables and chorizo in a spicy tomato sauce. Nothing extravagant, but still very special. It's filling on its own so no need for pasta, rice, bread or any of your usual processed carbs. The batch I based this on took about 45 minutes and served 3 portions, but I regularly make it just for me by halving the amount of courgette, sweet potato and sauce. Keep reading for how to rustle up your own.

With meals that aren't an exact science I rarely use recipes, preferring to exercise my own judgement when it comes to amounts. With the ingredients themselves I usually just use up what's in the fridge, which is why I so often opt for this meal because as long as the main four ingredients (in bold) are there, it's gonna be good. What I love about this meal is that none of the components need to be prepared separately (except maybe the sweet potato if you prefer it very soft), you can just chop 'em up and shove 'em in the oven all at once!


1 large sweet potato OR half a squash
1 pepper
1 courgette 
1 medium/large onion
1 mushroom
A handful of tomatoes
A handful of spinach
1/2 a chorizo, if a similar size as above *obv not if you're a vegetarian
Lashings of olive oil
A pot of pasta sauce OR plain chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
5 or so olives (to taste) OR two+ heaped spoonfuls of olive & chilli tapenade
2 cloves of garlic (or to taste)
A pinch of pepper
A hefty amount of paprika. I used smoked. Everything is better smoked. Except ur lungs.
A pinch of basil
As much cheese as you feel you need in your life. I prefer mozzarella for this dish.

Extra vegetables I'd also recommend: peas, carrots, aubergine, squash... any vegetable that can be baked. Literally.


Pre-heat your oven to 160 degrees celsius. (It's just what I usually have it on, I guess every oven cooks differently)

Chop all your vegetables into similar sized chunks, then pop in a non stick baking dish.

Cover with a good amount of olive oil and mix so the whole mixture is covered, then add your pepper, basil and paprika. Mix again, distributing the seasoning evenly.

Pop in the oven for 20-30 minutes.

After 20 minutes take it out to give a little stir, redistribute the juices then put back in if the sweet potato/courgettes feel too hard.

Now you can prepare your sauce. Don't worry about leaving your veggies out, it shouldn't take long and they're going back in the oven to heat up again anyway.

Put your chopped olives and crushed garlic into a small bowl and mix with half a pot of pasta sauce. Pour the sauce onto the vegetables, careful that there isn't too much. You don't want the vegetables to be swimming in sauce, it's more to mix in. Any left over sauce can be kept in the fridge for your next meal!

Layer with slices of mozzarella and pop in the oven for a further 3-5 minutes.

Serve up and ponder about how together your life is right now.

People always go on about not being able to cook, but honestly if you follow the steps and don't fall asleep on the sofa while your food is in the oven, you can't go wrong! So if you make this, do let me know! I want everyone to eat all the nice foods. Also do tell me whether you found this a good post, I'd love to do more recipes :)

Polly xo


Sunday, 14 June 2015

Four Inspiring Books for Designers

Books. You'd have thought during my gap year I'd have found time to open one before this month. Better late than never, I was in a very uninspired mood, searching the interwebs for hand lettering book reviews and three caught my eye. I've had the little black number on the end for maybe a year now, but hadn't had a good look at it until recently.

Today I'm going to discuss four books that I've been flicking through daily to get my creativity juices flowing (which is MUCH needed as I have a hell of a lot to design for the new school year!). Two teach you hand lettering, and the others are informative about keeping a good mindset and growing yourself as a designer.

"Work For Money, Design For Love" is possibly the best title there has ever been. I added this to my basket instantly, without fully knowing what it was about but suspecting it held the lessons I needed. And indeed it does. I'm on page 79 out of 264 and have already gained a great deal. The author is essentially teaching you how to be a freelance designer, as he is, but also discusses working with agencies. He starts by contacting Design graduates, asking what they wish was included in their course, then addresses them. On many topics he includes anecdotes of his own working life, or cases he's heard of. Already he's touched on issues I've experienced (namely, clients assuming you'll work for free). "I feel like certain clients abuse designers. There should be a class on how to deal with them".

Professionalism is something I need to work on, and I fully believe I'll come away from this book with a strong, healthy respect for myself as a designer. This is a well rounded education, and I could not recommend it more to anyone wanting to pursue a career in design.

Now, I'm sure a lot of you creative folk would also groan at the idea of looking at a wordy page. School is out, text books have been flung into the bin with no regret. When going through manuals, I follow the diagrams. When in the Design section of the library I wearily put down the picture-less books, no matter how valuable the contents might be. Unless it's fiction, I just can't concentrate on pages of text. HOWEVER. David Airey, author of the book above, must have considered our short attention spans as each topic is short, to the point and easy on the eye, cohesive with the style of the front cover (of course). Headings are bold, followed by no more than one page of text. This also makes it a lovely read to have in your bag, as you can get through a chapter while waiting in the queue for your morning coffee.

Steal Like an Artist is also very well laid out. Its headings and illustrations are all done in what looks like a marker pen, as if you're attending a talk by a motivational practitioner who's scribbling on a whiteboard (in my head, anyway). And no wonder this is marked a "New York Times best seller", it's simply brilliant. Packed with truths nobody wants to talk about, or confess, this book is sure to enlighten you. I love the no pissing around view that everything we create is a culmination of ideas we've stolen. Being "inspired" is a very sugar coated phrase. Once you've accepted this, your mindset opens up! Steal what you love, then put them all together to create something new, something of your own. It's also packed with helpful advice on how to boost your creativity, so overall a very inspiring book!

"Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But, since no one was listening, everything must be said again" -Andre Gide
"What is originality? Undetected plagiarism" -William Ralph Inge
"Emulation is when imagination goes one step further, breaking through into your own thing"

Unlike most design books I own, Creative Lettering & Beyond is clearly aimed at amateurs (that's to say, people who are interested in lettering as a hobby, and didn't study it at school), with easy to follow step-by-steps and relatable projects to try out. "With the lettering projects in this book - and helpful artist talks throughout - you'll soon be on your way to developing and mastering your own unique style of lettering". Touching on the very basics of digitalising your work, I've already learned useful methods I didn't know! (as you may have seen me demonstrate on snapchat "pollyvdsz"). Split into four sections (Modern Calligraphy, Illustrated lettering, Chalk Lettering and Lettering Crafts), this book is sure to get you trying something different. It even has pages after most sections to practice in, but I prefer using a sketch book (one page is NOT adequate to try out a new technique). Tips include how to manoeuvre an ink pen, letter spacing, font pairing and how to lay out a typography piece!

Modern Calligraphy is a gorgeous book, perfect for someone who wants to get into the elegant art of calligraphy that is so popular on the likes of Pinterest and Instagram. The wedding invite and decorative print inspiration will have you making your own work in no time. Packed with useful techniques, including: watercolour, coffee painting, gold trimming, sticker making... and so much more. I positively squealed at the pages and pages showing variations of how each letter of the alphabet (upper and lower case) can be formed. Usually modern calligraphy instructions only show you one way, which may not be appropriate for your project! I like to integrate a bit of dainty and loopy, or brush painted calligraphy into most of my hand lettering pieces, but often it's the part that takes the longest to sketch out. So, I'm very happy to now be able to flick through this book until I find a style I can emulate.

So there you have it! I do hope lots of you invest in these books, I know they've helped me tremendously over the past few weeks. The peaceful relaxation that comes with reading, plus some motivational words, or a particularly interesting technique of drawing the letter "L", is the push needed to get you over that creative block.

Polly xo

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