Organising our home

We live in a 1950’s semi which is solid, and roomy, and we love it. One of the draw-backs is that we have filled the rooms. This is not a problem unless we begin decorating or renovating, whereby all that ‘stuff’ has to be housed somewhere else.

We are undertaking a number of projects at home at the moment. We didn’t intend to have them all running concurrently….it just sort of rolled into a steady rumble of chaos! I have recently realised that my husband is a perfectionist. Whilst admirable, this does mean he is less apt than myself to expedite a project and run for the finish post. It has to be just so….

So…., we have a ‘project pending’ in the toilet. We got as far as installing a new bathroom but, since the toilet is in a separate room, it didn’t get the same treatment at the time. It became one of those unforseen BIG projects, since the plaster fell off when the toilet was installed. Cue major plastering job.

We have a project underway in the hall and stairs. Since the plaster came off with the old anaglypta wallpaper we have recently had the whole area re-plastered. We are now in the throes of stripping back the heavily glossed door frames in order to stain them, and then paint the walls. The carpet is ordered and waiting patiently in a local carpet shop….I am desperate for it to replace the naked wooden stairs. Hubby is sanding everything in sight and cooing over the silky finish. It’s an endearing sight, if wearing a little thin 😉

I have resigned myself instead to manage things which are the ‘little’ jobs that get overlooked. I came across this article on Buzz Feed, which gave me hope to tackle the ‘stuff’, whilst hubby coos over the woodwork! I particularly like the idea of switching your hangers to easily show up the clothes you don’t use!


wardrobe clear-out


I have also organised our ‘stuff’ into boxes, weeding out the items that are used less. I have set some aside and, if not used before the projects are completed, they will be heading off for eBay or our local charity shop. It’s amazing how many items we have accrued over the years and I know we are more frugal than many of our friends!

It just so happens that all of this disorganisation has arisen in the midst of the kids’ birthdays and some calendar events for my business! It looks like we will be busy for the next couple of months 😀




Free days out to National Trust properties – this weekend only!

National Trust

Take a look at The National Trust website for special news of limited FREE access to local treasure houses this weekend only!

From the 20th to 21st April 2013 you can visit a local National Trust property for free. Terms and conditions are listed on the site. There are a number of participating properties and most of these usually charge admission. Do check carefully though, as the first list is those properties NOT participating in the offer! With over 200 properties participating you are sure to find one of interest near to you.

We are looking forward to a family day out, picnic organised, and lots of fresh air! Let’s hope the sun keeps shining until then!

What IS on the High Street?

My obsession with all things stationery is becoming a bit of a legend and, some might say, making me appear dull….I can deal with it! This, however , is far from dull and would brighten up any day in the office – at home or work.


Fab hilighter pens from Not On The High Street

Fab hilighter pens from ‘Not On The High Street’


I love this, and I like to support smaller companies. ‘Not on the High Street’ helps the consumer to do that in some respects, but we don’t always know where our purchases originate. Running my own business has made me more considerate about my buying habits. I have come across some lovely items whilst supporting local businesses and spending less of my cash in the large High Street stores. I think I still have a long way to go in my attempts to be a more savvy and ethical consumer.

I recently read about a family trying to support British business, and I was really impressed by their efforts. In their contribution to boost the economy and support British industry, The Bradshaws have pledged to buy only British products during 2013. You can see their progress, and trials, on their blog, A Truly British Family, well worth a read. The biggest surprise seems to have been that many items we take for granted are not actually British, but imported by British companies.

It also made me think of my ex-pat best friend, now residing in USA. She often makes pleas for Yorkshire tea bags, Walker’s crisps and Irn Bru, which just aren’t comparable or replaceable! Maybe when there is a plethora of choice for us every day we forget the home-grown items at our finger tips?

You can see a list of British suppliers on the blog, and you can happily add Phoenix Trading to that for your cards and stationery.

What’s your favourite British product or business?


Union Jack Heart from Phoenix Trading. Greeting cards made in the UK.

‘Union Jack Heart’ from Phoenix Trading. Greeting cards made in the UK.



Home Office essentials

Stationery essentials

It’s no secret that I LOVE stationery – I built a whole business around my love of it! Having stumbled upon this fab expanding file in Wilko, only £2.75, I am pleased to see that there is a regularly updated range of designs, starting from just 80p for document wallets. Ideal to brighten up any office space.

What’s your must-have office accessory?


Save the bees! Marie Claire, Neal’s Yard hand cream and flower seeds – freebies

'blossom and bees'

‘blossom and bees’

WAYS TO SAVE THE BEES! You may be aware that British bees are under attack and the population is dwindling – bad news for our agriculture.

This month Marie Claire magazine is giving away a free Neal’s Yard honey hand cream with the March edition, profits of which go to save the bees. You can request a free copy of Marie Claire by completing your details, following which a representative will ring you to confirm your request is genuine. They will offer you the chance to receive further promotional copies, but I declined and still received my free copy – complete with free hand cream!

To reorder the gorgeous hand cream you can visit my friend at Penelopes Organic Health and Beauty, who stocks Neal’s Yard Remedies in Tickhill.

Until 31st March 2013, you can also receive a free packet of seeds from The Soil Association to help make your garden more bee friendly.

Can’t bee bad! Please share so your friends can enjoy the free-bees too! 😉

Healthy Eating – freebie guide and ‘meal mixers’

Are you trying to be healthy and want some inspiration in the kitchen? You can receive a free healthy eating guide, with bonus vouchers and ‘meal mixers’ – spices and herbs, from Simply submit your details to receive your pack in the post!

Our current favourite is chilli and lime Quorn fillets, wrapped in a wholewheat tortilla with bags of salad. Add home made, par-boiled then oven baked chipped potatoes as a healthy extra!

What’s your favourite healthy meal to cook?


Shoes you missed whilst I was quiet….

Shoes you missed whilst I was quiet....

I popped into my fave local shoe boutique – Unshoesual, just to see what the new stock looked like, and came home with this pair of fabulous Irregular Choice heels 🙂 Posting this today has made me realise it’s been a good while since my last purchase…..

I’m sure Lara will have time for a cuppa tomorrow 😉


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