Sunday 16 August 2015

Vegan Birthday BBQ on the beach

Last weekend we visited my family in the Gower in South Wales.  We had some beautiful weather for my sisters birthday on the beach.  She is vegan too so the BBQ was 100% vegan and delicious.  

I am lucky enough to have two sisters, my other sister made this fab birthday bunting which was hung on some rocks. 

She's single folks!

Some blankets spread out by the rocks set out our little area.

Me with my other sister.

What's a summer BBQ without Pimms?

Linda Mccartney Sausages, and burgers (made by mashing up some LM sausages with some chilli and other seasonings and re-forming them into burgers) and some veggie kebabs which are transformed on a BBQ with a lovely chargrilled flavour. 

We also cooked some sweetcorn over the coals, still in it's husk. Delicious. 

My sister also made some moreish red cabbage relish,

Me and my lovely mum,

Ending a beautiful day on the gorgeous shoes of Rhossili Beach. 

Wednesday 5 August 2015

New items in the shop

As promised I am adding new items to my shop every day, going to try to stick to my word and continue adding items over the next few days.

I have added to the bunting in the collection with both more cotton bunting and some vintage paper bunting too.  I will be continuing to add bunting as the weeks pass, I have some gorgeous new fabrics and I am even planning a few festive strings of bunting ready for Christmas.

Aaaand, I am really excited to be bringing back some vintage ceramics.  Again I have more to add over the next days/weeks.  I love these so much, can't wait to share them with you.

Here are some peeks at my new items:

Tuesday 4 August 2015

Book Review - The Life Changing Magic of Tidying up by Marie Kondo

Both my husband and I are messy people. There I said it.

I used to think it was mostly him, he would think it was mostly me, I would blame it on genetics, or being too busy or having a small house, but there was really no getting away from the fact that we are messy and and things were not getting any better.

Then I came across this book through one of the blogs I follow and it really is life changing.  I have not completed the whole process yet, but we are getting there.  One really important message I got from the book was that if you are a messy person it's not your fault, you aren't lazy, you aren't missing the gene for being tidy, in actual fact you just never learnt how to be tidy.

After reading this it seemed obvious.  My mum won't be offended when I say I grew up in a messy house (though the insides of her cupboards were always immaculate!). Through no fault of my own and no intention of my parents I failed to acquire those skills necessary for keeping my house in the style that I so envy in our friends.

So when I came across a book that not only claimed to be able to teach me how to be tidy, but to be tidy for the rest of my life, I thought I must be onto a winner.

The basic principle in the book is to go through all your things, hold each one in your hand and ask yourself if it sparks joy.  If it does you keep it and if it doesn't you get rid of it thanking if and wishing it well.

Marie Kondo gives you an order in which to go through your things, clothes, books, paper work, miscellaneous items and sentimental items.

I have been through the first three categories, but stuck on the third because it is so vast.  I keep re-addressing the first three categories and getting rid of more things that I felt I needed to keep the first time round.

So far it's been a great experience, I have got rid of almost all my paperwork, including all my notes from my degree and teacher training, I don't know why I thought it would be a good idea to keep them! I also got rid of all my old bank statements and pay slips (keeping anything essential).  I got rid of about two thirds of my clothes so now nearly everything I own is in my wardrobe and three draws, there is one box in the loft with maternity clothes and that is it.  Books was harder but when I stuck to thinking about if it brought joy or not, that made it a lot easier.

I now need to look at DVDs, CDs, craft materials, art materials and toys (eugh), and I will be well on the way to having the house I dream of (in terms of what is achievable in this house)

Here is a before and after of my undies drawer:

Marie Kondo also gives instructions for how to fold your clothes.  At first I thought it was such a waste of time folding all my pants and socks, but now I love it.  Sometimes if I am having a really stressful, chaotic, messy day I'll go up to my bedroom and just take a quick look in my drawers and it just calms me down and gives me a tiny sense of control in the chaos. So I am really glad I do carefully fold all my pants and socks, not just for this reason, but also because it just makes it so much easier to find what I need, I have certainly saved time in looking for things that I may have wasted in folding. 

This is the boy's shelves.  I have done Boris' shelf and in this photo Biscuit's shelf hasn't been done yet.  What I have been doing here is stacking the clothes horizontally instead of vertically as it was before. Storing the clothes this way means we use the clothes we like rather than the ones at the top of the pile. 

Hopefully soon I will have more before and after photos for you, my main challenge is in actually finding the time to get stuck in. Marie Kondo says that once you have compled this process you will never need to tidy again, but I do see myself continually going though things and keeping areas up-to-date, especially as we so frequently have more stuff brought into the house, I have to make culls of the old stuff.   

Sunday 2 August 2015

Home pre-school - Foot prints in the sand painting

Our theme for the summer is The Seaside, we have had some lovely sunny days this year so I decided it would be fun to do some outdoors painting.  In my mind I was thinking about footprints in the sand and making a way of capturing the footprints that are so fleeting on the beach. 

I got a couple of baking trays and poured some different colours of poster paint into them.  My boys stood in the paint (with help - it was slippy) the walked and ran along the paper, creating a crazy mess of painty footprints.

The paper was some packing paper than came with an Amazon order. 

Gotta love those little feet. 

And those even littler ones. 

It was a fun, quick activity, I have stuck the strip of paper up the stairs in our house and when we change theme I will probably cut a few bits out to keep.

Saturday 1 August 2015

The Grand Re-opening!

Today is the Grand Re-opening of my Etsy shop!!

I have one beautiful item for sale - A string of union flag bunting, but I will be adding new items to my shop daily so keep your eyes peeled and check back soon to see what I will be adding.

I first opened my shop way back in March 2010 selling a variety of handmade items and vintage ornaments.
I have a large collection of vintage music sheet, maps, books and comics so started making items out of this including bunting, confetti, badges and garlands,

I also got into selling really cute vintage ceramic ornaments like these beauties:

As I developed my products I found that fabric bunting was also popular and I enjoyed making it so I have decided to continue selling the bunting and focusing on this for now (though I really hope to start including vintage ornaments in my collection again because they are so fun.)

So I really hope you will visit back soon to see my new products.
Stay tuned!