From doom and gloom to va va voom!

Hello my lovelies,

I have been a woman on a mission recently.  I have been watching loads of Youtube videos from some inspirational women who have been sharing their organizing and housekeeping tips and ideas. I’m totally hooked!

You see, for some reason if my home is messy and unorganized, I feel stressed.  And anxious.  And miserable.  And one thing I’ve learned in my life.  ‘Ain’t Mama happy, ain’t nobody happy!’  I’ve been feeling completely anxious in my home for years but haven’t known how to get my home in shape.  Not only that, I have been so trapped in my own anxiety and misery that I haven’t been able to do something more permanent about the clutter and craziness.   Of course, I’d open a wardrobe, see it in a mess, tidy it and next week it would be back to being a mess. I couldn’t understand why.  The answer, is mostly because

a) you can’t clean/tidy clutter

b) you gotta have a long lasting solution – not just refolding everything in the same way and hope that it will stay like that when it’s never stayed tidy before

So, watching these Youtube videos has been really motivating for me and is really helping me to see how I can improve the organization of my home. Not only so that I can keep it more tidy, but also so that it becomes easier for my husband and daughter to keep things tidy.  Another thing I am finding so refreshing and amazing is that I can now open a cupboard and lay  my hands on exactly what I need withing 30 seconds.  Life changing!  I’ll be sharing some of these organization pictures with you over the next few weeks but today I wanted to show you how we transformed a ghastly corner in our living room.

Our living room, dining ro om and kitchen are open plan. It’s basically a big L shape and up until a few weeks ago, we shared this space with my dirty little secret.  By this I mean, the Bookshelf of Doom and Gloom.

It was just horrible.  So bad in fact, that I would chuck an old duvet cover over it just to hide the contents. I’m going to show you a picture, so you may want to sit down.

Are you ready?

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It was just plain nasty!  It was like a clutter magnet and sucked every bit of nasty clutter straight into it like a black hole. Something had to be done.  The problem was that in order to clear out this bookshelf, I needed to re-organize my kitchen cupboards and get rid of some stuff to make space for the things in the Bookshelf of Doom and Gloom that we actually used.

So one morning, after a good bolstering of Youtube videos and motivation, I get down to work. We’d bought a Kallax unit from Ikea which one of my Youtube guru’s Clutterbug and I was determined to have it in my living room before the end of the day.

I’m not going to lie.  It took me the entire day!  And two trips to do the charity shop to donate items.  The ENTIRE day.  To sort my kitchen and set up this gorgeous unit. But it’s sooooooo much nicer and not only looks pretty but it’s so functional.

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Some of my glassware made it into the unit along with my Christmas planner – the striped file and my home control journal in the other folder along with a few recipe books we frequent.

The drawers contain all our hair supplies that we use every morning like hair brushes, ties, detangler and the hair dryer.  The second drawer keeps our stationery for homework.

The bottom drawer holds all our school homework aids, work books, dictionary/thesaurus etc. The bottom drawer on the right holds all my seasonally changed candle holders and other decorative knick knacks that I like to change around.

I am so happy with the way it came out!  Now when I see it, I feel almost zen like calm!  I go into the kitchen and can immediately find stuff.  It’s a homemade miracle!

Now you’ll have to excuse my kitchen cabinetry.  We are still renovating our house and the kitchen, while it has been rejigged using the existing cabinets, is still in need of a complete make over.  We’ve scrubbed the cupboards out but they’re still gross inside.

But look!

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When I open the plastic cupboard door everything doesn’t fall out on me!  It’s so liberating!  The blue plastic baskets were purchased years ago and were in the spare room holding crap we long since got rid of so they landed up in the plastic cupboard to corral everything. The plain white bin on the right was bought a few days ago at Poundland. I bought a whole stack and you will see how handy they are in later posts.

And I’ve just realised that I’ve stuck the labels for the blue baskets on the wrong baskets!  Nevermind!

This was our junk drawer. Excuse the crap picture.

IMG_3945You couldn’t close this drawer. It was shoved so full of rubbish. Now it has 4 little baskets – I got these in a set of 2 at Poundland – that hold our flashlights and lighters for the BBQ and my various candles.  The other little basket hold the electric toothbrush charger that we always charge on the kitchen counter for some reason.  We also keep batteries in another little basket (with zip lock bags to separate some rechargeable batteries that have been charged and some disposable batteries to be taken for recycling) and the last bin holds ties and pegs for open packages in the pantry.  It still looks messy but it’s organised mess and I can lay my hands on stuff in a second.

Can you hear the angels singing?

Now I could show you under the sink but it’s just more organizing really and nothing revolutionary.

But I wanted to show you this clever idea to help your kids feel more accomplished and give you a break.  My daughter is turning 7 this week and can quite easily make herself some squash or get herself a snack if she asks.  But she wasn’t able to do this because not only could she not reach the snacks/squash, she would have to  wade through the nightmare of a plastic cupboard to find her cups.  Well, no more!

She now has a little cupboard with her things in it.  She has her sports bottles and cups with the squash ready for her to use. And She has a basket of snacks that she can choose from if she asks.  She loves this idea and says she feels like a big girl.  Aw! Mommy heart melt moment!

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If you’re wondering where I found these fabulous labels that you can personalize, print off and laminate at home, check out Clutterbug’s website where she has them free to download.

Today I finished my Family Control Centre which looks fabulous!  I’ll show you that next time.

For now, just know that organizing like this takes time but it’s so rewarding when you feel less stressed.

Bright blessings,

Mrs R

x

Halloween Mantle

Hello my lovelies,

It’s the first day of halloween half term and DD was up at 5 this morning thanks to the clock change yesterday.  I am not amused.

I’ve been up since then baking, doing laundry, decorating, crafting and cleaning house. It’s only 11:30 and my bed is calling me.

But ANYWAY!  Enough complaining! lol

Here’s our 2014 Halloween Mantle.

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 I didn’t buy anything new for the mantle this year for Halloween except the pumpkins of course. Would have been gross to keep last years ones!

 I just love the teeny pumpkin lights threaded through the leaf garland.  Everything on the mantle except the owl is light up so it’s gonna look great at night.

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The autumn basket of conkers, cones and produce with ghosts was DD’s idea. She thought they looked cute poking up through the cones.

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My little witch just had to come out and play this year again.

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As you can tell we haven’t yet carved our pumpkins.  I didn’t want them to get all gross before Halloween and I’m sure DA (AKA Dumb ass the cat – really called George) would have been trying to eat the pumpkin inside anyway.

 And when it’s lit up it’s just gorgeous!

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DD and I also frosted some glass jars for winter decorations and made some decoupage modge podged hallloween jars for our entrance hall. I’ll be sure to post a picture in a few days.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s banana loaf recipe. It’s incredibly moist and gloriously tasty.

Bright blessings,

Mama R

x

Autumn Mantel

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Autumn is my absolute favourite season.  The smells, the colours in the countryside and the lovely warming casseroles just make me happy deep down in my soul.  Somehow, when I’m all wrapped up in my fluffy pyjamas, having eaten a warming casserole or baked pudding, all is right with the world.

I had no definitive plans for this Autumn mantle, things just sort of fell together. I collected the conkers and leaves with DD on the walk home from school and a friend brought me the pomegranates which were on clearance at the supermarket.  The orange slices are the ones we dried earlier in the year. Somehow, as I started layering everything fell into place.

I was a little worried that as the leaves dried out some of their juice may leach out onto the stone so I lined the top of the mantle with some hessian leftover from a previous Christmas craft. Then I started placing everything on.

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My favourite part of the mantle decor is the  old coffee jars filled with conkers and an orange slice. I used my glue gun and some bits of lace and ribbon with these star embellishments to decorate them.  I’m pleased with how they turned out.

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Autumn is my absolute favourite season.  The smells, the colours in the countryside and the lovely warming casseroles just make me happy deep down in my soul.  Somehow, when I’m all wrapped up in my fluffy pyjamas, having eaten a warming casserole or baked pudding, all is right with the world.

I had no definitive plans for this Autumn mantle, things just sort of fell together. I collected the conkers and leaves with DD on the walk home from school and a friend brought me the pomegranates which were on clearance at the supermarket.  The orange slices are the ones we dried earlier in the year. Somehow, as I started layering everything fell into place.

I was a little worried that as the leaves dried out some of their juice may leach out onto the stone so I lined the top of the mantle with some hessian leftover from a previous Christmas craft. Then I started placing everything on.

My favourite part of the mantle decor is the  old coffee jars filled with conkers and an orange slice. I used my glue gun and some bits of lace and ribbon with these star embellishments to decorate them.  I’m pleased with how they turned out.

Tonight, as the night has drawn in, I’ve lit the candles and it feels so cozy in here, I just wanna curl up on the sofa with a couple of episides of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries to keep me company.  Or I might do some googling for some ideas for a fall wreath for my front door.

Do you decorate for Autumn?

Bright blessings,

Mama R

x


DD’s bedroom make over

Hi everyone,

I thought I’d share my Make do & Mend toddler’s bedroom. I’ve tried as much as possible to use materials I already had to create this room but some items were thrifted from a charity shop or car boot. In fact, quite a few items were bought at a car boot sale for nearly nothing.

 My little girl (DD) is now 2 years old and her bedroom was still a nursery.  Pretty but impractical for an exploring mind.  I wanted a bedroom for her that was educational and colourful.  DD loves colours and animals too.  While the colours are unisex and sometimes boyish, I have tried to keep the room feminine too. So here it is.  I’ve still got to do some art for her bedroom walls but I think the room is looking really good.

 Alphabet bunting made from fabric that was used for the Yellow Brick Road at her birthday party (pictures to follow); red fabric from my stash and polka dot fabric bought for half price on ebay for £2 per metre.

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Alphabet letters were embroidered onto the bunting using blue wool leftover from the blanket DD’s Nana crochet for her. The numbers toy hamper was bought as a set of 2 for £1 for both at a car boot sale.  This wall still has a lot of decorating to go as it is looking a bit bare.  I’m not really sure what it will be decorated with at the moment but I think it will have something to do with the 3 square blank canvases I bought at Poundland. Behind the cot you can see the adjustable toddler bed that was left behind by the previous tenants.  DD will ultimately migrate to this bed where she will use the large duvet I made for her using fabric that was thrifted from a charity shop for £3.50

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Crochet blanket that Nana made for her and the other toy hamper which will be used as a laundry basket.

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Instead of buying a toddler duvet cover I made a duvet cover for DD’s existing cot quilt that I made for her when I was pregnant.  The fabric was found at a charity shop for £3.  The yellow fabric was part of the fabric used for the yellow brick road from her birthday party (pictures to follow) and some red fabric from my stash.  The Zebra print was purchased from a local habedashery shop.  It makes up part of the pillowcase and the back of the duvet cover.  I think it’s the only thing I paid full price for at £3.50 per metre.  The blue sheet was re-purposed from a double bed fitted sheet and made to fit a single bed.

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I’m really proud of this cushion cover.  I used some leftover fabric from the duvet cover to make it using an envelope cushion cover pattern.  The wired ribbon for the flower was from ribbon that DD’s Aunty Nic used to wrap her birthday present.  I like the way it’s been repurposed and is still special.

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This is the first lampshade I’ve ever covered.  The blue and red spotted fabric is a scrap from the Cath Kidston fabric I got at Ikea. The red and white spotted fabric is from my scrap pile.  The bobbles are from my ribbon stash.

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The curtains shown here were part of a cream curtain set that weren’t wide enough for this length of window.  I added the yellow pieces from the Yellow brick road fabric and used fabric scraps for the top ties. Scraps of leftover zebra print are used for the edges and bunting tie backs. I love the fact that the tie backs have numbers embroidered onto them and buttons from my stash. The cubes on the wall were found at a car boot sale and were pink before I sprayed them red.  The Curious George monkey was a birthday gift from Lass called Kass and the owl was made by me as a plushie when she was younger.  The little bunny is called Mr Flopsy and was the first present we ever received when we were pregnant.

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And last but not least the uplighter.  This was originally a plain white uplighter that I covered with the yellow fabric and hot glued the trim onto it. DD loves telling me that it’s a ‘Cewcuw’. I think she means circle. lol!

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I think it’s looking good so far. I’d love to hear your comments

Bright blessings

Mama R

x

Fabric haul, kitchen makeover and other news

It’s been difficult to post since Christmas.  My mother in law has been here and we’ve been out practically every day! My house literally looks like a tip and my laundry pile is so high I can’t see over it.  Sigh, I guess that’s what happens when you are out all day and not doing any housework!

I was SERIOUSLY spoiled this Christmas.  I don’t think I’ve ever been so spoiled actually!

My sweetie got me a Sony docking station for my iphone complete with DAB radio which if you’ve ever mucked about with a stupid aerial and still get a ‘snowy’ sound on your radio you’ll just love this!  You see hubby being a bit of a tech-geek has set up our tv to connect to a computer and an amp and a playstation.  Then you’ve got to change some or other setting, find the DVD section blah blah blah!  Basically, you need a degree in rocket science!   But now that I have my docking station on top of the fridge all I do is pop in my iphone and I can listen to whatever’s in my itunes.  Yippee!

DH managed to find the deal of all deals on the new Sony NEX 5n at a closing down sale at Best Buy… and he gave me his Sony NEX 5!!!
I haven’t the foggiest notion how all of the functions work but the Scene modes are really great and help you to take professional looking pictures with only the most basic of knowledge.  Alright by me!

DH was just the sweetest of sweeties and got me a Lush gift voucher as a surprise gift.  I was in there on boxing day and got some gorgeous products to pamper myself with.

The Hair Doctor is just amazing and is packed with Irish moss powder, extra virgin coconut oil, lanolin, almond oil, vegetable glycerine, soya lecithin and brewer’s yeast – all to condition, strengthen and mositurise the hair.  Then to improve the shine it contains red henna and rosemary. Fullers earth absorbs grease and gives a deep down clean to the scalp, and peppermint stimulates the blood flow. This hair treatment is just AWESOME!!!

Cosmetic Warrior facepack tightens the skin, fights spots and gives the skin back its natural balance.  And did I mention it leaves your skin feeling like silk afterwards?

I also got Ocean salt which is now my favourite face scrub and the tiny hands solid hand cream which is just luxurious and really cute in the shape of a hand.

And if that is not enough, my mother in law got me a lovely Cath Kidston purse!
And cash… quite a nice wad of cash… which I’ve already started spending on…

Fabric!

Yes I am very sad spending my Christmas lolly on fabric but Ikea does some really cute shabby chic fabric at brilliant prices and I really want to get sewing this year – especially to pretty up my kitchen.  Yes, that is a duvet cover above and yes I am going to use it for fabric.  Don’t you just love the fabric haul?

And now for the kitchen makeover.  I’ve decided that I’m sick and tired of living in this drab looking beige house and that I want to add a bit of my personality and bring the place to life. Generally, I’m going to make this house into a home. Starting with the kitchen. I’ve been searching online and here’s some of my inspiration.

I love the sort of kitschy Cath Kidston retro shabby chic look. It’s colourful, bright and cheerful.  Everything a kitchen should be.

While I am quite restricted with what I can do to my rental place I have had permission from my landlord to put up shelves which are sorely needed.  These are pretty.
With my new fabric haul I was thinking of doing a red, white and light blue kitchen in terms of soft furnishings and accessories.
I love the gingham bunting on these shelves although I’m not sure about some of the kitsch accessories!

I adore the red and white polka dot crockery!  I want it all.  Loving the shelves displaying the crockery so it’s part of the decor.

These pretty hooks with the shelf are so pretty and feminine.
With my lovely fabric I need to make all the soft accessories for the kitchen from aprons to peg bag, decorated tea towels, plastic bag holder, re-useable shopping bags, fabric hearts, pot holders, pot stands, table runner, table cloth and napkins too.  Oh and don’t forget the bunting… I might need to get a few fat quarters for some diversity.
And of course I need to make new curtains – the horrid roller blinds have got to be taken down!
These curtains are cute!
pretty accessories
Don’t you love the vintage blue bottles?
I’m thoroughly knackered since DD has a stomach bug and was up all night last night with a fever and vomiting everywhere.  I need to get into bed early so I can catch up on some sleep in case she needs me in the night again.

No rest for the wicked, eh?

Bright blessings,

Mama R

x