What’s in your closet: Marie Kondo made me do it!

Uncategorised, wardrobe

Blog 27, what’s in your closet, 30 day blog challenge.

I have two, I have a traditional oak wardrobe that we bought with the house and a rail in my room that I abuse with far too many clothes.

Kon Marie

Last year I Marie Kondo my wardrobe. I read her book and couldn’t wait to get back home so I could start sorting through everything. I got my bin liners and charity bags ready for a good old sort through.

I dragged everything down stairs and began sorting through. I found it fairly easy except when it came to gym clothes and work clothes.

Paint stained clothes

I teach kids art which means my work wardrobe gets flicked with acrylic paint and my shirts get stained with ink. So even though I love some of my work clothes they don’t necessarily spark joy.

Reading further I understood that if it’s practical and used I am allowed to keep them.

I donated sentimental stuff, expensive cashmere jumpers that were far too small for me, chucked silk Jigsaw shirts that had holes in them. I also boxed a few items of beautiful clothes that I will never wear but my niece may like them when she is older.

We have a large wardrobe in our bedroom that even when it is empty is far to heavy for me to move. Trust me I tried. They don’t make wardrobes like they used too! Gav Has most of his clothes and suits in there.

We have two draws under the bed, one for sports, snow boarding and gym gear and the other is for holiday items such as swimsuits and coverups etc.

We still have too many clothes and Gav is a bigger hoarder than I am!

I won’t be showing you my actual wardrobe that will be in another blog but you get the gist.

I love print and pattern all year round! Tomorrow I am having a bit of a clear out.

This blog has inspired me to sort it again. Put away some winter pieces and arrange it a wee bit better.

Regrets, I’ve had a few

Advice, Uncategorised

Day 25, biggest regret, 30 day blog challenge

In saying that I regret the small things is true but honestly I can’t regret that much because it lead me here.

To this place.

Here

I made mistakes, I jumped into love, I jumped into moving to a place I had no idea about. Then I got my heart broken.

And I moved back to London with a single small suitcase and started my life here. In London surrounded by friends and family. And now my family has grown, through my sister in law and my new in-laws.

So my silly mistakes lead me here

I am so proud of what I have achieved. I have a home, a house. Bricks and mortar that has my name on the mortgage. Renting in London is hard.

I have two gorgeous fur babies ( still hoping Manhattan comes back) so we are a pretty perfect little family. We have our ups and downs but we work. We love each other.

These silly mistakes and little regrets will never make me actually regret where I am.

And who I am.

I wish I hadn’t put up with a bully at work for so long. I regret not leaving my retail job sooner but again would I be here? Would I be doing a job I love if it wasn’t for those mistakes and regrets.

behaviour

I do regret my unkind words, my thoughtlessness that hurt people.

If I have ever been rude or unkind to you and it still hurts it because I didn’t know the power behind mind own words.

I am sorry.

It’s only as we age that we understand how hurtful we can be.

I don’t want to be hurtful so that definitely is a regret.

My favourite movie,

Advice, Uncategorised

Day 19, favourite movie, 30 day blog challenge!

There is a few

Calamity Jane, is probably my absolute favourite!

Princess Bride is a close second!

I love watching films! There is something very satisfying about being transported into a different time and place! I love transformation films.

When Calamity Jane gets a makeover as well as her cabin to the sound of ” a women’s touch” I love it. Even the feminist in me doesn’t care so much about the meaning of the song but Calamity Jane was the ultimate feminist not that this is what this film was about.

I live a makeover in a film.

If you asked me if I liked musicals I would say no, not really my cup of tea, but I do love them.

  • Calamity Jane
  • Moulin Rouge
  • Guys and dolls
  • Funny face
  • Fiddler on the roof
  • Hello Dolly
  • Half a sixpence
  • My fair lady

I loved them when I was younger, I guess it’s just the next step in Disney movies!

I loved Calamity so much because she was fiesty and a story teller. She was happy being lonely with her crush on Lieutenant Dan. And then she makes a mistake which turns into a friendship and the man who loves her finally steps forward and tell her he loves her.

He always did.

I am a big romantic.

I love love

I think it is completely precious and rare. So when you find it you need to either be good to it or let it go.

Movies about love are always just the beginning never the end. The beginning is the magical bit. The rest is the work and making it work part. Which has it magical moments thrown in.

I am lucky. All my closest friends have really amazing partners who I like, love and respect. We are a lucky group!

I even though I really love love and romance I do think it’s a private thing. Grand gestures mean nothing to me.

Nothing

Grand gestures are all show and no work. They are a bandaid on an amputation. If you need to do a grand gesture then there is a massive fault in your relationship.

Sorry

This was supposed to be about my favourite film and it turned into a rant about love!

My favourite dishes

food, Uncategorised

Day 11, 10 favourite dishes, 30 day blog challenge

I am only allowed 10 so this may be tricky. I love lots of food my food is going to be super country specific rather than food specific.

This is a hard one because food is maybe my favourite thing… yes I think it is. I love textures and flavour and feel like a meal can transport you some where!

  • creole dinner
  • French Food
  • Turkish
  • Vietnamese
  • Buffalo Orange Chicken wings
  • Rare steak and chips
  • Japanese
  • Mexican
  • Phillipino Food
  • Spanish
  • Gin

I do love to cook. I like to think I can try my hand at anything.

Both my parents are great cooks. I used to sit and watch them cook. They both cooked from scratch and I picked it all up. My mum was a good baker and made us healthy hearty British meals. I learned a lot from her.

Creole food

My dad cooked meals from home, fried fish, salt fish , rice lentils and chicken soup. My dad loved everything about British food . Roast dinners, stews and good food.

Friday night dinners were the best. He cooked fried parrot fish with a gorgeous tomato sauce. His chicken or octopus curry with potatoes is the best thing in the world! His lentil soup is beyond gorgeous especially when he puts chorizo in it! The fourth part of the dinner I a cucumber salad. Simple and delicious!

French Food

Oh lala. Tartiflette, Crab mimosas, tomto salads, Rare beef, octopus salad. The french can cook and to top it off they know how to add a gorgeous glass of red wine to help it all go down.

Mum mum has been living I france for over 14 years now and has picked up a few recipes. Her baking and traditional British food is yummy. But France has such good local produce that makes even a salad ( you don’t make friend a with salad) taste yummy.

Steak and chips in France is maybe the best in the world…. with Hawksmoor also do an amazing steak.

Turkish food

Ummm Turkish breads, onion salads, hummus oh yes. Then there is marinated meats!

Turkish food is completely associated with kebabs, and traditionally are beyond yummy. But there is so much more to Turkish cuisine than just meet and bread. I love it all, seafood, gozleme and pide. I love it all.

Vietnamese

When I lived in Australia I didn’t have the greatest experience but the food, jeez the food. I used to go to a Vietnamese restaurant and had roast quails with sour sauce. I loved this starter so much that when ever I went to this restaurant I would order it as a starter and a main.

This opened my eyes to Vietnamese food which on the whole I feel like there is a freshness and pure deliciousness that I have never tasted before.

Orange buffalo

They deserve there own section. Me and Gav live chicken wings. My dad does great ones and has always loved them too. We were excited to introduce him and his partner to these tasty wings that have won awards in the states.

I do dream of going to Texas and going to the chicken wing festivals they have there. Last year London hosted one too and it was brilliant. It was a hot dry day and we had so much beer and chicken wings it was wonderful.

Hopefully we will be free for it this year.

Japanese

Part of the reason I want to Honeymoon in Japan is the food. Sushi, ramen, the lists goes on. Again there is a cleanness to Japanese food that I love. I could eat sushi every day.

I have a list of places I want to eat in Japan but if you have any recommendations I would love to here. My friends Sam and Jon just went to Japan so they have a few recommendations that I can’t wait to try!

Mexican

Oh boy! I told you love food, meat cheese and bread are you sensing a theme. Pulse Mexican food is all about fresh tomatoes, onions and guacamole.

My friend is Mexican and cooks food that I have never had in a Mexican restaurant. I can’t tell you what a good cook she is! Beyond tasty and again freshness.

Filipino food

This is a new one for me. We had it recently and I can’t stop dreaming about their noodle salad.

Stuff of foody dreams. This is all down to one restaurant food vendor BBQ Dreams. Amazing dishes like I have never tasted. Crispy cauliflower and marinated hearts. All perfectly yummy.

Spanish, German and the rest of the world.

Are you sensing a theme? I just love food all of it. British everything, German sausages and pickled cabbage. Tapas and Rioja… seriously.

I have had pulled pork encased in a mash potato pig and traditional borscht soup in Russia. BBQ lobster on the beach in Seychelles, peroge next to nuns and priests in Krakow, chips in Belgium ( truly are the best in the world) neaps and tatties in Scotland. And roast dinners in my homes.

Food need to come from the heart. So I don’t really have a favourite dish. I love the all.

That and gin, is gin a food? It should be.

First time boarder: lessons learnt safety gear and what to take!

Uncategorised

I remember my first lessons on the mountain. I remember the bruises and aches as I crawled into bed that first night. How tricky it was to sleep and how uncomfortable I felt.

I thought that if anyone was going snowboarding for the first time they may want to have a list of items that will get them through their first snowboarding holiday this may be a list you haven’t thought about. Somethings you don’t need but some are essential.

This is just for beginners but let me know if I have forgotten anything!

Safety first

  • helmet
  • Goggles
  • Knee pads
  • Wrist armour
  • Back armour
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip care
  • Water
  • Boarding socks

Helmet

You can hire these so there is absolutely no excuse. I am saying it

“Only fools learn to snowboard without a helmet”

All it takes is a tap to the head to knock you out or worse. I will never forget the time I had to go straight down this long slope so I didn’t have to walk it. I was flying on this flat I was so excited. Then my board clipped and edge and I fell badly smacking my head.

There is video footage to prove it.

Gav heard the crack from where he was and was worried. My helmet saved my life that day.

Just because you see experienced boarders without helmets doesn’t mean you should follow suit.

Goggles

This is an absolute necessary. You have no idea how bright it can be up there and no sunglasses do not cut it. If you fall and you will goggles stay attached to your face sunglasses don’t and worse the arm of your glasses can poke you in the eye!

Snow blindness is a real thing and it’s all about the sun reflecting in the perfect white snow! You burn your corneas and have conjunctivitis like results.

Buy goggles. For the same price as a few beers you can protect your eyes.

Knee pads

Not essential but if you want to avoid bruised knees they I would suggest you buy them!

On my secondary of boarding we had to use a drag lifts. Ski resorts are bolt for skiers not boarders.

Drag lifts suck.

I was thrown down the bottom of the slope multiple times my knees were so sore. When I went down the mountain to eat lunch I skied Gav to check my knees and they were sore. He peeled back my leggings to discover blackened purple bleeding knees. We went straight out and bought some pads.

You spend a lot of time on your knees so even a cheap pair of knee pads is going to save you some bruising.

Hopefully you won’t need an ambulance with your name on it!

Wrist armour

The most common injury in snowboarding is a wrist fracture or break.

Sadly I know

Gav always made me wear wrist armour except one day I forgot to put it on. Slipped on a flat and broke my wrist.

After the cast came off I had to sleep with a wrist armour support for three weeks. Now my gloves have inbuilt wrist armour in them so I never forget to go out without them.

Wear wrist armour.

Back armour

After all my breaks and injuries I invested in back armour. I haven’t ever really hurt my back that often but still it’s a great piece of protection to invest in. This is definitely not an essential but it is important.

Bum armour

I sound like a night. The main things you rely on when you fall are your wrists to break your fall. Your knees if you fall forward and you bum if you fall back. Again this is not essential but if you want to feel super safe then treat yourself to some bum armour.

Sunscreen

Like goggles, you need to protect yourself from harmful UV rays. Yes I have had sunburn on the mountain and it’s not like sunburn at a lower altitude. This shit goes deep in your skin and takes longer to heal. So wear a high factor even if it’s overcast.

Sunscreen is cheap there are no excuses.

Lipcare and water

Only parts of your face will be exposed to the elements and you need to look after them. Ideally buy a lip balm that also have a uv factor in it.

You will need it or end up with dry cracked lips.

Keep a bottle of water on you. Snowboarding is an intensive workout especially if you are just starting out. You sweat a lot especially if it is really cold or really hot. Hydration is key do a good experience.

Socks

Are socks a safety item. Maybe not but your comfort is. Never think that two pairs of thin socks are as good as snowboarding socks. Just as your boots need to fit you properly if your socks are too thick or two thin you are going to have issues.

I mean toenails falling off issues!

So wear the right socks!

Round up

All your gear needs to fit you properly. Your comfort is key. Snowboarding gear in general is comfortable, warm and roomy. But it’s what’s underneath that matters.

Vanity on the mountain will get you hurt or killed.

So be smart, wear the right gear. I have picked most of mine up in TK Max for the fraction of the price. People sell there gear on eBay etc. I have only had to buy knee pads at the ski resort and a crappy pair of knee pads set me back £30. I could have got better ones at home and have since upgraded to my Dainese ones.

My point is being safe on the mountain is key to having an enjoyable time. It’s doesn’t have to cost a lot to be safe. Lessons are essential but most importantly if you are a beginner stick to the tracks!

They are there for a reason.

Keep your phone on you fully charged. As a beginner you should never board alone! Reception on the mountain in Europe is normally great! If you get into trouble you can call for help.

Snowboarding is fun, enjoy it!

Please let me know if I have missed anything off.

Wedding Catch Up

Uncategorised

It’s been a busy weeklife wise. So, todays blog will just be a quick catch up on what’s beenhappening with the wedding planning and other bits. We go on holiday for a weekto Bulgaria so if you follow me on Instagram you may get a little bored of thepictures.

Bits I have completed

  • Booked hair and makeup trial
  • Sourced napkins
  • Bought some wedding shoes
  • Bought my niece a flower girl dress
  • May have-found bridesmaids dress after all
  • Fix my pompom gloves
  • Snowboarding holiday

Invites haven’t been finished which is naughty as I wanted to post them out at the end of the month.I still may be able to but I need to pull my finger our and get on with it. I have some other paper crafting bits that at first, I thought I would cut it myself but being frugal doesn’t always mean DIY. Sometimes it is cheaper and looks better to outsource. I am looking at Printed.com to get me nice results but we will see.

Napkins

 The plan is that I dye my napkins by hand. I-am getting the Danette’s involved in this one and as I don’t have a real lawn, Iwill have to cover the whole thing in dust sheets so it doesn’t get dyed. Gavin will kill me. Charlotte went on the hunt for real linen napkins for me so wehave the wonderful task of dying 140 napkins So far she has sourced 85. I have already bought the dye this is going to look lovely on the tables.

 Yay, I am waiting for a warmer day we can do-this.

I did look at hiring linens but because I am cutting the table runners, I thought it made sense to make or dye the napkins to suit our theme. It also worked out that for me andmy friends spending an afternoon changing them far cheaper than hiring. They can-always be cleaned, bundled up and resold after. Plus we can keep a set forever.

I have ordered a lot more wedding bunting which my friend is picking up on her trip home which is great. My friends all over are sourcing some large vintage flags for me.

When everyone asked me-if I needed help. I wasn’t shy and asked people to get things for me.

Wedding shoes

I found some lovely green shoes that I like but they are a little plain. So Jess one of my Danettes is adding a bit of sparkle to my green shoes. She is a master at transforming shoes ( it is her job) but she also has a real love for it. I can’t wait to see the end result. It also means that I can take the pressure of myself to find the perfect Designer shoe. I am still looking but my back up pair are going tobe amazing.

Snow boarding holiday

We are off on holiday this month to the beautiful Bulgaria. I have never been but I am so excited to go. I always have a few jobs to do before. Like sewing up my Primark gloves that unravelled 30 seconds after I put them on.

You get what you pay for!

It took me less than 5 minutes to fix them and I love the colour!

So the rest of the week was all about packing washing and cleaning. I have made a master list and have enjoyed ticking it off. Yes my bullet journal will be coming with me because I need to make more lists!

To do this month

  • Send invites to printers
  • Book legal bit
  • Book lunch on legal bit
  • Order rest of table clothes
  • Get fit
  • Secure band
  • Enjoy my holiday

Time is running out next month it will just be 5 months till we are Husband and Wife and I can wait. Yes I typed that write I can wait. I need more time. he he. I cant wait to be his wife I just hope I can achieve everything. Sorry it was a little short but next Wednesday one is already much longer!

I hope you all have alovely week.

Carving out a little space for me: home organising renovation

Uncategorised

We creatives need space

Carving out a space that is all yours is so important. We are lucky our house has three bedrooms. Gav is a contractor so needs his office, he also paints Warhammer soldiers and plays a lot of computer games so his office is his world really.

He loves it.

I didn’t begrudge him because when I do my illustrations I normally just paint in the front room. Put this is getting too much. Marie kondo or just logical thinking means that this is wrong. Everything should be in it own place.

Everything should stay in its home.

So maybe its time for me to carve out a creative place for myself.

I had an idea to turn my spare bedroom into a creative place. I had a clear vision of shelves and my school desk as it has storage. We bought a grey sofa bed which is huge but suits the room.

When we first moved in I wanted to go crazy in the room. But when you have a space that is yours it hard to decide what you actually want. Gav gave me free reign so I went to the paint shop certain that I was going to paint the fire place a lovely lemon.

Yeah that didn’t happen.

Gav initially wanted this as his games room so we now have a large tv over the fire place. It may have to go but that is another conversation.

This fireplace is the absolute prettiest fireplace. We are lucky we have four original fire places in our home.

I have been having a bit of a clear out- plastic bin bags in toe. I started by removing all art materials from the bedroom. There is a lot. I have a drawer just for watercolour. I have papers stashed all over the house and pens and pencils everywhere. But can we ever find a pen.

Nope.

Adios mess

Because I am so dysfunctional, I love to organise but no system is ever right mainly because I don’t follow through with it. And it is all about the follow through and maintaining rather than the first burst of effort.

So I have been through. Art books are banished from the bedroom, when I am done all we will have will be clothes and bedding. And a few bedside books. Everything else needs to adios back to its rightful place.

Organising and routines

We all have our routines. What we like to do in the morning.

Me I am a shower, skincare, dress, walk the dog, out the door type of person. Rather than a leisurely get up get ready (that’s what Sundays are for) I prefer to eat at work (my sometimes breakfast) because I am not hungry first thing.

Gav is the opposite. He loves to relax in the mornings.

So I need to organise top to bottom in my small but very full house. Also we are buying lots of bits for the wedding and rather than forget about them it will be best to store them in the attic till needed. I have a cute a5 clip board with whats up there on it!

I know I am the biggest looser.

A space that’s all mine

So having a space for myself is ideal.

When I painted the fireplace I realised that the walls were cream and above the picture rail was white. Grrr.

Gav thinks cream is fine. I find it too fussy so I painted the wall by the window white. It’s a fairly dark room and need more light!

I bought my shelves from Funky Chunky Furniture, they are great and send you samples so you can match the wood. They are floating shelves so no brackets. If you have a Victorian house you will know that sometimes the wall aren’t straight. So I chose a slightly smaller shelf so they really float.

My father in Law and brother in law ( to be) put them up for me. They are heavy and awkward but gorgeous now that they are up! I love them. They match the picture rail woodwork.

I wanted them high enough so I can put my items that inspire me as well as my brushes and non lightfast bits. Everything means something to me. I have a few wooden crates that I will put my art materials in them away for the light.

Plant babies

This is a dark room but it is also the warmest! So we need to be careful with the plants and paints.

I have three plants in here. A money plant that I have propagated ( this is my 3rd one from the same plant yay) a Venus flytrap that is on her last legs… I think she can live for a few more weeks so I thought a warmer room with more sunlight may chest her up!

I love my plants.

Then I have my cactus, I bought it I the next sale a year ago for 50p I bought 15 and 7 survived, this is 6/7 he is a very sturdy happy plant who has been in the dark a while and seems to like it in this shady corner. Gav bought me this science plant jar and 6/7 loves it! Perfect amount of draining for him too!

Results

So this is my space a place just for me. Frank and Manhattan with occasionally join me in this room but it is make just for me. I need to paint the rest of the walls and get some more storage for my art materials so this place works for me.

Everything I love deserves it’s own home. I am so glad I started this project I just need to buy a new chair and start using it.

It is so therapeutic to clean and organise and be slightly less dysfunctional!

I hope you enjoyed. Here is the room before we owned the house!

Thank you for reading.