Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Home - decluttering and making our spaces work for us!

I'm easily stressed by the amount of clutter that seems to accumulate in our home! I have a good splurge then its like its all back again. Living with all boys I find it difficult to put too much of a feminine stamp on the rooms!
I woke up one morning and thought enough was enough, the boys are back at school, the husband works odd hours, I'm now working part time and also trying to run my own small business, things needed to change.
The best way I imagined was room by room, I made notes (I love lists!) about each room and what their primary function was and decided on a plan, one that I thought I could share as I go along
I started with some downstairs spaces, just totally gutting, deep cleaning and decluttering them
From the front porch, hall stairs and landing, living room and understairs cupboard I've managed to fill 3 bags full for donating

Our living room feels calmer and more cosy, our porch more welcoming, the stairs clear and the storage space actually useable
I still want to add some decorative accessories here and there and I'm always on the search for the perfect sideboard in the living room (one day I'll find it)

I'm all for simpler living, having a budget and I donate all of my decluttering to an amazing charity 'Emmaus'

Monday, 12 September 2016

Peanut & Oat Protein Bites

This recipe is a great little protein snack which I started to make for my husband when he started to lift weights as buying them in were just so expensive, due to an arm injury the weights have stopped for a while, so these did too, but they are a great snack so I've made a batch and popped them in the freezer

1 1/4 cup of plain flour
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cup oats

peanut butter
raspberry jam

Put flour, sugar & salt in a mixer, add butter, blend until it forms a dough 

Transfer to a bowl and knead in the oats 
Reserve 3/4 cup of the dough 
Press the rest of the dough into a square baking pan with the bottom and sides greased with butter
Spread a thin layer of the peanut butter on first , then the same again with the jam over the top 

Crumble the reserved dough over the top of the jam

Bake at 180c for 20 mins

Cool totally in the pan then cut into breakfast size bars and enjoy
Freeze in separate portions so they can be taken out of the freezer and popped in lunches as an energy treat in the middle of the day
With this batch I seemed to have some crumble left over, so I added a tablespoon of peanut butter and mixed it altogether, I made small dough balls and popped them on a greased baking sheet and baked with the tray
When they came out of the oven I topped them with a little choc shot to add a little sweetness
One fell in my mouth to taste (totally delicious) and the rest are individually frozen ready for lunch bags

Friday, 9 September 2016

Pinterest Loves - Autumn Home

With Autumn coming and it my favourite season of the year I've started thinking about home comforts and outdoor fun for this blustery time of the year

For me its seeing the tree lined streets of fallen leaves, building up a pile of dried up leaves and feeling them crunch under foot, eating home baked gingerbread men and drinking hot chocolate, wrapping up in my handmade crochet scarf, slouch beanie and mitts

I so need to try this infused autumn water - source
These will be on the autumn baking list - source
Must buy velvet! want to make a sweet display on the fireplace - source
These burlap pumpkins will be a great addition to the display too - source

I'm ready and eager for this warming but blustery season to arrive

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Vanilla Cupcakes

When children pop round you have to bake right!
There is nothing better than a sweetie topped vanilla cupcake to make the kiddies eyes widen

I of course followed my trusty Hummingbird Bakery recipe for the cake and frosting (my book is very used, dog eared and splattered with ingredients, so you can tell I love and use this book a lot)

I made two batches of frosting for a fun swirl of colour and added popcorn and mini jammies to decorate

They were much appreciated so smiles all round

Monday, 5 September 2016

Summer Holidays

The summer holidays have come to an end!
I planned on blogging this and that but the time just slipped away
We had some great family days out and at home, we saw family, we saw friends, we relaxed, we ate, we had fun, we had scary news when my Dad took ill (but thankfully he's now on the mend), life was put into perspective a few times

Now it starts all over again! The eldest starts his GSCE years and the youngest in year 5
The time has literally flown away
New school supplies were sorted they were packed off this morning with a spring in their my step!

Its just as exciting and nerve wrecking for me as I start a new job, as they skip skulk through the doors of school I'll be having first day nerves as I drive off to said new job

New routines
New structures
New everything
Bring it on September . . .

Friday, 2 September 2016

Small Business - September

At the beginning of the year a few changes were made on Not on the High Street of which I am a selling partner, this was huge for me and my products depended on whether I would be able to continue selling on the website
I took a step back, emptied my storefront and thought about what I love to do, what I love to create and how I can create it by hand, and so lino cut designs began!

I started out with just gift wrap designs, then built my brand slowly, I've managed to add in my love of vintage retro fabrics by adding painted words or quotes on them
I'm really excited where my rebranded designs are now taking me and it was certainly the kick up the butt I needed to refocus on my dreams of a small independent business

You can view my Not on the High Street store here

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

September Goals

So what exactly do I have planned for September
  • New Job
  • New school year
  • New stockists
  • Achieve 1 1/2 stone award
It doesn't look like much but they are pretty huge steps for one month! Getting to grips with a new job and a new school year especially when the big boy is starting his GCSE year (where did that time go)

If I look back to August I did manage to achieve a few of my goals!

  • Plan my blog content for September
  • Style our new room (not quite finished)
  • Bike rides
  • Date night (too busy doing family things)
  • Achieve my 1stone award (just shy of it, darn and blast)
  • New hair colour and/or style
  • Build up my online stores
  • Promote my new blog
  • Family day out
  • Enjoy life to the fullest