Friday, February 7, 2020

Some new goals

January felt long but the darkest days of winter are now behind us have you noticed 4pm is so much lighter than a month ago and we can still enjoy those cosy nights in whilst winter draws to an end.

So this year I have set myself a few challenges to get through to Spring, the first one being, Veganuary this wasn't easy to begin with, however I have embraced the health benefits and after watching a few documentaries about the animal cruelty I can honestly say I felt sick to my stomach and although at the end I am not a fully fledged vegan I have totally given up meat and fish, I am mainly following a plant based diet, which I honestly feel so much better for and wish I had done it years ago.

I am continuing with more sustainable fashion and only buying what I need and if I can get it second hand even better, I  have started following the journey of Signe I am a huge fan of her blog and how she has embraced a more simple lifestyle and am joining in on her low buy year,  as really being more mindful about spending is so good for me, we have some trips to save for and other family financial goals so being more careful with spending is a priority right now.

I am budgeting and writing down every thing I spend which actually seeing it written down makes me really question my spending. I am trying to encourage the kids, I think they get sick of hearing 'but do you really need it?' however I feel my kids need to be more mindful as I want them to grow up appreciating experiences over "stuff'!

A few more personal goals are to engage in some more self care, read more, write more, yes more blog posts as this little outlet is my way of journalling, which I enjoy so much. I am also planning on embracing slow days and time at home, the joy of missing out it is my mantra!

If you have set any goals for this year I would love to hear how they are going.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Embracing a simpler Christmas

Image credit Pinterest

So how is your Christmas prep going?  It seems to start so early every year and and honestly I can find it quite overwhelming and also emotional without my beloved mum and with losing my Aunt this year there are times where I feel I could just hide away from all the hectic festivities, but with two little kiddos who absolutely love this time of year, I need to make sure they have  a wonderful time and create some special memories as this time of year is magical for kids. However it doesn't need to be so hectic, the endless lists, pressures to write cards, attend the school Christmas fayre, host a party, make sure the kids attend lots of Christmas activities, it goes on and on but I have stepped out of the fast lane this year and set a goal to have a more simplified Christmas.

Starting with the festive decorations, I had a big clear out and sold some on ebay, I had fallen out of love with a lot of them and they got sold for someone else to enjoy,  as you guessed it my tree is pretty minimalist, I really wanted a real tree as I just love the smell, I have added a few decorations I purchased while the kids and I were in Adelaide last Christmas visiting family, its lovely to add these as they hold special memories. There's a few more decorations doted about but its pretty low key.

I have done a pre-christmas declutter with the kids, a lot got donated and some stuff was sold online, which was great as it went into this years Christmas fund.

I have decided not send cards this year instead we have donated to centrepoint, I know my friends and family will understand, I feel Christmas cards are so wasteful and are yet another thing to recycle and I wanted to put my money towards a more meaningful fund.

We have stuck to a budget for the children's gifts and tried to stick to the four gift rule of something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read. There's a few extras that have snuck in and I do love filling their stockings with a few treats, seeing their excited faces Christmas morning is magical for a parent.

We have a few special days out planned as a family but not feeling the need to do too much with the kids as honestly we need some down time, getting the blankets out, lighting the candles, lots of cuddles and watching Christmas movies is whats needed. A goal for our family is too slow down at Christmas to take the time to just be in the moment.

I don't feel the need to panic about food shopping either, i'm lucky my other half likes to take control of the cooking, honestly I don't get the panic about all the food, it's one day and I hate the waste we are planning a more simplified lunch with just a few trimmings and a few treats in the evening.

Social media can play a big part in the pressures of having a magical, busy Christmas, I myself have been guilty of trying to get the perfect photo to post on the grid when actually I should be just embracing and enjoying the moment and nagging the kids to get off technology when I am on my phone!! I only use Instagram but I am going delete the app over the holiday season to take a little social media break and start being in the moment a bit more.

Simplifying anything is trial and error but honestly the gift of time with loved ones feels much more important to me. What are your plans for the festive season? I hope you get too slow down a bit, embrace some family time, relax, enjoy some lovely food and just remember Christmas does not have to be perfect, its just one day, enjoy it how you and your family want to and make some memories.

Sending Christmas blessings to you all.

Cathy xoxo
Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Launching My Decluttering Business

So it's been a long time since I posted, life has seriously got in the way of my little creative outlet, I am super busy juggling all the time keeping two little humans alive and running the home and I have been busy with selling on Ebay to raise funds for Christmas,  I have been thrifting lots and reselling and whilst its been great to earn some extra cash and a feel good factor doing my bit for the environment selling preloved items its time consuming. Also I have been focusing on how to live more sustainably and of course constantly organising, decluttering and trying to focus on a bit of self care. I  think that's half my problem I often have too many projects on the go and now I am taking on another I must be crazy right?

So why do I feel so passionate about helping others with decluttering and home organising here's my story.

Since downsizing after my divorce I was a massively overwhelmed with the amount of 'stuff 'we had accumulated over ten years of being in the same home,  I was left to clearing the family home, emptying the loft, garden sheds and summer house, dealing with all the stuff it was seriously overwhelming and I swore to myself I would never let myself get into that situation again. Just thinking about it makes me want to shudder, because the fact is clutter is not good for the soul it can make you feel a little bit out of control, I know to some that may seem a bit dramatic but for me clutter just inhibits creativity and productivity that's why I feel so passionate about helping others as I strongly believe life is better with less.

So I have a lot of work to do getting this little business off the ground,  I have dabbled a bit this year, helped a few clients with decluttering but I haven't given it my all,  but after an inspirational chat with my sister I feel Its time to focus on something for me and build a brand doing something that I am passionate about.

So watch this space here's hoping 2020 will be a year of successful decluttering and helping others create an organised and calm living space oh and hopefully some more blog posts!

Thanks for stopping by.

Cathy xox

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Styling books in a Minimalist home

In my mist of decluttering I have got rid of a lot of books but there are still some favourites I have kept but styling them bothers me, a mix of different coloured spines and texts is sometimes just too much so when I have found books styled in a reversed fashion I have been really drawn to the simplicity. Albeit a little unpractical.

Image credit pinterest

I am a little late to the party with this way of styling as it really gained momentum on Instagram late 2017, there are dozens of pins on pinterest, featuring the look showing full bookcases with books facing the wrong direction. If books do not match your decor, this in my opinion is an incredibly easy solution to flip them for a perfectly coordinated look. 

I appreciate it may look a bit unpractical, but I have restyled my shelves with the books I wanted to keep and was pretty pleased with the look.

I feel its given them a more clean minimalistic look even though my my partner did make a comment the other day about why the books are facing the wrong way!

Would love to hear your thoughts, how are books styled in your home, do you like the look or think it's a bit unpractical?

Thanks for stopping by
Cathy xox

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Modern Outdoor Spaces

Now it's that time of year where I mostly think about how I want to spend a lot more of my time outside in the garden, sadly summer seems to be a little slow off the ground but regardless of the rubbish weather we are having here in the UK I feel really inspired at the moment to transform my outdoor space, I had a patio laid last year but I have been stuck with the horrible teak garden table and chairs for a good few years, I am going to consider painting it first as I don't really have the budget for a new set. I have lots of ideas but sadly the budget doesn't really stretch to the contemporary garden of my dreams. 
I do spend far too much time on Pinterest pinning garden inspiration and I wanted to share with you some of my favourite outside spaces. 

I love everything about these spaces, the wooden slatted backdrop is just so stylish and I love the idea of a pergola to be able to still be outside when the weather isn't great and in the evening to light candles or hang some festoon lighting to create an instant atmosphere. Lights4Fun have some great tips on their site on how to style festoon lighting this summer.

All images sourced via pinterest

Have you any plans for your outdoor space this summer or like me are you dreaming of transforming your garden into something stylish and modern? For more garden inspiration  make sure you hit the follow button on pinterest.

Cathy xox 
Friday, March 22, 2019

Spring Wear

Image Credit Cos

Hurry up Spring, It's so windy and cold at the moment and I am feeling like I need a change with my attire all I seem to wear is jeans and jumpers, I am out of my winter boots and in my Converse but still hanging onto my North Face coat for the school run.

So after my epiphany last year when I stopped buying loads of cheap, crap clothes and sold half my wardrobe have I anything left... hmm not much! But it still stands I am only buying clothes that I will actually wear all the time and are more sustainable, otherwise what is the actual point in them just gaining dust hanging on my clothes rail! My staples for the day are jeans, long sleeved tops and sweaters, now I have a few of those so that's great, my most recent purchase was these jeans from Marks and Spencer. They are soft and ridiculously comfortable, love them. The other pair I own are Next jeggings for the day to day running around, but I do feel they look a bit bum-saggy after a few wears! So may consider purchasing another pair of  'day jeans'.

The only other purchases I am going to make are two shirts, a new denim one as my faithful H&M number has been worn to death and added to the recycling bag to give back to them in store. My other planned purchase is a white shirt. The white shirt is a classic staple and such a versatile piece of clothing. I feel a purchase will be well justified as it will be so useful.

So the search is on, so far I have found one in Boden which is a great price. I feel really determined to shop for items I feel I need and will wear on a regular basis. I am no longer buying items that do not fit my lifestyle anymore. My capsule wardrobe is getting established now however there are still items I need to clear out. But I have been hanging onto them for some reason, I feel I need to give them the Maria Kondo approach, do they 'spark joy'?

Have you any planned purchases for Spring or are you sticking with what you have already, or maybe planning a clear out?

Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Restore some bathroom zen

In my last post I talked about my first stage of decluttering which was my wardrobe, I quickly moved onto the bathroom, now my bathroom is small like the rest of our home! With limited storage,  I don't have any photos to share as it's got to be my least favourite room in the house, it needs a make-over,  well more than that really it needs ripping out and starting again but there's no pennies for that at the moment. However I will happily say it's organised and clutter free. So here I want to share with you my tips on ditching the bathroom clutter.

You will need the following items:

* A cloth and bathroom cleaner
* Rubbish & recycling bag
* Storage baskets
* A dry cloth to give everything the once over before putting items back again.
* An eco cloth for cleaning mirrors and shower doors.

Then the fun starts!

1. You need to take stock of how many shampoo, conditioners, shower gels that you actually need, it's time to get ruthless and take stock of what you have so clear out the cabinet and shower caddy and start to place just one item of the products you use on a regular basis. Now I am not suggesting you throw away any surplus products just store them away and use them up.

2. The same goes with your make-up and cosmetics most make-up should only be kept for a year, mascara 3-6 months. Cleansers and toners usually 12-18 months so its time to go through your make-up bag and get rid of any old make-up, ask yourself what items do I use on a regular basis, which items suit me?  Make a pile of those items anything else yep it time to get rid.  With your cleansers and toners etc, only keep the items you use if there is anything else that you have had for a while or brought as an impulse purchase it's time to get rid.

3. Decide on a reasonable number of towels for your family and keep only ones you are using on the towel rail any others keep them stored away and if you buy new ones get rid of the old ones. Don't get storing them at the back of the airing cupboard.. charity shops or even homeless hostels are always grateful for donated towels.

4. The medicine cabinet pain killers, creams, ointments all have expiry dates on them and don't last as long as you think when I went through our medicine box I found some truly shocking out of date meds. There are some useful storage boxes online which are great for storing items to keep them neatly stored away.  Make sure you check any prescriptions no-one is using as these can be dangerous and are just creating clutter.

5. Hair accessories go through any hair bands, bobby pins, head bands etc, make sure they are all being used. Time to throw away anything that may be broken how annoying is it to grab an overstretched hair tie in a hurry! Time to get rid of those.

6. Appliances the idea of a foot spa was great but if its taking up too much space in your bathroom and collecting dust it's time to let it go.

7.  Cleaning products use up what you have, it does take quite a while to get through a cleaning bottle, don't be tempted to stock pile on cleaning items and chuck out the gross old cleaning cloths.

8. Kids stuff i'm so glad my kids have now grown out of bath toys! Oh the clutter they can create. Keep only the ones they play with and keep them stored away if it's not bath time.

9.  Storage use the available storage you have for the items you really need, store older products to the front so they get used up.

10. Travel size and samples, use them up. I used to keep them for the next time I travel but they easily got forgotten about. So try and make sure you use them or donate them to charity or a homeless shelter.

With these tips I am confident you will get your bathroom into a clutter free zone. Give it a deep clean I love Method Bathroom Cleaner Spray 828ml  to clean my bathroom it smells fresh and clean, use Eco cloths  to clean mirrors and shower doors.

Time to create some zen -

If you can treat yourself to a plant, aromatherapy candles and soaps, I love these products by Pure Thoughts I discovered Leanna's brand on instagram, the 'peace meditation candle' will be ideal for creating some zen in the bathroom, it contains lavender which helps to improve sleep and restore emotional wellbeing. Plus I just love the simplicity of the amber glass jar to help create some luxury in your bathroom.

I have recently switched to soaps in my attempt for the kids and I to use less chemicals and reduce plastic, these soaps contain uplifting essential oils and no nasties. Win, win!

So the last thing on the list now is to set yourself a pamper date to enjoy the space you have worked hard to make clutter free and relaxing.

Oh and if there is anything I should add to the list to restore some bathroom zen please let me know in the comments section below.

Cathy xoxo

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