Sunday, March 7, 2021

A house move & gratitude post

Last month was a big month for myself and my children, I finally completed on our house purchase, it was a long stressful process!

Brief background our previous home was in a village just a few miles out of Worcester, it was a lovely home but we never properly settled there, it was what I could afford after my divorce, our previous home was a modern and whilst I enjoyed decorating and styling for me modern houses just don't have the soul and character and I really longed for another period property, I told myself back in 2017 it was always going to be a three year house as there was only so long I could make my daughters box room work and village life just didn't suit us as a family, the main reason for this was I had to drive EVERYWHERE and being a single parent this was a real pain! Moving back into the city centre wasn't an option, I wanted somewhere were the kids would have a bit of independence when they were older, where we could walk to schools, somewhere we had lots of open space, we were ready for a fresh start a new town but not too far from my dad and friends, Malvern ticks so many boxes, as its close to Worcester but far enough away to feel like a fresh start, the schools are good just being here for the air and the views is a really blessing. But it was a gamble and there have been days especially with all the uncertainty of the last twelve months that I have worried if we have done the right thing, but now we are finally in our new home I can truly say the gamble has paid off, we have a better house with more space and it was less money than what I sold for, its a bit of a project which I am so excited about, we can walk everywhere which is a big thing for me as honestly I hate getting in the car to just buy a few essentials, I have been a mum to school aged children for seven years and I have longed to be able to walk them to school and finally that has happened, its the small things hey but being a single mum to two it will really help our routine and way of life.

It actually took eight months to purchase the house, my sale went through on our previous home and the majority of our possessions went into storage, my partner was amazing and we stayed with him for a while but ya know blended families and all that it wasn't easy at times we all needed our own space, Due to a long chain the house purchase got delayed further so the kids and I rented a gorgeous flat off my boss for three months, so with almost a year of living with covid and on our third lockdown, its safe to say the day we got the keys a huge weight was lifted and it was worth the wait. 

I am really counting my blessing's we have finally moved and can start making memories in our new home, I do pinch myself that we can call this beautiful town home. I can't wait for everything to open up again and stroll up the hill to town for a coffee and walk to a restaurant for a meal oh and the pub how nice will that be to actually sit in a pub garden. 

Our new abode needs some work not a complete reno, but I have lots of ideas possible extension but I am going to take my time, the kids rooms are decorated and I have commandeered the loft room I thought my son would want it but he chose a room on the first floor, they actually didn't argue over bedrooms they both have great size rooms, but my son is a typical 11 year old as long as he has his PS4 and his cosy bed he's happy and thinking about it, its closer to get to the kitchen for shacks haha! So I was happy to take the loft room once the kiddos had decided which room they wanted and already I am loving escaping up there and although its just painted white the room has become my little sanctuary and feels very homely.

Oh and I am still decluttering, I am contemplating going back on facebook just for the market place as I I am still getting rid of stuff, the first thing being my habitat tv cabinet as it doesn't really work in the sitting room! I did promise a post on my decluttering about six months ago (I really am a terrible blogger) but this outlet has been rejected and honestly if I get to update it when I can that's okay but it would be great to get to it more often! Maybe now the kids are getting back to school and lockdown is coming to an end I may post more than a few times a year!!

But honestly this post is kind of therapy for me as mentioned before when I have blogged, I really am trying to practise gratitude as much as I can, my kids have had wobbles and its been a tough year but I am blown away by their amazing resilience moving towns, to my partners then to a flat then finally to our new home, starting new schools, then going through homeschooling and not seeing friends and family, I am so proud of them, I am hoping these little challenges will set them up for life a bit. I have found myself apologising to them and keep telling them brighter times are ahead and reminding them  we are not moving for a very long time! This bonkers year with all the changes and restrictions it has made us even closer we really are team three even when we do fall out! 

Hope you have enjoyed reading my little life update and if you need to, I would really recommend writing a gratitude list its good for the soul or taking some time out to reflect on how you have got through this crazy year. So stay safe and keep going brighter times really are ahead. 

Thanks for reading,

Cathy xox

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Oh Corona!

 Photo credit styled stock society 

Hello, it's been a while, really where to start with this post as my last one was full of new goals, enthusiasm and aspirations for a new business venture to get off the ground and then wham we were hit with the virus. 

 I haven't coped that well I will put my hand up to that, I have had some good days but some not so good as honestly sometimes I am not a strong person and I do let all my worries escalate sometimes I think that is part and parcel of being a single parent.  Lockdown has been a rocky road, my kids didn't  see their father for a few months, homeschooling well I failed at that miserably trying to juggle the finances due to loss of earnings oh and PMS (which I suffer with badly) that really wasn't fun during lockdown!  However there were times I gave myself a good talking to as I had the support of my partner and my wonderful friends, the fact we checked in on each other daily was so important we were there for each other through the anxious times, my journey was the same as many but some cope better than others during a crisis,  however compared to NHS and key workers I  honestly had it pretty easy and like my dear dad said if we come out of this with our health then we are the lucky ones and although the end is not yet in sight so far we are all safe and well. 

So now lockdown restrictions are lifted and the school summer holidays are here it's getting a little bit easier, being reunited with my dad was so amazing as we missed him so much, we have had some days out at our local water park, paddle boarding, canoeing and enjoying the sunshine, lots of walks.  Tilly finally nailed learning to ride her bike during lockdown so its been great to get out on our bikes and we have our holiday to look forward to in Newquay which is so needed. Oh and getting my hair done in a safe environment was truly bliss. 

I have tried to learn a few life lessons from all of this to try and stay strong and positive but I have found it so hard at times, I think often in times of crisis not having my mum with us is a tough one to deal with, as mums keep us safe no matter what age and mine always had the right words she was my go to when I felt sad and was struggling with mental health or worries. Being the strong mum my kids need without my own is often a real struggle. I have taken time to reflect how we were lucky to nurse mum and my beloved auntie who we lost last year my heart goes out to anyone who has lost a loved one due to the killer virus it really does.

Covid -19 is horrible what more can I say and we are not out of the woods yet but I am determined to stay positive make our days meaningful and to practise gratitude, even just writing this blog post has lifted me as sometimes getting things written down or in this case typed out makes you feel so much better. 

Thanks for stopping by and check back soon as I have a post to launch about selling my home and relocating to the beautiful Malvern Hills with my tips for a major declutter before moving home. 


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 


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