do the work

Do the Work (The Domino Project, 2011)

Over the weekend I signed up for a free trial of Kindle Unlimited ~ (US Amazon accounts only at the moment) and for absolutely nothing I have been going a little e-book crazy! You simply download your chosen book from the collection of over 600,0000 currently available, read it and then virtually “give it back”. What’s not to love??

Do the Work is a book I have been meaning to read for many a month now, and last night as I simultaneously painted my toenails and sipped from a long cool glass of cucumber water, I read it and found in among its pages all my creative demons. This then is for every artist, writer, entrepreneur, blogger or other creative who knows what it is to hit a wall…

It is short and sharp but it is absolutely key to understanding that our creative battles are never our own but simply part of the process of birthing something that matters.

Flummoxed!

Hello lovely ladies, how wonderful that so many of you have decided to become Superstars before the price goes up at the end of this month! I couldn’t be more delighted to welcome you in to our scrumptious fold (But please remember to accept my invitation to the salon to make the most of your membership won’t you? Hundreds of you are missing out!)…

wheretostart

Today I wanted to answer the question so many of you have asked me recently – Where the blooming heck do you start when faced with the barrage of information and downloads to be found on the site, in the shop and in the Superstar Salon?

This then is the order I suggest for working your way through the everything available here on BrocanteHome…

* For a really quick overview of what it means to be a Vintage Housekeeper, then take my very short FREE course describing the ten principles of Vintage Housekeeping.

* Then begin by downloading The Art of Homemaking and spend the next thirty days working towards firmly establishing  BrocanteHome inspired routines and rituals. This download really will help you understand and plan for a lovelier domestic future and you can take it at your own pace, or work on each suggestion one day at a time.

*  Next I suggest you download The Housekeepers Planner so that you can plan and document all the routines and rituals you have created while working through The Art of Homemaking. Using the Housekeepers Planner will also help you establish one central place in which to keep all information related to your home and family, and a go-to place for meal planning, emergency information and much more.

* Follow this with Trash It or Treasure It because it is very, very difficult to establish workable routines and rituals if you cannot begin without a house and heart full of clutter. Trash It or Treasure It is quite intensive and should be tackled slowly, week by week as you dabble in becoming accustomed to the other aspects of vintage housekeeping, but by the end of the course you will have identified exactly what kind of clutter you are hoarding and why you are hoarding it, while slowly but surely banishing all the nonsense from your life!

* Next up, download The Seasonal Scrub and get busy mixing up your own organic house cleaning products and scheduling a Scrub or to into your domestic calendar. The Seasonal Scrub will help you set up a small collection of aromatherapy oils for all manner of things that ail you and your house, while describing how to establish a signature scent and how to use Bach Remedies in the home.

* Then help yourself to A Year of Puttery Treats, and start to add a little bit of loveliness to each and every day. In this download I describe and explain one scrumptious puttery treat for each and every day of the year and it really doesn’t matter if you jump right in, in the middle of July!

* Should you need specific, targeted housekeeping instruction then starting to use Housekeeping 365 at this point is particularly useful at this point because it allocates specific tasks and one lovely puttery treat to each and every day of the year so you never have to think about what to do when…

* Enjoy Season One and Season Two of the Vintage Housekeepers Circle at any time as they are short little essays  on living life the BrocanteHome way, and read as bedtime meditations, they gently reinforce what it means to live life the Brocante way.

* Similarly download 50 Apps for Vintage Housekeepers at any time because it is useful to set up on-line and mobile support for your domestic life as soon as you get started on the BrocanteHome path.

* Download both the Christmas Planner and the Christmas Countdown as soon as possible. Planning a beautiful, stress-free Christmas takes a whole lot of planning and having one place in which to plan it makes life a whole lot easier…

* Finally begin the Muse programme. Again this is quite intense and requires a lot of action on your part, but is utterly inspiring and will help you find your creative self and start to live a life less ordinary.

And should you find your Muse and feel the urge to tell the world about it?? Then it might just be time to study Blogging the Brocante Way and plan your on-line self in my Bloggers Planner.

I do hope this has been helpful. Buying and downloading the resources available here at BrocanteHome WILL help you create a truly scrumptious life, abundant with routine, ritual and celebration, but if you are going to make the most of my instruction then slowly working your way through each download and actually putting my suggestions into action one by one is the very best way to re-invent your domestic life.

Remember I am always here to hold your hand, so do ask as many questions as you need to before buying one of my downloads, or indeed choosing to become a Superstar (before the price DOUBLES!) and getting everything (and much more!) listed here.

Happy Housekeeping Honey Pies!

Brocante Adoxography

Welcome to the second in my series of adoxographies: a word I have commandeered to describe the gathering of some quotes and thoughts, beautifully expressed on Pinterest and collected here for my own sake, simply so that they are not lost in the scrum of boards relentlessly filled and I can use someone else’s words to express my own thoughts.

danceinthesun

 All images credited on my Pinterest Words board.

We don’t dance enough do we? Imagine opening the back door right now and shimmying your way into the garden. Bending into that gentle breeze. Throwing your head back to look at the sun. Imagine how good it would feel to just let go of all the tension and shake it off! Spinning and twirling because there is no-one watching. Don’t imagine it. Do it! Do it now. Hold your own garden festival! Make it a Summer ritual.

anna

 

Oh imagine that! Throwing the towel in on perfection. Deciding that our own good enough will do and that instead we can begin the work of living a boundary free life in our own image of how we want to live…

 

gentle

 

Why is it so hard to be gentle with ourselves? It shouldn’t be. It should be instinctive, so we desperately need to learn how to silence that criticising voice and just let ourselves be for a while, if only so that we can dwell in sadness and find our own way out of it.

 

digitalbook

 

Oh my. Never was there a truer word spoken. Only a real book can let us write our own story between the lines of the one it was printed to tell.

getup

You know it’s true. So will tonight be the night you set your alarm an hour earlier than usual and choose to start tomorrow with your very own version of the Miracle Morning?

 

fear

 

Feel the fear and do it anyway…

 

blessing

 

Too true…

cool

 

Oh so very true. Ask Ouissi. ~In real life I am noisy, and I laugh too much. Occasionally I eat almond biscuits for breakfast.  Now you know – do with it what you will.

Till next time Housekeepers.x 

lynnefranks

Absolutely Now! (London: Bloomsbury, 2014)

I have long admired Lynne Franks – indeed her Seed Network books inspired me as I was starting my own business – but as I read this autobiography I feel even more admiration for her than ever before: not least because she is so willing to mark herself as ridiculous during some of her more extreme “phases” and to recognise when she has outgrown something and spiritually needs more room to grow.

Published next month “Absolutely Now” is true and real and occasionally silly: the story of our times for women of a certain age in search of something more…

Housekeeper’s Summer Holiday Planner

I am feeling a little frantic. Finn’s summer holidays have already begun and we have got seven and a half whole weeks to fill.

summerholidays

Seven and a half weeks! That’s nearly two months in which to fill my son’s days with activities that won’t melt his brain. Activities that do not include talking nonsense to friends on the X-Box of filming himself rolling over the sofa three hundred times to enchant his friends with on Snapchat.

Oh yes: while I am not adverse to a pyjama day or two each week, I draw the line at spending each and every day of the holidays with no plan at all in place and so today I have spent the afternoon creating and filling in a Summer Holiday plan in my Housekeepers Planner so the answer to that all too common question “what are we doing today” (usually shortly followed by, I don’t want to!!) can be pre-empted and both Finn and I are fully in the picture and able to take up kindly offers of playdates with friends and family when they arise.

And so my lovelies, please find my Summer Holiday planner attached and enjoy yourself planning your Summer Holidays too. Getting organised is what Sunday afternoons for don’t you know?

(P.S: I have attached the weekly activity planner pages to a clipboard and hung it in the kitchen so both Finn and I can look at the days and weeks ahead)

Download my Housekeepers Summer Holiday Planner here.  

Morning Pages

Welcome once again to my morning pages: the occasional, unedited spilling of my morning mind on to the screen. Approximately seven hundred and fifty words of stream of consciousness, transparent writing inspired by Julia Cameron. So you can dig a little deeper in my head. For my eyes only, for no doubt I will say too much. And for those of anyone who cares to set their own minds straight in the morning time, by feeling inspired to do the same…

morning pages

It was an unusual Friday. I sat amongst a group of women I do not know and listened to them pour out torrid tales of their relationships with their children. I told of how the night before Finley had had to sit me down and ask me to close my eyes and focus on something ice cold because I had worked myself into quite the most silly, hot frenzy and the sweat was dripping of me as I tore around the house in search of a charger he had previously insisted he could not live without.

I told them how instantly calm I became as I listened to his little voice trying to hypnotise me back to normality and I thanked heaven for him over and over again as slowly but surely I cooled down in both body and spirit. I told them that on other days his voice drives me to distraction. How sometimes I found his repetitive tales of WWE and the war between the Super Heroes utterly boring and that I would rather be writing. And they said that saying such things about our own were utterly taboo and I had broken that taboo and I felt both vilified and ashamed. All too often I find myself at odds with other women. Saying what shouldn’t be said. Daring them to dig a little deeper and not feeling mollified by surface truths.

I think I might be hard to be around. I cannot let things go. I cannot listen without asking questions. Without bating women with my own quiet fury. The day before I sat with a women who pursed her lips as my friend and I talked about  trashy Tv. She did not, she said, understand how we ever found time to switch the box on. And for a moment I bit my tongue until she who will not be silenced (my inner bitch),  challenged her to say exactly what it was she did each evening, once the kids were in bed and the dinner dishes done. Her answer? She irons. As if none of us had to do the same chores that she did. As if there was something morally superior about doing housework when there is life to be lived and bad TV to watch!

I wanted to scream. I felt violent with it. But of course I didn’t. I nibbled on a tiny square of Millionaires Shortbread and watched her depriving herself of yet more pleasure and became detached from that violence. Able to see that she was sad. That her iron was a weapon she used in the constant battle between herselves.  For someone so enamoured with housework, I tolerate talk of it over teacups astonishingly badly.

Does one then become less tolerant as the years go by? More willing to call nonsense on the kind of inane conversation women are so prone to having? And yet at the same time as being utterly bored by the conversation, able with laser sharp vision, to see through it? To see the war behind the words and be needled by the truths women who guard their sadness so carefully are unable to speak? Who am I to expect every last woman I meet to tell me who she really is?  When will I understand that some truths are not meant to be stirred into teacups like so many sugar cubes?

Perhaps I will never understand it. There is so much in this life that I am surprised to realise that I have not yet learned at the grand old age of forty-two. Last night I watched a three hour long dance show in a stiflingly hot auditorium, mesmerised by little ballerinas in white corsets flapping feathers and floating ribbon behind them as they flew across the stage. One by one each dance closed in darkness until another opened in a flash of lights and pyrotechnics and suddenly I was fifteen again dancing on the stage at Southport Theatre, beaming at the audience as I tap-danced in a shining turquoise leotard.  I was her again. I still am. It feels like yesterday. I am horrified by how fast the years go by: how much damage time imposes on our bodies, because for sure my body isn’t as flexible as it was, my movement not quite as fluid. My mind not quite as free.

Won’t somebody turn back time please? I want to be fifteen again.