A Life Without Internet

Well now at the risk of being one of those bloggers who spends many an hour explaining why she isn’t blogging, I have parked my bottom in the library to explain why I am not blogging. you know: because I am one of those bloggers. Temporarily.

reading

You see we have moved in to Dad’s because he is going to be moving out soon and it seemed crazy not to grab a house that suits us dearly, while we look for one to buy, and thus we had the internet cut off in my mini little falling down cottage while it is sold and Dad switched off his internet and we set up a new provider and that m’dears is where it all went wrong. They said one week and they meant three due to some kind of “line” crisis and now here we are, one step removed from absolute lunacy and rather upset about it to the degree that I have been tweet-shouting and Ste has spent many an hour on the phone calmly screeching at a company who are very sorry and very unwilling to try to speed things up.

While I have been worrying about BrocanteHome and Ste is generally demented altogether, it is the kids who have suffered most, because it has come to my attention Dearhearts, that our children are absolutely ADDICTED to the world wide web and can barely function without it so thoroughly absorbed are they in the lives of random overgrown teenagers like Joe Weller and in Finley’s case at least, (though I keep telling him that he is one step removed from an addiction to the Real Housewives of Beverley Hills)  in what is going on with the Diva’s of the WWE network.

Cue tears at unexpected times. And the occasional tantrum. And quite a bit of outraged sulking, not helped by the fact that the majority of Finn’s bedroom is now lurking in Dad’s thankfully large garage, nor by the fact that Stevie stares in to space when he can’t stare at his tablet. It ain’t good and I do believe it calls for a new regime in terms of restricting access to the internet when it is finally back on and inviting our boys to experience more of what real life has to offer instead…

Luckily a new regime is very much what is on the cards. While I am in the midst of moving house I am also debating taking Finley out of one school and putting him in another and the very process of merely thinking about it is somewhat battering my head, because the enormity of shaping his future through academia keeps slapping me around the chops and making me feel responsible for something I was once so sure about.

Everything is changing. As  we approach the one year anniversary of my Mum’s heartbreaking death, I am astonished by how many changes are occurring and indeed how very willing I am to invite change now that I understand how very cruel life can be, and thus why there is no time at all to waste in dithering. I am not scared of change but I cannot say I am particularly enamoured by it either. My entire being yearns for stability of the kind I have not had for such a long time and though we should not wish our lives away I know that in my family at least we are all so very desperate to speed through the next few months so we can experience what it is to live life without Mum in a period of settlement rather than the the changes her death has inspired…

All that and we need the internet. For it is apparent that life slows down to a crawl without it. Though I am loving watching Finley spend each evening playing chess with Ste and Dad, and thoroughly enjoying losing myself in the pile of books I got for Christmas, knowing that my business is stalling is disconcerting and I truly hate being out of this polka dotty loop of my own creation.

Rumour has it that the internet will be on come Friday and so I am going to say farewell for now: it is quite the oddest thing typing again a clock counting down the single hour we are allowed to commandeer the computers here in my local library, and I am so looking forward to sitting down with a cup of Joe and my lovely laptop once again next week.

Till then forgive my absence and enjoy, a putterily scrumptious week.x

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Creating a Way of Life With Essential Oils…

I was complaining yesterday. I was moping about my Dad’s house feeling swollen and bloated and generally inflamed, and Dad took one look at me and said maybe you need to stop taking all this nonsense? And I laughed because ironically, the very reason I was feeling so darn awful was because I had NOT been taking my so-called nonsense for a few days and the proof m’dears that I NEED my nonsense was in the puffy pudding.

GOOD LIFE (1)

Sometimes I fall off my own bandwagon. This week in the maelstrom of PMT, school dilemmas, moving house palava and general headless chicken-ness, I let my extreme self-care ritual fall by the wayside and as Ste is currently having to stay at his Mums, I didn’t even have him to giddy me up and we all know what I do to myself when I am left to my own devices now don’t we?

I eat pot noodles and spend too much time hoovering in order to avoid the more necessary stuff of life!

So yes. I forgot to take my thyroid meds. I eschewed my magnesium and Vitamin D duo in favour of a glass of red (damn dry January to hell and back!), and I forgot do do anything at all with my beloved essential oils because I was too busy typing and washing clothes and generally wishing the next few months away. Which is quite frankly the worst excuse in the world.

Why am I owning up here? This darlings has long been my confession box and I would hate you to think that I am the epitome of Brocante perfection. I’m really not. I am prone to whimmery and chaos. And sometimes I just plain old prefer the bad stuff in life to the virtuous.

But here’s the thing: in meditation we are taught not to beat ourselves up when we lose focus, but to gently bring our attention back to our word and simply pick up the repetition of of our mantra again without self-admonishment. And in life that is exactly what I do: I lose focus and then when I notice I have lost focus I simply pick up the reins of my desired routines and rituals and get back on my horse.

For just as in meditation I want to transcend, in day to day life I want to live in a way that nurtures my well-being and as I get older I seem to have more and more clarity on what it is I need to do that. The dream sleep duo is one part of that and my essential oils an even bigger part of it. For it is with essential oils that I am replacing almost everything else that I have previously used to stay healthy, feel good and keep house.

And so over in my Brocante Oils Community today I have created a FREE download with 150 uses for the ten most essential, essential oils to have in your kit if you too are truly looking to banish the toxins chemicals you are co-existing with, and replace them with products so pure you can ingest them.

While I may have days when all my goodwill goes out of the window with the blue-bottles that seem to congregate on my Dad’s porch, for the most part I am so thoroughly enjoying introducing new oils and scrumptiously new oily rituals in to my routines that only the relentless menace that is PMT can have me temporarily falling off the bandwagon and I’m pretty sure there is an oil for that too…

Click here to sign up (it’s free) and grab your FREE download today…

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Surprise Balls

Do you know what a Surprise Ball is? No neither did I until I happened across them somewhere on the internet and now I am thoroughly charmed and desperate for an occasion to gift someone with a crêpe paper wrapped little ball full of teeny old-fashioned surprises…

Surprize Balls

They are I think, like a really pretty Pass the Parcel present: not the newspaper and wrapping paper monstrosities to be found at every kids party since time began, but delightful little balls of vintage inspired fun to be opened by the birthday girl, used as an all grown up Pass the Parcel game at a dinner party or simply gifted to someone in need of a little cheering up…

Mother's Day Surprize Balls

With a range of different Surprise Balls for different occasions throughout the year, they seem to range from the truly elegant to the deliciously kitsch and as you start to unwind the crêpe paper, gifts silly and joyful fall into your lap…

 

WHATS_INSIDE_SURPRIZE_BALL_3

 

You see I do believe it is the little things that delight the heart and while Surprise Balls, bought or home-made might just be filled with frippery and nonsense, the very act of unwinding something so deliciously silly, is I think, what memories are made of.

Japanese surprise balls

As Vintage Housekeeper’s then we have the opportunity to make or buy a little stash of Surprise Balls to celebrate the teeniest of family joys: to award little school successes once monthly or to pop a Surprise Ball under the pillow of someone feeling a little down. We can make it a ritual to always have a Surprise Ball at the place of the Birthday Boy on the breakfast table or give one to a child laid low with chicken pox or something equally as miserable…

Easter Surprise Balls

They really are adorable: the perfect mix of whimsy and child-like joy and so very BrocanteHome, for like the Christmas Crackers we lay on our festive table, they speak of both ritual and celebration and exist not for material gain of gifts worth having, but for the sheer fun of unwrapping something so mysterious!

heart surpise balls

The Surprise Balls featured here come from Tops Malibu, who stock a vast selection of these little darlings (alongside the equally lovely Wish Capsules), but you could of course make your own from crêpe paper and ribbon and personalize them with charms and toys collected especially for your intended recipient or occasion…

Just right for Valentines Day methinks.

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The Emergency Closet

This Is a Vintage Housekeeper's Post - Members Only...

“The lesson to-day begins with a story, a story with a moral, too,” said Mrs. Thorne. “Once upon a time, when I was a young and inexperienced housekeeper, it began to snow early in the morning, before I had been out to market. It happened that everything in the house had given out at once, and I had a long list of things to get, but as I had a bad cold I did not wish to go out in the storm.

in the kitchen

I waited nearly all day for it to stop, as it was against my principles even then to telephone for anything, but at last, as it began to grow dark, I could not wait longer, and took my receiver to call up the grocery and meat market, only to find the wires were down. What to do I did not know. Even if I ventured out it was now too late to hope to have anything delivered before dinner-time, and I could not carry the food home in my arms and at the same time manage a dress and an umbrella…

Click here to read the rest of this (long!) post on the Vintage Housekeeper’s Circle…

Or read all about joining The Vintage Housekeeper’s Circle here

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The Adventures of Miss Petitfour

A few days ago I found myself standing in the children’s aisle of a bookshop while Finley bemoaned the lack of decent books for boys his age and my eye wandered in search of something to delight either one of us. And there it was:The Adventures of Miss Petitfour.

The adventures of miss petitfour

A book with a ribbon! (Oh how I love books with ribbons!) And oodles of spoonfuls of delicious whimsy and pastel, heart pleasing illustrations. But more than that – Miss Petitfour herself – a tall and slender someone with a messy, flyaway, fall-down bun, sixteen cats and a love of baking and all things paisley- is just downright wonderful. So wonderful in fact that I did that awful thing – I read the book standing at the bookshelf, while Finley harassed the bookseller as if it was his fault that once he has moved on from the Diary of A Wimpy Kid, and devoured both Harry Potter  and Percy Jackson, there is a rather yukky leap to piles of books with black covers and viscous tales contained within, and very little else.

Anyways… Miss Petitfour. Truly she is a darling and if we could bring her to life I know for sure she would be a Brocanteer.  She is silly and fanciful, and she goes off on adventures pulled along by her magical tablecloth. You know, like we would if we could?

Miss Petitfour enjoys having adventures that are “just the right size – fitting into a single, magical day.” She is an expert at baking and eating fancy iced cakes, and her favorite mode of travel is par avion. On windy days, she takes her sixteen cats out for an airing: Minky, Misty, Taffy, Purrsia, Pirate, Mustard, Moutarde, Hemdela, Earring, Grigorovitch, Clasby, Captain Captain, Captain Catkin, Captain Clothespin, Your Shyness and Sizzles. With the aid of her favorite tea party tablecloth as a makeshift balloon, Miss Petitfour and her charges fly over her village, having many little adventures along the way. Join Miss Petitfour and her equally eccentric felines on five magical outings — a search for marmalade, to a spring jumble sale, on a quest for “birthday cheddar”, the retrieval of a lost rare stamp and as they compete in the village’s annual Festooning Festival.

A festooning festival! I don’t know what one of those is but I know I want to go. And a jumble sale! Or as my Nana used to call them: rummage sales. Because you went in to a fusty old church hall and rummaged. Which is I think quite the most perfect sport to indulge in on any given Saturday morning.

But I digress. Because for some reason I am feeling rather giddy this morning. So yes. Miss Petitfour. It’s a charm. The writing is full of lovely, domesticated nonsense and the book a feast of five stories penned by poet Anne Michaels and illustrated by Emma Block.

Just as one might expect of someone who likes to fly, she had billowy hair that she wore all brushed up in a tumbling bun. The more she brushed up, the more it came down, and misty wisps floated about her head. She liked to wear a woollen coat that flounced when she walked and jingled with a row of silver buttons. Almost everything she wore (except her shoes) ended in zigzagging scallops of lace and rickrack. She was especially fond of pockets, paisley, playful patterns and anything hand-knitted…

She is lovely. And this is quite the most perfect book for bedtime reading with a little girl. A classic reminiscent of Mary Poppins and the perfect excuse for us all grown up little girls to indulge in a pretty fantasy of paisley tablecloths and teeny cupcakes.

Click here to read a sample of The Adventures of Miss Petitfour or buy it on Amazon.Com here or Amazon.Co.Uk here

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