Things I Love

Good Morning Housekeepers. How the heck are you? I do so terribly hope you are well and fit enough to get to work with another hefty dose of Brocante style inspiration?

Things I Love2

You see when you have been haunting the internets as long as I have, the curious amongst us, frequently get around to asking the same questions: Who is your favorite author? What housekeeping books do you recommend? Which internet courses have you done? Which iPhone apps do you heart? Are there things you cannot live without? 

So I have taken it upon myself to throw together a permanent page answering those very questions. A Things I Love page that captures the very essence of Brocantehome and shares with you, all those things I rely on for inspiration, encouragement and organisation. Tres wonderful, mais non?

The link will live permanently on the top menu of each page on Brocantehome and I will update it seasonally as and when my authentic self finds her place in this world…

In the meantime I also have a short list of notices to share with your lovely selves…

* Brocantehome is now donning her spring 2013 glad-rags – a brighter take on the usual polka dots to gladden the heart and lift our spirits. I do hope you like…

* The Puttery Companion for February will be on-line tomorrow for all those who are signed up and the re-designed Puttery Year for all my Housekeeping Superstars is now available in the Superstar area

* I was thrilled by the response to my rather spontaneous little podcast, included with the last Housekeeping Superstar post and as soon as I have stopped sniffling I will be doing more…

* And finally my all new Housekeepers Coaching service will go live in the next few weeks: so if you want a personalised housekeeping plan, pep talk, and snail-mail from yours truly, then do keep your heads up for further information.

That’s it Sweetheart: have a lovely day won’t you?


Housekeepers Diary

Uncertainty is wrapped around you like a blanket and so you are nesting. You imagine yourself as a magpie. Flitting out on short trips cosseted in scarves and gloves and too many layers, and returning ladled with this and that to scatter around the house and build a pretty, rose covered bullet-proof wall between you and the rest of the world.

Yesterday you shopped for nothing at all and came back with bags full of stuff.

Today the skin on your neck is red raw and you are scratching an itch that probably isn’t there. You take meat out of the freezer for a stew and you take vitamins for a litany of imaginary deficits. You feel a strong need to be still and meditate for twenty minutes as soon as your little one is spirited away to school, the scent of frankincense and myrrh drifting around you as you try to lose yourself in it’s smoke.

But it is too cold to concentrate. You are almost permanently cold. Despite the layers and the radiators and the warm soups, your bones are cold and stiff. So you add another cardigan to the befuddled, ever so slightly glamorous street lady look you have got going on and drink a cup of chai stirred with a stick of cinnamon and sweetened with agave.

Now you have money spread across the dining room table. Cash to be distributed into envelopes for this and that so you will not squander it on needful things like more candles or another pair of cosy slippers. You are astonished now by your clarity of mind. How easily all those things normal people have always done, now come to you, so very used to living in chaos. You are changed. Something changed you.

It is Tuesday. That means a trip to the post-office and another to the bank. It means tidying up your life. Throwing out twenty -seven things. Gathering the recycling ready for collection. Buying yourself a bunch of flowers for the vase now sitting on the new, but old oak bookcase bought for a song, and now living on the landing between your bedroom and his nibs…

Tuesday. Scouse and bread still warm from the oven for the evening meal. Scouse. The most basic of foods: meat, carrots, potatoes and onions. A Liverpool stew streaked with the violent pink vinegar of red cabbage. Winter in a bowl. Something to look forward to.

Sustenance for cold bones and nourishment for your soul.


Email Fail

I am taking a quick break from a morning of mango smoothies and lavender and chocolate chip shortbreadmen to tell you that I suspect I am not receiving many of your emails because I am sitting here seething about replies I have been expecting and feeling befuddled by some of the emails I have received following up enquiries already made, but not received on my end.


This is probably no mystery. Those emails missing in action have probably been swallowed by a number of filters and plugins I jazzed up my email account with one cosy afternoon shortly after Christmas and as we speak are probably lingering somewhere: apparently anywhere but my in-box which is the only place I ever look!

So my Darlings take from this short missive these five truths…

* I have not fallen out with you and presumably (fingers crossed!) you haven’t fallen out with me!
* I would be really, truly grateful if you could re-send anything you suspect I have missed as I have now uninstalled the silly little fancy nothings I saw fit to attach and would truly love to re-connect with you…
* Alison May should not be left alone with whizzy little buttons and snazzy little add-ons because she will mess with them and cause Brocante chaos!
* Life was simpler when the only thing liable to cause mis-communications of this kind was the failure to attach a stamp to an envelope and/or post the darn thing!
* And finally as soon as I hear from you I will answer as soon as I can.

Ok Sweeties, happy Sunday, now as you were…

Aromatherapy For Listless Ladies

You know those days when you have got blah running through your veins? The days when you munch your way through too many biscuits and leave wet washing hanging around the house because those bones of lead just haven’t got the strength to carry you to the washing line? Yes. Those days. The listless, can’t be bothered days.


This little aromatherapy recipe is for them.

Simply spill 10 drops of Clary Sage oil, 16 drops of Grapefruit oil and 4 drops of Fennel oil into the water in your diffuser and  light it. 

Place the burner on the opposite side of the room to your favorite chair and let it warm up for ten minutes. Then make yourself comfortable with cushions and a blanket if it is chilly and close your eyes.  Not to sleep – simply to sit quietly and let the aroma tickle your spirit back to life.

And it will. I promise you, it will.