So you know how sometimes I fall off the blogging bandwagon and sometimes its because life is in the way and other times it is because I am entertaining the black dog and more often it is because I am being a floral- pinnied little worker minion busying away behind the scenes here at BrocanteHome? Recently has been one of those times.

You see so many of you have told me that you can’t work BrocanteHome: that some of it is in fact so mystifying as to surely be broken. That you can’t work out where the downloads you have bought have vanished to, you can’t find your account page, and you simply cannot even begin to navigate the Salon and the Living Room.

Now though I come from the rather cosy school of If It Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It, I do understand that sometimes I can be creating complex muddly systems I thoroughly understand because I invented them, but that you are thoroughly bewildered by and that if this is the case then whether I like it not the system is broken and I need to get on with fixing it. Preferably asap!

And so m’dears that is exactly what I’m doing. My lovely Salon, Living Room, courses and Store are all headed under one roof: The BrocanteHome School of Life, where eventually you will have just one account page with access to everything you have ever bought or downloaded from BrocanteHome and with my gorgeous members-only community organised in to step-by-step blocks you will find oh so very easy to access on the road to a life less ordinary.

the-new-salon2

This is a huuuuge undertaking and it is costly in terms of both time and finance –which is why you haven’t seen much of me recently. Because although I would dearly love to be back to blogging the way I used to blog, my community has to take priority so you feel less confused by me and my warren like tunnel of ideas and inspiration!

The School of Life will be  go live after Christmas: I am busy behind the scenes pulling all the strings together and I am getting more excited by the day about it’s potential for all of us!

Phew! All this and Christmas to plan? Too true… but as Ste will be working and my family down South, Finn and I will be spending our very first, cosy Christmas alone and both of us are almost giddy with excitement at the very idea!

Talk soon Lovely Housekeepers.x

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P.S: 100 Scrumptious Things To Do For Christmas is available at a special pre-release price of $12.00 and will be $20.00 after launch on or after November 25th.

The Slow Scrub

 

So ummmmmm, yeah (embarrased shuffle)… a (good) few months ago I dreamt up the Slow Scrub – ninety teeny little tasks that would help you take your house from hell to heaven without busting a gut in the process, released in three parts over three months, that I would write as I performed each part of the process myself.

So off I set: cleaning and polishing and scrubbing and writing and the first two parts went out over the described two months and then it was time to tackle the final month of the ninety days and… nothing. Nada. Zilch and zero.  I couldn’t clean. My life went bottom up and my sense of home was swallowed up in the chaos of having to move twice in as many months and everything was miserable and I got a teeny bit depressed and quite a bit sick and I left us all in housekeeping limbo because I couldn’t write up month three because I hadn’t actually tested it out and I couldn’t bring myself to make it up as I went along so momentum was lost and you were all hanging and I was mortified and when I get mortified I go silent and drive everybody absolutely up the wall. And around the bend.

The Slow Scrub turned in to the Slowest Scrub EVER, EVER, EVER. Performed by a tortoise. A sloth with a pain in her chest. A drama queen in a floral apron.  

I am telling you this in the spirit of honesty. I am telling you because if nobody speaks of depression then it cannot be something we will ever learn to understand and I have to speak my truth even if it takes me an age to spit it out. So spitting out I am. Sometimes despite the fact that I am the self-professed Vintage Housekeeper I cannot clean and when I cannot clean beyond the bare minimum, I cannot write about cleaning and then we all end up frustrated.

Luckily the bad times come and go. With the adventure of a new home and the general  straightening of life as it should be, I am cleaning with spirit, vigour and zest again. And organising again. And writing again. I am so very thrilled. And more than that plain old delighted to tell you that the third and final part of The Slow Scrub is here. In the Salon Library for those of you who are members. And coming to your account page or in-box over the next forty-eight hours for those of you who are not, but bought it in the store.

So I want to thank-you for your patience. I want to say an enormous thank-you to those who read between my occasionally dramatic lines and understand. And I want to tell you how very grateful I am that you know me so very well and know beyond all certainty that I always return to this my lovely, spiritual home. To you.

May we always have kind hearts and clean kitchens.

 

Following on from the huuuuuuge success of my lovely Seasonal House series this year, I am excited to be able to tell you that on November 16th this year I will be releasing a rather darling accompaniment: The Festive House

Created in exactly the same format as the four other downloads in this inspirational series, The Festive House will be a scrumptiously pretty guide to truly indulging all your senses during Christmas and the New Year and will be a gorgeous compendium of little things to do in the run up to Christmas to make your home feel like the cosiest, most festive place on earth…

“With a life in the day of a Vintage Housekeeper during the Christmas season, a list of festive puttery treats, some advice for sprinkling a little glittery magic around the house, and adding a layer of gentle excitement to your Festive house alongside the three housekeeping recipes you need to give the house a hug, a Christmas reading list and a list of journaling prompts for meditating your way through this twinkly season…”

I know you are going to love The Festive House as much, if not more than I know you have so thoroughly adored The Seasonal House series, and as usual if you PRE–ORDER it today you will get it for just $8.00 instead of the $10.00 it will be when it goes live.

My Living Roomers will find a voucher for an extra 25% off the price on the group page (usual code for those in the know!) and finally If you are a member of the Salon you will find The Festive House in the Salon library on the 16th of November absolutely free of charge (along with all the other downloads in my lovely store) – and at the risk of sounding like a stuck record, I just want to remind you that the option to pay for the salon MONTHLY is once again available…

So to sum things up: there are three ways to buy The Festive House.

  1. Pre-Order it today for the discounted price of $8.00 here.
  2. Join the Living Room today for just $15.00 and get a voucher to buy The Festive House for just $6.00 when you sign in to the Living Room Facebook Group …
  3. Or join The Salon, get all the benefits of Living Room Membership, all existing downloads and everything I create for the life of your membership absolutely FREE for just $20.00 a month OR the lowly price of just $169.00 for an entire year of BrocanteHome wonderfulness!

I know which deal I would grab…x

Well now, with one thing or another it is taking me longer than I expected to settle in and get my routines and rituals in place. Though heaven knows why I imagine myself to be some sort of Superwoman capable of organizing an entire house in the space of two weeks, with all utilities correctly set up, furniture sourced for all the odd little corners, an extra bedroom created for Stevie where there was no bedroom before, clothes folded and stored away in sensible places, deliveries accepted apparently all day every day, no garden to speak of, an audience of toilet going workmen all day every day, finances helped back on their feet after all the expense of moving, and the stabilizing of a business that is rather suffering in the midst of all this.

Yep. This is a case of Superwoman Syndrome if ever there was one.

The day before yesterday I developed a stomach bug of sorts, ran upstairs to vomit and promptly opened the toilet seat on my head resulting in an egg sized bump on my head that along with the thyroidy bruises I am sporting everywhere from exhaustion, rather looks as though Ste has taken up beating me with a big stick in the dead of night. I am, I am sure, now known as The Battered Woman in the post office down the lane: a post office that frightens the wits out of me so close is the experience of popping in for a pint of milk there to visiting the twilight zone. I am not from around these parts see?

Then yesterday in my haze, I got in to the car to go and meet Kath to give her her daughters much overdue birthday present and managed to reverse the car in to the ditch the gas man had made to channel pipes to the house being built behind mine. Oh yes. The car was in the ditch. The drivers seat was hard up next to the lamppost and I had to scrabble out over the passenger seat, somehow managing to rip a big hole in my trousers on the way and go get a man or ten to heave the car out of the hole.

I now truly believe that anyone moving house should be gifted a week in the Seychelles immediately after to get over the sheer horror of the whole shebang. Because I am telling you, moving house addles your brain.

Anyways. I am writing this post to tell you that as I recently mentioned in the Living Room, I am currently having to reverse some of the changes I made here on BrocanteHome in the Spring because some of the new systems are causing absolute chaos for you my lovely readers. Mostly those of you who visit or shop at BrocanteHome on a tablet or mobile and who thus do not fully see the links you need to follow after becoming a member or purchasing a download. And those of you who email my vastly cluttered ancient old email inbox.

So I am for the moment having to do a little bit of tinkering behind the scenes. It is terribly, terribly dull but it will hopefully alleviate many of the admin problems currently consuming my time. You see it is not only at home that I suffer from Superwoman Syndrome. Here on Brocante I convince myself I can do absolutely everything and that not asking for help or paying for the kind of services that would make all the difference would be foolhardy when clearly it would be EXACTLY what I need. Damn it. Do you think there is a pill I could take?

Today then I am re-opening the original Shopify Brocante store because digital delivery was more reliable and didn’t take Sherlock Holmes to help you find your purchases. I am also setting up a dedicated Customer Service email in-box so you don’t get lost among the flotsam and jetsam of every newsletter I have ever signed up for, slapping a raw steak on to the giant bruise on my head and taking delivery of a bookcase and walnut sideboard I bought on the wonder that is Schpock for the princely, silly sum of just £20.00….

Busy, busy, busy. Have a lovely weekend won’t you?

 

I am neither here nor there. I am in fact all of a fuddle. Between houses. Between seasons. Between two minds.

I am scattered and exhausted and so I am going to take a blogging holiday. To complete The Autumn House and a few other projects currently outstanding. To answer emails and make plans for the last quarter of the year. To spend some time with Finley, in this the last Summer of his childhood, before he turns thirteen at the beginning of September (thirteen!). To pack up the bungalow and say goodbye to the house when it finally completes on the 26th of this month. To sew labels in to new school uniform and sit in the garden watching ruby red butterflies flutter around this proliferation of icy blue hydrangeas.

Though I have had barely anytime at all to blog over the past few weeks, the guilt is very real: when I’m not blogging I truly wish I were and a fluster of emotions from frustration to obligation has me demented. And so rather than post half-heartedly I am simply going to do as so many other bloggers do in August and sign off until September.

Just two weeks me Darlings? I will still be available via the Living Room, but otherwise I will be joining Bill Bryson as he meanders around Britain in The Road to Little Dribbling, walking the dog on the beach before he goes to live with my Dad, setting up new routines to allow for the shifts Ste will soon be working, and basically trying to glue myself together after the relentless stress of the past few months.

Do enjoy the end of your Summer too won’t you? Switch off all social media and remember what life was like before it revolved around Facebook. Make time for just sitting quietly in the garden. Mix up delicious salads, take fragrant lemon showers, read The Little House on the Prairie, wash vintage linens in a dolly tub in the back garden and seek out the shady cool of the deepest, darkest forest near you. Hold hands. Go jogging on the beach. Eat fish and chips on the prom. Dance in the moonlight…

Till September then…x

Apologies for not being around in the past few days: life is to say to the least, absolutely mental and at the very last minute my house sale seems to be delayed all over again. But hey ho these things are sent to try us aren’t they?

Last month’s Salon and Living Room competition prize was a copy of The Complete Book of Home Organization and today I am here to announce that the winner has been chosen by random number generator and the results are in!

Book winner

Catherine I do believe it is YOU! And as soon as you send me your home address your book will be delivered directly from Amazon…

Next months prize? 52 Lists for Happiness because having list prompts is quite the most inspirational way to journal your way to authenticity… and the easiest.

The Prize Thread will open in our lovely LIVING ROOM Facebook group next week, but remember you have got to be a member of either the Salon or the Living Room (membership starts at just $15.00 PER YEAR!) to enter our lovely monthly prize draw….

Congratulations Catherine: may every inch of your home be organised…x

I can’t quite believe that I have reached the last in the four seasons of my House series, and that in just two weeks time, The Autumn House will be sitting among my Winter, Spring and Summer editions. 

How the years fly by! And oh how very much I have enjoyed focusing on the pleasures of each season in turn: gathering up seasonal books, writing lists of lovely puttery treats and loveliest of all, for each of the four seasonal books, writing an essay designed to inspire all the particular joys of each season at home, in your hearts.

“With a life in the day of a Vintage Housekeeper in Autumn, a list of seasonal puttery treats, some advice for preparing for cooler weather at home, and adding a layer of cosy calm to your Autumn house alongside the three housekeeping recipes you need to give the house a hug, an Autumn reading list and a list of journaling prompts for meditating your way through this gorgeous season of so much promise…”

This then is the snuggliest way to enjoy Autumn at home: a collection of Brocante-esque advice designed to inspire you to make the most of this season of change…

The Autumn House is available for PRE-ORDER right now at the discounted price of $8.00 and will be delivered to your in-box on the 18th August- when the price will go up to the usual seasonal series price of $10.00… AND my Living Roomers will find a voucher for an extra 25% off the price on the group page today…

Finally If you are a member of the Salon you will find The Autumn House in the Salon library on the 18th of August absolutely free of charge (along with all the other downloads in my lovely store) – and at the risk of sounding like a stuck record, I just want to remind you that the option to pay for the salon MONTHLY is once again available…

So to sum things up: there are three ways to buy The Autumn House.

  1. Pre-Order it today for the discounted price of $8.00 here.
  2. Join the Living Room today for just $15.00 and get a voucher to buy The Autumn House for just $6.00 when you sign in to the Living Room Facebook Group …
  3. Or join The Salon, get all the benefits of Living Room Membership, all existing downloads and everything I create for the life of your membership absolutely FREE, Salon Only posts and coming soon monthly podcasts and webinars, and one on one Pep-Talks with yours truly for just $20.00 a month OR the lowly price of just $169.00 for an entire year of BrocanteHome wonderfulness!

I know which deal I would grab…x

 

Last month’s Salon and Living Room competition prize was a gorgeous Cath Kidston planner and today I am here to announce that the winner has been chosen by random number generator and the results are in!

 

Random Generator

 

Kate I do believe it is YOU! And as soon as you send me your home address I will be popping your planner in to the post…

Next months prize? The Complete Book of Home Organization by Toni Hammersley because I do believe we could all use a little more organization couldn’t we? And as so few of my Living Room members actually got around to entering the chances of winning are staggeringly high!

The Prize Thread will open in our lovely LIVING ROOM Facebook group next week, but remember you have got to be a member of either the Salon or the Living Room to enter our lovely monthly prize draw….

Congratulations Kate: may you spend many a happy hour planning the next twelve months…x