Good morning Gorgeous Ones. It is eleven o’clock in the morning and I have already eaten my lunch because I seem to have been up for hours tapping away at my keyboard, abundant with ideas and finally (oh finally!) the drive to achieve all that needs to be achieved.
I haven’t actually had a shower. But hey ho, I have eaten and I am achieving! What more do you want?
Today I just wanted to bring you up to speed with everything that has been happening in my lovely Living room and the soon to be launched Salon…
* Firstly the conversation is flowing in the Living Room Facebook group and it is such a joy. Though many of you have signed up to the group, most of my Living Room members haven’t and I just wanted to let you know that it is in the group where most of my announcements are made about what is new in the Homework section, the book-clubs and the downloads and it is a quick and easy way to stay in the know…
* Speaking of which: if you have applied to join the Facebook group and I have not yet responded, it will be because your Facebook name doesn’t ring a bell with me. This is now happening frequently: so many of you have different email addresses, Facebook aliases, paypal addresses, Brocante usernames and real names that it is becoming very difficult to work out who is who and who should have access to what. So please, please, please, if I do not respond to your Facebook request or your Brocante subscription is not updated it will simply be a matter of me needing to match up names with email addresses, so just drop me an email and I will attend to your issue pronto!
* Next up, following requests from the Living Roomers in the Facebook group, conversation about the month’s bookclub choice will now begin in the third week in each month, giving everybody time to both acquire the book and form an opinion they want to share. As happened this month, the workbook for the chosen book will be available in the first week of the month so you can work along as you read…
* To clear up any confusion about the Living Room Discount, all members of the Living Room are entitled to an automatic 25% discount off everything in the BrocanteHome Download Store and the code is available in the Facebook group or by email request.
* And finally the last part of the first folio of “homework” based on creating a morning less ordinary will end tomorrow with the final worksheet and next week we will start working on creating weekly rituals to help you live with both authenticity AND purpose…
* This morning The Summer House has been delivered to all Salon members email in-boxes (absolutely FREE) so do look out for that won’t you?
* This week will see all existing Salon members accounts enabled so that they can read the Salon Only blog posts, Better Me posts and the Shine program as well as being able to view their account renewal dates.
* Then next week will see the opening of the library, access to all existing downloads, and the announcement of the very first BrocanteHome webinar on what it means to Create A Life Less Ordinary. (Eeeeeeeeeeeeeek!).
* And finally if you aren’t sure what your status as a former Circle member/Housekeeping Superstar is with regards to the Salon simply drop me a line and I will be happy to let you know.
I’m so enjoying the new era of BrocanteHome and I truly hope you are too…
Have a lovely day won’t you Housekeepers?
And so the first anniversary of My Mum’s death came and went and it was nothing and everything all at once. Perhaps too raw to explain yet. I meant to carry on regardless, but it turned out to be harder than I anticipated and I retreated for a while: seven days of enduring something none of us here can yet tolerate.
Then yesterday I stood in my little house, cleaning it and wiping away the cobwebs, spiders taking advantage of our absence, have seen fit to form, when my friend Debbie came up the path and said hello. And we stood in the house that was once my home and she said well I think this feels right: It is time to close the door on all these memories and start your life again. And because she is the voice of my own conscience I nodded, and we talked about Spark Joy and how on earth I am going to find somewhere for the many books on my huge immovable bookcase when there isn’t a bookcase to be seen in the Bungalow and ne’er a wall to hold one if I could take it with me.
It is time to start my life again. Richard will be released soon and it frightens me. And so much of what was is gone. Even Finn’s famed long curls have been trimmed in to a more manageable short cut (something that felt like a little death all of its own). It is time to start my life again. So last week I signed up to the Elite Blog Academy so I could have someone teach me how to trim the behemoth that BrocanteHome has become. How to tidy it up and show it off to audiences I have never had the inclination to reach out to, but now need in a world where writing isn’t enough.
I need life to be leaner. For my world to be a lighter place in which to exist. I need my bottom to be half the size it is becoming. For BrocanteHome – like Finley’s hair – to be more manageable so I know whether I am coming or going, not flapping hither and thither like some sort of demented donkey carrying far too much on his sweltering back.
So yes. All this crazy imagery of hot donkeys is the long way around to saying that as I move through the very first blogging course I have ever taken, you may just notice some changes. This week all the categories that once existed on the blog have been deleted and just five new categories will take their place. Five categories that will represent the five aspects of my life as it is now. The guiding posts to a life less ordinary, and one that will in the very near future be the five pillars of living life the Brocante way.
You see life is never static. Change happens by necessity, because without it life spirals downwards and we have to keep daring to dream that it can be better. That we can update our websites without fear of heaven knows what. And more than that, update our own identities in this relentless search for comfort, authenticity and peace.
Is it time to start YOUR life again?
The Slow Scrub is the answer to all those questions you have had about how the heckity pie you can be expected to perform an intensive Seasonal Scrub when you work full time, have a babba permanently attached to your hip, or have the kind of health problems that mean energy is in short supply.
Yesarooney: I have looked at my own Seasonal Scrubbing process and understood that for some of you turning your house completely upside down over the course of a week or even a month, may prove to be utterly impossible and in reply I have created The Slow Scrub: a ninety day journey to a cleaner home with one guided task for each day of the three months in which you choose to slowly (but oh so surely) clean every nook and cranny of your home.
This then is the answer to Spring Cleaning your home: to offering the entire course of Spring to freshening up every inch of the house and in the process to re-discovering what joy there is to be found in a sweetly scented, well-loved home.
This download is utterly simple: there are ninety tasks that start with the bedroom and end in the kitchen, with no stone left un-turned in-between. You can of course choose any of the tasks in any order you please, simply ticking them off as you go along until all ninety are completed (so that if it makes more sense to you to do six tasks on a Saturday instead of during the week, then that is ok too, as is sharing out tasks among willing family members), but I have organised it in a traditional “top to bottom way” that I hope will mean you won’t need to go over the same area twice, and can on the ninetieth day complete your efforts by polishing your kitchen sink to a sparkling shine.
With all the same puttery goodness included in all my housekeeping downloads, The Slow Scrub is designed to inspire you to try to instill your cleaning routines with rituals that make it lovelier, whether that be home-made cleaning potions, a podcast on the phone tucked in to your apron pocket or an essential oil that delights your senses, because only when it is truly enjoyable will you commit to a process that will reap benefits for the rest of the year and allow you to step in to Summer with a house glowing with pride.
Who doesn’t want a house that glows?
Available for delivery to your in-box this Friday, the 26th of February, The Slow Scrub is available for pre-order in the new store today, and members of my lovely Vintage Housekeeper’s Circle will of course get it absolutely free as part of their subscription…
“That is one good thing about this world…there are always sure to be more springs.”
Dear Lucy Maud Montgomery was right about all most everything. And never more than in the quote above, when she reminds us that just as Mother Nature shakes off even the darkest of Winters, so too can we come out the other side in to a Spring all of our own…
And so here I am, still so relentlessly hopeful. Ready to start all over again, after almost a year of the quietest of grief. I am de-cluttering the Spark Joy way. Making piles and excavating only deep-rooted happiness. Nibbling at Mazat Dark Orange chocolate. Spending hours in the library. Reading this. (Such fun!) Stripping everything away until only what is sacred is left behind. Watching Fortitude with my Dad. Drinking copious amounts of deliciously sweet tea, made by Finley who is suddenly old enough to show how much he loves me in this most British of fashions.
Planning a garden full of poppies. A herb garden and a vegetable patch. Laundry on one of those silly, spinny washing lines. Spring mornings on the garden step. A life with Ste.
Here I am. With another incarnation of BrocanteHome. A heart full of hope and feather-light spring in my step.
Spring… How lovely to have you back.
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…
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…
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…
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.
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…
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!
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.
Though this January has been exceptionally soggy, it is usually in this, the first month of the year. that,I get to to dreaming of all the tiny little pleasures Spring brings: from laundry drying in the garden to bundles of white tulips, Spring cleaning and a gentle shift in mood from subdued to almost alive again. Not to mention bouncing baby lambs!
And so because the weather has been behaving rather astonishingly badly, with neither the hint of a teeny snowdrop forcing it’s little head through a sprinkling of snow, nor the sunlit, cold days usually associated with January, I have instead been indulging in all things Spring, while writing the second in my seasonal series after The Winter House.
The Spring House then is a both a how-to and a meditation on what Spring means for those of us who keep house the Brocante way. It is a gorgeous collection of rambling thought, things to do, puttery treats and scrumptious Spring ideas and it is available to order today, and will thereafter arrive in you inboxes on Thursday 21st, and yes, that’s the day after tomorrow!
I am releasing it earlier than planned to lift all our moods. To get us planning a season abundant with scrubs, and lemon scented furniture polish, a lovely Easter and meals to tantalize our taste buds with Spring greens.
To lift us right out of the doldrums and tickle our domestic fancy all over again…
There are two ways to buy The Spring House.
- Order it today over in the Brocante Download Store for just $8.00 and it will be delivered on, or after Thursday 21st January 2016.
- Or become a Rose Member of The Vintage Housekeepers Circle (prices start from just $12.00) and get it absolutely FREE, along with everything else in the download store (and lots more besides), as part of your subscription.
Please note that The Spring House is available to everyone, where ever you live in the world, and the price of $8.00 will be converted to £5.59 in UK pounds, and $11.57 in AUS dollars by Paypal automagically when you place your order so you don’t need to worry about the conversion yourself.
Let’s welcome Spring in to our homes the Brocante way Housekeepers.