A Domestic Goddess Life For Me

As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, I’m not someone who could be described as a domestic goddess. I imagine such a person to have an insanely tidy house at all times, to have sparkling windows all year round and who has always just baked something. Rarely a day goes by where there isn’t a little pile of random objects – usually keys, bills and receipts, on our coffee table (and if we have people round, they’re underneath!)

I try to keep on top of cleaning and aim to run the hoover round regularly. We have dark carpets in our house which show up any tiny molecule of dust or fluff. Being the savvy house proud genius that I am, I put down gorgeous huge cream rugs that instantly lighten and lift the rooms and also hide some of the fluff. They also instantly look grubby when you waltz across them in your shoes once.

I’m a bit of a clean freak and at my happiest when my house has been scrubbed from top to bottom and I can sit with a glass of wine and admire my handywork (and elbow-grease!) What is it some people say about everything having its place? Ok, so I’m not that bad but when you get in from a busy day, there’s nothing more frustrating than having to tidy up before you can sit down.

My work room is the one place I make a huge effort to keep tidy all the time. It makes me smile as my mum always used to say to me;

“If you tidy as you go, you won’t have a big mess to tidy at the end.”

Twenty-odd years later and I’m still listening to this piece of advice! My desk could potentially look as though a bomb has hit it – there’s always tins of paint, string, buttons and other crafty bits dotted around.

Not too messy today – but the mug is dangerously empty!

Knowing of my worries about ‘keeping house’ my sister bought me a book for my birthday which really hits the nail on the head. Domestic Sluttery by Sian Meades is a light-hearted book based on a blog and it’s for ‘…anyone who aspires to be a domestic goddess without having to work hard at it…’

She looks at general home life and food etc. and helps you to realise that not everything has to be perfect. Life is too busy to be worrying about the state of your house, so there are little shortcuts to perfection and some tips with storage and display. In its own words ‘…this book won’t magically transform your life…’ but I had a smile on my face from the first page and have come away with some fab ideas. definitely worth a read!

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A long weekend in York

I had a full weekend of completely neglecting my work – and it was fabulous!

Me and my sister whisked our partners up to York for a long weekend of fun. Both of their Birthdays are at the beginning of February so it seemed like a good excuse to get everyone together and a place that always gets suggested is York, and it’s easy to see why.

York is beautiful. From the buildings to the streets to the shops. I turned into a complete tourist and took photos of practically everything, including the boutique little shops we went in!

Our hotel was just a short walk from all the shops and pubs and one I would highly recommend. As well as the staff being beyond friendly and it’s convenient location, just look at the building…

Four poster beds and the whole caboodle!

We parked the boys in a pub while me and Zoe explored the cobbled streets jam packed with gorgeous boutique shops. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many unique and individual places to shop and we hurried into all of them, sneakily buying presents for each other and moving onto the next. Pictures, paintings and prints in various frames filled walls while cubby holes and shelves were crammed with candle holders, cushions, vintage treasures and more. This shop was a particular favourite of mine;

The cards were displayed in old wooden drawers hung on the walls and homely goodies were scattered around in crates and baskets. A wonky staircase leads you upstairs to find beautiful dressers filled with plush toys, wooden gifts and more cards. I loved the old roll top bath filled with cushions! Another favourite of mine was Priestley’s at No. 36 which was filled to bursting with antiques, gifts, china all of which I could have quite happily bought home. The lady in the shop was lovely and happily abandoned her dusting to tell us about the shop and her history with antiques.

We headed up to the Shambles to find even more amazing shops and some beautiful streets;

After this ‘hard’ days shopping we joined the boys for some well deserved refreshments and sat in an aptly named room…

As much as I say I abandoned my work, I’ve arrived home with some excellent new contacts (business cards a plenty!) and my head is full of fresh ideas and projects.

A thoroughly fabulous and enjoyable weekend had by all!

Painting Presents

I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog front recently and for this I’m sorry!

As usual, I’ve not been twiddling my thumbs but painting two big projects, one of which being a present for some friends. They had a little boy last August called Ben and I know it’s what you’re supposed to say when friends have children, but he really is gorgeous. When he first came home we took him some name blocks for his new room.

I said on the run up to Christmas I didn’t want to over do the handmade present thing, so we hunted the highstreet and online for the perfect present. This turned out to be a lot more difficult than we first thought.

Quite often I will imagine a present for someone before I’ve seen it. This isn’t wise to do because what you imagine, nine times out of ten doesn’t actually exist and therefore can’t be purchased! Excellent start.

Me and Ed spent many evenings discussing what we could buy and ruling everything out just as quickly as suggesting it. We got side-tracked and started talking about things we had when we were young – favourite toys or games that kept us amused and amazed for hours. Luckily our friends escaped many childhood remembered treasures including a noisy penguin steps and slide game which, oddly enough I was reunited with by my sister!

Another memory was being measured against a door frame and the date being scribbled on to show how much we had grown.

Light bulb moment. A height chart! And what better image for little Ben to be measured against? Big Ben of course. So knowing this very specific present wouldn’t exist, it was off to Homebase to purchase a tall piece of wood and lots of paint.

The actual image took quite a bit of sketching and measuring and even more measuring, but eventually Big Ben was taking shape.

Now it’s with it’s happy new owners and waiting for Ben to grow!