Monday, 21 August 2017

The (Invisible) Ripple Effect


I've been thinking a lot lately about how far the effects our actions can reach, even the smallest ones. How what we do, or even the things we don't do can have a ripple-like effect. And how we don't get to see how far these 'ripples' actually go. I've been thinking a lot about that last bit specifically.

I believe that not only are you capable of shaping and changing the world, but that you're doing it right now already. And you do so in such small and unassuming ways that you're probably not even aware that you're doing it.
Sometimes we get caught up in the feeling that to change the world we have to do these huge and amazing things. We're just average people living average lives right? And we can't all change the world or make a difference. We have jobs to do, children to raise or we just don't have what's needed to make a meaningful impact.

Wrong.

I don't believe anyone is average when it comes to this and everyone can affect things even from their sofa, or while working their nine to five or just generally juggling life's responsibilities. You are more powerful than you realise. It's in the way you talk, the words you use, what you share of yourself with the world, all of it will create a ripple.

So if you can believe that even the smallest of your actions can have far reaching effects, maybe you can believe that you have more power to spread some positivity than you realise. Just you being you will create positive ripples. Or negative ones.
The choice of what you put out there is yours and yours alone. You may not get the reward of seeing the positive outcome of your actions, but that doesn't mean they won't be there.

This is what I remind myself of during times when it feels as if all our efforts to do some good are having no impact whatsoever. I truly believe they are, we're just not seeing them. And sometimes it will feel that we're not making any impact at all and sometimes we will see a glaringly obvious sign that's impossible to ignore.
I suppose what I'm trying to say can be summed up in that well known phrase "be the change you want to see". And you can do that from the sofa. With greasy hair tied up in a messy bun, with yesterday's clothes on and an overwhelming need for more sleep, you are still all powerful.




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Monday, 14 August 2017

Slow Fashion Outfit Of The Day

Before I kick off this post, I quickly want to invite you to join my newsletter mailing list if you haven't already done so.

Each month I'll be putting together a collection of things for you to make, do and read whilst also giving you updates on what I've been up to each month, including a monthly challenge. The first one is due to land on September 1st and if you would like to receive it, simply sign up using the form at the top of this page. Also, if you have any ideas about what you would like to see included, let me know! I would love your feedback.

Now then, back to the post..

For ages I've wanted to start a series of slow fashion outfit posts, then over the weekend, out of nowhere I had the urge to share the outfit I was wearing on my Instagram Stories and I was blown away by people's reactions to it. It's given me the oomph I needed to get on and start this thing so here it is folks, my first slow fashion outfit post.

This was the outfit I shared on Saturday. Please excuse the poor quality, it was fresh off the Insta Stories press. As you can see it's nothing fancy. I just wanted something warm, comfy and nice enough that I didn't feel flumpy in it. Flumpy is a thing.


Sandals: New Look from 6 years ago
Jeans: Charity shop
Top: Ebay
Cardigan: Vintage
Necklace: Handmade by yours truly

And this was my outfit from yesterday. The sun came out!


Sandals: Same as above (I pretty much live in these and flip flops over the summer..when the weather is behaving)
Skirt: Charity shop
Top: H&M
Headband: Handmade


As I was taking these pictures I realised that so far this year I have only bought two brand new items of clothing - leggings and underwear. Everything else has been secondhand. So seeing as I appear to have accumulated a wardrobe consisting largely of secondhand, upcycled and handmade clothing, I can't see any reason not to continue with these posts now. I'm even feeling less awkward taking pictures of myself which was a massive hurdle before. Although maybe I need to do something else with my feet! 

So until next time folks, take it easy.


x

Monday, 10 July 2017

The Grateful 10 - June

June was ridiculously busy, hence the lack of updates here. It's nice to know that the business has grown to the point where it can now pay to keep the roof over our heads, but it did come at a cost. I had very little spare time and felt like I was juggling all the things at top speed. No balls were dropped though and I've learnt a lot over the past few weeks so it was a good experience. Plus I did manage to find a lot of good moments in there too. Enough to make it difficult to chose just ten of them for my Grateful Ten list. These were my top moments from June..

 My new found secret spot


It's not much at the moment, but I've found a secret spot behind the house which is the perfect little hidey hole. Even Alessi doesn't know about it! It's sunny, but has a shady spot and somehow still picks up the wifi from the house! If I can find a table and chair, I could easily work out here which would make getting on with things on sunny days so much easier. I procrastinate like you would not believe on sunny days when I'm forced to stay in the house so this could be a real help. Not to mention it's just lovely to feel the warm breeze without being blinded or worrying about sunburn while being able to hear bees and birds and look up at the woods behind the house. It's a little nook and it's all mine!

Roses and dried petals


The roses are starting to die off in the garden now so I'm starting to pick them and dry the petals. It's so easy and just makes them go that little bit further. Plus it makes the kitchen smell amazing.

Chimney of bees


Oh my. I completely nerded out over this last week over on my Instagram stories so I don't want to bore you too much. In short we ended up with a large swarm of honey bees living in our chimney. A beekeeper came over to try and move the hive by putting a specially designed basket over the chimney which had some honeycomb attached inside which then dangled down. The idea was that all the bees (queen included) would move up the chimney to concentrate on this honeycomb rather than the bit they'd already started. Then the beekeeper would simply take them all away. He even put a separate box out in a field just behind the house in case they decided they preferred that instead. But the following night it rained and when we woke up the chimney was silent. When I went out to check, there were hardly any bees left flying around. The beekeeper returned a few days later and confirmed that the swarm and abandoned the chimney (probably due to the rain). He removed his basket and said the remaining bees would probably move on during the next rain fall. Failing that we could try smoking them out. I'm not sure how keen I am to do that to be honest as the chimney hasn't been used for a few years and has also had birds nesting in it. It's wet today so hopefully they'll move on now. Weirdly, I'm going to miss them. The whole thing was fascinating and I could have spoken to the beekeeper for ages. One day maybe.

Sparrow watching


Most of springs nesting birds have long gone, moving back to the woods or orchard which is now overgrown again after I neglected it last month. But the sparrows and sparrow babies (although they're not really babies anymore) remain and I love sitting by the back door watching them in the mornings with a cup of coffee. This is definitely one of my favourite parts of the day at the moment.

The sunflower wall.. again


They've gotten so big and it's so cheerful to see them out of the kitchen window. And I'll be able to dry the stalks out in the autumn too and use them next year as stakes for the next batch.

After school hangs


When Alessi comes home it sees me switch from shop mode to mum mode. We just hang out and do whatever she wants. This last bit of term before the holidays always leaves her feeling a little frazzled so this helps her relax a little bit. I think we're both ready for the holidays though and a more relaxed pace.

My new-to-me dressing table


If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen this beauty in my feed. Basically I came across it in a local secondhand shop and promised myself buy it if it was still there the next time I popped in. I wasn't very hopeful though as things move quite quickly there. When Dan got home from work the following day he asked me to help him carry something out of the car and there it was. Best. Surprise. Ever.

Alessi dancing


All the time. Oh and singing. It's a joy to watch. Especially her made up dances. My faves are the 'I've got a wedgie' dance and the old favourite 'cockney' dance that Dan taught her. She's such a wonderful little weirdo.

Sky lights 


I've watched stars and a couple of full moons glide across the night sky from the comfort of my bed as well as listened to the sound of birdsong and falling rain. I never thought I could love a sky light as much as this, but I do and now they're on my list of things my dream house would have.

Pretty plates


Ever since I decided to make the kitchen table and specifically meal times more of a thing, I've started serving up meals on pretty vintage plates because what is the point of owning them if they stay in a cupboard and rarely get used? And I won't lie, they also help distract from the fact that dinner is often burnt. "Dinner is charcoal but hey, it's on a plate with flowers on so TA DA!"

There's always something to be grateful for. Always. And I swear by listing ten things in any moment to be a great way to lift your spirits or at least take the edge of a crappy day. Give it a go sometime and see!

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Introducing: The Grateful 10 - May

Hi folks. I'm excited to share this post as it's something I've been thinking about doing for a long time and now seems like the perfect time to start it.
At the end of each month I'm going to make a list of ten things I'm grateful for, great and small. I'm starting up a hashtag on Instagram too called #thegratefulten where I'll post my grateful ten lists whenever I feel the need. Feel free to join in and add you're own too!

Without further ado, here are ten things I've been grateful for this past month:

-1-
My family
These two are the family I chose for myself and they are my everything.

-2- 
The view from my windows
Nope. Not bored of this yet.

-3- 
Birdwatching while washing up
Well it certainly makes it more interesting anyway.

-4- 
Beach trips after school
This is such a treat for Alessi and I'm loving the time we get to spend together here. I learnt a valuable lesson on our last trip though. Always, ALWAYS bring a change of clothes.

-5- 
Flowers from the garden
The original owners of the cottage where keen gardeners and they seem to have planted flowers, bushes and bulbs to ensure that there's always something blooming at any given time of the year. No sooner has one plant died back than another is starting to burst with colour. I've never been one to grow many flowers before, preferring to focus on fruit and vegetables instead. The garden here has completely changed my mind about that and it's something I will take with me when we move.

-6-
This spot
Last week I posted this picture on Instagram after getting the urge to carve out a lovely space for us to come together as a family. Since then it's seen more burnt meals (me), more squabbles (Dan and Alessi) and is now my favourite spot in the house. 

-7- 
Nature spotting
We've seen rabbits, mice, kites, buzzards, squirrels, woodpeckers, kingfishers, slow worms and this little newt all in the last week. I wanted to live closer to nature and oh boy am I ever. Of course this also means sharing the house with some nature too, but I'll take that. 

-8- 
My sunflower wall
It wasn't just the snails that were after my sunflowers. The chickens kept having dust baths next to and on top of them, as well as getting the odd peck at the leaves in too. So I took a leaf out of a certain President's playbook and built a wall. If he wants to learn anything from my experience, it was a faff to put it up and it doesn't work anyway. I'm forever scooping the chickens out and chasing them off. Forget your bad hombres, they've got nothing on Tufty Sue and Snowball.

-9- 
The chickens
Despite the aforementioned dust baths, I am so grateful for these two. I still miss Titch, but I'm happy that these two are still here. Tufty Sue has really come out of her shell (Titch was a bit of an overbearing chicken) and is a lot friendlier than she used to be. Snowball is currently broody so we're constantly chucking her out of the coop to make sure she remembers to eat and drink. And she's constantly telling us off in return.

-10- 
Being home
No words needed.

And so endeth The Grateful Ten list for May. Come and join me over on Instagram and post your own list using the #thegratefulten hashtag!

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