Tiddler and Fox News
Happy New Year...sorry I'm a bit late! I know we are already over halfway through January and it's been 3 weeks since I added a post but, for reasons I will explain in a later blog post, it feels as if my year has only just begun. I've only just started to get my plans and goals for 2017 down on paper, having reviewed 2016 only 3 days ago!
I have a very good excuse for my slowness in getting to grips with a new year, believe me and I'll tell you all about it another time but I did manage to schedule in a weekend away to Dartmouth in Devon in order to re-set and find my mojo again.
I used the time very well, getting to grips with my new circumstances, review last year both personally and professionally and to start setting my mind to 2017; where I'm going, what I'm doing, what I'm not doing (!) and how I'm going to do it all.
As usual I've gone into overwhelm a couple of times, this afternoon to be exact when all the stuff now sitting on my desk with notes, goals and to-do's just became too much to bear and I turned to doing something practical instead. I don't know about you but I find just getting up from my chair and doing something useful with my hands can be a powerful antidote to any anxiety lurking in the background. It worked and I was able to crack on with a few more tasks and with positivity too.
This year will be a very different one for me, for lots of reasons and I'll blog about my transformations as I go along, hopefully you'll find it inspiring and a catalyst to make some changes too, but for now, I'll tell you all about my relaxing weekend in Dartmouth. (my stay was booked through these guys)
I booked the trip months ago and have been looking forward to getting away for weeks, I knew it would be a line in the sand for me and I was right, I feel better and more centred as a result.
The journey down to Devon was crisp and sunny and having found the apartment, I was able to relax, open the wine and just 'be'.
The kittens had gone to the local cattery and it was nice just for a couple of days, to not be at their beck and call for food! They have been super clingy since I picked them up yesterday, which is cute.
On Saturday I made the walk out to Dartmouth Castle. I love a bit of history and had a nice half hour or more wandering around, doing an impression of my dad, which is reading EVERYTHING that told me all about the castle. If anyone had been with me I know they would have got more than a little bored, but heck, I was free to mooch, so I did! And I loved it, so nice to wander and soak up the atmosphere, wonder what life in the 1600's was really like, all that stuff.
Prior to that I'd wandered into town and had a pretty brilliant coffee and blueberry bakewell tart in The Deli at Dartmouth. I do love sitting and watching people go by and just marvelling at all the goodies on display, check out the photo below and if you like what you see, find out more here.
As anyone who knows me will testify, food is pretty much the most important thing in my life, so true to form, I had a very nice lunch in the Smith Street Deli, (their Facebook page is here) gorgeous looking and very tasty, I think you'll agree:
Sunday lunch was expertly taken care of by the Bayards Cove Inn, thanks for one of the best chowders I've ever had! No photo I'm afraid, I was too hungry! But you can check out the pub here
I was staying just out of the town centre by the lower ferry and had this amazing view.
Needless to say I did make the most of being able to sit by the french doors with a coffee and watch the ferry toing and froing across the river. I found it quite reassuring, the backwards and forwards of the ferry all day long, reliable and dependable.
The rest of the time was spent drinking wine....not really, I did do lots of planning, goal setting, reading and thinking (yes I know, unbelievable) but there was wine too!
I'll share some of my planning and goal setting and how I go about it in the future when it looks a little bit more organised than it does now, plus I'll be sharing what I'm reading this year and what I'm journalling about too.
So, lots of change to come in my world, let me know what changes you're making this year and we can make the journey together!
Last week I talked about Christmas, yes I know, sorry about that, but is it just me or does each year go by quicker? I guess I'm getting old as my parents often tell me that time speeds up the older you get. Which does make me think you really need to appreciate every single day as they whizz past you and that it never too early to be planning for events or holidays and celebrations and of course, back to school and the changing seasons.
Even if, like me you don't have children, we are coming up to a time of the year where you start to think about getting organised as the seasons change. Priorities change and it's time to think less about how can I manage my day so I get out and get some sunshine and more about preparing for autumn and winter and all the lovely celebrations that come with them.
I find that I want to organise and clean, a bit like I do in spring. It's a great time of year to have a sort out, take it all to the car boot and feel a bit lighter before we hunker down for cold weather.
I recently went through my house and organised it according to Feng Shui principles too. I picked up a great book years ago and used the information to Feng Shui a previous property and had such success with that, I decided that our present home needed a bit of a change. The book is 'Feng Shui for Your Home' by Sarah Shurety, published in 1997. It's a good basic book for all things Feng Shui and I've found it easy to use and follow. Backed up by a bit of internet research this time, I've made changes to most rooms in the house. You can pick up the book very cheaply on Amazon.
And....well, each to their own but even if by simply making the changes that I have, I certainly feel better for having done it. So whether you believe in the art or not, that has to be a good thing hasn't it?! And as the practise is millennia old, there must be something in it.
The major principle of Feng Shui is less clutter and lets face it, a less cluttered house definitely means a less cluttered mind and you feel more free in your space. I've had a good sort out, throwing away all the broken objects that were waiting to be taken to the tip (and had been for months), I've found a proper home for things left lying around (again, for months), I have used baskets to sort things like my fabric collections and the list goes on. Naturally I've used baskets that are available here on Tiddler & Fox!
But I've not just been tidying but adding things to particular spaces, again according to Feng Shui but also just changing things like pictures that were in the wrong place and now look much better hanging in a different room. I still have a couple of rooms to organise and love looking through Pinterest for ideas of how to be a bit more creative with storage.
It's a good time of year to start thinking about new recipes to try in the autumn and winter too and how to get my home ready for winter. We have already had our first delivery of logs and had the log burner swept yesterday!
I've put together some Pinterest boards specifically for organising, decorating on the cheap, back to school, eating well for less and added more pins to my boards 'Halloween', Vintage Christmas' and 'Handmade Christmas'. All the things that are on my mind and I hope you find them useful too. You can find them all here.
For good storage solutions and ideas for how to organise your home, check out online market places such as Etsy and notonthehighstreet.com for unusual and unique finds and help support small businesses, Debenhams, House of Fraser and John Lewis are always good places to turn for quality and practicality in storage and homewares, as is Lakeland for great storage ideas (and lots of other things you never knew you needed!). And such a great time of year to check them out as many have their summer sales on now.
For faux blooms for that last blush of summer, Jane Packer has released a new range for Sainsbury's and are very realistic and well priced.
I also love looking through the websites of Cox & Cox, Loaf, Oka (summer sale now on!), The Linen Works and also Labour and Wait, which is a great website for back to basic vintage style household items, clothing and homewares.
Thinking about lighting, try Pooky for lamps and shades that are truly inspired and great value. And of course, if you are looking for beautiful throws and fab storage baskets then hop over to the shop pages of this website!
Don't forget great home mags such as House Beautiful and Country Homes & Interiors for brilliant interiors inspiration and decorating ideas.