My Kitchen 

We have lived in our house for the last 7 months, looking at houses to buy in Whitstable can be like torture. Some of them are so beautiful but you can never have them as the prices are he highest they have ever been so you have to view everything which a sense of ‘imagination’. 

Our home by far wasn’t the biggest we viewed, it wasn’t the most modern but has such potential that I kept coming back to it. One of the things that was so attractive was the kitchen, newly installed in a neutral style with plenty of space for a breakfast bar come extra space for food prep or just sitting with a glass of wine.

We ordered some reclaimed wooden planks (a great find on Etsy) with a view to putting up farmhouse style open shelving and selected some lovely wrought iron brackets for them to fixed to the wall with. Originally I had planned three one on top of the other but in reality we decided that one above the sink would be handy and give us some more space in another area.

As you do when you move into a new property and start to make it a home the shelves have adapted somewhat and not only store lots of kitchen essentials but also have become home to my new collection of Emma Bridgewater pottery (how gorgeous are the patterns) but also to hang mugs from, to keep the occasional pen, the boys money jars to save money for the upcoming holiday and a general space to pop pretty things on. 

The breakfast bar I settled on was not the conventional choice and is actually half of a very old circular French table sanded and painted. It’s so imperfect it’s brilliant and does exactly what I had wanted, quirky but totally functional.

Added the the quirky is my ever expanding range of prints, I love quotes (you may have noticed), I have the best Alice in Wonderland quote ever in a frame which was a gift from my parents, a couple of Sass and Belle prints which I couldn’t resist the colours of and a wooden sign with a quote from one of my favourite programmes as a child, Father Ted. Anyone else remember Mrs Doyle, the ever loyal housekeeper and her ‘go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, GO ON!’ When insisting someone have a cup of tea? 

Anyway until the extension goes onto the back of the house (a post for another time) and I can expand the kitchen further I’m quite happy with my country, shabby chic, eclectic kitchen. Would love to hear what you think!

Lots of love, Lucy x

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Having your cake and eating it too….

Hey all and a very happy bank holiday Monday to you!

I have just sat down, yes you read correctly, just sat down. I got up and starting cleaning my mess laden house at 0730 hours this morning and have just sat down, about 4 minutes before our guests are due to arrive for a bbq. 

I love my home, it’s still very much a work in progress but it’s full of things I love and I like to think that anyone can feel relaxed and happy here. However, my husband and I are both shift workers with four and six year old boys, two cats, a leopard gecko and a diary full of lovely things to do. So… On the weekends that Karl is on nights and I am on earlies and we literally work and sleep the house ends up looking a bit like a bomb has hit it. 

I am so grateful for my efforts when I sit down and can enjoy how calm and peaceful everything seems when it’s all tidy and everything back in place however I will now need to try and stay awake long enough to have a lovely evening with some of our best friends.

Now…. Pass the prosecco xx

Space and Time

For today’s post I have been inspired by mindfulness. You know those times when you are sat or standing and waiting for something? Be it for a late appointment at the doctors surgery or for the bus etc, where does your mind go? 

These moments when we have no choice other than to think or day dream, what do you think about? I used to think about problems, all the jobs I needed to do, what was worrying me, pouring over decisions trying to decide if I have done the right thing. Nowadays I still occasionally let the negative in however I have started to cherish these moments a little more and spend some time on me. 

I have always been a doodler, at school I would decorate my books and those of my friends with pretty patterns and copies of designer logos, I doodled whenever I could and it helped me to be calm and to feel like I was really good at something. 

When I recently started going into school as a youth mentor I bought a new notebook, mostly for jotting down my dates that I come and any ideas of activities or things to do that might assist my mentee. In November last year I turned towards the back of the book and started a doodle, just like the ones I had done at school and I spent the couple of minutes waiting for each mentee to arrive doing nothing other than doodling. Now in May I look at my doodle and realise that those few precious moments have been my own form of mindfulness. No negative thoughts, no worries, just black lines on a page.

What do you do? Might be a time to give yourself a break, think about your holiday, think about the next fun thing you have to look forward to, even the lovely glass of wine or hot choc you will have this evening when you get home.

Enjoy! 

Lucy x

Having a massive word with myself

It’s amazing how a couple of days can give you some perspective, Monday I felt useless and ill, Tuesday I dragged myself to work still not better but with the thought of a huge ‘to do’ list spurring me on, Wednesday a day off, boys at school, husband on a golf break so a day of sorting and organising the many many piles of paperwork in the drawers we ‘file’ stuff in and then a mooch around the many charity shops Whitstable has to offer. 

I have come home again boys in tow but with a clearer mind, a sense of purpose and a feeling of achievement. A very wise friend of mine said to me on Tuesday that I need to stop putting myself down, I questioned it and thought… But I’m positive, I can weigh things up and I’m always trying to empower others, then I read my post from Monday and thought….. Ah.

Something I accepted sometime ago was that we have good days and bad days, sometimes it’s sunny, sometimes it rains and I have become very good at giving situations and circumstances a perspective however it appears I am not as good as I thought, so in the words of the ever wise Albus Dumbledore I leave you ‘happiness can be found in even the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light’. 

Setting a good example

Morning all, how are we? Well it’s Monday and I should be back at work this morning however I’m waiting to see the doctor. 

I won’t bore you with the details but needless to say ongoing ‘women’s issues’ have kept me at home again. I’m starting to feel like a broken record but I genuinely felt like the worlds worst mother and the least strong I have felt for sometime this weekend.

I am raising boys, boys who love to run around like loons, live life at 500 mph and who I want to grow up with a strong mum who looks after them and imparts on them respect for women. So you can imagine how I feel when yesterday I spent all day on the sofa under a blanket feeling like I had the energy of an abandoned banana skin and saying things like ‘I’m sorry darling, mummy isn’t feeling very well’, sure we all get ill but I feel like a pathetic mess.

Due to shift work although my husband and I are very much a team we often have stints of parenting on our own so you can’t do the ideal and send them out for some fun with daddy. My parents have dropped them at school for me this morning so after the dr I can come home and be a pathetic mess where no one can see me!

How do we manage it? To be ill, poorly and vulnerable and to still to be the parent we want to be and our children know? 

A typical ‘rest’ day 

Happy Saturday to all! I am on a day off from work, I say that with some sarcasm as most of you will know that with little people there is never really a day off at all! 

We started off with a little lay in which I have to say was so needed! My sole job for the day was to post a parcel (one of my good idea, get rid of old clothes on EBay moments). It started with ‘Why do we need to go to the post office? They are sooooo boring’. I cannot tell you how many times I explained that it would take two minutes but to Nate, 6 and Leo, 4 patience is not a virtue. 

I gave them the choice of the activities from the day and was met with the usual, toy shop, zoo, the fair, etc. We decided on the beach and conveniently a lovely beach nearby in Seasalter is on the same road as the post office. 

I am hugely lucky to have grown up in Whitstable, living by the sea and all the nature it has to offer. My boys can boast the same start. We spent a couple of hours collecting shells, making sand castles and then took a wander down to the Seasalter Sailing club and watched the boats go out.

Then home for lunch and the usual ‘we want to make a cake’, which turned into me making a cake, two boys covering in flour arguing over who cracks which egg and then leaving me to it to play football in the garden. 

So two hours after that, the cake is made, iced, I’ve done the washing up and put Alice in Wonderland on for them. Of course they both moaned as its for girls! But both are now engrossed. I however am also covered in flour, icing sugar and hundreds and thousands and am collapsed next to them on the sofa looking like I’ve run a marathon and needing a cuppa I can’t be bothered to get up to make! 

My husband will shortly be home after a day at work when I get to go to boot camp (Team Beaver Bootcamps Whitstable) to be shouted at by a grown up male all in the name of burning calories! 

God bless Lewis Carroll!