Tag Archives: cottage

Poof!

Abracadabra and POOF! January has disappeared! How did that happen? How can we already be 31 days into this new year?

In some ways this month seems more barren than January to me. With all of Christmas put away, the cottage looks a bit bare. I actually don’t mind it, it simply feels fresh. There are still candles lit and a few twinkle lights glowing for coziness, but everything else has been stripped back. I like getting back to the bones of things and then re-fleshing them out again.

The first of February has brought with it a lot of rain. It is supposed to rain this entire week. I’m going to keep my fingers, toes, eyes and anything else I can think of, crossed for at least one snow day.

The first of the month also brings with it a very special birthday in our family! Happy, Happy Birthday and many, many more! You know who you are! I love you!

{Lucy meets Orson found HERE // Birthday Party found HERE}

It’s Thursday, Alright!


Well,  it’s a Thursday alright! We’re doing a major overhaul in the cottage. Cleaning, gutting and downsizing. I made two trips to one charity store this morning to bring them two side tables we were getting rid of. Mr. Michie helped me make the other trip before work, to a different charity shop, that will take electrical items. I’ve dusted high up places and low down underneath places that haven’t been dusted in awhile and in doing this my vacuum broke. It hasn’t been very happy for a bit, so I guess it thought today was a good day to go.

Well, I just had to laugh, because this would only happen to me. So, even though it is just the first of December and not the first day of Christmas, I started singing, as I often sing and talk to myself: “On the first day of Christmas my true love bought for meeeee, a new-eww vaa-ac-uuummm!”

I’ve been a very good girl this year, so there is one winging it’s way to me now as I type. So, I thought I shall take a five minute break, catch my breath, re-work my plan of attack for the day and share something with all of you. I saw this gem on Monday and it is just pure Wes Anderson happiness. So, here’s to the first of the month and here’s to Thursdays, let them be short, so we can move on to Fridays and then on to the merry weekend! And, wherever that train is going, I want to ride within it’s mint green walls and rattle down the tracks.

Spring

Victoria Magazine Spring Quote

Yesterday, we heralded in the “First Day of Spring”. Yet, it doesn’t feel very “Spring” like outside. The sky is a lavender grey and there’s a chill in the air. It was so dark by four o’clock today, I had to turn the lamps on! But, there are already little touches here and there if you know where to look. The bulbs are starting to shoot up from the earth and the fields are turning greener and greener.

After my Friday break, I went back to spring cleaning today and attacked the bathroom. Getting rid of anything out of date or finished with. Now, it too has joined the list of organised spaces in our cottage. Decluttering is a wonderful feeling!

School breaks up this week and we have a few Easter plans. We’ve pretty much nailed down a menu for Easter Sunday and we’ve put a few things on our “To-Do” list for when we are off. Going to the garden nursery is one of them, I’m ready for a lot more colour outside of our door, so re-planting the garden pots it is! I’m also hoping for my first spring walk through Regent’s Park, one of my favourite places to spend a lazy strolling day.

{Quote from Victoria Magazine}

Taking A Break

Vintage Housewife

It’s crisp today with a silvery grey sky. I don’t mind, I’m staying cozy inside. My candles are lit, I’m listening to music and working on a weekend menu. Tonight we’re having a big Greek salad and home made tiropitas. One of my favourites! My mom has always made them and I learned how to do it through her. They remind me of Spring and being little. The taste of warm salty feta oozing into your mouth as you bite through the buttery crisp pastry, makes my mouth water.

I’m taking a break from decluttering and downsizing and working on a personal project. We now have two more large bags of items to donate to the charity store and I know that there will be more to come, once I tackle the bedroom closets. It is a refreshing change to be able to easily walk into the pantry and grab a cookbook or mixing bowl without having to complete a yoga balancing move to get what you are after. I have yet to miss anything that we have donated or recycled.

I have secretly worried that I was one step away from being on the TV show Hoarders, but considering that I am an excellent de-clutterer, organiser and cleaner and can make these decisions myself without someone putting all of my possessions in my front yard to go through, I think I’m doing alright.

We’re each planning for a quiet weekend, doing things around the house, completing a few work tasks, eating good food, going for walks, listening to music and just being. Here’s to the weekend, long may it last.

Dust? What Dust?

Dust? What Dust?

I think I need a blindfold like this! I’m in the process of thoroughly gutting our pantry. This is no small undertaking. Especially when I discovered that some of my beloved art history books had been ruined by mildew. Because, unbeknown to us, we had a damp problem along the side wall of the pantry, where the bookshelf is. Now, those gorgeous books are in the recycling bin as they are completely and utterly in disrepair.

We have been living in and amongst chaos all week as most of the pantry is sitting in various piles in our den. We live in a very tiny cottage, in fact, so tiny, we could have started the “tiny house” movement that is all the rage today. But, as I write this a storage bin we have ordered is winding it’s way to me through the streets of London today. So hopefully by nightfall, I can have everything neatly and safely stored and the pantry more organised, so you don’t have to move like a Ninja to grab something.

It is exhausting yet cathartic completing this process. It’s amazing to realise how much crap you accumulate and I’m not ashamed to say that a good portion of it was mine. I have cleaned off my “crafting” shelf and all the little magazines and scraps I’ve kept for so long, have now been gone through with precision. There is no point in keeping an entire magazine for only one page, is there?  I’ve been ruthless.

We are pairing down, stripping back and streamlining. By the end of today, we should be nearly there and then I can take a break before starting our next room overhaul, to work on a project that is very dear to me. I’m keeping my fingers, toes and anything else that can be crossed, crossed, in the hopes to be published soon.

Here’s to Wednesday, we’ve almost made it through the week!

{Image: Anne Taintor}

The Monday Morning Blues

Jennifer Michie Star Man

Do you know that scene in Adventures in Babysitting, where they end up in a night club and once on stage are told by the band that “No one leaves this place, without singing the blues!”? That is how I feel today, I’ve got the blues, the Monday morning blues.

I have so much fun during my weekends, I just want it to keep going! I’m sure I’m not alone in this feeling?

Mr. Michie was sick this weekend, so we were quiet. There was music, candles, movies, homemade chicken soup and fresh bread. We stayed snuggled under blankets and rested. After such a hectic first week back to school, it was a wonderful way to spend two days together, even though Mr Michie was under the weather.

Enjoying the art of everyday living is something that the Danes have completely figured out. Mr. Michie and I feel like Denmark is a second home. It is a magical place. Heading out to find breakfast in the morning, you will find coffee shops with candles lit in their windows and blankets laid over the outside seating to keep yourself warm. Everything is cozy. And the Danes have a special word for that: Hygge (pronounced hue-gah). There is not an exact translation. It is more about a feeling; the ritual that comes from taking joy in the simple pleasure of everyday living; in making the ordinary – extraordinary. We try to do this at home. From the moment we wake-up at the weekends, candles are lit, music is on, and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee permeates the house.

I feel that making things cozy becomes even more precious to me when the sun is late to rise and early to bed. I love the Winter, but I like it on my own terms. I want to be able to go for walks; to bake cookies and bread; to stay indoors and be cozy. What I don’t like is leaving for work in the dark and journeying home in the dark. However, following our “Hygge Mantra” makes for a happier household and definitely fends off some of the Monday morning blues, no matter how dark and cold it is.

Don’t Fight It

Let Me In Arthur Sarnoff

“Don’t fight it!” That is something that my Grandpa, used to say. When something just wasn’t working out and you were trying your damnedest, he’d say, “Hey, don’t fight it!”

I’ve taken his advice to heart this week as everything seems to be breaking. The fan in the bathroom, a leak in the bathroom that is causing water damage on the kitchen ceiling and the dryer deciding that it was ready to give up. I’ve arranged for the calvary to arrive, but that won’t happen till next week.

So, I can’t stress about something that I can’t do anything about. I just take a deep breath and I don’t fight it, because everything will eventually just fall into place.

A Cactus

Jennifer Michie Coral Cactus

We played in our dollhouse size garden yesterday. Planting a few new things here and there. Mr. Michie chose the most dazzling yellow dahlia that I have ever seen, it is almost neon. We also separated and repotted some aloe. I have a gorgeous aloe plant given to me by a friend of mine, it is from a cutting of a plant that belonged to her grandmother. It’s appears to be very happy on the windowsill and is growing at Jurassic proportions. A very dear work colleague, has traded me some Danish marigold seeds for a cutting of my aloe. So yesterday I set to work repotting some clippings so in a few weeks time, when they take root, I can uphold my half of the bargain.

We have the most beautiful nursery not far from where we live, so we spent a good hour there yesterday, traipsing around, trying to decide on what we were going to pick. I love that smell of wet earth and the explosion of color that exists all around you. I love the feeling of soil on my fingers. Gardening soothes my soul. As we went inside to pay we passed the cactus stand. I fell in love with this guy and so Mr. Michie bought him for me as a treat. He is sitting very proudly on the windowsill now. I love the pop of coral that splashes out at you.

New Hair, Hot Soup and Party Lights!

Jennifer Michie Wonton Soup

Yesterday, I pampered myself to a hair cut, mani and pedi.  I work hard for my money and I think that everyone has the right to treat themselves once in awhile.

I have been through a ton of hairdressers since living here and I have finally found the right one! And it isn’t just the hairdresser, it’s the atmosphere as well. My hair salon of choice in London is the Aveda Spa in Covent Garden. I have been going there for over a year now and I always walk away happy. It is an oasis of serenity.

I hadn’t had my hair cut since the beginning of December. Between my work schedule, weekends being pretty busy and my lovely hair stylist being fully booked, it meant I had to wait ’till this Saturday. But it was well worth the wait! I got a lot of hair chopped off and I LOVE IT! I had numerous compliments; one by a complete stranger that passed me on the street, which made my day!

To celebrate the weekend and a new haircut, Mr. Michie took me out on a date. It was so very cold yesterday and all I wanted was some soup, so off to Cha Cha Moon we went. I had a delicious, warming bowl of wonton soup and a glass of their lemon iced tea. Heaven!!

We spent today, re-organizing all the Christmas decorations. I ordered some storage bags and they arrived this week, so we went to work. It was another downsizing exercise, just keeping what we need and donating the rest to charity. The house has been thoroughly Spring cleaned. It was a lot of work, but it was well worth it. I’ve put out a few of my Copenhagen surprises and a set of very happy party lights are now adorning the mantle.

One bag of unsorted items remains, but it will have to wait until next weekend. It holds the key ingredients to three separate packages that I plan to mail home. Still, I’ve accomplished a lot, so now I’m sitting back with a glass of wine, next to Mr. Michie, staring at our new lights. Here’s to weekends!!