Tag Archives: organized

Spring Cleaning

The weekend is here at last and I am so happy. The cottage has been topsy turvy with all the goings on of washing machine woes, burst pipes where our kitchen was briefly turned into a tropical paradise complete with a waterfall and a den that looks like a disaster zone because everything has been piled up in it from the kitchen.

But, we have a brand new washing machine, who has become my new best friend! The pipes have been fixed and the holes in the ceiling patched and painted. All of this has given us an opportunity to start our spring cleaning a bit early, which is a good thing. I moved our dresser yesterday and discovered that there wasn’t dust bunnies behind it, but dust elephants! Quite scary! I love deep cleaning and getting everything refreshed.

So, the house is coming back to itself and this weekend we will put everything right again. I picked up some milk yesterday evening on my way home and noticed that the grocery store had flats of pansies out front in all different glorious shades of yellow, orange and plum. So if the weather holds, I’m thinking that some sunshine yellow ones might just jump into my hands this weekend and we can cheer up a few spots in our little street garden.

Here’s to the weekend long may it last!

{Image via Good Housekeeping}

Life Lately

I’ve tried to write this post 1/2 a dozen times but life lately has put a stop to it. I’ve had things to share, but for now they’re not important.

The cottage is quiet today, I feel quiet today. The only sound is the hum of the oven, baking a fresh loaf of bread. I went for a run this morning in the freezing cold and darkness, but I was rewarded by getting to see the sun rise as I crossed over the train bridge. It’s the little things, right?

It’s very windy here today, but the sunlight keeps coming and going, drifting through the window and is slowly starting to crawl across the wall and towards the mantel. All of Christmas has been tucked away now and the house doesn’t feel so much bare as it does streamlined.

Sitting on the mantel are a pair of strawberry pink candles nestled in the antique milk glass candleholders my parents gave me for Christmas. A clear glass bowl of moss covered grape hyacinths with their shoots poking through the soft green mossy blanket, rests between them.

I love that I can see their creamy white roots running down into the dirt and moss that line the bowl. It’s like getting to watch a science experiment. In front of your eyes Nature grows, in all of Her glory.

The candles are lit and the kettle is on, as I think only copious amounts of tea can warm me up today.

Here’s to Friday, because I’m already ready for it!

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Back to School

The house got a quick “spit and a polish” yesterday. Things were put away and tidied up. Christmas is still up and will remain that way until the weekend. We always keep things up till after Epiphany. To be honest, I normally keep them up a bit longer. But not this year, I will have to be good and put everything away till next Christmas as we have some New Year’s work to be done in the cottage. That’s what happens when a pipe bursts! Luckily the damage appears minimal, but we’ll have to wait and see.

We didn’t sleep a wink last night with “Storm Eleanor”. We had wind gusts of over 70mph. We watched things fly by from our window. I saw a neighbours gutter get ripped off and fly down the street. Garbage cans were rolling down the road like they were in some kind of race and the wind was so hard, it sounded like someone was punching down the door. But our little cottage held her own.

Today was back to school day. I don’t think I was ready. I never am. So here’s to a short work week and here’s to the weekend, may it arrive quicker than I can blink!

{Image FOUND}

The Grand Total

Since my last post about reorganising the closets, we’ve given away a whole lot more! The grand total now stands at 10 garbage bags and one large shopping bag worth of clothing, fabric, towels and home accessories. Decluttering is an amazing thing, it frees the space and it frees you. I haven’t missed anything that we have donated. I’m truly enjoying the bits and pieces we decided to keep. I took great pleasure in making a loaf of bread yesterday, on countertops that were practically devoid of clutter. It’s very cathartic and something this little dollhouse and us were desperately in need of.

Six Bags

Six bags. Six garbage bags: each one filled to the brim with clothes that are now too big for us, since we started running. Six garbage bags filled with clothes, shoes and winter coats that were swallowing us whole. Six garbage bags that we’ve donated to charity.

The house feels empty; in an odd way. No one but us ever sees what’s behind the closet doors or inside the dresser. Now, they are incredibly streamlined. Everything has been organised so it is easily visible when you open the drawer. It feels empty, but it feels so good. And we have a list of a few items that need to be replaced, in smaller sizes.  It was a mentally and physically exhausting process that took us two days to complete.

Nevertheless, I feel exhilarated!

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}

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!!