New Kitchen

Couldn’t think of a snappy title for this post so this one will have to do. After three years in our house, our new kitchen is on the way. In a fortnight I’ll have said goodbye to a tiled floor that I curse daily, a giant fridge which doesn’t seem to have enough space, weird triangle shaped narrow cupboards and peeling veneer that I’ve never liked.

In preparation, I’ve started doing this:


The Ikea storage boxes we bought eight years ago for our wedding and which have served us through two house moves are currently being pressed into service for a kitchen clear out. I had decluttered a lot of stuff before we moved and during what I thought was a ruthless organisation session last year but there is still a lot of stuff. I’ve been weeding out the stuff which I know I won’t use because I haven’t used it in the three years we’ve lived her.

I’ve also started doing stuff like this:


Clearing out our cupboards of eatables and drinkables is satisfying. I’ve had two bags of coffee beans for a very long time. I found a coffee bean grinder mid clear out and put it to use. The first grinding was only ok, I’ll try the second tomorrow. Either way, the coffee will be drunk as we’re nearly at the end of the stash we picked up on holidays last year in France.

This is a boring yet satisfying process. I’m tempted to leave everything in the boxes for a few weeks, only retrieving what we actively want in a given moment, in order to see how little we actually need.

New Kitchen

Scents and Sensibility

img_20190301_211655I bought this candle on New Year’s Eve as a little gift to myself. I had avoided scented candles for a long time after becoming heartily sick after an overdose of Yankee Candles. This one has a lovely subtle scent and I’ve learned to light it for a little while and then extinguish in order to enjoy it even more.

I’ve since bought and been given a few Max Benjamin candles, and I’ve liked each one a lot for different reasons. I was out on some errands today and was tempted to buy some new candles, until I gave myself a stern talking to and reminded myself I had a surfeit of same already and so I resisted the urge to acquire more.

I’m going to light the ones I have and enjoy them and not replace them until they’re completely finished. This one deserves to shine this evening as we enjoy the finals of Great British Menu, which makes us very hungry.

Scents and Sensibility

Finally, A Real Orchid

img_20190501_112249This is not the best photo but this is a real orchid which I have managed to keep alive for six weeks. I’ve never managed this before so this feels like a bit of an achievement. Maybe our dark hall and the fact I keep forgetting to water it is helping.

It’s the loveliest colour and shape and I hope it survives for another while because it definitely sparks a lot of joy. Plus, Marjorie would definitely approve.

Finally, A Real Orchid

Under the Lilacs

img_20190424_145709There’s an important scene in Marjorie Morningstar, where the book’s eponymous heroine has a kiss under some lilac trees. When we moved into this house just over three years ago, I had no idea the large garden contained a mature lilac tree so it was a very happy discovery.

The blooms don’t last for long and I’m always torn between picking them to enjoy while I can and leaving them fluttering on the tree where nature intended them to remain until they turn a scrubby brown colour. These ones got picked and were a nice centrepiece for our dinner.

Under the Lilacs

Minimalism, When You Love All The Things.

img_20190424_115835We’re out of the hellishness that can be the newborn to sixth month baby stage. I’ve been sorting and packing and bagging all the equipment we no longer need so it can go to a new home, back from whence it came or into what I’m calling a “memory box” but in reality is an old storage box that is stuffed to the brim and which will require editing at some point. The nice thing about getting stuff on loan is that you can send it back with no guilt whatsoever. There’s no thought process telling me I should sell it and recoup some of the cost or serious, deep rooted emotional attachment because in the back of my head it was never really “mine” in the first place.

I do, however, love ALL THE THINGS. I struggle with what my head tells me I want, namely an organised, minimalist home free from all the crap that comes with children clutter, where every single thing is useful and beautiful and can be returned to its assigned place with ease, and the reality of my life right now.

img_20190424_115830Above are two bag of baby clothes and a breastfeeding pillow. If I wasn’t being strict with myself I would keep all of it, every single scrap. And I can’t really explain why. I didn’t have a breastfeeding pillow with my other children, but this one was offered free via a Facebook group while I was pregnant last summer so I picked it up, washed it and stashed it with my “going to the hospital stuff”. I love this pillow. It has a lovely tactile, neutral cover, it is soft yet firm and it was bliss to use in the early days. It has a lot of memories wrapped up in it, but I no longer need it and my conscience is telling me to send it off to another home seeing as I got it free in the first place.

Some of the babygros have been worn by all my children, others were bought new for this arrival because I felt he should have something new, regardless of the fact that we had everything a new baby would need and a lot he wouldn’t but we kept anyway. I’ve kept a few favourites and the rest have been folded and packed into bags for a new baby.


I don’t know why, but the moses basket my baby was too big for at four months is the hardest thing to let go. I picked it up in a charity shop for very little money and told myself I could just donate it once I was finished with it. I know we won’t use it again. I know someone else will. I know I don’t need the stuff around to keep the memories. I’m telling myself I’m a minimalist, even though I love ALL THE THINGS.

I’ve realised the enjoyment I get from a home with less stuff is greater than the joy, and, to honest, work of keeping ALL THE THINGS. Therefore, it is better to let most of these things go. I don’t really have an emotional tie to this stuff. It’s all been part of the baby stage, so I’ve thanked it and I’m ready to release it and embrace the next phase of life.

Minimalism, When You Love All The Things.

Tiny Sparks of Joy

img_20190411_091553Patio progress in action. Something we have had near the top of our house to-do list since we moved in.

Finding something we needed close by and at a good price, and having help to get it upstairs. It’s not perfect but it’s fine.

Pastries from our local amazing bakery and good coffee after a gym session.

A loooooong weekend, which is sorely needed and which, we hope, gives us a chance to get more stuff on the to-do list done.

Planning a day out. It feels good to plan ahead rather than plod along.


Tiny Sparks of Joy