Archive | May, 2013

Vintage Wisdom for Modern Mums

31 May

I consider myself to be a modern woman in so many ways. I benefit from near equality in the workplace, the right to vote, and the ability to be financially independent. However for the last couple of years I’ve been a full-time stay-at-home mum. I have to say that having worked up to 60 hours a week as a visual merchandiser before having kids, being a full-time mum is by far the hardest work I’ve ever done. But also by far the most rewarding.

I believe in putting 100% into everything I do, and that includes my work at home. It’s a role that makes me look back to women of the past and their roles as wives and mothers. This is with a very nostalgic outlook and as with all nostalgia it is of course through very rose-tinted specs!

Wife

I am very lucky to have the choice to stay at home and for many women of the past being a housewife  was their only option. However our foremothers had so many amazing skills, that I definitely aspire to. I would love to be able to cook, sew, garden, clean and raise my children and still have time to look amazing.

Laundry

On the whole I think I do pretty well and I don’t believe any mother should put herself under too much pressure, but right now I’m a mum on a mission. It’s good to have goals in life no matter what you do and in an ideal world I would like…

  • A perfect home (nearly perfect!)
  • Well behaved children
  • To prepare lovely home cooked meals every day
  • To look and feel fabulous
  • To be able to sew lovely things for me and my home
  • To grow my own vegetables in the garden

I think I might be a feminists worst nightmare, but at the moment these are my aspirations and there’s no reason why I can’t achieve them all. My life is full of other stuff and I am lucky that I also have so much time for my own hobbies and interests. It’s really important to me to make time for reading, going to the gym, visiting museums, seeing friends and spending loads of time with my children.

Sometimes it’s hard to achieve everything but I’ve set myself a few goals to make life easier…

  • Always clear out what we don’t use or need – I love having a good clear out – less stuff means less tidying and more time to spend on the things I love.
  • Get more sleep – I’m terrible for staying up too late and not having enough energy the next day.
  • Eat well – again being healthy and drinking enough is great for having the energy to do everything.
  • Night time beauty routine – looking after yourself is really important to feel good and having a routine before bed with sleep. Long gone are the days of cold cream and rollers before bed but maybe ladies of the past had the right idea.
  • Get time to myself – Having a break and getting out of the house for a bit is so important. everyone needs a change of scene. Being a mum is a 24/7 job and a little time out can work wonders.
  • Having an organised home – If everything has a place it’s so much easier and quicker to keep it tidy. I’ll be sharing some of my organising tips on the blog later in the month.
  • Spend less money – cutting back on little things can help pay for big things like home improvements and holidays. In the 1940’s and early 50s British women had to live through rationing and often had to grow their own vegetables. Being more careful about wasting food and making everyday things last longer are useful skills to refer back to, especially given the current financial situation.

I’ll be working on sticking to my goals over the next month and see how I get on. I’ll also be sharing some of my ideas, tips and projects on the blog as well as a little wisdom from mothers of the past, so come back soon!

For more vintage wisdom check out Ms Fairchild’s Charm School one of my favourite blogs.

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AWOL

22 May

I’ve been very absent from blogging over the last few days, and my only excuse is how busy I’ve been living my life. Being a full time mum takes up so much of my time and sometimes things like writing the blog have to go on the backburner a little.

While I’ve been away I’ve had a big clear-out of the house and sold loads of stuff at a car boot sale. I’ve helped my husband work on our massive garden renovation. I’ve had a lovely trip to The Museum of London with my Mum and Lila. I’ve played with my kids and just done lot’s of Mummy stuff! It’s my fifth wedding anniversary tis weekend and I can’t wait to celebrate with a night out with my lovely husband.

Vintage Clip Art - Pretty Pink Tulips

I’m still taking part in Me-Made-May but I’ve decided to do a round up at the end of the month as I’ve just not had time to keep posting about it.

Anyway I’ve decided to take the rest of the month off blogging and I’m hoping to come back bigger and better in June. It can be hard to keep writing when you don’t have much to say, so I think a little break will do me good and inspire me!

See you soon!

Catherine xxx

 

I’m Loving – Li Li’s Bootique on Etsy

17 May

As I’ve mentioned lot’s of times on here I’m a big believer in supporting independent British businesses and crafters. There are so many people out there making beautiful things and selling them on websites like Not on the High Street and Etsy. I think it’s so important to look to these places as often as possible for beautiful things for both gifts and for ourselves.

I came across the lovely Lisa on Instagram last year and I instantly fell in love with her lovely handmade children’s clothes and cushion covers. Lisa is the mum of the most gorgeous little boy and while staying at home with him she makes the loveliest little things for her Etsy shop. As the prices are so fantastic I couldn’t resist getting a few things for Lila.

I got her this gorgeous little pillow case dress and a few pretty skirts, and as Lisa was doing a little sale they were such good value.

When they arrived they were beautifully packaged which was such a lovely touch and all the items were beautifully made from lovely quality fabric. I couldn’t be happier and I know when Lila wears them (if the sun ever comes out) everyone will be asking where I got them!

I’ve spotted a few other things I like in the Etsy shop and will definitely be making another order.

Clockwise from left – Pillowcase Dress £2 – Skirt £3

Cushion Cover £3 – Pillowcase Dress £2

Visit Lisa’s Etsy shop here, and not only support an amazing little business but also own a beautiful one-off piece for your child, home or yourself.

It’s Monday What Are You Reading?

13 May

I’ve not managed to do an It’s Monday… post for a while. Having really upped the amount of sewing I’ve been doing, it’s actually been quite hard to fit everything in. I’ve also been spending lot’s of time cooking and trying new recipes out and haven’t had much time to keep up with my usual blogging routine.

It’s Monday What are you Reading is hosted by Sheila over at Book Journey It’s a chance to share the books you have read over the last week and the books you are planning to read.

I have managed to finish a few books since I last posted…

Jane and Prudence by Barbara Pym

The Blessing by Nancy Mitford

Wigs on The Green by Nancy Mitford

Pigeon Pie by Nancy Mitford

I am currently Reading…

The Mitford Girls by Mary S Lovell

Some Tame Gazelle by Barbara Pym

I am planning to read…

The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

and I’m not sure what else I’m going to look through my TBR list and see what takes my fancy.

My New Vintage Sewing Patterns

12 May

The patterns I ordered on Ebay have arrived and I can’t wait to get started on them all. They date from the 60s to 70s and now it’s just a matter of trying to get my hands on more vintage fabric.

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My mum called me today to day that a very kind friend of hers had given her a big pile of vintage patterns to give to me. I was so touched, especially as they were all in my size.
I can’t believe how many patterns I now have! So I’d better get to work!

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