Our Living Room Makeover

On a whim, (typical of the way that so many of our household decisions seem to be made!) my husband and I decided to redecorate our living room a few weeks ago.

When we moved in five years ago we plumped for what we (then!) perceived to be a vibrant red flower-print feature wallpaper on one wall. Other bright accessories such as a red wall clock, Roman blinds and rug helped complete the look we were going for. For a decent stretch of time, we were pleased with our finished room and enjoyed spending time in it. Here’s what it looked like:

before sitting room

Other updates since we moved in

Fast forward a few years, we have effected a few updates to our home. Most significantly, we had a small extension built to replace the low budget, DIY conservatory that the previous owners had installed, which happened to adjoin the living room. This extension was originally intended to be more of a playroom for the kids than anything else, as well as lending space for a concealed home office in a large cupboard.

However, with the passage of time, we seemed to spend less and less time in the dedicated living room. Our rebounder (mini trampoline) became inadvertently housed in there which looked scruffy which didn’t help. But I think the primary issue that deterred me from that space was that the bold red print wallpaper now bugged me as seeming too ‘busy’. It didn’t make for a particularly restful sight being a couple of metres directly opposite the sofas that it was.

Yearning for a tranquil, child-free oasis

Since moving in five years ago, the number of children we have has tripled, as has the swathe of toys and general mess, not to mention the noise! Of course, I wouldn’t trade my little people for anything, but I found myself hankering for a calm, more grown up and elegant oasis set away from the chaos. Even if I mostly only spent evenings in it. I suspect many other parents can identify with that desire?! Our underused living room was the ideal place, ripe as it was for a makeover.

Few things pique my excitement like the prospect of redecorating a room. So I joyfully launched into a flurry of planning and researching, armed with handfuls of home interiors magazines along with Pinterest and Instagram.

Walls

A dark-ish feature wall was a must, to highlight the beautiful limestone fireplace that we installed shortly after moving in. Yet the busily patterned wallpaper on the wall behind it had the unfortunate effect of concealing what should have been our feature fireplace. So we have now covered that wall in a clay-grey shade which should make the fireplace stand out way better and receive the appreciation it has been lacking over the last few years. In the end, the other three walls were also painted in grey, albeit a slightly lighter shade than the fireplace wall.

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Sofas

Our old navy blue leather sofa suite has served us well: they were second hand (although in immaculate condition) when we acquired them almost fifteen years ago. They have weathered the storms of three young children in the intervening decade and a bit and are a bit shabby for it. Luckily, we bagged a great deal in the Black Friday sale on a new sofa and two armchairs which arrived a few days before Christmas. With silver-hued fabric, they are heavenly to relax in and I don’t regret splashing out on them.

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Picture ledge feature wall

I fell in love with the idea of a gallery wall created from picture ledges the instant I spotted the idea on Pinterest. It is pretty straightforward and quick to create yet conjures up a striking impression.

The ledges are from Ikea (though I purchased from an eBay supplier as we don’t live particularly close to an Ikea store). They are basically shallow floating shelves designed to display photo frames and similar items. They are available in white and black. As you can see from the pic, we bought six of them to arrange on quite a large expanse of wall. Two different lengths are available: 55cm and 115cm.

I struck gold in Asda when I spotted they had a sale on simple white photo frames. Even the largest ones cost no more than about £4 each. As I bought so many, the sale savings really mounted up.

The next job was to fiddle around with the arrangement of the frames on the ledges. I won’t lie: this took a lot of tweaking until I was happy with it.

The true beauty of this type of photo display is how easy it is to change the display- just replace the frames with different photos to freshen it up. We have put quite a few of our wedding photos up to start with as we haven’t displayed many at all since we got married ten years ago.

The little grey birds in front of some of the ledges are cheap laser cut shapes that I bought from eBay. My late father was hugely into birdwatching and scattering a few of these little wooden birds around, (which I painted grey with a tester pot) gives a comforting feeling, even if I can’t explain quite why.

Accessories

Ah, I’m sure I’m not alone in finding home accessories the most fun part to shop for, am I?! After collating ideas on Pinterest boards and snipping out appealing living room images from interiors magazines, I was eager to track down the perfect accessories to complement our newly decorated room. At the same time, I wanted to keep a tight rein on the purse strings after shelling out a hefty chunk of cash for the new sofas.

The pom pom garland strung across the fireplace was an Etsy buy and I love it because it trims the fireplace perfectly. It lends a little Scandi chic to the room, too. The large wall-mounted letter ‘D’ is the first letter of our family’s surname and the two white stars either side of it are battery-powered LED lights that emit a beautiful soft glow.

Dunelm, Dunelm, Dunelm…

Dunelm came to the rescue, offering many gorgeous items at surprisingly low prices. And no, I promise this post isn’t sponsored by Dunelm (or anyone else, for that matter)! The cushion pads from our old scatter cushions were still in decent condition, so I snapped up four leaping hare print cushion covers for £5 each. The grey candlestick holders and glass heart-shaped tealight holders were also just a few pounds apiece from Dunelm. The grey hare-print roller blinds were £28 each and they blend with the scheme perfectly. How cute is the grey ceramic rabbit on the edge of the mantlepiece? At only £14 I couldn’t resist him. The grey teddy bear rug, also from Dunelm, is seriously the softest and most gorgeously luxurious rug I’ve ever had the joy of stepping on. The round, beaded silver mirrors were great value at £22 each.

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And buys from other places…

Naturally, I did cast my net wider afield and purchase a few things elsewhere. The silver bevelled edge mirror was sourced preloved from a local selling site. The few scratches on the frame didn’t bother us; if anything I think they add to the patina of the mirror. It was a bargain at £30 as it is so huge. The white wooden hearts either side of the fireplace were actually Poundland buys, would you believe it? The white rows of houses on the mantlepiece are tea light holders and look ever so pretty on cosy evenings with flickering lights behind them.

Finished in the nick of time

It became a bit of a mission to finish the room before Christmas and my poor husband was spending most of his weekend time on the decorating in December. However, we are really pleased with the finished effect. Sitting in there of an evening feels blissfully peaceful. We explained clearly to the kids that the new room is a calm, quiet room and they can’t take toys into it or eat in there. So far, they have followed the rules and in fact seem to enjoy retreating to what we have named the ‘sitting room’ to sit quietly with a book or just to slip away by themselves for a little peace for a short while.

What do you think of it, reader? Perhaps you have been decorating your home recently? If so, I’d love it if you dropped me a comment to tell me about it and even better if you can add a pic, or link to your own blog with images?

 

 

 

 

Decorating for Christmas (while also redecorating the living room…)

When do you feel the urge to deck the halls in your home? As an unspoken rule, the Christmas decorations make an appearance in our house on the last weekend in November. My husband and I have generally found ourselves unable to resist sneaking them out at that point most years even pre-kids, but in recent years we inevitably resign ourselves to an early date to end the incessant tree requests from our three young, seasonally excited children!

This year, something has got a little in the way of festive trimming feeling like the carefree and straightforward event it usually is, though. On a whim, my husband and I decided to redecorate our living room a few weeks ago. I know, I know: who would make such a crazy decision at the end of November?!

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The living room is the main space that gets prettied up for Christmas in our house. Our six-foot tall tree is always positioned in the corner living room (as this is about the only space it will fit). As the decorating won’t be completed for another couple of weeks, we mulled over the options before deciding to buy a second tree, (just a small 3 foot one) to rest on a coffee table in our family snug in the extension. As you can see in the pic, it is one of those snowy branch effect trees, which I have always hankered after. We soon faced a hurdle: to figure out how to wind the cumbersome lights around it. Ok, I should admit that they were only cumbersome because I accidentally ordered the twenty-metre light string instead of the two-metre string, oops. Still, once we (well in truth, it was mostly my husband) sorted it, the lights looked great switched on.

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Obviously, there is limited space to hang ornaments on a little three foot tall tree. So we just selected a few favourites and I indulged in buying a few new ones this year. There is a set of four whitewashed Scandi style woodland animals (a fox, rabbit, squirrel and hedgehog). I couldn’t resist the two fluffy penguins which were a steal at 69p each. Then when I returned some library books at the weekend, it just so happened that a Christmas fair was in full swing and I spotted these adorable knitted characters, a toy soldier and a Santa. Only a pound each for something handmade is a bargain in my book.

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All in all, I’m pretty happy with the way our tiny tree is bringing plenty of Christmas cheer to the room we are spending the most time in at the moment.

We also have our traditional musical animated fairground set on display. The kids are all mesmerised by this, even though it is the third Christmas running that we have had it. They sit and watch the coloured lights and moving rides for ages.

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We have two rustic wreaths hung up inside, too. They look great in place of our usual pictures and the more traditional feel of them holds huge appeal for me at the moment. I don’t change our Christmas colour scheme or style much from year to year, as fast trends just don’t hold much appeal. There is a real nostalgic value in unpacking old favourite ornaments that haven’t been seen for almost a year and I would miss that if we simply bought all new decorations each year. Not to mention the wasteful aspect of doing so.

I will post pics of our refreshed living room as soon as it is completed. I can’t wait to get the full-size tree up in there, too.

Do please share pics of your Christmas decorations or tell me about them by adding a comment below. What sort of colour scheme and style do you favour? How early (or late!) do you tend to decorate. I would love to hear about it.

Decorating the House for Autumn

I hope those of you in the northern hemisphere are enjoying autumn so far? Or the arrival of spring, for any southern hemisphere readers! Even though recent years have seen me gain an increasing appreciation for the beauty of autumn in all her colourful splendour, this year I have striven to bring some of the colour into my home. I have taken a lot of enjoyment from both researching decorative ideas and then setting them up in our home.

What sparked the idea in my mind…

Although I have gradually come around to the notion of decorating the house for Halloween in recent years (heavily influenced by the presence of excitable young children), I must admit that the prospect of decorating the house in a general autumn theme had never really occurred to me. In truth, it was seeing Ann’s beautiful decorations in her home on her blog www.ournewvista.com that sparked the interest in my mind. Since then, I’ve enjoyed taking part in Dee’s ‘Welcoming Fall 5-Day Challenge’ which sparked plenty of ideas.  A number of shops here are also brimming with beautiful rustic items in appealing, rich shades of red, orange, yellow and brown. They reflect the stunning hues that nature begins to bestow upon us at this time of year.

Borrowing a few items from the outdoors

Tempting though the countless shop displays were, with their wares of cushions in autumn-themed prints, animal lamps and ornaments, I decided to attempt a simple homespun decoration in the first instance. Thankfully, the branches of several shrubs in our garden were foisting inspiration upon me, in the form of bright, ripe berries dangling heavily from branches in vivid hues of red and yellow. After snipping off a few small branches I arranged them in a white vase and was pretty pleased with the result. Those of you who follow me on Facebook or Instagram will have seen the images the day that I filled my vase.

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Autumn Bedlinen

I have two main sets of bed linen- a spring/ summer set and an autumn/winter set. With the temperature steadily dropping, the time felt right to switch to the autumn/winter set. Even though we have owned it for at least five years (and it was only a budget buy at a supermarket even then), it raises my spirits each year when I make up the bed with it for the first time. As you can see from the pic here, it depicts deer, rabbits and other winter animals in red on a paler background.

Vignette Displays

Then I wandered onto Pinterest to fuel further decor ideas. There, I fell in love with the idea of using pumpkins and gourds as table centrepieces and sideboard displays.  Alas, I am months too late to have planted my own, but sourced some artificial ones from an eBay supplier. I also bought a pack of artificial leaves in a variety of autumnal shades, which I’ll be able to reuse year after year. What do you think?

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Here is a little mock berry and pinecone candle holder that I couldn’t resist buying:

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How about you?

Have you grown your own pumpkins or gourds before? I’d be interested to know how easy or difficult it is. Perhaps I can add it to my list of things to try next year…

I would love to hear or see pics of any autumn decorations in your home that the moment. Feel free to add a comment. Hearing from readers makes my day 🙂

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Updating and Improving Our Living Space to Make us Love it Again

Our house was starting to bug us! Or at least, certain parts of it were. We really want our present home to be our ‘forever home’ so this was not a good feeling. So… my husband and I decided to reassess the way the living space in our home is utilised, to spot opportunities to help it meet our needs better and feel more positively about it.

Since moving to our current home five years ago with one toddler, we have given little thought as to whether the various living spaces still work for our family as it has grown to include three kids. I wonder: how many of us simply move into a home, fill the space haphazardly with our existing furniture with little forethought as to how well it does (or doesn’t) suit or fit that space? Probably even fewer of us periodically review how well the current setup meets our needs as our families grow and shrink.

The Kitchen Dining Area

First we cast a critical eye over the kitchen. The dining area was the part that bugged me most about this room. The large rectangular table fitted well in our former home where it resided in a large separate dining room, but in our current kitchen diner it has never fitted or looked quite right. If someone was taking something out of the fridge or freezer it left little space for people to pass by, yet there wasn’t quite enough space for the table to be turned the other way either. See the pic below:

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After visiting someone’s home that had a round kitchen table my brain started whirring. For some reason, a small round table seems more functional and cosy as well as lending itself better to a small space. I picked up a bargain second hand one locally which has the advantage of being extendable as and when we need it to. The tall black faux leather chairs never meshed well in our informal kitchen and were heavy and bulky for our young kids to push in and out. I’m delighted with the grey plastic wipe-clean chairs we replaced them with which suit a kitchen diner far better.

We finished off the look with a grey polka dot oilskin tablecloth which is easy to wipe clean.

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What do you think? Each time I enter the kitchen now it strikes me how the space feels more airy and spacious and the table more inviting to sit down at.

Family Room: increased Seating and Storage

The other main project was the family room. This comprised the extension we had built a few years ago to replace a flimsy conservatory that the previous owners had constructed.

The family room is multi-purpose, with built-in cupboards along the full length of one wall, including a concealed desk with desktop computer where all my writing gets done. At the time of completing this family room we just had two very young children aged three and one, so we only bought one three-seater sofa and a Scandi-Style red egg chair to furnish the seating area. At the time, we didn’t anticipate that the family room would be used as much as it is now- our original living room is rarely used nowadays by comparison. Alongside the egg chair, lined up against the bifold door were several plastic tubs stuffed full of toys for the kids (that looked pretty unsightly to be honest!).

We decided to sell the egg chair as, although the modern design of it looked impressive, it wasn’t particularly comfortable to sit on and it demanded a lot of space for a one-seater chair. In its place we bought a two-seater sofa and next to that a wooden sideboard to discreetly hide many of the kids toys out of sight. The sideboard is also practical for storing shoes that all family members pop on to exit into the garden through the adjacent bifold door. Previously we tossed the shoes into a plastic tub by the door but it looked so ugly and I was desperate to change it. Sadly I didn’t remember to take a ‘before’ pic but here is the new setup:

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What do you think?

Have you made similar changes in your own home? Or perhaps you would like to as there are niggles about hotspots in your house that do not function as well as they should?

I’d really love to hear about them so please drop me a comment below. 😊

Take Heart: Those Repetitive Daily Tasks DO Matter…

Doesn’t daily life seem to involve a great number of repetitive and mindless tasks? I feel that now more than ever before, as a stay-at-home parent. There are all the usual basic housework tasks that everyone has to fit in, but of course these need to be carried out far more frequently with preschoolers around the house. Sometimes I could swear my little ones are programmed to incessantly destroy the clean and tidy environment I strive to maintain!

What if We Just Stopped Bothering?

It’s easy to feel there is no value in performing these basic, repetitive tasks over and over again and they can certainly feel tedious at times. But what would happen if we just stopped doing them? If we simply didn’t bother to wash the dishes or do the laundry, cook the dinner, change nappies or do any of the myriad other small but not so insignificant little jobs. Everyone would be sure to notice that things weren’t done and nobody would be happy living in the resulting disarray.

Lessen the Burden

With regard to the housework, I try to get my children involved in helping with it where possible. They have helped unload the dishwasher and pair up laundered socks since they were two years old, for example. For jobs that can only fall on me, I often play a podcast or some music in the to make it more pleasurable. Sometimes I dawdle  which makes things worse, so using a timer to force me to tidy faster works well.

Those Small Actions Add Up to Something Significant 

On reflection, life itself can be seen as a long series of small actions that need doing, a large percentage of them repetitive ones. Getting on and doing them as and when needed oils the machine that is life and keeps things running smoothly. In some cases, the many repeated small actions contribute cumulatively to the creation of something wonderful: changing all those nappies, reluctantly reading the same story by request, preparing nutritious meals and countless other routine actions result in a healthy, happy child and eventually adult.

Make Time for Little Luxuries and Simple Pleasures Every Day

This is crucial. There should always be time for petits plaisirs as the French would call them, no matter how busy we are. Sometimes when we are frantically racing around to get everything done, we fail to notice the beautiful things that are right in front of our eyes. Challenge yourself to spot the little things that lift your spirits and that you feel grateful for. You will notice a shift in perspective that helps you enjoy life more no matter how much drudgery some days may seem to involve. I wrote about enjoying simple pleasures and would encourage anyone to make a mental or physical list of their own.

Get Organised!

I find that when I plan my days carefully I achieve more and feel more positive as a result. If you prioritise the tasks that are most important to you and get them out of the way, you will gain a sense of achievement and remove that sense of unease that follows you around until you can tick it off your list.

Ultimately, I tend to agree that “a tidy house equals a tidy mind” as per the old adage and know that I feel more peaceful and calm if my surroundings are tidy and serene. This positive impact on my mental health is a powerful motivator and it is just a case of planning my time carefully and remembering to slow down and smell the roses no matter how busy I am.

Do you have any other tips on how to ensure you enjoy life even at the times when much of your daily tasks are mindless and/or repetitive? I would love to hear them 🙂

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The power of scent to recall happy memories

The Power of Scent to Recall Happy Memories

Have you ever wondered why is it that getting a whiff of a certain scent can instantly transport you back to a time or place in your past that you associate with that scent?

Just a brief whiff of particular brands of suncream has the ability to transport me back to holidays of many years past. Instantly, more specific memories and moments of those holidays come rushing back to my mind and put a smile on my face.

Similarly, the scent of cinnamon calls for memories of baking as a child with my long departed dear grandmother to come flooding back.

There is actually a scientific explanation for why certain scents induce such a feeling of nostalgia. In a nutshell, it has been discovered that the brain records scents in an area of the brain that carries out the function of producing long-term memories.

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Scents From my own Childhood

Even simple everyday scents such as Pears soap and Bird’s custard (the latter I very rarely eat as an adult but was served it as a dessert with sliced banana once a week throughout my childhood) can stop me in my tracks as memories come flooding back. It caused me to ponder which scents from within our home my own children might store away in their long-term memories and be responsible for waves of nostalgia in their distant adulthoods. Here are a few possibilities based on prominent scents we have around the house…

Cleaning Product Scents

I always try to select cleaning products that have a pleasant scent. I love Zoflora concentrated disinfectants that come in a varied range of scents, my favourites have been lavender and green valley but there are many others. I have sometimes made my own kitchen surface cleaning spray with half white vinegar, half water and a few drops of an essential oil such as geranium, peppermint or lemon. If cleaning has to be carried out, you may as well add a pleasant aroma while you go about it!

Air Fresheners

When I’ve been cooking fish or anything else that causes strong odours to linger in the kitchen I spray Laura Ashley’s Olive and Italian Lemon Scented room spray. Just four or five pumps is sufficient to eliminate any odours and replace them with the most uplifting scent. Sadly, it appears that Laura Ashley have discontinued the spray but make a diffuser with the same scent which I imagine would continuously release a subtle, fresh scent into the kitchen.

I find plug-in air fresheners to be a little overpowering and when I spilled a tiny amount of the fragranced refill oil into a drawer once it took months of airing and scrubbing to try to remove it. Now and again I spray the corners of rooms with a little aerosol spray, especially in the winter months when the house gets less ventilation and may become a little stuffy. At present we have a cherry blossom and peony scented one which smells divine.

the power of scent to recall happy memories and nostalgia

Perfumes

Despite many women claiming to have a signature fragrance, I have never been able to stick to just one and flit between a few different scents. Generally though, I prefer light, citrus notes and am less keen on heavy florals. A couple of my current favourites include Beauty by Elizabeth Arden and French Connection’s Her.

Of course, exposure to scents that we love significantly boosts our happiness in the here and now too. In a previous post about savouring simple pleasures I mentioned that using a gorgeous smelling shower gel each morning has an uplifting effect.

How about you?

Which scents do you love to use in your home, even in simple things such as cleaning products? I would love to hear which scents make you feel nostalgic for your childhood, too.

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An interview with home writer Jane Beckenham

An interview with Jane From ‘My Home, My Sanctuary’.

Jane

This week I am excited to share with you an interview with Jane Beckenham. Jane lives in New Zealand and writes a lovely blog called My Home, My Sanctuary. As well as home-based topics Jane also writes about other thought-provoking themes relating to living a contented and fulfilled life.

Jane kindly responded to my questions to provide a snapshot of what she and her work is all about. I’m sure you’ll want to check out her blog after reading her answers!

I love the name of your blog, My home My Sanctuary. Why do you think it is important that our homes act as sanctuaries and what specifically have you done to help create your own sanctuary?

Thank you, Sarah. It took a while to come up with the name and it went through a few manifestations. Our homes are our refuge against the world, against the busyness of it, and the constant call for our attention to outside influences. I feel (and hope for others) that when they walk in their front doors they will feel that ‘refuge’, that sense of a place of belonging, of a home that wraps them in its embrace.

Specifically, I try to keep our home declcuttered – stuff doesn’t offer sanctuary or a sense of calm. Now am I always successful at this, no, not always. But it’s the effort that is important. On a ‘superficial’ level I have tried to decorate our home so that it is pleasing to those that live here, both in style, color and design. The old adage a place for everything and everything in its place is something I work towards.

Would you mind sharing a favourite piece of furniture or or decorative item in your home that you particularly love?

I have several pieces.

Firstly is this writing desk. This belonged to my grandmother (who if she had been alive would have been about 117 by now). My sister actually inherited but she has no room in her house for it, so I get to have the joy of having it here, and remembering my grandmother sitting at it.

Jane desk pic 

On it, are vintage tea cups, but the pink one in the middle which has little gold legs was a present my grandmother received when she got engaged and that was in 1908. The well-loved teddy bear was my husband’s when he was a child. The Russian icon ornaments are a reminder of my children’s birthplace.

What advice would you offer to an individual who has never spent much time or thought on creating a comfortable home that acts as a sanctuary, but would like to? Where would you suggest they start?

I think it’s a two pronged effort. The room I would start on first is their bedroom. Because this is the one room, hopefully, in the house that they can take respite in and the bedroom should offer respite.

However, if clutter, dirty clothes, clothes not put away, exercise equipment, tv, computer etc etc, are all taking up space in the room, they should be moved out, and at least for the clothes etc, put away.

You can’t make a calm refuge when there is STUFF everywhere. A bedroom should be a claming place and seeing the treadmill in the corner reminding you that you haven’t used it for months and its become a clothes stand, hmmm. Not good. Then there’s the interruption of laptops, computers etc, Get rid of them. Instead read a book, relax, have a glass of wine. Talk even. People are forgetting how to communicate, we’re so locked into the digital world.

And once you’ve decluttered and cleared out the excess. Clean it, top to bottom, move the furniture clean behind it, clean the windows, wash the curtains.

I know this sounds a lot, but it’s a now and again chore, but by refreshing the room thoroughly, it gives the occupants a fresh start.

Do you follow a routine for keeping on top of household chores and if so, do you think it is important to?

I try! I really do try! Am I successful? Mostly-ish. I have a set list of chores I do Mon-Saturday, plus have recently added exercise – oh joy! Friday’s chores are really my catch up days and I do things I haven’t managed to get done Monday-Thursday. Big chores like cleaning windows, I do when I can. I have a disability and unfortunately trying to do these big tasks is not an easy feat.

But at a minimum every day, the bed is made, dishes done, kitchen counters clean, bathrooms swished and swiped, and a load of laundry done. I’m trying to be more organized and pick out the clothes I will wear the next day, right down to jewelry just before I goto bed. It’s a great boost to the morning if I’m organized from the night before – and that I come out to a clean kitchen.

Decluttered, minimalist living in vogue right now. What are your thoughts on clutter?

People say they want to be more organized, but reality is you can’t organize clutter. The trouble is sometimes it feels overhwhel,omg to actually start. I mean where? Every room has STUFF. My suggestion is that the person just picks up a trash bag and goes round each room, picking up rubbish that can be tossed into the recycle.

They may however, just want to focus on one room. Like I said above, start on the bedroom, because you deserve a place of refuge and solitutde at the end of each day.

But… if that feels like too big of a job to start off with, then go small. One drawer, one cupboard, or go to the smallest room in the house, and start there.

The most important thing is – IS THAT YOU START

You have been a successful fiction writer over the last twenty years and are now turning your hand to non-fiction. Which particular aspect or type of non-fiction writing most appeals to you?

I’m really passionate about home and hearth writing, about women finding their way in life. I’ve recently hit my 60s and the last four years was really tough, as I struggled with depression and also the loss of my mother at the age of 90. I kept wondering why should I push myself, I mean why bother. But I am so happy to say, that just recently, that fog of why bother has lifted, and I’m battling my way back top. I really want to focus on home, family, midlife, reinvention and just searching for that joy and passion and purpose in life that we women seem to crave – well I do, anyway!

What do you enjoy to do in your spare time?

Funny you should ask that – today – I decided to be lazy, I watched a movie (The Secret- which I loved), I had a snooze. I love spending time with my family, I am a mother to two daughters and I also now a grandma! I have a wonderful bunch of writer girlfriends; we meet once a week to talk writing and they are a fabulous group of women ranging from 19 years old to 82. We all get on amazingly even with such a varied ages.

You can find Jane at:

www.myhomemysanctuary.com

@myhomemysanctuary

https://www.facebook.com/MyHomeMySanctuary/

Jane has also hosted an interview with yours truly, so if you would like to read a little more about me here is the link to it.