Tuesday, 31 January 2012

An exhausted vintage mother.

I am an exhausted vintage mother.

 I looked in the mirror today and realised just how exhausted I really am. I have huge dark circles under my eyes and Ive got a bad case of adult acne. My eyebrows put Groucho Marx's to shame and my hair resembles something along the lines of Frankie Cocozza. Nice.

 Today I also put a Nappy in the washing machine. And then proceeded to put it on a cycle, dropped a whole carton of ribena. The stickiest most clean up resistant juice in the land and then fell over the children's table causing some form of whiplash injury.

 I am bloody wreck.

 Today has made me realise that I need to make more time for me. I am a woman that adores being a mother and staying at home with the children. And yes I do have my small business and blog. But what I really realised is that I need to do 'other' things. All work and no play is not good for the soul. I cannot just look after the children, be a wife and work. And to prove my point whilst I am typing this I have a fidgety 3 year old on my lap counting money. I literally feel like I do not stop. Life is just flashing before my eyes.

 My resolution for 2012 ( A little late I know) is to slow down, make time for myself and to do more fun stuff!, (The 3 year old now needs the toilet, I will finish this post!)

 So this got me thinking, about all the other mums out there that feel just like me. And are thinking how on earth can I pull this back. So I have put together a few ideas that I'm really going to try and do. And maybe you can too?.

 Once a month I really am going to try and visit a beauty salon. And have a treatment!. I am booked in for a facial on Thursday. CANNOT WAIT!.

Spend more time with my friends.
  I don't socialise. Ever. I really am going to try and see more of my friends, whether it be for lunch or cocktails. Just some time for adult conversation.

Read more.
 I love reading. It provides such escapism so I want to read more.

 My relaxation is going to be a box of Epsom salts, a hair mask and a bottle of cava. Once a week I'm going to lay in the bath, light a few candles and just soak away the stresses of the day.

 Green tea.
 I drink wwwwaaayyyyyy to much coffee. I am going to try and replace this caffeine hit with green tea.

 I never rest. I'm sure I sleep or around 4 hours a night. I really am going to try and get to bed earlier instead of doing my jobs late into the evening.

 I love the idea of going on a long walk and clearing away the cobwebs. I am lucky enough to live near some gorgeous countryside and beaches. So I am going to try and take walks when I can.

 I am joined to a rather expensive gym and I never go!. I am going to cancel the membership and try and go for a run, or the yoga session at my local church, Just a little something to expel all my energies. And the money I save from the gym membership I'm going to save. Then eventually treat myself to that vintage Biba dress that I have always said is too expensive.

 It sounds rather a lot doesn't it?. But something has got to change before I run myself in to the ground. I'm sure lots of mothers reading this feel the exact same. So lets make it our social network pact to try and do some of these things.

 We all need some me time.

Lauren x

Sunday, 29 January 2012

In an English country garden.

Hello there strangers!.

 Well, its been 5 days since my last post and I'm very happy to tell you that Poppy is almost better and we have had a wonderful weekend!. She won't be back at school just yet and to be honest I have loved having her at home so much I don't ever want her to go back!.

 It has been freezing here in Essex and we are meant to have some snow this week. The cold weather has meant I haven't been able to do as much gardening as I would have hoped. But it has meant I have been dreaming about our little garden and I went out this weekend and bought seeds so that we can plant flowers.
 The veggies are underway, with the tomatoes and strawberries planted in trays indoors and I have been preparing the soil for the warmer months. (I hope this cold weather doesn't ruin my hard work!).

 Now, back to the flowers.
 I have always wanted a real cottage garden, jam packed with colourful flowers.  Something that when you look at it you just get lost in the beauty of all the pretty shades and smells. I want flowers that attract butterflies and bees and flowers that grow high up the old Victorian wall that surrounds the garden. Where the children can play in the Wendy house amidst the sunflowers and we can drink pimms next to the poppies (OF COURSE!). Ahhhhh it sounds heavenly.

Some inspiration
How pretty are these pictures I found online. There are some serious gardeners out there.

These are such happy pictures. I love them.

 I have got quite a lot of work to do...with the house, business, book, children, husband and everyday life you probably all think I'm mad starting a project like this. But I LOVE a project. I'm renown for it. Especially as something like this will make our home so special. I can imagine breakfast on the patio, looking at all the stunning flowers.

 This is what I'm starting with;

This is just one side of the garden. To the right (as you look at the photo) we have another wall and strip of soil. and the patio goes right up to the house.

So as you can see I lots to do before I have my English cottage garden. I'm not expecting Chelsea flower show!. But hopefully I will be able to grow some pretty flowers.

 Lauren x

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

A little update!.


 Apologies as I know I have been very quiet on the blogging front. My little girl has been very poorly and we spent most of the weekend in hospital. Thankfully she is on the road to recovery!. I just thought I would do a post with some pictures and let you know what we have been up to over the past few days, as I have a little one to nurse so must be quick!.

There has been lots of activity at the house. My husbands dad has been painting Poppy's room and my dad has been tiling the bathroom. Aren't we lucky to have such lovely pa's!.

I was asked to do the window display for Le salon chic again. If you remember I did one back in December see here The theme was Valentines. Unfortunately as Pops was in hospital I didn't get to help put the display together, but I gave all my props to the girls, and I think you will all agree it looks fabulous!.

As Pops is feeling much better today we decided to plant our strawberry and tomato seeds. They are sitting on the kitchen side just waiting for a sunny day.

Pops favourite medicine has been the Beatles song 'When I'm 64'. We have listened to it on repeat for 3 days! And she now knows nearly all the words. If your feeling a bit low, stick it on!.

 And last but not least I have been putting together a proposal for my book see here I didn't quite realise myself how passionate I felt about the whole thing. And its been so therapeutic after a stressful few days. Definitely a good distraction!.

 I hope you are all well and I will be back to regular posts by the weekend.

 Laure x

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Call the midwife.

I'm sure all you vintage loves have been watching the BBC's Sunday night drama 'Call the midwife'. I loved it!. But for a whole different reason to everyone else.

 Oh.My.Goodness. I am a crazy in love kitchenallia girl!. They had enamel, crockery, cake tins. You name it they had it. And I want it all!. I would say they were using more 1940's kitchenware rather than the 1950's. I guess this is because the drama is set in the years just after the war.


I have collected a HUGE amount of enamel ware for our house. It is all boxed up at the moment and I bet I've forgotten half the things I've bought. I just want to open all the boxes and look through all my treasures!.

 Can't wait for Sundays episode. I wonder what goodies we will get see this week?.

 Lauren x

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

A vintage mothers adventure.

So here is my news. I probably sound a little mad, no in fact definitely sound like a mad crazy woman. But this is it.
 After receiving an email from a lovely lady that reads my blog that went along the lines of,

 'I love reading your vintage family posts on your blog. You couldn't be more right in your views. We could all learn a lot from them!. You should write a book!.'

 Well, I think I'm going too!!. Yes, your right I haven't a clue how to write a book. Or even where to start but from that one little email I have this idea. An idea along the lines of;

 'A vintage mothers guide to life'.

Imagine a book full of nostalgic ideas, views, real life experience all from yester year. Then having a manual on how to bring those into your modern family life. How to incorporate the wonderfulness that was the 1950's family. From family time, holidays, housekeeping EVERYTHING!. The years gone by had some seriously good stuff going on and I am so passionate about bringing them into the modern family and I truly believe they can help provide a stable, happy, healthy lifestyle.

 So this is it, the first day of my writing adventure. My year 6 teacher Miss O'Hara told me that one day I would be a writer. I got a little preoccupied somewhere between 6th form and motherhood but this is it!. I'm going to go for it. It may be a book, a manual or just something for me to hand down to my daughter. But whatever it will turn out to be, I have nothing to loose. And I am so excited.

 Lauren x

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

A good wife knows her place.

Ok, so I'm sure I'm going to ruffle a few feathers with the post but as it's my blog and I can write about what I want, that I shall!.

 I recently started following a twitter account called the 'Good wife's guide'. Who's motto is,

 'A good wife knows her place'.

To be totally honest I wasn't sure if this was a joke at first!. But it did get me thinking about the modern family, the divorce rate and split families. 
 May I just add I have nothing against divorce, my parents split after 25 years of marriage. And I especially have nothing against one parent families. There are many mothers and fathers out there doing the most AMAZING job raising children alone. I salute them!. My mum is one of the most inspirational women I know.  Even at the age of 27 I could not do without her.

 What am I saying is that perhaps we need to take a step back and look at the 'vintage' family. Look at your grandparents, I'm pretty sure most of them are still together and have been for a very long time. My nan and late grandpa were together from a very young age and right up until my grandpa passed away were soul mates. They always will be. But the point here is not really about parents 'staying togther'. Its about the morals and ideas that the idealistic 1950's family had.

 I love the old fashioned family unit and I don't think its a bad thing to bring some of these values into the modern family. And I'm not talking about chaining the wife to the kitchen sink!.

 I'm talking about spending quality time together as a family, respecting each other. Sitting down together at meal times.
 RESPECTING ELDERS!. In the 1950's Sunday  would be the day to attend mass, mow the lawn and chat to your neighbours. Does anyone even talk to their neighbours anymore?!. Or are we all consumed in the modern life. Workaholics, tele addicts??.

 I try my best to have a good balance in my family. I love the homemaker role yet I still have my work. I try and incorporate the old values and views into our family without upsetting our 21st century lives.
 The simplest things can make such a difference!.

 So maybe we should see if the 'Never had it so good' attitude can enrich our lives. In marriage, work, friendships. Life in general. I wonder if we still had such respect and morals, similar to the 1950's, whether our country might be in a completely different state of affairs. Would the looting never had happened, would unemployment not be an issue, would it be safe to walk down the street late at night. I wonder...

 What do you think?.

 Lauren x

Friday, 13 January 2012

Homemade home update


 Work is underway on the bathroom!. It currently looks like this;

Empty, smelly and pretty darn horrible!. We are just going to put in an ordinary steel bath that we got super cheap (£80) sink and heated towel rail. I wanted to half tile the walls and then wallpaper but with a husband for a plumber who has a million and one reasons why wallpaper is not suitable for a bathroom I have had to re-think. But I am so looking forward to it being a clean, family friendly room soon.

 I have also been thinking about all this lovely wood floor we have.

As you all know I am in love with white wood floor but whilst I was researching I came across these pictures. I especially like the blue floorboards and stairs!. 

Sourced online

Country Living

Door sixteen

This old house

I would LOVE to paint the bathroom floor chequered like this but I know this is not pratical. But its sooooooo pretty!. I definitely might do the stairs though, what do you think?!.

 Lauren x

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Take a peek.

What do you all think of the new adverts?!. I think they look fab. And such great business's. I feel very proud to have them alongside me for the next month. Go on..click on them!. They take you straight to the website.

 Let me know what you all think of the new layout. Off to bed, the twins have EXHAUSTED me today. Fingers crossed for some Zzz.

 God bless, Lauren x

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Keep calm and carry on and support your local business's.

La senza. Another HUGE high street company has gone into administration. This is not a surprise to many people as everyday in the news we see more and more big business's closing, the country's debt rising and more unemployed people. We are living in a frightingly scary economy, I waked down my local high street the other day and every other shop seems to have been closed. This is a thriving town centre I'm talking about!.

 It makes you wonder if the big companies cant cope how will the small ones?. But the thing is now is the time for a small business to thrive. Customers are trading their big stores for smaller business's. Which can now offer more and more with online shopping, cheaper items and personalised customer service. As a country we need to support our small, local business's as these are what will save this country from financial collapse!.

 I do my job because I LOVE IT!. Therefore I put everything into my work, juggle motherhood and running a family home, and I never tire from it. Which is why I am still open for business and will hopefully go from strength to strength this year.

 I want to help other small business so I am offering 1 month free advertising on my blog. There is no catch. Send me an email at lauren_sutherland@hotmail.co.uk with your business and advert and you can be featured on a new side bar. Hopefully this little step will help other companies drum up business and have a successful 2012.

 Lets all pull together, put our best foot forward, shop local, spend wisely and make Britain Great Britain!.


 Lauren x

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

A little sunshine goes a long way.

Feeling a little spring inspired today, took a drive to the village to see the house and its progress. It felt so amazing. The sun shining, I could hear the most beautiful birdsong. The house was incredibly bright and just had the most amazing feel. It may look a little lacklustre in its exterior appearance but inside it already feels like home.
 The boys room is almost finished, Poppy's room has been plastered and electrics done. And the plastering is now being done in the bathroom.

 I'm already imagining the spring/summer and I just want it here now as I know once Spring arrives we will be in our new home. Been reading my grandads gardening book see here and lots of interior magazines. Imagining the garden parties, lazy summer evenings, bunting and pimms, vintage sandals, long walks, beachy hair. I can almost feel the sun on my skin!.

Sourced from visitalltheworld.com

Sourced from countryliving

Sourced from re-nest

Ahhhhh I can feel those January blues fading already.

 Lauren x

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Rubber and beds!

As time passes by and I start to get a feel for the house I can see my head turning ever so more to the retro side. The house was built in the 1970's and I can see by the things I'm buying and looking at that it will definitely have a 70's feel to the interior.

 I've been looking at flooring for the kitchen and I have been so adamant that I want black and white chequered lino or tiles. I have always wanted it.

Sourced from apartment therapy.

 That was until I found this...COLOURED RUBBER FLOORING!. OH.MY...I love it!. I think it looks very retro, quirky and a little different to the norm.

Sourced from House to Home.

And when the reviews of it say;

 'Hardwearing, easily cleaned and pretty much childproof', who am I to argue. I really like the pink and I'm collecting the Hornsea Fleur collection for the kitchen and I think it goes lovely together.

 What do you think?. My husband says it reminds him of the flooring in a public toilet!. Ha ha! (I still like it).

On another note our bed is being delivered tomorrow!. Yay!. Our first ever king sized bed. Blissful. As you may all remember I desperately wanted an antique brass bed see here
 Not realising how much one was actually going to cost. And as we are keeping costs down my husband said the budget just couldn't allow for an antique bed. Instead I have settled for a new one, just like this;

Benson beds

This is the actual bed we have bought. We paid £199.99 from Benson beds (not very vintage I know!).  I guess that's not too bad. And its nearly as nice as an old one....nearly.

 Lauren x

Thursday, 5 January 2012

A parenting post...

 I am a lover of old fashioned family values. I pride myself on bringing up my children with good manners and morals based on these old fashioned views.

 There is something very special about the way we were, and how we were brought up. Children were children. They played boardgames, read books, baked,  had adventures in the garden. Its frightening how dependant the children of today are on televisions, computers and the Internet!.

 Which brings me to this;

 My husband came home the night before Christmas eve with a flat screen TV, built in DVD player in fuchsia pink. It was for our daughter. Shes three!.

 I must have been caught up in the Christmas spirit because against my better knowledge I agreed for him to let Poppy have it in her bedroom. How harmful could it be?, I thought.

 Well, ITS BEEN HELL!. She has been staying up late, is unsettled, not sleeping well. We haven't read a proper book since she's had it. I've even found myself letting her watch it until she falls asleep!. ( I am so ashamed by this).
 So its gone, Ive boxed it up and I'm even toying with returning it to the shop. Poppy is three years old. There is no way she should be allowed a television in her bedroom.
 Shes devastated.

 Don't get me wrong, I let my children watch TV all the time, probably too much sometimes, but I think there need to be boundaries. It seems we found out the hard way, we now have a very upset, grumpy girl but I'm sure once we are tucked up in bed tonight with a good book she will forget all about it. We have just started Coraline, which she has seen on DVD, and she loves it!.

 What are your views on this matter?. Am I being too hard?. Or am I right?. I'd love to know what you all think.

 Lauren x

Monday, 2 January 2012

Homemade home;The first coat of paint.

A little update;

Henry and Ted's bedroom has been plastered, the floor sanded and the walls, ceiling, coving and skirting painted. It looks a whole lot better and brighter and its so lovely to see a difference after a slow few weeks. One wall is being wallpapered and the floor needs painting white but I'm sure you will agree, what a difference!.

The wall with the sample paper on has not been painted magnolia, like the rest of the room. The magnolia paint on the walls was just a tub we found in the garage (No farrow and Ball for me I'm sad to say). But I'm very pleased with the results. I didn't want to put white everywhere,

1;Reason being this will be toddler twins bedroom, I'm already being brave using such light colour's. (Eeekk muddy, sticky fingers all over the walls! But I love the colours!).

2; With the white floor the room may have felt a little cold and clinical. I think the magnolia warms it up and keeps the room bright.

 The next room we are going to make a start on is the bathroom. The worst bathroom in the history of bathrooms. It has a HUGE water tank slap bang in the middle of it, we cant afford to switch to a combi boiler so its staying. Right where it is. taking up all the room!. 

The only plus side (I think) is that we can use it as an airing cupboard. So cosy towels is a good thing right?!.

 The roll top bath?. We cant even fit in a decent sized radiator so looks like an ordinary bath, space saving and cheaper.

I had kind of hoped for a bathroom like this Roll top romance.
 But it looks like we will be having something very different. But on the bright side I'm looking forward to hunting for the perfect accessories. Especially a bevelled mirror. And a shelf stacked with books, I love reading in the bath!.

 I look forward to sharing it all with you!,

 Lauren x


Sunday, 1 January 2012

Dig For Victory!

 I pretty much daydream about our house day in, day out. It is NEVER from my thoughts. As you all know I am obsessed with it!. I can already imagine what its going to look like and how we will sit in the garden in the summer, drinking pimms amongst the herb garden and sunflowers. Which has lead me to this post. THE GARDEN!.

 Possibly the only part of the house I haven't scrap booked about.  But that doesn't mean I have forgotten it. I really want to try and incorporate 1940's values and ideas into our family home life, see my larder of love post  see here so of course I want a little vegetable patch and herb garden. Dig for victory!.

  I'm no gardening expert but I so want to have a go at my own veg. I think there is nothing better than popping out to the garden picking some of your home grown produce and then eating it!. DELICIOUS!.

 I'm going to be honest here, I have pretty much no experience. BUT, my beloved late grandpa and my wonderful nan had serious Green fingers. I can remember playing in their beautiful, perfectly manicured garden. Filled with the most stunning colours and smells!. I used to call it the fairy garden, it really was quite magical. A little oasis amidst the concrete.

 When my grandpa passed away I was lucky enough to have been given some of his things. Among them was this book. I feel like this is his way of saying, 'Go for it!' It really is a nostalgic, interesting read and packed full to the brim with everything you would need to know. Whether it be a vegetable patch, keeping chickens, flowers, garden pests right through to bee keeping!. I think it was first published in 1947 and this defiantly looks like a 1940's style book to me..Swoon!.

My grandpa's book.

 As I was flicking through the book I found a page my grandpa must have bookmarked. Madly enough it was the diary of the year-which vegetables were in season, how to grow/look after. All the information one might need to grow their own!. Set in monthly pages January right through to December.
 At this point I had a little cry. This book mark was so meant for me!.

 So with my best land girl attitude and my grandpas book I am set to have a garden to make him, and my nan, proud. Tonight I am all set with a cup of green tea, a long soak in the tub armed with the book. Hoping to soak up some of unknown territory that is 'Pratical gardening and food production, in pictures'.

If anyone has any tips, advice please get in touch, I need all the help I can get!.

Lauren x