Blogtacular | Eeeeek!

May 29th 2015
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Blogtacular Conference

Photo credit: Will Ireland for Blogtacular

BLOGTACULAR

I started blogging back in mid 2009. Why? Errr simply because I liked the idea of sharing stuff. My husband and I were looking to have the back of our house remodelled, gosh that sounds fancy, it was more knocking through walls and living with brick dust for months. We started to search for kitchen ideas as this was part of the work we’d started. I came across the perfect kitchen, which we incidentally didn’t go with in the end, and I discovered this lovely ladies blog. Her home was virtually the same layout as mine, albeit a mirror image. I fell in love with her style and this was one of the first times I realised there were other people out there that liked the same stuff as me. Anyway long story short I was inspired to start a blog. I shared my thoughts, my family, my car boot finds and anything else I wanted to share. It was my way of sharing and got a few lovely followers along the way. If you’re not a blogger you won’t have any idea how a comment pinging up on your inbox can make you feel.

In 2011 I wrote my last post on that blog. I revisited it in 2012 just to leave an explanation as to why my World had changed.

I took over blogging for the studio, that I now co owned with my husband, and I’ve dabbling ever since. I’ve found it difficult to get my flow and have been a little sporadic to say the least!

Since 2009 and now, things have changed dramatically. From something I did for fun now feels like I need to take it a little more seriously. There are full time bloggers! That get paid to blog! What the…? I’ve looked at what they do and I feel inadequate. How sad is that? I don’t want to be comparing myself to others but I’m struggling not to. I shouldn’t be just playing at this anymore so I need to find another way. I toyed around with regular Monday and Friday postings as I had help from a member of the studio staff. It worked really well for a while but I’m now back to blogging alone and I’m just unsure whether what am I writing is of any interest to anyone? Strangely this hasn’t stopped me and I post when I feel like I have something to say or time permits it. Time is a also a big one at the moment, or rather lack of it! Having found myself in full time work, running a business and looking after my family and home I don’t always have the time or inclination to spend a couple of hours a night blogging.

Thing is I have lots of ideas and I just don’t know how to organise it all and to get myself going. I’m checking out people who post things on ‘how to blog’ etc but I just need to meet some fellow bloggers. In all the time I’ve been doing this I’ve met only one other blogger. She’s a relative newbie but has a lot of determination and drive and after speaking with her I discover she has a very specific plan. She has built a huge following both on her blog and social media and her secret, as it were, is organisation and planning. This seems obvious I hear you cry. I’m good at being organised at work but for some reason I struggle with blogging. Maybe it’s a mind set. It should be fun and not feel like work. If I have to plan it all then I’m back in the realms of it being work.

In may 2014 I was perusing instagram and happened across a lot of folk talking and posting about an event they were at called Blogtacular. Itlooked like so much fun. I heard a lot about it and decided I would go in 2015. Well as soon as the early bird tickets were released I got myself all signed up for it. I’ll be heading to London in exactly 2 weeks… eek, all by myself, no one to hold my hand. It’s only really hit me this last week or two what I’m about to do. I’m going to walk into a room full of amazing bloggers and feel completely out of my depth. But you know what I’m gonna chat and mingle and most importantly I’m going to get inspired and get that kick up the butt I need to make some decisions about my blogging future!

I’m nervous as hell and excited in equal measures. Check out last years promo video. If this doesn’t get your blogger juices flowing I don’t know what will.

If you happen to going already I can’t wait to meet you! x

 

 

Real {home} life | Andrea

May 27th 2015
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REAL {home} LIFE : 3

Andrea is from my neck of the woods in good old Lancashire, UK. I discovered that she literally lived 5 minutes away from me before she moved with her gorgeous family to the beautiful countryside of France. Andrea used to have a shop selling interesting vintage pieces she’d source locally and also handmade items like the little apple cushion I bought from her which is how we came to discover we would have virtually been neighbours in our younger years.

I’ve been in love with Andrea’s instagram feed because it’s not like everyone else’s. It’s warm, fun, family orientated and most of all full of love. Her feed is just beautiful and I adore what she has done with her homes (they are currently relocating).

If you want a little of Andrea’s style then check out the resources at the end of the post.

Andrea lives with her husband and three beautiful children in rural France (at the moment!).

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All photography by Andrea (edited by Cat of TTT)
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What part of the World do you live in?

  • We live in rural France, pretty much in the centre of the country.

Who do you share your home with?

  • With my husband of nearly nine years and our three wonderful children and our two old collies.

Tell us a little about you and your family?

  • I’m at stay at home mum, still adjusting to life with three children. I never thought it would be so tiring! I have an etsy shop (temporarily closed) where I sell French vintage homewares. Also, I love to be creative, making the children’s clothes and creating with the kids but since Anna was born there never seems enough hours in the day. By 7pm I’m pooped! It’s getting easier so I’ll be back on track with shop and creativity soon. Our two eldest children; Sam 7 and Bella 5 attend the village school and now speak French fluently which sounds so sweet. I’ll never get tired of listening to them. My husband, Scott is a joiner/shop fitter. He runs his own business here which is going really well and hopefully will continue to do so.

How would you describe your taste/style?

  • I don’t seem to follow one specific style. When I buy for the home it’s usually without much thought and more if I like it. Vintage, mid century items are my favourite, all of which I pick up at the charity shop.  I also love the Scandinavian style and simplistic French Blue/grey colours.

Can you tell me a about how you came to stay in your home?

  • We’ve recently sold our old French farmhouse where we lived for nine years and moved into a 1960s home. We live on one level and the children have the converted attic for playing and sleeping. It’s smaller than our old house but much lighter and warmer. It’s actually a temporary situation as we’re soon to be moving to a city apartment. A complete change of life for us!

Where does your inspiration come from to decorate and furnish your home in the way you do?

  • My inspiration comes from many things. From Pinterest, Instagram, magazines and blogs to places I visit for example, friends houses, restaurants, airbnb apartments, shops. I loved our recent trip to Amsterdam as I spent most of the time looking through people’s windows. The Dutch have effortless style.

Does having children influence your decor and if so how?

  • Definitely! Ever since I was pregnant with Sam, I could imagine a house full of children’s paintings and toys. Every room has to include them or their art work. It’s not forever, so I love to make the most of it. We have pieces of furniture with their toys/books in each room for them.

How have you found the transition moving from the UK to rural France?

  • We moved to France before the children were born. We wanted to escape the rat race. My husband had a stressful job and we made the insane decision to sell and leave. We didn’t really research what we could do in France but we dealt everything as it happened. Overall, it’s worked out really well and we’re happy and settled. That’s not to say it’s not been tough and overwhelming. However, after nine years in the countryside, I’m looking forward to city living for a while :)

What is your most prized possession?

  • Hmmmmm, I’m not sure. My sewing machine comes to mind. I couldn’t be without it. On a sentimental note, the precious stone guardian angels my best friend bought for each child and a black and white photo of my nan dancing which I want to blow up into a canvas.

Is there a particular piece or something you have an interesting story about?

  • There is one I shared on Instagram recently. A carved wooden man I found in our last house. It was such a special house in many ways. Owned for more than 100 years by the same French family. They left many belongings including old recipes, photos etc. but the old carved man is pretty special. It’s like my mascot and I’ll take him everywhere we’ll live :)

Do you have a favourite shop – Online or bricks & mortar?

I love a good rummage in a second hand shop and you seem to like the same. Do you often buy something just because you love it or it’s too good a price not to take home or does it have to have a place before you will buy it? 

  • I used to buy anything if I loved it. I now have to restrain myself, especially as we live in a smaller house.
  • I’m looking forward to reopening my etsy shop so I’ll be able to go back to buying what I love, waiting until someone buys it to pass it on.

Do you buy many magazines and if so which ones would you recommend?

What 3 pieces of advice would you give to someone starting out on their journey of furnishing and decorating their new home.

  • 1. To take your time. Don’t make any rash decisions. Sometime you have to live somewhere a while for ideas to materialise. 2. Do research- pin pin pin! 3. Don’t follow a design or style to the t. A mix of styles or adding your personal touch makes all the difference.

If money was no object what is the one thing you would change about your home if anything?

  • I have a few! change the floors to wood, add velux windows upstairs and add a bath. The children currently have to manage with the shower or baby bath.

What in your opinion is the best thing about your home?

  • The light. There are lots of windows. It’s so nice after living in a dark house for so long. It really does lighten the mood on grey days. However, the amount of windows to clean is not so good.

What do your friends say about your home?

  • They love that it’s light and not as small as I make out. Also, the decision to paint the staircase grey was a good idea. That has made a huge difference to our living room.

What’s your biggest indulgence?

  • I don’t really have an indulgences. Though I do have a potential rug and bed linen buying problem! I’m following several rugs on eBay. But I really can’t justify buying one.

What has been your best DIY achievement?

  • DIY really isn’t my speciality. I’m not to be trusted with a drill even. A hammer is my only tool for putting pictures up and even they fall down. I do paint things a lot but my husband has a real knack of choosing great colours so I leave that part to him.

Thanks Cat for inviting me to be your blog guest. It’s been an honor :) x

Thank you Andrea for sharing your lovely home and for becoming a true friend. x

If you don’t already follow Andrea you can find her here: instagramblog, pinterest

Don’t forget to tune in next month for another Real {home} Life post and if you miss any you can see them all by hitting the REAL {home} LIFE button on the right side bar.

Resources List:

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Habitat | Kanken | Fine Little Day | Tea & Kate | Pia Wallen | Ingela P Arrhenius

real {home} life | Gayle

April 29th 2015
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TTT blog Gayle's home_cover

Welcome to the second instalment of the REAL {home} LIFE posts.

REAL {home} LIFE : 2

This month I’d like to introduce you to the lovely Gayle. I met Gayle on that marvelous app, instagram. I meet the most lovely people over there so I’m very lucky indeed.

If you want a little of Gayle’s style then check out the resources at the end of the post.

Gayle lives in a beautiful Edwardian home which they have been remodelling for a couple of years. The progress is amazing and I for one would love a peek at some before photos! It truly is a stunning work in progress.

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All photography by Gayle (edited by Cat of TTT)

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What part of the World do you live in?

  • Worthing, Sussex.

Who do you share your home with?  

  • My partner, Steve, and our 5 year old daughter Edie.

Tell me a little about you and your family? 

  • Steve is a graphic designer and I am a stay at home Mum, currently setting up my own business selling homewares (watch this space). As a family at weekends we like to go swimming, exploring on the beach, zoo, farms, seeing friends and extended family, also getting on with little DIY projects around the house etc.

Can you tell me a little about how you came to buy your home? 

  • We were renting a house just outside Lewes in East Sussex and when it was time to buy our first family home there wasn’t anything we particularly liked that was within our price range (Lewes prices are crazy). So we started looking further afield and a friend put the idea of Worthing in our minds (she has since moved – to Lewes of all places!!!). We spent lots of weekends looking at houses with a then toddler Edie (no mean feat) but didn’t find anything that grabbed us. We decided we would just carry on renting in Lewes for the time being and look again at a future date, but then I received an email with the details of this house and told Steve we absolutely had to see it. We’d seen nothing at the price that also had so much character. We arranged a viewing and that was it, we were sold, and putting an offer in straight away. We didn’t even go for a second viewing. There was loads of interest and we ended up in a bidding war but I’m like a dog with a bone and I think in the end we got the house by paying £400 more than the other family!

What space do you have?

  • It is a 3 bed Edwardian semi on two floors. One thing that stood out for me was the size of the bedrooms – one large double spanning the width of the front of the house and then two smaller doubles (so no box room).

How would you describe your taste/style?

  • I am really drawn to minimal, modern, Scandinavian style.  I love white walls and simple furniture, I also love typographic prints/graphics. I don’t like anything fussy/chintzy and don’t like too much clutter.  I also like the industrial/warehouse look – things like exposed brick walls, untreated metal work and large open plan spaces.

You are currently renovating your home, which I know takes time, patience and money. Has Instagram influenced you in any of your interior design decisions?

  • For as long as I can remember I have had a passion for interiors (particularly Scandinavian) and I’ve collected interiors magazines for years. Instagram has been really useful/inspirational as well though, as you see evidence of everyday people making interior design decisions which helps you be more brave because you can see it works. I’d say the main way it has influenced me is pushing me more towards monochrome – whilst I have always loved white and grey I definitely used these colours as background for other colours before IG – but now I seem to only add black! I am currently trying to get a bit of balance between some monochrome and some colour!  It’s also opened up some new brands to me and encouraged me to shop more independently.

Where does your inspiration come from to decorate and furnish your home in the way you do?

  • Pinterest, interiors magazines – in fact it was one particular issue of Ideal Home magazine that convinced me to knock our 3 downstairs rooms through to one big space – the house in the magazine was the exact same layout as ours.  I knew I wanted to do some knocking down of walls but was possibly going to keep one room separate.

What is your most prized possession?

  • Not strictly interiors related but I would have to say my photos and videos of Edie. I do also love our “love seat” – bought as one of the first bits of furniture when we first got together, in a lovely shop in Brighton that is sadly no longer -hopefully this will be passed down the generations. I also have a large picture of Twiggy that I’ve owned for years and love but Steve is not hugely keen on it! We are currently coveting some string shelving for our kitchen to replace some IKEA shelving, and I’m sure that will become a prized possession!

Is there a particular piece or something you have an interesting story about?

  • Not particularly as most of our furniture is IKEA!

Do you have a favourite shop – Online and bricks and mortar?

Do you buy many magazines and if so which ones would you recommend?

  • I have subscriptions to both Living Etc and Ideal Home magazine. Occasionally I will buy Grand Designs and Elle Decoration, also my Mum passes on her “Good Homes” to me. Ultimately I am a bit nosey so I love a good look through an interiors magazine! I think Ideal Home is great at showing relatively “normal” people’s homes and also it has floorplans – I am a sucker for a floorpan as I love to look at the pictures and get a sense of how the rooms fit in with the other rooms in the house. Living Etc is definitely very aspirational and guaranteed to make me a little envious at times, but good at showing slightly more daring design.

What 3 pieces of advice would you give to someone starting out on their journey of furnishing and decorating their new home.

  • I would say – try to do one room at a time – this is not a piece of advice I have followed  so every room I go in is unfinished which is annoying!  Also, gather lots of inspiration from magazines, other peoples homes, IG, Pinterest etc and stick to what you love – don’t necessarily just follow the latest trend – go with your gut. Lastly, practice the art of patience (I need to take this advice!!!) and don’t rush into anything – we lived in our house for a year without doing anything drastic, working out how we live as a family, before we knocked all the walls down. Also if you have an idea of a particular piece of furniture you might like, wait until you can afford it – I have made a few mistakes trying to get cheaper alternatives which haven’t worked and have turned out to be a waste of money.

If money was no object what is the one thing you would change about your home if anything?

  • Nothing about the home per se as I think we have made the best of the existing space – in an ideal world I would have extended into the side return and maybe out into the garden by a few metres to have an even bigger kitchen/diner but I don’t think its necessary. I would also love a driveway as parking on our road is a bit rubbish. If we were to move again then a drive would be high up on the priorities list.

What in your opinion is the best thing about your home?

  • That it is so light and bright and open and white. That it has wooden floorboards and fireplaces. That after years and years of renting I have finally got to make my mark on my own home, something I definitely want to do again if money allows.

What do your friends say about your home?

  • It depends on the friend, as if they like floral/fussier decor they generally don’t say anything much!!! I also hear “do you like white?” quite a lot!! Some friends have said that it should be in a magazine which is very kind and most comment on how they like the open plan nature of the downstairs. People do also comment positively on the use of the space under the stairs, that we’ve managed to squeeze a loo, sink, washing machine, and coat/shoe storage space in to.

What’s your biggest indulgence?

  • White floor paint???!!!! We painted our floor 7 times in the end as one brand of white we had used was not white enough!!  I don’t really spend silly amounts on anything as funds don’t allow!

What has been your best DIY achievement?

  • I would say the sanding, filling and painting of all the floorboards countless times. Also the impromptu knocking off plaster in our bedroom to have exposed brick.

Thank you my dear friend for sharing photographs of your beautiful home with us and telling us a bit more about yourself and your style. I love seeing the changes by following you on instagram.

If you don’t already follow Gayle you can find her here: instagrampinterest

I’m really excited to be sharing some lovely real homes with you so be sure to tune in next month for another Real {home} Life post and if you miss any you can see them all by hitting the REAL {home} LIFE button on the right side bar.

Resources List:

IkeaMarimekko | Eames | Lego | Stokke | Jansen&co | Naked Lunge | Habitat | SeventyTree | TKMaxx

Giveaway | Style Me Vintage Home

April 3rd 2015
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Our home | Lucas’ Bedroom

March 31st 2015
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TTT blog Lucas room update 03-2015_08

We have recently been updating my boys bedroom. He’s outgrown a few of the elements and has become a little more involved of late as to what HE wants in HIS bedroom, only fair I guess and it had to come sooner or later! Thankfully he still trusts me enough to give him selections to choose from. He has his own mind but as long as he has certain input he’s happy.

You can see his room before here and here. He went from a cot bed straight into the Ikea Kura cabin bed. It worked brilliantly for him and us but as he’s got older he was getting a little sick of not being able to get out of bed easily. We used to read with him underneath the cabin bed but as we are getting *ahem cough… older… we weren’t finding it so comfy under there any more and then climbing into our bed to read before bedtime became the habit. Then he’d be all cosy in our bed and want to stay there. He’s now almost 8 and getting too heavy to carry him to a cabin bed after he’s alseep. We had a long talk one evening and he tried to explain what he liked about falling asleep in our room. Turns out he didn’t like that when he was led down he couldn’t see much of his room. He also liked being able to see the fairy lights on our fireplace.

I had a good look around different places for a bed but we ended up at Ikea so Lucas could have a wee try to see if he liked the low beds first. We chose the Ikea Flaxa bed and we also bought a new thick mattress. It’s not the best quality construction but it’s suitable for a 7 year old who will probably want a double bed at some point soon! We recently gave the floor a new lick of paint to freshen it up and painted the walls again. We are aiming for a fun but slightly more grown up room. Ikea’s Stuva collection for children is just brilliant so we exchange his pax wardrobe {which he’d had from being a baby in a teeny tiny bedroom in our old house} and his malm drawers {also from being a baby} Feels more coherent and he seems to have far more storage.

Still loving me some vintage, his double desk was getting a little on the low side. Before we got that desk I’d already bought a single one from one of my favourite antique shops. We’d stashed it in the attic until he outgrew the double one. It felt a little too tall when we got it down so I had my wonderful husband saw about 9cm off the bottom of each of the legs. It’s now the perfect height and sits well with his chair

I think all in all we’ve done a fine job between us all. We never really had a ‘baby’ room so it’s been pretty straightforward making the changes.

 

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Real {home} life | Mariela

March 25th 2015
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I’ve been wanting to start a new monthly series since before Christmas but it has taken me until now to get things moving. My aim has been not to rush at getting these done rather plan and organise properly.

The series I wanted to start came from the very first post I did on here about my lovely friend Sarah’s, Archiesboutique, online shop. That was about 18 months ago now and I have always had plans to continue this style of post as well as share some interesting homes that are not straight out of a magazine {but they really should be}. I see beautiful real life family homes daily on instagram and various other forms of social media I use. I really feel it would be wonderful to share those homes here that haven’t necessarily been photographed by a pro or styled by anyone other than the homeowner.

Instagram is one of those places that can either give you fabulous ideas with what to do in your home or can make you blindingly envious as to how perfect anothers home is. I’ve been there and also feel my home is inadequate when it comes to having things completely finished and clutter free. (That’s my current work in progress, trying to get rid of the unwanted excess that clogs up my brain and hinders keeping my home tidy and organised. To be honest I’d have to give away both my son and husband for that to ever happen!!! *insert big smiley, crying face as you don’t know how true to reality that is! Don’t worry no family members will be harmed for getting in the way of perfection. Promise… no really!)

This series will run on the last Wednesday of every month.

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REAL {home} LIFE : 1

So I wanted to introduce my lovely friend Mariela from One Happy Mess blog. Mariela is one of my longest standing IG friends and she is a very special lady to me. My dream is to have a Starbucks with this lady and have a proper catch up one day that doesn’t consist of IG messages and emails.

If you want a little of Mariela’s style then check out the resources at the end of the post.

Mariela lives in Puerto Rico and she has a beautiful home filled with love and fun.

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All photography by Mariela (edited by Cat of TTT)

Architecture | Preston Bus Station

March 20th 2015
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A couple of weeks ago I got a little nostalgic and decided to drag the whole family to our City Bus Station. Because of where we live, we normally get off the bus at the lower end of the town centre and walk our way up. On this particular day we headed to the City just so I could have a good look around a part of this place I’ve always called home. This fantastic piece of brutalist architecture has been here for over forty years and I probably haven’t stepped foot in it for well over 10!

Photographs are taken with my simple Nikon1 J2.

 

Preston Bus Station is the central bus station in the city of Preston in Lancashire, England. It was built by Ove Arup and Partners in the Brutalist architectural style between 1968 and 1969, to a design by Keith Ingham and Charles Wilson of Building Design Partnership with E. H. Stazicker. The building was threatened with demolition as part of the City Council’s Tithebarn redevelopment project. After two unsuccessful attempts it was granted Grade II listed building status in September 2013.

Information source: Wikipedia

 

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Whitworth | Manchester

February 28th 2015
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A rare photo of the 3 of us… good old self timer!

A little late but last Friday whilst it was half term we all took a train and headed to Manchester on a lovely family day out. Picture heavy post? You betcha’.

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Compositions With Horns (Double Flat) – Cornelia Parker

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Gilbert and George

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Kids at Made.com

February 27th 2015
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Linas bunk bed

Since I got ‘Home of the Month‘ from Made Unboxed in December I have been following them on Instagram and a few days days ago got a little over excited when I saw they were launching a new series just for children… eeek there goes my bank balance again!

They launched on 25th February and I’ve got to say I’m totally blown away. I’m so gutted I didn’t know this was happening sooner as I would have loved one of the beds pictured below for Lucas.

 

 

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Linus single bed

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The details are beautiful and I would have loved Lucas to have a bunk bed. However, he decided he no longer wanted a cabin bed so I’m pretty sure a bunk bed was out of the question. (darn, darny, darn, darn, darn)

I love made.com and that’s because I have purchased from them in the past and the products have always passed muster and I think they are good value for money too. It takes a little bit of faith on my part as I can’t test out the goods beforehand but they do now have a bricks and mortar showroom that you can head over on to and test out some of the products they sell before committing to a purchase.

I have already placed my order, the Iso bedspread for Lucas’s room, but may be placing another as they have since added a few more items to the collection. This really could be dangerous!!!!

TTT blog Made iso_180x130cm_printed_bedspread_lb5TTT blog Made iso_180x130cm_printed_bedspread_lb1

TTT blog Made iso_180x130cm_printed_bedspread_lb3

Iso blanket

TTT blog Made iso_cloud_cushion_lb1 TTT blog Made iso_single_bed_set_black_white_lb1

Iso cloud cushion // Iso bed set

TTT blog Lucas Made mask

Also a big thankyou to made for the lovely surprise package. Lucas really loved strutting around in it this morning. x

Have you purchased anything from the made children’s collection?

A week of eats | rubbish free

February 15th 2015
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TTT blog - sweet poato base quiche

sweet potato base quiche

So over on Instagram I’ve been posting a few photos of the sugar free, grain free, gluten free, yeast free recipes we’ve been cooking up over the last few weeks. I’m changing the foods I eat not because I need to lose weight, although it’s definitely an added bonus, but because of lifelong health issues. I don’t want to go too deep into that just yet, only to say I have something called candida which I’m trying to deal with. You can read more on that here and there are some of the recipes I found here too.

I’ve promised for a couple of weeks to put together a list of the foods and links to recipes for some of my followers I’ve been chatting with.

I don’t pretend to be an expert in health and wellbeing matters but I’m learning as I go along and I have the help of a fantastic nutritionist that I skype with from the USA. She has been mentored by Chris Kresser who is the guy to know when it comes to a Paleo lifestyle. That isn’t what I’m trying to do but I certainly use the tips and recipes as the basic clean eating principles are the same.

All content of this post is just what works for me and won’t work for everyone. I don’t eat lots of meats so I struggle to find things I want to eat and we find recipes and adjust them for what I am allowed. Please just use this as a guide and I will write more posts relating to food/recipes and my experiences later on.

I’ve learnt so much in the last few months about sugars, protein, carbs and fats. I’ve been advised to avoid grains, dairy and gluten as well as follow a candida diet. Protein rich food 3 meals a day will help stabilise your blood sugar levels and stop the sugar slumps that I faced on a daily basis. Protein for breakfast was the biggest change for me. I used to eat porridge, weetabix and shredded wheat for breakfast as it was quick and easy. Not anymore. Below is a guide to what I choose to eat and some of the recipes I have found on candida or paleo sites and others where I’ve just substituted the flours and sugars for alternatives that are better for me. I like to use Xylitol in sweet recipes but I only use half the recommended sugar amount of any recipe as I think foods can actually be too sweet when they really don’t need to be. Avoid artificial sweeteners as much as possible. These are usually hidden in ‘low fat’ items. If you can’t understand an ingredient on the back of a packet or jar don’t buy it!

 

BREAKAST:

 

TTT blog - scrambled eggs on paleo breadscrambled egg in unsalted butter with a natural yeast free loaf from our local supermarket
TTT blog - gluten free sausage and scrambled egggluten free sausage and scrambled egg

So what do I eat for breakfast now? Eggs… pretty much every day. Boiled, scrambled, poached, with coconut/almond bread, spinach, gluten free sausages, bacon. There are so many ways of doing eggs and they only take a few minutes. I used to cook porridge on the hob for 4 minutes and that’s just the same amount of time it takes to boil an egg. Bacon is quick to grill whist the eggs are on and sausages we cook the night before or a few days before and warm up when needed. Remember you only need a palm sized amount of protein. I may have one sausage and poached egg, couple of eggs scrambled with a slice or two of bacon, but not smoked bacon. Some people prefer to stay away from pork as they are usually not as good quality meat as some but that’s personal choice. I use a tiny spot of ketchup if I feel the need as ok’d by my nutritionist.

 

DINNER & TEA:

We make these recipes at the weekend and double the amount of any recipe so we make more than enough for 2 or even 3 or 4 meals for the week.

I’ve been making a pretty easy chicken korma for a few years that I got off bbcgoodfood.com. I remove the onion as my son doesn’t like it. I change the stock to bouillon, which you can get in most supermarkets, and the creme fraiche to full fat natural yoghurt. I also use quite a large nob of ginger and add medium curry powder for the extra kick and use about a tablespoon of garam masala. I can make this easy within 30 mins and I always make double or more so I can have the rest either for a dinner later in the week or for a quick warm up tea. I have less than 1/2 cup of rice with this each time and I always have white rice as there is less arsnic in white than brown. It’s up to you what you choose.

TTT blog - chicken korma

Chicken Korma

meatballs, ratatouille & courgette pastaTTT blog - chicken burger and yam chips

Meatballs, ratatouille and courgette linguine // chicken burger and yam chips

TTT blog - Burger and sweet potato wedges/chipsroasted squash and chickenTTT blog - quiche out of oven

Roasted squash, quinoa & chicken //  quiche

Beef Burger and sweet potato wedges (no bun) We use Jamie Olivers Ultimate burger and chips recipe. We just leave out the mustard & parmesan and use flaxseed instead of breadcrumbs. Add a little paprika instead of the mustard if you like a little kick. If you can’t find the recipe as i don’t think it’s online you could try this one. I’d use coconut oil instead of vegetable oil but that’s just me.

Meatballs (use the same recipe  for burgers but form them into meatballs), courgette linguine & ratatouille.

Chicken and courgette burgers with yam chips (no bun). You can peel and chop the yam well in advance and  just keep them in a bowl of water until you are ready to use them.

Beef stew (substitute the flour for almond flour), veggies and sweet potato wedges (peel, chop and chuck in oven with melted lard)

Sprout and sweet potato hash with poached eggs

Baked butternut squash (we miss out the feta, pine nuts and olives (I don’t like Olives!)

Swede & Quinoa patties

TTT blog - paleo breadTTT blog - cauli base pizza

Paleo bread // Cauliflower base pizza
TTT blog - tuna mix on paleo breadtuna mix with avocado and paleo bread

Tuna mix (tin tuna or fresh, chopped cherry toms, cucumber, sweet bell peppers, few twist of the pepper mill and mix it all together with cottage cheese) squished ripe avocado on paleo bread, salad leaves optional.

Stuffed sweet bell peppers with tuna mix

Sweet potato base quiche

Coconut and apple chicken liver pate (personally I struggle to eat chicken livers but if you like it it’s worth a go.)

Lemon cod with basil bean mash

Cauliflower base pizza, for the sauce mix with passata a good amount of tom puree, crush garlic, fresh chopped basil S&P. We cut strips of yellow pepper, courgette, halve the baby plum toms and instead of mozarella we use cottage cheese… yum!

 

PUDDINGS:

Blueberry cake

blueberry cake
TTT blog - blueberry cakeblueberry cake
TTT blog - pancakespancakes

TTT blog - sugar free cookiesTTT blog - plantain nat yog & berries

sugar free cookies // fried ripe plantain

Lemon and blueberry cake, have a small slice with full fat natural yoghurt and a couple of berries or a sprinkle of mixed spice. Try not to do it every day or every meal

Fluffy pancakes there are loads of recipes but I like to use these. Again add full fat natural yoghurt and a couple of berries or a sprinkle of mixed spice

Full fat natural yoghurt and a couple of berries or a sprinkle of mixed spice

Ripe plantain fried in mixed spice and cinnamon

Cookies I use xylitol instead of sugar and I half the amount in the recipe. These are actually made for my son but I may have one occasionally and by occasionally I mean 2 in the week if I’m desperate :)

 

SNACKS:

Almonds

1/2 banana

 

DRINKS:

Water (plenty of it!)

Decaf tea and coffee

Rooibos (redbush)

Fruit teas, just make sure they are  good quality

Cold fruit tea, if you have a sodastream then cold fizzy fruit tea

Almond and coconut milk check they are unsweetened (I also use almond or coconut in my decaf tea and coffee)

Oh yeah I’m still allowed to drink my alcohol drink of choice which is a whiskey but instead of the coke I have it with soda water. I do occasionally drink it with the soda water and a splash of coke but I can happily drink it without. I had to slowly reduce the amount of coke which took a few weeks but now I don’t mind it.

TTT blog - Jim BeanTTT blog - fruit tea

Jim Bean with soda water and a dash of coke // fruit tea

Depending on how you feel and your reasons for changing your diet then you can still have little treats but it’s a case of thinking differently about treats. I don’t see that big bag of sweets any more as being a treat! I just know it will put me right back where I don’t want to be. Instead we keep a bar of 85% dark chocolate in the fridge and just have couple of blocks when I’m in desperate need or have had a hard day.

The hardest thing is the going out to restaurants. The easiest thing is to completely avoid it but that isn’t us. Instead we only eat out no more than once every two weeks, unless absolutely necessary. We don’t have a starter and we don’t have a desert. We make the better choices when it comes to the meal. We like Pizza Express and we used to all have three courses and I would drink freshly squeezes orange juice by the bucket load. Now I have a pizza or salad and look for a protein rich one and just ask them to remove stuff I shouldn’t eat with some exceptions, one tiny bit isn’t going to hurt right? I have now started carrying with me a tub of almonds, fruit tea bags and a small flask of almond milk. People are very accepting of this behaviour, or maybe its just my cheek?! Either way it’s your health and well being. If restaurants want my family’s business then they will have to accept my terms providing they are reasonable requests of course. This was always a stumbling block for me in the past but now it seems second nature to me. If you go somewhere regularly you get to the know the staff and they you so you can switch things up a bit and ask them to alter the meal slightly, most restaurants are very accommodating these days.

I realise I haven’t explained much about my reasons for this lifestyle, diet change but it was more about helping give others the ideas of what they can eat without changing too much. The biggest change is not using ANY pre packaged food with the exception of ketchup but we are also going to make our own soon. There are recipes for everything but I also realise it’s a big lifestyle change to cook all your food from scratch but once you start it’s difficult to stop.

If I buy anything for our family that isn’t home-made I always check the sugar content. 4g sugar = 1 teaspoon. This for me is the most evil of all substances and it is the one I loved the most but starting eating this way has reduced my sugar intake by approx 98% and I feel better for it.

I’ve suffered from depression, albeit a mild depression, for a long time and that heaviness and darkness has lifted. I’ve noticed that I’m smiling more, jumping about like a kid again, wanting to go out on adventures and I’m stressing the small stuff a lot less. On top of that I’ve lost 10lbs without doing too much exercise. Next on my list is a proper exercise regime but that’s another post.

Just one thing to remember – any change however small, is the start. Don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad day or have a naughty snack or just completely indulge. Tomorrow is a new day. It’s taken me 10 years from learning about candida and 3 previous attempts to get to the place I’m in now. I needed help! I’ve learnt more about food and sugars in the last 6 months than I ever understood before and the small, slow changes I made over the years like reducing sugar in my tea and coffee and choosing some healthier options, like 1 digestive over a packet of jaffa cakes and the like are what have helped change my way of thinking. Changing the bread from soft and fluffy white to more dense, yeast free breads, not eating take away so often or eating out less. It’s these changes that have put me in a good place and now that I’m able to prepare my own food, believe me I know how difficult it is when you are tired and have zero energy, well I now have that energy and willingness. We’ve built up a stock pile in our freezer and fridge and sometimes when we are feeling lazy or we arrive home late we sometimes get the frozen chips out for ease but it’s fairly quick to put some sweet potato wedges in the oven too. The better I feel, the better I eat and the better I feel! (no that’s not a typo). It just keeps on going. I allow myself one of my son’s smarties or one of the biscuits I made now as I’m more able to not need (ok want!) the whole tube or box! I’m no longer hungry every 5 minutes. I eat my 3 meals a day and rarely want anything in-between.

The biggest difference in me? I have energy and life back.

I’d love to know if you have tried this kind of lifestyle before or currently making the change and how its making you feel.

If anyone has any specific questions either email me or leave a comment below. I will reply to them all. If I can affect one person’s life then I’ve done my job.

 

Health and happiness to you all x

 

Note: You can follow my food board BITE:me over on pinterest for more ideas.

 

 

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