goodbye things …

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turns out it’s taken me forever to work the most simple thing ever, less really is more. the penny dropped last summer and it rang loud.

returning home from holiday with all the possessions we needed in just a few cases, we came back to our tiny home and all I could see was STUFF, sure it was tidy but it was filled, every single cupboard and nook.

organised clutter is still clutter

everywhere I looked there was more than we needed and because space is limited at home, I’d become a queen of triple stacking, stashing and stuffing.

so the clearing started and with it I tallied up the number of items we shed/recycled/donated. it was very motivating but also slightly horrifying.

with every bag I’ve staggered down the hill with to the charity shop, I’ve felt the weight of it all and with it my determination grew to keep going.

as of today, the tally in 14 months is ….

– 1,831 items = +

should I weep or celebrate? I don’t know.  I’m realising the journey has only just begun, but I truly believe our habits as a family are changing, in what we store, buy and pass on.

in that 1,831 items were THINGS we just didn’t need or use – cook book and gadgets / rarely worn clothes / spare plates, mugs, vases, candles + endless jugs – all charity shopped.

so, what tips could I share?

>> start that tally. work on one space at a time. let go. be at peace with passing on unwanted gifts. buy only with 1 in 1 out in mind. BUT reducing bulk is key, even by 10%… don’t just reorganise, stash or worse, buy more storage.

>> learn from the pros, I’ve been guided by: marie kondo who taught me it’s ok let go;  the cool kids at remodelista … their storage and organising tips make me faint; and Jessica Rose Williams who’s brought clarity and direction to wardrobing dilemmas.

BUT before the month is out I need to find coats to donate to wrapuplondon helping keep the homeless a little warmer and I’m determined to start 2019 with exactly that, 2 0 1 9 items less in our home….

thank you for sharing my confessional, do you care to join me tallying up? olivia x

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* autumn nourishment *

soup

who knew autumn would be so beautiful after the gift of THAT summer? the trees are a riot of colour, but the daylight is in short supply …  shortening days fill the house with a new, soft light. i’m finally embracing the season + our rhythm is starting to alter.

meanwhile it’s been busy at the birdhouse with projects + my rebrand is well underway (more on that another time). my day is punctuated by tiny landmarks like perching for lunch –  a bowl of soup tuned into podcasts – it’s like a double dose of nourishment.

i’m loving Kayte Ferris’ podcast called Grow with Soul it’s a real tonic to hear a fellow marketeer talk with such wisdom + passion about slow marketing… taking a soulful, steady approach is something i’m devout about with my birdhouse clients.

just in case you fancy trying out this soup, the recipe is here below… i make a big batch of it at the start of the week + keep switching in my toppings as the days roll by. there’s something restorative about feeding the soul, isn’t there.

thank you for stopping by, olivia X

autumn soup 
serves 4
1 medium organic onion
3 organic carrots, peeled
3 cm piece of organic  ginger
1 tablespoon of turmeric
1 tablespoon organic rapeseed oil
1 large organic sweet potato
2 pints of organic vegetable sock 

1/4 pack of cream coconut
100g organic red split lentils

 

dice the onion, carrot and sweet potato into small chunks and grate the ginger. heat the oil + sauté the onion. add the carrot + turmeric, cook off for 2 minutes.  add the stock +  red lentils, simmer for 15 minutes. finally add the cubed sweet potato + cook off for a final 5 minutes before you add in the lemon juice, creamed coconut + ginger. blend.

sprinkle over feta + coconut flakes.

* winter bliss *

 

IMG_5810.jpgthere’s nothing like the feeling that the grip of winter is surrounding us with frosts + flurries of snow. as beautiful as it can be, we soon start to crave warmth + light.

one place to escape to for a fix has been the #nestandflourish gallery, it’s filled with magical moments where the charm of the season seems to sing out.

tiny moments that have been captured when everything seems a little more alluring. here are our winter favourites … aren’t they gorgeous?

here’s to noticing + sharing those tiny flourishes

olivia + sarah X

TL@marraine_boutique TR@_scarlett.l

BL @see_your_true_colors BR @fleaandbear

* precious moments *

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‘Life can pass us by so quickly, and before we know it, it’s gone.
All those small moments in between the big moments
are just as important and precious’
 Pia Edberg
we post this blog with with thankful hearts  there’s nothing like the prospect of the year closing out to help us all stop & reflect on what chapters we’ve journeyed throughout 2o16.  the amazing memories & the shattering ones too, whether it’s from our own tribe or in the big wide world .. they are all woven into the tapestry of who we are as people.
with time to pause & cherish we realise it’s all about treasuring tiny moments &  #nestandflourish  speaks volumes about those.   we have been overwhelmed at the gallery filling with memories from everyone who has joined us this year, we’ve all connected over our shared love of capturing the little things in life.  thank you for evolving it daily.

our advent grid is brimming with fairytale magic …  that money can’t buy home made, calming, hygge magic … making us so ready to embrace the merriment & festivities that await us this month.  thank you to our favourite four for guiding us into this new month  TL @anna.cor @TR _scarlett.I BL @facheflorals BR @christinagreve

inspired by the grid, our december day dream list is growing by the day, we can’t wait for

wintery, frosty foraging
rosy cheeks & hands warmed on hot chocolates
the  waft of christmas baked treats & gifts 
snuggling up with christmas story books
in a  home filled with fairy light twinkles & candles
then having TiME for board games by the fire 

until the next time, we bid farewell with nestandflourish’ed love & advent joy

olivia (@xxbirdhouse) & sarah (@live_and_bloom) X

baking with love

pictapgo-image-cbit’s with relief

that i find myself able to reach out & put up a blog post after such a rollercoaster few months. you know one of those times in LiFE when your world is so rocked that it takes time to find your new rhythm & dust yourself down.

during that time

i’ve found myself instinctively returning to my safety net of baking (oh, & cleaning!) but honestly, not that beautiful & gentle WHiSMY kind of baking that we all dream of doing …  more the baking at speed with fury, or worry & tears.

so today

when i set out to bake for our half term break & got out my favourite weekend recipe, i realised that i didn’t feel quite so crazed as i set to, phew! & it made me wonder if you too might like a slice of of baked love, by way of sharing this COCONUT BREAD recipe.

2 eggs
300ml milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 1/2 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup caster sugar
150g shredded coconut
75g unsalted butter
MAKES 8-10 thick slices

★ pre-heat the oven to 180C.  lightly whisk up the eggs, milk & vanilla.  sift the flour, baking powder & cinnamon in a bowl… then add in the sugar, coconut & stir.  make a well in the centre & pour in the slightly cooled, melted butter.  stir ’til JUST combined, don’t be tempted to over mix.

★ pour into a greased & floured 21×10 cm loaf tin & bake in the oven for 45 mins, then cover with foil (to stop the loaf from catching) before cooking again for a further 15 mins, or until a skewer comes out clean. leave in the tin for just 5 mins, then remove to cool properly on a wire rack.

★ cut it into thick slices at breakfast time …  when there is time to toast the bread under the grill (our toaster can’t cope with it) then spread it thickly with salted butter & dust it with plenty of icing sugar.
here’s to those moments of baked love   … olivia X

 

 

 

 

 

 

*summer-time*

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i always think of high-summer as the time to really PiNCH MYSELF, to make sure that i’m savouring all the little things in life that are illuminated by summer starting with the warmth & sunlight … even if the month is peppered with days  of rain, it’s still summer rain!

summer

permeates through our daily lives so much doesn’t it … from the flowers we gather, to the smells that waft through our day.  whether it’s spotting the first signs of the SEASON or enjoying the gluts, it’s all just a bit magical.  

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so the other day

my bird house duties got me seeking out a recipe that TASTES of summer.  it’s one of those crackers, that needed sharing, a feel good, simple recipe … so i wondered if you fancied stashing it away for the next time you have a glut of raspberries?

400 ml full fat coconut milk
150g raspberries
65g natural cane sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a scant tablespoon cornflour 

SERVES 4

★  put half of the coconut milk into a pan along with the berries & sugar.  warm until the sugar has dissolved & the berries have started to fall apart – turning the milk a wonderful, vibrant pink.  allow this to cool a little before whizzing it in a blender.

★ next, in a bowl put the remaining coconut milk, stir in the vanilla & cornflour then mix well – the mixture will start to thicken as the cornstarch gets to work.

★  then pour the slightly warm, blended berry mix through a sieve and mix straight into the bowl with the cornstarch mixture, combine until it’s smooth and well mixed. discard the raspberry seeds in the sieve.  leave to cool completely.

★  finally, if you have an ice cream maker, churn it according to the manufacturers instructions. otherwise, we recommend that you pop the ice cream into a container and freeze until the sides of the ice cream become icy.  at this stage, whisk up the mixture to break up any crystals before returning it to the freezer to freeze through.

★  when you’re ready to serve the ice cream, get it out of the freezer about 10 minutes before you want to scoop it.  serve sprinkled with pistachios, fresh raspberries & crushed meringues & some chilled muscat!

here’s to those pinch yourself moments … olivia X 

nest&flourish goes freestyle …

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*rituals*

how we loved having sharing  RITUALS over at #nestandflourish those special moments of calm in our whirling worlds.  thank you to everyone who joined us & congratulations to our grid winners who stole our hearts.

TL @mangelka TR @jannelford BL @k.irene.s BR @fleaandbear

the gallery

at #nest&flourish has been a real PLEASURE to watch as it’s grown over the last year.   with each new month, the gallery has changed & reflected the seasons. everyone’s interpretations of the themes have been so inspiring.

for us

we established N+F to share & FIND THE LOVELY in the ordinary from our day-to-day lives.  so now, to test the waters, we’d love to try taking away the months theme & just see what NEST & FLOURISH means to you.

though

we won’t be having a particular theme this month @live_and_bloom and i have a WISHLIST of summery treats that we’re hoping to venture on with our families ….

nipping to the beach for breakfast
being outside at nightfall 
playing rounders 
swimming outdoors
& of course – a visit to the pick your own farm

& in fact 

though we have all these DREAMS, sometimes what we all need a day without dashing & clock watching, a day that starts & ends with no plan …
“rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, 

listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, 
is by no means a waste of time” 

John Lubbock

we really really hope you’ll be able to join us

olivia (@xxbirdhouse) & sarah (@live_and_bloom) X