This Blog Has Moved…

I would like to start by thanking you all for following me and the support you’ve given me over the past 7 months. I’ve truly enjoyed every moment of creating Make It Simple and I’ve learnt so much from the process, however, it’s time to move on.

The name although it captured what I wanted, it has never really felt like me, whatever that is. After six months I’ve finally settled on a name that I’m happy with. I hope it encompasses everything I love and live for. Which is basically simple living, old things, interiors, baking, long walks and of course…Otis. The name is Old Mother Hubbard. I’ve had a mixed response, some people love it, some people prefer Make It Simple. If you fall into the later category then I really hope you’ll still follow my new adventures anyway, I promise the name will grow on you.

My new blog can be found here…

https://www.oldmotherhubbard.co.uk

If you could subscribe with your email on the new website it would really make my day. Also your opinions and constructive feedback would be so welcome.

Again thank you, and I can’t wait to see you over there.

Written with love

Brooke

Aka Old Mother Hubbard.

Surving January…Still

If you’re a regular reader then you might notice my blog posts have been few and far between lately. I’ve learnt that creativity, ideas and enthusiasm comes in waves, and I just haven’t really felt like writing or taking pictures. So, I’m very sorry for being lazy and very optimistic that my creative wave is back on the up!

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On a tangent, and because it’s health season, I have a tasty slimming world soup recipe that’s full of dark greens coming up. I’ll be honest the post has been sat in my drafts for well over 6 months, and I still haven’t got around to taking a decent photo so I can post it. My friend Issy has requested this recipe, so hang on tight, it’s coming!

Back to topic, it’s been two weeks since my Surviving January post and unfortunately it still is January. However, I do have some good slightly narcissistic news to report…

I’m feeling much happier!

My January Funk Pull list (See previous blog post) has worked some wonders. Don’t get me wrong I’m still prone to bouts of melancholy but generally I feel much more optimistic with life and my self-esteem isn’t quite on the floor. Here’s a low down on how each activity is going so far.

Gratitude Journal

I’m still going with my gratitude journal, I keep it all on my Instagram stories if you want to be nosy at how grateful I am for a cup of tea and some broccoli. In all honesty I can’t report that it’s having a direct impact but it could be contributing to my mood boost. Maybe, it’s because I can’t publicly dig deep. Maybe, to really feel the benefit I need to not be as thankful for central heating and be grateful I have lovely friends and family.

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Yoga

I’ve discovered Adrienne on YouTube and I’m currently on day 11 of her 30-day yoga challenge (I’ve missed a few days, I should be on day 16). I can’t say I’ve noticed my flexibility getting any better, I’m still as bendy as a plank of 2″ x 4″ timber but generally I do feel much calmer. The days I manage to do some yoga always seem to turn out more positive.

Slimming World

A whole pound and half heavier as I write this, my first week of slimming world didn’t quite go to plan but onward and upwards, there’s always next week. I’m blaming the farmer for having a birthday. How inconvenient all that cake in the house! I’d love to do some more work on my relationship with food this year, there was a very interesting interview by my fave journalist in the paper. All about how to approach food and it made so much sense. I’ve found the article online but infuriatingly you have to subscribe. I’ll find the article and post a photo on my Instagram just in case anybody would like to read it.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/dolly-alderton-introduces-just-eat-it-a-new-book-by-nutritionist-laura-thomas-vz7qp22n8

Walking

I’ve managed at least a 3 mile walk once a week so far and it’s impossible to not return home a little more pleased with myself than when I left. I’ve also practiced being mindful and aware but I have an awful habit of daydreaming or scrolling Instagram whilst I’m walking.

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Cleaning & Clearing Out

Our cleaning and clearing out plan has changed course a little. Me and the farmer have noticed the atrocious amount of plastic packaging we throw out in the waste from food and toiletries so we’re making a few small changes now, and hopefully more to follow. We’re starting upstairs, I think it will be a long and slow process but eventually I’m hoping to write a blog post about our plastic free bathroom. I actually need to achieve a plastic free bathroom first, so please bear with me.

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Garden Planning

Because I hate the cold weather, my garden planning still hasn’t developed into actual gardening. BUT, did I tell you The Farmer bought me a CHICKEN HUT & RUN for Christmas? We just need grass to grow in the allotment and create a little shelter and then Lady Jane Fairfax and Beyoncé can move on in. (Yes, all of my future chickens will have names as ridiculous as this.)

Written with love

Brooke

x

Edit: It’s Sunday morning now, and as it’s time to press publish I’ve noticed how grainy and inconsistent these photos are. My appologies reader, but I believe I’ve rushed this post. A mental note has been made to use my camera rather than quickly grabbing the Iphone from now on.

 

 

My Overambitious Autumn Bucket List

I just love Autumn, the wellies, the candles, the crunchy leaves, wooly hats and cold mornings. Most importantly Christmas is just round the corner and yes, I’m one of those that firmly welcome Mariah Carey and Nat King Kole into my house the day after bonfire night.

I also love a list. To this day I have never reached the end of one, they’re an everlasting challenge to conquer. Just ask The Farmer, our fridge is covered from top to bottom in chalk pen. (I discovered this last year – metal fridges can deal with chalk pen!) He’s so used to them by now he can actually tell what mood I’m in by how neatly I’ve written it.

I want to start a series of seasonal lists, my theory being a public list is far more likely to be followed through than a fridge one. Please don’t be expecting anything wild, exciting or remotely extroverted, My sister calls me a Granny for good reason.

Anyway enough babble about why… here’s my list.

1. Make a hedgehog house – paint it and write hedgehog hotel on the side.

2. Go for much longer walks with Otis, get muddy and frozen and then indulge in hot apple cider on return.

3. Make a hell of a lot of Pompoms.

4. Give all previous Christmas decorations to charity and hand make the whole lot.

5. Finish the ‘decorate your own Christmas train’ I got from Hobbycraft last year.

6. Think of something interesting to commemorate armistice day with – this is so difficult, poppy themed furniture isn’t doing it for me.

7. Make candles in old charity shop junk.

8. Find eccentric second hand gifts for everyone to encourage less consumerism -Remember to remind people I don’t want any gifts. It could be awkward if they hand me a lovely cashmere scarf and I give them a second hand monopoly board with half the money missing.

9. Finally get the garden tidy and plant some trees! I’d love a eucalyptus but I’m not sure it can handle the ridiculously inconsiderate wind we get.

10. Do something selfless E.g. A charity event or raise money, treat a friend. One selfless act in a season is better than none.

11. Annoy The Farmer by playing Christmas songs on the 6th November.

12. Read all the books recommended by Dolly Alderton.

13. Finish painting the shed/summerhouse.

14. Rotivate the mud bath, then create the structure for a veg plot.

15. Start drying oranges now, let’s make the house smell delicious and Christmassy before Halloween is even here.

16. Bake like it’s 1939.

17. Make time to watch black and white Audrey Hepburn films.

19. Visit Haddon Hall artisan market! There was a pie lady there last year, the best pie lady I ever did meat – no pun intended. (I wasn’t veggie then, I hope she does a mean mushroom one)

20. Prepare for my first ever veggie Christmas dinner. As always the ‘difficult child’ I’ve decided to make Christmas dinner for my parents even more hard work by turning veggie. To help lessen their burden I had better practice my nut roast.

21. Collect leaves, bag them and save for future leaf mould.

22. Deeply consider all the possible names for the chickens i’m dreaming of getting in the spring. Lady Jane Fairfax is definitely in there. Captain Wentworth if The Farmer let’s me have a Cockerel.

I’m sure I’ll think of loads more stuff the moment I’ve pressed publish. I’m even more sure I won’t reach the bottom of this list before December, but I’m definitely going to try!

What’s on your autumn bucket list?

And If anyone else shares my love for Audrey Hepburn and her wonderfully slender neck I’d be happy to get popcorn and make a night of it. It’s not really Nicks thing.

Written with Love

Brooke.

X

10 Things I’d Tell My 20 Year Old Self

I’ve been thinking lately, wouldn’t it be amazing if we could talk to our previous selves (Assuming we’d listen) and give ourselves a little head start to adult life? I’ve chosen 20 because I’d like to let my 18-year-old self enjoy her ignorance.

I read the other day that you should write online how you would talk in person, I thought ‘Yeah! That’s fine for you with your Oxbridge education, try writing in a Yorkshire accent!’. My head has an assertive Joanna Lumley kind of voice but unfortunately it filters through my mouth into some kind of cross between Sean Bean and Vicky Pollard. – If this blog ever reads like a mix between correct English and Yorkshire grunts, you know why.

I’ve been thinking lately; wouldn’t it be amazing if we could talk to our previous selves (Assuming we’d listen) and give ourselves a little head start to adult life? I’ve chosen 20 because I’d like to let my 18-year-old self enjoy her ignorance. For me 20 was when I threw in the towel at Uni and decided to navigate life without a degree. 20 was when I needed a little direction and self-confidence.

Degree or not you never stop learning about yourself, well I don’t anyway. I never really knew and probably still don’t know exactly who I am. My 32-year-old self will have a much better understanding but at present this is all I’ve got…

Here’s what I’d have told the 20-year-old Brooke…

  1. GET OFF A DIET – Seriously, accept you’ll never have washboard abs or a thigh gap and just enjoy some cake. You’ll only end up failing anyway and guilt eating more than you should. Aim for healthy but if you want a KFC eat a sodding KFC. The quicker you come to terms with this the happier you’ll be. 
  2. ENJOY YOUR HALF DAY HANGOVERS – It feels like you’ll be able carry on drinking and working the next day forever but seriously you’ve probably only got another year.
  3. ACCEPT WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE – Your nose will never be symmetrical and you’ll always have a gummy smile, stop googling rhinoplasty and concentrate on what’s good about yourself. You don’t know it now but there’s plenty!
  4. ACCEPT YOUR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES – You’ll never be top academically, nor will you ever make a great sports person, it’s just not what you’re good at. You’re also not good at committing. Instead concentrate on what you are good at, which is having enthusiasm for life and trying new things, if you want to be a chocolatier in your spare time for a year and then move on to pottery, or horse riding then that’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up for not committing and then do nothing because you know you can’t commit. Being flighty has its upsides!
  5. TAKE UP GARDENING – You’ll love it, and your 26-year-old self would really appreciate the extra experience.
  6. YOU’LL MOVE TO BRIDLINGTON – You might as well start the preparation now for life an hour from a motorway. A life full of seagulls, 70mph winds and a terrible fight for peak summer parking. You’d better start weening yourself of Sainsbury’s, H&M, or any other high street retailer for that matter. Get PayPal, all clothes shopping will need to be done online. You’ve got a future of pleasant dog walks and pretty skies though, it’ll sound boring now but trust me, you’ll love it.
  7. ENROL ON AN UPHOLSTERY COURSE – Furniture is your calling. It’s not horses or countryside management, you won’t work for the national trust one day. You’ll only have to self-teach on YouTube 6 years later without the disposable income or the time. You’ll wish you’d have committed to it sooner.
  8. YOU’LL NEVER FEEL LIKE A GROWN UP – Even in the second half of your twenties you’ll still feel like a complete fraud trying to act like an adult. It might change when you’re 32, I don’t know. 
  9. BE A LITTLE MORE RECKLESS – In two years you’ll find some baby raccoons on Preloved – ignore your parents, buy one! You’ll regret it for the rest of your days if you don’t and you probably won’t be this silly and impulsive until your midlife crisis.
  10. START A BLOG – You can blog about all the things you can’t commit too. – You’ll enjoy it!

If you’re a 20-year-old reading, and if you’re as insecure as I was then I can’t stress numbers 1, 3 and 4 enough. If you’re over 20 which version of you would you speak too and what would you say?

Written with love

Brooke

xx

 

 

 

Trying to find my interior style.

I always find myself a little overwhelmed when I have to stick to one style or a particular look. I like so many! I’m always changing our house, painting this wall then that wall, selling this and buying that. I get bored of one room and day dream of changing it to a better one.

I always find myself a little overwhelmed when I have to stick to one style or a particular look. I like so many! I’m always changing our house, painting this wall then that wall, selling this and buying that. I get bored of one room and day dream of changing it to a better one.

This is fine in my day to day life but with Make it Simple I don’t want it to be completely sporadic. I’ve got a spare room of projects I’m so excited to start but I want the furniture I’m trying to make “pretty” look “pretty” in “my way”. The difficulty arises in deciding what “my way” is?

My own interior adventures have led me to paint my living room dark red so it feels like you’re sat in a Dickensian novel. I’ve gone to white and masculine with bison skulls, I’ve had bedrooms in cutesy grey floral. I’ve tried modern IKEA furniture and bright Scandi styles. I’ve aimed for muted “farmhouse” in one room and “tropical” dark blue with bucket loads of plants in another. I even painted my bathroom black once and drew a parrot on the wall. I know right, sounds awful! I’ll not lie, it was, but you get the idea, how can I change this habit and go forward with just one style?

Truth is I can’t change this habit and I don’t really want to. I like change and luckily for me I like decorating. The one thing I can figure out is what’s not changed over time? What’s been there all the way through? If I stick with that then I’ve found “My Style”.

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I’ve recently stumbled across my old scrapbook. (Just cut-outs from interiors magazines stuck in a book) along with this and a good brainstorm I’ve created a list of style specifics that I can vet my ideas through. Kind of like a style sieve. So that’s what I’ll do, from now on any projects / products coming on this blog will have been filtered through this list. That way I might avoid any public parrot failures or things that don’t really fit my bigger picture.

My reignited love for scrapbooking

On another note -I’ve rediscovered the joys of scrapbooking. Scrapbooking can be anything from sports clippings to family photos but for me It’s cutting up my Mums extensive 25 Beautiful Homes subscription. It’s a great way to capture my ideas, make notes and organise my thoughts. The cutting and sticking makes my inner child very happy and it’s also great for recipes and craft projects. If you don’t have time to do them, stick them in the book, it’s nearly just as satisfying.

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My Style Sieve

  • Muted tones – I love a good beige, greige, elephant’s breath or morning mist.
  • Old things – my love for something with a story has never wavered. The more curiosity shop or penny dreadful the better.
  • Battered furniture – I’m not really a traditional shabby chic fan but a scruffy looking paint worn sideboard is just so much more interesting. And it can take some neglect! If you can accidentally hit furniture with a hammer and it still looks the same then I’m all for it.
  • Moody colours greys, blues, purples, really deep colours that match my dark soul. Just kidding. But I do really love dark colours.

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  • Linen – my love for linen will last a lifetime

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  • White – I love white, I’d like a white themed Instagram but i don’t have the discipline.
  • Wood and natural materials –   I.e. Wool! Who doesn’t love these?

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  • Fashion Trends – this is okay in small doses but not as an overall look, It won’t last.
  • Flora – plants and flowers will always be in my home.

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Hopefully you’ll eventually see these new style rules running through whatever I create. If not then well you know this was a waste of time!

I’d love to know if your style comes easily to you? Or do you have to go through all this hard work like me?

Written with love

Brooke

Xx