Wednesday, 30 July 2014

LIFE: The Summer Tag


After being tagged by Sam (a Michigander don't ya know) it would be rude to not tag (haha get it) along. Nevertheless with moving, this summer has been weird - the weather which is a little colder than normal, but still in the high 20's all the same, is throwing me off my mark. 

What's your favorite thing about summer?

Although we haven't had any - I love BBQs and summer shandy, being able to sit out into the evening, all the light for crafting. 

Do you have a favorite summer drink?

I wouldn't say I necessarily drink anything more because it's summer but I do enjoy brewing my own iced tea, adding in some lemon juice. Even adding some rum into on an evening. Oh how the Rachael ten years ago would frown at me for even thinking about drinking iced tea. How things change. 

Is there a location you prefer to go in the summer?

Back in the UK I'd say the beach, here it's more anywhere indoors with AC when it's a proper hot day. You can't really do too much when summer hits it's height. Saying that summer is the perfect time for hitting yardsales plus estate sales are everywhere on a Saturday during the summer which is always fun because you never know what you might find! 

Favorite make up look for the summer?

Makeup-less, is that a look? Urgh make up + my English heat levels + Michigan summer = not an attractive look.

Dresses or skirts?

Neither ... shorts at a push

Sandals or ballet pumps?

Actually normally shoe less in and around the house and garden, estate sales/work/gardening doesn't call for sandals, plus I hate seeing toes ewwww. 

Do you prefer to wear your hair up or down for the summer?

I vary between both - summer nights means I dry my hair naturally and it's natural curl kits back in which makes it nice enough for keeping down. But if i'm working and, or outside, it normally ends up being up, in some messy sort of way.

Deep smokey eyes or bold lips?

Even at 27, me and make up don't go well together, pass.

Favorite perfume for summer? 

Perfume actually tends to give me a headache so I stay away from it a lot of the time, but Daisy is always a winner if needs be.

Last but not least, favorite music for the summer?

Motown, summer is the perfect time for hearing those 1960's soul tunes.

I'd love to hear what your answers would be!

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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

LIFE: Shores, Rocks and Walls

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I've typed, deleted, tried to retype so many words to describe this snapshot of a random weekend in Rogers City that occurred last October .. yes really, October. It was an unexpected three night stay in a motel by Lake Huron after our car ground to a halt driving back to the 'burbs from Mackinaw City. Home seemed a long way away when you're car-less in a place not really geared for tourists. Yet it led itself as opening an opportunity of learning about a community embedded within it's local quarry and a lake - the memories of men loss and serving at the later forever remembered at the Great Lakes Maritime Museum. We treated ourselves to walks along the lake shore, delicious treats at the Chicory Cafe - a delightful organic cafe and enjoyed sitting on the balcony watching the sunrise and the sunset.

Sometimes things just happen for a reason, this was a good one.

Friday, 25 July 2014

HOME SWEET HOME: A 1950's House With Some 1950's Features


So I know ya'll dying to see inside the front door that is now our home - one that we actually first visited for an estate sale. So I thought I'd start off with some background and share some of the original features that are still to be found within. Built in the early 1950's, home was one of many built during the expansion of Detroit's southern suburbs just north of eight mile. Population growth came with the expansion by Ford of it's somewhat local, Highland Park plant alongside increasing racial tensions within the city and the post war boom.

Sixty years later and the house retains some of it's original features most obviously within the bathroom. While I love the gordy blue tiling, for many it would be a total no no. Considering the age of the tiling, it's in a really good condition - it would seem wrong to tear it down, plus it suits the house,  so we'll just be taking off the peeling wallpaper and repainting.


1950's bathrooms are recognized by their brightly coloured tiles on every wall, often in white, blue, green or pink and edged with a row of black tile trim. Bubble glass windows, black soap dishes and towel railings alongside somewhat matching floor tiling make up the final pieces of the bathroom decor.

Another typical feature of this era is the laundry chute into the basement (second photo down in this group) - although when they finished the basement ceiling it's now blocked but can probably be unblocked in the future. Throw in some original doors, hinges and door knobs, a couple of vintage tie racks for good measure and we're onto a winner. There's even an old workmen's table in the basement.

Door Chaute Ties

With owning a lot of vintage things - furniture, pictures, book and everything in between, having a vintage feel and backdrop in the house creates a great atmosphere. Everything feels like it belongs here a little more. While the old windows will eventually be replaced, I hope we end up being caring, loving caretakers to take all these original features into the future and maybe salvage and add some back in.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

BLOGGING: 5 Years of Thoughts About the Blogsphere


During that little blog break, I did a bit of thinking (not a lot because it hurts) about the whole blogging malarkey in general. What creeped into my mind? Well, everything from wondering if it was time to call it quits on blogging, why blogging is celebrated as being such a fun and loving community when on the other hand it can be as bitchy as a playground, to the role and position of blogging within my life.

As someone who is in her late 20's, out of her depth at times in another country, a wife, now with the chores of keeping up a house, with bills to pay, things to explore and working for myself, it's hard to balance everything and run a blog - which is why for me at least, this will always be just a hobby - one of many.  Yet July rolling out marks the 5th year of this space. A space to share my experiences the good and the bad. From being a student to being a Yorkshire lass in Michigan. Over five years you start to notice things. 

Like all the drama of the last couple of months, be it people bitching about each other on certain forums to twitter. Then on the other hand people declare with glee the sense of community. Not that I want to be a Debbie Downer, but there's no balance. It just doesn't sit right - if there was a super tight community, why would we then take to shamming and tearing each other apart? Agreed not everyone does this, but we always seem to find fault with each other - love hating big or small blogs, those who undertake sponsorship, those how do or do not comment, return comments and the like.

While blog chats can be a great source for networking, sharing ideas and meeting like minded people. Sometimes they all seem to be telling you to blog a certain way - you have to be in it for the money, you have to have a fancy camera, you have to be do, this, that and never ever this. Blogging seems to be full of far too many rules, especially for what is for many, a hobby. With pretty much a three week break from blog chats, I can't say I've missed them, in fact I've grown a little cynical about them.

There's too many follows for follows, too many unfollows when you don't return the favor (especially on twitter), too many comments purely left to spam a link. Where has the sharing, the commenting, the sense of pride we have in ourselves and the wider blogsphere gone? We always seem to pit ourselves against each other - the big verses the small blogger, those who accept advertising and those who don't, the younger verses the older blogger, the hobbyist verses the professional.

Blogging shouldn't and for me won't be about blogging x amount of times a week, it's not about begging for followers to meet a milestone, undisclosed sponsored posts and the like. Don't get me wrong I love blogging, I love the friends I've made through it, I love having my space to type and share - but like I mentioned previously, blogging for me is just a hobby, like cross stitching, crochet, gardening, collecting vintage stuff.

What about you? What keeps you blogging? What are you loves and hates about the blogsphere?