Happy Chinese New Year

After a few weeks working to deep clean my house, I finished the day before Chinese New Year.  At Chinese new year, you shouldn’t do any cleaning or sweeping because it is symbolic of sweeping away good fortune.   There were a few other rules that were mentioned, some of these were simply things you would incorporate into your way of life, others were symbolic of bringing good fortune.

In Feng Shui there is a great deal of symbolism, this is great if you are trying to introduce an element which ordinarily wouldn’t fit in with your surroundings.

I often find that my clients have a liking for something and then go a bit overboard with that which can lead to overload of one element at the expense of the rest, the result is lack of balance.  Use of colour is a great way of bringing an element into the space without having to make major changes.

Flowering plants and flowers can be used to great effect to introduce colour and are quick and easy.  If you aren’t so keen on plants, small ornaments, vases or a splash of colour in the decor can help to restore the balance.

Shapes, textures and lighting help to create the mood that you need for each space.  Feng shui enhancements do not have to be complex or expensive, in fact they rarely are.

I have certainly learned a few things from the cleaning exercise.  There are some decorating products that I shan’t be buying again!  I also need to make sure that everything is easy to take apart for cleaning, sadly some light fittings aren’t – very frustrating.

I now have one piece of furniture to send off to charity and I am ready to enjoy the year ahead.  I have moved into a fire house which is going to be an energetic time.  What have you got to look forward to?


Best wishes



Colour your views

I hope January has been good for you.

I have certainly gone some way to getting some of my targets moving in the right direction.

My big project for the start of the year is a thorough deep clean of the house, this has also flagged up the need for some decorating.

The kitchen was in need of a freshen up, and as I mentioned last time, I remembered buying the paint for it a couple of years ago.  How our memories play tricks on us.  Maybe we looked at it in the DIY store, however there was definitely no paint in evidence amongst out collection of decorating materials.  I chose some colours to use on the areas that looked most in need of painting.  I decided to be a little bolder than usual and picked some brighter shades than I would normally have chosen.  Colour is very powerful in creating an atmosphere in a room.  The new colours have made the walls look more vibrant and cheerful.  The lobby by the back door was originally magnolia, this is now a gentle peppermint green.  The magnolia really looked as if we hadn’t finished the job since the builders were here, the area looks as if it belongs in the house now.

The kitchen is now primrose as opposed to buttermilk which was a very wishy washy attempt at a yellow which didn’t do anything for the room.  My son was quite shocked when he came in and saw it.  This reminded me of the paint advert from a few years ago when a couple painted their adult sons bedroom bright yellow, which then prompted him to leave home – worth a try!

There is one more room to paint and a bit of repair work in the shower room.  If we went mad and decorated the whole house, it would all need to be done again at the same time.  As with anything, little and well paced will get the job done well.  This goes for decluttering as well.

I hope that this years decorating session will be completed by Chinese new year, which is 16th February this year.

The cleaning is still going in the right direction but there is only so much that I can take in one session.  Cupboards have been emptied, cleaned and the contents sorted for usefulness and ease of use.  There were some horrors in the utility room cupboard, I would have chucked some of these bits out, however my husband (who is a bit of a hoarder) told me to put them in a box and he would take them to the shed, just in case!

I have been able to look at rooms from a lot of different perspectives whilst going through this exercise, from lying on the floor, to looking  down from the top of a ladder.  It is almost like seeing the spaces with a fresh pair of eyes.

I will plan the rest of the cleaning programme as well as putting some details to other goals this month ready to get an action plan in place.  Hopefully, when the lions share of the work in the house is done, the weather will be kind enough to let me get outside and get started on the allotment.

Whatever you set out to do this year, either personal or business goals, keep moving forward.  Sometimes things will flow well and other times you don’t feel like you are getting anywhere.  As long as you are going in the right direction, you will be surprised by how much you have achieved when you look back.

With Best wishes



New Year, New Opportunities

The new year heralds new hope for many people, only for them to be dashed very quickly.

New years resolutions are only for the highly disciplined who can manage to get through the first three weeks without having faltered.  For many of us, that is a tall order.  Personally, I gave up on resolutions years ago, I like to take my time to reflect on past successes and review what worked well and what didn’t, then consider how to improve on that for the coming year.

January can feel a bit flat after the busy run up to Christmas, the festivities and celebration of the new year.  The days are getting longer, albeit very slowly, and even on some overcast days it doesn’t feel like it is getting lighter at all.  The best thing to do in January is start planning for the year ahead, set some overall goals, but not dwell on the details, there is time for that when you have an overall picture of your vision.

I have started to get some clarity by giving the house a good deep clean, this will give me a fresh environment and unclutter my space so that I can think clearly.  The clean will not be a quick process, there is a lot of house to clean!

I have started in the dining room, this was where the Christmas tree was and I hope that I have managed to clear up all the pine needles.  I’m sure I will still be finding a few errant ones in June!

I have washed the ceiling, the walls and the woodwork.  Just by washing the ceiling the room has a much brighter feel and has given it a lift.  Everything had to come off the furniture and walls where possible.  Each item was assessed as to its relevance in the room before being put back.  I have to shame myself here.  Having cleared everything from the top of the piano so that I could polish it (this doesn’t happen very often), I realised that I had been picking up a photo, dusting it and putting it back.  The original intention was that it was to be hung on the wall above where it was resting.  It has been sitting there for 5 years!  It took about 2 minutes to find a picture hook and hammer it into the wall.  We get so used to our surroundings that we don’t notice things.

Curtains were taken down, thrown on the washing line and given a good clean and dust.  They needed some adjustment because over the years they had dropped and weren’t hanging very well.

The final job was to unscrew the shelving unit which has games and art materials on, take everything off and clean all the contents, the unit and walls and floor surrounding it.  This is a bit of a thankless task.  Every time I go through this exercise, I seem to have trouble getting all the things that came off back again, we just seem to collect more stuff.  The first rule of decluttering is that you can’t throw out other peoples stuff.  I put some things to one side to discuss with my other half.  Before asking the question as to what we still really needed, I did point out that our youngest isn’t a little girl any more, she is nearly 20.  With this in mind, he reluctantly agreed that all but one of the items that I had put to one side had outlived their usefulness to us.

The dining room is the creative area of the house and I hope that with this section of the house clean I can find creative solutions to make positive improvements for the year ahead.  One room complete, until next time.

Now where to go to next?  The kitchen could do with freshening up, we bought the paint for that 2 years ago!  To be fair, the house has been too busy to allow us to put the kitchen out of action for a couple of days.  We have a few weeks to get that sorted out, hopefully it won’t take too long.

All of this activity has kept me warm, active and in a positive upbeat frame of mind.  Exercise, mindfulness and feng shui all rolled into one, and I have no intention of joining the gym – maybe that is my resolution!

Best wishes


What’s Your Vibe?

Feng Shui is based on balancing energy.  This concept can seem rather ‘New Age’ to some people.  With heightened awareness of quantum physics, we are understanding more about how energy affects us.

Everything has energy.  All atoms and molecules which make up everything in the universe are made up of protons, neutrons and electrons, and lots of other sub particles which hadn’t been discovered when I was a student.  Basic diagrams of atoms show electrons orbiting the nucleus.  The electrons are not orbiting but vibrating.  When given the optimum vibration, they will become excited and display energetic properties.

Watch the video below to see water being excited, I have done this before and it is amazing.



Everything in your surroundings, from the fabric of the building to the smallest ornament or object, has energy and will have an effect on you.   What resonates positively for one person can have the opposite effect on another.

Colour has wavelength, this is a simple way of expressing energy in objects.  Each individual will have a different perception of colour.  I know I have had interesting discussions as to whether an object is blue or green.  The controversial Dress was a good example of this, where the wavelength of light used to display the Dress, changed the perception of colour.  This was a combination of energies.  I noticed this under blue fluorescent lights recently where bright colours appeared to be muted and dingy.

External energy can change the energetic properties of an object.  Heat is a good example of this, where all manner of things can bee seen to change, such as in cooking.

Feng shui helps to optimise your energetic environment specifically to create a supportive space which reflects your aspirations and values.

Storm in a tea room

When I worked in quality management some years back, before I had ever considered feng shui, I was told an interesting story by an auditor.

A company employing a workforce of mainly unskilled female workers was having trouble retaining staff. This was impacting on the business because recruiting and retraining takes time and money.
The management decided to ask why the staff kept leaving. They sent out a questionnaire and were surprised by the answers.
The main issue was the tea room, it was dingy and uninviting.
The company took this on board and redecorated the room. A few new chairs and a microwave were put in to improve the facility.
The result was that after that point no more staff left and the turnover problem was solved.
Although this was considered a quality issue for the company, the answer really lay with a feng shui solution (except for the microwave, sometimes you have to bend the rules!)

I like to think of feng shui as auditing for quality of life.

Feng shui is about asking questions to find out what would make peoples lives better. Asking the right questions will help to get the best responses to help make those positive changes.

Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells

Well, Mary Berry has really put the cat among the pigeons by saying that the dining room is a relic of the past.

Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells has been working overtime since she made that bold statement.  The editor of The Telegraph has been inundated with letters that quite vehemently disagree with her.  There were many case for not eating in the kitchen.  One was that these people often have their kitchen in a mess and don’t want to see that while they are eating.  Shame on them, I clear up as I go!

I must say that we haven’t eaten in our dining room for about 10 years.  The reason is that the dining table has been moved into the now extended kitchen.  Prior to that, you couldn’t swing a cat in there, let alone accommodate a table.  We now have a very functional kitchen diner which is at the heart of our home and is central to our family life.

I do agree that Mary’s comment was rather sweepingly broad brush.

In feng shui, peoples situation, house layout and lifestyles are taken into account before making recommendations.  I certainly wouldn’t have felt it appropriate to make such a statement.

One the other hand, if the room isn’t being used at all, then this becomes a stagnant space which isn’t good for a house.  If you choose to use your kitchen as the dining area, all well and good, however do put the other room to good use.

In my book I addressed the ‘unoccupied bedroom’.  All too easily these rooms can become junk repositories.  We renamed our vacant bedroom “The Library” and was put aside as a quite space for reading, meditation or listening to music.

It’s all in a name, if you don’t use your dining room for that purpose, call it something else and use it well.

Back in history, rooms would have been used for numerous functions, depending what was required at the time.  If you do need a dining room, maybe for such times as Christmas, it can be reinstated for that one occasion and then changed afterwards.

To dine or not to dine?  I’m sure the jury will be out for some time on this one!

Best wishes




Spicy Solutions

I have been on a mission this year to tame the contents of the kitchen cupboards.  Stuff that has gone out of date but is still OK – ish!

The  cupboards containing and the tea and coffee and the herbs and spices were in need of a good purge.  I don’t believe in wasting anything so I set to the task of using up as much as possible

The main sources of clutter were overbought packets of tea, about 13 in total at the start, I don’t even drink tea.  My husband and daughter decided to try some fruit teas, didn’t really like them because they had very little taste, so they went and bought some more! 2 packs of real coffee, one that I hadn’t got round to finishing and the other was a gift.  One tub of hot chocolate, my daughter has been off chocolate for about 2 years since we bought it, and 2 tubs of cocoa powder.

Progress to date is that all the tea and coffee have been used and there are only 5 servings of cocoa left – Result

The herbs and spices were no better, I counted 15 that were out of date.  They don’t go off, however they do lose their flavour and pungency over time.  With some careful meal planning to get to grips with all of these there are only 4 that are past their best, 3 spices (2016 not too bad) – only one of which I bought, and a tin of mustard powder.Free stock photo of wood, dry, glass, rustic


I mentioned this crusade to a friend.  We were chatting at the weekend and she and bought a new cookery book which she is keen to get stuck into.  Her partner said that they would go and buy all the ingredients for the things that they wanted to cook.  Having heard my story, she decided to plan in advance what she is going to cook and ask around for the herbs and spices she needs because we have all got much more of these things than we need.

What a brilliant idea to help reduce waste, I hope she needs some of the stuff I have left.

A tip for herbs and spices is to store them away from light.  Sorry, the spice rack needs to go!

We can now see what we have got which will help to prevent accidental overbuying.

What is hiding at the back of your cupboards?  Take a look, you might be surprised.


Best wishes