Secret Linen Store • Forcing ourselves to live life in the slow lane

Our life is a million miles an hour. For years I have made the same new year's resolution. 2 out of 4 weekends must be kept free. But every year, we book up our calendar with lovely things and life continues at break neck speed. The trouble is I love it. I thrive on it, it was the same when I worked in an office. I was at my best when I was running around like a headless chicken! Here we are on the 21st May and we don't have a single weekend free until mid September!

But whether it's having children, moving house 3 times in a year or juggling three part time jobs, (You do the maths...!) I need some calm in my life. It's fair to say that taking on the responsibility of a 300 year old house has been an eye opener. We love it, we love it as it is and we love it for what it can be. It's the transition period that's more tricky. You have all these grand plans, things to do now, things for a year's time, things for your retirement! 

And slowly we are working through a giant, house shaped to do list. 

Every wall needs repainting, every bit of skirting needs sanding or replacing, there's a few holes that leak, a few bowls that get put out in the conservatory and on one of the window seats. We have barely touched upstairs, unless you count my over eager fingers ripping up the carpets in our bedroom and peeling off a little tempting corner of ceiling paper in the bathroom. Richard was not impressed. 

Downstairs feels more like us, we've renovated the grown up lounge and family dining room and given the conservatory-now-playroom a quick budget update. But our bedroom is a mess. Floorboards half sanded, the remnants of the sticky underlay around the skirting boards. All our old dark wooden furniture, that we bought especially for the extension at our old house, now completely swamps our more delicate country room. There are always piles of clothes to put away, a leftover weekend bag on the floor. We seem to pack up as much as we unpack at the moment! It feels temporary and unloved but it's a sanctuary.

We collapse into bed each night with relief. We hear elephant footsteps almost every night, sometimes one set, sometimes two, from the boys' attic room, heading down to the comfort of our bed. All Winter we've had an electric blanket cranked up to the max and now the warmer weather has come we've started to appreciate what a lovely room we have. The dual aspect windows show us the reason we moved here. Birds, trees, breeze. A garden strewn with toys, that changes with the seasons. And we realised we need to make more of this room. Even if a bathroom makeover and renovation are a while away.

So I was so happy when I found a new friend on Instagram and jumped at the chance to share their beautiful bedding range with you. The Secret Linen Store shouldn't be a secret. I want to shout it from the rooftops! Remember that feeling as a child of slipping into a sleeping bag, that shiny cocoon feeling of being wrapped up in slinky cotton wool? Well imagine a grown up version! 

Molly and Harriet are two sisters (with 87 fish between them - yes I love a good about us page) who have founded something to be proud of. Exquisite, exclusive and understated designs you won't find anywhere else with a passion for thread counts. Rich and I rely more and more on the internet since living in a rural village and even more so on couriers collecting our returns! I like to be able to see and feel things before I buy them and almost every bedding company never offers samples before you buy.

Well not with the Secret Linen Store you can order free samples to rub between your fingers, compare with your interior decor and as many as you like! 

All the range has that elusive calming element that we have been so desperate for. A palette of sumptuous, luxurious prints and patterns for your elegant space. I am completely drawn to blues, and knew straight away the Meadow Indigo Blue Cotton set was the one for us. I love that you can turn the duvet over and have the alternative colour way, and that the pillow cases are extra roomy! Line dry it and you don't have to iron it too! 

From the moment the potato sack packaging arrived I knew I would love it. Harriet and Molly have thought of every detail. The sample packaging, little extras, tea bags in a stripy paper bag and their unique branding is effortlessly stamped over every little detail. 

They have sourced the best suppliers in Portugal to share something you can't find on the high street. At incredible prices! They even know that most of us shop in the wonderful world that is IKEA and have a range especially for their speciality sizes. They are very honest that there's no fancy shop, no big warehouse and no middle men. 

The first day we put the bedding set on we ended up going back to bed for a nap!!! I don't think we have ever done that before! For the first time in a long time I'm heading to bed with a cup of tea and a favourite magazine to read cover to cover. The one o' clock bedtimes are slowly fading into the past at last! It's funny how when you change your surroundings you can change your routine. Sometimes you need to be something to force you to go slow. 

The house doesn't let us change it quickly. There's planning restrictions and immense preparations every time. But it's a good thing! 

We need an excuse to slow down. To let the dogs upstairs for a treat on a Sunday when we wake up at home. Mabel isn't keen at all of course... no wait, she'd sleep with us every night if we let her!

I've always lived by the philosophy of making the most of what you've got and something simple like updating our bedding has transformed our room! I stacked up my favourite old issues of magazines I want to read again on the bedside table and this weekend I am going to relish a lazy Saturday with no reason to get up, other than to make my boys breakfast in bed and bring it back upstairs. 

And maybe let the westies up too!

The Secret Linen Store have also just launched a range of children's bedding. I love that they have developed designs that will grow with your children. No characters that are loved one birthday and out of favour the next. Timeless, classic yet contemporary prints and colours that will bring an interior flair to your kiddies rooms. 

And I have a special give-away for you too! The Secret Linen Store have 2 cushion covers of your choice to WIN! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post, this Instagram photo or Facebook post. Now what will you choose?!

The competition is open until the end of May, which colour way do you love the most?

Ooh and head over to the Secret Linen Store website - there's 10% off for the bank holiday weekend! 

Thank you to the Secret Linen Store for our beautiful bedding.