The BrocanteHome School of Life Giveaway

By Alison June 17, 2014 55 Comments 2 Min Read

Next week sees the launch of The BrocanteHome School of Life: a a new collection of bite-sized, self-led courses to help you create the Brocante lifestyle of your dreams.
The very first tiny course, How To Be A Vintage Housekeeper will be absolutely free and thereafter each course will be between just $5.00 and $10.00 allowing you to affordably inch your way to domestic bliss…
In celebration of this lovely new beginning, here on BrocanteHome, I am having a scrumptious little give-away, and all you have to do to win is to answer this question: What can I teach you that you would like to learn about living life the Brocante Way?
While I have lots of ideas for courses myself, I am interested in hearing what you would like to learn in one of my short on-line courses: so tell me what aspect of life as a vintage housekeeper mystifies you? What have you never been able to get to grips with during the course of your domestic day? How can I help you make life feel lovelier? Getting started with aromatherapy? Learning how to be authentic? Getting to grips with domestic routine? Planning a happier way of life? You tell me!
Everyone who is kind enough to take the time to offer up an idea or two will be entered into my give-away draw, and the winner will be notified on the launch day of The BrocanteHome School of Life next week.

There are two draw prizes…

A pair of Cath Kidston Spring Bouquet Pillowcases…
And a pair of Cath Kidston Regal Rose Pillowcases…

 As well as an extra special prize for the best answer, hand-picked by myself…

Two of my favourite books:
* Happier At Home: a wonderful adventure in making home happier from the creator of The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.
* Gifts From the Garden by Debora Robertson: a lovely book jam packed with darling little puttery treats for the garden. Just perfect for making Summer that little bit more creative…
*And a pair of Cath Kidston Cut Rose pillowcases…
Sound good?
Ok, so remember all you have to do is leave a comment by clicking the linking below, answering this question…
What can I teach you that you would like to learn about living life the Brocante Way?


  1. Asa-Marie says:

    How did anyone make an omlette before non stick pans??? Every time I try it sticks so bad, I resolve to believe one must shallow fry it. But that would be gross. So how did they do it?
    I love my non stick pans and yummy omlettes.

  2. I’ve long been fascinated by the way women have historically structured their days… you hear of specific times of the day for certain tasks such as correspondence done first thing, home work in the mornings, visiting and errands done in the afternoon. It all seems so tranquil and orderly; I miss that! These days we scramble around frantically for the first hours of the day trying to get everyone out of the house in a reasonable state, spend hours away from home and collapse through the door exhausted hours later. Evenings are often just another scramble preparing for the next round of the next day. I’d love to hear your thoughts on structuring one’s days, hopefully reclaiming some of that beauty and tranquility of former days. Impossible? Not for our dear Allison! 😉

  3. Sally Hackney says:

    Now that you mention authenticity…maybe that’s the word for what I need. Sometimes I get bogged down in all the daily crap. I know that’s not very specific. I need that little island in my day that I can get back to me. Thanks for the upcoming courses. They sound interesting.

  4. Susan says:

    I struggle to balance home and life. My house ceases to be my nest and just another chore. I love tranquility, order, comfort, home cooked meals, a lovely cottage garden, but just don’t have time to achieve it. I need the nourishment of a sanctuary at home, but need little baby steps to achieve it. Suggestion : 30 minutes a day to create a sanctuary at home. Monthly instalments with housekeeping stuff, seasonal food, what to do in garden, self care stuff. I would pay $10 a month for that!

  5. Jenny B says:

    Good morning!
    I love your blog…such inspiration! I would love to learn more about how to find beauty even when overwhelmed with busyness, stress, clutter…how to be less of a perfectionist about loveliness. I feel like unless everything is perfect and clean, I have no business puttering about making things pretty. Any help for those like me?
    Thanks again!

  6. Patricia Griffiths says:

    What is your priority each morning and what do you concentrate on first, each day, in order to live the Brocante Way?

  7. Jane Grayson says:

    Hi Alison,
    Tips and ideas (and threats!) on how to stay motivated and energised doing the day to day domestic. Also how to stop procrastinating and how to avoid getting (allowing) yourself to get distracted. A miracle only Brocante Home can produce!
    Love Jane
    PS When you get a minute (!) could you please do a brief post on when you use your comfort drawer and how it works for you! Thanks. x

  8. Raina says:

    As we. as a culture, are moving away from pharmaceuticals, I would like to learn more about natural remedies. The time honored, traditional methods that are sometimes referred to as “Old wive’s tales.” The ones that actually work!

  9. I personally struggle with the work/home balance. What are the most important things to concentrate on in order to maintain a Brocante style home when you have limited time during the working week?

  10. Nicola says:

    I’d love to see a brocante budgeting course. Budgeting is such a chore and has taken me a long time to get the hang of! And I’m definitely willing to offer my services to help too!

  11. Linda DeFazio says:

    How can I create a welcoming atmosphere at home while still maintaining a peaceful seclusion for myself?

  12. Elaine P says:

    I’d like a Brocante My Wardrobe to include things like vintage lavender bags and how to keep things lovely – and to STOP STUFFING IT FULL OF THINGS lol!

  13. Angela Schwentker says:

    How do you actually fit in a grown-up man who tends to leave his belongings (such as multitools, flashlights, car parts, work clothes, … you name it) everywhere but where they’re supposed to be? 😉

  14. monica says:

    I too would love to see suggestions for your Comfort Drawer, as well as for pampering our selves and our homes… I always enjoy your posts with links, they take me to places on the web I would probably never stumble upon otherwise…

  15. Well I would really love something on eating the Brocante way! Over the years your posts are often punctuated with little references to little edible lovelies that I would not have thought of,so maybe breakfast treats,food to feed your soul,bad mood day treats? Something along that line?

  16. Jacki Barnett says:

    I would love to know how to ‘dress’ a room, to display vintage finds and family keepsakes to show them at their best alongside everyday practical stuff. So that rooms don’t look cluttered and/or half finished.

  17. Karla Neese says:

    I would love to learn more about the art of incorporating essential oils into the vintage lifestyle.

  18. estreetangel says:

    I need help getting on a routine and staying motivated.

  19. Jennifer says:

    How to balance home and work, since I spend most of my day at work this can be especially challenging. It seems like I make a to do list, and then I get home to find my cats have destroyed something or ants have invaded the kitchen through a tiny crevice in a window and the list gets laid aside. So, any class about staying focused on regular and normal chores after work and/or weekends while handling life’s little surprises would be super awesome. Maybe I need something for stress relief too.

  20. lp says:

    Id like help on having peace and comfort in transitional phases and places of life. Such as when you’re living somewhere temporarily or visiting. Just how can you bring comfort to life in major adjustments and transitions.

  21. Susan says:

    I don’t know if this is what your looking for, but I need a formulary for making a house home when there is almost no money, and one is stuck with hand-me-down mismatched everything. The magic ingredient that makes a place cosy and loving, when the paint is chipping off the walls, the furniture doesn’t fit the room, and there is only the barest of funds for improvement. In the early 80’s Geoff Hamilton did a series call the £2 Garden, where he built a beautiful garden from scratch with only 2 pounds a week to spend (it was brilliant what he came up with, and I read it every night before bed). Now I need a £2 (£6.17 in todays money) homemakers guide, to make house, home when even charity shops are becoming expensive. (And thank you for this blog, it really brightens my day) S

  22. lynne jacobs says:

    Balancing home and a very long work day with a very long commute. I spend more time at work than at home, so I’d love to have a plan for living a Brocante life alongside a really difficult work life. My weekends are usually spent catching up on housework and errands and I’d love to know how to create that Brocante feeling to my home in simple steps without making it into a major project that, as fun as that might be, just doesn’t fit into my schedule! I adore your site, and long for a life and cottage like yours.

  23. Gwyn says:

    Ideas for a personal journal, to make it a fun place to write I.

  24. Antonella says:

    How can I commit to domestic “drudgery” (cleaning, ironing, bills organizing…) when all I want to do is “creative” (decorating, cooking…)? I resent my home when it’s not a peaceful haven due to neglected chores, yet I cannot seem to “force” myself to wash windows or the carpet when I can arrange flowers in a vase or read a book while sipping homemade iced tea. And yet my life would be so much better if I were waking up a couple hours earlier to put my house in order (I work 10 hours daily at an office and during weekends I choose to “live” instead of doing chores).

  25. NCmama says:

    I would love to learn how to incorporate more vintage goodies into my decorating. Things that the rest of the people that live with me (all males) will be as happy and comfortable as I am. I would also love ways to incorporate more essential oils and aromatherapy into my daily life.

  26. Shawna Frederick says:

    Hi Alison! Thank you for the beauty and inspiration you provide here. I live in Alaska where we have 8 to 9 months of winter each year. My washer and dryer are in a very unlovely corner of an unlovely garage and I would love to know how to make it a bit nicer and inviting in feel. Laundry is such a chore most of the year as I dread going out into that drab, cold, ugly space! Thank you!

  27. Claire says:

    I’d like to know how to do it all and remain sane, fabulous(ish) and grounded. Your blog is fantastic and offers some really straightforward thinking and tips which make life manageable while offering luxuries and indulgences. The modern woman now has to be able to do it all and sometimes it’s hard so I find your blog and books really uplifting. You make me nod along and laugh out loud so I’m excited to see what comes next. Thanks.

  28. Janet Panecki says:

    I would love to learn more about canning foods – fresh from the garden, and making my own tasty pickles. Adding organic produce, and home made edibles would enhance my household.

  29. Tracy says:

    Menu planning! Pretty please.

  30. Annemie says:

    I would like to learn how my house can smell everywhere fresh and natural.
    I also would like to make homemade cosmetic,cream and lotions that are natural too.

  31. Crystal Rose says:

    I would love to learn more about keeping the house clean. I struggle with it constantly. I would love to be able to get it clean without spending more than 30 minutes a day on it (not counting dishes & laundry.)

    1. Crystal Rose says:

      Oh, and anything frugal would be good too. We’re on a tight budget. Something about living life the brocante way on a budget would be AMAZING!

  32. sherri says:

    Inexpensive ways to make every day in your home special.

  33. Love, Mimi xxx says:

    I remember a post from the early days of Brocante Home, where you talked about your daily routines, which day you drove to the farm shop and so on, and also morning and evening routines.
    The two things I would find useful is how to make it all work with a babba, and also how to transition from having a list of ideas/board of pins/saved links etc to actually putting them into action….

  34. Anna says:

    Definitely aromatherapy
    How to wear down husbands who even resist one throwing out wires for broken electronics, never mind any thing else.
    How to create little displays and vignettes, especially for different seasons.
    How to pretty stuff up

  35. Aude says:

    ooh yes! What to put in a comfort drawer. I’ve eaten/used all mine…. But my biggie, and I know it won’t be the same for everyone but how to stop that internal panic when it comes to Puttering and putting your feet up without feeling guilt and worry. I am going through a transition in my life and whenever I am merrily doing something fun I get an overwhelming feeling of “What are you doing, don’t you know what problems are looming?” and then I get all deflated and fret…. So my question is how to enjoy our lovely lives in spite of our worries/financial straits/ untidy teenagers/whatever problems we have……..

  36. Barbara says:

    what would I like to learn about Brocante Life? The little special treats to brighten up a day. More Puttery Treats, maybe once a week? I so enjoy your writing and musings. So inspirational, so down to earth with just a splash of humor!

  37. Oonagh says:

    As well as every wonderful comment left here, I would love to know how to make washing clothes and ironing more brocante. I detest that chore in particular and if there was a way to make it less of a drudge, I would happily comply x

  38. michelle says:

    how to balance it all??!!!

  39. Karen Mary says:

    Thanks for the wonderful site! I’d love to learn specifics that will help me do a top-notch job at my passion (homemaking)—everything from organizing a lovely and efficient pantry shelf to mending a dearly loved linen. I also love anything inspiring, uplifting, encouraging!

  40. Melanie Avis says:

    I want to learn how to give an ugly house a vintage cottage makeover (well sort of) and add charm to rooms through little things. I have only just discovered your books and website and therefore haven’t read much yet – but I feel that I will be one of your biggest fans from now on!

  41. Heather Booth says:

    I would love something on how to start from nothing. From having no routine or way of doing things to getting started completely afresh. Different circumstances have meant I am in this situation and most courses seem to build on what you already do, as opposed to establishing a routine from scratch.
    I would also love to know how to effectively meal plan to suit any diet / preferences. Again, courses seem to be aimed at each different way of eating so I would love something generic that I can put to use with the way we choose to eat x

  42. Caroline says:

    I just adore the little lists you give us such as Things to Do in June so would love more of those quick and easy things to do such as How to make-over your Diet/your ‘look’. I’d also love to see something on make-overs of a room, using your own things but just rearranging them with a few vintage pre-loved additions, so they look fresh and you fall in love with them again. Maybe something similar with your clothes so you can put them together in a way that helps you reach a more ‘authentic’ look – but with a few tweaks of vintage lace or buttons, so that you can cary your ‘Brocante’ lifestyle with you wherever you are?

  43. Serena says:

    How about ways in which we can involve our children (boys as well as girls) in vintage housekeeping? I’m always looking for ideas for that!

  44. Amy says:

    I would love more on balance of housework, cooking and spending time with my family. Especially with summer here, my kids don’t want to clean house everyday. How can I teach them about housekeeping?

  45. I am always happy for tips to make things pretty without being too cluttered.

  46. mae says:

    In a perfect world I would really love to learn how to manage running a household (ie housekeeping 101 – the easy version) whilst running a business, being a carer and trying to run a house all at the same time. I also want the ‘house’ to become a home, but when time is limited it all becomes a bit overwhelming. I don’t have time for massive full house scrubs but would like the effect to be the same… Ah, I think I am after a Brocante Miracle – if you are up for the challenge? Good luck with that one ;o) xxxx

  47. Jenny Lythall says:

    What I really NEED is something to help me manage a full time job, a husband who works 6 full days a week, an 18 month old and organising our chaotic lives. I’m desperate to be more organised and have a home I long to return to and not feel ashamed of inviting my loved ones in to and have quality time with my son who changes everyday. Really I just want to feel more in control of my home life whiteout feeling like I’m missing precious moments with my family!! Phew.

  48. Amy G says:

    I want to learn about growing peace in my heart even though we live in a hectic stressful world.

  49. judith says:

    how to balance the outside with in; eg work, shopping, gardening, cleaning car, looking after older relations, visiting children, writing to friends….
    constantly pressed for time to look after house, cook, wash, sort finances etc
    have a little time for a puttery treat instead of collapsing with exhaustion

  50. Laura K says:

    Reading evey one’s comments – I know I’m not alone! I, too, struggle with balance – how can we juggle it all and still be the best we can be? I feel like I’ve lost myself in trying to get it all done and I feel like I’m barely getting it all done and not giving any of it my best. I don’t want my children to remember me as a frazzled, forgetful, too-busy mom. I want to create memories and fill our days with calm, joy and peace. I’d like to be able to call our home “our sanctuary” – not just a place where we throw our stuff and run right back out (and let’s not even mention the lack of time for keeping it clean!) I love the idea of routine and ritual. I want to live in a Brocante Home and live a life with my family that’s full of puttery treats, love and laughter!

  51. Emily says:

    I crave peace. Is there a way to live a peaceful or peace-filled life with 5 children under foot? I love being in my home, and I’d love more ideas on how to find peace amidst the chaos.

  52. Sandi Moran says:

    I love all the ideas that I have been reading. My life is a little different, since my children are grown and I live alone now. I’d like ways to put structure into a day that has too much time. I feel that I fiddle so much of it away anymore. I want to put more meaning into my days and to make all the little details of housekeeping matter to me. Can’t wait for your new School of Life!

  53. Trace says:

    Motivation How-To. I need motivation to overcome laziness! It’s a painful thing to admit.

  54. Ivana says:

    As we are expecting our firstborn in December, I am about to start a new period in my life. I would love to learn more about time management, how to discern which task is important and should be done asap, and which can wait a little while, and of course everything about taking care about little ones!

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