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Declutter



Hello Lovelies!
Thanks for all of the amazing support and love you have shown me over the past days! For the continued encouragement and for giving me the energy and inspiration to knuckle down and get on with things! 

Part of my "getting back into it" has included a mega blitz of my apartment, sorting out the old and unused and making space for a calm and less cluttered environment. 
I kind of live by the mantra "messy apartment, messy head".
Let"s just say for the past months my apartment has been a war-zone, imagine what my head has been like! 

So at some point I needed to get things together and sorting through my belongings seemed like the place to start. I went through every room. I emptied drawers and decluttered. I went through my wardrobe, Did I wear that this year, no? Then off to charity it goes!
I've been ruthless to say the least and it"s felt insanely good to have a little less of everything. 

My final room that need the declutter, was the craft room. 
Do you realise how many random balls of yarn I had accumulate over the past years!? All bought with an idea in mind, but placed in my yarn box and somehow forgotten. 
I tried to sort it, to reason with myself, but I was terrible at deciding and so I rather abruptly decide to get rid of it all! To start fresh. I sorted the yarn into bags; new balls, nearly new balls and scraps. 

I made sure to keep the yarn I needed to finish off projects that had already been started. Other than that, it all went!
I gave the majority of it to a seniors home down the road and the rest is boxed up and ready to send to my Mum, so she can dish it out to her friends. 

It felt good to start over.....That being said I couldn't have no yarn in the house, so I treated myself to a stash of new yarn.....
I had seen this yarn popping up often on Instagram and was mesmerised by the colour selection. 


This is Paintbox dk and I'm in love!!! It"s a dk weight cotton that comes in 56 colours.
As I'm really into playing around with smaller projects and amigurumi,  I've pretty much only been using cotton over the past months.
The cotton I can get locally comes in 8 colours, but the yellow doesn't match the color range (frustrating to say the least).
So I splashed out on this and got the colour pack from love knitting.com.
It was pricey to buy the whole lot in one go. I had a browse online and found that it was far cheaper to order from the German website than the English (€50 cheeper!!!!!) and I could use a discount code that gave me 15 percent off. So I got all 56 colours for just over 100! That is pretty good value if you ask me!!

The yarn arrived and I was over the moon!!! It's really gorgeous, amazing quality and as hoped....the colours were EVERYTHING!!!!


Being freshly decluttered and having lots of space, I organised the yarn into crates so that I could easily see all of the colours as well as easily access it.


Isn't that just breathtaking!!!
Having a selection of colours at hand is really inspiring me to create and get working on new pattern designs. Sometimes I"d get frustrated towards creating because I didn't have the correct colour for a project, hence the ever-growing stash of yarn that I once had.
I'm hoping this selection of yarn will stop me from hoarding! (Thats the reasoning behind the big purchase at least!)


You know me...... I had to take the yarn out of the crates for a nice picture!!! YUMMY!!!
Here it is with my stylecraft yarn! my complete stash!!!! Aren't you proud!!! ok...so I do have some more yarn on the way, but it"s for a project....I swear!!! Do you think I have a stash problem?
I rest knowing that I'm definitely not the only one.
Maybe we should start a support group?  SAA (Stash-aholics Anonymous)

Be back soon!

The start over


Hello lovelies,
Gosh it"s been a while!!!
Weeks have turned into months and months have gone zooming by. The whole time I've been thinking "I have to get back into my blogging". I tried upon occasion to come back, hence the occasional random post from me, but it never really worked out.

Truth is though I just haven't been focused enough or in the right frame of mind.
It's been a real transition year, I've been discovering myself and learning things about my emotions and personality. After a rollercoaster of ups and downs I feel like over the last weeks I've emerged on the other side and I feel ready again. Ready to do things and ambitious, really ambitious, which is exciting me beyond belief.

I made a little video explaining all that has been going on and want you to really understand that I'm ok, not just ok, but good. Dennis also, he"s doing great and has also found his drive, focus and happiness...we are both doing well is the bottom line.



As mentioned in the video, I have some exciting things lined up for the next weeks, I'm not putting too much pressure on myself though and trying to let things happen as naturally as possible.
Those of you that follow me on Instagram would have seen I've been having a good play around with some nice cheery yarns and have been putting my hand at some rather sunny projects.


I've not only sorted through the trash that had been stored up in my head, but also blitzed the apartment. The craft room is stocked up with lots of scrummy yarns, positively bursting to be played with!


As mentioned in the video I'll  slowly be changing and updating things around here. Changing the name on the blog and on social media. I'll be trying to keep everything very simple, changing things from "Boys and Bunting" to "Boy and bunting" (minus the S). If there are links or information that you can"t find, just send me a message or an email (matt@boyandbunting.com) and I'll get right back to you with answers.

I'm really excited about this and I'm looking forward to the next weeks, getting really stuck into my blogging work.
Finally I want say a BIG thank you to you all, for sticking by Dennis and I. Your continued support and encouragement is truly special and I can not thank you enough. I think the world of you all!

Speak soon lovelies!

Tokyo - Part 1


Hello Lovelies! How are things going?
I'm back after my trip to Tokyo....what a trip it was!!!
Of course I couldn't arrive back and not share with you a little about my amazing vacation.

As I scroll through the pictures, it's proving somewhat difficult to pick exactly what to share...looks like I'm going to have to do this over the course of a few post. So if you're not one for other peoples holiday snaps....then maybe best to pop back here next week once I'm done! πŸ˜‚
(as I say that....I'm already thinking that it's probably just going to be my mum that enjoys reading the next few posts!)

For me this holiday started about 6 months ago when my best friend Mimi asked me if I wanted to join her on her summer trip to Tokyo. I was very hesitant at first, I always seem to be when people suggest big commitments and plans, not really sure why, but I've always been like that.
I gave it some serious thought though and finally after mum and dad said I'd be stupid not to go with her, I took the plunge!
The thing about Mimi (she's totally fabulous, fun, crazy, insanely organised and all round amazing) is that she's half Japanese, half Swiss. She grew up in Tokyo until she was about 8, before moving with her family to Switzerland. So she can speak Japanese and she returns each year to Tokyo to visit her family that still live in the city. So she's really knows her stuff when it comes to the city and has insights into things that your average first timer in Japan would have no idea about.
How could I not go to Japan with Mimi?

I made the commitment and booked the flight, I would be flying from Dusseldorf and would meet Mimi in Tokyo, followed later that day by our other close friends, Andrew and Pertev.

The build up to going to Tokyo could only be described as ELECTRIC!! It was that feeling you'd have as a kid when you would be so excited about your Birthday or Christmas day that you just couldn't sleep.
The weeks leading up to Tokyo had been tough, some personal things that I've been working through as well as a busy work schedule had gotten the better of me, so the break could not have come at a better point for me.

The day before the trip I packed up my case, making sure I had a crochet project to work with on the plane and patiently counted down the minutes until it was time to leave.


DAY 1

14 hours later I arrived in Tokyo and was welcomed by the humid heat, much different from the Summer we had been having in Germany.
I jumped into a Taxi and met Mimi at the airbnb apartment that we would be renting for the next 10 days. It was an interesting taxi ride, trying to communicate with the driver who didn't speak English but insisted on having a fully animated conversation with me in Japanese.

Once our bags were dropped off at our apartment in Shinjuku, we waisted no time in exploring the city.
Our first stop was a big department store where we were going to grab a bite to eat in its food court. This was the first moment that my mind was blown!!! I have never experienced so much fresh, vibrant, delicious looking food on offer. Everything was made to order in front of your eyes. The fruit was insane. The most pristine gorgeous fruit you could ever imagine. It came with a hefty price tag, but fruit like this was comparable to gemstones. Mangos so perfectly ripe they shone bright pink and  orange. Square melons , like I had seen on TV and cherries and grapes so perfect that the were packaged as if exquisite truffles!


We grabbed some food, preferring to buy small little nibbles of things, so that we could experience as much as possible. We nibbled as we took a wander around some other stores.
We stopped off at Tokyo Hands, which was a MAHHHHUUUUSSSSIIIIIVE shop full of everything!!! So much stationary and gadgets and things that we don't have in Europe that my mind was blown for the second time that day. Mimi got to work shopping and I browsed, but ended up buying nothing. Not because I couldn't find anything to buy, but because I felt so overwhelmed, I didn't really know where to start!

After that we took a slow walk home, stopping of for groceries and waited the arrival of Andrew and Pertev, who arrived shortly before midnight. We ate some food together and had a drink, toasting our holiday together.

DAY 2

Ok....So the next day it all began! Our first full day in Tokyo all together.
Mimi had planned that we go to Harajuku where we would browse the area, eat some food and lap up the atmosphere.
This was so much fun, one of my favourite days! The area was so vibrant, full off crazy fashion, bright bubblegum colours and little boutique vintage stores. We spent time going in and out of the shops, each buying a little piece of clothing that was unlike anything we could get back in Germany, (I bought a rather bright denim jacket that was covered in embroidery).
We had such a great time just wandering around, buying food to sample, like this monster candy floss. We took so many photos of one another against the vibrant backdrops and enjoying the quirky energy, that in return bought out the quirky side in us!


Was time for some food....my first experience of Ramen noodles!!
I have to be honest, I was pretty sure on this trip that I was going to shed a few pounds. I'm not fussy with foods, but I'm fussy with textures. If I don't like how food feels to eat, I literally can't stomach it. I was worried that I wouldn't like the food on this trip, but made a promise to myself that I would try everything that was on offer to me.
Mimi, Andrew and Pertev took me to a Ramen noodle bar, one that they had visited last year when they were in Tokyo. I didn't really know what ramen was, but ordered a bowl like the others. It came like a big noodle soup with an egg and a lump of pork floating in it.
I can be weird with eggs and I don't really eat pork (other than bacon), as I don't enjoy how it feels. I stuck to my promise and dug in.


I can't even tell you how unbelievable good this was. The warmth, the flavours, the egg had been spiced and was delicious! The pork!!! Oh the pork....it melted in my mouth, I have never  tasted somethings sooooooo good.  I can't even describe how good it was. The other guys struggled to finish their meals, I kept going until my bowl was clean.
Slurping the noodles (like Mimi had instructed) resulted in a lot of coughing a spluttering on my part and so I ate it in my own special way, getting my head nice and close to the bowl, as my chopstick skills were not very advanced.

After noodles it was on to a cafe for a coffee.
A Hedgehog cafe!!!!!! I can't even make this stuff up! A cafe where you sit down around a table, drink your drinks and play/feed the hedges that live in the centre of the table! It was mind blowing to me!! Such a cool experience!


Can you believe I'm only part through one day!!!! I'll try and go a little bit quicker, but have so many experiences that I want to share with you all.....so just sit tight and nod your head in recognition when you feel its appropriate!

To end the day we were meeting Mimi's family for dinner.
We were going to a fish restaurant, I was already getting the impression this was no ordinary restaurant that served fish. RIGHT ABOUT THAT!!

We met Mimi's Mum, Dad and Gran and headed into the restaurant.
There was a full size boat in the middle of the restaurant with tables on, surrounded by water! I quickly spotted fishing rods....looks like we were catching our dinner. So crazy!!
Such a  surreal experience! We caught our diner to which a gong was banged and the whole restaurant would stop what they were doing to applaud you and cheer for your catch, then waited for our fish to be prepared. We chose to have half of our fish baked and the other as sashimi (raw), I lived up once again to my promise and tried the food.
I tried it, then discreetly spat the raw fish into a napkin and spent the rest of the meal eating edamame beans! lol


As we said goodbye to Mimi's family, mimi instructed me to bow backwards to her gran, as that was the polite thing to do. Bow backwards? Being the dancer that I am I said goodbye and did a backbend!!! Mimi actually meant, say goodbye and bow as you walk backwards and leave!!! OOOOPS!!! I'll know for next time! At least Mimi's gran thought it was funny πŸ˜‚

End of our first full day!!! A pretty successful one, overwhelmed and utterly shattered.

DAY 3

We were up bright and early after about 5 hours sleep, today we were heading to Disneyland!!
I was so excited about Disney, as I had been to the one in Florida when I was about 14 and had the absolute time of my life. 

We all had our tickets to enter the park, even they were oozing Disney magic!!!


Out of all of the Disney Parks here in Tokyo, we had chosen to come visit Disneysea, as it only exists in Japan. The second that we entered the park I was transported back to being 14 years old again! 
I guess it's a nostalgia that most of us have, growing up watching Disney movies, it's a pretty amazing feeling walking around a place that is geared up with the sole intention of happiness. Everyone is jolly, everything is jolly, the people the characters the buildings, the statues! 


Of course one of the first things that we did once we had entered the park, was by disney hats. Pertev wasn't so keen, so I ended up buying two hats and letting him wear my spare one. πŸ˜€


I realised that the park, is not like an ordinary theme park. Infact it's pretty tame on the rides, so if your looking for rides that are going to make you feel queezy, this is probably not your place. 
What it is though, is a day of atmosphere. You can not help but walk around feeling some what elated. 
Bumping into characters, that you know are just people wearing a suit, but the excitement of seeing these characters is real and so you just have to give in and get pictures with them all!! 


The park was divided into areas, like an underwater area that focussed heavily on The Little Mermaid, Journey to the centre of the earth, Toystory mania.
I loved the little mermaid area, it was so bright and colourful. You could walk around and explore the underwater caverns, stumbling upon Aerial's cavern with all of her "gadgets and gizmos of plenty"


My absolute favourite area was Agraba, the Aladdin area. It was designed as if you were really in the town of Agraba, Market places and extravagant temples. I enjoyed walking around this area and visiting the gift shop that was designed like a market place, with stalls. My favourite being the stall with the magic tricks, and of course had to buy myself a set of magic linking hoops.


Andrew also loved the Alladin area! He's the dance captain on Alladin the musical in Hamburg. When he saw all of the Aladdin merchandise, there was no way he was leaving without buying a four foot tall genie toy for his office at the theatre! 


YES.....I was doing the sleepy bobble head on the train the was home. I was sooooo tired! In fact at the end of the day whilst were were watching the main performance on the lake (which was amazing),  I had to sit on the floor as I kept falling asleep standing up. I was worried that I was going to fall to the ground and figured watching from the floor would mean not so far to fall if I did fall asleep.

It really was special day!  The whole day was spent as if we were all kids, I can only imagine how magical the Disney parks must be if you actually go with children. It must be a dream come true for them!

DAY 4

This was our first cultural day, We made a short trip to Kamakura, to visit the Tsurugaoke Hachiman-gΓΌ shrine. 
It was such a beautiful day, sun was shining, but not blisteringly hot!
We got off the train and made a walk up a market street. As per usual we had to stop off at every shop and sample the delicious food. On the way up one street we must have eaten a dozen different things! 


Once at the end of the market street we were only a short distance away from the shrine, which was situated in a beautiful park. 
I loved all of the hanging decorations, so bright against the sunny blue sky!



We took a few pictures against  the beautiful scenery. I particularly like this one of mimi next to a pond bursting with water lilies.


Before entering the shrine we had to wash our hands and mouth, using the ladles provided outside of the shrine


The shrine was beautiful, lots of reds and golds.
Unfortunately I couldn't take pictures inside, as people were praying. Take my word for it though, it was really a feast for the eyes and a special place to reflect.


Outside of the shrine there was a whole fence filled with peoples prayers and wishes. They were written on bits of paper and wooden plaques.


After the shrine we grabbed a bite to eat and jumped into a taxi for a short ride to The Great Buddha of Kamakura, a 14 metre tall bronze statue.






I really enjoyed being in this area around the statue. It made for some great photos, but more than that was a peaceful place to be. Even with all of the tourists, there was an element of tranquility.

After our time in Kamakura, the afternoon was quickly turning into evening. We made our way back into the city, as Mimi had heard there was a street festival taking place.

The Shonan Hiratsuka Tanabata Festival (also known as star festival) was an absolute explosion of colour.
Of course like any festival, street stalls serving food was a huge aspect and one that were were quickly taking advantage of!


I loved how vibrant the festival was. Lights and decorations everywhere!


One of the features of the festival were massive bamboo poles that had been decorated with lanterns, paper and ribbons. People were able to rent the poles in the build up to the festival, so that they could decorate the poles. Throughout the festival a winner would be picked for best decorated pole.



Along with the decorations and food there were also lots of stalls selling things and stalls where you could play games. 
One of the games we tried, was trying to catch a goldfish using a rice paper paddle. Not easy! 
We gave it a go as it was something that Mimi was very excited about. She explained to us that she would do this at festivals when she was a child. 
If you caught a goldfish you were able to take it home as a pet. We just popped ours back in the water.


It was a really nice evening! bursting with people enjoying themselves. We had a few drinks and got swept up in the celebratory atmosphere. A great evening!


SOOOOOO.....That was a rather long post, but I do hope you will enjoy having a little glimpse into my time away. A time where I experienced so much and got to share it with the best friends possible.
I'll be back with in the next couple of days with the other half of my trip!
Until then.....have a smashing weekend!