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Doing

I've seen about the place that folk are choosing a word or concept to carry them through 2014. After not a huge amount of thought mine is going to be something along the lines of "action" or "doing". I seem to have done a lot of planning and talking recently and now is the time to do something too. 

Yesterday I was chatting to someone I know from an exercise forum I used to visit and I swore to her (or myself) that I would not be having the same conversation this time next year as we were having right then. That's all about doing. I am fully equipped but having the right stuff doesn't mean anything if I don't use it.

As for NYE can you believe I have to go to the charity shop. Ha! I am secretly hoping that it's really really quiet, quite the opposite of doing, but I am allowing myself one final day of lazing. 

Best wishes to everyone.

Updated Lists and Choices

I was a bit all over the place before. 

After flip-flopping I decided to use the Christmas gift money to replace the (already replaced) money used to buy clothes last month, so that's packed away in the savings account. 

The January shopping list is shorter now, we don't need a shampoo bar (our shampoo issues are long and tedious) and Dan picked up a pack of wraps for 19p earlier. I don't know if I mentioned it the other day but Father gave me some turnips, so they're hanging up in the garage for whenever I do something with them, Dan can't eat them so it'll be a steam and freeze affair when I have space in the freezer. 

The January grocery list now looks like this - 

bunny veg
onions
mushrooms
leeks
carrots
potatoes
other veg (whatever's cheap or looks good)
bananas
other fruit

milks
sandwich filling

bread
pitta

chilli flakes
butterbeans
passata
cereal (3 boxes)
tea


Countdown to "The Big One"

I've cut out another single use item, toilet cleaner. Recently I bought a bottle of pine disinfectant and when I read the blurb it said it can be used the clean the toilet. Excellent. I'm not usually an anti-bac, disinfectant person but I have the bottle and it's already had a load of use, even if it's not massively eco-friendly. When we were first cutting down on spending I tried all the frugal tips, vinegar and bicarb for cleaning came up all the time. True, they do the job but it's not a cheap way to do it in my experience.

We're totting up our savings targets and things for next year. It's a lot. I'm really happy because our master "to buy" list is pretty short. This list is everything we "need" for the year ahead - clothes, shoes, work stuff, DIY things and all that. The only things on the list this time are the big things, which we know won't happen like a replacement kitchen and flooring for the living area. That's ok. …

December Groceries Roundup

Today was not a no spend day but it was a "get a few things crossed off the list day". Breaking our normal rule we went to the shops, although it was really, really quiet so it didn't feel like we were at the sales, few people, no queues, no nothing really. 

We used the Christmas gift vouchers and a bit of cash to buy some stuff we were after - craft storage for me , work clothes and new trainers for Dan and a new rug for the buns. Not exciting but there you go, I'd rather use a voucher for a shop I don't usually visit to get these things than to part with my own cash. The quilt storage is very nice too, it's a big bag for me to stash everything in at the end of the day, if it doesn't quite make its way into the cupboard it still looks good in the room. It's massive and very sturdy.

We also bought groceries, we spent £9.92 including a big (reduced) quiche for Dan, it's a very rare treat these days so why not. So we are well over the £90 target, but …

Another Christmas Bonus

No spend days.

I don't think there's another time of the year where it's so easy for us to avoid spending! We bought petrol and oil on Monday and nothing since. Our shopping list for tomorrow is bunny veg, bread and mushrooms. We could do without two of them if push came to shove. I love it.

£90 Shopping List

Trying to cram all the food gifts we received into the pantry I decided to use my new mini notepad to do the pantry inventory and work out the basic shopping list for next month. I was very happy to see we're still very well stocked so I won't be feeling the need to run out to the shops, now there's a relief. Luckily, one of our gifts was a set of jars of chutney, very useful for lunchtime. I'm not fully sure what we're going to do with the hamper of ginger products but I'm sure they'll come in useful somewhere along the line. 

Not included in the £90 is £16 for hay.

bunny veg
onions
mushrooms
leeks
carrots
potatoes
other veg (whatever's cheap or looks good)
bananas
other fruit

butter
milks
sandwich filling

wraps
puff pastry
bread
pitta

chilli flakes
butterbeans
passata
cereal (3 boxes)
tea

shampoo bar

The shampoo bar will take a chunk out of the budget but it's needed. We don't need any other household products so it'll be an inexpensive month in that regard. £90 …

We Even Got A Change Jar

We seemed to receive a lot of presents this year. Bunny-related stuff was at an all term low, rugby items doubled from last year, toiletries down, pyjamas and hats up, books constant. All very practical.

One of the bunny items came in a small, sturdy looking box, with a Q on the top and front. " "Q" for "quid" " said Dan, "It can be our sealed pot". So it is. Bonus gift and the sender didn't even know it.

Busy Relaxing

We're in the car as much as the house at the minute. This morning is a car check, top up anything we need in the winter emergency bag, then load up with presents and off we go again. Dan loves driving and I love being in the car, especially now I have my "Mr Noisy" neck pillow. I am looking forward to Friday though when we can spend a whole day at home.

The rabbits found their Christmas present, so that's already had a good chewing. It's still a bit odd to think it's Christmas Eve but here it is whether I'm ready or not! One of my favourite things about where we are is the amount of churches nearby, hearing the bells on Christmas Eve is always a pleasure and makes me very happy indeed. 

The good thing about today is that reality is on hold. It's just all about today and tomorrow, not really discussing the plans for next year or thinking about how this year has been. It's just about Christmas Eve, whatever that is. 

Best wishes to anyone reading, stay…

Christmas Bonus

A wee while ago Dan's step mum mentioned that they were going to the Opera House in the Winter Gardens, Blackpool to see the musical "Scrooge" with Tommy Steele. So we said we'd come along too. It was the matinee performance and we thought it would be a little bit cheesy but ideal for getting us in the festive spirit. I apologise wholeheartedly to all concerned for the first part. It was sensational. Tommy Steele was amazing, everything about it was just wonderful and everyone had a great time - even the little boy behind us who was a little scared of the ghosts. Perfect venue, perfect crowd, perfect production. 

The second Christmas bonus arrived in the post. A brown envelope doesn't bring good news all that often, less still one from a solicitor. Again, how wrong we were. It contained a cheque, which must be one of the best things to be popped through the letterbox. It was something to do with the purchase of this house, very much a surprise as we've been he…

January Menu Plan

Blimey, here we are already. Even though it's really just another month it feels quite difficult to do this plan. I suppose it's all bound up in the intentions and desires to make a good start to the new year and all that stuff. 

One thing we are planning to do is to have a roast or similar on a Sunday, at least until the rugby season starts. I'm also putting simple stuff on a Tuesday. I don't get back from the shop until 5 so minimal prep is the order of the day. It's basic, it's simple, it's using what I know we have in. When stocks run low I'll probably look for some new recipes but I'm not a foodie type so eating the same tried and tested things each time works well for me, Dan is the same, it works well even if it might bore others to tears!

1. leftovers - there's bound to be something
2. risotto/fried rice
3. chestnut pie w mash
4. plaki w lentil grill

5. roast
6. stirfry w. noodles
7. spaghetti
8. out
9. leek & butterbean crumble
10 lentil and m…

Having an Old Friend For Dinner

Tonight, unless the weather threatens to take over the town, I am venturing out to meet an old friend. I haven't seen him for 13 years so who knows how it will go. The thing is there's no real catching up to be done. We started chatting again on the old social networks so there's no news and no surprises really. None of the "oooh, you've changed, look at your hair" etc. 

In one sense it's good I suppose and in another sense there's no anticipation, it'll be just like a normal interaction only we sat in the same pub for a change. Weird.

Joining The Club

Twinkly tree, pinecones and lanterns, a ceramic snowman filled with chocolates, nuts in shells, citrus fruits, babycham, black forest cake, sprouts, Tommy Steele, glittery jumper, pomegranate juice, spare room filled with stuff. I think that's the full checklist and yet there's something missing.

I'm not feeling festive. I'm very happy and excited but not about Christmas, just about things in general - rag rugs, lino prints, another quilt, lovely husband, seeing a friend for the first time in 13 years, birthday, snowdrops, coal tits, flannelette sheets, yellow nail polish. It's probably better to be excited about that stuff than the other way round though. 

I think the Rugby League World Cup threw me out. One minute it was the start of October then all of a sudden it was December. Plus the RLWC was so amazing almost anything else falls by the wayside. And it's too warm, no good at all. 

I have sent two cards. One to my friend in The Netherlands, that happened beca…

Food Log

First of all, I was wrong in my comments yesterday, we became debt free in 2006, saved for 2 years for a car which should have taken us to December 2008 but only took until the end of August. Phew, cleared that one up. Thank you Dave Ramsey.
I've been having a look at my online supermarket receipts (thank you Booths) and it's an interesting read. Obviously I don't buy everything from the supermarket so, just out of interest, I'm going to go back to keeping a note of everything I buy. Just to check I really am sticking to the budget I say I am and to keep an eye on anything naughty that's sneaking into the trollop. I know how the budget's going this month as there's still £98.07 in the grocery account so I'm still just under budget but we'll go over and probably end up around the £110 mark again. But that's fine, happy with that. 
We're going to stick with an aim of £90 for January. As I said yesterday we're not hitting that goal but it…

2014 Planning

It will be more of the same with some things done differently! We've slightly adjusted the amount going straight into savings so there's more than we're currently saving but we're going against the grain and getting rid of the annual expense fund. We've had one for coming up to 10 years and it doesn't really work for us any more. We may return to this system of budgeting in the future, but not next year. 

It was ideal when we were paying off debts and we needed to know there was a separate account for car stuff, vet bills, gifts and things like that but that's not where we are now. We've been working to a budget since 2003 when we had the lightbulb moment so over the years we've jiggled and adjusted things so it works out that we have one biggish expense per month - January is nothing, February Dan glasses, March pre-paid prescription, April loads of birthdays, May car stuff, over the summer my glasses, any work on the house and the boiler service, O…

saturday

9am

where am I? In the car on the prom
what's the sky like? Blue and grey
what am I wearing? Neon skirt, beige top, grey leggings, grey converse
what's motivating me? gift shopping and collections of jelly babies, submarines, things made from pianos and sci fi games at the Grundy. 

2pm

where am I? at a garden centre
what's the sky like? very grey with fast moving clouds
what am I wearing? as 9am
what's motivating me? a cup of tea and an iced bun, vegetable seeds, freebies

5pm

where am I? in the kitchen
what's the sky like? not visible but the weather sounds awful
what am I wearing? pink trousers, bunny jumper, slippers
what's motivating me? bargains from the FYC pop up shop, spaghetti, Parks and Recreation

The Descent

I have nothing to report.
The Christmas tree is in the house but still undecorated, it is under attack from the white rabbit. The money is bobbing along as it tends to do. We've bought a selection of gifts, including a tattoo design colouring book for my mum. She likes a spot of colouring in and I doubt she'll have seen this one. There are boxes of decorations all over the place, I think we'll do something with them tomorrow. 
We went to the beautiful Winter Gardens last night to a gig, I was most certainly one of the oldest people there which was fun. I think some of the audience who rolled their eyes at all the old folk as they waited to see Panic! At The Disco and we waited to see They Might Be Giants in Manchester the other week, ha! We're back there next weekend for a bit of Tommy Steele, oh yes. 
I am home alone this evening, Dan is off to a hotel somewhere for workplace funtivities. I will be here with a box of Maltesers and some Babycham. As you can see I really …

My Temple, My Castle

You can't change one thing without everything else having to jiggle up and that's what's happening this week. Still reeling from the shock of our spending on Saturday I've had to address a couple of things - mainly why do I eat and drink so much when we're out with this one particular friend? Don't do it with anyone else. 
Anyway, as I've been busy pondering and doing things differently it's meant that other things have to be done differently. I got up today and the house was like a bombsite. So the basic things have been neglected a little, easy to remedy and done already, that's just a case of first things first. I now have a wardrobe full of clothes*, a house that is getting there, lovely friends and family, a couple of savings accounts that are starting to fill up, a hobby or two and now a day out playing shops (thanks to Mum for that fun way to describe it). Now I need to look after my body. I think everyone by now has seen the weightloss challe…

New Things

Along with the surprising realisation that I would really have liked to be a florist a couple of other new things have come about this week. Firstly, next year I will make a rag rug. We don't have any proper flooring in the living room (can't decide what to go for) so we have a mish mash of rugs, not in a beautiful cool magazine house way just in a "it's what we had in" way. Plus I'd like to make a rag rug. 

Wore some of my new things out on Saturday and felt great. 

A new thing arrived last night, a real tree. We have never experienced a real tree at home before, either as small folk or as adults. Every year we say we're going to have one and every year we talk ourselves out of it due to the cost. Not this year. Last night we headed out and bought one. The house smells amazing! Yes it probably is a waste of money but I don't care, it's a beautiful thing, even if it is just in a bucket of water with no baubles on at the minute. 

The pretty new only-t…

Realisation

I must be feeling festive as I bought pine bathroom cleaner today, something I never do. So some decorating is going to take place this evening. All the components of Christmas dinner are bought and ready to go.

Everything feels very smooth and as it should be, there's lots of time to do what I want to do and what I need to do. The churning seems to have stopped even though the trail of paper and hay is endless. Money is a little wonky but by the end of the month there will be a straight edge. The end of the month seems very far away and I like that. I'm just bobbing along but on a course, not out of control. 

And it's the weekend, fun times ahead!

The Rebrand Update

The rebrand so far has been as much about buying as it has been about doing. I think we're out of the buying phase now and it's more about using what I've bought. I love the new wardrobe, for the first time ever none of the new stuff is second hand. I usually like a rummage as much as the next person but that wasn't what I needed this time round.

Even though I have been working towards a tight capsule wardrobe I abandoned everything I've ever read about minimalist shopping, I needed an open mind to allow me to be focused. Having everything (as long as it was grey, black or silver) as an option made it simple to choose the best items for me. I even bought four bottles of nail polish to replace the one I've just finished instead of keeping just the one and using it all the time. That simple thing, costing less than £9 feels like a real luxury and as such is exactly what I was after to energise myself. I rounded off the shopping with some comfy insoles for my new b…

November Savings

After the dust settled there was £40 from the grocery budget to put into savings. I'm very happy with that. I was £73 under budget as £32 something went on the voiles and poles for the living room.

This month is starting well, along with the £40 from last month I put £20 from this month into savings, it's gone now so I can't be tempted to spend it. Hopefully there will be another £50 to shove into the bank as I'm not having my hair cut this month, the window cleaner didn't come last month so that cash carries over and a few other things. Dan dug out the money box so the change jar is up and running too. I've also reinstated my "break glass in case of emergency" £20 envelope, in case of emergency!

We had a £3 Waitrose voucher so we nipped in as we were nearby, resisted the temptation to see the voucher as bonus cash and stuck to buying basics. So far for December we've spent £11.88. Despite the fact that my brother and his girlfriend might come for t…

Fast Change, Slow Change.

Sometimes changes have to be slow, like the chugging along of paying off debts, losing weight or learning new things. Other changes aren't like that, for me those changes are usually the things that help to kick start the slow burning changes. I reached a point where the idea of staying the same was worse than the idea of changing and I faced up to the fact that to arrive at the changes I want things had to change. I can't change my life without changing how I live it.

Recently I've been feeling invisible and that's not a way to feel, when there are things to be done  it's even worse. So, even though it seems contrary to all our financial goals we took some cash out of savings and I have a whole new wardrobe. For some people clothes and things aren't important and I didn't think they really were for me until I saw myself and realised that how I looked didn't represent how I see myself. And at that moment it became important.

Ten years ago we started our c…

Ribbon Wreath

As promised, here's a picture of the finished, slightly bonkers looking ribbon wreath. It's like the night here so hard to take a lovely photo. 


I also have a choice to make. I have to choose one chocolate treat. Do I go for caramel tree decorations, coins or those balls of chocolate with a white crispy shell? I like them all but just can't choose between them...

Gift Budget

We've been sorting out the gift budget for Christmas. Our Christmas is not a simple time of collecting branches to adorn the fireplace,  roaring fires (unless there's one in the pub), hand printed wrapping paper and mulled wine on the stove. Our Christmas is 1970's style buffets, Now That's What I call Christmas on vinyl, shop bought biscuits, sherry and lots of driving. 

I used to be a Christmas avoider but truth be told it's a social convention, it means more to my family and friends to celebrate it than it does to me to not do so, so I embrace it. The axis of the Earth doesn't pass directly through me and what makes the people I like happy makes me happy. In that vein unless it's requested I don't make gifts. I make stuff all the time so it's not special to give someone a gift I've made. It feels like I've gone to no effort, if I make something someone would like I'll give it to them when it's done, why wait for Christmas? The peop…

Churning

Do you ever have those days where you feel like nothing is happening, you're just churning the stuff over and over? I'm having one of those days. Some things don't seem to have a home and the things that do seem wrong. I suppose I'm seeing things on the outside how I feel on the inside.

In probably positive news the ribbon wreath is finished. It has been roundly decided it looks like the work of an addled mind, it's going on the door anyway! I'll share a picture if the sun ever comes out. I went to thevtown yesterday and ended up watchingba parade. The local regiment has just returned from Afghanistan so people lined the streets and waved flags. My favourite part was the military band playing Sweet Caroline. The Unique Lancashire shop was offering chorley cakes, red rose cupcakes and hotpot free of charge in honour of Lancashire day, yummy.

The master shopping list is ready to no. Sadly for my £90 budget we need some of the big stuff - rabbit food, litter, some t…

When The Laptop Goes Away

When the laptop goes away there is time to sort out the garage amongst other things. I decided to wait until it was -1 to do my garage but I love ruddy cheeks so it was all positive.

The phrase "stash and dash" was created to describe what happened in the garage. A box containing one sponge and a plant pot. A whole shelf taken up with four cork tiles and a cut off of wallpaper and lots of stuff on the floor because there was no space on the shelves. At the minute the garage looks great but the living room is full of spanners. This morning I've emptied three boxes and the toolbox. The toolbox will be returning to its original use as my quilting toolbox and the other boxes will just be empty. This, of course means I have to deal with my quilting stuff, the thought of which makes me happy and scared in equal measure, good job I have the time.

There has also been time for writing the budget, master shoppimg list, sorting the junk drawer, having a ruthless declutter of my wardr…

Grocery Update 4

Is it 4? I feel relieved now I've blown the budget.On Thursday after my wig chop I spent £8.82 on boring things like broccoli for the buns and lunch stuff for myself. So there we have it. I don't think we'll need anything else this week so the grand total for the month is £96.61.I have other things to report, life audit and capsule wardrobe related but I'm typing this on a tablet and I think I may well become violent if I don't escape from it's horrible vibrating area soon.Weekends and frosty days are the best, losing the World Cup semi final in the last 20 seconds is the worst. Our house was silent for a full half hour after the game. I confess I did cry, but then, as ever, Fiji brought me round. Fiji were more than well beaten by Australia in the other semi but their amazing humility and thankfulness knocks me off my feet every time.

Things

Is there a Meaning of Liff word to describe the amount of time you feel you have to spend in an art gallery so you don't feel a bit daft for not liking the exhibition? I found myself in a gallery watching a video of a crying woman trying to put her clothes back on the other night. I guess I can't say I didn't enjoy it but I don't know what was going on at all. 

There's a problem with the early evening economy isn't there? Things shut at 5 or 5.30, evening stuff starts at 7.30. Other than the cinema, eating or drinking there's not a lot to do when you're out and about. It's the end of the free stuff.

It's been a big week for me. Not so much in the things that I've done, for most people it would have been a normal week. In my brain things are becoming clearer about how I want to shape my future. Things that have helped clarify things for me this week - 

1. Being bothered enough about something to get to Manchester by car.
2. Seeing my favourite ba…

December Menu Plan

It's not that different to the usual really. I don't know if I've mentioned breakfast and lunch before. We have pretty much the same thing every day. Dan has cereal, I have a bagel or similar. For lunch we have houmous virtually every day with olives, tapenade, beetroot, carrot, salad or whatever to stop it being quite so beige. Occasionally I'll have leftovers or make some soup instead but that's about that.

On this plan the very simple meals are generally following a night out, when we have a nothingy day planned or something like that. There's no point planning for something exciting when I know it's just not going to happen. Anyway, we'll be having enough big meals around Christmas to make the simple things more than welcome. 

1. jacket potatoes with baked beans *yum*
2. singapore noodles
3. lentil and garlic stew w. chilli bread
4. chestnut pie
5. orzotto
6. out
7. out (but I must make pasties to take with us)

8. pasta bake
9. enchiladas
10 spicy rice with wr…

Pantry Inventory

As discussed yesterday I'm giving myself a £90 grocery budget for December or at least that's the aim. Knowing what's in the pantry is the best starting point for that. numbers in brackets are the amount of meals I think a part bag will cover, anything else is a full packet.
Freezer 
runner beans (2) red chillies peas (full bag) sweetcorn (full bag)
Fridge
jams singapore noodle paste garlic puree ginger puree ketchup brown sauce
Pantry
chestnuts stuffing mix popping corn
4kg red lentils giant cous cous quinoa rice noodles udon noodles 2kg rice 800g pasta
green thai paste red thai paste coconut milk 6 x creamed coconut sachets 2 x baked beans 2 x passata marmite soy sauce
jams  mustards flours yeast sugar, vanilla sugar treacle salt, pepper, sage, paprikas, curry blends, oregano, cinnamon etc. 
Doesn't seem like very much really but that's because there are no beans on the list. Now for the menu plan.

And That's Why We Left

I had my taster session with the charity today. As I was in the shop all afternoon it was a little teeny bit boring but everyone was very pleasant and the customers were lovely. Then I met the "superstar", she is from a place Dan and I used to live. One of the many reasons we left was people like her. 

Luckily I was on my best behaviour so I smiled and nodded instead of responding in the way I would have liked...

Why be rude? What benefit does that bring to someone's world? Thankfully I'm not easily upset so being told I sound boring made me laugh rather than cry. Maybe I am boring but at least I'm not a nasty gossipy rude snob*.

*actually I might be some of those things when provoked.

Busted

The £90 month is not going to happen. We went a little bonkers last week and filled the trolley with stuff and spent £22.98. We're not over yet but we are very close at £87.79 with a week to go. we'll be going shopping on Saturday or Sunday so that is still a full week of shopping, it's going to cost more than two and a bit quid. 
Having said that, I think with what we have in as we speak I could make all the evening meals we need, it's just milks, bunny veg and sandwich stuff, Dan has already stuffed the freezer full of bread. I think we'll be £10 over. Oh no, hang on, maybe less than a tenner, when I was tidying yesterday I found £2.30 and it wasn't all in change, there were two £1 coins. How did they slip the net?
If we spend £100 plus the bonus £2.30 that's still £90 less than usual. Ok, it has been a bit of a bonkers month and we've bought many many chocolate bars out of the general budget but even so it's what we wanted to try. I feel confident …

The Most Beautiful Moment

Today I thought I'd be talking about more bargain shopping and meeting Spelly* in Wigan but something else swamped all other happenings this weekend - and plenty of things happened. 

Yesterday we were part of the most amazing thing I've experienced at a sporting event. We went to the Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington for the quarter final of RLWC 2013, Fiji v Samoa. At the end of the game thousands of spectators remained behind to applaud the players, especially as Samoa had been based in Warrington for the tournament. 

We waited, clapping and cheering as both teams formed a huddle in the centre of the pitch. As the tv camera focused in on one of the players it became obvious that they were praying. The crowd fell silent, seriously you could have heard a pin drop. It was an amazingly beautiful moment and everyone was clearly taken aback by it. When the prayer was over the teams broke away for their lap of honour and we brought the noise. 

It was one of those moments that word…

Friday

9 am

where am I? up a ladder

what's the sky like? grey

what am I wearing? purple, purple and more purple

what's motivating me? curtains, tea, hail, shopping lists

2pm

where am I? at home

what's the sky like? grey

what am I wearing? purple, purple and more purple

what's motivating me? not much, nothing of note is happening today, nothing, nothing, nothing at all in the slightest, even the buns are still. 

5pm

where am I? in the pantry

what's the sky like? dark grey

what am I wearing? purple, purple and more purple plus slippers

what's motivating me? fajitas, dancing

The Rebrand

I'm having a reinvention. 

Cosiness has turned into laziness and more than slight scruffiness at times. On Tuesday I started thinking about changes, yesterday I started putting the thoughts into actions. I'm glad I chose yesterday as today there's lots of hailstones flying about, not my favourite type of weather to be out and about it. 

Nothing huge happened yesterday, I just had the kind of day I thought I'd have when we moved here. I still call this our new house when we'll have lived here for four years in the spring. I hadn't walked on our beach since September when I thought I'd do that every day. But when we first moved here I hadn't taken into account, serious illness, the cuts, constant fear of job loss, money stuff and general stuff getting in the way of my dream life. 

So I went to the beach and petted some dogs. Then I went to the library and took out two fiction books, I rarely read fiction unless it's about Moomins. I think the last fictio…

Grocery Budget Update

I've now spent £64.81/£90. 
That was mainly because we bought a few things for the festive season from a shop we don't go to all that often. That's socked away in the freezer and is dealt with. Dan decided he really really wanted some Yorkshire puddings so we bought some. We don't really eat eggs so it was easier to buy some ready made things than to deal with a box of eggs and Yorkshire pudding making trauma.
Despite my apparent inability to stop going to the supermarket I still feel confident we're going to come in under budget. We may need some bunny veg and milk before the end of the week but that will be all, feeling good about it. 
Not spending the money on food has allowed me to get something to cover our living room windows. The windows are floor to ceiling and form the back wall of the house. I can almost picture the cash seeping out of them when it's cold. We have curtains which I lined last year but as an extra thing I've ordered some voiles and rod…

Shock The World

If the first week of RLWC 2013 was all about aniticpation, excitement, tradition and emotion then week two was all about fun. Well, almost all. The very sad news came to us on Saturday that former player Steve Prescott MBE had died. Steve Prescott was diagnosed with Pseudomyxoma Peritonei, a rare form of cancer, in 2006 and was given only months to live. Since then The Steve Prescott Foundation has raised nearly £500,000 for charity and he has been an inspiration to everyone who loves the game.

We clocked up some new grounds this week, Leigh and Salford and finished the week with a trip to one of Dan's favourite grounds, The Shay, Halifax for the group decider between Tonga and Italy. A win for Tonga meant, although they were going home, Scotland would make it through to the quarter finals at the expense of Italy. 

We have also been clocking up a number of gold post boxes, all by accident and all very welcome. Last Saturday we saw the one for Ed Clancy for his gold medal in the team…

Wednesday

9am 

where am I? in bed

what am I wearing? green t shirt, floral pyjamas

what's the sky like? not visible

what's motivating me? braving the chill, tea 

2pm

where am I? homewares shop

what am I wearing? pink pumps, pink trousers, silver jumper

what's the sky like? dark grey

what's motivating me? a heath robinson door curtain pole solution

5pm

where am I? at home

what am I wearing? big grey jumper, slouchy trousers

what's the sky like? grey and cloudy

what's motivating me? Christmas to-do list, kriek, sweeping up, cute bunnies


Went Out Shopping

A mere five days in to the month I caved in to food shopping. I couldn't pass the greengrocers, everything just looked so nice. Weird as it seems to say it, I missed fresh vegetables and didn't want to wait any longer to have some. Apparently having food ready to go in the freezer isn't always great - it's only great most of the time!

So I ended up spending £11.54 on apples, a cauliflower, peppers, loads of mushrooms, leeks, broccoli, something else and a few bits and bobs from the bread shop. It was amazing *yum*. This afternoon I made curry, lentil bol and a shepherdess pie as we didn't have it at the end of last month. Cooking done for the next few days. Happy happy me.

By The Way

Yes, I do realise that it seems a bit bonkers to be jaunting about the place when I've been on the verge of fretting about future money recently. It's all saved up and paid for - like a holiday but not going away anywhere. So no need to roll your eyes and tell me I'm ridiculous, I already know!

RLWC 2013 Week One

This will not be the most clearly written post of the year, I am a sleepy girl.
The Rugby League World Cup is going very well. so far Dan and I have been to East Hull for PNG v France, a very close affair but with a great atmosphere and only the slightest hint of a gale. Rochdale for Fiji v Ireland which was fantastic with lots of Fijian support plus I became very fond of Fiji prop Ashton Sims. What a lovely fella, even though it was pretty cold and chucking it down with rain he took time to have his picture taken with people and had kind words for all the children who came over to him. Then it was a bit of  a break until Huddersfield on Saturday for England v Ireland, comfortable win for England. Yesterday we wandered up to Workington for Scotland v Italy. 
Workington was great, a great atmosphere and it looked like the area had done a lot to get involved with the tournament, before the game a float went round the ground (Derwent Park also hosts speedway) and on the float were childre…

November Shopping, Round 1.

After months of nagging Dan we finally went to Salts Mill yesterday. It was, as everyone else already knows, great. I could have spent a fortune, especially when I saw the Moomin things but I didn't. We bought a cup of coffee and shared a brownie but that was the extent of the merrymaking. We both loved the Cloth and Memory exhibition on the top floor and it was nice to watch all he bloggy types taking photos of bits of the floor, the walls and details of the chimney through the skylights. It's funny how we're all more the same than we are different even when we're out there showing off our individuality.

We also had to leg it out of one of the exhibitions as the doors were being locked and no-one had told us! We were in a little room and obviously no-one checked to see if we were there. It was only when the lights went out we thought we better make a dash for it. We ran past a very confused looking man with a big set of keys and legged it down the stairs to the safety …

£90 November

£90 is the grocery budget for November, I really wanted it to be £80 but there was no chance without totally redoing the menu plan and I couldn't face that! I addition to the groceries I will be spending £32 on two bags of hay and £25 on my hair cut. After all that if I stick to budget I'll be able to save around £83 from the usual budget. Better than a kick in the face.
Doing my sums it leaps out that the biggest expense by a long way is milk. I have cow milk Dan has almond, so we spend almost £20 a month on just that. Yikes. Next biggest expenses are greens for the buns, bread and sandwich fillings, each coming in at around £9 - £10 a month.
We need to buy a few storecupboard items, we only have a couple of tins of beans in and we need oil. There's not much household stuff to buy other than bin bags which is a bonus and I know that the cereal and passata we buy is half price until the start of next week so I'll stock up on that too. 
We're working through all the st…