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Showing posts from 2018

Slow Homewares - Textiles

For quite some time people have been speaking out about fast fashion and the damage it is doing to people and the environment, most recently Stacey Dooley Investigates (available for the next couple of weeks). Over the past few weeks I've seen the subject of fast homewares cropping up more and more, and I have been pretty surprised at the amount of painting and wallpapering some people on Instagram seem to do.
So I've been thinking about where I sit in terms of this. I do like to buy a few bits and bobs from charity shops, but not all that much really, I don't have the patience to browse through all the stuff, same with any kind of second hand place, I just don't have the concentration span that vintage shoppers have! I started a mental tour of the house to see how thoughtful my purchases have been. 
I started with textiles, as they're the most colourful and easiest to spot. Up above are the curtains in Dan's dressing room, we bought them from a very small fair a…

The System Works!

Thank you for the welcome back.

A few weeks after the last major declutter a feeling of terror/ slight annoyance came over me when, one morning, the top row of the keyboard on my laptop didn't work. This meant I couldn't even get into the thing as, of course, it's password protected. 

It can be so easy to just get into just chuck it mindset but it is important to be realistic and for me to not just get into an unthinking mode when sorting out an area. There is a point between just get rid and just in casethat can work well. We decided to keep one keyboard because very occasionally I do like to use it, especially if I'm spending time at the dining table, so it made sense and it's small enough to fit in a drawer so doesn't take up much space when not in use. I don't regret donating the spare tv, dvd player and tv box though as I know that when the tv stops working Dan will want a new one. I know this as he's been looking at new tvs for about 5 years, he won…

Breathing Space

Recently things have all been about breathing space. 

Getting rid of that feeling that everything is needed at once and there's no time to think or be the master of your own destiny, or even thoughts. Everything from people coming to work on the house, general chatter, heat, unsolicited advice, answers to questions I didn't ask, and of course stuff
We have peeled enough layers of the onion to address things that had a home and weren't causing any bother - like books. We'd been talking for a long time about needing a bookcase, now we're 100+ books lighter we don't need one, we would still quite like a small one, but we don't need it right now. I don't remember most of the books that we donated, and if I want to read one again I'll borrow it from someone, from the library, read it on my e-reader or do something else. Keeping hold of books was just another form of just in case clutter. Books have no magical properties, other than those we bestow on the…

Home Comforts

What a week! It's been one of the most stressful weeks in living memory for our household and I confess I have hardly cooked a thing, I can't really remember what we've eaten but I know I haven't cooked any of it. I vaguely remember when I did cook, and here's what we ate earlier this month

I made a huge shepherdess pie, we ended up eating it three times. I know eating the same thing multiple times would be too much for some people, but I really don't mind, it's something I've picked up from Dan who isn't bothered as long as there's something hot to eat at night. 

Life wouldn't be the same without noodles so we had  Red Thai curry with tofu. 

Dan made some flatbread fold over things and we enjoyed them with some shawarma, roast veg and a big blob of houmous.

We had planned to finally decorate the bathroom and have a fry up as a treat, not much decorating has taken place but we had a mini fry up anyway!

The light was really weird so everything loo…

Hi Ho Silver Lining

Today we were supposed to be heading off to Wolverhampton to watch Burnley, however events have conspired against us and we haven't made the trip. It's a bit of a rubbish end to a very turbulent week, one I will be more than happy to see come to an end. 

To take our mind off things we decided to have a tidy up. Long story short, another 21 books have been decluttered. 

A few of these only narrowly made the cut last time, but in order to fit everything on the shelf we'd allocated some more had to go - from now on books are on a strict one in-one out policy. The biggest boost is that although it still looks messy, the sideboard is almost half empty now. There are still envelopes in there that I've owned since the 90's but the amount of general junk is still reducing. 

We also got rid of a box file and an ornament. 

More Things From Cupboards

After my bold claims of not needing to rid the kitchen of any more clutter I found a few things in the utensil drawer. 

Here's how the drawer looked last November after the last round of pruning

Here we are today

My parents are having a new kitchen and they silenced the designer when they were offered the option of pan drawers my mum announced she only owns two pans! It made me think I have a lot, but I do like and use them all, although I am eyeing the griddle pan with suspicion. Finally I decided to donate a herb chopper. My parents bought some new knives and received the chopper as a free gift, they passed it on to me as they don't want it. I don't want it either. 

Over the weekend we sorted out more books and other assorted things

Last night Dan suggested we take a look at the board games, we don't play games all that often so it seems like an obvious thing to do, but I love the design of them so much I find it hard, but I don't think I got rid of any when I found D…

Don't Make Me Enjoy Myself

I don't like to go on holiday, it's quite easy for me not to go away because it's just not something I've ever done. When I was little we went to the same campsite every year doing the same things and they provide incredibly happy memories for me. But then holidays stopped, when I was a young adult I never had the money to go away, then later I was working during holiday periods so it wasn't possible. People find it staggering that I've never had a holiday with my friends and that I haven't left the UK since the 1990s.

But you just make the most of things, not missing what you've never had and all that kind of thing. Dan would love to go away and I know he has plans to get me somewhere by dangling the carrot of train travel when the time comes.
Occasionally when we have a day out I think it might be nice to be able to have an overnight stay, but when I really think about it what I actually want is to go to sleep, and not have to do the washing up. 
Anyone …

Weekend At Home

Thankfully lack of funds had forced the decision to stay at home this weekend, rubbishy weather made us very happy about it. 

I finally said goodbye to the wool coat and fancy shoes I'd decided to part with a couple of weeks ago. It had not been my intention to donate them this weekend but I couldn't find my umbrella and had just had it with the bags of stuff waiting to go to the right place. We drove to Lytham and dropped everything off at the same shop. Done. It was a bit of an emotional moment truth be told, but the things are gone and I don't have to think about them again. The manager of the charity shop was also very pleasant which made me feel better. 

It also inspired me to have another wardrobe prune when we got home. So far I have ditched two dresses and a skirt. One of the dresses was on borrowed time as I'd made a deal with myself that I either wore it for a party during the December festival or it had to go. My mind was made up when I tried on a skirt that l…

I Must Have Been Bored

Somehow, and I can't remember how it happened, I've seen a few clean along videos on YouTube. Yesterday I found myself up a reasonably rickety step ladder cleaning on top of the kitchen cupboards. Unsurprisingly they were dusty as the last time I remember doing this task was around four years ago, although it probably has happened since.

Then in that way that happens when there's already a bucket of soapy water available I cleaned out the other cupboards, and even after our recent decluttering there were a few things to remove. 

The dishes had chips around the rim so they had to go, the three side plates are going to the garage to use as crock, the rest is just assorted stuff from the drawers, including some furniture protector pads that just weren't very heavy duty.

Now I have lots of space! It's slightly annoying that the jug has to live where it does but the top shelf is too high to fit and I couldn't get the whatever-they're-called out to move the shelf. 


No Apologies

I have seen posts popping up all over the place about making no apologies for just living life and thought it was a good idea, then it came home to me yesterday. A regular customer was chatting to me and I mentioned that I'd met a friend for a meal then we'd been to a pub. 

"Oh, you're a drinker are you" they said. "Is your boyfriend a drinker too?"

And I started to explain myself. Then I wondered why I was explaining myself to this near stranger. Also the phrase a drinker has connotations doesn't it, suggests a bit of a problem*. This is something I keep spotting, people dressing up judgement as concern. 

The more we chatted the more annoyed I became and by the end of the conversation I had decided to not apologise, take up my space, and not to justify myself to people who have no role in my life anyway.

It made be cross as you can tell.  

*I am overly fond of crisps.

In The Window

The window theme for this week was "you say it's Autumn, for me it's still summer".

Lots of Autumnal colours but with a injection of zest!

Another work week over and done with.

Plan, Plan, Plan

The roofing bloke came to see me on Thursday and we are penciled in for the start of next month, to our relief and extreme gratitude my mum offered us some money towards the cost, so although it's still going to be a squeeze for us it's now a bill we will be able to pay by the time the bill arrives.

For my part I've been planning household things to stretch the budget and I have lists galore, including a menu plan and very strict shopping list. I had been questioning the value of taking food with us to the football but then I saw one of my favourite bakeries was offering scones for £1 each, a packed lunch felt like a far better option after that! The plan this month is part pantry clear out, even though everyone else seems to be prepping for Brexit shortages, and part just good old cooking at home with lots of planned leftovers.

Here's the menu plan for September - 

1. my parents brought some soup, which was delicious. Also my father has bought himself a student vegetaria…

Up On The Roof

Long story short, we need a new porch roof, or we can just live with the beautiful indoor waterfall we currently have. This morning Dan has been taping up the worst of it until we can have someone round to replace everything. We knew it needed to be done but were hoping we'd have a little more time - the eternal lament.
Is there room for another thrifty living blog? Hope so.

What I Ate - Mid August

Over the past week or so I've eaten a few different things, which was fun but a bit more expensive than usual. One lunchtime I treated myself to sushi from Tesco, very nice for £2. 

Stuffed mini peppers with bulghur and guacamole

I was surprised to see Tofurkey brand sausages at our small Sainsbury's so I popped them into my basket. We had them one night with pasta, ideal as they were tomato and basil flavour.

I used the other two in a really hearty sausage stew - it was chilly some days last week! 

At £3 for four sausages they weren't cheap, having said that next time I'd just use one sausage in the stew and add a tin of beans to make the pack stretch further without missing any of the flavour or texture. Used this way they were something different and decent value for money. Glad I tried them. 

Midweek I was really craving a chocolatey something so I was made up when Dan came home with a sweet surprise

I can't remember the last time I ate a Nakd bar but this one was ju…

In The Window

It's been a while, but this week we needed a window display so here it is. I decided to go with a dusky pink and green theme with a few metallics thrown in for good measure. It doesn't look like this now as some items have gone off to a new home already. 

The mini skirt (bnwt, I think it was Coast) sold quickly, and at £3.99 I'm not surprised, so cute!

I love the tropical Monsoon dress

I made this necklace using an old chain and a bookmark.

The window attracted quite a lot of attention, let's hope it translates into sales!

I'm Not Done

And I won't be til my head falls off.

As I've mentioned before, when I'm feeling a bit wonky I tend to slide back into disorganised ways, I'm still not quite back on an even keel apparently so I'm still working on it. I have found myself getting stuck quite a bit, specifically about getting things out of the house to the right place - the right charity shop to get the most money for my things, disposing of every little bit of recyclable stuff, and feeling dread when things have to actually just go into the bin. As a consequence of this the things I sorted out the other week are in the main still in the house, which makes the house look more messy which adds to the churning negative thoughts. And on we go. 

Even if getting things out of the house is a struggle, deciding what needs to go is not (huge progress), which means each area is easier to deal with than the one before. The dining room sideboard is a bit of a stash-and-dash location, wrapping paper, stamps I used…

Eating In August - Brown

Decluttering is over for this round, hopefully it's going to be a while before I need to do it again*. Although we've still had some hot, sunny days, over the past few weeks we seem to have been hogging all the rain in England. I can't say I was too upset as I was craving soup.

We went out for brunch, one of my favourite things to do, this delicious breakfast bowl was from The Herbarium in Lancaster.

Roast mushroom, courgette and sweetcorn fritter, tempeh patty, hash, avocado and homemade ketchup. 

There's always time for cake. This was a lemon and pistachio cake from Little Barista in Burnley, it's one of their two new more luxury vegan cakes, Dan went for the cookie dough option. It was more expensive than their usual cakes but this piece is big enough for sharing if that's something you can contemplate. 

We ate the last tin of fava beans! This tin of beans has been hanging around in the pantry for months, maybe a year, the last time I tried these I didn't li…