Sunday, 22 February 2015

Some thoughts on clothes

Last week I attempted to go clothes shopping in 'normal' shops just to see what I could get for my money.  Firstly, I didn't see anything in my 'style' (such as it is!!) and secondly I wasn't prepared to part with my hard earned cash for stuff that was pricey and just ok.

So I went onto eBay and bought a black pencil skirt for 99p.  Now the above photo is how it was displayed and frankly not that inspiring.  But I figured for 99p it was worth a punt and a black skirt is a black skirt, right?  If it was terrible I could just donate it.  Luckily it's a fab wee skirt with a bit of stretch and I've already worn it to work with a black polo neck jumper, thick black tights, black knee length boots and the pink cardigan.  That's pretty much my standard work uniform in the winter.  In Spring it tends to be dress/cardigan/boots and summer is dress and sandals.

But it got me thinking about how much I'm prepared to pay for stuff.  Would I have paid £30 for that skirt?  Actually, no.  And what about other clothes?  I need new clothes for work but don't want to pay lots of dosh.  And I want to look nice!

I had a good look round Pinterest looking for inspiration, searching for teacher's outfits on a teacher's budget and found lots of good ideas (incidentally I think here in the UK teachers are better paid than in the US) 

This is pretty much my style once the weather warms up.  But although I love the mustard cardigan I know on me it would look better in deep pink or red.  So I started looking at colour analysis and discovered that I have been naturally making the 'right' choices for my colouring.  With my pale skin, hazel eyes and dark/greying hair I am a 'cool winter' and should wear these colours:

How cool is that!!  Looking through my wardrobe I've realised that the clothes I don't wear are the ones where the colour doesn't 'feel' right.  Weird!

So armed with this new-to-me information I'm working on streamlining my wardrobe.  I have 3 types of clothing - work, casual and exercise.  I no longer need evening dresses so have 1 simple little black dress that covers all eventualities.  Like everyone else in blogland I've discovered Marie Kondo's decluttering methods.  I'm still reading her book on my Kindle but have seen Frugal Queen and Elaine over at Mortgage Free's results and am inspired to get cracking. 

Maybe if I start with the clothes then I can move onto other areas and can achieve my desire for less stuff :-)

Friday, 20 February 2015

It's the little things...

OH took out a cupboard (yuck at that wall!!)

He installed this much waited for appliance (it will need a matching door to make it integrated)

I know it's a luxury but I've really missed not having one for the last 18 months.  I did my research (it's a Beko DW603) and got the best price I could.  I've actually had it a few weeks but we hit a big problem with the drain from the kitchen sink.  Thank goodness OH loves problem solving and it cost us £10 for a gadget that has a 10 m 'snake' to clean out the drain. I did book a Dynorod appt but that would have cost £100+ so got cancelled and OH did some research. Long story short, now it's working!
My teeny wee kitchen will look much better with the dirty dishes hidden away instead of piled up on the worktop.  It's the little things that make me happy :-)

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Purple sprouting broccoli!

Today I was making a cock-a-leekie type of soup and went out to my raised beds to pull up some leeks.  And I found some purple sprouting broccoli!!! I am so thrilled as the young plants were decimated by caterpillars to a skeletal level.  I left them in without any hope of them producing anything.  They are teeny tiny but when I pick the 4(!) stalks I will savour every mouthful.  I'm one of those weird people who LOVES broccoli, it's my favourite veg :-)

And here are my leeks.  I'm Scottish, we eat the whole leek not just the white part!!

Washed, chopped and ready to add to my soup 

But this was the highlight of my day.  OH has removed the end kitchen cabinet to install a DISHWASHER!! In the past a washing machine must have been there as there is power and a waste pipe.  Fingers crossed it's up and running by the weekend :-)

Monday, 9 February 2015

I do love yellow stickers!

Quick photo post with recent yellow stickers!  Apricots reduced to 20p a punnet (originally £3.50!!)

They made a lovely apricot sponge.  My usual sponge recipe but using GF flour and some extra soya milk.  Very tasty and no one commented on the lack of dairy and gluten ;-)

I also picked up 2 packs of premium smoked mackerel, 2 packs of premium beef burgers, 2 sirloin steaks and unsalted butter (all in the freezer now) and an apple tart for the Teenager (now inside him!!)

2 GF fruity loaves and a couple of mangoes

But these were the best bargain of all. Jars of mincemeat reduced to 5p!!!! Use by date not until the summer so they were obviously just trying to get rid of them.  I suspect they'll be used in an apple crumbly type recipe.  That's a few hours lost in Pinterest then looking for inspiration!!
I've got one more day at work (no kids, staff development) then it's half term.  Just 3 days but I'm aiming to get my kitchen ready for a final reveal.  Finally!!

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Really brave!

I think the theme of my blog this year should be On Being Brave!!  Last month I had my job interview, yesterday I went up in a microlight!
OH has his microlight license and part owns one.  He's been preparing for months to get enough flying hours to allow him to fly a tandem one.  With me in it!!  Yesterday the weather was perfect.  Very cold but perfect.  It was amazing :-)
Some of my friends have said I'm brave.  Actually, I was terrified.  9 years ago I had to go on a Fear of Flying course so I could get on a plane to go on family holidays.  I was (and still am to some extent) scared of flying.  But I have decided that being scared doesn't achieve anything and I might as well do it anyway.   Not sure if that makes me brave but I keep watching the video of us taking off and I feel really brave :-)