Wednesday, 15 August 2018

The last few days

So these last few days of my holiday have been spent decluttering my huge kitchen cupboard.  For ages I've wanted to move my every day dishes into it but I'd been putting it off as it would mean completely stirring my kitchen.

I emptied the cupboard and started making piles of all the stuff I wanted to sort out.  I ended up with a large box for the charity shop (new students will be arriving in town soon) and I ruthlessly binned all the chipped and cracked stuff.   I took all the opened packets and put the contents into glass jars.  I binned some out of date stuff.  There wasn't much this time I'm happy to say!!

It looks so much better and my plates are easier to get to now.  Looking at it makes me happy although OH couldn't see the difference!!!  Pah!

I gave the fronts a good clean.  Although I don't like the rough finish of the technique I used with the chalk paint it does clean nicely.  I'm glad I spent the time applying the wax properly.

After 3 years I finally added a hook to hang my aprons.  It needed to be on the left so it doesn't bang into the cupboard when the door is opened.


I've also been sanding and stripping in my utility room.  The woodwork was varnished with a very shiny varnish so it's all been sanded off.  I don't do anything shiny!! It will be painted in a satin finish white.  I've started stripping the paint of the door into my downstairs wet room.  I love using the heat gun!! Doesn't look great atm but the bit I've sanded as well is very smooth so should be good to paint over.  It'll be purple, same as my kitchen door 💜

I've added my new rug and curtains to my family room/den and written a long blog post on My upcycled home. Do have a look HERE.  I'm going to do a detailed post about all the rooms in my house as I complete them.  Let me know what you think.

I now have just 1 day left of my holiday.  I still haven't popped into school as planned this week but I'm not stressing about it.  I am determined this year to keep a close eye on my workload and set an example for the younger teachers by not doing excessive hours.  That said I am going in tomorrow just to see what needs to be done.  8 of out 12 teachers were moving into new rooms and the resource room was relocated so the school was in quite a state on the last day of term. Hopefully it will be ok by Monday when the kids are back.  Eeeeek!!

Sunday, 12 August 2018

500th post!

This is the 500th post on this blog.  Wow!! When I started writing in this one I didn't think I'd still be posting 6 years later, after all it was called 40k in 4 Years.

This isn't my first blog! I first started writing a blog in 2007 about my life in the ultra running world, encouraged by a dear friend who was sadly taken too soon.  Then in 2010 I started a new one about the period when I was first separated.  I re read some of it lately and it was a tough read! Then in 2011 I decided I would train for a triathlon and record my thoughts in yet another blog.  Oh and there was the Soup Kitchen blog too (link above) so that takes us to 2012 and the start of this one.

In 2012 I was still living in my dream house in the Perthshire countryside.  My ex had agreed to continue paying the mortgage as my youngest son was 14 and still in school.  Then when he turned 18 we would sell the house.  I would maintain and decorate the house in those 4 years while finding ways to generate an income from it.

I had a plan that required £40k to turn the house into 3 apartments (it had been staff accommodation for the big house next house and had been 2 apartments before conversion to one house) then I could live in one of them and stay there.  I decided I would keep a record of my efforts for the 4 years.

But very quickly my ex decided that he wanted to sell the house and get a clean break.  It took 2 very long years to sell and in the end we lost a LOT of money on it as house prices tumbled.

Looking back, despite the hassle selling the house was the right thing to do.  I love my wee house here and my life is good.

I never did save £40k but over the years my frugality has helped me save decent amounts to do things like buy a campervan, install a woodburner and go on several exciting holidays to see family in Singapore and Australia.  I also bought a wee flat for my son.

I'm still saving for my (early) retirement.  The current plan is to sell my house when OH and I eventually decide to buy a house together.  Or maybe he'll move in here with me.  Who knows??  I've learned over the last 6 years to just enjoy life in the present and not keep looking to the future.

So if you've been with me for a while or if you're new to my ramblings, thank you for reading and commenting and sticking with me as the blog has evolved.  It really makes my day when I get a comment 😘

I wonder how long it'll be until my 1000th post...

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Last day: Cook, Clean, Clear and Create

Yesterday was the final day of my wee challenge as it was the last full week of my summer holiday.  I go back to school next Friday (17th) so next week will be all about getting organised for work.  I'll be popping into school as it will be open for the cleaners to go in and finish the 'deep clean.'  Our school has 3 cleaners who are all fabulous but just a few years ago there were 7.  So these lovely ladies have a lot to do in the time.

I did try to create some more of the crumb/scrappy squares but my sewing machine broke.  It's due a service any way but it has stopped play for now.

There was no cook, clean or clear yesterday as OH and I took a day off to go to the Edinburgh Festival for some Fringe shows. We do this every year and it's a fab day out.  We saw the play Brexit featuring some well known comedians (I loved it but OH wasn't as keen) and 2 stand up comedians Jo Caulfield and Mark Steel (both good but not as funny as I'd hoped).  As usual there were lots of free street performances (some good, some ok) and plenty of fab food and drink choices.  We took snacks and water with us but did indulge in some fish and chips!  It was very very busy!!  I thoroughly enjoyed the day but I'm done with people/crowds/cities/public transport for a good few months now!

Every morning when I let Emma out for the first pee of the day, Penny has been waiting for me on the doorstep.  She knows I'm going to feed her and shouts loudly at me to hurry up!!  One of these days she's going to come into the house if I leave the door open long enough.  🐔

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Day 11: Cook, Clean, Clear and Create

Tonight's cook was a home made healthy pizza. I'd been looking forward to it all day.  It really was delicious!

My create project was to finish a purple square I started last night.  That makes 6 in total.  I really enjoy making these! I'll do 3 more and then get started on the quilting bit.

My clean and clear for today was to clear out a bit of the garage so I could put my road bike and turbo trainer back in there.  I ended up doing more than I thought but my garage is tidy again and I can access my bikes.  I took a full car load of 'stuff' to the recycling centre.  I always feel good when I do that!

I added the finishing touches to my family room/den.  I bought a plain red lampshade (£12 in B&Q) for the floor lamp and paid a whopping £3.50 for red curtains on Ebay 😂  I've also ordered a rug to disguise the horrible carpet until I can afford a new carpet.

I crawled into the eave space where I've got loads of things stored and looked through the assorted pictures from my old house. I forgot there were so many!!  I found a couple that I thought would look good.

Sadly there's not much I can do about the hideous fireplace!!

The TV isn't connected to an aerial but I can watch DVDs on it.  The cupboard contains my school stuff.  My new rule is if I can't store it in the cupboard it's not staying here.

I have several more boxes ready to take to school so my study is a little messy until that happens.  And as for my dining room again...


Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Day 10 : Cook, Clean, Clear and Create

Hmm, not much new cooking has been happening this week but thanks to my full freezer I haven't needed to cook.  All my meals have been a defrost and cook affair.  Love it!

I spent a few lovely hours to create 2 more crumb/scrappy squares.  Top red one is my favourite one so far.

I rather like this pink/lilac one too!! I took some time to iron them all and they're looking much better.  I've got 5 now.  I'm planning a purple one and a neutral one tomorrow ✂

I didn't spend all day sewing (even though I wanted to!) as I was on a clean and clear mission to get my family room/den reorganised.  It's amazing how one change (getting the new to me sofa) has inspired me to change the whole room.  By the time I finished the light wasn't great for taking photos so I'll get some pics tomorrow.  I've got a carload of bags and boxes to take to the recycling centre in the morning and a few boxes that I'll take into school next week.

I'll sleep well tonight after all my efforts! 😴

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Day 9: Just create

Oh dear! I seem to have spent most of today creating these crumb/scrappy squares from the fabric I sorted out yesterday 😂 This one is sort of orangey colours.

This one is navy and blue 

And this one is green (although it looks turquoise on my monitor!!) 

They're very addictive (LOL!!) and easy to make.  They're about 11 or 12 inches and will be trimmed to 10 inches when I quilt them.  They're not ironed yet so look a bit crumpled!

I did give Emma a decent walk and I've been waiting for news all day on the Teenogre's exam results (he did ok but not got into his first choice uni) and DS's girlfriend who had an op (she's groggy but ok) so I don't feel bad for not cleaning or clearing today.  I'm off to the gym now.  I might cook something when I get back.  Or I might not 😉

Monday, 6 August 2018

Day 8: Cook, Clean, Clear and Create

I had a stay at home day today as I was waiting for a delivery.  Lots of gentle pottering about was the order of the day!  My cook for today was to do something with these forgotten fruit bowl items.  Nothing very exciting, I just cooked and pureed the apples and popped them in the freezer for later use.  The banana got mashed and the lemons sliced and straight into the freezer with them too.

This was the delivery I was waiting for today.  I swapped 2 small armchairs for this sofa with my lovely mum for my family room/den. We are both delighted with our new seating arrangements!  My clean was to dust, polish and hoover this area before it arrived.  You can just see my road bike to the right on my turbo trainer.  It will be relocated.

My clear was sorting out the many bags of fabric scraps donated by my lovely mum's quilting group.  I've started sorting them by colour and then I'll sort them again into sizes.  Some will go to school and some I think I might try to make into a scrappy cushion cover or 2.  I watched a Youtube clip on how to make a crumb quilt.  That was a new technique to me.  I like how it uses up teeny bits of fabric that would normally get thrown out.

My create was a project I've had in my head for ages.  I made a new cushion for my living room.  Details HERE.  I am trying to finish off all the wee jobs and get this room totally finished.  I also stitched more of the squares on my blanket.  I won't wait so long next time to do the sewing together bit!!!