Sunday, 10 November 2019

Plum Toffee bargain

Couldn't resist this bargain pot of mistinted paint for £5.  It's a glorious rich purpley plum colour.  I'm going to use it inside the cupboard on the upstairs landing.

I'm painting my house white to have a neutral background for my colourful accessories.  But when you open cupboards you find...

My Brothel Red bedroom wardrobe  😂😂😂

Saturday, 9 November 2019

Decorating the Guest Room

I'm decorating again!  This is my downstairs bedroom, the guest room.  It's usually a dumping room for anything that doesn't have a place, only getting tidied when someone (usually family) visits.

It's been on my list to decorate for ages and now I have a good reason to get it done asap.  That disgusting green carpet had to go!!!

There were 2 built in cupboards and about a year ago I had the idea to turn one of them into a dressing table area as the room was too small to have a proper one.

So in the last week I've stripped the walls and removed the carpet and underlay.

A big plastic pipe from the old cooker extractor fan was removed (the kitchen is on the other side of that wall) and the hole to the outside vent was insulated and blocked up.

And the surprise mould under the wallpaper has now been cleaned and treated.  I'm ready to start the painting and wallpapering.  I'll be ordering my carpet tomorrow so fingers crossed they can do it before Christmas.

It's been a busy few weeks with work (but still managing to find those yellow stickers!!) Busy but positive.  I have another mature post grad student.  She is doing really well but as it's her first ever placement I'm constantly planning with her, observing her lessons and giving her feedback.  I'm mentoring a teacher from another school in our writing scheme, which I'm enjoying but again takes up time.  And my union rep duties are just ridiculous with everything that's happening here!!

But my holiday has done me good.  In fact, I've booked another one!  I'm going to Australia for Christmas and the New Year to see my middle son!  ✈🎄🐨 My flights are booked and I've arranged a housesitter to look after Emma and the chickens.  Hence the need to get my guest room finished asap! 🛏

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Tightening my frugal belt

To be honest it's not been a frugal few months here.  Yes, I chose to go on holiday but I'm counting that as a health choice (physical and mental well being).  And I loved it so I'm not going to beat myself up about the cost.  This week Emma needed a small operation to remove a nasty cyst above her eye.

She's no longer insured (for a variety of reasons) so that was £336 on top of recent vet bills (£219) to get her itchy infected ears under control.  Good job she's worth it!  She is looking rather sorry for herself as she has to keep the collar on for another 5 days because she scratched her stitches.  Bad dog!

Luckily I had enough money saved to cover my holiday and vet bills.  But as the title says I need to tighten my belt and build up my savings again.  So, to avoid going to the supermarket I made do with what was in my cupboard and freezer to make some meals for the coming week.  I made vegetable chilli with dumplings in my new Crockpot.  Truthfully it wasn't great (esp the dumplings!) but I've got 4 more meals of it to use up.  I've also got a couple of frozen cod fillets in the freezer to use up so that's this week's dinners sorted.

The dumplings were a bit solid even for GF ones.

I made a big pot of soup so that's my lunches sorted.  Breakfast will be porridge as the weather is too cold for overnight oats now.  Every morning I make a big pot for me, Emma and the chickens!! 🐔

I get paid this week (it's been a long 5 week month!!) so I'll be able to do a big shop at the end of the week.  I've been stuck in a rut of just doing stir fries for my evening meal so if anyone has any good cheap meal ideas I'm all ears.

Sunday, 20 October 2019

My first solo holiday

I'm not a good flier.  Never have been.  But usually I have someone to hold my hand on take off.  Not this time! So some pink champagne was required pre flight.  Cost me £16 for a glass!!!!! 😮

But I made it!  This was sunrise on my first morning.  Quiet and peaceful.

 My room was lovely! 

The hotel was huge!!!!

This is a selfie I posted on FB on my 3rd morning.  I'd spent a couple of days by the pool just people watching.  There were folks of all shapes and sizes.  All confident in their own bodies.  I took this on impulse (actually I took about 30 shots and they were all similar, so it wasn't a fluke!)  I realised that I'm in ok shape for a woman of my age and experience.  I'm too hard on myself.  I have grey hair.  I have wobbly bits.  I'm 53 and had 3 kids.  My body reflects this and I'm happy with that.

Every night before dinner I took a selfie then I went to the dining room with a book.  The first night I ate dinner in 20 mins.  By the final night I took over an hour.

Yes, going on holiday by myself was challenging.  But I spent a lot of time simply reflecting on life and making plans for the future.  It made me realise I can do anything, be anything I want. And that was empowering 😎

Friday, 11 October 2019

October Break

Well I made it to the October break.  I've been constantly ill for the last 5 weeks with one virus following another.  I even had to take a day off work this week as I could not stop coughing. I'm totally run down.

Tomorrow I'm heading off to Gran Canaria for a week in the sunshine.  I'm going to a 4 star adults only hotel.  By myself.

I'm excited and terrified in equal measure as I've never holidayed on my own before.  Could be interesting!

Sunday, 29 September 2019

September round up

I finally managed to pop down today to plant my Spring cabbages.  Life (ie work) has been rather busy and full on at the moment so finding time to go down to the allotment was lovely. It truly is an oasis of sanity.  I'm really not happy at work for lots of reasons so I'm looking for joy in the other things in my life.

Cauliflowers and Kale in the raised beds at the front of the house

Purple sprouting broccoli

Inside the polytunnel: 2 types of spinach, cauliflowers and purple sprouting broccoli plus my strawberry runners planted up in pots!  I feel such pleasure when the things I plant actually grow!

In other news:  my eldest son's girlfriend has moved in with him and I spent yesterday moving loads of boxes (mainly books) into his wee flat.  They're good together and I'm really happy for him. 💕

My middle son turned 30 (eeeek!) and got his PR (Permanent Residency) to stay in Australia.

And my youngest has started the final year (4th) of his degree (radiology) and looks set to get a First if he maintains his grades.

When I'm doubting myself, I look at my kids and think I did ok 💓

Monday, 16 September 2019

Sneaky Supermarket!

I popped into Sainsbury's at lunchtime to pick up a few things.  I had around £24 cash in my purse and wanted to use that instead of my credit card.  I used the calculator on my phone to add up the cost as I went round (this really concentrates my mind on 'do I really need this?') 😄 My total was exactly £24.50.

However, when I went through the checkout the total was £26.65.  I had to use my card!  I checked my receipt and nothing seemed amiss but how did my shopping come to be £2 more than my total???

I'm guessing the shelf ticket prices didn't match the till prices.  Very sneaky! And I'm sure it's illegal!!

Since I'm making an effort to get back to more frugal ways, in future I'll be noting the ticket prices and comparing them to my receipt!  Then I'll be complaining 😠