Tuesday 27 August 2013

What's in your sofa?

I tried very hard to re home my sofa.  But it was so huge I literally couldn't give it away.  So today I phoned the council to get it uplifted at a cost of £24.40.  But it was so big 3 of us couldn't lift it, never mind carry it 1/4 of a mile to the road!!  (my bin lorry doesn't come to the house, another disadvantage of rural living)

So, armed with a saw, bolt cutters, Stanley knife and 2 large screwdrivers me and my mum cut it in half!

It took us 2 hours

But in the end we had 2 halves that were transportable to the top of the drive albeit knackering work!!

Emma photobombing as usual!!

I do feel relieved that it's been dealt with but I feel guilty that it's going to landfill :-(  Hopefully some of it will be recycled as they can see the wood and metal more easily.

On a more positive note the Salvation Army are going to collect 3 wardrobes and 3 chests of drawers.  With most of my excess furniture now dealt with I can crack on with the packing.

Only 6 more sleeps to go!!!!

Sunday 25 August 2013

Bloom where you are planted

One week tomorrow I leave this house.  Words cannot describe how deeply sad this makes me.  I've been told it's just a house, bricks and mortar but to me it has always been so much more.  It was the house and lifestyle I held in my dreams since I was a teenager thanks to The Good Life and Little House on the Prairie.
This was my forever home, the house where my children would return with their partners and their children.  My grandchildren would run round the huge garden, play football on the 'football pitch' and swing on the tyre swings.  I planned to build a tree house for them.  They'd help me collect eggs and pick veggies.  We'd walk the dogs on the moor and watch the deer. 
This was a sociable house where family and friends spent time and enjoyed the true peace and quiet of its location.  This is a house for sharing and I loved sharing it.
Yes it sounds too good to be true but for 7 years I truly lived that dream.  It wasn't perfect but the good always outweighed the bad.  And for a short time when I was left on my own I worked out a way to make it continue.  It would have been hard but I was willing to try.
But it wasn't to be.  The house has been sold after a long stressful process and I've bought a sensible house in Stirling for me and the Teenager.
I know I can make a lovely home for us even though I know in my deepest heart it's not what I want.  But I can bloom where I'm planted.  It's better for the Teenager to be near his friends and his big brother where he can become more independent.  I'm closer to where my partner lives and it's less than an hour to my parents' house by car.  All good sensible reasons.
And yet...........

Thursday 22 August 2013

Stocking up

I shouldn't really be stocking up at a time when I'm trying to run down my cupboards in preparation for moving but I just couldn't pass up the chance to buy 12kg of bread flour for £2!!  Approved Foods had a great offer on 3kg bags of Hovis bread flour, so good it was limited to just 4 bags per customer.  It's now sold out but I'm glad I got some.

And few other things fell into my basket to make up the weight ;-)  Coconut milk powder is great for adding creaminess to curries and less wasteful than the tins of coconut milk as I only use a spoonful at a time.  Chocolate milk for the Teenager and soya dessert as a treat for me.

Oodles of noodles (20 packs!), tuna (dolphin friendly of course) and dumpling mix never go wrong.  I also got a 3.5kg bag of Yorkshire batter mix which had burst in transit.  I managed to rescue most of it and it's now in a big tub but AF refunded my 99p.  Lol!!

Remember my 10p bargain Bird's Eye Chillies? Now dried and ready to use.  Details of how to dry them are in Ali's Soup Kitchen

Now only 11 days until moving day!!!!!!

Tuesday 20 August 2013

Wedding outfit for under £10

My camera died on the day (boo!!) so sadly didn't get any pics of the wedding.  But here's how I looked on the day thanks to the Teenager taking some of me at home.

A chance remark lead to my lovely neighbour lending me her black fascinator.  I loved wearing it but it was rather windy on Stornoway on Saturday (ferry was very late due to bad weather leaving us just 20 mins to get ready for the church) so I was scared it would blow away!

My hair was lovely and curly on the day and I was wearing delicate silky neutral stockings (just bare legs and a wash n leave it style in these pics!)

I added some ribbon bows and 'adapted' a pair of silver earrings to jazz up my shoes.  I just LOVE my glue gun ;-)

I bought some flowers at the supermarket and made my own corsage with the help of a you tube video.

So total costs as follows:

Dress £7 on Ebay
Shoes, bag, stockings, jewellery and shawl I already had so recycled and free
Fascinator borrowed so free
Flowers £3 for bunch but only used 3 roses and sprig of baby's breath

Once upon a different lifetime I would have gone out and bought a whole new outfit from scratch. Probably something I'd never wear again!  I'll be wearing this dress throughout the winter with thick tights, boots and a cardigan. But to be honest I felt a million dollars in my £10 DIY outfit and there was definitely no one else wearing the same thing :-)

Friday 16 August 2013

Quick pit stop

Vienna was lovely!  Totally different from my last visit in winter.  Top temperature was 37 degrees so it was hot, hot, hot.  And it was wonderful to see my middle son who got us upgraded to a suite (well he does work for a well known worldwide hotel chain!) ;-)
In the end I had too many clothes with me.  Mostly I wore shorts and a t shirt as it was so hot. But here are a few refashioned outfits I wore.

Before shot of a long dress that also has a removable inner dress lining.  It will be re used in a different refashion.  Notice Emma photo bombing!!

On the balcony of the penthouse suite (get me!)  Twas rather blowy!! Sleeves and shoulder pads removed and about 12 inches chopped off the length.  I also altered the neckline to a v neck.  I rather like this dress now.

Easy fix, chopped off the big floppy collar.

I actually couldn't find my white 3/4 trousers so tried it with shorts.  Not sure if it suits me but blouse looks great with jeans too.

And this is the dress I'm wearing to the wedding tomorrow.  £7 on Ebay, bargain!  The black and beige spotty one is cut out but I just didn't want the extra stress of having to finish it tonight. It will get finished for my dad's 70th birthday party.  I'm planning on making a ribbon corsage for my wrist and maybe teeny wee bows or something for the shoes (free from my mum) I also found a red and black shawl in my cupboard and I'm sure I have a red handbag somewhere.

In other news, my house sale is now legally binding :-)  I have to move out on the 2nd of September but as yet my own house purchase isn't finalised.  Just a few bits of paperwork to get from the current owners and hopefully all will be settled by next week.

Back home on Monday which leaves me 2 weeks to get packed and ready.  Eeeek!!!!!!

Tuesday 6 August 2013

Taking a break

Only 4 weeks to go now!! Eeek!  I've been steadily working on sorting and clearing out the house.  It's been physically and emotionally draining.  Bag by bag, box by box I've been letting go of stuff in more ways than one.

Skip is about half full now with garage and garden things.  For example, the above lawn mower is broken.  Has been for years.  So why was it still in the garage?? It's going in the skip!

My mum and the Teenager spent a day sorting out my garden pots and raised beds.  Everything was emptied and cleaned.  The wooden structures of the beds are currently in the garage drying off a bit before painting.  Hopefully there will be time to do them before moving so they can go straight into place and get filled up and planted up for some winter crops as soon as we can.

So even though there's less than a month until Moving Day, I'm taking a wee break.  We're off to Vienna tomorrow to visit my middle son who lives there. The timing could be better but it was arranged before all the house stuff started so I've just had to work with it.

Knowing I was going away I've spent some time re fashioning a few more items of clothing to wear in Vienna.  I've cut off sleeves, changed collars and removed shoulder pads.  I'm taking a wee sewing kit with me as there are a few bits to finish but all the sewing by machine is done.

I was rather pleased to find the above bargains in Sainsbury's at the weekend.  They had all their sports bras reduced.  All 3 cost me a grand total of £10 :-) The purple one on the right was only £1!!  The ones I normally buy are £40 each.  I've no idea how long they'll last but they'll be perfect for gym work and cycling.  Not just food with reduced stickers catches my eye in the supermarket ;-)

As part of the on going streamlining of my finances I finally cancelled my premium club membership of a credit card.  However I still had one voucher left to use from it so got a pack of 5 knickers and a pack of 3 socks in M&S.  Free underwear to add to my bargain underwear.

See you next week :-)

Thursday 1 August 2013

Small things

Love this quote and it suits my mood following all the talk of food banks in the blogosphere.  A few extra tins in my weekly shop will add up to a bagful each month to help out someone who needs it.