Tuesday 29 June 2021

Hair and wonky veg


Today's task - get hair cut!

They say you should never get a major haircut after a break up so this is a year overdue!!  The last 2 men in my life (3 if you include my ex husband 😖) all preferred long blonde hair.  So now it's short and silver!! 😜

Here's my new profile pic and yes that is a tiara I'm wearing!! 😂

I also took my eldest son for his second vaccine.  So another tick on my list for today!

On my way home I popped into the larger Lidl in town and finally scored a wonky veg box for £1.50.

It had 2 packs of leeks, a yellow pepper, 4 apples, 4 onions, 4 oranges, 4 satsumas, a lime, an apricot, black grapes and 3 tomatoes.  Everything is in good condition except for the green part of the leeks which I'll just cut off!  Brilliant savings!!  It was the last box and it was just before 4pm.  I'll plan my next trip around this time and see if I can get another one.

I'll update you with what I make from it all!

Sunday 27 June 2021

Making a start


And we're off!  I started today with a routine eye test, at least a year overdue thanks to the you-know-what!  As expected my eyesight has changed a bit and I now need varifocals 👓 Of course they're more expensive but I knew this day was coming so was prepared.  I'll collect them in 2 weeks.

I spent some time in my back garden, weeding and just assessing what's there.  To my absolute delight I discovered quite a lot of fruit is thriving.

There are strawberries, wild strawberries, blueberries, red currants, black currants, gooseberries, apples, rhubarb and figs! If I can keep the birds and the squirrel off them I'll have a nice wee harvest in time.

I ate the strawberries but the berries are already in the freezer!  I'll keep adding to them as the rest ripen. I might get enough to make some jumbleberry jam 😋

Garlic, radishes and a solo strawberry from the plot yesterday.  The garlic is rather small so maybe I could have left it longer but it was getting swamped by the rogue potatoes.  It means I can clear that bed ready for the next crop.

I started stripping the wallpaper in my bathroom.  It's pink painted woodchip!

It takes forever to strip just a wee bit but if I strip some every day it'll get it done soon enough.  I've switched off all the alarms on my phone and I'm looking forward to just waking up when my body clock tells me.  Yesterday and today it was 5.30am 😕 but I dozed off and woke again at 8am.  That's much better than my normal 6.30am alarm for work!

Saturday 26 June 2021

Summer holiday starts here!


Yesterday was the last day of school so I'm finally on holiday!  What a year it's been!  I managed back to work for the last 2 weeks and hobbled about on crutches and an ankle support.  Wasn't perfect but the kids and my colleagues helped me out.  And I managed to clear out my classroom ready for my move back to Primary 1 (that's Reception or Kindergarten elsewhere).  Since I'm absolutely positive this is my last move I gave away all my upper and middle school resources.  This is all I took to my new room.

Mostly toys and some books, some trays that will fit into an Ikea unit that the janitor will move for me next week.  I'm also to get a new sink installed.  The current P1 teacher is on maternity leave so she's not moved her stuff out yet.  I'm not going back into school until early August as I just need a complete break.  Plenty of time before the new kids arrive 😊

Both my garden and allotment are overgrown with weeds.  Just 6 weeks of no work means they've got wild!  So my aim is to do a wee bit every day.

At least the onion bed is looking good thanks to my lovely mum! 🧅  Red and brown varieties.

I'm not going away on holiday anywhere so it's a staycation for me.  I've got loads to do around the house and garden to keep me busy.  I'm planning to do loads of cooking, knitting and a bit of stripping 😉 I need to get my mobility and fitness back.  And I've already made a start on making all those appointments teachers put off until the holidays! 😂

Sunday 6 June 2021

Frugal YouTubers

I mentioned in yesterday's post that I've been watching some frugal You Tubers while sitting with my ankle up.  I stick one on while I knit a summer cotton cardigan for myself.  I used to watch quite a few frugal channels but many of them (although still very good) were about how to live frugally with children or teenagers or they were US based.  They didn't really apply to me as a single (ahem) mature woman in the UK occasionally feeding an adult son.  

So I set out to find some with older people and/or based in the UK.  Here are a few of my favourites and some new ones I found recently.

WARNING: be prepared to lose a few hours checking them out!! 😂

Frugal Fit Mom

I've followed her for a while before this video made her a huge success.  She feeds 4 sporty teenagers and a husband on a tight budget.  US based but great advice.

132 meals for $42 This is a brilliant video!  $42 is just under £30

What Vivi Did Next (UK based)

Vivi gave up a paid nursing job (due to arthritis) and lives extremely frugally from what she grows on her allotment and a few sewing side hustles.  Very chatty rambling style but I love all her food growing and saving tips.

Vivi's home page

Frugal Jo (UK based)

American/Canadian who's lived in the UK for years

Frugal Jo home page

Frugal Money Saver (new to me)

A couple who took early retirement, New York state based

Frugal Money Saver home page

Mornings with Granny 

I've followed Granny back when she was Penny Pinchin' Granny.  Lots of good tips and detailed breakdown of food costs although she's US based

Mornings with Granny home page

Frugal Over Fifty (new to me but I like it so far)

Frugal Over Fifty home page

She's Drinking Coffee (I dip in and out of this one but really like it)

She's Drinking Coffee

Life Over Sixty with Sandra

I really love this one but it's not necessarily a frugal one.  This video is her first one I found where she talks about money saving and minimalism.  The more videos I watched the more I want to be like Sandra when I grow up!!

Life Over Sixty with Sandra

Here are a few more simple living/frugal/batch cooking ones I watch fairly regularly:

Mr Carrington (he's UK based and also recently appeared on TV)

Do It On A Dime

The Simplified Saver

The Batch Lady (she's Scottish!!) 😊

Simple Living Alaska (tiny house living.  I love these guys!!)

Fy Nyth (tiny house living)

Let me know in the comments about any other good ones you've found and I'll add them below along with any others I find!

Prepper Princess 

Under the Median

Saturday 5 June 2021

Pause - a time to reflect and be grateful


I have a dear friend who is also my mentor/coach/counsellor (she has many labels!) who always tells me that I need to look for opportunities to stop and pause throughout my day.  Since my brain races too fast for meditation she thinks just a few daily pauses is better than nothing.

Well thanks to my ankle injury I'm overflowing with chances to pause as I really can't do much else.  I am grateful that I don't have pain unless I'm walking so haven't needed pain relief.  I've spent the last 2 weeks with my ankle raised when I'm not moving about.  So I've had a lot of thinking and reflecting time in between reading several books, watching cheesy movies on Netflix and knitting a summer cardigan.  Oh and eating!!!!

Much of the time I've been on my own as my son is either working or spending time with his new girlfriend.  At times I've felt particularly vulnerable as I realised I wouldn't be able to get myself out of a situation alone.  Being unsteady on my feet, I've not been able to go up and down stairs safely and in an emergency I'd be stuck.  I'm extremely grateful to have a downstairs guest bedroom and bathroom.

But I'm also grateful for this opportunity at a very tired and stressful point in the school year.  June is the most frantic month in a school as we're constantly assessing and recording and report writing and finishing off 'stuff' before the summer break at the end of this month.  I've been able to do quite a lot just by being able to sit at my laptop and do my paperwork.  My class is now in the hands of a very capable supply teacher (although it took 7 days to get her!) so I feel less guilty about not being in class.  Thanks to technology I've been able to log in and 'see' my kids and they've seen me on screen.  I've also been able to do my parent contact meetings from home.  So still working even though technically I'm signed off.

The biggest thing I've been thinking about is my future and what I need to do now for retirement.  Current plan is 2 more years of teaching.  This year (for many many reasons!! 😳) hasn't been very frugal so far.  That changes now! I've found a few new to me frugal living YouTube channels so I'm binge watching them while I knit. And I'm making lots and lots of lists 😄

So I may be temporarily inconvenienced by my injury.  But I am incredibly grateful for this unexpected chance to pause, reflect and be grateful.