Attempting to Save

no-spend-march

Since I was little any money that I’ve had has burned a hole in my pocket. On holiday my spending money was always gone by halfway through the trip whilst my brother carefully decided what to spend on and, more often than not, came home with cash. Much to my disgust.

Now I’m an adult I’m still more in the mindset of splurge than save.  I can’t resist a bargain even though a lot of those ‘bargains’ soon make their way to the charity shop rather than being kept long term.

I need to take stock and start thinking about how to save. We need new windows, and have a lot of decorating plans for the house which aren’t going to happen if I keep buying new shoes and striped tops.

So, I’m going to attempt a no spend month. I saw the idea on good old Pinterest and I think it’s definitely do-able. I’ve chosen a month where there are no school holidays (as I’ll want to spend on a few days out during those) to give it a try.

The idea being that I will spend on the essentials: the mortgage, bills, petrol and food but will cut out non-essentials: shoes, clothing, toiletries, pretty bits for the house that I’ve found on Etsy.

I think the key to being successful with this will be to unsubscribe from a lot of the commercial emails I receive, delete my browsing history so my passwords aren’t saved for shopping websites (hopefully the time that I spend trying to find them will make me rethink my need for a purchase.) I’m also going to keep a spending diary to track what I’m spending on. I’ll let you know how I get on at the end of the March.

Wish me luck!

Photo An Hour 18.02.17

I regularly join in with Jane and Louisa’s photo and hour on Instagram but it’s been a while since I then shared my day here.

8am-18-2-17

8am: This Saturday was spent entertaining myself on the whole as Jonny was away during the day. It started, however, with him earning some serious husband points by bringing me a cup of tea up to accompany reading my book in bed. I’ve recently been trying to read more for pleasure and so far am 750 pages through my current behemoth!

9am-18-2-17

9am: Getting ready to leave the house. I was very lucky to receive the Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt perfume for my birthday so it was that accompanied by my wedding jewellery to start the day. The rest of me was less than well-presented (my hair is thick and a tad wild at times) but at least I smelled nice!

10am-18-2-17

10am: As I mentioned, I was thoroughly spoiled on my birthday and these were my other two main gifts. Since Jonny was out I decided to take myself on a wander around Lancaster to have a play with my new camera.

11am-18-2-1711am: Lancaster Castle and the Priory next door to it was my destination although once I got there I found that two thirds of each building was covered in scaffolding! I did manage to capture a couple of shots of it looking lovely despite the gloomy grey sky.

12pm-18-2-17

12pm: Still wandering around, camera in hand. I got some funny looks blocking the pavement outside Waterstones to take this photo. I love that there is Literature/Cake based history in our little town!

1pm-18-2-17

1pm: A quick whizz around the supermarket on my way back from town to our little village. My Orla Kiely shoppers are from Tesco and always brighten up a less than exciting weekly chore.

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2pm: Amongst my purchases were yet more daffodils. I am in love with these cheery yellow blooms. Currently we have 4 bunches of flowers dotted around our house. I’m not sorry.

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3pm: I treated myself to a sneaky dress purchase whilst in town earlier. I couldn’t resist the stripes (as always!) and fluted sleeves. It’ll be being showcased at school tomorrow.

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4pm: Finally a sit down with a coffee and The Simple Things magazine. I discovered this last year and have since subscribed as I’d been enjoying it so much.

5pm-18-2-17

5pm: Putting the finishing touches to my latest sewing project. It’s a dress I started last year that had been relegated to the bottom of my craft pile. Finally finished, I’ve now ordered some new fabric to make a second improved version (having learned from my mistakes making this one.)

6pm-18-2-17

6pm: Jonny finally home, we cracked open a bottle of wine whilst I searched for fabric for my next project.

7pm-18-2-17

7pm: I found this Dirty Dancing soundtrack earlier this week at an antiques shop near us and this was its first play. I fully love this soundtrack although this is Part Two so I’m now going to be looking out for Part One!

All in all, a lovely chilled out Saturday. What did you get up to?

Turning 31

thirty-one

Source

Tomorrow is my 31st birthday. I really don’t feel like I’m grown up enough to be turning 31 but it’s happening.

I think I’m genuinely less concerned about turning 31 than I was about turning 21 10 years ago. (How is it 10 years ago?!) Turning 21 felt ancient, the end of an era and meant the end of university was in sight. Turning 31, on the other hand, feels good.

I think I’m definitely getting better at being in my own skin. I like myself more now, at 30 than I did at 20. Now don’t get me wrong, there are still days when I’m really not the biggest fan of myself but they’re certainly less frequent than they were. Partly I think because I feel more settled in my life now. I’m happily married, we own a house and I have a permanent contract at work. When things get rough now I think about all the stuff I have to be grateful for and it helps pull me back round to being more positive.

Being 30 was pretty bloody good (global politics and family bereavement aside) and I’m looking forward to seeing what the rest of my 30s have in store for me.

What’s In My Bag

whats-in-my-bag-jan-2017

One of my favourite things about reading other people’s blogs is the ability to be nosy and get an insight into their lives. I love reading about what other people have been up to, what they’re reading/wearing/eating/doing to their homes. One type of post my inner nosy parker really loves is a ‘what’s in my bag.’

So on that note, I thought I’d let you have a peek at the general paraphernalia (crap) that I carry around with me on a day-to-day basis.

1: Bag

I was lucky enough to be bought this beautiful Fossil bag for my 30th birthday by my very lovely in-laws. Since last February it’s been used almost daily for work, shopping trips and every thing else in between. It’s a great, roomy tote with enough inner pockets that you know you won’t lose your lip balm or phone within its depths.

2: Purse

This purse was a 30th birthday present to myself. I treated myself at the Bicester Shopping Village Michael Kors outlet so, whilst it is designer, the price tag wasn’t quite as offensive as it could have been. It’s currently full of coins, store cards, my debit and credit card and a book of stamps. The essentials.

3: Tablets

I’ve always got a packet of Ibuprofen and Paracetamol to hand just in case of headaches/period pains but I also always carry a range of antihistamines. Jonny has a severe sesame allergy so I tend to carry a back up, first port of call, supply for him.

4: Diary

My work diary is lugged around Monday-Friday and whilst huge (it’s A4) is, unfortunately, an essential during the week. The cover wasn’t very inspiring so I backed it with some pretty wrapping paper from Waterstones so it’s a little more aesthetically pleasing.

5: Notebook

There is ALWAYS a notebook in my handbag. Currently it’s this Moleskine that my teaching assistant bought me for Christmas although I generally prefer a trusty Leuchtturm 1917 number.

6: Pencil case

This Cath Kinston number is filled with highlighter pens, biros, pencils, and my USB (aka my work lifeline) and is really only in my bag for work. At the weekend I tend to just throw in a biro as a just in case.

7: Umbrella

Living in the North West of England an umbrella is an essential. This one, covered in cute little woodland creatures, was a Christmas present from my Mum 4 years ago and it’s lasted so well. Good work on M&S’s part there for not creating a flimsy brolly that pings inside out in the slightest breeze.

8: Lipstick/Lipbalm

My lips get dry so easily that it’s fairly essential for me to carry around a lip balm. This Bert’s Bees one is great and the smell makes me think of summer (which is no bad thing in the middle of winter!) The lipstick is a No.7 that I had coloured matched to my ghost skin and is my fail safe if I want to look a little bit more glam.

Items not pictured that are usually knocking around in this cavernous tote somewhere are snacks (I tend to take a range of fruit and nuts to work with me) a plethora of receipts (which I chucked in the bin before photographing) and a mini pack of tissues, although these have run out and need replacing hence their absence from the photo. My phone usually lives in my bag too but that was in use to take the photo.

So there you have it, the current contents of my bag that get hauled around with me on a daily basis. How do they compare to yours?