Sunday, 13 December 2009

Preparing for Christmas

I haven't written for a while because things have been so hectic here. I've managed to complete 2 more of my 101. I've decluttered the entire house and sold a lot of things on ebay - clothes I'm not going to wear again, handbags I don't use and a games console and games my ex bought me.

I made enough money to buy the storage I wanted from Ikea for under the stairs so I'll keep you updated on the work in progress. First of all I need to take everything out and paint the bare plaster white with some leftover paint to make the space look cleaner and bigger. Then I have some spare carpet from my hall and stairs that I am going to put down to make the cupboard more user friendly. At the moment it is so dusty in there and I would like to be able to store my work shoes, coats and sports equipment in there instead of falling over everything in the hall! I've bought adjustable shelves on a racking system so I can amend them in I change my storage needs, and some clear plastic tubs to keep everything together neatly. Currently my diy tools are stored in 2 plastic buckets and some bags and I can't really see what I have or find anything without taking everything out. All my tins of spare paint are stacked on top of each other and I always need the one at the bottom!

I've also managed to save my emergency fund -six months salary is sitting in a high interest internet account. Next year's aim is to increase this to a year so if we have children we will be able to spend time with them rather than us both having to hurry back to work. I've signed up for the Live on £4000 a year challenge for 2010 and here's my planned budget;

Groceries £1000
Heating £600
Electric £300
Household and toiletries £155
TV Licence £143
Haircuts £60
Landline/TV package/Broadband £400
Mobile phones £120
Petrol £500
Clothes and shoes £150
Car tax £120
Home Insurance £100
Social Life £200
Presents £152

So I've just got car insurance, life insurance, council tax and holidays to pay for from mystery shopping income. I'm aiming to overpay my mortgage and reduce the balance to under £140,000, and also to repay my £5,500 loan in full this year.

I wasn't sure how realistic my budget for 2009 was until I got this far in the challenge and while I've gone overbudget in some areas, others are still on track and my total spend for everything I included should end up being around £3,500. So I've been able to include far more categories in next year's challenge and still be confident of success. When I talk to friends and hear how much they spend on groceries it shocks me. One couple I know are spending £120 a week on food and there's only the 2 of them! We are spending around £20-25 a week and we're not eating less than this time last year when I was spending around £45 a week. I prepare most meals from scratch, and it doesn't take much longer than microwaving a ready meal because I organise myself with meal plans and while I'm making dinner I do prep for the next night's dinner - getting food out of the freezer, cooking extra for the freezer, marinading, chopping veg etc

I finally got my Itunes organised - it took a long time to get this sorted out because I have sooo much music on my Itunes. The genius application helped a lot by creating playlists for me, and I went through all my podcasts and removed anything I'd already listened to or that wasn't relevant anymore. I really like the Genius toolbar, I have some fabulous playlists based on my favourite songs and have re-discovered artists I hadn't listened to in a while.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Back to Blogging!

I haven't posted in a few months as I was busy with a new project at work and getting lots of things done. I started my Italian evening course to work on my language skills and it's going very well. I do find it hard to commit the time to doing my homework and extra study each week, my tutor reckons we need to be doing at least 3 hours on top of the 3 hours of class each week. Luckily next week is half term so I don't have a class and can catch up. I started reading an Italian newspaper online to practice my reading and comprehension skills and have printed off some articles that are related to the topics we study on the course.

I've achieved a few more tasks from my 101, number 50 to give up Diet Coke was tough going the first few days I was exhausted, constantly yawning and my head was so sore. But I worked through it and now I am the most frequent visitor to the office water cooler. I'm hoping this will have benefits soon - after all magazines are always telling me people who drink litres of water a day have clear skin and shiny hair. So bring on the supermodel looks! It'll save me a fortune too as I was spending at least £5 a week on my Diet Coke habit and water is free! I have a water filter at home and use no added sugar squash to liven up the water a bit, and now it's winter I can have lots of hot lemon and blackcurrant. I also stocked up on vitamins to make sure my diet is even more well balanced, and to help regulate my hormones so I feel even better.

I have a healthcare plan through my employer and actually took the time to read it a few weeks ago and found it included a whole range of alternative treatments. I'd been having problems with one of my feet since I bought new shoes in the correct size, that didn't hurt my feet. So I went to a podiatrist and he was amazing! Apart from my feet getting totally pampered and all the hard skin removed, nails cut and filed properly, I mentioned my foot pain. The podiatrist explained that now my foot has room to spread out the ligaments aren't getting enough support and he sorted me out with an insole. It has completely fixed my foot pain - I was starting to despait as walking around barefoot was painful and I was struggling to walk after sitting for any length of time. My insole supports the middle of my foot as well as the arch so all the muscles and ligaments are in the correct place. And I've painted my toes in a glamorous red to celebrate my new good looking feet!!

I started a proper home cleaning routine last week when we had a dinner party and I had to take a day off work to clean the house before I could invite friends over! So I made a little chart of what needs to be done and when and who is responsible for making sure each task is done. Less than 20 minutes a day each will keep the house and cars looking great and avoid any embaarassing incidents when friends land on the doorstep. It also demonstrated that we need to sort out some proper storage for our living room as there were some things that just don't have a home. Our house is quite minimal, we don't have much furniture, or many homely touches and it's beginning to look a little too stark for my nesting instincts, so I'm going to have a think about what we'd like to have in the room and how to make it fit with the existing dimensions and colour scheme.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

It's been a productive weekend, I've achieved several things that have been on my list for a few months. Mr SC and I went to the reclamation yard, I had never been before and wasn't expecting it to stock so much and such a wide variety of antiques and amazing items I would have loved to have a home big enough to accommodate!

I have a 1930's terrace house with some period features although I would love it to have more. It has white plasticy moulded internal doors that I hate with horrible brass look handles. So we went to see how much it would cost to get reclaimed doors as I love natural waxed wood and I have original sanded floorboards so it would unify the look. I got a bit of a shock, on the website it had said they have reclaimed doors in stock from £100 plus VAT so I had assumed since my doors were quite standard sizes I would be spending around £650ish for five internal doors. My quote came to £1225 plus VAT!!

I did chose a lovely gothic arched door with glass panels for the door between the living room and hall to let extra light in, but even for the standard doors it was almost £200 each - and I totally forgot to budget for door handles- which I suppose are essential to use the doors!!

So I may just get the door for the living room, and I'm also going to explore some cheaper options, as I found a local store online that makes replica doors. Their prices appear to be about half the price of the reclaimed ones, so next weekend I'm going to the showroom to see how good they look up close, and get a quote.


Then we visited a local maritime festival to see the ships, it was very crowded though and muddy because of the rain, so we didn't stay long. In the evening we went to see the new Brad Pitt film "Inglourious Basterds", which is a black comedy about a group of Jewish soldiers who go on a rampage killing Nazis. I enjoyed it even though there were a few gruesome moments, there were some hilarious comedy moments.

Today I 've been having a quiet day organising my week ahead, making a list of books I'm going to borrow from the library. As I've bought a few books from Amazon I've started using their recommendation tool to give me suggestions of new books that might interest me and it seems to be working well. Then I went through my kitchen cupboards and planned my meals for the week ahead. I have a few frugal batch cooked work lunches left from last week - spaghetti and chilli so that sorts out a couple of days. I got a lot of groceries last week, including 8 jacket potatoes for £1 so I'm going to be having jacket potatoes for lnuches and dinners - with various fillings - cheese, baked beans, tuna mayo, and my favourite madras mayo. I make it using a little madras paste mixed with reduced fat mayo to add a little flavour, and I use it to make chicken wraps, and flavour sandwiches with a little kick.
I took some pictures this weekend of the colourful flags flying from the ships that I thought I would share. I would love to spend a restful week or two at sea just floating about watching wildlife go past and catching up on all the books I keep meaning to read and music I keep meaning to listen to. But I don't think I would feel confident enough to hire even a small boat and take it out to sea - and I don't think my holiday budget would be up to hiring a yacht anyways! This week I plan to study some more towards my language course I'm continuing next month, and spend an evening organising my next creative project as I keep putting these off!

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Thinner Thursday!

I'm very excited because I lost 4pounds at Slimming World even though I cheated a little and ate a Cornetto! I'm finding it a lot easier than I thought because there are so many " free" foods that I can eat as much as I want of, so it's been actively encouraging me to eat more fruit and veg to get my 5 a day. Plus I read in a magazine that you should ideally aim for 10 a day then it's statistically more likely that you'll get your 5 in more consistently.

I'm still maintaining my frugal ways, so far this month I've only spent £26 on groceries and I have enough staples to get me through the rest of the month, I just need to get some fresh fruit and veg each week. I'm estimating a total spend of £50 for the month, half of the £100 I've budgeted so I can spend the remainder on task 61 - buying an Oxfam Donkey for an African village.
I've got a few creative things planned for when I spend some alone time with my sewing machine, a stationery wrap to hold my note writing paper, envelopes, address book and stamps. At the moment I store them in an A4 brown envelope which looks terrible and doesn't inspire me to write letters to friends and family. So I thought I could make a wrap for all my supplies and then I would be more inclined to keep in touch the old fashioned way. It will make my desk look a lot prettier and tidier too! I bought some fabric a few months ago to make new pyjama pants, it has little penguins on - my favourite animal - so I want to get these cut and made as a birthday present to myself (for next month).
Tomorrow night I'm going to take another step towards 29 and 31, I'm eating out at a new place and seeing a new movie tomorrow night, with my husband so I guess that counts toward 25 - doing something romantic with Mr SC once a week. Because of our conflicting work schedules we haven't really seen each other since the weekend so it'll be nice to spend the whole weekend with him. Also planning to visit the reclamation yard to investigate reclaimed doors to add another finishing touch to completing the decoration and restoration of our home.

I've got some more pictures to share. I got a new feature light for our living room, as the internal transformer in the old one went and couldn't be repaired. I needed something large as the ceilings are high and the room is large, and we decided to go for something unusual but didn't want to spend a fortune on lighting - some of the ones we considered for a fleeting moment were £200+. We were lucky and managed to get a really unusual star design with lots of reflective silver wire in the sale half price for £70. I don't consider this an extravagance as we don't have any other accessories like rugs, cushions or throws, my style is quite stark and minimalist so the light softens the room and gives it some focus. And hopefully this light will last longer than the last one! I also took a couple of pictures of the meals I've been making for myself as part of my healthier eating plan.


Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Back to blogging!

I didn't mean my break from blogging to be so lengthy but I got caught up with working hard on my career and trying to get my home organised for my parents visiting!
So since I wrote my last post I've been home for the weekend and seen all my old friends and caught up with their news- another wedding in September, a baby just before Christmas and a move to a different country! I've also ticked off a few tasks on my list, which I'm really pleased about as a lot of them are ongoing tasks that will take a while to get into a routine with.
My parents visited for the weekend and we took them out to show them local places that we like and enjoy and had a great time catching up, I really want my parents to get to know Mr SC as they've only met him a few times so it was lovely spending quality time with them.

I finished my satin handbag for the wedding a few days after my last post; here's a pic
My mum showed me how to thread and use my machine to do various different stitches in preparation for my dressmaking course. I've also been busy with diy; I replaced a broken window, sorted out the dodgy electrics in my lounge and painted my kitchen door. The kitchen door had been bugging me for months, it has 8 panes of glass in it to let light through from the living room to the kitchen and was a nasty orange pine colour with a horrible rusty brassy handle. So I bought a new satin silver handle from the diy store for £24 and used paint we already had to paint the door. Now it matches the living room walls on one side and matches the kitchen walls on the kitchen side. It no longer jars with the look of the room and I'm really pleased with the finished door. It's amazing how much pleasure I can get from one small change!

I've taken some great pictures of the places I've been, mostly on long walks with hills involved to keep me fit and active. I also started Slimming World to give me extra motivation to lose weight and achieve my personal goals, so I'll keep you updated on my progress. I'd better go now as I have housework to organise- laundry, dishes and bathroom cleaning - what an exciting carefree live I live! But here's some pictures of the beautiful scenery I've been surrounded by the past few weeks...




Friday, 3 July 2009

I haven't posted for a while because I've been really busy at work - the up side is when payday comes around I'll have extra money for fun activities! I also managed to get task 44 completed - I've scanned all my old photos and put them online for my friends and family to share. My ideas scrapbook is up and running, and I'm spending the weekend with my parents next week - my mum is going to teach me how to make pastry (task 64) and I'm going to talk to my parents about their childhoods and memories. My mum is also going to share some of her sewing skills with me as I've enrolled in a dressmaking and tailoring evening course at the local college that starts in September. My masters dissertation is at the binders - task 69- and will be ready to give to my parents when they visit at the end of the month.

I'm going to 2 weddings next week so I'll get to dance romantically with my husband for the first time since our wedding, which I'm really looking forward to. I'm in the middle of making a new handbag to go with my dress and new black satin shoes. All I have left to do is to hem the top and attach the strap.




Tomorrow I'm doing lots of little diy jobs around the house then going for a long walk by the local river to listen to some of the new music I downloaded. Then on Sunday Mr SC and I are going on a bike ride, and I'm thinking of taking a picnic.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Relaxing Saturday

Today I had a relaxing day, I went to get a frugal haircut today in preparation for 2 weddings I'm going to in a couple of weeks. Then off to the library for some new books, I have to admit I've got into Mary Jane Staples novels even though they're nothing like my usual history or travel books. I spent the afternoon with my husband at a romantic country house, so I ticked off task 25 on my list for June, and took some lovely pictures I'm going to get printed to make my mum a homemade birthday card later in the year.

I also chose one of the MIT free online courses http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/web/home/home/index.htm to started on. I'm going to study "The places of migration in US history", and I've downloaded the material to have a look at tomorrow night. I also went through all my old magazines I've been keeping for a rainy day and cut out anything that caught my interest to start number 11 -keeping an ideas scrapbook for creative plans. I've got travel ideas, sewing ideas and some recipes and interiors ideas, all ready to be stuck in a scrapbook tomorrow.




I've started my diet in a bid to get my BMI under 35, which is the 3rd item on my 101. I have been prescribed Xenical by my GP and I started taking it today - nothing to report yet on side effects, which I've heard can be a little distressing if you eat too much fat. I had a small bowl of cereal for breakfast, steamed salmon and a salad with a handful of pumpkin and linseed nuts for lunch (see picture), and tuna with mash for dinner.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Back to the reality of everyday life....



I'm back from holidays and pleased to report I had a fab time and enjoyed spending some quality time with Mr SC - and got a few of my 101 started as well! We had several picnic lunches so I've ticked off 74 - Go on a picnic at least 4 times each summer - for 2009 at least. I kept a travel journal of the trip and took over 400 pictures in a week! I really like my new camera - I got a 13megapixel one for £99 and although I'm still learning how to use it I'm enjoying taking pictures of anything that takes my fancy. There was a lot of pictures of random things, food we ate, designs of buildings I liked, wildlife I saw, to keep a record of things that please me. All I have to do now is task 56, pick my favourite holiday shots and get them printed so I can add them to my travel journal.

I didn't know what my husband's favourite book was, so while we were away I asked him lots of questions about his favourites of every kind of thing, and it turns out his favourite book is also one of mine, so I'm going to re-read it and then that's number 54 ticked off. It also drew my attention to the fact that he still hasn't moved all his stuff here from his parents house so we are going to sort that out next week so the house has more of his things integrated with mine (and his mum can finish turning his old bedroom into a larger living room!!) I organised all my finances so my savings come out by standing order once I get paid every month so I can achieve 21, 22, and 23 and my savings will take care of themselves while my mortgage balance reduces.

The most important thing I think I've done this week though is find out how to register for bone marrow and organ donation - and next week I am going to donate blood for the first time. I read about platelet donation and how each donation provides enough to treat 3 people and that I can donate every month if I'm suitable so I'm going to do this. When I go they will register me for the bone marrow register as well. I'm not sure if this qualifies as doing something charitable regularly as I kind of felt I should volunteer at a domestic violence shelter or to help a charity with an event but I want to commit to something I will be able to keep up on a regular basis.

I've added some pictures from our holiday of the beautiful scenery that we were surrounded by. Nothing could beat the feeling of swimming each morning in the open air pool surrounded by trees and greenery, I only wish I could afford to live in a village that has an open air pool (and the weather to use it all year round!)







Sunday, 7 June 2009

I've finally finished off my 101 list and I'm feeling quite pleased with my list. I did struggle at first but once I got going and looked a few other people's lists it became easier. I'm off on holidays on Tuesday and can't wait for a bit of rest and relaxation and to spend some time with my husband. I'm going to write a travel journal while I'm away to make a start on task 59 and then when I get back write some reviews on tripadvisor (task 60) - I chose that particular website because I use it when booking holidays to check the hotels I'm considering get good reviews.

I spent yesterday catching up with a friend who has made a change in her career too and taken a new job, we went for some food and to see a band and it was amazing. It made me feel younger - when I was younger I used to see bands live at least once a month and I've got out of the habit of it, and my husband has very different taste in music to me - so I'm going to make more of an effort to go to gigs. It's one place I feel I fit in and I'm not socially awkward because noone cares what you wear to see a band, you can be outrageous or dress casually and I don't get judged or as though I'm in a fashion parade. I've kept to my task of taking a picture every day and am going to keep my camera in my handbag fully charged from now on so I don't miss any opportunities to take spur of the moment shots.

Unfortunately the diy has come to a halt because the weather isn't great - and we're going away so no point in starting anything. But I've organised all my paperwork and everything is ready to go on holiday so no last minute panic and stress like usual. Here's some pics I took last week...






Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Today I have added a few more to my 101 list as I chose my part time courses for the autumn. I'm going to continue with my language classes and pass my AS level, and also take a dress making course. I was considering a GCSE photography course as well for Saturday mornings but I think it might be too much to fit in with a full time job and trying to study hard for my AS level. Plus I take language conversation classes every fortnight, and need to fit the gym in -hopefully 3 times a week or more.

I promised to explain more about the change in my financial situation this year and how I've adapted so here goes....

I owe slightly over £140,000 on my own home, which I bought almost 3years ago and redecorated from scratch, this costs me £400 a month interest only (I'm overpaying to reduce the capital). I also have 2 rental properties I bought a few years ago and fixed up, they both have mortgages that are covered by the rent and I have long term tenants. I also have a loan of £7,800 which is interest free and I pay back at least £200 a month on. I pay my credit card in full each month if I use it, and I'm suceeding at the Live on £4000 a year challenge so far. I keep track of what I spend with an Excel spreadsheet separated into categories, and every month I save money - to overpay my mortgage, save for a new car, and to build an emergency fund.

Before I changed jobs I spent every penny I earned, and there were at least twice as many pennies to spend! I owed almost £4000 on my credit cards and had no savings at all. I couldn't afford to overpay my mortgage and I was spending about £40 or £50 a week on food alone, plus endless amounts of eating out, cheap clothes, and magazines. So I took steps to change this, I joined the library and started catching up on all the books I'd never read and always meant to. I made meal plans and went to the supermarket with a list, and started batch cooking and eating in more. I went through all of my outgoings and researched cheaper options - gym membership, life insurance, household insurance, everything I bought! In some ways I was lucky that interest rates fell so dramatically because it cut back my mortgage costs so much I could afford to overpay and start saving on a smaller wage, and my husband starting paying for half of everything.

I thought I would feel as though I was missing out by giving up so many meals out and cutting back but I haven't once felt like that. Because of the credit crunch everyone is cutting back so I'm not the odd one out, and 2 for 1 offers and discounts have meant I've been able to enjoy myself without spending a fortune. My supermarket own brands are no different to premium brands once they're made into a delicious homecooked meal - I have to admit I still buy branded ketchup, cola, and a few other items. I also feel part of a community on Moneysavingexpert - some of the frugallers are really inspirational with their own animals, creative pursuits, and ways of saving money and the environment - that's what I'm aiming for.

Sunday, 31 May 2009




Had a very productive day today - managed to achieve first month of task 26 - talked to my friend on the phone as she just bought a house. Also worked on 17 - painted my back yard, then plastered the front of the house where it was dampproofed and there were a couple of cracks. Went to the diy store for a new door handle for the kitchen door - I plan to paint it to match the walls -and some filler to fix the gaps round a couple of the internal doors. Then task 39 - I took a picture of my dinner because I made four portions of turkey red curry for £1.05 each.



I had been meaning to organise my craft room for a while because I had a lot of stuff just lying on the floor in piles. So I took an old shelving unit I had spare and used one shelf for all the new fabrics I've gathered up. Then another shelf for my sewing stuff, and the other shelf for art materials, all neatly boxed. There's even space for my sewing machine at the side of the shelves.


This coming week I'm going to get all my books and DVDs organised as there were some in this room, some in the spare bedroom, a few more in boxes, and two shelves full in the living room. Definitely time for trip to the charity shop!

Friday, 29 May 2009

I haven't got any further with my list yet, it's on my To Do List lol. So I said I would explain more about me and what motivated the huge changes I've been making 6months ago..... I'm 31, married since September, and work full time in an admin role. I live in an urban area, and own my own home - out the back I have a 70foot by 14foot patch of land that needs to be fenced in (part of my 101 list)

I used to be very career driven, I was at the top of my high pressure fast moving corporate environment and commuted for 2 hours a day. I was earning about 3 times as much as I do now but I didn't ever have any time for myself and was constantly under pressure, whether from work or of my own making to overachieve. Then I was forced to be at home for a few weeks and realised that I needed to change. I was miserable, I had to get help from my GP to get through the day, I was comfort eating and gaining weight, and my relationship was at risk from all the stress.

Then I found Moneysavingexpert and became fascinated with the concept of saving money. When I read the "Live on £4000 a year" challenge I immediately dismissed the idea - how can anyone manage that? But I knew I had to find a new job and that would mean a lower income, so I thought I would give it a go. When I was younger my parents weren't well off and we used to dress in hand me downs from my cousins and my mum knitted and was always sewing and home cooking everything. My childhood was happy, I don't feel that I missed out on anything and if I'm lucky enough to have children I would want them to have a similar upbringing.

Because I've had more free time being off work on leave for a few months and now not having such long days I've had time to explore more creative pursuits - I've made a mosaic for Mothers' Day, made my own handbag, and learn a lot about cooking. I make my own lunches for work every day - this week there's been king prawn stirfry, lentil and bacon soup, and tuna and salad wraps. I'm aiming to keep up this interest and expand my creativity to learn more crafts.

In the last 6 months I have repaid my credit cards in full, reduced my mortgage balance and organised my finances so I'm in control and able to save regularly for the things I enjoy and want to achieve- travelling, creative pursuits, educating myself and finishing the improvements to my home. There'll be more about my finances tomorrow and how I got my budget in shape. This weekend I'm going to organise my new "creative" room and I'll have to get some pictures on here to liven things up!

Thursday, 28 May 2009

My name is skint chick and I'm just made some huge changes to my life the last 6 months. I'm taking part in a the Day Zero project to achieve 101 goals in 1001 days. I have a few ideas already and I'll keep adding them as I come up with ideas, I wanted to add the usual see the world but the rules are that the tasks need to be specific and easily measurable (see the website at http://www.dayzeroproject.com/ )

I love list making so this project is ideal for my nerd tendencies, but it's really difficult to define my goals. I've achieved so much the last few months thanks to the support of my friends and family - especially Nyk and her fab band of merry frugallers over on the Live on £4000 for a year challenge at Moneysavingexpert.com

So here goes, my first selection of aims for the next 1001 days;

1. Make myself items of clothing that I'm pleased with
2. Learn to knit and make someone a gift
3. Get my BMI under 35
4. Be able to go on a 10km cycle and enjoy it
5. Grow my own veg and eat them
6. Take part in a skydive
7. See penguins in the wild
8. Bake my own bread
9. Learn a new language and use it
10. Take more photos of friends, family, and activities
11. Keep an ideas scrapbook for creative plans
12. Read a newpaper and watch the news at least once a week
13. Be able to swim 2km without stopping
14. Successfully complete the "Live on £4000 a year" challenge
15. Develop my career further
16. Write a journal regularly
17. Finish decorating my home so it's "magazine shoot" ready
18. Only buy and wear clothes that fit me and I feel good in
19. Go to a new country at least every 6 months
20. Indulge myself in at least 3 at home beauty treatments a week
21. Save every month into a new car fund
22. Save every month into emergency fund until I have 6 months salary
23. Reduce mortgage to below £140,000
24. Repay loan
25. Do something romantic with my husband at least once a week
26. Keep in touch with old friends at least once a month
27. Read a new book at least once a month
28. Learn to cook a new dish twice a month
29. Eat out at a new place 6 times a year or more
30. Listen to more new music and update my ipod regularly
31. See a new film at least once a month, with a focus on foreign language and non mainstream films
32. Set up and stick to a proper home cleaning routine
33. Volunteer for something charitable regularly
34. Talk to my parents about their childhoods and memories
35. Try and walk instead of using car at least twice a week
36. Complete course of laser treatment on armpits
37. Finish my garden, fence and plant it
38. Hike to the top of local hill - it's huge!
39. Take a photo a day every day for a year
40. Send a postcard to Postsecret
41. Go on a winetasting course
42. Get my diving certificate
43. Learn to surf or snowboard
44. Scan all my photos of family and friends and share the memories with them
45. Spend a weekend at a spa
46. Cut my hair in a different daring style
47. Learn to ice skate
48. Go to a baseball game

So tomorrow I'll tell you some more about the changes I've made and how they fit in with these plans. But for now I'm off to watch the final episode of ER!

My ideal view

My ideal view
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