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...

My ideal view

My ideal view