Friday, 30 December 2016

Kon Marie catch up

According to Amazon I purchased the Life changing magic of tidying in October 2014.  Its still working for me! My drawers have never been so lovely, if you see what I mean. They are still perfect from then. Every few months I get rid of things I dont want and fill the gaps as required. Its fantastic.

I still havent got around to thanking my handbag or shoes but I do take care of them which i surely the same thing.

And the freedom I got from realising that gifts and cards have done their job when you receive them. At that point its okay to get rid of them again. Blissful de-cluttering and other people also getting pleasure form my stuff.

So post Christmas, pre New Year, henceforth known as Crimbo Limbo, I have been mixing my days between relaxing, Kon Marieing, cooking, planning and some window shopping, as part of the planning.

Yesterday I sorted out my larder.
This morning we did the cloakroom area at the bottom of the stairs. Serious pruning and sorting has occurred!
This afternoon I sorted out my craft area a bit.
Tomorrow I am going to check out my wardrobe again but I dont think its pretty much as I want it already.

Today we also went around a couple of DIY shops to check out the flooring we need in the kitchen, conservatory and downstairs bathroom, And we totally agreed! Yay. Oak flooring in the conservatory and slate in the kitchen and bathroom. Its on the list now for 2017. We didnt find a bath we would like but we were happy with most of our other decisions.

Come on 2017. I am just about ready for you

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Made it!

Well that was all very lovely.  We dont really do presents etc but its all about family and actually, quite a lot of eating. So lets call that socialising, sounds better than just eating!

Christmas Eve all of my family came to our house. We did a Greek meal, drinks, music and well, stuff. Lovely, lovely.

Christmas day at my parents house. Last year my 87 year old mum needed some help with cooking, veggies etc. This year my mum refused all help with the cooking. Much as I am happy to help thats brilliant because it means she is feeling much better.

Boxing day we all go for a walk in the country, then to a nice country pub for a drink and then back to my sisters house for an very cold Christmas BBQ. Of course it was lovely! I love all of the generations together and chatting. We are fortunate, there are no drama queens in the family and we never argue or whatever people do.

Yesterday we went on a slightly different family outing. Just us parents, the kids and a girlfriend. WE went to the casino. There was free poker so Fahed and two of them played. The other two of us just stayed for a very reasonably priced dinner and then home again, Gameplay was free, all soft drinks were free and dinner was £7 per person,  I hardly ever go to the casino as I cant play poker and all the other things seem to be chance not skill, and they cost money, so they dont suit us at all. Once a year is enough.

Today was another massive milestone with my mama. We all went swimming. She used to swim several times a week but since her stroke the she isnt happy in the water and keep feeling she will drown, Today she did four lengths! Yes, mum is back. Woohoo! Stroke aftecare is brilliant. I remember when my grandma had a series of stroke in the early 80's and it was utter hell, but they have been brilliant with mum,

Just a couple more days to end of yer. I must look at my goals!

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Its that time of year again

I love Christmas but I am already thinking of the new starts which January 1st encourages.

I would have new year three times a year if I was in charge of the universe. And well I am in charge of my universe so bring it on!

More dancing, some yoga, more weight loss (same again hopefully, then I am happy), be more sociable. Don't lose contact with people. Legalise the Crete house (its under way, whoop, whoop). No travel this year except to the other house. Its all about sorting that out and then we are settled. More live music in my life. Finish the garden. Eat healthily. Cut waste (can it be cut anymore??). Volunteer dog walking at the local rescue centre maybe.

I made rocky road a bit like this today but with cranberries, very Christmassy, for work on Monday.

Also on Friday we had a plea for help from one of the housing officers. We are housing someone who has been homeless for 18 months and has literally nothing but his clothes. I have sorted out some kitchen bowls, plates, knives etc. Some towels. Tonight I check and see what my parents and sister can help with. The world is in a mess and I cant do much about it but we have a chance to make some change here so we try it.

Also I heard from one of my nephews in Aleppo. He is hopeful that the war is near end. There is a positive feeling he says. We dont see it from the news reports so I hope he is right.


Thursday, 8 December 2016

Food bank update

I am very happy with how the reverse advent calendar box(es) of food goodies is going at work. I have taken in the whole months worth already but we are on our second box full already and its only the 8th. One of my friends/colleagues asked if I had put stuff in yet and we talked about it and he said he and another mate were off at lunch time to buy stuff, and apparently they do it every few months and help top up the supplies of the food bank at work. How lovely. I must get in the habit of buying a few more things when i shop and handing them over. Nice to do it at Christmas but a bit poor I didn't think to do it before :(

Friday, 2 December 2016

Christmas shopping

I dont really 'do' Christmas until December, except for the planning.

Years ago I would save all year to cover the cost. I used to overpay my rent so that I covered it for the year in 11 months and then I had all of my December rent money to pay for the food etc.

These day I hesitate to say it but we are better off. We aren't great spenders, i much prefer to throw extra money at the mortgage than buy 'stuff'. This means I can absorb Christmas in my day to day spending, Well, pretty much. But nonetheless this does need planning.

I dont think we buy any more food. We feed others for a few days but we also get fed by others so it evens out. We do buy nicer things but that's okay because the larder and freezer are pretty full already (thats a part of the plan, keep stocks up so you can concentrate on good deals) so we can avoid to go for quality over quantity. We can remember quite well what it was like to be seriously hard up which is why we dont waste and also why the larder and freezer are always packed full.

I dont do Christmas cards. Massively pointless.

Wrapping paper came from January sales of the stuff at ASDA and I always buy inconspicuous designs which are also suitable for birthdays all year.

Pressies. We have a £10 limit per person. That means you have to be creative to make it fun. Its been ten for as long as i can recall actually. Last year I made homemade sweeties to go with the gifts, the year before it was Sloe Gin in little bottles. One year I remember rhubarb raki. Hic.

So this year I used Amazon wish lists to keep my present info. During the year I noticed something taht people mentioned and buy accordingly. At end of November I signed up for a free month of Amazon prime and then moved it all to my basket. So far I am happy with this. Stuck to my budget and actually generally got things cheaper than the shops, most importantly I didn't have to go to the shops!

Decorations. I am using the same ones as last year, some of which are as old as the kids! However I love them (decs and kids!). I did consider a new tree until I saw the price and now find myself happy with the old one! I might need extra fairly lights to cover the barer branches but hey!

All that.s left know to drain my resources are the Christmas parties. I am invited to quite a few but have cut it down to 3 and a breakfast. We paid in chunks since August so that's covered, so now its just wine on the night.

So then its just the charitable bits. I have signed up for the reverse advent calendar and also a secret santa, which is basically just giving a gift to a stranger. Not sure I can economise there really. Perhaps a step too far!

Lets talk about something good!

I went to the other house and it was lovely! My dad came with us, with my youngest son, for the first 5 days.  Its his first time since ...