being thrifty, decorating, drEAming, financial focusing, general chit chat, homestEAding, trEAsury

‘dolly’ mixtures…

It has been a busy week again since we arrived home from a long weekend at the cottage/caravan.  Work was particularly pressured this week but I now have 5 days off to look forward to with having the extra Bank holiday day on Monday.

Today I would normally have been cleaning but decided instead to tackle the pile of paperwork that has been breeding accumulated on the desk and get back on top of the finances.  I have a number of tasks…

  • Find a new mobile provider – (once again, as sadly Sainsbury’s gave up last year as a provider) and now Talk Mobile are pulling out of their pay as you go which cost me all of £20 a year!   I am not a phone user so not really worth me being on a contract and the best coverage at our cottage / caravan is Vodaphone.  Their pay as you go is expensive so I am looking for a cheap, cheap, and even cheaper contract.  OH has one that is only £7.50 a month with bundles or whatever but I am not sure I can get that deal now.
  • Decide how to switch my new pension investment  – finally our firm has enrolled onto the people’s pension scheme and I had the first deduction taken this month from my salary.  As with OH pension I want to invest in an Ethical fund but the first pay in is into the default ordinary one so I need to read up on the instructions of how to change this online.  Looking at the figures on the handout we were given at the recent seminar the Ethical choice is doing relatively well.
  • Check our bank accounts and savings and update them.
  • Check over the renewed insurance policy for the cottage – a job I hate doing but must be done.
  • Switch energy provider – Npower are now for the chop.
  • Filing – plenty of it!

Once the paperwork is done my next task is to decide what is going back into the newly decorated bedroom.  We have assembled the Ikea wardrobes which have been fitted out with shelving rather than hanging and will be my linen cupboard and also house fabrics and sewing projects –  this will take the strain off the wardrobe in our main bedroom.  We have also bought a set of drawers so I have to decide where and how to store the items I am keeping and what is to be displayed.  My granddaughter will eventually stay in this room so I want it to look appealing to her and have a place for a few toys.

I removed a bag full of soft toys when we cleared out the room – this little rag doll is the same age as my elder daughter – 37 years old.  I made her as a sample for a sewing kit manufacturer interested in selling toy kits when I worked for New Look Patterns in the seventies and eighties in Bradford – some bloggers may remember them as Maudella.  We were updating the toy section of the catalogue at the time and I had great fun designing and developing a selection of toys.

She has always been called ‘Dolly” and here she is having a leisurely soak whilst her clothes are in the washer.



Meanwhile bunny and Ted have been spruced up in the washing machine together with a few other ‘friends’.

I had to make the awful decision to send one or two to the charity shop to be loved in a new home – what is it about soft toys that makes this such a hard job?

When my mum comes to stay she has little room to pack lots of toiletries in her case and they make it heavy so she keeps a spare set of basic things at our house.  I have put them all into a little guest basket for her and added in a couple of towels, face cloths and scented soaps – looks much prettier on the shelf now.


We needed a new blind for the Velux roof light as the old one had rotted in the sun.  When we checked the price we found they are nearly £100 now for a ‘proper’ Velux blind.  We came across an ordinary blind reduced to £6 in John Lewis and it just happened to be the same width so OH managed to carefully remove the fabric from the new blind and fix it onto the winding mechanism of the old blind.  Brilliant  – what a bargain.

I shall reveal all soon – just not been able to take any pictures yet.


Have a great weekend – back soon.

12 thoughts on “‘dolly’ mixtures…”

  1. Id rather stick pins in my eyes than do all that paperwork! I’m very lucky or should I say Victorian that my hubby does all that, I tell myself he enjoys doing all that searching on line for deals but I’m sure he doesn’t really enjoy it that much! I am tidying though, I am finally clearing out years and years of hoarded ‘stuff’ (mainly magazines) from my workroom and the spare rooms……it is taking ages as I keep reading them!! 😄 Good luck with your tasks but remember to enjoy the weekend too. Xxx


    1. I think I have always been in charge of the finances as my OH used to work very long hours and away on business a lot. I probably would have a control problem anyway if I didn’t do them LOL.
      Magazines are my weakness but this year I am tearing out what I need from them then throwing out straight away so they don’t build up – so now I have a pile of clippings instead!!


  2. I love the photo of Dolly having a bath. I find it hard to get rid of teddies and the like too. Especially the ones that look like they have a personality and the ones with whom my kids formed a bond. It’s like the stuffed toy is alive.


  3. I like your financial to-do list. It’s great that you put a priority on doing the big-picture tasks. It’s easy to procrastinate. It’s very cool that you used to work at New Look!


      1. Yes, I remember New Look, but since I was never much at sewing, I didn’t know which “family” of companies it belonged to. I have been back home for a week – well into the work routine again now.


  4. My goodness, what an interesting job you had at New Look Patterns. I’m fascinated. I’m really looking forward to seeing your renovated guest room. The basket of toiletries is quite charming. I know the rest of the room will be equally so.


    1. Just doing the finishing touches now – everything takes time but I am pleased with the result at least it looks clean and fresh now and it has given me the momentum to part with more stuff as I like the space and do not want to fill it up again.


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