fEAsible, intentions, my goals

fEAsible…plans for March

INTENTIONS

 

I had to improvise with my header for my March intentions as we are still at the caravan – so with the help of the front cover from my Country Living magazine I managed to cut out the letters using their picture of spring flowers!

After listing far too many intentions last month I have tried to cut down this month to give myself a chance of completing more of them.  March is always a busy month for me with Mother’s day coming up and this year Good Friday falls at the end of the month on 30th March.  We will need to fit in a trip up to North Yorkshire – weather permitting as well as another visit to the cottage.

Most of our additional spending this month will be on gifts for Mother’s day and Easter so this won’t be a huge outlay but the visits will take petrol money and probably a trip to a tea room.  On the bills side we will have my car insurance to renew and a quarterly water rates bill but we have a month free of Council Tax.

On the plus side I am looking to bring in more money – the extra overtime at work and more sales on eBay, but the biggest savings are of course on not being tempted to spend in the first place on items I really do not need.  So staying away from the shops will be key.  We need to save as much as we can now to put towards our Italian trip – the taxi alone to the wedding for 7 of us has been quoted as 120 euros for a 12 mile trip (mmm I think we are being taken for a ride!) – we are presently looking into the bus times but not speaking the lingo it is hard to know if there is even a bus that would get us there in time.

I intend to plan our menus for March again to limit the amount I spend on food.  Most of my overspend last month was taking advantage of the groceries on offer.  I am not keen on stockpiling as it goes against the simplistic / minimalistic lifestyle but I think having extra of what we do use is better than having cupboards stuffed with foods we never use and I try to avoid having hoards of stuff we will never eat. 

At this time of year the vegetables we have been enjoying are still around – Brussel Sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and leek but soon we will see Spring greens making an appearance and this is a good season for watercress. As the weather improves (I hope) I will need to search out my ‘lighter’ recipes to reflect the coming season and make meals using the same vegetables as the winter months but in recipes that are not quite so dense and heavy.  Instead of having a potato topping on my Shepherds Pie I will use cauliflower or broccoli rice, instead of a thick stew I will be doing a lighter casserole with less potato and swede.

Anyway enough of my rambling here is my list of intentions  for March –

 

crEAting

Birthday cards – make 2 cards for friends and one for sister’s wedding anniversary.

Easter cards – twelve to make

Hen tea cosy – make a pattern and cut out the pieces

Reflecting the season and spending a little on some bunches of daffs and tulips to brighten up the house

trEAsury

Pensions – attend free advice appointment and book further appointment with IFA.

More eBay selling – bathroom taps – wooden doors – my wedding outfit

Buy Mother’s day gift for mum

Buy Easter egg for little L

Grocery shopping target – £50 week

Use Boots coupon for face creams and new mascara

Savings – move matured savings in Flexsaver to e-savings to replenish account

Begin new Flexsaver account and set up standing order

Car insurance to research and renew

Pay water bill – look at more water saving ideas – try to shave another £10 quarter off this

homestEAding

Garden tidy up at home

Garden shed to dismantle

appEArance

Self care

Exercises – eyes

Make time to start some much needed fitness training using the plan from ‘Total Body Plan’ by Lucy Wyndham-Read (I have had this Magbook for a while now under my bed – it promises to deliver a toned body in 6 weeks for less than 15 minutes a day – we shall see!)

Continue with mixed fresh fruit in mornings

Take healthier snacks to work

 

nEAtening

Continue reorganising the wardrobe in the main bedroom and mending or decluttering any unused items of clothing.

 

Even though I carefully shortened my list it still seems like quite a lot but I find that setting some targets helps me to keep focused…what will you be doing in March?

Back soon x

organising, rEArranging

rEArranging…organising the sewing projects

When we decorated the mezzanine bedroom recently we put in new shallow wardrobes and one side has become my linen cupboard with a drawer reserved for my sewing projects and fabrics.  I am determined to use up these fabrics over time and finish the half-started projects, it is just a matter of making some time.  As I was going through and decluttering the pile I finished two simple ones in about 30 minutes which was quite encouraging  as they had been hanging around for ages – you can read about it here.

It is so much nicer to be able to pull open a drawer (rather than rummaging in a storage box) and see at a glance my fabric collection and even the half-started or half-finished projects depending on your point of view.  If I am feeling optimistic I would say they are half-finished but I am not sure that is strictly accurate anyway to get back to the organising – in an attempt to organise my sewing projects in some way I bought some large plastic Ziploc bags to separate and contain each of the half-started projects. The bags will allow me to keep all the necessary bits and pieces and patterns together and when I have the time I can just select the project I want to progress and in the meantime everything will remain in one place and stay clean.

The grey fabric with the cute printed hens is actually a tea-towel set I bought from Sainsbury’s ages ago with the intention of making a tea cosy.

Projects

The bag to the right contains a knitted cushion cover that my mum made for me last year but needs sewing together and the bag at the top left contains the surplus bunting flags from the wedding (2 miles of bunting for the marquee seemed adequate – you can view it here), but I intend to go ahead and make up the left overs into bunting with a view to selling or hiring it out.  Lastly, the final bag has some Christmas fabric and the pattern to make more stockings now that our immediate family has expanded – I am aiming for this Christmas – we shall see!

I decided that if I keep one project at a time in sight and near to hand it will (might) encourage me to pick it up and deal with it but I was not keen on having a ‘pile of stuff’ developing in a corner of our living room.  A basket or crate didn’t seem to be the answer  – I have various ones in various sizes but none seemed quite right so I was quite delighted when I came across this little cotton rope container in Next and I thought it was perfect to contain the project I am currently going to work on (the knitted cushion), and it is decorative enough to keep by me in the living room so I can dip in and out of it whilst watching TV.

Sewing basket

It is also a useful place I have found to keep my current Country Living magazine!

PS does anyone know the best way to sew a knitted cushion together – do you make a small seam allowance like with fabric?  Answers on a postcard please!

being thrifty, trEAsury

Recycling the magazines…

and gaining twice the pleasure…

County Living 2

 

As this year is my year to REDUCE everything in my life I had to make the difficult decision not to buy any magazines AT ALL, all year, unless there are extreme circumstances why I should need to.

As I usually head straight for the magazine isle when I enter Sainsbury’s to do my weekly shopping this was, I thought, a step too far but I have even surprised myself and after seven visits so far have managed to browse, but not buy, any magazines, and although I feel a bit guilty at reducing Mr Sainsbury’s profits I hardly think my ‘no magazine spend’ will send them into administration.

Of course this decision has been made so much easier because one of the Christmas gifts from my better half was a subscription to Country Living so I am not totally without my little bit of monthly pleasure and I quite like the surprise I get when I arrive home one day to find it waiting for me on the mat.

It was during the early days of my withdrawal that I suddenly hit upon the idea of rereading last years copies of  Country Living and Country Homes, that I had saved.  So at the moment I am rereading the March issues and when my new Country Living arrives for April I will pick out the April 2012 ones to read and it is just like having bought new ones.

This time round though, after cutting out any recipes and articles I want to keep, I will be putting the older copies in the recycle bin so that I do not end up with a magazine mountain, however I will hang on to the new 2013 copies so I can reread them all over again next year.

 

Country Living