being thrifty, trEAsure, trEAsury

My little Treasure Trove…

When we were up in Scotland at our cottage over the bank holiday I went to all my favourite places in our nearby (only) town.  They are predominantly independent shops that have been there since my hubby was a wee lad.

In the stationers Moodys I bought old fashioned Cash books – I use these for my day to day shopping and tracking expenses…

and Sweet cases ready for Christmas when I hope to make some more chocolates for presents.  They have some pretty coloured ‘Christmassey’ foil ones and some stylish plain black paper ones.

From the hardware store Reids I found these clear Christmas craft stamps in the sale and thought I could probably use them to make some cards or gift tags – reduced from £11.50 to £4.  Too much of a bargain to pass over.

On the way back home we called at the Tebay motorway services and I found a book on Places for Afternoon Tea – just right for a stocking filler for mum or part of a food hamper for my little sis for Christmas.

I also found these grow your own Cosmos pouches which I thought would be lovely for my two friends birthdays in October.

And this beautiful paper which is quite thick like handmade –  I thought I would use it to make little present bags.

We also called at Tesco where I bought one of their cards for a £1  – I have so many September birthdays at work and I know I won’t get to make any cards at the moment. The special ‘This is a hug…’ card is for my colleague and best mate at work who goes in to have her mastectomy on Wednesday morning.All in all I arrived back home with a nice little treasure trove and felt extremely pleased with myself.

Is anyone else thinking about Christmas yet?  I generally use this period to gather bits and pieces together as I see them but try not to think about it too much until much nearer the time otherwise it would spoil being able to fully enjoy the Autumn season.

fEAsible, getting things done, managEAble, taking stock, to do list

Much ado about nothing in particular…

“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.”
–  William Shakespeare 


This is the weekend for me that feels like the close to the summer and after the holiday everyone prepares to go back to school and back to work – holidays over we look ahead to the next season and the time spent gathering in before the pre-Christmas frenzy begins.  How soon I wonder will we see Christmas cards displayed in the shops?

It has been a really hard week at work this week and I have had to work over for two nights leaving me both tired and behind with a few household jobs.  I am ready for a little rest now over the holiday – we will be leaving for Scotland and it will be nice to get away from the hustle and bustle for a few days.

Before we go I need to take stock of what tasks I have to do – my Master task list for August was virtually a roll over of the tasks that didn’t get done in July.  Sometimes it is those little errands that keep rolling over and I find my self analysing why.  Maybe I need to structure or write my lists in a different way.  I have been coming back to the idea of ‘Do one thing’ and in fact if I did just one task a day I would have done 365 by the end of the year.  But I know that in reality I do more than one task a day – there are plenty that are not written on my list and some that are there just in case I have some spare time which never seems to happen – hence the constant roll overs.

My list this week went like this

  • Card and present to buy and give to friend at work
  • Recharge camera battery
  • Write cheque for C******** (who helps occasionally in our Scottish garden) and put in post
  • Pay cheque into Mum in laws bank
  • Contact C****** about helping to remove the hedge at the cottage and arrange a date
  • Reply to my friends email update
  • Take mum in laws watch for repair
  • Post electrol roll form
  • Email electricity reading to Scottish Power
  • Look for something to buy with Tesco coupons that have double value until August 29th- (I have £28 – I can exchange £25 x 2 =£50 in any department but food).
  • Buy mascara from boots No 7
  • Buy Jason Thin to Thick hair styling spray from health food shop
  • Buy small hair mousse (for exceptional bad hair days!)
  • Write out a supplement chart to keep in kitchen to remind me to take my vitamins and probiotics.

Nothing too taxing there you might say – probably 30 minutes to an hour and I would have it all done – yes I would have agreed with this but read on… this is what actually happened…

How did I do?

   I bought the card and present after two days of searching after work for a suitable gift only to find that another of my colleagues is celebrating her 40th this weekend – so a quick dash across to Sainsbury’s tonight to choose another card and a few flowers.  Double trip was a bit time-consuming I could should have been more prepared.  Just as a note Clintons Cards have now got a rewards card scheme – buy 10 cards get one free – they punch your card with a hole each purchase – but what, I ask Clintons, if you are less than honest is to stop you punching your own hole on these cards??? (If you have seen them you will know what I mean)

   I will recharge the battery tonight – because I really cannot put off this very quick little task off any longer!

   I wrote and posted the cheque tonight after work but it really should have gone last week.  Every time I thought about it I didn’t have my cheque book with me or the amount to pay and it is something I could should have prepared the night before.

   Pay cheque into mum in law’s bank – I had only just paid one in last week when this one arrived in the post at the weekend so I did this on Tuesday after work only to get home and find that another one had arrived.  That one is still waiting but had they all come together it would save a bit of time as the queue is always out of the door with often only two people serving.

   Delegated – my helpful hubby arranged for the friend to help with the hedge so the tick is really his.

X   Reply to my friends email – this will require a good half an hour as I haven’t written for a while and I have heaps of news – so I keep putting it off.  I need to set aside some time one night after work or encourage her to join Facebook!

X   I have taken the watch to work with me everyday this week but it is one of those specialist shops that has very short opening hours and still closes one day a week. Have not managed to catch it open this week.

   Electrol Roll form posted – this was easy – sign the form – put in prepaid envelope – drop in box – if all life was so easy!

X   Email meter reading – this is always a job I procrastinate over mainly because we have two accounts – one for the cottage and one for home and I never know which one they want as they go by an account number and not the property. I must type out the account numbers and keep them handy in my Filofax.

Pending –  Tesco coupons – £50 is a nice sum of money but what do I need – Don’t they know I am trying to downsize.  We will be passing through a 24 hour Tesco in Scotland tomorrow night at about eleven o’clock – but who can make a decision at that time of night!   I will try to look online first if time allows.

X   Never got to Boots for the mascara or hair mousse – I probably have a coupon too for No7

X   I tried to buy the Jason hair styling spray – I went to the shop twice and it is still out of stock.  I will buy this in bulk next time and replace when I get down to the last one then it won’t be so urgent and I won’t have to make a special trip across town.

I have remembered my supplements each day but I do need a prompt on the kitchen cabinet door – but haven’t done the list yet

These are all just simple tasks – no major project items here – and yet it has taken all week to do only a few tasks and some of them required me to go back and forth like doing the job twice.

One of the questions I keep asking myself is…’do my lists reflect someone who is trying to live a simpler life’?… because to me my life seems to get increasingly busier and my lists longer.  I have to stand in endless queues, make more than one trip because of low stocks in the shops and spend more hours than I care to choosing birthday cards and presents for people who already have everything or like me are trying to downsize their stuff.  I would like more time to make my own cards and individual gifts but at the moment I seem to end up dashing to Sainsburys or Clintons for something very mediocre.

That is the end of my moan – I did say it was much ado about nothing and I am now going to forget all about my lists and tasks and jobs and go where the pace is much more relaxed for a few days and just stare at the sea.  Have a great weekend. let me know what your plans are it is always a pleasure to hear from you.