If you follow all of my businesses, you’ll notice I’ve been on a bit of an accidental shopping spree recently… oops!
Needing some more stationery (when do you not need more stationery?) for the studio and also to perk up the day job desk, I popped to town and found these beauties the other day:
The folder is immensely glittery and very happymaking, and stands out beautifully on the day job shelf 🙂 I like the reminder to dream big, too. And it is always time to be a unicorn… though I probably didn’t need any more notebooks…
Talking of notebooks, this A4 hardback beauty has PINK LINED PAGES. I’m not sure when I started liking pink more but this one’s definitely on the favourites list. And again, besides the unicorn imagery, I really like the words.
Unicorn stickies were a silly but necessary purchase – you always need sticky notes & index tabs and they might as well have unicorns on!
All from The Works so didn’t even set me back that much – under a tenner for all four!
What’s your happiest everyday stationery?
It’s January. Christmas and New Year seem but a distant memory, and most of us were paid early from the day jobs, or haven’t had much income from our own businesses due to the festive break, and there’s all the Christmas and New Year cash haemorrhaging that happens when you’re somehow not paying attention. (Or is that just me? One minute I’m in control of my finances and next, boom, I’m teetering on the edge of exceeding my overdraft…)
Image courtesy of dogwelder, via Photopin
In an attempt to avoid bankrupting myself in supermarkets, or giving yet more of my money to Ocado (who are great, and reasonable, and save me throwing unnecessary offers into my basket, but do have a minimum order which I can’t currently justify), I thought I’d try a Storecupboard Challenge.
This unimaginatively titled challenge involves trying to cook from my fridge, freezer and storecupboards without adding to them during this month (essentially, until 28th January which is payday). I’m allowing myself trips to the uni shops for essentials (bread, milk, eggs, frozen veg). The intention is to both save money and release some space in my freezer for lovely things I’ll be making later in the year!
So far I have used up the remaining burgers (one beef, one beef with chili, one pork and apple – very nice too), some sweet potatoes, microwave rice and made a pork & cider casserole in the slow cooker, which is well on its way to doing three meals. My parents fed me on Saturday and I made chicken and tarragon spaghetti last night, with (almost)homemade rosemary and garlic rolls. And managed to make some cakes to take over to Mum & Dad’s on Saturday too!
Next up – watch this space!
*I’m also trying to get a bit more control over my finances full stop – but won’t bore you with the details!!
So as some of you will know, I finally quit my City job last week and will be starting (work!) at the University of Essex in November. This was a fairly emotional decision as while I have been immensly frustrated, tired and cross for much of my time here, I work with a great bunch of people and it will be sad to leave.
I am incredibly excited about the new position, and the joy of knowing I will no longer be commuting on the train, and instead riding my bike for 40 minutes each way, is fabulous… but after a frankly eye-opening conversation with HR about just how much will be deducted from my final month’s pay, it would appear I’m going to have to be very thrifty for a month or two until I’m settled into the new job and money has resumed making its way into my bank account!
I will of course still be doing the things I love, but will be keeping an eye on those pennies until after Christmas. I will (sadly) be taking a break from my burlesque class until January, but I will continue to practise the routines I’ve learned, and until my train ticket runs out, will pop over and see the girls before class every Wednesday anyway.
They are some of my favourite people in the ENTIRE WORLD and I have no clue what I did before I met them! (not all of them in pic below, but I’ll have some after Saturday! That’s me in the polka dots and cherry buckled corset.)
My blogging should step up a notch, and I might even get time to do the long-awaited overhaul of DF. Between now and starting the new job, there’s the official launch of Inkdrops, my first ever burlesque performance, a huge powerpoint project and some serious work to be done with Escape the City and Free Range Humans. Excellent.
Here’s to a new life – and managing to stay in touch with the fabulous people I am leaving behind in the City!
All photos link back to their original page if not my own.
This bank holiday weekend I was lucky enough to have a wander round some charity shops (I am almost never in town on a Saturday or weekday) AND go to a car boot with Naomi. Despite 100 days I let myself spend money, and as none of it cost much, I don’t feel bad. Here is my haul…
Red sequin high heels. In my size. £3.49. Yup, would have been rude not to. Intended for burlesque and the dressing up box, but might wear them to work on a dreary Pin Up Monday, just to make myself smile.
Car boot haul – two tea set trios (£2.50 and Naomi had the other two), an unread set of Narnia books with the same covers as the ones I had as a child (£2, bargain), a box of vintage lace (£2), a ridiculous number of books considering I’d set myself the target of not buying any books… but one is an all time favourite I have been after for ages, Katie Fforde’s Wedding Season. Candles (£1), crystals (£1) and my most expensive but most bargainous buy of the day, two pre-cut leather purse kits (£4).
Saturday also yielded this beauty – haven’t decided whether to keep it as a scarf or use it as a throw. Its colours speak to my soul, somehow.
I also bought a dress, for £2, that needs significant altering before I can wear it – will share that when it’s in progress.
It was a glorious weekend – I need to wander, and eat cake, and do lovely things with lovely people more often. I feel more relaxed than I have for ages. It’s a soaring happy feeling… and one that is slowly becoming more frequent, which can only be a good thing.
Haha… 100 days of no spending… with the few weeks I’ve just had my resolve has been sorely tested. My bank balance is still looking a bit sad, but certainly better than it would have been if I’d been spending with complete abandon. Good.
Wedding week was a write off – I knew that when I started the challenge. Loads of expected and unexpected expenses, so just tried to be sensible. Charges still cropping up and my credit card bill is horrific. And I may have indulged in a magazine or three for the flight home. Oops.
Otherwise I’ve been very good – had one slip up for a grey maxi dress which I can wear to work, and have totally failed to keep my three-dinners-out-a-month rule – it seems more like three a week at the moment! But you only live once.
I’ve been exercising on skates and on the bike, both of which are free – and really looking forward to burlesque class tonight, I missed a week for wedding, skipped a week due to tiredness and there was a week with no class so it’s been AGES since I danced!
Camping weekend yielded much loveliness, most of it free/swapped – which is brilliant. By the end of this year Poppy will be sporting a badge-free exterior, a spoiler, red engine bits and maybe a twin exit exhaust. Excellent.
I have sold some makeup on ebay and will be adding more makeup, clothes and other things as I clear out, and the DF shop is slowly building sales too. Mainly in stationery, oddly!
I have also taken part in two craft swaps and the things I received were amazing – will definitely be doing more of these, it’s so lovely to receive presents and is challenging me creatively too 🙂 (my polka dot swap is yet to be sent to its recipient – that’s this weekend’s job!)
Not much on my wishlist – have been too busy to notice much besides the things I want for Poppy!
So overall for these first six weeks I’d give myself a 6 out of 10 for achievement and an 8 out of 10 for effort. Definite room for improvement – and I’m planning a nice gentle August!
So I started the challenge as a way to try and get some stability back into my finances – and see where my money was escaping most often.
The first few days haven’t been as hard as I thought they might – I’ve bought food within reason, had dinner out with Lou and Julia (2 of 3 allowed for June, oops) and resisted buying all manner of bits and pieces I’d usually have bought without thinking.
Among these were Computer Arts Branding bookazine (£15.00), various fabrics at the Range (£8.50/metre so at least £17 saving), Fiji water because it was in a pretty bottle and umpteen small and ultimately useless things from exhibitions I’ve been to.
Have also resisted buying the $100 Startup book, although this I may give in to before the end of the 100 days.
I have acquired a bike and all the trappings, which I will collect next Sunday, and Mum bought me breakfast out at the weekend – which doesn’t count! The bike is going to help me stay healthy and get to the station faster (therefore possibly to work on time? A girl can dream…)
And instead of buying, I will be borrowing the infamous Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy from Em at the weekend. I am highly reluctant to read these, as I hate jumping on literary bandwagons, I’m conscious it started as a Twilight fanfic (and I’ve never been able to get into Twilight) and I keep being told there’s no plot, just sex scenes… but I’m also curious to know what all the hype is about. The most unlikely people tell me they sit up all night reading it – so I’ll have a nose and see. Might even review them if they’re worth it!
I decided, a week or so ago, to start the 100 day challenge, in an attempt to level out and stabilise my finances, which are getting dire. (This is mostly due to my extortionate train fare to work, living on my own and having a sports car. In that order. The last is entirely non-negotiable!)
I came across it via a Twitter post from Sophia at the Tattooed Tealady blog, and having decided it wouldn’t be a bad thing for me to have a go at, settled down to write my list of things I can spend on, absolute “no” items, and exceptions during the period of the challenge.
Here they are:
|Spending allowed (“yes” items)
||Spending not allowed (“bad squishy” items)
|Food essentials (grocery shopping, work lunches, etc)
|Essential toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste)
||Cards & giftwrap
|Reasonable sweet treats
|Postage (personal or business)
|Non-alcoholic drinks out
|Birthday & anniversary presents
||Alcoholic drinks out
||Dinner out more than 3 times a month
|Existing debts to people
|Petrol & travel
|Listing fees (Etsy, Ebay, etc)
|Craft fair entry fees
||Non-essential toiletries (perfume, random products)
|Reasonable amounts of Pepsi Max
||Mods for Poppy
|Experiences (like the photoshoot, Alice bike ride, etc)
I know, the “yes” list is longer than the “no” list – but the “no” list is full of the things that chew my money without me really noticing.
Exceptions include eating out while in Jersey for Julia’s wedding, makeup & other things I need for the wedding, and investment in stock if my ventures come to fruition during these 100 days.
I started the challenge on 16 June and will finish on 23rd September. Taking inspiration from other bloggers I’ve seen doing this, I shall take photos of things I want to buy, and perhaps create a wishlist page here to showcase them – and we’ll see how many I feel I can’t live without at the end of the challenge.
I wouldn’t say I spend money madly, but I do have a tendency to fall in love with things and feel my life would be incomplete without them – so wish me luck, I think I’m going to need it!
Ok, so I’ve missed a couple of Thursdays… this week I’ve been ill Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and off work Tuesday and Wednesday, so have had more time than usual to scribble stuff down that makes me happy.
- Weddings. I love wedding blogs, I love helping to plan my friends’ weddings, I love going to friends’ weddings. They just make me daftly happy!
- Inspiring business planning with Lou at the weekend – I think between us we might do the kick starting we’re not really managing alone while working full time and juggling all our other commitments.
- Skating – see previous post, I think I have a new addiction!
- Daft girlie films – Legally Blondes, Aquamarine, Glee…
- My blue hair had its first outing and got lots of compliments, this made me happy 🙂
- Slapa 2! For those not in the know, Slapa was lovely Les’s car (yep, an MR2, how did you guess?!) which sadly met her demise on a corner in Tuscany… she rolled. Les and Anne got out unhurt but Slapa is no more. This made me incredibly sad, but yesterday they posted that they’ve found a new Slapa, she’s silver and can have the plate transferred – so they’ll be at CAE with a ‘2! 😀
- Christina Perri. I have a bit of a (unrealistic, as I don’t do tattoos lol) style crush and I love Jar of Hearts. Which I very much wasn’t expecting to! Adore the dress she’s wearing in the video as well!
- The Pinup Body workout. I’ve not been to one of these yet, but Naomi happened to mention it and it looks amazing! Definitely on my to-do list 🙂
- A new member for Etc Collective, on the strength of our exhibition – can’t really put into words how happy this makes me. However this also means the pressure is on to find a new exhibition space!
- My vintage duvet cover – it’s absolutely gorgeous! And fits my floral/vintage room perfectly… and is so much better quality than I could buy new. And has withstood three hot washes without shrinking or damaging or fading. Perfect.