Friday, 17 May 2013

Oops I have a confession to make...

I bought a top in Primark yesterday for £2.50!! I know, shame on me lol. I have been wanting some better fitting vest tops as the ones I have are a tad baggy. I knew I'd get a lot of wear out of it as it's black and so I did it, I bought an item of clothing I didn't really need. I could say that I bought it with my birthday money - I got some from my mother in law and have only really bought the Abba dance game for the Wii with it. So... That plus this top plus some walking boots. She'll be happy to know I didn't put it towards a tattoo lol! And yes, I plan on doing more walking. I get so achy when I walk that I'm hoping some proper, comfortable footwear will help. I usually just wear my boots which aren't soft or cushiony so don't absorb anything but are relatively comfortable. Fingers crossed that these boots will help me walk more :o) and yes, they were in the sale plus I got an extra 10% off too :oD And they're not expensive either.

I re-potted some of the tomato plants and beetroot plants today but run out of compost and only Mike has a key to the garage so I'll do some more another day after he's fetched some more from there for me. Got about 17 of the little fellas into bigger pots now so fingers crossed they'll grow big and strong and have a high yield of yummy treats for us :oD I don't actually like tomatoes lol, but I don't mind when they've been turned into a sauce for pasta etc :o)

Bit chilly these past couple of days but I refuse to turn the heating back on, especially after out energy direct debit is about £12 in credit :oD probably because I switched it off the other week so I DO NOT wanna put it back on again lol. I've been stitching and snuggling under the throw on the sofa :o) cosy!

Hmmm... Not much else to say I don't think... I'm so boring lol :-p I'll just leave you with a photo of one of my beautiful purple tulips which is gunna burst open very soon :oD
Hugs to all xx

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Bakewell Muffins

So, I've been trying to bake again lately and came across a yummy sounding recipe for cupcakes using almond essence after wanting to make my own bakewell tart/slice tasting cake. The recipe made 12 muffins and are very very tasty!!!


150g / 5oz butter/margarine
150g / 5oz sugar (the recipe called for caster sugar but I used granular as it's all I had)
175g 6oz self raising flour
3 eggs, beaten
2 tsp almond essence
raspberry jam
icing sugar for the top (optional but much tastier with)


Preheat oven to 180.C
Beat butter and sugar together and sift in (or not, if you're lazy like me) flour.
Add beaten eggs and almond essence and beat until creamy.
Add half the mixture to the paper muffin cases (or whatever tin etc you want to use).
Add a teaspoon of jam on top of each.
Cover with the remaining cake mixture.
Bake for 30 mins. (The recipe said 20 mins but they were small cupcakes so I did 30 and they were perfectly done in this time).
Once they've cooled down on a wire rack, make up the icing sugar as per pack instructions (or just chuck some in a pot and add warm water, more icing sugar, more icing sugar etc until it looks right if you're still lazy like me).

The original recipe can be found here.

Next I will be trying out some gingerbread sponge cake :oD Yum! Fingers crossed they turn out as yummy as these cupcakes!!

Spending wise, I don't think I've bought anything of note. Seeds for veg etc which I think I've already mentioned in an earlier post. Ummm... Nothing really. Oh a naughty little buy was an old Hugo In 3 Months Italian book. Published back before decimalisation came in. I couldn't refuse, and it was for charity so... I didn't feel too guilty. I think it was £2. Oh, and I bought a Sizzix Bigz Flower die for £3 at the same time which will come in really handy when I make my own flowers again. They had 2 more with it but I decided to leave them there for someone else to grab a bargain, as I didn't really need them.

I'm going into town tomorrow to meet a friend so I will buy some more plant pots to re pot my little babies :oD they're growing so well :oD I'm so happy :oD I even planted some more potatoes today which had sprouted in the potato bag. I have some lovely leafage growing from the ones I found in the cupboard a while ago. I still have some more to plant so I will pick up a couple more potato growing bags from Poundland too and get them growing when I get home.

I've been reading a frugal ladies blog and it seems that being single is a great way to save money.... I thought about getting rid of the other half, but decided it would cost me a fortune in public transport (I don't drive, but he does) so I decided to keep hold of him instead :-p hehe, poor guy, he's not getting rid of me that easily :-p

Been busy stitching away but have been having the urge to tidy up the craft room... Fingers crossed the urge is still there once I've sent this project off!!

When I get down to 8.5 stone I will be getting a tattoo... I'll prob show it to you once it's done :oD I'll be using some of the money my Dad left me when he died last year. I was 3lbs below 9 stone the other day then went on a feeding frenzy so I've gone back up a lb or two. Need to get back into exercising again!! I'm determined (somewhat) to get my tattoo this summer so I can show it off lol. It'll be number 10 and I already have 2 more planned after! Sigh... But hey, I think of it as artwork you can take to the grave with you, an expression of who you are and the journey you're on. Plus it won't get put in a drawer never to be used, won't get lost, broke or stolen and it won't take up space hanging around your house. Not a bad way to spend some money if you have some money put aside for it.

Hugs to all xx

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Grow Your Own

Yesterday I decided it would be the perfect day to get out in the garden and get some food planted; so I walked into town and picked up some cheap seed pack from 99p Stores and Poundland. They're doing multipacks of 4-6 and 8 in Poundland of different seeds so I thought why not? Mike picked me up from town after he finished work and we went to B&Q and bought some compost. We now have planted salad leaves, chillis, peppers, tomatoes, herbs, carrots, beetroot and more. We used a combination of regular plant pots and old ice cream tubs, margarine tubs and cut down plastic milk bottles - all with holes made in the bottom with a metal skewer for drainage. These all sit nicely on our kitchen window sil. I also topped up the potatoes with more compost. I'm hoping they'll yield loads of yummy potatoes as these were grown from the shop bought ones I found in the cupboard after who knows how long and they had sprouted like crazy, and I mean crazy! The apple tree is blossoming, the pear tree too. The plum tree has just started as well. I've seen a tiny little fruit coming on one of my Poundland plants I bought last year. We're not too sure yet what it is, but we think it might be a blueberry or a blackcurrant. Oh, Ayse wanted a raspberry plant so I bought her one from Wilkinson's. They had some in Poundland but they were just the sticks and didn't look too good. The one in W's was £3 but had leaves and looked really healthy so I decided that would be better. Just need to get some more rhubarb (the ones I grew before went into a tub without drainage holes and they've been submerged for the past 6 months or so!) and some more strawberry plants (nextdoor's cat decided to pull them up a year or 2 ago when she was a kitten by running over them loads of times!). Fingers crossed we'll have lots of lovely yummy food straight from our garden soon. Just wish we had a veggie patch rather than tubs. Oh well, you just gotta make the most of what you already have eh?

Finished the cross stitch today, for the magazine, and that's all packaged up and ready to send later. Did my second crochet square the other night too! Must, must, must take photos of the 2 to put up here!!!

Hmmmm anything else? Oh yes, tomorrow is a big day... My dreadies turn one year old tomorrow!!! i'm celebrating by dying the top half red! Lol. I was originally only going to dye one then realised I'd end up wasting loads of dye, so was gunna do a few... Then I kept seeing the root bulbs which remain in my hair after old hair gets shed and it really doesn't look good! Little white dots everywhere :o( so I decided to try and cover them with dye too - hence all the top ones. Bonus is it will cover the grey too :-p I'm not bothered about the greys, I'm 32 which is quite a respectable age to flash the grey strands, but hey, if it gets in the way when I dye my hair, I'm not gunna complain lol! I might even give you a before and after photo of my birthday babies tomorrow :-p

A Summer Frugal Tip...
Get that washing out on the line to dry! No need to use a tumble drier in this lovely weather when mother nature can dry it for you for free!
Hugs to all xxx

Friday, 19 April 2013

Update And General Musings... I Think That's The Right Word?

A little update on the washing soap - 30 drops of Peppermint has worked much better for us and we get a hint of scent with the clean clothes :o)

Speaking of clothes, I don't think I've bought any new clothes this year at all - other than the warm gear for Sweden. That really surprises me as I used to buy waaaay too many new items, just because I liked them and not because I needed them. And of course, every item was cheap and a bargain, but still, I DID NOT NEED THEM. Once I realised this, I was able to stop buying new clothes. I'm working my way through the ones I already have. When something gets to the point of being totally unwearable and unfixable anymore I will just move onto other items that I already have and which will serve as a substitute.

I spend most of these cold days at home wearing comfy clothes, so I have 2 pairs of tracksuit bottoms, 2 pairs of velour-type trousers, 2 black fleece trousers and 1 pair of fleece skull and crossbones trousers. Even if I could no longer wear 2 of these trousers, I would still have 5 pairs which would last about 10 home days without washing - more days if I only wear them a few hours if I have a late shower and spend the morning in my jammies. If I go out into town, to see a friend etc I will usually wear a pair of skinny jeans of which I have 4 pairs (have been after a plain black pair for ages but can't find any that both fit nicely and are a decent price). I have a purple pair, grey and black leopard print, black and grey checked and a purpley-blue with a subtle black lace print. They look better than I can describe them lol! But again if I can no longer wear 1 or 2 pairs, I still have 2 or 3 left for going out, and I don't go out very often so... But even then I don't *have* to wear jeans; I have skirts and a couple of other trousers or jeans which I don't wear very often and leggings too. so even if ALL my jeans were to magically (and tragically, as I do love them!) disappear from my life, I would still have other clothes to wear in public. I have t-shirts by the tonne, so if one gets too shabby it's no big loss. I have a few dresses which I wear when going out-out and I don't mind wearing them time and time again, if my girlfriends don't like it - tough! Lol. But I'm sure they must know I'm a skinflint by now lol :-p I expect I'm the only person they know who only takes £10 on a night out and expects to come home with change! And to be proud of it too! Hehe :-p

The only thing I can see me buying in the next 6-12 months are bras because they're getting a little tatty. One is tearing apart and one has a hole in ont of the cups. Quite a few are starting to dig in with the underwires which isn't very comfortable! Also one has a bent underwire somehow which isn't pleasant either! Bras are the new shoes for me - when I was a kid it was a HUGE hassle finding me new school shoes. I have wide feet and a stubborn and fussy nature lol. I so feel sorry for my Mum, bless her, she must have despaired every time my feet grew! And now, it's bras. I can never find them to fit properly and at a decent price too. I managed to find some amazing ones from BHS a few years ago and loved them so much I would buy one whenever they had a sale and had some in my size. Sadly I don't recall seeing them in there anymore and the ones that I'm guessing replaced them aren't as good. I have a few, but I rarely wear them due to them being uncomfortable and they end up rubbing and digging in to my skin after a while :o( Oh well. I just need to sew up the centre strap on one of the good ones so it lasts a bit longer :oD I really don't wanna have to go bra shopping!!!! *Insert shocked, scared and traumatised face here*

Hmmm... What have I been buying lately? Did I tell you about my "new" Pyrex dish? No, I don't believe I did! Well, I went to my favourite charity shop the other week and saw a retro Pyrex casserole dish for £2. It's similar to the one below and has that design which I discovered is called Matchmaker.
Then the last trip I went into town I saw a couple of bowls which I just had to buy. One was a creamy colour with a brown retro pattern and is to replace one of the chipped cereal/pudding bowls. It was 20p too so I definitely couldn't leave it behind! The other was a bit of a naughty purchase as it was 50p and wasn't really needed. It's a small bowl and would be great for a dip or to put in carrot sticks or a handful of nuts or dried fruit as a snack. What really won me over was the colour. It was a purpley colour with black marbled type effect. If I remember to, I will take pics of these bowls so you can see them :oD I'm especially proud of the first one. Not only was it needed to replace a chipped bowl (them along with glasses get broken all the time in our house!) but it was only 20p and it was retro style :oD And of course, all the money went to charity which makes it a sweeter pill to swallow when spending money!

Ooh ooh! Guess what I did the other night? I actually made the first crochet square from the partworks magazines I get!! I know, I know, about bloody time right?! I was very proud of it too lol :oD I'll have to take a piccie of that as well... Ooh ooh! And I was a busy girl yesterday! I finally turned my Poundland tea towels into napkins!! YEY!!! We now have about 20 napkins which have been kind of neatly sewn up using my sewing machine which I realised I have had for about 10 years now! Think I got it for my 21st birthday and I turned 32 last month. Lol, I had to work that out - wasn't sure if I was 31 or 32 now!!! Oops! But yes, we have about 20 napkins all ready to be used and about 4 which have been washed prior to sewing up - not a good idea as they frayed - oops! Ah well. So we have 24 napkins, made from 12 tea towels which came in packs of 2 and were 3 packs for the price of 2. So 24 napkins - £4. Not bad even if I do say so myself :oD Definitely beats the 6 I bought at Christmas, from Poundland again but were actual napkins, packs of 2 which made them £3 for 6! If I were to buy 12 packs to equal the 24 I made, I'd have to spend £12!!!! A huuuuge difference to the £4 I did spend!

What else have I been doing? Ooh I started another cross stitch kit the other day - for myself, not a magazine for a change. I finished this one first:
Please excuse the pattern coming through from the bag underneath lol! Something else I think I got as a gift for my 21st birthday lol! Only taken me 11 years to complete!!! And now I have started this....
And a frugal tale? I bought this about 10 years ago from Trago Mills down Plymouth way. The price sticker says £17.50. The price online now? Around £45!!!!!! Yikes!!!! I don't think I'd ever pay that much for a cross stitch kit! It would have to be something extra special for sure! At the moment, I'm doing the white bit in the middle. I got so excited today as I got to add a little pale blue lol!!! It's quite a challenge as there are lots of whites and pale greys so far, and it's on evenweave which makes it more challenging! Give me aida any day!! But yes, a past time using stuff you have already accumulated instead of buying more! Love it! And because evenweave likes to fray, I decided to whizz round it with the sewing machine which led to me thinking I might as well finish off the napkins :o) something else I can tick off my to-do list :oD I'm hoping to get another project from the magazine folk tomorrow - she sent it today so fingers crossed there isn't a backlog at Royal Mail. I love receiving them in the post, opening it up and seeing what stitching I'll be doing :oD hehe.

Well, thank you for reading down to the bottom. I would love to know what amazing finds you've found at charity shops lately and what cross stitch project you're doing. Are you also doing the crochet or quilting blankets from the Hachette Partworks series? How are you finding it? Are you a model stitcher for magazines too? I would love to hear from you :o)

Hugs xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

On Using Homemade Washing Soap

Sorry I've been M.I.A. for a while. Sadly I've also not been quite as frugal as I had been previously either. Not spending a lot but still spending - some of it unnecessarily so.

I just wanted to let you know that we tried out the homemade soap for washing clothes, using the recipe I put up on here. I believe it was Frugal Tip #25. We've run out so we're gunna make another batch :o) Altho, this time we will add more than 20 drops of Peppermint Oil as we found it didn't give much of a smell. So maybe 30 drops this time. It could be different with other scents so always worth playing around with it. Oh, and it is also worth noting, that it is best to put the concoction on top of the clothes, near the back of the drum. A couple of times, we found undissolved soap caught between the window and the rubber seal...

Hope everyone is well and not spending beyond their means. I will try and write a bit more frequently... Fingers crossed!

Hugs to all xx

Saturday, 9 March 2013

10 Countries

I'm really happy to announce that I have had page views from 10 different countries!! :oD

United Kingdom
United States

I would love to have the whole world covered in green and would really appreciate it if you would say hi and tell me where you're from :o)

Hugs xx

My Free Night Out

Went out last night and spent a grand total of: £0!! Yep, didn't spend a penny :oD Here's how I managed it...

Went to a nightclub with free entry.
Didn't get suckered into buying 5 drinks vouchers for £10.
.... I was hoping to use old vouchers that I had left over from previous nights but saw they were a different colour so was unsure whether I could... BUT...
I found a voucher on the floor when my friend put her coat in the cloakroom :oD Freebie drink number 1!
I didn't bring a coat so saved £1.50 :oD
On the way to the loos I spotted another voucher on the floor! Freebie drink number 2!
A bit later on I found yet another voucher on the floor!!! Freebie drink number 3!!!
In between these drinks I had some well needed tap water from the bar - for free.
Afterwards, I didn't buy any chips or a kebab altho I did pinch a few of my friends chips :-p
We decided to leave early which was fine by me, especially this morning my body is thanking me for it as it doesn't ache as much as usual lol :-p

So, a free night out and free exercise :oD love it!!! Had a great time, didn't get wasted and didn't come home skint :-p I did borrow £10 from Mike just in case they wouldn't accept the old vouchers but I can give that money straight back to him which is brilliant :o) OH!! And bless him, he kindly played taxi for me so I didn't even have to walk or pay extortionate taxi fares :oD

Frugal tip: Besides the ones I mentioned in another post re clubbing? Keep your eyes peeled on the floor in clubs for vouchers and money. Especially as people get more and more drunk and unaware of whether they drop anything when paying for their drinks.