29 February 2012

100 Day Challenge (Sorta) Week One

I just reread  my post from last week to make sure that I wasn’t changing the rules on myself.  I didn’t really make it horribly challenging did I? 

So this week I managed to not buy a single croissant from Pret or a single candy bar.  I did a bit of math on this one.  Not eating these save about £8 a week or £380 a year.  Considering that its food and you need to eat and all that, it doesn’t seem so bad, maybe?  I mean, if I gave up food I’d be dead.  But for food that I don’t need and doesn’t do anything for me that money could really be spent much better.  This  wasn’t just about the cash though.  My little treats equaled 2500 calories a week, or 122 thousand calories a year.  This isn’t only what I’m eating this was on top of it.  122,000 calories is equivalent to 38 human pounds. If I lost 38 lbs I’d not just be thin, but skinny.  Every time I thought about just having one I remembered the math and put it down.

I’ve also managed to not buy a single pair of shoes or any clothing.  This is the easiest and hardest bit.  I want to shop at my favorite places in the States.  This makes it easy to say wait.  On the other hand I’m losing weight and even my work clothes are starting to look comically large.  My husband says that it’s not too bad and I’m going to hold out.  I have ended up in some, um, interesting outfits though.  Hopefully it won’t get me in trouble!  Shoes are also hard because I want these:


And these:

Will I hold out for another week?  I don’t know.

As for my eBay habit (obsession).  I’ve only bought one thing and it was off of the allowed list.  So no broken rules there. 

Over all I think this week has been a success.  Let’s see if I can repeat it this week!

28 February 2012

Bollywood Zumba

I know that my fitness post last week was about my new gym class, and I had really wanted to write about something else, but I don’t have anything else to say.

Last week I did a one off Zumba Bollywood class that was for charity.  It was at my gym, but cost £2.  The class was packed with women of all shapes, sizes and fitness levels.   The instructor was a very in shape man.  

I’m not much of a dancer, that’s an understatement.  I don’t dance.  Well, I have the Wii game Just Dance and I like that, in the privacy of my own home.  I have no coordination and really just did it for a laugh.  This guy had us twirling and jumping and shaking our asses.  He was shaking his ass.  A lot.  In fact, I thought it was kinda dirty.  I might be a stereotypical American prude.  I had to leave the class.  The gyrating was dirty and the twirls were making me motion sick.  

I went right out to the gym floor and jumped on the treadmill.  I think that’s where I belong.  I’ll keep my boot camp class and do push ups until I get muscle fatigue, just don’t ask me to shake my ass and  twirl around!

27 February 2012

Look at my Jugs!

I’m sure that has been used somewhere before!  Anyway, this week I bring you two eBay finds that are….jugs!  Everyone needs jugs.  They are so useful.  You can put liquids in them and display them proudly on the Welsh Dresser that I don’t actually own yet.  

First up is a Grindley Almond Petal jug.  I don’t know what kind of jug it is, cream, custard, milk?  I’ve been using it for milk.  This goes perfectly with the teacup and saucer I found a few weeks ago!  I love it when a collection comes together!

Next up is…. another jug!  This time a J&G Meakin Sunshine jug.  I hadn’t seen anything like this come up on eBay before and I pounced.  I don’t have much Meakin utility china, so I thought this would be a really nice addition to my collection.

I’m going to link up with Her Library Adventures and Flea Market finds, Magpie Monday at Me and my Shadow, and Thrift Share Monday at Apron Thrift Girl.

24 February 2012


Over Christmas I participated in a Secret Santa blog gift exchange.  I never posted what I received because what I got was broken.  It wasn’t that the items weren’t to my taste or anything like that.  It wasn’t even a case of the item being broken in transit; the missing bits weren’t in the package.  It was just straight up broken and unusable.  I found this to be really hurtful and mean.  Who the heck sends a broken gift for a secret Santa?  I vowed that I would never waste my time and money on something like this again.

My vow didn’t last long.  When I saw the RAK Swap over at T-rexes and Tiaras I decided to give this whole blog exchange thing another go.  I’d never heard of another blogger complaining about their swap gift before, so what would the chance be of receiving something mean again? 

So I read through a new blog and shopped around and wrapped up a few gifts for the lovely Sophie over at Country Girl Does Norfolk.  

A few days later this arrived for me in the mail.

I unwrapped it with hesitant excitement and found this.

Then I squealed.  A book!  I love books!  A scarf, I personally feel that one can never have enough scarf’s and this one filled a hole in my collection.  How did she know, I wondered?  I continued on like this for some time. 

I really hope that Sophie liked what I sent as well.  I will definitely be participating in more blog exchanges in the future.  It’s so much fun to shop around for someone and to receive something that is a total surprise.  

Oh, and Sophie, thanks for the lovely and thoughtful RAK’s!

23 February 2012

The Unreadable Book

Did you every have a book that you just couldn’t read?  Not that it was written in a foreign language, or even an old version of English, but still it was unreadable?  Sometimes you read something that you just don’t like at all, and sometimes there is no good reason.  It’s as if you feel like you should be enjoying the book, but you’re not.

I run across books like this every once in a while.  They are usually a gift, or even something that I read the back of and felt was right up my alley.  Then I get into the book and its just meh.  I feel like it’s a waste to not finish the book, but find myself picking it up and putting it down every time I see another book I like the sound of.  This creates the problem that when I do pick it up again I don’t remember everything t hat had been going on.  I then finish another 50 pages and then replace it with another book.  This can go on for ages.

Right now I’m reading one of these.  It’s called Legacy by Susan Kay.  This is exactly the type of book that I typically love.  A narrative history.  I have a hunch that reason I’m struggling with this book is that it’s a bit too manufactured.  As much as we know about Queen Elizabeth, I don’t think we know enough to hear her inner monologue.  However, this hasn’t bothered me in other similar books.

As of right now I’m about 300 pages in. I know that I’ll finish it, eventually.

Does anyone else ever have this problem? 

22 February 2012

100 Day Challenge (Sorta)

When I read this post over at A Blog From Blackpool I first thought, wow, I’m glad that I don’t have that problem!  Then other bloggers I follow started talking about it.  Then I had a think about it.  Just the other day my husband commented that he felt like we lived in the post office with the number of packages that I received.  He also said, do you really need another jug? Yes, yes I do, I thought!

Probably not was the reality.   I also don’t need to have a few other things I buy on almost a daily basis.  I don’t need an Aero candy bar, I don’t need a croissant from Pret, no matter how nice it smells.  I’m not even hungry when I eat these things.  I do actually need some new work pants and jeans as my recent weight loss means that they are quite large on me.  But I want to wait.  

When I look at my spending habits I see that I don’t tend to make large purchases.  However, I nickel and dime myself to death.  (Would I say pound and pence myself to death over here?)  It’s only a pound you know.  This has to be controlled.  

I can’t do the whole 100 days straight up; it would be cruel as I’m going to the States to visit my parents for two weeks.  That’s why I’m waiting to replace my too big clothing.  I also want to be able to shop at my favourite shops and spend money on doing stuff with my friends.  

So, my rules are, no random candy bars and croissants.  This should help my budget as well as my waistline!  Also, no impulse eBay buys.  I’ve bought quite a lot recently and will be spacing out my Thrifty finds to cover the gaps.  I will also allow myself to buy things that are on the top of my want list if they are at the right price.  Some items hardly ever come up and you have to pounce on them when you see them.  However, there won’t be any random buying of things just because it’s pretty.  Just to be clear my want list is: Woods Ware Iris or Jasmine Jugs, Johnson Bros Greydawn teapot, and that’s about it.  So, those will be my only eBay purchases allowed.  No new clothing or shoes will be allowed.

As for the weekly antique fair at Spittlefields or hitting charity shops.  My finds are so rare and such a thrill that I won’t cut these out.  In the 6 months I’ve lived in the UK I’ve found 1 piece  of utility china in my little town and now that I’m working I don’t really get around like I used to.  Also, I’ve found a staggering 4 pieces at the antique fair.  If I find something and the price is right, there is no reason for me to not buy it.   I am giving up chocolate here people!  There has to be something left!

What is allowed, will be house decorating supplies and dates with my husband.  

I’m going to do a recap each Wednesday and see how things are going!  I'm going to keep this up for 4 weeks and then reassess before moving on for the next four weeks. 

Is anyone else jumping on the no spend band wagon?