Hello and welcome to my blog. I've been getting some thoughts & feelings, exasperations and the odd happy moment down on the blog which helps my sanity and, I hope, provides a little entertaining read for you for a couple of minutes!

Right now I am mostly concentrating on getting through a rocky financial patch which I really hope will be cleared (all being well) by the end of Summer 2013. In the meantime I need to concentrate on continuing to do well in my "new" job (actually got it in Sept 2011 but it still feels new!) and living my life as frugally as possible.

Thanks for stopping by and if you leave me an encouraging comment, it'll make my day. :-)

Saturday, 29 June 2013

My Saturday Night - Frugal Style!

Evening to you all, how are you doing on this fine Saturday night?

Well today has been a pretty busy and successful day actually. I have done so much including getting usual professional haircut & colour for £35 and have a brilliant chat with my hairdresser at the same time in the comfort of her lovely home with cups of tea. I so needed that colour today...grey roots or WHAT!

After that bit of pampering I came home and proceeded to get a heap (or three) of laundry done and dried on the line. Clean sheet feeling tonight don't you love it?

I have sold two things on EBAY totalling £26 and the money is in my account already. One thing was bought by someone local so I am dropping it off tomorrow en route to the parcel drop off point for the other. I am sipping wine bought practically for free as I received some vouchers from the Co-Op as I use their card each time we purchase. You can tell I am drinking wine as I cannot quite grasp the word I am looking for here....that word being.....you know, part of a co-operative and receiving a dividend annually based on what you spent. Bah! You know what I mean! I think the key word there was dividend anyway!

I made a very delicious but frugal dinner tonight of mushroom and cashew nut risotto and yes it really was tasty! If you want to know more:

All I did was slice about 100g of mushrooms and toss them in a liberal sprinkling of bottled lemon juice then left them for about 5 minutes whilst I melted two tablespoons of (dairy free) margarine in a saucepan. Fry the mushrooms for about 5 minutes, add 1 x tsp of dried basil and 1 x tbsp of dried parsley, stir through for about 1 minute then spoon into a bowl then set aside.

In the same saucepan, melt some more margarine then fry an onion (or a chopped leek) for 6 minutes over a medium heat. Add the risotto rice (I do 80g per person) and stir through for about 2 mins. Add the mushrooms you set aside earlier and half a cup of dry white wine (I picked up a cheap bottle from Aldi). You can drink the rest whilst cooking!

Allow the wine to absorb then add stock, bit by bit or all at once if you like. I prepare about 500 - 600ml of veggie stock. Keep stirring for about 15-20 minutes, until the rice is cooked. About 5 minutes from the end though, stir in about a cupful of roughly chopped cashew nuts (I just buy the dried ones again from Aldi, about £1 a pack) and a good twist of black pepper. If you eat dairy, you can add in some parmesan at this point and turn off the heat.

Serve! Delicious.

And after dinner I settled back and am watching Chic at Glastonbury on catch up tv (I-Player) and really wish I could get tickets to see them at the O2 in July but it's completely sold out. Freak Out by Chic is the first song I remember dancing to with my big sister back in the 70's as a small young thing and I still love it. Nile Rodgers is still a cool dude and if only I could go out to a club and dance all night to this sort of stuff I would be a very happy person!

Anyway that is my day, it's been busy - how about you??

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Remember Me?

Hello there! How are you today? Here's hoping you are well.

A lot has gone on since my last blog entry! It's been a busy time indeed. Work has been busy and I was away on a course for a week as well. I was shattered by the end of it! Also we have been doing a lot around the home and garden as we decided we wanted to move. I think I have mentioned before just how boring it is where we live both culturally as well as geographically with nothing much to do or see. Well, we've had enough! Other half will be looking for a better job towards the end of the year so we have set our caps at moving about 35 miles south of where we are to a bustling market town which is by a beautiful river & green land (where they have fairs) and we could walk into town or to the train station in a matter of minutes and generally just feel like we can see & do more. And feel like part of a nicer community.

So, the house is now on the market but it is very very slow. We've only had a handful of viewings and zero feedback which is frustrating as I'd like to know if there is something specific we should do or change. The estate agents are bloody useless at getting the feedback as well even when I ask/remind them to get it! Anyway we're on a 16 week contract with these agents who I have used twice before with no issues (was a while ago though) so if we don't sell I think we'll come off the market and try again with someone else in the New Year.

We did make an offer on a house we liked in the market town but although we weren't far off what the expected, their main concern was we hadn't sold and we're not looking like we will any time very soon. So I can understand that I suppose. A shame but that house is still on the market and I guess if it is meant to be...it will be. No point in getting stressed out about it.

In other news I have been EBAYing again...selling dresses, shoes and good quality cycling gear that I no longer use rather than having it take up space and I've made some useful money along the way. Not loads but enough to cover one or two bills or unexpected expenditure, you know how it is.

Some bad news is, I have had to borrow some more money to make some much needed improvements to the house but the plan is, should we sell it, I will pay that back out of our equity which is a decent amount. I never ever wanted to take out a bank loan again but this is a strategic move I like to think! And if we don't sell, well, the changes are good things (new windows, much needed change of flooring etc) that we can reap the benefit from and they will be there and done for when we try again next year. And it's not an unmanageable loan either.

In my last post I was talking about how much I was looking forward to being able to turn off the central heating and get some credit on the old gas & electric accounts wasn't I? Well even though Spring & Summer have been a disappointment so far, I have managed to get into credit on both accounts and both will be in good credit (touch wood) come the winter. And again IF we move before then I will hopefully be in a position to get the cash back from Atlantic when the accounts get closed down.

So that's me & what's been going on with me since my last blog entry! Now I am off to try and do some catching up with you.

Ta-ta for now readers. Take care.
x x