Saturday, 29 January 2011

What I Bought This a summary...

blue wool
2 fair trade vest tops
Driving theory test book
diary of a wombat

Soooo, I bought some new things this month.  The perfume wasn't really necessary, it was an impulse purchase that was a bit naughty - I was shopping with my friendwholikesposhdesignerthings and smelling all the nice perfumes with him  and it sort of just happened (at least I only bought a £7 one and not the very delicious smelling £40 bottle - eek!).  Vest tops and theory test book were essentials - my vests have shrunk to crop tops and the marks and spencers fair trade ones are very nice replacements (old vests to be used in my up coming rag rug project!!) and the driving test book was hard to find an in date one 2nd hand - I'll make sure to pass mine on though! 

Diary of a Wombat is a children's book I bought from the discarded pile at the library for 25p.  When I was a baby I had the most enormous cheeks (I still do now!) and my mother used to call me Susie Wombat (she still does now!).  So I had to buy this book...

To make room I sent a bag of books from the loft to the national trust for their 2nd hand bookshop and a bag of old clothes and other stuff to the charity shop.

I've been trying to make a graph to show the number of things I've bought each month to see if keeping note has made a difference, but I can't get the graph making thing to work, so here's a list instead...

Nov 2009 - 12
Dec 2009 - 8
Jan 2010 - 9
Feb 2010 - 3
March 2010 - 7
April 2010 - 7
May 2010 - 10
June 2010 - 17
July 2010 - 13
Aug 2010 - 7
Sept 2010 - 8
Oct 2010 - 15
Nov 2010 - 18
Dec 2010 - 8
Jan 2011 - 6

As you can see I've had good months and bad me this still seems like a lot of stuff to be bringing into my fact I'm going to scare myself now and add it all up...148 the last 14 months...eeek!  Some of the stuff I've passed on, or used up (like books and soap and stuff) but that's still a lot of stuff coming in!

I already get rid of at least one item for every new item I buy, write down what I'm buying, properly think about what I'm buying and why before I buy it and avoid shopping...I'm a bit at a loss to see what else can I do to stop this naughty spending habit!?

For the next 6 months I'm going to limit myself to only buying 5 things per month.  I'm going to discount spending on food and toiletries, because they get used up, and going out and on plants  - some of my above numbers came from buying seeds and plants, which I think is unfair because plants make the environment happy, and as I can make up my own rules I'm ruling plants out!

Do you buy too much stuff??  How do you stop yourself?

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Things I Love Thursday...

This week I LOVE...

* playing pool with Em * sweet smelling night time air * watching sparrows making new nests * making a not very effective but nice smelling and occasionally warm bonfire with Joel * watching Penelope again * reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn * talking to my school friend Row on the phone and her baby girl saying 'Hello Aunty Susie' down the phone to me, then repeatedly shouting Suuusiiie in the background! * excitement for my mum - she's put in an offer on a new house! eeeep! * lots of old, nice customers at work * very tidy bedroom * getting to the top level of the suduko game on my phone * talking to Luke on the phone * orange and lemon sweeties * the song Oranges and Seasalt by Eliza Carthy * hobnobs * watching Beetlejuice (I want to dance and float like Lydia at the end) * eating a tiny orange at work *

What do you love this week? Hope you're having a lovely, lovely, lovelysome one!

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

New hair...

Meet Stanley, he's my Christmas grass head/grass hedgehog and he's been busy growing himself some new hairs...

I have new red hairs too!!

Monday, 24 January 2011

Library Love...

Depending on what news you listen to or read the government is proposing the closure of between 300 and 1000 UK libraries in the next couple of years.  The library I work in is the biggest branch in the county town of where I live, so it's unlikely that it will be closed, however the closure of our reference library which is in a separate building has been announced (along with the loss of jobs for most of the staff there) and will be merged with our services in April.  I'm on a temporary contract, and I reeally don't think that my contract will be renewed.  Tis all a bit scary in library land at the mo.  Especially because nobody knows whats going to happen...or if they do know they're not telling us!  

Taxes and VAT and all sorts of other scary money type things are going up and getting more expensive.  The world is running out of resources and filling up with more people (soon there will be 7 billion people on earth!!!).  So why the government feels the need to get rid of an established way of sharing resources among thousands of people, while at the same time there will be less money going around for things like books, CDs and DVDs, as well as the provision of a lovely community space used by a wide and wonderful range of people, I do not know.

This is my haul from the library this week :)  I read so much more now I borrow my books rather than buy them.  And because I can take them back I have much more room in my house!  And it's free!  If you never quite get round to using your local library please, PLEASE start now, higher borrowing statistics can only help to prove that our libraries are well used and loved and will help the argument to keep them open!  

Oh, and there's an excellent article about 'read ins' and how to go about organising them here, just in case they're planning to close a library near you!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Things I Love Thursday...

*rainbow sparkly nail varnish * guinea pig calendar * listening to 'Friday I'm in love' by the Cure * big longs chats with Em * eating a very delicious good life vegan burger * meeting a 10 year old vegan girl and her daddy in holland and barretts * having more red hair * sunshine * borrowing harry potter 4 on audiobook from the library * pretty frost * long walks * feeling healthier * work * finding another library job to apply for (wish me luck!) * booking hotels to spend my little cousin's first birthday with her * having the house to myself! *

What do you L.O.V.E this week? xx
(not sure where this came from, if it's yours let me know and I'll credit you or remove it as you desire!)

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Valencia Graffiti...

I've been inspired by Mangocheeks post with gorgeous photos of graffiti to share some of my own. Many moons ago I lived in Valencia (Spain) for a few months where there was much lovely graffiti in the area I walked through each day to get to the main part of the are some pictures of some of my favorites...

Friday, 14 January 2011

Cunning Calendar Reuse...

Last year I loved my guinea pigs wall calendar, bought in the sales for £1.25, and this year I just haven't seen one nice enough or cheap enough to make me happy. None of them had guinea pigs on them!  So I thought it would be greener (reusing the pictures and twizzly wire bit and using less ink and our recycled printer paper) and more guinea piggy to make new date sections for my old calendar.  There are many many websites that have free printable calendars (here and here), and you can make them on Microsoft Publisher but I couldn't get any that were the right size to stick onto the base of my old calendar.  So I made some in Word, and this is how I did it...

Measure the width of the part of the calendar you want to replace
Open a new word document
Go to table - insert table - change to 1 column and 31 rows, change 'fixed column width' to the width you measured earlier - press ok
Using the calendar on the computer screen (found by double clicking the time, on my computer anyway) fill in the dates in the rows
Print off, cut to size and stick on your old calendar.
You can then copy and paste the chart and change the dates for each month.

Surprisingly it didn't take too long, but I've only got up to April so far, because my eyes started to hurt! 



Who doesn't need pictures of guinea pigs on sofas hanging on their walls!???!

If you want to reuse your 2010 calendar and would like to use the charts I've made leave me a comment with your email and I'll send it to you :)

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Things I Love Thursday...

This week I love...

* rain, at last! * seeing a may bug * going to a language group and speaking terrible Spanish to a lovely boy * goldfinches * hot sausage sand which on white bread with cold ketchup * planting lots of beans with my gardener friend at volunteering * sweet chili rice crackers * hedgehog eating coconut cake * bed * Dr Who - piratey goodness * bicycle buying * shoes arriving * Spanish CD * rice noodles * lovely phone calls with Luke * going on bike rides - weeeee! * making Em and Vitor a hedgehog wedding card * planting sunflowers * digging up the big root at mums new house - it took about 2 hours! * seeing Lesley * beautiful crescent moon * delicious roast potatoes * reading 'No and Me' by Delphine De Vigan * getting a job interview for an exciting summer theatre job * baby bird cuteness in our garden * happy fluffy snail eating kiwi fruit *

What do you love this week?  Hope you're having a great week! xx

Things I Love Thursday...

* booking tickets to see DAVID TENNANT in Much Ado About Nothing in London for later this year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! * singing the warthog song from the Lion King at work * drawing dinosaurs at work (it's been a slooow week lol!) * sweetcorn fritters * pretty snow falling * meditating * playing my guitar * booking my driving theory test (8th of Feb - fingers crossed!) * going for a nice long walk * 3 teenage girls yelling at me 'I like your hat!' 'And your scarf' 'And your shoes' 'You're amazing' very funny and sweet! * watching Penelope * clean new bedsheets * rice noodles (deep fry them and they go crispy, it's amazing!) * nearly tidy bedroom * planning a meet up with my housemates from uni * my grass head growing grassy hair * booking tickets to see a live screening of King Lear at the cinema * listening to Paloma Faith * DAVID TENNANT EXCITEMENT!!!!!

pictures from here and here

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Vegan Ginger Biscuits...My New Faaaaavvooorriiiitttte Biscuit...

 We've been making these biscuits constantly chez moi, they're perfect and seem to go right no matter what you do to them!   

Ingredients -
12 oz plain flour
6oz soft brown sugar
4oz margarine
1 'egg' (I use ogran 'no egg' replacement powder)
4 tbsp syrup
1 tsp bicarb
1/2 tsp ginger

Mix the dry ingredients together, melt the margarine and syrup together and add to the mix, add some water (soya/rice milk or what ever you use) if it's still to dry, roll out thinly (about half a centimetre) and cut out, put on a tray and bake at gas mark 5 for 10/15 mins, remove, cool and nom!

I've also been making a chocolate version, with coco powder (maybe 1 or 2 tbsps) and chocolate chunks! yummy!

The mix makes lovely chewy cookies if you don't bake it for so long, or crunchy ones (but not so crunchy they hurt your teeths) if you leave it in a bit longer.  The cookies seem to go chewier and softer after a couple of days kept in a tin anyway.  I really miss these cookies I used to eat before I went vegan, that were about as big as my face and all chewy and soft...these ones are an almost similar texture...yey! 

This recipe makes a lot of biscuits, so you might want to halve it!  Or the mix freezes well too.

Ps. I'm in love with my new gingerbread man family biscuit cutters, they were a present from my mum for Christmas, aren't they adorable!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Things I Love Thursday...

* being super busy at work * popcorn * listening to Cat Stevens and the Beatles and the Swell Season * being called 'Bob' * getting a lift to work with Em and Lesley * visits from Lukey * chocolate fudge hedgehog cakes * PJ tips monkeys * having red hair * meditating * watching 500 days of summer * hot showers * using my new sewing box * wearing PJs * new socks * shiny polished shoes for my first day back at work * a little robin watching me gardening *  homemade christmas pressies off Em - copies of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Squirrel Nut Zippers CDs and a grass head! *

What do you love this week?  Hope you're having a lovely one! x

Monday, 3 January 2011

Product swap, recycleable plastic toothbrush.

Toothbrush in Mail Back Pack

Father Christmas knows me well, this year he put a lovely pink 'Preserve' toothbrush in my stocking!  I've been wanting to find a more eco-friendly toothbrush for ages (there's a website that sells wooden ones but frustratingly I can't get the page to load!) and this one is made from recycled plastic and I can post it back to be recycled again!  And it only cost £2.99 (I've communicated with Santa and he let me know that he bought it from Sainsburys)! And it's pink!  And actually it's a really good toothbrush!  I would still like to try a wooden toothbrush, but I think preserve toothbrushes are a good compromise for the time being.

What kind of toothbrush do you use?

Sunday, 2 January 2011


I hope your New Years nights were fizzy and glittery and amazing, or quiet and relaxing if that's what you needed them to be!  I definitely needed the latter - almost everyone I know has been hit with what we're calling 'the Christmas lurgy' (except my mum who has magical cockroach like resistance and has taken on the role of chief toast soldier deliverer and buyer of the soft kind of tissues) and I haven't left my house properly since the day before Christmas Eve.  So for New Years I snugged up on the sofa under my snuggie (one of those blankets with arms, someone bought me one and it's awesome, it's better upside down with my feet in the holes though...) and watched Mr Magoriums Wonder Emporium followed by a quick wander round the front garden in my PJ's to see pretty fireworks.  

I'm pretty glad 2010 is over.  What a blah year it's been, I feel like I've done nothing and been nowhere.  Being unemployed for sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo long was really rubbish and finding a job ate all my time (not to mention pennies!)  But good things did happen to me too...

I found a job (yey!)
My new little cousin was born and my other cousins who live in Australia came to visit
My best friend lives in Brazil and she came home for a few months with her fiance and it was lovely to spend time with them both and our other favorite friend, who usually lives in London, came for lots of visits too!
I learnt to crochet
I helped grow and sell lots of yummy veggies at my local National Trust property
I read a zillion books
I dyed my hair bright red!

I officially can't wait for 2011!!!!  I really want to pack loads into the coming year so that I don't feel so blah by the end of it...this is what I want to do...

Move to a lovely new home
Pass my driving test
Do a pottery course
Go to Paris for a magical holiday
Make sure I visit my Wales uni friends and my Birmingham uni friends and my Londoner
See a Shakespeare play at Stratford upon Avon
Get a dreadlock
Be a bit thinner and healthier
Learn to make falafels
Do Nanowrimo
Make new friends
Meditate more often
Buy less
Go out more
Wear exciting outfits
Paddle in the sea
Draw, sew, crochet, write, blog...create more!
Take relaxing smelly baths
Learn to play more songs on the guitar

And I want to find ways to be more eco friendly, but that goes without saying! (hopefully!)

What are you going to do with this lovely, bright and shiny new year?

What I bought this month..

dr who magazine
blue flowery blouse
blue flowery dress
black tshirt
donkey plant pot
red hair dye
2011 diary

Does anyone know of a cheap place to buy fairtrade/organic/eco socks, in small sizes (my feet are UK size 2.5-3, adult socks are ridiculously big on me but kids socks are usually too short in the ankle bit)?  I'm desperate for new ones, I bought a couple of pairs from primark in the end (I know!  urgh) but I need more and I'd like them to be ethical and affordable.  Otherwise most things i bought were 2nd hand, so not too bad this month.  And I sent yet another bin bag to the charity shop, full of clothes and books to make room for all the lovely new Christmas things I got.  One of my new year's resolutions is to buy less, so hopefully this section will be even smaller in the coming year!