Friday, 22 September 2017

This Is My Happy


I'm not quite this Spartan or ascetic (yet), but I am certainly enticed to create my own version of this.

What is your happy?

Thursday, 21 September 2017

The Deadline


Because I am a minimalist and because I feel like a fraud, I have enlisted the help of a good friend CW to be bossy with me. As you may know, having empty cupboards and a miniscule amount of things is very important to me. But as you may also be aware, my Achilles heel is my clothing. Now just to defend myself, my clothing is immaculately organised, by type and colour, but I still have way too much. I don't want to be a Project 33 person as I do like clothing and I want a little more than this regime affords. NB I do love Project 33 and especially Courtney Carver, but I am not ready to embrace so few items yet.

Therefore as a halfway to Project 33 and the massive amount of items I currently own, I have decided to set myself a deadline. As I have mentioned I am losing a little weight rather well at the moment, so have decided that whatever clothes don't fit me by Christmas are the clothes that have to go. My friend CW is a very straight talking person and I know she will be firm with me. I will try on everything I own and if it fits, it will then have to go to level two, where CW will tell me if it SUITS. If it passes the fits me and suits me criteria, then it can be kept.

She will tell me if I look like a Kath and Kim castoff or a colour blind bag lady too. I am sure that with her firm hand and a bit of common sense I will finally end up with a fairly well curated wardrobe.

It did strike me though, that I would probably get fed up of trying things on and in the end, say stuff it and donate the flamin' lot.

Watch this space!

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Two New Pairs Of Jeans



No, I didn't give in! I haven't been and bought some new clothes, but what I have done is found two pairs of jeans in my vast array of organised clothing that now fit me. Two pairs I haven't fitted into in four years! And how have I lost a little weight recently?

Ta-da.....juices!

Just seven days and I have still been eating some other food, healthy, but chewable type stuff. My kid's eczema has cleared up in a week and I have had no asthmatic symptoms either. I love keeping it simple, juices, some veggies and a little chicken. I am now about to install a second hand juicer and a blender at work too, not just for me, but for anyone who wishes to use it.

The pulp goes to a colleague for her chickens and organising work lunches and snacks is nothing more complicated than bringing a bunch of fruit and veg each day. Nice and simple. 

If you want to watch Jason Vale's YouTube docco on the healing powers of juices, click HERE

Not selling anything, just sending you to the docco that changed my thinking and my asthma issues.

Thank you for stopping by and happy juicing!




Tuesday, 19 September 2017

No Christmas Tree- Official

Not My Real Kitty


It's official!


No Christmas tree this year and I have my friend Bec to thank.


One thing I have been "umming" and "ahhing" about is whether to get rid of my Christmas tree. I wanted to get rid of it, but thought my son might still be keen to keep it. He's 14, it might still be the thing. When I asked him he said he's prefer a table top one if we had one at all, but didn't even seem bothered about that.


Then I talked to my friend BW and she happened to mention that she didn't have a tree anymore because her cats just used it as a playground and showed no remorse when they walked away from the debris and Beirut-like aftermath of their behaviour.


Which then reminded me, that since last year, Mr Fancy Pants (not his real name, but a dead ringer for the offender in the above photo) came to live with us in February. Mr FP is a rogue, a vagabond and a P in the A when there's something dangly to lurk around and play with. And that did it for me.


I'm going to pull my tree out of the shed (still decorated from last year since we were too lazy to take it apart), wrap it in glad wrap and bring it to work for my clients.


More space created, several million items gone with the tree and all accoutrements and everyone is happy...


...oh except for Mr Fancy Pants, but he'll never know what he's missing.

Monday, 18 September 2017

A Declutterer In My Spare Time

Call me odd, but I'm getting excited. A friend of mine is having me over in our holidays in a couple of weeks to help declutter her house. She is a person with quite a lot of things and feels she needs some Minimalist45 assistance to help her pare down. I am a bit of a Marie Kondo crossed with The Minimalists in my decluttering style. I like the thanking of the items, the does it add value questioning style and a flow of chi being created as the crap gets tossed, mmmm makes me smile just thinking about it. Another friend has also been mentioning her sentimental attachment to things and I really enjoy talking to her about how to minimise things. I would so love to be a professional organiser. I'd be in heaven.

In the meantime I will offer my services to people if they need or want my help. Such fun.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

And Out Goes More Stuff, Not Just Physical!

So since yesterday I've eradicated a few more items.

This includes : 3 sweatshirts, a heat mat, a plastic container, 2 packets of pills (not getting a headache ever again), bed cover, stag head, stag wall hooks and a flat bread press.

As I walked today I felt absolutely happy. Everything felt perfect, balanced. Picture this- last night I had dinner with my beloved. This morning as I lay in bed, I did a little breath meditation on gratitude and love. When I got myself ready for the day I went for a walk. It was a sunny, blowy day. I felt light as air. I'd had a fresh juice before my walk (carrot, celery, lemon and apple) and was listening to Wayne Dyer as I pounded the pavement. After buying punnets of blueberries, my son and I viewed a few juicing YouTube videos. Now I'm contemplating how rich I feel getting rid of things. I don't mean I feel like a rich person who can get rid of things, I mean that I feel rich actually being surrounded by less. Why is this I wonder? Being more ascetic is making me so happy, feel so calm, so fulfilled.

Not shopping is the best decision I ever made, ever!

What I am finding is that I am now getting back to all the things I am truly interested in. The distractions are disappearing. I am focussing on my important people, have reignited my wish to blog more, sleep better, have found lots of energy, have better conversations with my friends, feel more confident and light, both mentally and physically as well as spending time reading more and watching more intelligent things for my brain.

I am rambling today, but damn it, it feels great!

Saturday, 16 September 2017

The Mins Game Never Ends...

A Lovely Walking View
I began The Mins Game a few weeks ago now and got to about day fifteen, worrying I wouldn't be able to finish out the month. You know, 16 things on day 16, 17 things on day 17 all the way up to thirty one. Well I did do it, although I had to go a little further afield than my home...I had to take on my office at work. My office is the tidiest and zen-set of everyone's at work, quite empty in fact, but I still managed to build up my pile of get-rids with the assistance of the office. In the end I lost count of how much on each day I got rid of, but I do know I got rid of tons more than required to succeed in The Mins Game.

Here's what I got rid of. And me....a minimalist who owns little....

A water jug, 6 glasses, a bag, ceramic squirrel, 2 more bags, 3 sponges, a tray, 2x bras, 3 x knives, a whisk, 5 sponges, a nail file, a frame, pastry brush, a bag, 3 x sculptures, a shirt, 2 x forks, 8 x solar lights, cardigan, earrings, lamp, bag, lamp, glass bowl, body cream, 2 x cables, weighing scales, antiseptic, necklace, 5 cups, 6 cords, 4 x bags, chessboard, 25 game pieces, hot water bottle, incense, 7 x game bits, plastic container, 3 x books, cardigan, 2 x blankets, 3 x tchotchkes, bag, 8 x books, 8 x pictures, 2 x badges, fastener, booklet, perfume, lids, 2 x earrings, 2 x yoga mats, 24 bits of jewellery, 11x bits of jewellery, tin opener, ice pack, candle x 2, 11 x clothes, 26 cards, 27 cards, 15 cards, 7 x DVDs, scarf, tshirt, jacket, jeans, 2 x bottles of wine, 5 x DVDs, bowl, ball, tights, bra, 2 x tshirts, Lamp, wind chimes, handle, gemstone  elephant, nighty, shorts x 3, shorts, 2 x gemstone angels, 2 x leggings, 2 x books, 3 x tshirts, 2 x servers, a masher, Buddha picture, 2 x lamps, yoga brick, fish net, 10 x perfumes, measuring jug, bird seed, 3 x pairs of shoes, 4 x jumpers, 3 x body creams, 3 x coat, leggings, tshirt, scarf, backpack, bra, earphones, coat, jumper, 2 x tshirts, singlet, lip balm, magnet, top, g-string , lanyard, suitcase, jeans, scarf, plastic container, hand cream, heart ornament, 8 x cards, 3 x potato peelers, 30 x rings, plastic container, red cardigan, yoga strap, 2 x tshirts, shirt, 4 x mugs, tshirt, trousers, shirt.....

....and I'm still going....I am horrified.

My house is appearing on another writer's blog in a week or two, so you will see how little I have in the photos. My cupboards aren't hiding a plethora of stuff, many are empty...so where is all this crap coming from...and I'm not even finished?!?

What I am feeling is good though!


Thank you for reading.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Not Selling...Donating!



Over the years I have sold a fair bit of stuff to try and recoup a little of the money I've wasted. But quite honestly I'm at the point now where I just give stuff away. I'm not saying this to make myself sound nice, but because this is what I am doing now. I just can't be bothered faffing around, selling for the tiny amount I'm able to get, if I'm able to sell things at all. I'd rather the items went to charity or chums. I'm over waiting for people who say they're coming to collect stuff, then never do. Who say they'll contact you again and never do. People who haggle over $5, or want you to deliver a $10 item to somewhere thirty kilometres away. People who demand your address (hey I'm a single mum) then don't turn up. And on and on it goes. So, I can't be bothered. If I have stuff a friend can use, they can have it. If they don't want it, to the thrift shop it goes. My time is more important than farting around for nothing.

There's a box of stuff in my garage waiting to exit the building and in it, there are NO regrets.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

The TJ Question



No, these are not my undies, but they did inspire this post...I own a lot of underwear, a lot.


The other day whilst I was doing the putting away after the washing dried, I noticed a bra that I considered a little dubious. It had started to pill and fade and I thought to myself....


"Why am I wearing that when I have so many others that are beautiful and in perfect, unworn condition?"

Then I thought to myself, "Oh I will give it one more wearing then get rid of it. Oh hang on, why give it one more wear and leave everything else untouched?" So I then went on to think of another question to narrow down my fence-sitting thinking and it had something to do with my man.

The question was this..." Would I want my man TJ (not his real name) to see me in this?"

The answer in my head was a resounding "No!" Then I remembered that last time he cut my hair I had been wearing it and I had snuck off to change it beforehand because I was embarrassed about the ugliness and crapness of the item and I am a gorgeous sex goddess who only wears lovely, feminine things.

That bra ended up in covered in teabags, before you could say Jack Robinson.



Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Blogs That Rock My Socks (6)

I just discovered Rachel on YouTube and was also overjoyed to learn she has a blog too. I love her blog name MESSY MINIMALIST and whilst I own a whole lot less than she does, I still feel like I learn a lot from her. She's a really sweet presenter, very honest, very down to earth and like a good friend who inspires you. Check out her blog and her fabulous YouTube channel, she's wonderful.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Jackets Are Weird Or Maybe I Am

Exhibit A


It's a coat and jacket thing.

Just over a year ago I was sat in the same hotel in the same city, coming to the same conclusion.

I had brought my favourite green army jacket with me on my city sojourn, because it was warm, lightweight, practical and I loved it. Four days later when I got home, I could no longer stand that bloody jacket and I donated it to a thrift store.

Fast forward to this year and I brought my favourite plaid, fur collared jacket with me and the moment I get home, it's going into the donation bag.


Exhibit B


Weird! Four days ago I loved it. But now, I can't stand the sight of the damn thing. It makes me feel frumpy, fat and middle aged beyond belief.

Why is this? I don't think it can be from over wearing as I don't feel the same about my black jeans which I wear all the live long day. All I know is I am also dying to get home, into my wardrobe and cull not only my middle aged jacket, but a fair few other items. I don't know what's brought this on, for the second time, but the jacket and a lot of other froufrou things have to go.


Answers on a postcard please readers.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Time For Juice

While I've been away this last week it began on the first day. I absolutely gorged myself stupid. Being in a large multicultural city and I had an overload of choice and I chose a lot. As the days progressed, I ate less and less until I mostly drank green juices because I was so sick of food. One morning I had a lovely spinach and poached egg concoction that was immaculate, but it was all I could do to keep it down.

Because we had to have every meal out, I was thoroughly over food. I also felt very fat, despite the miles and miles of walking we did. Whilst away I read one of Juice Master Jason Vale's books and have decided I am going to begin by trying a three day juice fast.

In my opinion I have a few pounds to lose and I have a throbbing bunion that requires some attention. Juice fasting is meant to help with inflammation so I am hoping it will help alleviate a little of the pain my right big toe is giving me.


I've got minimalism knocked on the head in terms of possessions, now it's time to move onto my fatty bumbah body. I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

A Little More On Hotel Living


Now when I talk of hotel living, I don't speak of five-stars, chocolate on the pillow, 24 hour room service, excess type situations. We always stay budget and it has never been a disappointment. Always clean, always simple, always basic, but plenty enough of what we need.

Some of the things I like so much about simple hotel living are as follows: I like the one towel, one person set up. When the towel is dirty, smelly or generally not useable then it gets exchanged for a clean one.

I also love, simple toiletries. I only use shampoo, sometimes conditioner, face cream, shaver, toothbrush and paste. There's no make up, perfume, different types of cream. I rarely use body lotion as drinking water and smoothies keeps my skin in soft enough condition, without the chemicals. In a hotel I never have piles of stuff either provided or taken by me.

I love having a box of tissues in the room. This is actually one thing I don't do at home that I might invest in. I know it's wasteful and I could use toilet paper, but I find tissues very handy and I do make sacrifices elsewhere.

I love the tea and coffee set up in a hotel. Simple and small amounts, with one ceramic cup per person and no excess. Replacements available only when necessary.

Simple bed linen and basic bedroom lamplight is lovely. No excess waste of power, just what is needed. I love the few coat hangers provided, as if to suggest all we need are one or two minimal pieces of clothing (hey, I'm working on that). The rubbish bin is emptied everyday and if you have a fridge in your room (we don't) it's small and very basically stocked.

I just adore having just what is needed. It's almost like an obsession for me. The more I think about it, the more exciting it feels. It's kind of like I'm feeding my soul and living a modern day ascetic life. The better at it I become, the better at it I want to become.

I am a little peculiar to say the least.


Thank you for reading.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Hotel Living

.

About eight years ago I went on a holiday and spent a week in a high rise apartment in Queensland. It was very minimalist and tastefully decorated in lovely, natural nature tones.

At that point I was not a minimalist and vastly over packed and overbought everything.

But on my return home I pondered some important observations I'd made and things began to change.

The first thing I noticed is that I wore very little of what I brought with me, or that I bought. I loved how I had very little in terms of stuff around me and that made me focus on my time more sensibly. I didn't have many of the distractions I would have had, had I have been at home. I wasn't interested in turning the TV on in the apartment, so I spent a lot of time reading, exercising (and even though I over ate, I didn't put any weight on as a result). I spent time looking at the view from the high rise and generally felt calmer. 

Thereafter on returning home I began to try to manufacture my own home into more of a holiday apartment style home. Everything that I needed, to live simply. Nothing that I didn't need. And ever since, that's how I've preferred to be. It wasn't always easy as you know I've had some slip ups, but right now, my own condo feels like a holiday apartment in the simplicity and lack of debris I have accumulated.

Being in a hotel for the last three days has made me hone in on how much I love to live with only the bare essentials. I've read two books, whilst I've been away. I've had earlier nights, drunk more green smoothies, walked so much and loved it. It's good to have reminders about what you truly love, it's so easy to go off course.

When I get home, I can feel another purge coming on. Oh I have little to get rid of, but I know I'll do it somehow.


Thank you for reading.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Travelling Light


This last trip my son and I are undertaking has been the lightest packed trip I've ever been on. And I've done plenty of travelling over time. Travelling whilst in the minimalist mindset is so freeing and if the truth be told, I could easily have packed lighter. Since there were no glittering theatre trips nor three course posh meals on our agenda, I knew I didn't have to pack anything floaty and girlish (oh I don't tend towards that style anyway) so two pairs of jeans and four t-shirts were heaps. I wore some black boots and put my sneakers in my back pack, a bit of underwear, toothbrush, paste and face cream and there I was, sorted. I wore a jumper and jacket and whilst it is very cold where we are, I could have foregone the jumper and extra pair of jeans.

The thing that made me decide I need to narrow it down to a back pack is that our small carry on case had a disaster. The wheel decided to break and then made the most annoying noise when I tried to drag it. The case itself was half empty, as was my backpack. So theoretically, I could have got everything in my back pack. Right now I am contemplating leaving the broken case behind when we leave.

I haven't bought anything except food, tickets to an aquarium, the movies and bus tickets. We've had this trip planned for a year and budgeted for. We did a similar trip last year at the same time and it's just a couple of days away, with my kid. We don't do long holidays or overseas trips, so this suits us well.

It reminds me that saving where I can, means we can spend (appropriately) where we like.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Brawling Over Cheap Crap!

Our hotel has free wi-fi so I can write a short post each day. This is just as well as I thought I might give you a laugh, or is it actually an article to reduce you to tears? Not sure, but if you want to be horrified on the steps people will go to, to obtain cheap crap, miss the point and look stupid...then click HERE .

I shook my head in disbelief...all for some wicker furniture, of which the store had oodles, lurking out the back of the shop.

Happy days!

Away!

Hi dear readers, I will be away until next Monday. Depending on free wi-fi access I may or may not post. So just in case, stay safe and see you soon.
Miss Nine and a Half.

Blogs That Rocks My Socks (5)

It's that time of the week again when I recommend an amazing link, blog or site. There's no monetary gain, it's not about that, but I know how much I love finding new sites to read, so when I find them I love to share. This week's top suggestion is NO SIDE BAR which is a veritable feast of simple living posts and clever writing. Please let me know if you visit. Enjoy your reading.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

$500 and the $10 darling

At work recently one of my clients was telling me how a (not so close) relation of hers had given her $500 for her birthday. And it wasn't even the exorbitant amount of money this child received that got to me. But what got to me what the continuous (metre long) list of other items she had received, along with the things she was moaning about NOT receiving. It got to the point where one of my other clients said "Miss, you don't want to hear anymore about what she got for her birthday do you?"


And he was right, I really didn't.


Along with this, it's eight months into the school year and she is on her third international holiday. She refuses to share with others and when asked to be part of the classroom clean up crew, usually wrinkles her nose and refuses. She often tries to keep other kids from getting my attention and hates it when she isn't picked for something.


Now I really do like this kid and I don't blame her for her peccadilloes, after all, she wasn't born jealous, spoilt and greedy was she?


Compare this with another male client who told me about the $10 he got for his birthday. He was so excited and grateful and went on to share how he's managed to get himself a football from K-Mart and how cool and exciting this was.


I could have wept.


It reminds me of the saying ~ The man who has no money is poor, but one who has nothing but money is poorer. He only is rich who can enjoy without owning; he is poor who though he has millions is covetous.


Orison Swett Marden






Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Without Blogging Am I Able...?

A good friend of mine asked me why it has always been such a challenge to keep to my good non-spending behaviour when I don't blog. It's a great question CW and worth pondering. I think it all boils down to the fact that I need to keep myself accountable.

When I write things down and especially when I publically write about my quandary or challenges I feel like I have a lot more to live up to. The moment I give up, or lie to myself and not write down my thoughts and feelings, is the minute I fall down the slippery slope of stupidity and begin spending without thought.

When I document everything I spend in my spending book, I know I can't miss anything out and lie. After all I'm only lying to myself. If I bought clothes, but didn't tell readers then I'd be lying. So writing everything down means I am more inclined to stick to my good intentions. And as a result, no clothes bought, no overspending and me feeling pretty darn pleased about life.

Wowsers.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Chicken & Sweet Corn Slurpy Soup



This soup is souper (ha) easy! Super quick and super delicious. I added extra ginger and soy sauce to the recipe below, but that was just to my taste. We got  five full bowls out of this recipe. Plus the chicken I used was a BBQ  chook so I had tons of meat left over for other things. I squish the chicken between my fingers and plop it into the liquid. Even Master Fussy at home ate it and my man, popped round and remarked on the fab smell! Yay.


Ingredients

  • 1 litre chicken stock (I used powdered)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger (Iused bottled ginger)
  • Can of corn kernels (home brand)
  • Can of creamed corn (home brand)
  • 3 small chicken breast fillets, thinly sliced or a little  bit of a cooked chook. This is very fluid depending on how much chicken you need/want in it.
  • 3 green onions, chopped ( I randomly snipped the green off the end and kept the whites for tomorrow night's tea)
    

Method

  • Step 1
    Place the chicken stock in a large saucepan with the soy sauce, ginger, corn kernels and creamed corn.
  • Step 2
    Cook over medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Step 3
    Add the chicken and green onions and cook for 3-4 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  • Step 4
    Serve sprinkled with extra chopped green onion.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

One Month Down ~ Eleven Months To Go


I began my Clothes Shopping Ban one month and two days ago. At the time I thought it didn't seem like any hassle at all. And one month and two days later, it is still no hassle. I haven't even noticed that I haven't bought anything. In fact I couldn't be less interested in clothing. I got excited that I chucked out my favourite pair of stockings yesterday.



What I have noticed is that it is three days before payday and I still have money left in my day to day account. A number around $300...that's ace.



What I have also noticed is that now I've discovered I can sell on Facebook, that's where I'm heading. eBay Priced itself out of the market and local Facebook buying groups seem like an excellent choice. I've also noticed that I've worn my most favourite cotton cream jumper lots and I've loved wearing it. I've started wearing my newer best and favourite black booties. I had been saving these...not sure what for, but I had been saving them. What I notice is that I am spending so much less time on the internet, bloody brilliant. I'd call that success. I'd call that positive. Clothes buying...I will devour you!

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Louise L Hay- Farewell

I have always been a big fan of Louise Hay and was surprised to hear of her death a couple of days ago. It's almost two years to the day since the amazing Wayne Dyer died too. I have read a lot of both their work and revisit it often, in fact I only own three real books, two of which are Wayne Dyer books.

What a contribution they both made to the world.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Full Of Debt At Rock Bottom

I Can See In The Dark Now!
I wrote this a week or so ago, to explain a little about where I am coming from ~ hope you enjoy it.


What do you do when you are 38 years old and $45k AUD in consumer debt? Why panic of course, and panic is exactly what I did. I whinged, I moaned and I questioned. I blamed, I sooked and I cried. When I crept out from the excess of emotions, peeled myself off the floor and thought about it, I realised I felt better. But the debt remained.


I had been working as a teacher for the past 16 years, with very little of any substance to show for it. Oh I had a wardrobe full of clothes, a crappyish car and erm…well, not much else. What on earth had I spent almost a half of my life working for? With an ex who had disappeared the moment I became guarantor for a loan of $20k, gone with the goods and no-return address I was well and truly in a pickle. Not even a P.I could help me with that.


Ok, so the 45K debt wasn’t all created by me. But the other 25K was all mine. I had a marvellous selection of nail polishes (I bit my nails, but so what?) I had a lovely collection of swimming apparel, but hated the water. I spent on Ebay, takeout coffee, work lunches, all kinds of who-knows-what-it-was trinkets and had a little under $1k in savings.

Classy.

So I began a blog. At this stage in 2008 a lot of frugal blogs were in their infancy and I was swept up in the wave. The way I saw it was if I could write each day, it would keep me honest. I could keep track of my bills, finances, spending, reflections and repayments. And so I began.


I tracked everything I spent, confessed the good, the bad and the downright stupid. I accepted criticism. I also began to take notice. Writing everything down and adding my thoughts and reflections to these real observations helped me to see what I was doing to myself. I began to question every single purchase and with that, use the money I was beginning not to waste to pay down those sad, pathetic debts. I began with the smallest debt, this gave me hope and made me feel like I was getting somewhere.


Gradually my obscene debt began to disappear. By writing everything down publically I began to really dislike documenting anything that wasn’t a necessity. I never bought another magazine, after being a magazine junkie. No make-up, no clothing, nothing. I cancelled subscriptions, stopped eating out, started home cooking, got rid of anything I could sell and gave away that which I couldn’t. I wanted everything down to the bare bones, everything.

And in about 2 years, the debt was gone and I had finally begun to save. And save I did. Not only did my debt disappear but I was able to amass, over the next few years, a savings account of $80K. 

My partner at the time didn’t like my blog, he said it took up too much time and so stupidly I stopped writing it, keeping tally, feeling free of consumerism and my standards started to slip.

had thought I was safe. But without the blog, my good behaviour went south.

After yet another failed relationship, I found myself in need of a place to live. My savings helped me secure a lovely, small condo for my child and myself. A nice fat downpayment…and then the misguided belief that I should start to buy all sorts of things for my new home.

So for a time, I lost my direction and whilst I always paid for everything in cash, I wasted money. I did not need a set of weighing scales, or an air fryer, or ten sets of queen sized sheets and covers for my bed. I certainly didn’t need an outdoor umbrella, huge table and chairs and on and on it went.

After all this time, I was still not cured. And so I have begun to blog again. My blog errs on the saving/frugal/simple minimalism angle but I can see already it’s bringing me back down to earth. It‘s centring me, challenging me and making me consider everything I do and the consequences both good and bad. I save every single pay from between 20-50% of my pay and I love it. If I muck up, I don’t berate myself, but challenge myself to do better next time. It’s a game and I love it.


And this time, there’s no stopping me.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Blogs That Rock My Socks (4)

It's my weekly blog recommendation post dear readers. Today I've chosen SIMPLICITY VOICES because it is a positive feast of interesting, relevant and varied articles about simple living and minimalist lifestyle. It's a curated site of some wonderful reading and I highly recommend it.

Let me know if you agree.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Well Done Woolworths (Not)



For the second time in three days, you've sold me shit! I'm creating a dossier and then I'll have a think what to do with it!

Giving My Son The Shirt Off My Back





My son came up to me the other day and I could see he was eyeing off my shirt. This was a plaid shirt I'd had for some time, though hadn't actually worn much. I have a lot of shirts, my child, not so much. When I wore this shirt a client of mine told me that their granny had a tablecloth she used at Christmas in the same material. My kid then said something he's never said before and that was
"mum, when you're done with that shirt, could I have it?" Well, I might have loved that shirt, but my kid's unassuming query made me decide it should belong in an alternate closet to mine. He has since worn it three times in the last week, this makes me very happy.


I do not need several thousand shirts, so giving one away was a good move.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

I Will Absolutely NOT Buy

Thank You For The Flowers T!



There are many things I won’t spend my money on, but I am going to focus on the things that I used to buy, but refuse to any more. After all, before and afters probably make for a more poignant reflection.
  • I absolutely will not pay for parking. I live in a very small city, well an even smaller suburb of a small city. These days I can be bothered to walk a little more by parking further away from my destination, thus being able to bag the free parking. Either that or I only park in the city between 3:30-5:30 pm when it is free.
  • I will not buy magazines. I used to buy at least ten a month. It took me aeons to realise that all they were, were big, colourful, glossy adverts. Rarely did they dip into topics with any depth, not adding to my life at all. Occasionally I may read a free one or be given a few by a friend of mine, but ultimately I find them uninspired.
  • I do not buy ‘specialised’ cleaning products. I used to buy a variety of cleaning stuff, believing the hype and pump action advertising. These days I use washing up liquid, white vinegar, hot water and bicarb. My house has never been sparklier.
  • I refuse to have a gym membership. God knows I have had them in the past, but ultimately and predictably they have gone the way of the dodo in a very short time. On reflection, my exercise of choice is and always has been walking, so I walk. In winter I am lazy and don’t use my walking machine as much as I should. In spring, summer and autumn I pound the pavement of my beloved, flat and safe suburb to the tune of 6-10 kilometres about five times a week. I tone up in no time and feel sanctimonious and fit all in one fell swoop.
  • I do not have a mobile phone plan. $30 pre-paid for me and the teenager and it lasts us for a very long time. I like to know what I have spent and how much. I used to pay much more.
  • I don’t spend my money on excess power. I do a couple of loads of clothes washing a week, but my washing liquid is bought in bulk to make it cheaper and I use half the amount suggested on the plastic bottle. I don’t overuse the heater or the air con in summer and prefer to pull blinds down to save heat and cool when necessary. I used to be so much more wasteful.
  • I don’t buy make-up or perfume. I think we fill our bodies with enough chemicals without adding any more. I don’t mind anyone else wearing make-up, each to their own. But I spent years and years making time for tizzing myself up and I don’t do any more. I have a bit of old stuff, lurking. If my choir has a performance I might wear a bit, but not usually. I have some crappy old perfumes from yesteryear that just seem to take forever to use up, probably because I hate fake smells!
  • I don’t go to a hairdresser, my beloved does it for me. I have spent gazillions over the years but now, short, simple and cropped does it. I used to spend $180 every six weeks on my hair…even the notion!
  • I don’t pay to have my car cleaned. Erm my lovely man does that for me too! I did do it myself on the 28th of December last year though…so does that count? But I have paid for my car cleaning in the past..gawdzooks!
There’s many other things I won’t pay for, but here is my top non-spend list. What do you refuse to pay for?

Monday, 28 August 2017

Woolworths Australia Are NOT The Fresh Food People

 

'Scuse me whilst I die laughing. Woolworths, the fresh food people ! Ha! Ha! Ha! And as well as not being the fresh food people, they are also the people who DO NOT answer their emails, or on the occasion that they do, they fob you off with a cut and paste job, that is so obvious as they muck it up and add certain half paragraphs repeatedly, as well as calling you some random name (probably the person they've cut and pasted prior). They also send you a customer satisfaction survey BEFORE sending you the cut and paste response.

Behold, above you, the amount I had to cut off, from a teeny, tiny punnet of strawberries, purchased the same day as the cutting.

I am willing to overlook the odd bit of yuck here and there, but this is repeated. And it's not only repeated for me, it seems to be a universal issue. I don't know anyone who actually obtains anything that is completely edible from Woolworths. My man for example. A bag of four potatoes, only (almost) one that wasn't brown on the inside.

They don't respond online, they don't respond when you post a photo on their Facebook page and the general response is, 'oh just bring them back in for a full refund'. That's all fine and dandy, but who has the time to be going back in every single time you buy something? Or you try to buy something but it's all too horrible. How about providing the service you claim to provide in the first place? AND Woolworths don't tell me it's a random thing or just bad luck that sometimes the food is bad, because it is every single time. I am searching, searching, searching for something that doesn't scream BAD! 

COLES don't sell brown mushy plop and they're your main competitor- sadly too far from my place or I'd never walk through your doors again.

I'm not a farmer, I have a tiny back courtyard that I can and do grow a few minimal things in. That's great. But my biggest beef is DON'T PRETEND to sell a good quality, fresh food item when so clearly you are full of it (and I don't mean healthy food).

Readers...tell me, is this a universal thing...or do I just buy from the crappest store, with the crappest online customer service ever....?

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Better Than Takeout (Pizza)



It's probably nothing new to most frugal people in the recipe arena, but here at Frugal Fingers central, we love our home made pizza. This is a mini version of our rather larger earlier versions.


It's as simple as it gets and can use up leftover type bits and bobs, although today's version had newly purchased toppings.


Recipe as follows: one cup of Greek yoghourt to one cup of SR flour (or doubled in our case), red sauce/passata/pasta sauce, or whatever pizza-based sauce you have, we added grated cheese, salami and some cheap ham I got from the reduced stash at the supermarket. I mixed the flour and yoghourt together to make a ball, rolled it out and used a little extra flour so no stickage occurred and then threw the toppings on top and cooked until golden. I sometimes use sweet potato, spinach, whatever I have lurking in the fridge and sometimes water down a little bit of mayo for fancypantsage and that's it. It can almost be fairly healthy. We double the recipe so we have plenty for lunch the day after.


What's your home made takeout style go to?

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Week Three of Not Buying Clothes

So three weeks have passed and no urge or shopping activity beyond normal (food/petrol/living) needs has occurred. I have worn maybe the same three or four dresses/pairs of jeans over and over and been perfectly satisfied with this sartorial choice. I have a friend who literally wears the same thing every single day for work and she always looks fine. She suits her choices and makes no apologies for having the tiniest amount of clothing. I admire her for that.

My  favourite outfit for work is an ankle length navy and white striped skirt which I put a navy, very asymmetrical hemmed top with. I always get compliments on it, yet it's wash and wear and cost under $20. I have been wearing my green skinny jeans a fair bit too. My kid says I look like Peter Pan, but they are fast favourites and came from a thrift store for $5.99. I've been wearing a pair of my Converse sneakers alternately with my biker boots to give another pair of shoes an outing too.

My special man reminded me it might be prudent to get rid of anything I haven't worn in six months. But I am not quite prepared to do that yet as spring is about to spring and so my little weight loss and exercise regime will kick in and hopefully, I will refit into all the other stuff. Not that I would ever get it all worn, but I'd like the choice.

This week I got rid of a poncho/cape type thingy. It has a lovely Aztec print, but too much of flappy creation for me to wear. I'm feeling good, I am feeling pumped and am feeling like this is no hassle at all.

Thank you for reading.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Where I've Been Dripping Away In Droplets

I re-started my notebook a few weeks ago. Each day I document where, when and what I spend. I don't write down things like hydro/water/insurance type things on a day to day basis as these stay the same each fortnight and also aren't anything I can get rid of. But the actual day to day spending that I do, is written, in pencil, in my little notebook. I sometimes stick a receipt in, highlighting the amount or sometimes I simply write the amount.


I don't have very many no spend days, the reason being, I live very close to a supermarket and like to shop daily at better times, for better deals and fresher (though this is up for debate) food.


It's a helpful tool as I really don't like writing down anything other than necessities. Though you will see a couple of coffee purchases, maybe once a week, when it is my turn to buy takeout coffee for me and my beloved. I cut corners elsewhere so we can have a little extra hot caramel latte together now and then...it's worth it for me!

At the moment I don't seem to have any obvious money leaks but I think I could tighten up on the money I spend on food. I don't shop excessively and always buy reduced as and when there is some available. But Australian prices and their reduced cousins are not significantly different. There's no such thing as 50-90% markdowns in Woolworths...so a little meal planning and organisation could help a little I think.

Because I have a list of all my regular outgoings I have also been wondering if I can trim them. Some are not negotiable or I have negotiated the lowest amount already, so that leaves me with water and hydro. I already never waste either, but am now pondering if I can somehow cut them further by even more awareness of use.

These are the things I'm pondering, I'll be back with some hard data when the bills come in. I know I can improve. Thank you for reading.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Blogs That Rock My Socks (3)


This week I am loving The Blog That Started It All in 2009 (for me). Many/most of you know Ilona, but for me she has been the blogger who has stood the test of time. Even when I stopped blogging for a time. I always go back to her, re-read her blog from the beginning at least 3 times a year and I consider her my frugal, inspirational guru. Whether it's her travels, her cat love, crafting, recycling, her frugaling, her optimism, her vlogs or simply her down to earth, common sense, there's never a post I don't enjoy. Whenever I have lost focus, I have always gone back to her blog to remind me what I need to do and why I should be doing it.

If you are a lucky person and haven't happened across Ilona, then you are in for a treat. She isn't trying to sell you anything, she walks her talk and uses her creativity in everything that she does. If you are new to her, then I am so excited for you.

She's the next door neighbour you wish you had...thank you Ilona! Long may your ratings soar!

The Inspiring Dressers In My Life



There's a few people in my life who inspire me, sartorially speaking. And oddly enough, all three of them boys, well men, mostly.

The first one is my special man. He doesn't have a clothes shop full of clothes and even wears uniform to work, but he looks ace in everything he wears. He tends to stick to dark colours, mostly cotton material and he never tries to show off. All his clothes mix and match and I've never seen him look crap. He's found his look and he wears it well. Another inspiration is my best friend, also a man. He's very, very minimalist. If something comes in, something goes. He has a tiny wardrobe and a couple of slimline drawers and never does he look boring. And finally my kid. A teenager who wears black jeans and a couple of variations on plaid shirts, Converse sneakers and that is it. I've even offered to buy him more clothes (as secretly I am a bit bored seeing the same items over and over) but no. He's not interested, not until what he has is worn out.

All three always look great and very pulled together. Very.

I on the other hand have a suburban garage lined with clothing and racks and oceans of shoes. I mostly feel awkward in what I wear, very rarely feeling sparkling, shimmering and fabulous. I wear a couple of things repeatedly and ignore the rest.

I do wonder if a lot of my awkwardness comes from within, in the same way as my excess buying came from trying to fill some odd, freakish hole in my psyche. Or is it being female? I know my three male lovelies have their anxieties too, but they don't take it out by shopping excessively.

I'm working on taking a leaf from each of their books. Finding my look and sticking to it. I've blundered around like a drugged elephant for long enough, wearing one style one day, another the next, yet never ever knowing who is or has been or will ever be, the real me.

Deep huh?

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Could It Be Done? Any Words Of Wisdom?


I've been wanting some change in my life for a long time in regards to my career. When I was younger all I wanted to do and be was an actor. My parents of course did not go along with this. So I would buy the print version of The Stage with my pocket money each week, looking longingly at the ads for auditions and I'd dream. I joined a drama group, I studied drama in high school and then, when I got to university, gave up what I was interested in and trained for a real job. A real job that I have been doing for almost 25 years. A real job that whilst I enjoy to a point, has become so highly politicised and to a great extent contradictory and in many ways obsolete to the people I work with that some days it takes all I can muster to put on a happy face.

This does not feel good.
This does not feel authentic.
This does feel soul destroying.

And let me tell you, anyone who says teachers work from 9-3 each day and don't deserve long holidays, has never had a class of thirty, highly strung, unfed, unparented, neglected and brought up by computer screen type clients. It's a fricken' hard job.

But all that aside, it's not the kids that suck you dry. It's all the political, extraneous, nothing to do with teaching crap we have to do. If it's not from the department, it's being asked to fix issues BETWEEN parents, blah, blah, blah!

Anyway, what I'm really getting round to is the fact that I have been trying to come up with possibilities for a new direction. The place I've landed at is perhaps using my interest in drama (sort of) and being a cheapskate (definitely) and perhaps beginning a YouTube channel for frugal/simple cooking. I asked about a bit at work and quite a few people thought it might be a good idea, especially for young people or old people, perhaps widowed men for example who needed a little guidance and ideas for simple recipes that cost very little.

Should I do it? Even as a fun hobby? Could I grow a big audience? Do I want to? Am I clutching at straws? Can I even cook? How do I make myself interesting? Here are the thoughts I ponder.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and ponder them too!

Thank you for reading.


Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Inspired By Mavis



I've been inspired by MAVIS. I am really keen to achieve this particular activity. It seems trite on one hand, yet for me absolutely vital to achieve. I really want to wear my clothes out. I mean have them show wear, have them show use and have myself wear them enough to say 'I did it'. Instead of either a) donating the item elsewhere b) leaving it unworn but keeping it or c) or not even realising I own the particular item.

At this stage I probably have two items that look as if they've had any use. One is my True Blood Bon Temps Football Club tee which actually has a few pinhead sized holes in it and my biker leather boots that I wear almost every day throughout the colder months- despite owning many others that I love.

Other than that, most of my clothes, even the ones I wear, still look impeccable...and I don't want impeccable. I want worn, loved, tried on, kept on, used, known about, inspiring....

....oh I almost forgot, my favourite pair of stockings that have a hole on the big toe, I simply can't think about parting with those- yet!


Three items...that show wear..pathetic!