Sunday, 1 July 2018

Uber Frugal Month

Ever heard of the Frugalwoods?
I have. 
I read a newspaper article on them a few months back and remember feeling awe at the fact they'd managed to retire in their early-mid thirties but I never paid much attention to how they managed it for living an extremely frugal life sounds impossible most of the time and kinda miserable.

However, working long hours and constantly feeling like you're not getting anywhere is also kinda miserable... But we plod on and by the end of this year, we'll hopefully be able to say that we finally bought our first home and we finally got married after almost 15 years together!

That'll feel amazing but all I can think about is how hard things are going to be between now and December 31st.

Buying a house is going to clean us out. 
It's going to take every penny we have saved (and then some) to make this happen and once we've moved the financial strain won't immediately ease for we'll be paying both our mortgage and bills on our first home as well as rent and utilities on our current rental property - for our lease doesn't end until the end of November.

The house related strain will ease once the tenancy ends (on November 30th!) but then it's December. We get married in December. We have Christmas in December...
Things are going to still be tight.

Come January, we'll be able to breathe easier but there are many months between now and January! 

Outwith the house buying and wedding 'biggies' we have all the little things to factor in like summer holidays, new school uniform, car MOTs, my birthday, the professor's birthday, the father-in-law's birthday, my mum's birthday... I could go on and it's enough to give me hives.

This has prompted me to take a good long - critical - look at how we live and how we spend our money and I'm not even a little bit surprised to say we fritter away a small fortune on a monthly basis on stuff we don't need, on food we waste and on services we don't use.

That needs to change.

The crucial thing that will get us through the next 6-7 months is cutting out unnecessary expenditure and doing it now. Right now, before we move house and have to drain our bank accounts to nothing. 
The more money we can put aside to buffer us through the lean months - before they bite for real - the better off we'll be later.
But it's important to us that we do this in a way that still allows us to live
You've got to live. 
You've got to make memories and be happy otherwise everything is for nothing.
So, we need a plan. 
We need ideas. 
Therefore, I signed up to take part in the Frugalwoods Uber Frugal Month Challenge running throughout July. It's just a daily email with steps and suggestions to live more frugally. 
I'm not pledging to follow every step but I'm looking for ideas and inspiration that could be adapted to benefit myself and my family above and beyond little things that I'd already decided to do (like cut out the food waste!).  

I don't know if cutting costs and living frugally will work for us but we're going to try.

I'm also going to pray to the house moving Gods for a nice balance in when our handover date is! 
The closer to our lease end (aka November) the better for us ultimately.
If we move in September, I'll call it a win. 
If we move in October, I'll do the happy dance.
If it's August, I'll actually break out in hives... And hyperventilate. And possibly cry. But I'll still be happy for I'll be in my own house!

Wish me luck?!
Any money saving tips to share?

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Blogger Confusion

This blog was created to capture all the things I want to talk about that aren't book related.
The intention was to post about my weight loss journey, talk about movies and TV and the house hunt and the upcoming wedding and life in general.
It hasn't really worked like that.
I mean, sure I have occasionally posted about stuff but it's not a regular thing and this blog really is the severely neglected hanger on that gets no effort or love.

That leaves me with a couple of options:

1) Abandon this blog altogether. Delete and capture the occasional 'other' update on Sunny Buzzy Books.

2) Continue as is with the neglected creature.

3) Actually, put some mental energy into writing and maintaining this blog.

The lazy part of me wants to go with option one. I've had this domain for over a year now and I'm obviously not cut out for opening up other areas of my life to the extent necessary for keeping this alive.

However, the stubborn part of me insists I go with option three.
Put some effort in. Peel back the curtain on other elements of my life and enjoy it. 
Write whatever the hell I want about whatever topic I want. 
After all, this is my space on the interwebs.

But option three is scary. 
It brings with it all the questions of how much of myself to show. 
It opens me up to the bog people and trolls of the internet! 
Am I thick-skinned enough to handle it?
I don't know. 
Maybe the trick is to start off lightly and see where I go?

Either way, I don't think I'm deleting the blog yet. 
I did that once and re-instated it after a couple of months so... Yeah. It stays for now. 
I'll work out the rest later. 

If you are one of the few that occasionally stops by here, thank you. Hopefully, there will be something to read soon beyond my rambling brain dump on the fate of this blog!

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Blog All About It: Art

I feel shame!
April's challenge was Art and, well, I epically failed!
I'm not doing well with this challenge...
I forget, then I panic and then I post late.
I must do better with this later this month for May's prompt!

I had no idea what to do for April's prompt: Art.
I'm not very artsy... But I do like pretty things!
So, in the end, I decided to share a mish-mash of art that I love!


I don't do it often - time is not my friend - but I love colouring in... Here are a few of my recent colourings! 

Favourite Paintings

They're all Van Gogh and they're all some variant on the 'Starry Night' theme. They speak to me...
I have framed prints of them hung up in my house and can stare at them for hours.

Fan Art

I love fan art. 
I live in awe of the artists and their creativity...
None of these pictures are mine, the pictures link to the artists.
Aren't they beautiful?!


I was going to round the post off with some gorgeous book covers but there are so many that I can't... I think if I'm going to delve into beautiful book covers I'll do it in a separate post.

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Weight Loss Journey #7

Last week, I ranted about how I LOST weight despite eating like absolute crap and how this week had to be better...
Guess what? 
It wasn't.
I have no excuse. 
The only thing I can say is that it's exhausting. Losing weight is exhausting, and I haven't even brought the exercise into it yet.

At the moment, I'd say to lose weight you have to become obsessed with food. You have to think about everything you are going to eat and meticulously plan your meals and snacks. 
Eating out? 
Ha, good luck with that. 
It's totally possible but you're going to be spending money on a meal that wouldn't even be your sixth choice, let alone your first.
I just got tired. 
Five weeks of slimming and I just ran out of steam. 
The desire is still there but the determination broke.
But guess what?
I'm not going to quit.

I LOST another 1 lb.
Another week of eating like crap and I LOST weight, again.
I still think it's because I'm eating good meals and staying on plan except for when I fall spectacularly off it and devour a Papa Johns pizza and six packets of crisps. 
That happened.
I also had nachos when I went to see Infinity War with three cheese dips...
As I said, I had a bad week.
But when I wasn't being terrible, I was really good so it must've compensated.
I've also continued walking lots because my car has continued to be a dick and not work...

I'm now on week 7 of the journey and I've lost 11.5lbs.
You can see the difference in my face and clothes that were pinchy are now fitting nicely.
I'm achieving what I set out to achieve, despite myself, and I need to keep going!

This week, I want to lose -2.5lbs and get my 1 stone (14lb) award and I'm not going to manage that eating like crap!
My luck will run out at some point...
So this week it's back on it 100%!
I'm going to dust myself down and really go for it.
I've refound my motivation... Well, maybe?
No, I have... I totally have...

Wish me luck and chocolate resistance! 
I need it! I really really need it!

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Weight Loss Journey #6

Ah... Remember how I said last week that week 5 had been hard and I just wanted to eat all the food?
Well, that didn't stop.
In fact, I think I was worse.
Ok, I know I was much much worse.
I didn't just eat all the food this week. 
I ate all the chocolate, all the crisps, all the cake... I just wanted sweet junk food.
I just wanted to not have to say no to myself and eat whatever even though I KNOW I shouldn't, even though I know it'll set me back and it'll take me longer to get where I want to be.

This week, at group, I got on the scales and I'd LOST 1.5 lbs.
Last week, my net loss stood at -9lbs. 
My net loss is now -10.5lbs.
How in the actual fuck was that possible?!

It shouldn't have happened.
I was eating CRAP.
I knew I had to stop eating crap. 
I reminded myself of all the reasons I'm wanting to lose weight, I pictured the clothes I wanted to fit back into, I imagined how annoyed I'd be if I got in my own way... And I still got in my own way. This wasn't just a one day slip. 
This was everyday eating something I shouldn't. 
More than once!
But still. 
By some miracle, I lost weight...
All I can think is that it was because my meals were good and I was walking LOADS because of car issues?

Either way, I'm grateful.
I don't deserve it but I'll take it!
Next week has to be better...

Wish me luck!?

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Weight Loss Journey #4 & #5

Gah! I missed a weekly update so I'm combining last week and this week. 

So, last week I had a -2.5lb loss. 
I was really pleased with that as I'd stuck to plan all week and it brought my total weight loss to 8.5lbs and gave me my first SW award! 
Behold, the half stone (7lb) award. 

Sadly, things got... Harder, this past week. 
I have just wanted to eat ALL THE FOOD.
I have had bursts of sticking to plan and then I'd fall off the wagon and eat pizza.
(Ok, the pizza was part of the little dude's last day before back to school hurrah, but still. I could have just had the salad but I didn't want to.)

Luckily, when I got to group I still weighed in at a loss! -0.5lb!
I'll take it!
Considering how bad a week I had, I really don't deserve even that much.
 Here's hoping this coming week is much better.
I have 5lbs to go until I reach my 1 stone award (14lbs) and I want it!

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Weight Loss Journey #3

Another week on plan and I'm pleased to report another week I stuck to the plan!
That's right, I stuck to the plan throughout Easter.
I didn't fall off the wagon into a barrel of chocolate but I did have chocolate. I had half a chocolate egg and I just worked it into my syn allowance for the day.
Go me.

This week, I only lost 1.5lbs. 
I'd have liked to have lost some more, I said last week I was aiming for -2.5lbs and my first slimming award, but -1.5lbs is nothing to be disappointed about.
It is a loss. 
I didn't get my award but I still lost weight.
It brings my total weight loss to 6lbs which is nothing to be disappointed about seeing as I've only been following the plan for two whole weeks and this week I WILL lose at least 1lb to achieve my 'half stone' award.