Sunday, 28 November 2010

Three beautiful things

1. Building this today with Yoyo.  It is supposed to be an Advent Calendar........perhaps we were supposed to make one house a day.  But we are both impulsive and did the whole lot at once.  We like to break the rules around here.   There was much discussion over our favourite house - mine is the cake shop shown above.

2.  I have finally painted the Barley Twist table I got free from the local tip.  Two undercoats of satinwood - still needs a top coat, but I'm too impatient to wait.  In situ next to the fireplace it goes.  A mental tick off the endless to do list.

3.  The surprise DIY The Queen of Clean did whilst I was out yesterday in this coat/shoe cupboard.  I cannot wait to show you (but vanity wants me to give it all a lick of paint in there first).  It made me literally squeal with excitement when I saw it.

I love being married to an engineer - they have this inbuilt need to fix things and problem solve.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Purse Strings - they need tightening

I’ve always been intrigued by how others organise their money.  I think it’s because I’m not that great at organising my own.  I can think of nothing more interesting than having a nose through someone else’s bank statements, wondering how they decided upon each transaction and understanding their approach to getting through the month. 

I remember in magazines when I was younger I would get so excited if there was one of those spending diary articles; you know the sort where different women had to keep track of their expenditure each week day by day.  There would always be one diarist either end of the spectrum (spendthrift and tightwad), and I never knew where I would be if I had to feature in something like that.  You see I would love to be the sort of woman who knows when her car insurance is up for renewal and puts enough cash aside throughout the year, who pays her mortgage off early and saves a ton of interest, who has a monthly clothing budget and sticks to it.  I have the best of intentions and I cannot tell you the amount of excel spreadsheets I’ve started by typing in ‘Income’ in cell A1.  

But then the Boden sale catalogue will arrive or I’ll get a desperate need to buy some allium bulbs and all that sensible planning evaporates.


Momentarily enough for me to purchase the must have item. 

And later in the week when examining my dwindling bank balance I’ll think - Why.  Did. I. Do. That?

I then imagine I’m one of the women in those magazine articles I remember, and realise in a moment of terror that I would be typecast the spendthrift!  The woman with all of her purchases laid out for readers to study the details of incredulously.  And that’s not who I want to be.  

So if you’ve been here and come through to the other side let me know how you did it.  What changed your relationship with money?  How did you become the spender you wanted to be?

Disclaimer - this post contains a sponsored link.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Temptation (and an exercise in virtual shopping)

I found a lovely new website over the weekend whilst starting my christmas shopping.  In my new found state of minamilism I shall not be buying any of the following items, but in case you're reluctant to join me on my 'not buying it' journey.........have a look at these lovelies below.

All from Mit Hus (UK site but looks like they ship internationally).

Simple wire tree decorations - love anything like fact dare I suggest you could probably recreate these yourself.

Heart Garland - this may be more of a stretching DIY challenge, but only £5 so perhaps easier to just buy!


Not Christmasy, but Autumnal and a bit different.  I really liked this.  Hold on, is there a theme here? - again with patience (and without 3 kids and a full time job) this could be a DIY.

These just make me happy.  Because although they are china, they look like they're in love.  Perhaps her more than him, but never the less in love.  In fact I could really easily buy these......but I shan't.
Finally, I have looked for one of these for ages.  Just ages.  But now I've found it I'm not sure what I needed it for.  I think the joy is in the thrill of the chase rather than actually owning.  So I'll leave it there.

Blimey - I'm enjoying this virtual shopping malarkey.  Apologies if I've encouraged anyone to click....I'm deliberately not creating URLs to the items as a token minamilist gesture.  So if you really want the items you're going to have to search!

Sunday, 7 November 2010


I've been reading lots over the past few months about minimalism, simple living etc.  I think I started my investigation with decluttering my home in mind, but that really is only the tip of the iceberg.

The simplicity movement (if you can call it a movement) is not just about less 'stuff'.  Of course that does feature in there somewhere in terms of streamlining your possessions and being more organised.  Less possessions = less things to get lost/find, less maintenance/cleaning, less debt.

But deeper than that is the other things you can focus on once you've stepped back from the 'stuff'.  Less commitments, less pressure, less need to work, less pursuit of some ideal life we are under pressure to achieve, less stress.  More time with your family doing things that matter, more fun, more focus on people and experiences rather than possessions.

Anyway I've rounded up some good resources on this subject in the links below in case you want to explore further.

365 Less Things
Miss Minamilist
Rowdy Kittens
Simple Mom
Small Notebook

The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life
Throw Out Fifty Things: Clear the Clutter, Find Your Life

I'll finish by confessing I'm just on the start of this see I love 'stuff'.  I spent £2 on some shaped elastic bands yesterday for Yoyo for heavens sake (they really were cute, and she was poorly).  But I think I'm beginning to realise there could be a different fact I'm starting a new category label of 'Keeping it Simple'.  Watch this space.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Three beautiful things

1.  The joy and enthusiasm over a 60p packet of chalk from this little fellow.

2.  This little nook at the front of our living room by the window.  I have moved the trunk there and it has become an impromptu reading corner.  Not that a whole lot of reading goes on here amongst the daily bedlam - but when it does, this is often where it happens.

3. This picture that my Mum painted me.  She thinks because I move it around and it has no permanent home I don't cherish it.....but I really do.


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