Sunday, 2 October 2011

5th Car Boot Sale


Yesterday I did my fifth car boot sale. Sadly the turnout was poor because of the lovely weather (I think people had better things to do) and I only made £18.70. I have done better before (and a lot worse) but I sold lots of stuff. I have changed tactics and have found that items sell better if they are price tagged. I sell my things for 20p, 50p, £1 or £2, with most being 50p. People are attracted to our stall with labels of 20p and we have sold much more since doing this. I sold loads of books, but still have many more. I love buying books, but never find the time to read them all. Life is too busy and I wish it would slow down! Next week we are having a Saturday off and want to have a wander round the car boot, looking for bits and bobs for Christmas presents. Then we will be off again, selling everything that we no longer use, need or want, to earn pennies for christmas. I spent some of last week's money on my Avon order for Alice's make-up. I am trying so hard not to be wasteful!

My personal life is still rubbish, so I can't post that often, but I have decided to focus on the positives in my life and will support my children the best I can.

My washing machine broke last weekend, so I have been handwashing all this week. Thank goodness for the sunshine to dry my dripping washing on the line! We have got a new one now, £300!!! I have been saving for a new shower cubicle, so thankfully Steve bought the new machine - hopefully this one lasts us a few years.

Steve has almost finished my gorgeous utility room now (will post photos when it's done), another step closer to putting the house on the market. We really need to move away from the trouble that Alice seems to find in this village and make a fresh start.

Meals have been a bit erratic - sometimes homemade and frugal, sometimes rubbish or non-existent because we are having a really tough day and can't face food. My friend gave me a big bag of eating apples from her garden on Friday, which steve loves.

Until next time ...

Mandy xxx

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

I'm still here.


I am still here, but life is still treating us cruely and I've had nothing interesting to say.

I have continued to cook dinners from scratch and bake cakes, but not much else towards my challenge.

I really hope to be back on track soon.

I am off carbooting on Saturday for the third time. Fingers crossed I will sell more of my junk!

Thank you for reading,

Mandy xxx

Thursday, 1 September 2011

The summer holidays are nearly over :-(


These holiday weeks have been difficult and traumatic for me and my family. My daughter has thankfully seen sense and moved back in, but we face more sad times ahead. We are trying to deal with a horrendous situation (hence my lack of blogging) and I just haven't felt like posting. I've had nothing to say that anyone would want to read really.

My favourite blogs have provided me with an escape and I have carried on reading them.

Well, I am back to work on Monday, so here are a few photos of what I've been up to...

I went out for a farewell meal with my friends (a colleague has moved on to pastures new), and ate a homemade kentucky fried chicken style main course...

A scrummy cheesecake for pudding.

We visited the National Herb Centre...

We went on a well deserved and much needed holiday to North Yorkshire ...

We stayed in this caravan for a wonderful week.

The inside was really lovely considering how little it cost...

Steve relaxing after a long drive

The dining area

The kitchen

Our bedroom

Alice's room

The bathroom

Jake making himself at home!

On Saturday we settled in and went for a walk to explore...

On Sunday we went to Ripon Country Show...

On Monday we visited Brinham Rocks...

On Tuesday we visited Aysgarth Falls...

On Wednesday we visited Eden Camp (a World War II museum) ...

On Thursday we went for a really long walk ...

On Friday we went to Reeth and for a long drive across the dales...

On Saturday we travelled home again :-(
We love Yorkshire!!!

I hope I will have something exciting to write about soon,
until then...

Mandy xxx

Friday, 29 July 2011

I'm back!

Sometimes life becomes too difficult to have anything nice or interesting to say. I use this blog as an escape from the life I've got to the life I want to live. I can explore my dreams and aspirations without anyone judging me or thinking I'm being too much of a dreamer. I really love to read other people's blogs and my favourites are:

 dee dee's vintage retro delights 

Our New Life in the Country

A Thrifty Mrs

Happy Loves Rosie

Frugal Queen

I read loads of others too, but these I try and check every day. It is my way of escaping the cruelness of my life and entering into something happy and content and this gives me hope and something to aim for.

I think that I have every right to feel sorry for myself and we will leave it at that, because this is public and it's not fair on my family if I talk about it on here. Life is what you make it, but I have met some real nasty evil people along the way who have made me the way I am  (this is all in the past now and we are trying to recover and move on). I only have my immediate family (for very good reason) and now my youngest is struggling to have any kind of relationship with me. She is extremely vulnerable and has chosen a new lifestyle that doesn't involve us, but her new friends and family. She has latched onto a family in our village and wants to live with them (she is 16). The mother allows her to do whatever she wants, with no rules to follow. I can cope with the smoking and the swearing (she wants to be an adult), but not coming home at night, or for days at a time is a constant worry. The authorities have been useless and we feel very much alone. Maybe we have to just wait for her to come back to us, or will she continue to change under the influence of this family?

I am on my summer holidays now! I have decided it is best for me to keep busy and have loads of projects planned. This week I have really tried to cook better meals and so far we have had:

  • Devilled chicken, home-made wedges, corn-on-the-cob and home-made coleslaw.
  • Sausage casserole, new potatoes (from our garden) and cabbage (from a friend's garden).
  • Mince and onions, new potatoes (garden) and broccoli (garden)
  • Chicken curry, naan bread (approved food packet), poppadoms with home-made mint sauce, salad and mango chutney.
Today I am out for dinner with my work friends and Steve will cook him and Charlotte eggs of some kind (his choice). Ashley is on his way to the south of France now as he is on holiday for the next three weeks with his girlfriend. This should save us some money as he is the main electricity consumer in our house! I've had a letter informing me of the price increases due and now we are starting to worry how we will afford to heat our house in the winter.

Tomorrow is another day and I hope I will have something positive to write about. Sorry for the doom and gloom, but I felt I needed to explain my absence from here, I am not just a lazy blogger!!!

Thanks for reading,

Mandy x

Monday, 20 June 2011

I have another follower!!!

Hooray! I now have 4 followers :-)  Thank you Loo from Jumbles and Pompoms xxx

I always think that I'm talking to myself here and that nobody could possibly be interested in what I have to say. I absolutely love reading other people's blogs and that's how I relax in the evenings. I have gained so much in the way of ideas for my home, frugal living and recipes.

So, an update on my thrifty homemade challenge:
  • I have been looking on the MSE website (old style) for ideas on how to save money.
  • I have been reading blogs for ideas (particularly frugal queen)
  • Today we had chicken salad for tea, where the lettuce, spring onions, red onions and new potatoes were all from Steve's vegetable plot.
  • I have been doing a little decluttering at a time (I find this more manageable and successful) and am currently tackling my recipe books (I have far too many).
  • Charlotte gutted her room today and has thrown out loads of stuff. I will help her to ebay, carboot or recycle it over the next couple of weeks.
  • A carboot sale is in the pipeline. I have never done one before, but I have a garage full of stuff to sell.
I will plod on and soon I will be able to start my new hobby - learning to sew! I will try to post more often, to motivate me into keeping up with my challenge.

Thank you for reading,

Mandy x

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Dentist Disaster!

Last Saturday (11th) I had to go to the dentists to have a filling. I am quite scared, even to have a check-up! The problem I have with fillings is that my mouth never completely numbs. I have an extra set of nerves on my bottom left side which means that any work done there has pain attached, and guess where the filling was!!! I try to be brave, but because I feel the drilling, I am constantly on edge and flinch when I feel it. I have to have numerous injections and adrenalin, but still I can't completely numb in that area. On Saturday, the usual happened and when the dentist had finished I sat up and was talking to her. She asked me to blink, and then blink again. I couldn't blink because my left hand didn't move. I could only wink with my right eye! She said that the injection fluid must have seeped to an optical nerve and I would have to wear an eye patch until my blink reflex returned. My eye was stuck open which was a very strange feeling. With a sore mouth and a dodgy eye, I went home feeling very sorry for myself.

Feeling really sorry for myself :-(

My dental saga continues as I now have to have root canal treatment on a tooth that has died (it was filled deeply and the nerve died as a result) and it's on the bottom left :-(   this will cost approx £520. I also have a cavity in my top wisdom tooth which she is not going to fill, but want to pull it out, along with the other one. My biggest fear of the dentist is having a tooth out and this prevented me from going for 10 years!

All I can think about at the moment is my teeth :-(     :-(     :-(     :-(     :-(     :-(     :-(

Today I have spent mostly in the kitchen. I have cooked my lovely husband roast beef and yorkshire pudding (Steve normally cooks the Sunday roast, but it's father's day), baked white rolls, a madeira cake and a cherry and coconut cake, and three loaves of soda bread - which doesn't look very appetising:

I also boiled up some baby beetroot for our salad tomorrow. Steve is growing new potatoes, carrots, onions, beetroot, spring onions, beans and lettuces in our garden.

A busy day in the kitchen which I enjoy, followed by an early evening walk over the fields with Steve and our scruffy dog Jake.

Mandy x

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Since my last post...

Alice turned 16.

We went walking through a special meadow,

and round the reservoir.

Enjoyed a picnic lunch ...

by a beautiful pond.

Alice left school (dressed here ready for her Leaver's Mass.

I also went to the dentist and found out that I have to have my wisdom teeth out and a filling - not happy :-(     It has been half-term, so I have had a week off work!!! I have been really busy sorting out my house. The car boot pile is growing bigger in the garage and my ebaying pile is ready to be listed. I really lack storage space, but I am making the best of it. The whole house is clean and tidy and I am ready to batch cook, bake for my freezer (had to buy a new fridge freezer cos the other one broke) and go back to work.

Until next week ...

Mandy x