52 Week Money Jar Challenge – week 18 update

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Hello Challengers!

Piles of MoneyHow is the money saving going? We’re (already!) at week 18 (5 months into the year) of the challenge so while still early we should be getting a nice visual of how our savings are accumulating.

I’m putting my weekly amounts directly into a savings account so my visual is the bank statement but it’s still really satisfying, especially when I think that it’s working away in the bank and earning me interest. There have also been a couple of weeks where I was able to knock off some of the larger amounts so I did that which has both made my first 18 weeks of savings look more impressive and given me a bit of breathing room so I won’t fall off the wagon if I have some tight financial weeks later down the line. So far so good! Hope you’re all going well with your challenges as well – however you are completing them.

*If you are new to the 52 week money challenge and want to know more about it please visit my previous posts: 52 week money jar challenge and 52 week money jar 2014. You can start any time – it doesn’t have to be only at the start of the calendar year, start today!

Pincushion Tutorial – keep your pins safe and sharp

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DSC_0099Making your own pincushion(s) is both an easy and satisfying sewing project. It can be as simple or multifaceted as you like and totally unique to you. At the end you have a functional and useful accessory for your making – and trust me, you will use it a lot. The gold nugget in this project is the steel wool. Stuffing your pincushion with at least 50% steel wool (I use more, closer to an 80/20 ratio) means not only are your pins neatly stored and easily accessible while you work but the steel wool keeps them sharp. No blunt pins for this sewer! Continue reading

Tuesday Tidbit – bath time

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The candles and fluffy head towels are, of course, optional.

The candles and fluffy head towels are, of course, optional.

This week’s Tuesday Tidbit is not for the house, or the budget, or the garden or even for a meal. This week’s tidbit is for you. 2014 is well under way, we’re back at work, the indulgence of the festive season is over and the weather is steadily worsening. Take a time out.

This week (and once every week if you wish/need) for 20 minutes, sit in a hot bath that contains a handful of Epsom salts, 10 drops of lavender essential oil, and a half cup of baking soda. This combination draws out toxins, lowers stress-related hormones, and balances your pH levels.

There, I feel better already.

Felt Phone Case – DIY

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DSC_0031So with the new year I got a new phone. LONG over due let me tell you! My old phone I’ve had for longer than I can actually remember and it really wasn’t working properly any more. My new phone is so pretty. And it works. Perfectly. So to keep my phone pretty and safe I decided to whip up a nifty case for it. I used my favourite merino wool felt (in grey)which is lovely and soft but also thick and firm for some structure and protection. Continue reading

Tuesday Tidbit – Give your towels a new life

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739Are your towels feeling scratchy and rough? Are they losing the brightness and fluff? Do they smell mildewy and/or musty? No matter how often you’re putting them through the wash they’re just not as nice any more. Then this week’s tidbit is for you. Give your old (or not so old) towels a new life, making them as fresh and fluffy as when they were new. Continue reading

52 Week Money Jar Challenge – 2014

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10 weeksIf you haven’t already heard about or are doing the 52 week money challenge I suggest you consider it. Check out my original post on it, google it or visit the Facebook page for the explanation on how it works and for the weekly template to print out.

I’m doing it a little differently this year. Continue reading

New Year’s Goals and Resolutions – 2014

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Happy-New-YearAhhh New Year’s. The time to get all ambitious and motivated about what you’ll achieve in the year ahead, be it personal, financial, social or something you list every year yet have just never quite managed to tick off – despite your best intentions. This year I’m determined to be realistic and stay motivated and actually reach 2015 having reached my 2014 goals. I have two areas I need/want to focus on and I’m doing my best to be realistic as I set these goals to make sure they are actually doable. Continue reading

Chocolate Saltine Toffee, or – ‘Christmas Crack’

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saltine toffee chocolateThis is a recipe that I’ve been seeing all over the internet this festive season and decided it looked yummy enough and easy enough that I had to have a go at it myself. After all if you can’t indulge at this time of year when can you?

They don’t call this stuff ‘Christmas Crack’ for nothing. It’s easy to make, extremely addictive, and combines salty, sweet, crunchy, and chewy all into one easy and delicious snack. Continue reading

Tuesday Tidbit – Switch It Off

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This one is pretty straight forward and though it’s not recycling it ties in with the ideas behind my 2 week upcycling challenge – saving resources, environmentally friendly and money saving. In the USA 20% of total energy consumption is residential. In the UK nearly 1/3 of the total energy consumption is from the home. In Australia it accounts for 77% of greenhouse gas emissions – that’s more than 3/4!

Even when your TV screen is off if it’s still on at the power point it is consuming electricity, same for your electric kettle, washing machine and dryer, computers and laptops and phone chargers, stereo and radio and of course lights and heaters. If you’re not using them turn them off at the wall. It only takes a second to turn them back on again and in the meantime your planet and your wallet will breathe a little easier.

Upcycling Challenge Project 2: Scrap Paper Envelopes

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DSC_0386I love snail mail. I love receiving it and I love sending it. There’s something about getting a handwritten letter that just makes me all fuzzy inside – the time, effort and thought that goes into them (especially in this age of email, texts and facebook) that is instantly felt. These easy, personalised, handmade envelopes are Continue reading