Frugal – Year 3 of free fun – Month 3

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This month’s fun activities were:

  • Visited my parents for a week (£16.30 train ticket)
  • Exchanged my library books in Birmingham (included in above)
  • Visited my grandparents (on both sides)
  • Went for a drink with my sister and her kids (£7.56)
  • Visited an old friend at her house
  • Went for dinner with my parents and one sister (my parents paid)
  • Went for lunch with my dad and nephew (my dad paid)
  • Went to a spa with my mum (LivingSocial deal – she paid)
  • Read eight library books
  • Went to a barbecue at my sister’s house
  • Played with my parents’ new kitten
  • Went for lunch with my parents and my husband (my parents paid)
  • Went for coffee and cake with my parents and my husband (my husband paid)
  • Walked around a marina and looked at canal boats for sale
  • Had a takeaway (£37.95 – food budget)
  • Played a free online game (Elvenar)
  • Studied languages online with Duolingo
  • Went for dinner with my Japanese group and my husband (£30)
  • Went back to Birmingham to exchange my library books again (£3.90 metro ticket)
  • Had lunch with a friend at work (once for two different friends, free, took my own lunch)
  • Visited a friend at her house
  • Watched TV via Amazon Prime (paid for last year – Arrow, Parks and Rec)
  • Exercised using workouts on YouTube (£12 dumbbells)
  • Walked in the local park
  • Studied copy writing with CopyHour (course included with purchase of Location Rebel course)

Total – £107.71

I was lucky to get treated to lots of activities around my birthday at the beginning of the month. Towards the end, a couple of meals piled on over 50% of the month’s expenses.

I also bought a replacement phone and laptop as the old ones were broken / not fit for purpose anymore. I’m not sure whether or not I should include them here, but they cost £545 altogether.

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Simplify – Weekly Wishes w/c 30/05/16

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Last week’s wishes – 23/05/16

  1. Run: run three times and run 6 miles. 0% completed. 
  2. Samaritans: attend mentor session 6/6. 100% completed. Done on Fri. 
  3. Knitting: finish knitting project started on 21 May. 50% completed. Finished knitting and need to complete sewing details. 
  4. Email: write one email. 0% completed. 
  5. Languages: bring Duolingo Esperanto tree up to date.100% completed. Done on Weds-Sun.

Healthy habits

  1. Walk for 20 minutes. Mon x 2, Tues x 2, Weds x 3, Thurs, Fri x 2, Sun. 
  2. Complete one primal sprint session. X
  3. Complete a long and steady run. X
  4. Go for a bike ride. Fri. 
  5. Do 10-minute yoga session. X
  6. Do 15-minutes semi-supine and Alexander Technique affirmations. X
  7. Do 10-minute writing meditation session. X
  8. Enter meals on MyFitnessPal or blog. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun. 
  9. Do 10-minute strength training session (including 30 Day Shred). Fri, Sun
  10. Practise mindfulness during a daily activity. Mon, Tues, Weds, Fri
  11. Do 10-minute mindfulness meditation session. X
  12. Eat under 150g carbohydrates in a day. Fri, Sat. 
  13. Think of 3 things I’m grateful for. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun. 
  14. Use Happify or another stress relief technique. Mon, Tues, Weds
  15. Do super brain yoga. X
  16. Have a sugar-free day. Fri, Sat. 
  17. Complete mindfulness journal. Mon, Tues, Weds, Fri
  18. Do something for future me. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun. 
  19. Come up with ideas (based on this post). X
  20. Write 750 words. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun. 

Weekly wishes for 30/05/16

  1. Run: run 3 times and run 6.5 miles.
  2. Social: go to a party with my husband.
  3. Family: visit my family for a birthday lunch.
  4. Email: write 3 emails.
  5. Knitting: finish sewing details on knitting project.

Eating tracker May 2016 part 2

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Monday 16 May 2016 (Whole15 day 12)

  • Breakfast: eggs, mince, sauerkraut
  • Lunch: oxtail stew, cauliflower rice, parsnip and swede, pear
  • Snack: apple
  • Dinner: pork shank, fruit/veg juice

Tuesday 17 May 2016 (Whole15 day 13)

  • Breakfast: eggs, mince, sauerkraut
  • Lunch: oxtail stew, cauliflower rice, parsnip and swede, pear
  • Snack: apple, mixed dried fruit/nuts/coconut flakes
  • Dinner: pork shank, pork crackling, fruit/veg juice, steak, stir fry veg, ginger

Wednesday 18 May 2016 (Whole15 day 14)

  • Breakfast: eggs, mince, sauerkraut
  • Snack: plum
  • Lunch: oxtail stew, cauliflower rice, parsnip and swede, pear
  • Snack: apple, 2 plums
  • Dinner: pork crackle, pork meat, mixed dried fruit/nuts/coconut flakes, fruit/veg juice

Thursday 19 May 2016 (Whole15 Day 15)

  • Breakfast: stir fry veg, ginger, pork
  • Snack: 2 plums
  • Lunch: stir fry veg, ginger, pork, pear, apple
  • Dinner: banana, pistachios, coconut flakes, almond butter

Friday 20 May

  • Breakfast: eggs, mince, avocado, pork
  • Snack: Choc-chip skillet cookie
  • Lunch:Choc-chip skillet cookie
  • Dinner: Salad with dressing, spring roll, yakitori chicken, chicken noodle soup, egg fried rice, sirloin steak, beansprouts, ginger beer. Choc-chip skillet cookie.

Saturday 21 May

  • Breakfast:eggs, ham, mushrooms, peppers, olives
  • Snack: Reese’s pieces
  • Lunch:Cracklin’ chicken
  • Dinner: Ice cream

Sunday 22 May

  • Breakfast: eggs, ham, cheese, artichokes
  • Snack: ice cream
  • Lunch: Cracklin’ chicken
  • Snack: 2 biscuits
  • Dinner: 4 doughnuts, chicken, eggs, cheese

Monday 23 May

  • Breakfast: eggs, mince, artichokes
  • Lunch: pork belly, chips, salad garnish, apple and thyme jam, birthday cake
  • Dinner: Ice cream, fruit/veg juice

Tuesday 24 May

  • Breakfast:eggs, mince, artichokes
  • Lunch:Filipino pork belly, rice, stir-fry veg, candy floss, white chocolate cheesecake, apple juice
  • Snack: mixed dried fruit/nuts/coconut flakes
  • Dinner:2 pieces Gouda

Wednesday 25 May

  • Breakfast: eggs, mince, sauerkraut
  • Snack: 2 biscuits
  • Lunch: Szechuan beef, rice, chicken gyouza, iced tea, apple and cinnamon Danish, 2 biscuits
  • Snack: 2 bars Galaxy Duet
  • Dinner: Taco Bell fajita, taco, nachos, cheese sauce, churros, chocolate sauce, choco marsh melt, Pepsi max

Thursday 26 May

  • Breakfast: bacon, sausage, tomato, mushrooms, scrambled egg, apple juice
  • Snack: 2 hot chocolates, 3 Danish pastries
  • Lunch: chicken, gnocchi, kale, hot chocolate, red berry cheesecake
  • Snack: chocolate fudge cake, 3 chocolate chip cookies
  • Dinner: eggs, cheese, crisps

Friday 27 May (Whole60 Day 1)

  • Breakfast: eggs, avocado, sauerkraut, mince
  • Snack: pork shoulder steak, artichokes
  • Lunch: pork belly, cucumber, green and black olives
  • Dinner: pork shoulder steaks, Polish salad, fried mushrooms

Saturday 28 May (Whole60 Day 2)

  • Breakfast: Chicken and skin
  • Lunch: eggs, bacon, olives, peppers, mushrooms
  • Snack: banana, apple, pear, coconut flakes
  • Dinner: Steak, roast shallots and sweet potato, prawns, lime, arrowroot, cashew nuts

Sunday 29 May (Whole60 Day 3)

  • Breakfast: eggs, bacon, olives, mushrooms, avocado
  • Snack: cashew nuts, mixed dried fruit/nuts/coconut flakes
  • Lunch : chicken, olives, cucumber, white chocolate chip cookie
  • Dinner: 2 white chocolate chip cookies

Simplify – Weekly Wishes w/c 23/05/16

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Last week’s wishes – 16/05/16

  1. Run: run three times and run 5.5 miles. 50% completed. Ran on Mon (5.5 miles). 
  2. Letters: reply to two emails and two letters. 0% completed.
  3. Samaritans: attend mentor session 5/6.100% completed. Done on Sun
  4. Social: go for a meal with my language group on Fri.100% completed. 
  5. Whole15: keep eating Whole15 Mon-Thurs. 100% completed. Done on Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs. 
  6. Bike: cycle somewhere once.0% completed.

Healthy habits

  1. Walk for 20 minutes. Mon x 2, Tues x 3, Weds x 3, Thurs x 2, Fri, Sat, Sun
  2. Complete one primal sprint session. X
  3. Complete a long and steady run. Mon
  4. Go for a bike ride. X
  5. Do 10-minute yoga session. X
  6. Do 15-minutes semi-supine and Alexander Technique affirmations. X
  7. Do 10-minute writing meditation session. X
  8. Enter meals on MyFitnessPal or blog. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
  9. Do 10-minute strength training session (including 30 Day Shred). Mon, Tues
  10. Practise mindfulness during a daily activity. Mon, Tues, Weds, Fri
  11. Do 10-minute mindfulness meditation session. X
  12. Eat under 150g carbohydrates in a day. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs
  13. Think of 3 things I’m grateful for. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sun
  14. Use Happify or another stress relief technique. Fri
  15. Do super brain yoga. X
  16. Have a sugar-free day. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs
  17. Complete mindfulness journal. X
  18. Do something for future me. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
  19. Come up with ideas (based on this post). X
  20. Write 750 words. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun

Weekly wishes for 23/05/16

  1. Run: run three times and run 6 miles.
  2. Samaritans: attend mentor session 6/6.
  3. Knitting: finish knitting project started on 21 May.
  4. Email: write one email.
  5. Languages: bring Duolingo Esperanto tree up to date.

Simplify – can you go without make-up?

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In my teenage years, I wore a lot of make-up, thinking it would make me look older, prettier, cooler, more like people in magazines. As I’ve grown older, and realised that the miracles promised by each product have never materialised, I’ve cut back a lot on make-up and now only wear it for special occasions. I don’t wear it routinely to leave the house.

Yesterday, through the Dressing your Truth blog, I was emailed a make-up tutorial. The presenter said she was going for a natural, light summer look. In order to achieve this, she used foundation, concealer, eye shadow, eyeliner, mascara, blusher, lip liner and lipstick.

To me, it’s incomprehensible that you would buy and use eight different products to have the end result of not looking like you’re wearing any make-up. I find that there are several advantages to not wearing make-up every day.

  1. Self-confidence: you get used to the way you look, and are comfortable with it. You don’t feel afraid to leave the house without make-up, or like you couldn’t let your partner see you without make-up.
  2. Honesty: following on from this, as the people around you already know what you look like, you don’t have to worry about a big reveal when you finally don’t wear make-up, and whether they’ll be disappointed.
  3. Dress-up effect: when people are used to seeing you without make-up, when you do wear any, they notice you’ve made an effort and say you look nice. When people are used to seeing you with make-up, they’re more likely to say that you like tired when they see you without. 
  4. Equality: no one expects men to wear make-up, or finds it difficult to work with them because their skin is shiny or they’re not wearing mascara. If a woman goes to work without make-up, she can still get the job done.
  5. Invisible effort: putting on make-up to look natural is a bit like dusting. No one notices if you do it, so is it worth it?  I’m not advocating that you relax all hygiene standards in your house, but I don’t dust my house every day!
  6. Time: you save a certain amount of time every day if you don’t have to apply make-up as part of your routine.
  7. Money: obviously you’ll use and buy less make-up as a result.

Lots of people tell me they feel more polished and attractive when they wear make-up, and if it’s something you enjoy doing, by all means carry on. But if you find it a chore, or you find it difficult to be seen by other people without make-up on, then why not take a break and see how you feel without?

Simplify – Weekly Wishes w/c 16/05/16

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Last week’s wishes – 09/05/16

  1. Run: run twice and run 5 miles. 100% completed. Ran on Mon, ran 5 miles on Thurs, ran on Fri. 
  2. Letters: reply to two old emails and one letter. 33% completed. Replied to one letter.
  3. Samaritans: attend mentor session 4/6. 100% completed. Done on Sat.
  4. Knit group: attend knit group and start new project. 100% completed. Done on Tues
  5. Whole15: keep eating Whole15 every day. 100% completed. Done on Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun. 
  6. Bike: cycle to my local supermarket.100% completed. Done on Thurs.

Healthy habits

  1. Walk for 20 minutes. Mon x 2, Tues x 2, Weds x 2, Thurs x 2, Sun
  2. Complete one primal sprint session. Fri
  3. Complete a long and steady run. Mon, Thurs
  4. Go for a bike ride. Thurs, Sat
  5. Do 10-minute yoga session. X
  6. Do 15-minutes semi-supine and Alexander Technique affirmations. X
  7. Do 10-minute writing meditation session. X
  8. Enter meals on MyFitnessPal or blog. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
  9. Do 10-minute strength training session (including 30 Day Shred). Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
  10. Practise mindfulness during a daily activity. Mon, Weds, Thurs, Sat
  11. Do 10-minute mindfulness meditation session. X
  12. Eat under 150g carbohydrates in a day. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
  13. Think of 3 things I’m grateful for. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
  14. Use Happify or another stress relief technique. Fri
  15. Do super brain yoga. X
  16. Have a sugar-free day. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
  17. Complete mindfulness journal. X
  18. Do something for future me. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
  19. Come up with ideas (based on this post). X
  20. Write 750 words. Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun

Weekly wishes for 16/05/16

  1. Run: run three times and run 5.5 miles.
  2. Letters: reply to two emails and two letters.
  3. Samaritans: attend mentor session 5/6.
  4. Social: go for a meal with my language group on Fri.
  5. Whole15: keep eating Whole15 Mon-Thurs.
  6. Bike: cycle somewhere once.

Eating tracker May 2016 1

Monday 2 May 2016

  • Breakfast: fried chicken, chocolate
  • Can’t remember the rest of the day

Tuesday 3 May 2016

  • Breakfast: eggs, mince, sauerkraut
  • Snack: ginger biscuits
  • Lunch: Goan chicken soup, bakewell tart flapjack
  • Snack: chocolate chip cookies
  • Snack: assorted canapes
  • Dinner: Thai chicken starter, chicken with thai basil, coconut rice
  • Snack: chocolate and hazelnut croissant

Wednesday 4 May 2016

  • Snack: chocolate and hazelnut croissant
  • Breakfast: eggs, mince, sauerkraut, white chocolate cookie
  • Snack: chocolate chip cookies
  • Snack: apple, pear
  • Lunch: gammon, red cabbage
  • Snack: assorted canapes
  • Dinner: two white chocolate chip cookies, wispa, jelly popping dairy milk, dry roasted peanuts

Thursday 5 May 2016 (Whole15 Day 1)

  • Breakfast: eggs, mince, sauerkraut
  • Lunch: gammon, red cabbage, mixed dried fruit/nuts/coconut flakes
  • Snack: grapes
  • Dinner: gammon, red cabbage

Friday 6 May (Whole15 Day 2)

  • Breakfast: eggs, mince, sauerkraut, avocado
  • Lunch: gammon, red cabbage, caramelised onions
  • Snack: pear, apple
  • Dinner: Vietnamese chicken salad (on cucumber instead of jicama)

Saturday 7 May (Whole15 Day 3)

Sunday 8 May (Whole15 Day 4)

  • Breakfast: eggs, mince, caramelised onions, Turkish chopped salad, sweet potato fries
  • Lunch: roasted cashews, green chicken
  • Dinner: flat iron steak, sweet potato fries, Turkish chopped salad

Monday 9 May (Whole15 Day 5)

  • Breakfast: eggs, mince, sauerkraut
  • Snack: pear
  • Lunch: Bora Bora fireballs, Vietnamese salad (no base, no chicken), apple
  • Snack: mixed nuts/dried fruit/coconut flakes
  • Dinner: chicken, Turkish chopped salad

Tuesday 10 May (Whole15 Day 6)

  • Breakfast: eggs, mince, sauerkraut
  • Lunch: Bora Bora fireballs, Vietnamese salad (no base, no chicken), apple
  • Snack: pear, mixed nuts/dried fruit/coconut flakes
  • Dinner: chicken, Turkish chopped salad

Wednesday 11 May (Whole15 Day 7)

  • Breakfast: eggs, mince, sauerkraut
  • Snack: grapes
  • Lunch: Vietnamese chicken salad (no base), apple
  • Snack: pear, mixed nuts/dried fruit/coconut flakes
  • Dinner: chicken, artichoke, avocado, roasted cashews

Thursday 12 May (Whole15 Day 8)

  • Breakfast: eggs, mince, sauerkraut
  • Lunch: Vietnamese chicken salad (no base), pear
  • Snack: grapes, fruit/veg juice
  • Dinner: seared tuna, homemade mayo, belly pork, Turkish salad dressing

Friday 13 May (Whole15 Day 9)

  • Breakfast: eggs, mince, sauerkraut, avocado, homemade mayo
  • Snack: pear
  • Lunch: belly pork, homemade mayo, Polish salad, caramelised onions

Saturday 14 May (Whole15 Day 10)

  • Breakfast: eggs, bacon (from the deli counter, not sure if it contained sugar), onion, cucumber, olives, fruit/veg juice
  • Lunch: belly pork, carrot, spring onion, coconut aminos, ginger
  • Dinner: pear, mixed nuts/dried fruit/coconut flakes

Sunday 15 May (Whole15 Day 11)

  • Breakfast: carrots, onions, cucumber, avocado, belly pork, homemade mayo
  • Lunch : mixed nuts/dried fruit/coconut flakes
  • Dinner: duck, fruit/veg juice

I started off these two weeks with a bank holiday followed by two evening events with free food, which led to lots of overeating at the beginning. On the evening of 4 May I decided enough was enough and committed to do a Whole15, as a way of getting myself back on track and breaking the habit of eating mindlessly.I have found it easy to do on standard work days, with no temptation, as I usually take all my own food and cook dinner from scratch so I can prepare whatever I want.