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Day 12 – The tunnel that caved in.

So today was the first day I have eaten out since No Spend Month started. I had an appointment in the bank and arrived early so I decided to treat mam to breakfast. We have both been feeling like crap and having the week from hell so I did it to try and cheer her up. We ate at Noah and Co in Liffey Valley and they had a fantastic menu. I would highly recommend them, the quality of their food as well as the presentation were great. However since my bypass I tend to stick to the side dishes so I ordered a yoghurt and granola dish:IMG_6484

However another side effect of the bypass is certain foods just do not agree with me any more. Yoghurt is usually fine so I wasn’t apprehensive, that is until I got to my third bite. I got the usual this food is not agreeing with me signs (watering mouth, dry throat, stomach cramps etc) so I ended up not actually being able to eat it. So I basically wasted the money which annoyed me so much! Mam however enjoyed hers and thought it was fabulous so mission accomplished. Also technically it wasn’t all money I was spending as I found a gift card with a small balance and used that to cover most of the cost.

After I got home I wanted to work on a craft so I went to cut the vinyl with my silhouette machine until I saw this:

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Brody had decided to chew through the wire which meant the machine was pretty much kaput without it. So after some advice from friends as to where I could find a new power cord I found one in Maplin and now have a working machine again and a lighter bank balance.

Also as Miss A is My Little Pony crazy I have been buying her the Beanie Baby versions and for months we have been searching for the last two to complete her collection. Everywhere we tried to find them just didn’t have them and told us they wouldn’t be restocking. So when I saw the final two today in a store I had to buy them. They will be kept up for when she goes in for surgery. Technically this falls under a delayed spending rather than unplanned spending but still.

So today my friends the tunnel caved in and I am trapped. I knew I would slip but these things happen. I am still planning to keep it going from tomorrow and put this behind me because I’m only human! I think that today shall be written off as the day the tunnel caved in and I will be spending the rest of the weekend on track getting my way out!

Unplanned money spent today:

  • New power cord for my Silhouette Cameo €34.99
  • Brought mam out for breakfast €16.10 before gift card €3.20 out of pocket.
  • Two My Little Pony Beanie Babies for Miss A for when she goes in for her surgery €17.98

If this is the first post you are seeing here is the link to the challenge I have set for myself if you want to check it out:

The Challenge

Day 1 – Meal Planning

Day 2 – Batch cooking in all its glory…

Day 3 – Oh the temptation!

Day 4 – Want -v- Need

Day 5 – Woot its the weekend! Oh wait I’ve no money…

Day 6 – It never rains but it escapes…

Day 7 – Week in review

Day 8 – Cave or Crumble…

Day 9 – Book club for one.

Day 10 – Free Money

Day 11 – Procrastination that bane of my… oh look something shiny!

Until next time, let your gypsy soul wander.

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Day 11 – Procrastination that bane of my… oh look something shiny!

So this week I have been having a week where things have just been going wrong. If there is a possibility that something can go wrong, this week it has. One of the things the major things that has gone wrong this week has been due to my procrastination.  Basically before I had my gastric bypass I was a major procrastinator due to the fact that

  1. It is inherently built into me, always has and always will be.
  2. I was so overweight that I physically didn’t have the energy.
  3. I was depressed.
  4. I let the fear of failure stop my from really trying.

I would start things with such great gusto and then as soon as a barrier went up no matter if big or small I viewed it as a failure and just quit trying. Not my finest personality trait. I left things until the last minute and then completed tasks with rushed effort and not to a standard I would like. Or I would totally find another project to start or another thing to plan and take on too much and find myself swamped. When I feel overwhelmed I tend to get into a mode I like to call “Woman Island”. This is where I just generally avoid human contact, turn off my phone, set myself up in a blanket fort of a bed, watch Netflix, eat junk food, ponder why I am such a failure at life and shop online. So one of the things I have been working on is trying to be more prepared, no longer being a frequent flyer to Woman Island and having a higher standard of follow through.

This starts with saying no to people which I have found so much harder than I expected. I find a lot of the time I put forward an appearance of being able to handle everything (now don’t get me wrong I am not saying I make a good appearance of this) even when I am totally crumbling inside because I don’t like to ask for help and I don’t like saying no to people. But here’s the thing. While I was preparing, going through and recovering from my gastric bypass I was able to do a lot less for people as I spent that time concentrating on me. It was an eye opener and made me realise just who was there for me and who wasn’t. Am I bitter about the fact that these people who I would have considered part of the fabric of my life aren’t there anymore or maybe I was more invested in the relationships than they were? Not even a little bit. I consider myself lucky that I have a group of friends now that I know appreciate me as much as I appreciate them. After this experience saying no to certain people became easier.  Now close family and friends saying no is still a battle but I would say I am winning it 7 times out of 10.

I might like to think that I am superwoman but now before I say yes to a project I take out my little purple book and look at the list I have made of projects I’m currently working on and when they have to be completed by. If there are 5 projects on the list then I’m sorry you’re out of luck. If it’s something I really want to do or help with I keep a note and once a space frees up then I’ll add it on to the list if I’m still needed. I have found having a system in place makes it easier to say no as well as making me feel like I’m in control which helps with the feeling overwhelmed part. I am more inclined to follow through and  the quality at which I am participating is higher so win-win for everybody!

So what is the point of this post I hear you ask? Am I using it to procrastinate from something I should be doing? Well the answer is no. This blog is a challenge I set myself to blog every day for 30 days during No Spend Month, because it will give me something to do as well as hold me accountable for No Spend Month. I intend to follow through on the blogging goal!

Unplanned money spent today:

  • Milky Bar from vending machine in work because I caved €1.00

If this is the first post you are seeing here is the link to the challenge I have set for myself if you want to check it out:

The Challenge

Day 1 – Meal Planning

Day 2 – Batch cooking in all its glory…

Day 3 – Oh the temptation!

Day 4 – Want -v- Need

Day 5 – Woot its the weekend! Oh wait I’ve no money…

Day 6 – It never rains but it escapes…

Day 7 – Week in review

Day 8 – Cave or Crumble…

Day 9 – Book club for one.

Day 10 – Free Money

Until next time, let your gypsy soul wander.

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Day 10 – Free Money

I know it sounds too good to be true right? But today I concentrated on ways to supplement my income during no spend month. There were a few things I wanted to try, who knows if any of them will end up with actual excess income but its worth a try right?

I decided to try and be an adult and I went to the Revenue website and printed off a Form 12 and a Form MED 1 and filled them out in relation to the last tax year to see if I am due any tax back (apparently I can fill this form in online but I need a pin code and I can’t for the life of me remember if I ever got one so lets move on) I filled out all the forms to the best of my ability because I honestly got a bit of a headache trying to adult and I am sending them off today. Let’s just hope that I don’t owe them money!

I have been using an app for the past two weeks called Reep Rewards. When you shop you basically snap a photo of the receipt and you earn 15 – 25 cent per receipt. It can be used in lots of stores like Tesco, Aldi, Penney’s, Superdry, Boots etc. It lists all the special offers in the stores and you can set favourite products and be alerted when there is a special on. If you happen to buy one of the grocery items that have a cash back offer on this week then you can earn money for that. So far I’ve gotten a free frozen pizza and free tayto crisps during their 100% cash back offers and earned myself €5.68 in Reep Rewards. You can then choose to exchange you’re rewards for good and services or you can cash out to Paypal once you get to €50.00. I know it’s only pittance but it’s better in my pocket and I am going to wait until I hit €50.00 to cash out.

Now the holy trinity of trying to make some excess income: Done Deal, eBay and Adverts. I have a lot of stuff at home that are literally dust collectors. They have no purpose in my life and I am probably never going to use them but they’re too good to throw out. So I spent today gathering some of these things together and I will photograph them before I go to work tonight. I have always had some anxiety about selling online for fear of they know where you live etc so I will be meeting to drop the packages off in public places or posting them. But hopefully some of the things will sell, fingers crossed!

So there are some of my ideas for supplemental income and hopefully some of them will work out!

If this is the first post you are seeing here is the link to the challenge I have set for myself if you want to check it out:

The Challenge

Day 1 – Meal Planning

Day 2 – Batch cooking in all its glory…

Day 3 – Oh the temptation!

Day 4 – Want -v- Need

Day 5 – Woot its the weekend! Oh wait I’ve no money…

Day 6 – It never rains but it escapes…

Day 7 – Week in review

Day 8 – Cave or Crumble…

Day 9 – Book club for one.

Until next time, let your gypsy soul wander.

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Day 9 – Book club for one.

So I love to read. I devour books and if a story catches me I have to read until it’s finished. I don’t need sleep, I don’t need food, all I need is to know the fate of the characters. I get emotionally invested in the story, character deaths make me question if the author is a sadist, I get into the after book slump once it’s finished. There are some books that I will read over and over again because they made me feel all the things: Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Paper Towns, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed WIth Our Families, 19 Minutes, Seeds of Hate, Fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm and so many more I’d be here all day.

So usually I read on my Kindle and I usually buy all my books. I recently finished You Deserve a Drink: Boozy Misadventures and Tales of Debauchery by Mamrie Hart which I would highly recommend (also side note check out her YouTube channel believe me you won’t regret it). But in the spirit of no spend month I decided to download an e-book from my local library. I did it on their online site and it was so simple to work. There is a great selection and you can search for exactly what you are looking for.

I downloaded Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and I cannot wait to get started. It is set in a dystopia which is right up my alley, seriously dystopian novels and films give me life. I love them and if I had to pick a genre of books that I love even though it is technically not a genre Dystopia would be it.

Considering how long it takes me to finish most books (2-3 days) I am going to start downloading more eBooks from the library instead of buying them. Then if the book makes it into the you are going to read this again and again list then I will buy it. I can sense my changing spending habits already!

What are you all reading?

If this is the first post you are seeing here is the link to the challenge I have set for myself if you want to check it out:

The Challenge

Day 1 – Meal Planning

Day 2 – Batch cooking in all its glory…

Day 3 – Oh the temptation!

Day 4 – Want -v- Need

Day 5 – Woot its the weekend! Oh wait I’ve no money…

Day 6 – It never rains but it escapes…

Day 7 – Week in review

Day 8 – Cave or Crumble…

Until next time, let your gypsy soul wander.

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Day 8 – Cave or Crumble…

So today we all got up and I bundled the girls up in rain gear again. Got the dogs and kids into the car and we set off to the park. Mam took the dogs into the dog park and we walked to the playground. While the girls were playing I did couch to 5k around the playground (while getting some funny looks from the passers by but hey I didn’t really care)

So we then made our way back to the dog park and the boys were having such a good time running around they just didn’t want to leave. Then it started to rain and basically the kids (who had been up for most of the night because they’re kids having a sleepover) started to turn into little monsters of snide remarks. Examples include:

  • Miss A: You put that leaf in my way!
  • Miss M: Put your glove on and stop complaining.
  • Miss A: Why is the car so far away (the car is literally about 10 steps away)
  • Miss M: I’ve used up all my energy I’m done *exasperated sigh/eye roll*

Nicola was collecting Miss A at 1 and by the time we rounded up the kids and dogs and got back to the car its 12:30 and I hadn’t fed the kids lunch yet. So I did what anybody who has ever failed to plan properly does… we went to McDonald’s. Surprisingly enough when I mentioned McDonald’s the girls started getting along and with an abundance of Disney songs on the radio we were all suddenly in good form.

Now lest you think I caved completely (I would like to see this failure as more of a crumble) I only bought two happy meals for the kids. When we got home and they were chowing down happily talking to each other I made myself lunch out of what I had in the house and stuck to the menu plan.

Unplanned Money Spent Today:

  • Two Happy Meals €8.00 (I think that it was, I paid in cash and don’t have a receipt)

This however won’t be happening again. I shall not crumble. So lets call this a half cave? like it crumbled and blocked the tunnel partially but we can still escape type of half cave, everybody on board with that definition? Great!

If this is the first post you are seeing here is the link to the challenge I have set for myself if you want to check it out:

The Challenge

Day 1 – Meal Planning

Day 2 – Batch cooking in all its glory…

Day 3 – Oh the temptation!

Day 4 – Want -v- Need

Day 5 – Woot its the weekend! Oh wait I’ve no money…

Day 6 – It never rains but it escapes…

Day 7 – Week in review

Until next time, let your gypsy soul wander.

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Day 7 – Week in review

Today was tiring and long and its 9pm when I am starting to write this and I am seriously considering going to bed. Today myself and Miss A we were up early and made breakfast. The weather was horrible rain and wind and general ickyness. Miss M arrived and after lots of hugs and reuniting warm fuzzies we decided to go to the playground. Considering the girls have full raingear I don’t have a problem going to the park in the bad weather. They are kept dry and they are all layered up underneath. Because of the bad weather we had the whole playground to ourselves. We played for about 30 minutes and then the heavens opened, torrential rain so we walked back to the car and hopped in. We then headed home and changed into our “Party Dresses” and headed off to Tony’s birthday BBQ which had been moved indoors and everybody had a great time. Then is was home and bath time and food and movie and I’m just generally shattered so on to the review.

This week how hard has it been not to spend money? I have noticed that certain situations make me want to spend unnecessarily.

  • One the kids are around I want to buy them everything. It’s ridiculous but yeah that’s basically how it feels.
  • Tonight has been the first night I have wanted to order Chinese takeout because I was just generally exhausted. Fail to plan, plan to fail and all that. I forgot to take anything out of the freezer, cereal however is my friend.
  • I can’t go on Etsy because I want it all and I have no willpower.
  • If anybody has a need (think Charity) I find it hard to say no.

So realistically apart from bills and pre determined money how much have I spent: €67.44

I think this is a huge achievement for me and considering that money was two new leads for Brody after the first one snapped we had to replace it, I think that’s pretty damn good. Watch out world I’ll be Rockefeller in no time!

If this is the first post you are seeing here is the link to the challenge I have set for myself if you want to check it out:

The Challenge

Day 1 – Meal Planning

Day 2 – Batch cooking in all its glory…

Day 3 – Oh the temptation!

Day 4 – Want -v- Need

Day 5 – Woot its the weekend! Oh wait I’ve no money…

Day 6 – It never rains but it escapes…

Until next time, let your gypsy soul wander.

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Day 6 – It never rains but it escapes…

Have you ever heard the saying “It never rains but it pours”. Well that could describe today. I was woken up by the dogs just being general pains in the ass a few times last night so I woke up tired. We are trying to acclimate Brody to Colby our rabbit so basically Brody’s just an anxious ball of energy that wants to murder Colby and like to howl loudly to let us know his murderous intentions. Walt then jumps on the bandwagon and honestly I’m worrying that the neighbours are going to report us for a noise violation. So after some set backs with the rabbit/dog situation we were finally able to get the day started.

I made egg and onion for mam and packed us up a picnic with a crap tonne of water for the dogs and lots to keep our strength up.

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Then we loaded up the dogs into the car and off we went to Donabate Beach.

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Everything set off fine we walked 2.5km down the beach and set up the picnic blanket and I set off for a swim. The water was really cold and there was literally nobody else in swimming so I had the whole ocean to myself. It was so refreshing and once you start swimming you don’t feel the cold. I got out and took the dogs for a while so mam could eat then I got back in for another swim.

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Now we get into the pouring part of the day. So while I was swimming the tide was coming in and where we were sitting was basically a sand bank in between the sea and where the tide was coming in. As mam doesn’t like the water she went to take the two dogs to the other side of the beach before it got too deep while I got changed and packed up our stuff. So she looked for the shallowest part and found that well there wasn’t one so had to trek through the water which was about mid thigh depth (on me I’m 5ft 2) once she got to the deepest part the dogs started to freak the hell out the both jumped and wanted her to basically carry them. They had their paws up on her bag and her back and were walking on their hind legs. Next thing you know she looked and Brody wasn’t attached to anything. His lead had snapped and he was just basically holding on and walking on his hind legs but not attached to anything. Walt ever the opportunist noticed the commotion and jerked away with such force he pulled the lead out of her hand and that was it he was gone, running like the little crazy he is. Brody followed in hot pursuit and they were so far down the beach I could barely see them.

As I am watching this commotion, half dressed with no shoes I realised that there was literally nothing I could do. So I packed up our stuff (still not wearing shoes), waded through the mini river and found mam exasperated and just fed up. So here is our situation:

  • Brody will come back when he is called however we do not have a lead for him and if another dog comes along that is smaller than him then we will be in trouble.
  • Walt has started to run. This is a problem which normally ends two ways. 1. A stranger catches him and asks ‘Is this your dog?” all condescending or 2. He starts to get tired and we catch him.

So as I said to mam, we just needed to accept the fact that there was nothing we could do and wait and see how it played out. I started cracking jokes and in no time mam was on board and making jokes of her own. I knew there would be a lot of following to keep him in sight and make sure that he wasn’t doing damage to anybody or himself. So I put shoes on and turned on map my walk. Incase anybody is wondering what it would look like to chase your escaped crazy dog around Donabate beach for 50 minutes here you go.

IMG_6309Walt had the time of his life, running in the sea out of the sea up the dunes over the golf course basically everywhere he saw fit. No amount of commands, coaxing or chicken could lure him back. Brody on the other hand was howling at him (which in my mind was basically telling Walt to cop the hell on) and getting worried that we were walking and Walt wasn’t with us. We could see Walt was slowing down but still wouldn’t slow down enough for us to catch him so mam asked two ladies passing by that if he came over would they grab him as during escapes he loves to get attention from strangers. Mam had only asked them and 3 minutes later we had him back. his lead had been dragged through so much sand it basically doesn’t work any more because its clogged with sand. I ignored him and mam called him a few choice names. We got back to the car and put them in and then mam treated herself to an ice cream and me to a slushy. Here is a selfie mam wanted to take after the ordeal.

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But in spite of all of that my stomach hurts from laughing and it was a perfect day to remind us that we can’t control everything. It’s how you deal with it that matters.

If this is the first post you are seeing here is the link to the challenge I have set for myself if you want to check it out:

The Challenge

Day 1 – Meal Planning

Day 2 – Batch cooking in all its glory…

Day 3 – Oh the temptation!

Day 4 – Want -v- Need

Day 5 – Woot its the weekend! Oh wait I’ve no money…

Until next time, let your gypsy soul wander.