Monday, 31 January 2011

Bad Weather & Birthdays!

Well, my first weekend of clearing the garden got off to a rubbish start!  Between rotten weather and children's illnesses (not to mention Mr Thrifty coming down with a bad case of flu - he has a cold!) nothing was done in the garden this weekend!

It still looks dishevelled and disgraceful - particularly next to my elderly neighbours a few doors along who all seem to have pristine gardens despite the fact they're not half as spritely as me.  It's shameful!

More shameful than my rubbish gardening efforts, however, has been my total lack of organisation when it comes to Cheeky Boy's birthday party!  On waking up on Friday, I suddenly realised that I had two weeks left until the big day - and I haven't organised a thing!!!!!  So, after a hasty check with him to see what he wanted to do, we've decided upon a small group of friends going bowling and for pizza.  I printed off some half-hearted invites - decorated with Sonic the Hedgehog of course (he's going to be 8) - and rushed down to school with them today. 

Now, perhaps I'm niaive but I didn't realise organising a kids birthday could be so stressful!  So far, I've already had one refusal (his birthday is the first weekend of half term so I'm expecting more).  To complicate matters, a good friend asked whether I wanted to make it a joint venture with her son who will be a year older the following weekend.  I ummed and awwed - which I feel terrible about as it looked like I didn't want them to share their celebrations.  It's not that at all, it's just that I'd already been rubbish on the organisation front and his nibs was expecting something on his actual birthday (my friend is also away for half term so the celebration would have to be the following weekend). 

I suggested a joint party to my son which he was delighted about - until I got to the part where it wasn't on his actual birthday.  You see, I'd promised him a trip to the bowling with his friends on his birthday - not a week later.  Of course, I'm now torn between upsetting my friend or upsetting my son.  Part of me thinks he's being spoiled (we never had parties when I was a kid AND we're offering to take him out with the family on his actual birthday instead) and part of me thinks I promised something with his friends on his birthday so I can't go back on it.

Of course, given that it's half term, there could end up only being two of them anyway!!!  I'm sure it will all resolve itself - at least I hope it will - but I can't help thinking I'm going to start the whole fiasco all over again in a few weeks.  Toots has already started making noises about her 5th birthday party which isn't until APRIL!!!!

Sometimes I long for a return to the days when your mum said, 'It's your birthday so you get to choose what we're having for tea'.  And if I was really lucky, I got to invite a friend.  Somehow, I think I'm not going to get away with that with my two.  So much for being thrifty!! 

What to do?  Can't help thinking someone is going to be annoyed with me either way!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Top 5 Thrifty Things for 2011

Well, I've decided that I need to have a bit of a focus - otherwise I'm going to drown in a sea of 'too much to do'!.  So, aside from my business and personal goals (diversify my income streams; work smarter not harder; enter another 10K; spend my time with the kids a bit better etc.) I'm going to set some Thrifty goals too!

1. Organise and plan the vegetable patch: I have downloaded and nifty (and free!) planning tool that does all sorts of clever things like tell you how much space you need in between certain types of veg - and publishes it all in a wonderful diagram.  I will post (if I can) once it has taken shape!

2. Sort out the shed/garage: my 'garden corner' of the garage consists of an old cardboard box full of tools, a table from our house with smaller tools and seed packets piled up on it and a tower of empty pots next to bamboo canes propped up in the corner!  Not organised, not easy to find things, just not Alan Titchmarsh I feel!

3. Build some shelves for the seed growing phase (which starts next week!!!).  That should read, get my husband to build some shelves.  Mr Thrifty does know about this task but has taken to muttering quietly to himself whenever it's mentioned.  I feel gentle reminders are going to have to escalate to annoying whining by the weekend!

4. Set up a work station in the kitchen diner (that sounds much grander than it will really be) but I need space for my sewing machine and sewing stuff - otherwise, it's all going to still be sitting in a corner in my bedroom collecting dust by the time December rolls around.

5. Write out a proper plan for the year - an entire calendar chart with different things that I need to focus on at different times - planting seeds in February/March; jam making in July; candle making at Christmas time - that sort of thing.  I realise, of course, that I should have listed this first but it just occurred to me.  (Now you see how disorganised I am?!)

Right, feel slightly better having written that down at at least have a plan for the next few weeks which should at the very least, give me a growing plan for the year that will provide me with a tonne of fruit and veg (well, a small shopping basket full would keep me happy, if I'm honest).  Now, off to have a shower before putting my plan into action...

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Bad Blogger!

It's been a ridiculous 2 months since my last blog post - and I can't believe how time has flown!  In my defence, I haven't been lying around eating chocolate and drinking wine (oh, how I wish) but I have been working hard on my business blog ( and have won lots of new clients (yah!).  I'm also doing an Online Business course AND I've joined a mumpreneur business programme (Become a Mumpreneur) so 2011 will be the year that I get entrepreneurial - while being ever thrifty, of course!

It's a new decade personally as well as calendar wise too (I turned 40 a couple of weeks ago) so, apparently, this will be the year that life begins!

My next thrifty project is my vegetable plot.  After a winter spent covered in snow, the garden has finally started to emerge and it looks very sorry for itself to say the least.  Not sure whether it needs a full medical or the kiss of life and a defibrillator.

I wandered around the garden centre on Sunday and now my head is buzzing with ideas for planting, landscaping and growing veg.  Knowing myself as I do, I think I need to calm down and focus on one thing.  So, here I sit, cup of tea in one hand and seed catalogue in the other - let the vegetable plot planning commence!

by Flickr user TimParkinson