Wednesday, 31 July 2013

My New Home – The 30 Day Countdown & Saving Some Last Minute Cash

Do you remember about a month ago I revealed that I’d bought a new home, and it had been a bit of a farce but I was really excited (and relieved!) to finally be able to reveal it to you? Well, I thought it was time for an update!

So it’s now only 30 days until I get the keys! Squee! And although it’s really exciting, it’s also making me panic because I’m a little bit short for my deposit and need to work hard to come up with the rest.

Here’s (hopefully!) how I’ll  do it:

My diary for the next month is pretty empty and it’s staying that way. No nights out, no adventuring, absolutely nothing that will cause unnecessary expenditure cos I need to save every penny. The only things I’m allowing myself are one or two trips to the cinema and my visit to the Dundee Tattoo Convention, both of which are basically paid for already.

So with no added outgoings, I need to work on increasing the money coming in.

First of all I made some crocheted items to sell in my craft shop and the initial response has been pretty good! I’ve had a few orders for the Blythe items, but I need to advertise them within the Blythe community a bit more to boost that. PS The hair bows are for humans too! :)

Next up I started my blog sale and I’m also really happy with the response to that, thanks to everyone who has had a look, I’m glad some of you found something nice to treat yourself to!

I’ve sold a few other bits on eBay, but I’ll be stepping up a gear this week as I sort through everything. It’s proving quite therapeutic to sort through and decide what can and can’t come to my new place!

There’s a local “cash for clothes” shop that will collect unwanted items and give you money there and then, so if I have items left over that’s where they’ll be going.

Even my Blythe dolls are sorting through their wardrobe! Along with some vintage Barbie & Sindy doll clothes and accessories, they’re now for sale on Dolly Duds.

I’ll be selling some of my craft supplies, although I’m not sure how yet. I have a lot of fabric and buttons etc which I think I’ll sell through my Etsy craft shop and other bits which may be more suited for eBay.

For the next seven days, I’m offering 20% off all items in my vintage shop! Just add the code “HAPPYHOME” at the checkout before the end of Wednesday 7th August to save on some supercool nostalgic fun!

And finally (for the time being anyway!) I've been in touch with a local company about handing out fliers for them. So hopefully I'll get paid and get some free exercise in the sun!

So hopefully my next update will be one filled with deep joy and smiley pictures of me with the keys to my new home and it'll all have been worth it!

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Thrifty Finds

Last weekend I met up with my friend Lorna for a day of thrifting around Aberdeen.

We fuelled up with a hearty Italian lunch at Piccolo, mine consisted of a penne bake with spinach and ricotta followed by tiramisu, all very tasty indeed!

Full up and ready to move, we headed to Chapel Street which is where most of the charity shops are, only to find half of them closed.  On a Saturday. Weird eh?!

I bought this Beefeater bear at the Cancer Research UK shop and Lorna named him Boris, after the Mayor of London. I don’t know what it is that makes me want to rehome all the fluffy things, but I want to, so I do it.

We headed to the March Hare Market which is one of the regular craft and vintage events on in the city.

This was our first visit, and it’s all very inviting with bunting and chalkboard signs outside, added to by the allure of Lorna!

There were about 18-20 stalls inside, many that were new to me, although it’s been a wee while since I’ve done a craft fair, and a few I recognised.

My only disappointment was that one of the stands packed up early and I was looking forward to making my way round to her stall!

My favourite stands were Antoinette, and Sheena's fantastic range of unique jewellery, Ginger Pickle, especially this print, and Rocking Stitch, who may manage to get Lorna behind the wheel of a sewing machine!

After the market we headed to another couple of charity shops where I bought some Christmas cards (yes, you read that right!) and this amazing vintage Miffy jigsaw.

I love Miffy and have a bit of a collection, but I told myself I couldn’t keep this one and it’s now in my shop! I have to be harsh and remind myself that saving money for my flat is more important!

♫ Tuesday Tuneage ♫

Feel the need to dance? Even if you don't, slap on this track and you'll soon be dancing around your living room, singing along! I love the random video too, it makes me happy!

DUI - Har Mar Superstar

Monday, 29 July 2013

♥ This Week's Loves ♥

1. Baby George was born this week! I love this little family, they seem so down to earth and sweet, I can't help but be super happy for them!

2. I got my first blog award this week! The lovely Rhiannon at The Sparkly Panda nominated me for The Sunshine Award.

3. I also did my first ever guest post for Amy Marie at Cocktails In Teacups, about the things I'll love and miss about moving away from my folks again! You can read it here. I'd definitely like to do more in the future, but the hardest bit was picking the topic!

4. It was my sister's birthday this week so we had another family get-together. It was such a nice evening, and all the beautiful flowers are out, so I snapped this one in her garden!

5. My feet were roasting with the heat, so I kicked off my heels and did some secret flip-flop wearing at work! Wish I could wear these all the time!

6. I met my friend for lunch at a local Italian and we both ended on a high with Tiramisu!  Yummers!

7. And knowing how skint I am right now, we planned an afternoon of thrifting and craft shopping. But I'll tell you all about that in a post tomorrow :)

8. I caught up with another friend on Sunday and we went to see The Wolverine. Obviously I loved it, as I do with all X-Men movies, but the fact it was set in Japan made it awesome. It brought back lots of lovely memories!

9. I ended my weekend with a bit of a clearout. It feels good to sort through my things for the move! Only 32 days to go! Yippee!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

☆ Flights Of Fancy ☆

Things which have captured my imagination this week...

Start the day right with this mug

I've been toying with the idea of fitting a snug into my new kitchen, like this

And I love this breeze block outdoor seating

I love this advert, we should all be more dog!

These Ale Giorgini movie prints

This tea chart. I'm a Brown Zero, if you're making ;)

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

The Sunshine Award

I'm very excited cos Rhiannon over at The Sparkly Panda has nominated me for The Sunshine Award! I love Rhiannon's blog, so this is really wonderful, thanks Rhiannon!

The rules of the Sunshine Award are:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you = Done!
2. Post the award logo on your blog
3. Nominate 5 blogs that you love
4. Share seven facts about yourself
Seven Facts About Me
1. I always tie sweetie and crisp wrappers in a knot, like this:

Not sure why!
2. I'm a vegetarian and have been for 22 years.
3. My middle name is Agnes, after my Mum.
4. I own a pair of gorgeous red flamenco shoes, which I wore to a dance class I used to do. Unfortunately I moved away and there's not a flamenco class where I live now.
5. As my day-to-day, full-time job I'm a Web Developer.
6. There's a method to everything I eat, mostly with no sensible rhyme or reason. 
Some examples: KitKats should be nibbled around the sides first, then eaten in three bites thereafter, before licking my fingers and moving on to the next bit. With apples I have to twist the stalk, reciting the alphabet at each rotation, then punch the skin with it, again reciting the alphabet til the skin breaks. This is how you work out the initials of the person you'll marry. Fact.
Meals are usually eaten in a set order, and Smarties and Revels must be grouped into flavours/colours then eaten in order of least favourite to favourite.  NB: I'm fully aware this sounds mental!
7.  The only alcoholic drinks I can drink are the ones that taste like juice. I've tried my hardest to drink wine, but I just can't do it. Beer, lager etc, is gross and most spirits can only be consumed in a cocktail or alcopop. People tell me I'll grow to like it, those people are liars.

So there we have it, seven facts about me!

My Nominations

I would love to hear seven random facts about:
Monique from Bye Bye Blackbird
Kayleigh from Ruffles And Rabbits
Nora from Hello You
Chelsea from Love In Modern Life
I hope you lovely ladies can take part!


Tuesday, 23 July 2013

♫ Tuesday Tuneage ♫

This week's tuneage is cool.  Everything about it is cool. Moloko, Roisin Murphy, the song.

Then there's the video. Take all of the above and add Roisin's femininely masculine outfit, her flicky hair, her dancing, in an art deco ballroom and for bonus points Paddy Considine, also dancing.

Moloko - Familiar Feeling

Monday, 22 July 2013

♥ This Week's Loves ♥

1. I got a new laptop! I've been using my work one for a while, but it was time to get one of my own again. I love getting it out of the box and setting it up, and they keys sound nice!

2. I've been getting a bit stressed lately with doing renovations and advertising the flat I let out, but I am so pleased that this weekend I got a new tenant! It's a total weight off my mind as I get ready to move house myself!

3. Big Hula Hoops! Not just a big bag, but I can actually fit my fingers in these again, just like when I was little!

4. We've had a few family gatherings this week. First of all it was my brother's birthday then, with the sunshine continuing this week, he came round to visit with his girlfriend and my niece Charlotte. She's growing so quickly and we took turns in amusing her while we relaxed in the sun. My brother found the start of a wasp bike in the shed, It's amazing how small and perfect it is, just like Charlotte!

5. As you may know, I've been saving hard for my new place, but I have allowed myself a few wee treats this weekend, including this belt ring (Accessorize, £6) and cat watch from New Look's sale for £5.

6. It's my sister's birthday next week too, so we hit the town to celebrate and she had a great time!

7. The day after the night before I met up with a friend that I haven't seen in too long and we went to see the wonderful Monsters University...

8. ...and then I went to see The World's End. I love Simon Pegg and Nick Frost together, and the way the take mundane day-to-day situations, add a great cast and some baddies, and make brilliant films!

9. We ended the weekend with a family BBQ. We don't have enough of these! Long may the hot weather continue!

Thursday, 18 July 2013

☆ Flights Of Fancy ☆

Things which have captured my imagination this week...

 This is layers of painted resin to make 3D art! Amazing!

 This picture of The Peacock Room, Tuscany
 Seriously though, look at these shoes!!!

These have to be the cutest ice lolly moulds, what a great idea!

 Transform your chest of drawers with these stencils

I think I need a bunny, I just spent far too long looking at them!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

♫ Tuesday Tuneage ♫

I have no real back story to this song, just I remember waking up to it being on the radio when it was first released and finding the words so sweet that I set it as my alarm for the next few months!

It's like a chick flick in a song, I just wish the video was like the one I made up in my head, with actual sparks and shining dragons in it!

Monday, 15 July 2013

♥ This Week's Loves ♥

1. The weather here this week has been IMMENSE! It's sooo, sooo warm and I've been doing heaps of walking, like a woman possessed!

2. My first giveaway came to a close this week and I had such a great response! Thank you again to everyone that entered! Who won?

3. I've been writing my first guest post this week. It's a weird process, trying to think of a topic, represent yourself but fit in with the bloggers audience, and hoping it's well received! Hopefully it'll be posted this week, and I'll share it through Twitter, Facebook etc when it is!

4. Ah, sunny Dundee! I was in Dundee for 4 days this week and it was nice to get time off work when the sun was shining!

5. Yes, this is me, wearing a dress! It's not a great picture, but this is one of my new dresses I bought in the Debenhams sale.  I don't wear enough dresses, so I made a point of packing a few and I felt super-summery and girly!

6. Mmmm, trifle! One of my very favourite puddings!

7. Pacific Rim was good, like Transformers meets Starship Troopers meets Godzilla. Think the 3D version was a good choice!

8. I met up with friends or a meal and a few drinks. This was the really nice veggie fish & chips I had, where the fish was replaced by halloumi! I love it when restaurants think outside the box for meat-free dishes!

9. Gotta love eBay free listing weekends! My clearout continues...

Friday, 12 July 2013

And The Winner Is...

Thank you so much to everyone who entered my Paperchase giveaway! 

I put all 33 comments into the randomiser...

So therefore... the winner is...

Janet Easen!

Step forward and claim your prize Janet!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

☆ Flights Of Fancy ☆

Things which have captured my imagination this week...

This blog full of wonderful vintage photos including this one of Hitchcock

How amazing is this wallpaper?!

 These wonderful (and totally free!) vintage printables

 I'd love to wake up in a tropical paradise every day, but this bedding would do!

This post by Miss Indie on why Mindy is her girl crush. I totally understand where she's coming from!

I hope everyone's enjoying the sunny weather as much as this guy!

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

The Panda Diaries: Aged 5 Months

It's only been a month since the last Panda Diaries, but so much has happened again!

First of all, Panda has had nose sores. This is actually a common thing in guinea pigs, and despite their love of fruit, that's usually the cause :( The sores don't hurt but it's not pretty and Panda has had to lay off the apples for a wee while til they clear up. I can't deprive him of his favourite fruity treats forever, but I'll save then for special occasions.

Talking of fruit, I tried him out with bananas and they're a definite no!

I've attempted to cut his nails too and for a start he wasn't happy but it seems to be a case of trying to make him comfortable and sneakily cutting them when he's nibbling on a snack! Luckily he has three white feet, which means it's easier to see where to cut, and then I use those as a reference for cutting the black ones.

Last week we were featured in Danielle at Underland To Wonderland's Bloggers With Pets feature. I'm sure Panda would be very pleased at all the lovely comments he gets, he certainly loved getting his photo taken! My camera makes a noise when it's focusing, and as soon as he hears it he stops what he's doing and poses!  He even gave me a sneaky kiss (with his tickly whiskers!)...

Panda has been showing a very adventurous side!  It started with me letting him wander around the outside of his cage, and then sections of the living room floor. He was so cute, happily squeaking away as he wandered about!  Unfortunately he likes the floor so much that he jumped off of a chair, but those kind of shenanigans is exactly why he is supervised and I caught him before he knew it!

I figured that this meant he wasn't stimulated enough, so I bought him a cardboard castle! It has three floors with holes so he climb up and down and a drawbridge. I think he's still a bit little for climbing, but he did have a look around, sticking his head through the windows and nibbling the edges!

I don't really know how successful this will be, but we've started toilet training.  The idea is that when he is out of his cage he has a place that he knows he's allowed to do the toilet so he doesn't panic. It's early days but he has used it a few times and prefers to use it as a mode of transport than being carried, I think he feels safer.

It's been very hot here the last few days and I'm very conscious of keeping him cool. I went up to his room on Friday and found him lying flat and lifeless on his cage floor with his eyes closed. I immediately panicked and made a noise which woke him up, which he seemed very confused at! I honestly thought he was dead as you don't often see guinea pigs with their eyes shut, even when they are sleeping! Turns out he was just resting there because his bed was too warm! Phew!

So on Saturday I decided to take him outside for some cool air and he was very content at sitting in the back garden, chewing the grass, in the shelter of a little cardboard box house I made him!

So that's where we are up to now! Every month his personality grows and especially after the scare I'm very aware of how much I love this cute little guy!

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