Saturday, 27 June 2015

Hello, Welcome To Our Home. Would You Like To Come In? - The Kitchen

I love our kitchen. The view out our kitchen window is one of the main reasons we bought our home.  The orchard outside has lambs, calves and their mums in May-October and I love watching them out the window.

Our kitchen probably looks fairly average but I think it's special by what it doesn't have, than by what it does.  We have very few mod cons. We have a cooker, a washing machine, a fridge freezer and a hand blender, and that's about it on the electrical front. We don't have a microwave, food processor, dishwasher, tumble dryer or any other kitchen appliances. I try and keep the kitchen as clutter free as possible. Dh hates the sides looking messy so he helps to keep things tidy. I have a hob top whistling kettle, which at the moment is a repro, but I have my eye out for a vintage original. The pics are a bit dark because it's sunny outside so I hope they're ok. 

When we moved in the kitchen had torn pink lino on the floor that was ripped into several pieces. We now have proper flooring down.

This is my Grandma's gorgeous Welsh dresser and one of my favourite pieces of furniture. 

The inside of the cupboards are pretty well organised.  I sort them out regularly. 

Burt is settling in well and enjoying the afternoon sunshine :)

In the long term I would love a Smeg fridge freezer as I love the look of them but our current one was free so I will run it until it needs retiring. How does our kitchen compare to yours?  


Thursday, 25 June 2015

Hello, Welcome To My Home, Would You Like To Come In?

I have been inspired in my latest post by one of my lovely readers who was asking about the interior of our home.  Our home is very small and simple.  It is a constant work in progress. It was in a bit of a state when we moved in and we've spent 5 years doing it up. We're not finished yet.  Our decor is also simple with mostly magnolia walls, but I will have some vintage wallpaper in the future, particularly in the bedroom which is next on the list. I am going to do a mini series showing each room in our home,  showing the furniture and telling you a bit about their stories as most of it is second hand.  

Let's start in the bedroom.  

We have a lot of furniture that belonged to my Grandma.  This is her dresser.  The dressing set on top I got at a charity shop.

This is our bed.  We bought the frame second hand,  someone was selling it outside their house.  

We have an original turn dial phone which is sat on an old coal store I use for storing bedding.  I have an old leather suitcase in front of it I use for storing paperwork.

We have a log burning stove.  This is our only form of heating the bedroom.  

This is very special to me.  This is hung above our fireplace.  It's the deed to a house in Stratford upon Avon from the 1700s. I bought it at a car boot sale. The back is also glass so we can see the signatures and wax stamps. I don't know the couple who's house it was but I love having something so old in my home. 

Dated 1705

It is signed on the back several times. 

I would love to know more about the couple but I have never had any luck with Internet searches. 


Monday, 22 June 2015

Enjoying That 'Old Fashioned' feeling

Dh still hasn't received the money from the company he did some work for,  he's currently waiting to hear back from them as to whether the 2 further invoices he submitted to them will be late also, which is also likely.  We've been being super frugal but also having fun, and I am enjoying the leisurely pace life is currently taking. 

I've been taking lots of little steps to progress my vintage life, I enjoy it so much. 

I have been reading this book based on the 2000
Channel 4 series. I didn't see it when it was on and really want to buy the dvd, but it is still about £20 to buy and I can't find it second hand so, alas, my purchase will have to wait.

Burt has been scratching these chairs.  The material is just too irristible to him! He has a scratch post but he doesn't like it.  Yesterday I took drastic action. While dh recovered his scratch post with a material we think he'd prefer then liberally sprinkled catnip over it,  I made some loose covers in this cream linen to protect the original covers (pink).  I put a homemade blanket over the back to make it harder for him to grab on to the side.  I am also using Feliway,  a natural spray to discourage scratching- fingers crossed! 
I have been doing lots of recipe research and am planning 'rationing-take 2' coming very soon.

Dh has found an exciting vintage free day out we can go on Sunday so I'm looking forward to that :)

After I finished work today I came home and made lunch. I then tidied up, washed the kitchen floor,  hoovered then sat down, had a cup of tea and read my book. Dh and I then went for a walk up the lane and back.  It was really windy! Another cup of tea followed and I'm now just about to put dinner on,  we're having lentil stew and I will do enough for lunch tomorrow.

This evening I might do some crafting followed by a game of cards with dh. We enjoy Liverpool rummy.


Thursday, 18 June 2015

Tightening Our Belts

Dh is self employed and has been for about a year now, slowly but surely he's been building his business up sometimes working up to 100 hours a week. Going from someone who brings in a monthly paycheck to someone who's income is a bit more sporadic with income was a bit of a change for us initially, but something I think we've adapted well to. I am very proud of what he's achieved. I  generally sort our accounts and books, it's always been that way. It seems to be one of my strengths and dh likes it that way too because he knows he can trust me to keep a close eye on things and keep him up to date. He does all the paperwork for his business, so especially over the last year, it's been one less thing for him to worry about. 

But being self employed also has its down side, and recently we've received our first experience of what it is like to not get paid by a company. Dh has done a lot of work for this company. They are his biggest client, but apparently as they've done a lot of investing in a new project they are waiting for the returns on, they have a 'short term cash flow problem' and are now seriously late in paying him. What's worse, is that dh is about to submit another 2 invoices to them for further work done (before he realised he wasn't getting paid- funny enough they weren't too forward in divulging that information) and those will almost certainly be late too. A few days ago dh started to panic about the lack of income he would be providing over the next few months as we still have no idea when he will be paid. So we've come up with a plan of action. 

We have some savings but I really,  really don't want to touch this unless we ABSOLUTELY have to. It's taken us so long to save what little we have so I don't want to touch it unless the bailiffs come a knocking!  I want us to really tighten our belts and get the most out of every pound until the money comes in. We're also adjusting to my wages at my new job,  which I love but I am bringing in about £300 less a month compared to a year ago. What makes the situation worse is that our car had its MOT and service on Tuesday,  it failed,  and by the time it passed I had a bill for £600 . . . .  yeah. . . . Ouch. .. . 

Still, ever the optimist I know we can do this. Although we are not totally doing rations at the moment (which I may go back to as I'm actually missing it!) I am still limiting a lot of what we buy such as butter, cheese, milk and 'meat'. But I don't ration lentils, grains, beans and whole foods I can cook from scratch with. I'm still buying very little processed food. I've replaced the sugar ration with honey or maple syrup as a less refined alternative and I am buying more eggs.  More on this later. I am buying some non-British fruit and veg if it is on offer, but really only occasionally.  Today, at my fruit and veg shop they had a carrier bag of overipe bananas for £1! I bought it to make a banana loaf and have frozen the rest for banana ice cream.  

I know we can get through this time by being frugal.  This morning so far I have been to the allotment and done some weeding and picked our first strawberries!  I've made a 'meat loaf' with the last of the veggie mince,  mushrooms,  onions etc,  taken up 2 pairs of work trousers (provided by work) , cleaned and tidied,  made breakfast and lunch. Lunch will be jacket potato and meat loaf followed by our own strawberries. I listened to 1940s big band music while I worked.  I also hand washed a batch of cleaning cloths and tea towels.  

All in all I do feel optimistic. I know my grandparents went through some very lean times, much harder than ours so whenever I'm feeling a bit stressed I think of them. I'll let you know how we get on. 


Sunday, 14 June 2015

A Slow Sunday

Today has been a lovely day. I've just stopped butterfly looming to write this post.  Dh is sitting with me building models.

Our new addition, Burt, has been very playful. 

 We went to the allotment in the morning.  After lunch of eggs on toast we went out for a walk. It was from my 'local walks' book.  It was a lovely walk although it had some steep hills and was quite muddy in places!

There was a long climb at one point but the views were lovely at the top. 

We had to cross a couple of gullys.

I made a soup for dinner which we had with bread rolls. Now we're just sitting,  crafting and watching The Darling Buds Of May and in a sec, I'm going to make a cup of tea. Perfick! ;)


Saturday, 13 June 2015

A Hectic Time!

Hello :) I've been awol for a bit as things have been a bit mad recently.  In the last few weeks we have:

* Adopted a rescue cat including having our home check. 

* Celebrated my birthday. 

* Gone to a former boss' retirement party which involved an overnight stay as it was a bit of a trek.

* Done extra hours at work to cover someone who was away. 

* Helped Dh's mum move house. 

So it's been pretty busy.  I've also spent a lot of time in the kitchen as dh and I have bought our rationing experiment to a close but I have been doing exciting new things in the kitchen in the last week,  if anyone is interested in eating a more unprocessed diet then you might be interested in some future posts I am going to do.

Today, I was up early doing a bit of a clean.  We have guests visiting later and are going out to dinner.  The weather is not very good so I don't know if I'll get down the allotment or not.  Have a good  day everyone!