Category Archives: Living

An Update, a DIY, and an Announcement

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I am such a bad blogger! (I’ve also given up any pretence that Jack contributes to this blog!)

I cannot believe that I haven’t updated since February. That is incredibly naughty, so here I am! If you want to find more places that I’m active, you can check my Pinterest, and you can also follow me on Instagram where I frequently just post pictures of cake, or my nails.

So down to the DIY, I’d seen a really great Pin purporting to be of gold-sprayed fridge magnets (as we all know, I love a fridge magnet) which… turned out to be jewellery. I can’t actually find the Pin now, I thought I’d put it on one of my boards but apparently not… anyway, I made my own! I happened to have a really great ultra-shiny gold spray paint becoming incredibly dusty underneath my sink, so I went crazy and sprayed all of my fridge letters gold… so whilst we’re at it – I combined the DIY and the announcement!

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Lots of Love from Jack (sort of) and Betty xx

Jack and Betty join the Recession

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We hadn’t really been too touched by ‘moneygeddon’ until last year – I mentioned that Jack had an exciting new job opportunity, which unfortunately didn’t work out. After two weeks in a job that he loved he was essentially made redundant, and the panic set in somewhat! He’d worked at his last place for around seven years, and had been working in catering since he was sixteen, so joblessness was a completely new experience for him. Luckily within another two weeks he found a temporary job, and through contacts from his old job found work with the same company, different brand, and now he’s working at head office! Despite the fact that we struggled for a few months, he’s probably better off now than had he stayed at his old place, so that cloud had an amazing silver lining in the end.

 

Together, we were comfortably off financially – I don’t earn a huge amount personally so there was a lot of head-scratching to be done as to how we were going to cope if this short term problem turned into a long term one. Here’s what we came up with – hopefully this will be helpful!

  • Stop spending money! – I know this sounds ridiculous, but we cut down on anything non-essential, even silly things like spending 70p on a chocolate bar, or the odd after-work drink
  • Get a job – any job – Jack was a complete hero in this respect – he applied for anything and everything, be it permanent, temporary – working outside or in and office. Any income is better than no income, and it’s a lot easier to find employment at the job you want, if you’re already employed elsewhere
  • Be frugal with food – We all have those items in our kitchen that we have for ‘just in case’ meals, or things in our freezer that we never quite get around to eating – take advantage of them! We also did a lot of making up big meals, and freezing or utilising the leftovers in another form
  • Be frugal with your utilities – You’re never sure about how long money is going to be an issue for, start cutting back now, be careful – you don’t want to be hit with a huge bill that you’re going to struggle to pay a few months down the line

 

The other thing that we almost did was get a lodger – under the government’s Rent a Room Scheme you can earn up to £4,250 per year tax-free from letting out furnished accommodation in your home. We were all set for having our good friend Sam move in with us, but by the time it was all arranged, the financial storm had passed and he found a room closer to home, with our friend Dan who as it turns out was in greater need of the rent money!

 

My only other advice really is to save, save, save – whether you have something to save for or not – if push had come to shove we could have lasted quite a while on the bits that we’d got stashed away in savings,  although luckily it didn’t come to that! It’s certainly a comfort to know that should something break down or need replacing (touch wood!) that we could afford to do it without it being too much of a burden on our monthly income.

 

Have any of  you faced any problems like ours? Got any tips on how to be thrifty in times of financial gloom and doom?

 

Lots of Love from Jack and Betty (mostly Betty today) xx

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I feel like every time I write in this blog it’s another “sorry I haven’t blogged for a while! blah blah” – thing is, we’ve been in the house for a year now… and whilst there is a lot that needs doing, a lot’s already been done. We haven’t got the cash for new projects at the minute really, and our day-to-day living isn’t all that exciting! Jack and I are barely in the house enough together for us to blog about food – quite often it’s cooking for one, which is pretty difficult and not all that exciting… I could do you a charming ‘how to make pasta slightly less boring after making it for the past week’ post but that’s probably about it…

 

Still a lot is changing around us in our lives – Jack is working his notice at the restaurant after getting what sounds like is going to be an amazing new job opportunity. My part-time pub job is all change as it’s been bought by new owners. Here’s hoping they both work out okay!

 

One thing we have been able to do is paint the lounge. I saw a great paint chart from Graham and Brown with a ‘Great British Paint Colours’ theme to it – there was a Police Box Blue… and as massive Doctor Who fans, we couldn’t resist… Jack was worried that it’d make our small lounge a little dark, but actually it turned out to be pretty cozy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lots of Love from Jack and Betty xxx

The Powder Room

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Betty’s still not quite happy with her Walk in Wardrobe – but Jack’s helped it along the way! He tidied out the whole room on his own one day last week, and set up an adorable powder room as a surprise! We’ve been donated some sets of drawers from our friend Max which has been amazing – we actually have space to put our clothes that isn’t boxes, or an already overflowing wardrobe!

 

 

You can just about see the princess mirror in the last photo – and this is where Betty gets ready in the morning now, all of her cosmetics are ready to hand, and tidy, so much easier to keep clean! You can see here a vintage vanity set that was a christmas gift from Betty’s mom.

 

 

 

It’s also Barney’s favourite room of the house, because it’s warm, and he’s not allowed in there very often.

More soon!

 

Lots of love from Jack and Betty xx

Thrifty Betty

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aka Betty buy hideous rubbish! Jack and I really like to thrift, there are plenty of charity shops around where we live and it’s really great to see what you can find. I think it all started with my vintage tea cup collection, I was given a lot of them by my sister and I just kept on going – getting into charity shops to source out new tea cups led to other buys and now I like to shop around pretty regularly to find things to cheery up the place!

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Here you can see (left to right) a vintage photo frame, with an old receipt that I found at work from a local drapers – a bit of an odd thing to frame, I know, but I really liked the typography. A Small Pot with a bird on it, I have no idea what this is for but I like birds a lot… as you can see from that rather odd ceramic peacock handbell. Then there’s Jack’s decanters which we are still too poor to buy liquor for, and a really rather odd deer figurine. I do have another deer (which I’ll photograph when I show you the bedroom) – this one’s strangely pearlescent and I couldn’t resist.

 

Jack’s pipe isn’t a charity shop buy, he is just genuinely that old fashioned.

 

Lots of Love from Betty xx

A Sofa (at last!)

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We finally got a sofa! It’s been sitting in Jack’s grandparent’s garage for years, unwanted, so we took it off their hands – until now we’ve been sitting on a little bench seat, which is fine but you can’t exactly snuggle up on it.

 

Jack’s plan for monday, he’s just revealed, is to take a nap on it, and see how comfy it is. Seriously, that’s his plan for the day. *sigh*

 

awaiting Jack's 'comfiness' review

 

Lots of Love from Betty xx