Tag Archives: lifestyle

An Update, a DIY, and an Announcement


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





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

Steak and Mushroom Pie


A 'hearty' pie xx



Betty’s been in the kitchen today, there’s no real recipe for this pie… just a pack of casserole steak, chopped into cubes and fried up with some onion and mushrooms – add in some beef stock and red wine, simmer for half an hour and then pop into the pie dish with some puff pastry and cook for half an hour at 180 degrees!


The edges are a little messy, but surely the heart more than makes up for that?


Lots of love from Betty xx