Tag Archives: resolutions

Resolution update #1

2 Feb

It’s February already! How can that be?! 

I thought it would be good to keep a record of how I get along with my New Year resolution, for myself as much as anyone to remember when the year is over.

[If you’re a new reader you can read about my resolution here.]

I am really happy to be continuing with this no buy resolution. I haven’t kept to it religiously – the ‘rules’ were never meant to be legalistic – but there have been lots of times where I have thought about buying something and have either

– just told myself that I can’t have it or
– actively gone about trying to find it for free or to borrow it.

I have bought a few things this month…

I bought this spatula by accident really. I bought it for a friend for her birthday but then decided I’d bought too much for her. However, I’d needed a new spatula for ages and as it was only £3.50 I kept it!


I caved and bought a packet of Rolos during my Welsh class and I was REALLY ANNOYED afterwards! I know it’s only 60p or something but the chocolate just made me feel sluggish and I wished I hadn’t given into temptation.

I also caved and bought a Thai curry when I was really tired after work the other day. I LOVE Thai food. It doesn’t feel all greasy and full of fat like some other takeaways we have. Josh and I shared one and it only cost £5.99 so I don’t feel too bad!

The thing I have appreciated so much about this challenge is my change in mindset. Instead of just impulse buying I am constantly thinking “do I actually need this” or “where could I get this for free?”.

One good example is a bible that I wanted to buy a couple of weeks ago. I’ve decided to read through the bible chronologically in a year and we have a really nice bible in the bookshop for £15.99 which splits it all into day by day readings. I wanted to buy it but after I thought about it I realised that there are reading guides online that give you the references for each day. I have printed it off and now I’m using it with my own bible for free.

I’m going to do a post later in the week about the rest of the stuff that I have managed to get for free this month, so check back for that soon.


The one where she rants about Swap Parties

19 Jan

What is a swap party?

The basic premise of a swap party – unsurprisingly – is to swap your things. Everyone brings along things they no longer want, you chuck it all in a pile and grab anything that takes your fancy. I’ve been to formal parties where you’re only allowed to swap clothes or jewellery, but most of our parties are just with friends where we swap anything from clothes to toiletries to cleaning products to books and DVDs.

Why I love swap parties so much

  1. They help me to de-clutter.
    They say that you should clear out your house like you’re planning to move twice a year. Swap parties help to give me the motivation to look through every room in my house [and especially my wardrobe] to see what I don’t really use anymore. Anything that is not swapped is taken to a charity shop, so it doesn’t really matter if you’re trying to swap really old stuff. It’s still a good motivation to get rid of it if you no longer use it.
  2. They help me stick to my new year’s resolution.
    I’ve got a lot of clothes, and really I don’t need to buy any from year to year. But you know what it’s like…occasionally you just want to jazz up your wardrobe so you feel like you’re not just wearing the same old things day after day.
    Swap parties are an EXCELLENT opportunity to do just that…and all for FREE. Also, if you decide you don’t like the item you claimed you can just swap it again next party!
  3. You get to own clothes you wouldn’t normally buy.
    I have a few arty friends who always have beautiful clothes and I always cheer inside when we have swap parties together. I have got several items of clothing that I wouldn’t have thought to buy but that I now LOVE. It’s easier to experiment with new styles when the clothes are free!
  4. They are FUN, FUN, FUN!
    A group of girls with wine, nibbles, and lots and lots of clothes? Need I say more?!


Have you ever been to a swap party? What was the best thing you claimed?


8 Jan

I’m very excited about my New Year’s resolution for 2011 and I’m glad to be finally in the thick of it.

So, my resolution for this year is:

Not to buy anything unless I ‘need’ it – and if I do feel like I need it I have to wait for a month and pray about it before buying it.

[This obviously doesn’t include food or day-to-day items. However, I am trying to consider all my purchases and decide whether they are necessary.]

Point 1
Although it will (hopefully) be an added bonus, saving money isn’t the aim of this resolution. It’s actually about discipline and learning to live on what I need and not what I want.

During the last year I have de-cluttered my house A LOT. I’ve learnt to be less sentimental about what I need in my life. However, there is still a long way to go. I wouldn’t say that I’m a spend-a-holic by a long way, but I do love to have pretty things about me and I’m sometimes bad with impulse buys for the house, or in buying snacks or take-away drinks on my way home from work.
I’m not saying having nice things around you is bad at all. I just feel like I need to discipline myself a bit more and learn to go without.

For example, for the last few months there have been several items that instead of buying straight away I waited to put on my Christmas list. Now, whenever I look at, or use those gifts it brings me so much joy! I’ve been making do without and now they seem like a luxury!

Point 2
I want to use this resolution to help make me trust God more. God is amazing! He provides for us in so many ways and most of the time I totally take it for granted. There have been times in the past where God has provided amazingly for us – I’m talking thousands of pounds completely unexpectedly just when we needed it.

Instead of rushing out and buying everything that I think is my ‘right’ I want to try and live more simply and enjoy the blessings that God gives us.
And that’s where the waiting for a month and praying comes in. Take a couple of examples from last month: 

–          I really wanted a cozy white cardigan for the winter. I looked at an expensive one in a local shop, prayed about it, but thought that I would wait as it was just a want and not a need. Then in a swap party we had the next week I found one which was perfect, for free!

–          I was also looking at some embroidered hearts in a craft shop a few days ago. Totally useless but oh-so-pretty! I didn’t get them because of my new year resolution, but then the next day these arrived in the post as a late Christmas present!…


God provides for us and he blesses us with things we don’t even need just because he loves us!

I hope it doesn’t seem like I’m expecting God to ‘grant all my wishes’. That’s not what all this is about at all.
I just look forward to being able to continue to testify how amazing God’s provision is, while having the extra money to spend in more creative and generous ways which will glorify him, rather than continue to tie me to our materialistic culture.

Oh yeah, and my other resolution is to get fit…but we all know that that will turn out!

Five Fact Friday

22 Jan

1. This week I have loved: the small pleasures in life, like playing board games with my hubby, making pancakes, romantic gestures and a clean house.

2. This week I have hated: people being mean on the internet. I have had a few ‘hater’ comments on my YouTube account recently. While the comments weren’t exactly nice to read, I wasn’t really upset by them. What made me really sad was that those people don’t have anything better to do with their precious time than to sit on YouTube and write an unconstructive comment which has no point but to offend and put someone else down. I feel bad for them that they can’t have a very happy life and that they seem to have forgotten that behind every website there is a real person with feelings. Cheer up people.

 3. As part of my make more effort (not to get fat) resolution I went jogging for the first time in AGES this week. Needless to say I felt awful and nearly vommed on the seafront. However, I am reliably informed by my brother-in-law that it will eventually make me feel great, so I am going to persevere.

4. I added some new recipes to my recipe book this week. I’ve had this book since I was about ten. It’s battered and stained but I use it all the time and only my favourite recipes make it in. Many of the recipes are copied out of my Mum’s own battered and stained recipe book back at home, and I hope that one day I can pass mine on in the same way.

5. I went to a swap party this week. Some of my favourite clothes are from swap parties – and the best bit was that they were completely free! If you have never been to a swap party before, organise one NOW! Basically, everyone brings along books, clothes, jewellery and household items (or anything they no-longer want), puts them in a big pile and you all muddle through it and grab what you want. It’s so much fun and means you can get whole new outfits without having to buy something new.

I hope you have had a good week too?

2009 Resolutions

4 Jan


This time last year I was blogging about my resolutions for 2008. We were still fairly new to the idea of simple living then and my resolutions reflected that. There were big changes to be made and as a result, our eagerness made some of our resolutions a bit naïve.

Read the rest of this entry

Buy Nothing Challenge Confessional 1

8 May

I am a failure at the buy nothing challenge, its official. We were doing so well for the whole of the first week…until yesterday. We went out for a pizza and pudding, AND drinks. Gah! But there we are…It’s a new week and I’m determined to do better.

On the up side we didn’t buy a few items which we normally would have, including a new memory card (ours broke and now we are using one which stores about 14 photos). I also joined Ceredigion Freecycle. I haven’t had time to explore it properly yet, but hopefully it will be useful.


12 Jan

I have made loads of new years resolutions this year which is surprising as I never normally do. They include saving more electricity and water, never buying from a supermarket, and avoiding multinational companies wherever possible!

I’m a bit of a grump when it comes to new years really. I like a party as much as the next person but I don’t really see the point of celebrating it that much – I mean it’s not much different to any other change in month.
Anyway, perhaps that’s just me being cynical and grumpy as I’m having a long and trying day.

After reading my Christmas present ‘A life stripped bare’ it spurred us into finally buying some energy saving light bulbs. As our electricity bill was rather large in the last month (a shock as I’ve never received a proper winter electricity bill before having lived in a house with a shared meter) this is more of a monetary thing than an ethical thing.

I also got round to trying to save the water we flush down the loo by putting a bottle full of water in the cistern. This works by displacing the water in the cistern so it has to use less to fill it to the top. I have heard that this is better than using a brick, because that can break up and muck up your toilet.
I’ve got no way of knowing if this is making a difference, and I doubt it is saving much water anyway, but I suppose it’s better than nothing.

Having said that, the fact that we finally got a washing machine is probably going to cancel out any water or electricity we are saving! We are going to try using it sparingly though (having lived without one for 6 months and not having much money for laundrette bills we are certainly used to being creative with, and reusing our clothes!). Some friends of ours very kindly gave it to us for free so it has been really great for us, and makes such a difference.

Now we know we are definitely going to be able to stay in this flat we can finally relax and make ourselves truly at home. We have even got round to buying some picture hooks to hang our many lovely wedding photos!