Oh, hello February

Alright me duckies, how are we all?

You may notice that things look a bit different. I’ve gone a bit old skool, drawing inspiration from some seriously old layouts of mine. Kudos if you have been around long enough to remember the originals. I’ve not finished faffing with it but it’ll do for now. Or until I get bored. Anyway…

Been so busy plodding along in Jem-World that I’ve not thought to blog. January went by in such a blur, mostly as I hid from reality trying to forget about the massive tax bill. Getting that paid was a weight off my shoulders and I’ve been bumbling along ever since.

Some ongoing small wins though:

Having realised early on in January that I’d put on 20lbs over the past 6 months or so I decided to cut the crap and sort myself out. I immediately cut out all drinking at home except for 1) a pre-arranged wine tasting and 2) sharing a bottle of bubbly on valentine’s day. On top of that I even managed a night out complete with crappy dancing completely sober. This nicely ticks the “drink less” goal for the year (for now). Funny how telling myself to drink less achieved sod all but the minute there’s a reason to give up and I don’t even notice not drinking.

Some tweaks to my mail form site saw my rankings pick up early in January and pushing new content in that direction has seen an increase in premium sales over the past few weeks. I also released a new version of the premium form with some extra protection (CSRF specifically) and switched out the XHTML to HTML5. It’s not paying my mortgage yet, but if I can maintain this I might actually be able to stop working weekends again!

My budgeting is staying mostly on track, having a) cut down on the booze and b) cut down on eating out, takeaways etc of late. Desperately trying to maintain this as we head rapidly towards March.

In less ‘winning’ and more ‘failing’ news:

I’ve completely failed to do any training for my upcoming May marathon, which is going to leave me in a sticky situation if I don’t get my arse into gear. I’ve entered a few races between now and then to FORCE me to run (including a half marathon in just a few weeks!) but if I don’t step up my game, that marathon is going to be a long and painful walk.

My car has got another bloody coolant leak and its MOT has expired, so not only am I not able to get to the cat rescue but I can’t run errands or basically anything that isn’t within a couple of miles of home. This is leaving me feeling VERY penned in right now.

My upstairs plumbing (not a euphemism) has sprung a leak and needs fixing.

Usual life shit really – still, it could be worse. And so I continue to plod along.

Recipe: Chocolate Orange Cake

A blogger I follow on twitter recently tweeted a link to her frugal chocolate orange cake made with a jar of value marmalade (amongst other things). I didn’t have time to read through the recipe when I first saw it, but it came to mind when I was stood in my kitchen earlier this week… read full entry »

Depressing money crap

I’ve just come off the phone to my current mortgage provider. I rang up to see how much I’d likely be able to borrow if I wanted to purchase a larger house using equity in this house as a deposit. I was hoping that because of my regular overpayments to my mortgage as part of… read full entry »

Chaos

As you may have figured out from my sporadic blogging of late, I’ve been a wee bit busy. Cramming in ALL THE WORK before Christmas so that I can have a proper holiday; trying to get kids in the right place at the right time for nativities and dinners and parties and this, that and… read full entry »

Spiders

I’ve just seen this tweet on twitter (obvious statement is obvious): Also a flamethrower https://t.co/IL6SXv8xwU — Tattooed_Mummy ♥️™ (@tattooed_mummy) September 21, 2015 which got me thinking about spiders, as you do (and also wondering where that little guy’s other leg got to?) They’re a hot topic in our house at the moment as it’s that… read full entry »

Recipe: Eton Mess Cake

Yesterday was Gaz‘s birthday and in true birthday tradition (AKA any excuse for cake) I decided to bake, with the “help” of the kids. Normally for this sort of occasion I would find a recipe weeks in advance and fail attempt to make something spectacular. However, with work and kids to contend with, time was… read full entry »

Rachael Hill: Britain’s Best Allotment

After blogging at the beginning of the month about my belief in autonomous parenting and independent play, a big part of which involves chucking the kids in the garden and letting them get on with it… The kids are taking it in turns to "rescue" each other off the climbing frame. Taking bets on who… read full entry »

My Ideal Home

With at least two of my friends in the process of buying a house at the minute, and my place full to bursting with accumulated STUFF since Gaz moved in, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking lately about what I’d like out of a home. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not moving any… read full entry »

Juneathon Day 7 and the “home gym”

I wrote this last week but have been a tad busy – oops! Juneathon day 7 saw me take another slightly unorthodox activity day. No, not more vacuuming (although there was plenty of that), but the second Sunday spent totally gutting my home ‘utility’ (that is, brick lean-to outside the back door). The utility is… read full entry »

Laptop Limbo (and some news)

As I count down the days til I’m back at my desk at home, I feel like I’m in sort of “work limbo” right now. I’m actively seeking and quoting for freelance opportunities — some of which are looking more positive than others — but I still have a huge amount of work on at… read full entry »

Living room redecoration: take 2

In a recent post I mentioned the fact that I was finally going to finish decorating my living room. Karl and I started this back in 2012, but a combination of small children, full time work and laziness got in the way so it was never finished. However, now the house is “mine” I have… read full entry »

Project £20k: Completed!

Despite my best intentions, it was inevitable that raising £20,000 to buy my ex out of our joint mortgage was an optimistic endeavour at best. Right from the beginning I had to factor in a more realistic plan: remortgaging the house for the value of the outstanding mortgage with our joint provider plus the £20k… read full entry »