Burn Black

That ain't a vulture, that's a fucking pigeon…

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Operation Frugality: Week 2.

So far this year I have to admit that I’m rather liking this challenge in a masochistic kind of way.  If anything I am noticing spending patterns and am acting upon them which is the whole point in this exercise after all..  A perfect example of this is my tendency to hoard stuff that I buy from work.

Anyone who’s ever been in my bathroom will testify to the amount of Lush products in it.  At this moment in time I have the equivalent of over 6 litres of shower gel, a shoebox filled with soap and at least 2 carrier bags worth of bath bombs and various other bath treats in there as well as various lotions, potions, shampoo and massage bars.  Safe to say I don’t think I’m going to need any of those this year.  Same goes for perfume which has actually proven difficult thanks to Illamasqua who currently have a sale on.  I’ve wanted a bottle of Freak for ages and it’s currently reduced.  I’ve had to be a big girl and say no however because a) I must already own something like 20+ bottles of fragrance so I know I won’t need anymore for a very long time and b) V bought me a bottle of the Tom Ford perfume I’ve been lusting over for a very long time as a late Christmas/early Birthday present which to be honest is literally the best aroma that’s ever filled my nostrils and I’m really grateful for him to have spent so much money on something so decadent.   Recognising what I already have/how often I use things is going to be key to this challenge I feel.  So here’s a daily breakdown of expenditure for week 2.

Monday 6th January:  It’s marmalade season and I need some Seville Oranges so I went to the local greengrocers to see if there were any.  There wasn’t but I did need some fresh garlic so bought a bulb of that (in the past I would have bought about 3), some fresh coriander which I now regret as I already have some in the freezer from the last time I bought some  (at least I can freeze this if I don’t use it however and I now know for next time) and 4 Persimmons for £1 which is a bargain and I love them.  That lot came to £2.99.  None too shabby but I still need those oranges.

Tuesday 7th January:  I spent 87p on a load of carrots.  What with the coriander I’d bought the day before I made soup which sorted me out for a few meals.  I also spent £4.99 on dried dates and some dried apricots in Holland & Barrett.  Not necessarily needed but I want to try and make my own version of these for after exercise etc. which I’m sure will work out cheaper in the long run.  After work I went to the gym.  I walked there and got the bus back which cost me £1.85.  This brings the days total to £7.71

Wednesday 8th January:  I admit now that the money I spent today was not due to necessity.  Firstly I got my nails “did” (acrylic infills) which cost £11.25.  I like getting my nails done.  They’re less hassle than my real ones as they’re really low maintenance, and it’s a treat and a bit of me time at the end of the day which is always well received by myself whenever the time comes around.  I work hard so why not?  I then bought a lipstick (£3.01) and a new gel nail varnish on eBay for £3.99.  I have the UV kit to do my own gel manicure and doing my nails myself saves me around £15 a pop so I find it well worth it in the long run.  May as well be hung for a sheep than a lamb I guess.  Bit of a bad day really.  Total spends = £18.25

Thursday 8th January:  On this day I went a bit mental.  However I did buy things I actually needed as opposed to things I wanted which is always  a plus.  What with my going back to the gym I’ve discovered that I a) hate wearing baggy jogging bottoms as I don’t like how they flap about when I’m on the treadmill and with me wanting to start running I figured I needed some new gym clothes and £44 later I had some.  Later on that day I made the mistake of going onto ASOS and ended up purchasing a pair of £140 Kurt Geiger heels for a bargalicious £13.50.  I’m sorry I know it was completely unjustified but I did spend a few minutes gingerly thinking about pressing the checkout button, and well…

Friday – Nothing

Saturday – Nothing

Sunday – Nothing

So this week I’m quite please that I didn’t spend any money on lunches, or coffee for that matter whilst at work which was rather ace.  The shoes and lipstick? well did I need them?  Not at all but I did actually want that lipstick for ages so it wasn’t an impulse buy, the shoes? a totally different matter.   The gym wear was a must however as I normally look like a tramp when I’m there and getting new gym wear has been on my “to do” list for a while.  I also know that I don’t *need* the acrylic nails but I do enjoy wearing them.  They make me happy and dare I say *ladylike*  and so for now they stay.  I may review it when they need to come off but I’ll review it then.  The food items I obviously need and when the weather improves I’ll cycle to the gym and back.  Total spends this week:  £86.45 (eek).

Plans for 2014…

In my last entry I mentioned that I’d made plans for this year so I figured I would post them on here, if anything to act as a reminder.  In 2014 I would really like to try and do the following:
  • As Le Tigre would say “GET OFF THE INTERNET – I’m not planning on doing a Neil Gaiman  but I do spend a lot of time on social media.  V thinks that he does too.  We’ve since tried to improve this by having phones/laptops/iPads put away on our evenings together with great success.  I also feel like a crap friend at times.  The time I spend online catching up with people I could be doing in person, the fact my best friend lives about a 10 minute walk away from me, yet I see her rarely is testament to this.  I’m therefore going to try and limit my time online to just one day a week.  I was/am quite addicted to a few games on Facebook.  I’ve deleted them all bar one, however I feel playing it just once a week will become frustrating and I’ll probably give that up too in future.  Hopefully this will mean I’ll have more time to read more books/crochet/knit etc. as well as blog more, which is another factor I’d like to improve upon.
  • Operation Frugality – Although compared to others I am already a frugal person, I still find I waste money on absolute shit, this was confirmed during the great uncluttering of 2013.  Therefore rules are simple and the plastic has been destroyed/hidden.  I’m only allowed to buy things if I absolutely need them and even then if I can save money by being more savvy with my hard earned cash then to obviously do so.  I’m thinking of doing a weekly breakdown blog post of what I’ve spent that week to keep my motivation levels high with regards to this.  I personally think it’ll be interesting so we’ll see how it goes.
  • Continue the great uncluttering/life laundry that I started in 2013 –  Already I have a huge box of gear to give to charity and one huge box to list on eBay as and when inclination allows.  I hate listing things on eBay so so much.  Needs must however.  Alongside this as mentioned before, I’m going to try and do at least one 20:10 of my home each day in attempts to ward off my flat becoming messy and disorganised but no more than 3.
  • Diet and Fitness – I’m signing up to do a 5km run in the summer, something I’ve never done before but at least it will get me running (I have the couch to 5km app downloaded and ready).  I’ve had a review at the gym this week and am hoping I can go back to kickboxing at some point in the near future.  All in all I’m feeling quite positive with regards to my fitness this year.  I also have the Insanity Workout (yes it is as horrible as what everyone makes out but it does get results) to attempt when I can’t do any of the above.  I’m going to try and aim to do at least some form of exercise at least 5 days a week.  Something is better than nothing.  On top of this I will of course be trying to eat as healthy as possible as well.  No more buying lunch at work (Operation Frugality denies it anyway) so no excuses.
  • Get up to speed with my skills as a designer – I’ve done nothing with regards to my degree since I left uni and is something I constantly feel bad about.  I have opportunities at my feet that I feel I cannot take advantage of due to this and the lack of confidence that goes with it.  Therefore this year I’m going to try and master at least the aspects of print based design that I feel I need to work on so any resources for this would be appreciated.  Same goes for photography too.  I used to do a lot of it and then I stopped which is a shame as I did enjoy it.
  • Vanity – I need to seriously up my dental hygiene and get my other sleeve started.  I need to floss, my dentist has said so on many occasssions but I hate it.  I try hard for a week or so and then give up.  Now I’m a non smoker there isn’t any excuses.  To be honest I haven’t even seen my dentist in about 2 years because I just know I’ll get another bollocking from her.  Booking an appointment with her is on the “to do” list.  Getting my other sleeve started is probably going to be the only indulgence of this year as and when Operation Frugality will allow.  It needs doing.  It’s been lasered as much as I can handle now so I need to look into my options when I have enough money saved up for my first appointment.  Cheaper goals include mastering the art of good eyebrows and contouring.  Ru Paul’s Drag Race can only educate so much.

I am aware that this list does seem like a lot but at the end of the day they’re just goals that I would like to at least try and do during the year.  A year is a long period of time and if I don’t get to do them all then there’s always next year isn’t there. *wink*.

June Empties…

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Dirty Body Spray – A definite top 10 Lush product for me.  I love this stuff.  I spray it about with wanton abandon.  The spearmint in it cools you down and it’s basically Febreeze for humans.  It’s normally the first thing I pack for music festivals and any other occasions where I may be without shower/bath facilities for a few days.  At last year’s Bloodstock festival I was camped with a load of lads.  They were all borrowing this by the Saturday.  I’ve already bought a new bottle too. £14.00

Veganese Hair Conditioner  – I first tried this about a year ago when my hair was becoming healthier after starting to look after it through using henna and getting regular trims instead of bleaching it to high heaven and dying it every colour under the sun.  Other conditioners were becoming too heavy so I switched to this and have never gone back.  A big bottle lasts me about 4-5 months which is awesome value for money.  This is another top ten Lush product as far as I’m concerned and I have bought another bottle already. £13.15

M.A.C. Mineralize Satin Finish SPF 15 Foundation – I’ve gone from being a die hard M.A.C. fan to these days not really giving two shits about them.  It’s pretty sad that the main reasons I spent so much money on M.A.C. in the first place, along with the quality of the products (which I’m sure is still awesome) are no longer the case.  I’m still using up what M.A.C. make up I have but I haven’t bought any in a long long time and I can’t see this changing anytime soon.  This foundation was pretty nice to use.  Good value for money, despite it’s £24 price tag as it lasted me about 2 years.  I used it on it’s own as well as mixed with moisturiser and I would have bought it again but I’ve since switched to E.L.F. and this.

Avon Purifying Pore Strips – I’m not gonna lie.  I’ve had these for years.  I’d hate to hazard a guess but if I had to I’d say they were at least 8 years old.  They were individually wrapped however so I wasn’t so bothered with regards to hygiene so I recently used them up.  They were pretty good to use after a good face mask and I may be tempted to buy something similar in the future but I think that’ll be only on a whim.  I don’t even think Avon sell these anymore they’re that old.  I know some people who use PVA glue to do the same thing on their face but I don’t think I’ll go down that route if I’m honest.

Cosmetic Warrior – Sometimes my skin just can’t decide on what it’s doing.  Some days it feels tight and dry, other days it’s spotty, either way this mask is awesome.  The ingredients include garlic and honey which are anti-bacterial and the honey along with the eggs are really moisturising.  Truly a life saver of a mask  £5.95

Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner – This stuff can be used in so many ways.  I use it as a shaving lotion when doing my legs, as a body lotion, and also as a body conditioner too.  In the past I’ve used it as a hair mask   It’s super rich and therefore super hydrating so is perfect for older/dry skin.  It smells the same as the Rose Jam bubbleroon and therefore amazing. £15.50

Ultrabland Cleanser – Hands down the best ever commercial make up remover I’ve ever used.  I can’t see me using anything else EVER and I really don’t know how I managed beforehand and this is from the same girl who used to buy this by the gallon (well maybe…).  I tend to wear a lot of eye make up and this baby removes it all, without making my skin feel tight afterwards.   I used to do something called the Oil Cleansing Method years ago and I noticed a lot of similarities when I first started using Ultrabland in terms of ingredients (oil) and how you use it (identical), nowadays it just means a lot less faffing on with oil ratios etc. if I can buy something ready made.  Buying Ultrabland works out cheaper than buying all of the oils separately for the OCM and it’s also cheaper than the Clinique make up remover I used to buy too.  Double whammy.  As usual with all of my favourite products I already have bought a replacement.  £10.75