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Beyond Frugal: Bills Review & Self-Insurance.

When I set myself the challenge (and you too!) of having a no or low spend year I had no idea how things were going to develop this year in terms of this cost of living crisis….I am so glad I have been beyond frugal this year as it means I should be able to cope with this current situation. It seems like a good time to review how things have gone so far and double check that my bills and budget are as healthy as possible…..and that I’m making the most of the small amount of money I have in terms of savings and interest rates. I will also be talking about self-insurance as I had a rather massive and unexpected bill to pay…..

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On the Sofa: Making Gifts.

I have a few ‘thank yous’ to give….and a few friends with babies on the way so today I am spending some quiet time making gifts. I’ll be in the kitchen and on the sewing machine stirring and stitching love into everything. Oh, and for clarity, as I kept saying the wrong cup size in the video, the ingredients for the balm are: 1/2 cup of Calendula oil, 1/4 cup of beeswax and 1/4 cup of coconut oil…..yields approximately 250 mls of balm.

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Vivi’s Kitchen Garden: Herb bed & deck tidy.

As the harvesting and tidying in the rest of the garden calms down a bit I make some time for the herb bed and deck area……some weeding, thinning of self-seeders, cutting out dead material, planting and more……..and some of it with a mind to leaving the garden next year. Oh, and a lovely surprise at the end.

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Vivi’s Kitchen Garden: Garlic, beans, cats & Zen.

As the summer crops come out it’s time to plant the follow on crops. Today I’m planting garlic and broad beans. While I’m sorting my seeds and cloves I’m chatting about jobs for this time of year and going into winter. Of course the cats are here to keep me company……and the whole session puts me into a wonderful zen like state.

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On the Sofa: Slowing down, finding joy….and books.

It’s a long, cup of tea and knitting one! Today it’s all about finding the moments to slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures….making joy out of the most mundane moments……including reading and the treasure of the books on my shelves. Yay for reading season again! I’m sharing my recent reads and the stories/memories they prompt in me.

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Vivi’s Kitchen Garden: Crop & Chop & Drop (goodbye tomatoes, hello next crop).

Having spotted a tiny amount of blight on one of my tomato plants I decide to take the whole lot out. After cropping the remaining fruit I use my chop and drop technique on the remaining plant material and in doing so I prepare the first of the beds for winter. Once the tomatoes are cleared I can think about the follow-on crops of broad beans and garlic. My broad beans are a combination of ‘Aquadulce Claudia’ and ‘Super Aquadulce’……suitable for autumn sowing.