So I have purchased the ingredients to make our own washing powder and conditioner, I have followed the recipe from FreshSkin. I already have quite a few bars of soap, so didn’t need to buy that, the rest I bought from Amazon- using Amazon smile so our chosen charity also gets a little something from my spending!
I have bought:
Natural White Vinegar- 10litres in two packs £9.75
Lavender Essential Oil 30ml £9.99
6kg of Soda Crystals £8.85
Total cost: £28.59
Earlier in they year, I grated a bar of greek soap (from our holiday there a few years ago), added together the soda crystals and put them into an old container. It takes two scoops per load of laundry, we haven’t added any essential oils and haven’t made conditioner. May do that in the future! Clothes seem fresh and very clean, no smells. I am so happy!
We will be using an empty bottle from a previously bought spray, so one less thing to buy!
This compromises of:
1part white vinegar
12-15drops of an essential oil
Sounds great and will be mixing this up ASAP! Recipe from FreshHome. I have already ordered white vinegar and essential oils for the washing powder and conditioner, so multi use and hoping this will be great!
I bought Lavender essential oil and it does seem to mix well with the vinegar smell, this same mixture can be used for cleaning the shower daily too so once we run out of shower spray I will be mixing this concoction again! Better for the environment and hopefully as efficient.
Update: Have been using this a month now, and so far so good. We added a little more water to our mix, still works great!
So, those whose saw my recent DIY post, saw that with mostly my mum’s help we managed to wallpaper the alcoves in the Dining room- though our dining table is actually in the lounge, so this is going to be more of a snug!
Trying to source shelves in the correct sizes was turning out to be impossible, both alcoves are different lengths and the depth was much deeper than regular shelves, but the deeper shelves would all be too big. Hubby and I discussed options, I really wanted the shelves to come into line with the chimney breast if possible. I went online and browsed around for bespoke shelving, honesly the cost made my eyes water. No way, even if we could afford those shelves, would I want to pay £1400, though the oak shelves were beautiful.
So we spent time looking at B&Q and the different ranges and options. We had almost decided to go for a smaller depth as we were concerned our cutting skills would be very poor along the length of the shelf, though cutting width may be ok! Thankfully once we thought we had the right shelf- costing £196.20- including batons, B&Q were unable to get any more of the shelving. So we wandered off to our local Huws Grey Building Merchants. The man was super helpful and with his expertise, we concluded that MDF cut into the exact sizes we needed would be our best option. Though maybe it’s not the perfect look, it is very strong, durable and affordable! He also sized up the length of 4×4 batons we would need and costed it all up for us.
I was so shocked at the cost for it all: £98.99
So with that pleasant surprise we paid for the goods, collected the precut wood and left over MDF three days later! This weekend we finally had some time to get those shelves up. I really wanted them up for Christmas, as our books were just in piles on the floor!
Hubby did most of the work, I helped to measure, held the wood whilst he sawed (we must have lent our workbench to someone!), held wood on the walls for him to screw them in, changed drill bits and general dogsbody things! He did all the proper sweaty work!
We have never done this kind of DIY before, so we went in with an awareness that we could cock up, but that would be ok, we would take our time, measure twice etc etc. One of the main issues was that there are electric sockets on both alcoves, so this could be an issue, we didn’t have one of those clever gadgets that detects wires and from everything we read- wires go up! So we did the alcove where we could easily avoid the double sockets at the bottom and the probable wires up the wall!
After trouble with the first shelf- drill bit not going through the wall, screws actually too small, spirit level not being level- Hubby ran off to Huws Grey before it closed, got the bits he needed and came back, I went to my Dad’s and borrowed a masonary drill bit! Take two saw the shelves going up much quicker!
Troubles on Sunday were with the extra sockets on the wall in the second alcove, we turned all the electric off in case the theory of the wires going straight up was wrong! Our main issue was trying to avoid the possible cable path meant the drill went at a slightly odd angle, resulting in two broken drill bits, cussing and frustration! But with perserverance and ribena, he did it! We were going to build six shelves on the right side, but went with 5 with bigger gaps between them. On the left side we have built three shelves and left a large gap underneath so that we can utilise that space for other ideas I have! Hubby despairs when he sees me on Pinterest.
What we used:
Drill- we had two batteries so this helped
Brown raw plugs
Regular wooden drill bit- 3 to be precise!
Masonry drill bit- very necessary when drilling into masonry!
Length of 4×4 wood for batons- we have left overs which was good
Pre-cut MDF to the correct sizes via Huws Grey
Lots of Ribena
I am so pleased with it, we have a very large mirror that we are going to hang on the fireplace once we get the correct brackets, we have filled up the shelves with books, two new lamps- waiting to get correct bulbs as ones from the shop were way too bright and some Christmas things. I am now officially in love with this room, I never have been before! We have a fridge-freezer in here for the dogs raw food that we will get into the shed at some point when we can get electric in there. And a wall of photos which has been there since we moved in, which is so lovely to look at. We are also aiming to get our fire in there, it has been in the shed a long time so a bit rusty but should fix up well! Very exciting!
I am not a DIY person by nature, I am quite sedate in my hobbies, reading, watching films, researching on the internet…Though I love a good session on Pinterest, getting lots of amazing ideas and feeling inspired to do anything!
Over a year ago, I bought some beautiful wallpaper which was on sale, 3 rolls for £40. I could visualise my dining room alcoves with this paper, with beautiful shelves built into them for all my books!
Rock on to over a year later, my mum has come round and has papered them for me, I helped by passing things and generally looking confused! It looks amazing, and all it cost me, was lunch and cups of tea! I did offer payment, as to be honest I have no urge to try this myself, but this was declined. It is amazing how much one room can change with some wallpaper, it looks like a new room! All I needed to buy was wallpaper paste for £2.50, we have a wallpaper table and the other bits and bobs already from when other half and his mum wallpapered the lounge wall!
In the picture, it looks quite dark, but I took the photo last night, the rest of the room is painted white and we have a very large window, so this looks lighter in the daylight!
Next steps, we have the sizes of the alcoves, cant afford bespoke shelves, so will be researching the best ways to make our own! And deciding on the colour to paint the chimney, I am thinking a dark green- there is some on the paper- or dark blue! We are also looking into the cost of getting the chimney reopened and the small fire we bought when we first moved, installed!
I think it is really important to have hobbies, they can come in many different forms and at a variety of different costs. Some hobbies can be pretty much free. I say pretty much free, as, if you think of walking, you still need shoes and clothes that are appropriate. Most people already own these so, therefore, walking is pretty much free. You could also spend a lot of money on walking should you wish!
My hobbies are pretty sedentary overall, I love reading! Libraries are great for this- though our local one shut down a few years ago, so not as convenient for me- book shares in work places, with friends and family are cost effective and also looking out for bargains in charity shops and online. I have had some great deals on my kindle via amazon, I made use of the free month borrowing scheme and read a bucketful of books all in one series and it was great! Just remember to cancel again after!
I love watching TV and films as well, we got rid of Sky a few years ago and now use Amazon Prime- great for deliveries, Alexa and music, though hubby pays extra for even more music, not just watching stuff! We also use Netflix, this has been great recently and I have been very pleasantly surprised by some of their own creations! I like to read blogs, pretty much free, I already have a laptop, desktop and smartphone. I play the Sims, not free, but given the amount of hours I spend on it, well worth the cost!
Mr Money Mustache talks about cost versus use as a way to look at spending money. If you buy some fantastic walking shoes, for £100, you could work out the cost per mile. So therefore, the more miles you walk the more cost effective the purchase is. I definately get my moneys worth from Netflix and Amazon, not so sure about my TV license for BBC though!
Hobbies are great for our mental health, they keep our brains occupied and they can give us purpose. They come in many forms, hubby did archery for a while, got really into it and bought lots of equipment. He still has a play around every now and then, so I think it was worth the inital outlay. He has a new hobby at the moment, with my encouragement, he bought an imported Americal Ford F100 1974 truck, all the way from California! It is AMAZING!!!! This hobby cost £4900 to buy, but I believe that this is actually a steal for this vehicle. I choose to look at this as an investment as well as a hobby. If looked after and fixed up- as hubby is doing- then this vehicle will only increase in value. Smashing!
Betty, the truck, is currently at a local garage- how random in this semi rural area, that we have a classic car specialist garage fifteen mins away! Where she is being looked after, she actually broke down on the garage driveway, and the guy has said to hubby he is impressed she made it that far. We trust the garage, they are very clear and upfront about everything, telling us what is imperitive to be done, what hubby could have a go at and what can wait. They also have loads of cool cars up there, I got to have a nosy the other day.
Some of my family, and one of my best friends are horse people, now, horses are expensive hobby. Very fulfilling though I am told! I also love researching the crap out of things, holidays are my biggest obsession! Pinterest is a wonderful place to while away hours of your day, getting inspired and obsessed!
I would love to hear about any hobbies readers have, how do you balance costs etc?
Something that I find difficult, is the desire of wants versus needs. I wanted a King Size bed, mostly because we allow our dogs up on the bed and more space would be wonderful! This was not a need, and when looking at costs, it was starting to look like a big expensive when we had a perfectly usable double bed.
So i started looking on Facebook and Ebay. Sure enough, just 20 minutes down the road we found someone selling, not a King Size bed, but Super King Size for £50! It was a bargain that we couldnt turn down!
We went to collect it in a borrowed van- no cost. It was in great nick so we payed the £50 and came home.
We payed £12 to buy paint, then I started painting the bed and hubby finished it. We found two sheets for £11.99 each at the Range, already had a King Size duvet which fits great so no extra cost and the biggest expense was finding a mattress! We trawled around lots of stores, it got tedious and I couldnt believe the cost of mattresses! In the end, we found the perfect mattress in Carpet Right of all places, £350 including free delivery!
The bed is amazing, so much space! I love, love, love it! The paint was just to freshen it up a little and help it fit in our room, it wasnt necessary but looks great! Looking round for second hand items is so underrated, we could easily have spent double what we did buying everything new and not as good quality!