Archive

Tag Archives: sunshine

spring, easter, table, place setting, eggs, primroses

It’s been bitterly cold for what seems like weeks. At first, it was fun; we watched the snow fall from the cosy comfort of the sofa, we took the husband’s godson sledging, we threw snowballs, we watched the snow fall some more and fantasized about transport chaos and snow-days. Then reality set in. No amount of blankets and scarves could keep out the fristy, frosty, freezingness of it all. We cranked up the central heating, we wore dressing gowns over our clothes. We drank industrial amounts of hot chocolate. Still we were cold.

But today, oh today the sun shone. I haven’t seen that yellow orb for months. I emerged from my cocoon, blinking; my eyes unused to daylight and skipped to the high street to buy some spring flowers.

I know we have a long way to go until Easter, but I hope you’ll indulge me in a little fantasy. For I am waving goodbye to winter. Behold the eggs and feast your eyes on the yolk-yellow accessories.

Like everything in the LoveRichCashPoor household, this spring scene costs very little. I picked up the primroses for £1.50 each and my craft cupboard did the rest as it’s still packed to the gunnels with leftover bits from the wedding. The paper the primroses are wrapped in still has the price on, so I know that it cost £1.50 per enormous sheet; I used three small strips. The twine was a Christmas present.Thanks bro.

spring

The eggs are old, bought at a craft fair about five years ago, but they are a cinch to make: just carefully pierce an egg shell with a needle at both ends, blow its innards into a bowl, run some water through to rinse, pat dry, spray paint them in a lovely duck-egg blue and, when dry, flick a paintbrush loaded with brown paint in their general direction. Sit them in raffia nests and ta da! Luckily, I have a huge bunch of raffia – also leftover from the wedding – and I found these cute little chicken and rabbit clips in the cupboard  too, bought in Suffolk a few Easters back.

Roll on spring…

eating outside al fresco dining

Apologies for the radio silence: every spare minute (and I don’t get many) has been devoted to either DIY or the sunshine this week and the camera has been trapped in a drawer behind the bedframe. Normal service will resume very shortly.

eating outside

Still, I have braved a potential avalanche to share this with you… we’re eating outside tonight and I have even laid the table like a civilised person with flowers from the garden. Admittedly I haven’t ironed the tablecloth but hey – no one’s perfect!

eating outside al fresco dining

 

The only way to Essex: LoveRichCashPoor on the open road in a convertible

The only way to Essex: LoveRichCashPoor on the open road in a convertible

Friday

Wake up with: £80

Go to bed with: £74.53

It’s the husband’s birthday and we’ve both booked the day off work, so I pop off the the bakery to buy him a birthday bun for breakfast.

The husband announces that he’s spent his birthday money on car tax (more exciting than it sounds when said car is a convertible Mazda), so we fold the top down for a sun-drenched journey to Essex. Yes, LoveRichCashPoor’s hair does resemble a bird’s nest when she arrives. No, she does not notice until she has already spent several hours with friends, played with her (other) beautiful goddaughter and greeted the out-laws. But the husband’s one partially sunburnt arm—where he has been resting it on the window sill—is funnier.

Saturday

Wake up with: £74.53

Go to bed with: £59.24

We drive back from Essex with a chocolate cake, two courgette plants, two tomato plants and a margarite cutting taken from our wedding centerpieces. Bless my mother-in-law. We stop by the supermarket to pick up essential supplies for lunch and treat ourselves to an afternoon nap before the big birthday do tonight.

It’s such a glorious day, that we decide to revert to Plan B and hold the festivities in our garden, instead of the pub. Friends pile round, pizza is eaten, much beer is drunk and we go to bed in the wee small hours, still chuckling.

The margarite cutting was taken from the centrepieces at our wedding

The margarite cutting was taken from the centrepieces at our wedding

Sunday

Wake up with: £59.24

Go to bed with: £49.03

Hangover partially dispatched by a long lie-in and some eggs on toast, we set off to a friend’s house for lunch, stopping off to buy wine and flowers on the way. It’s a magnificent feast of butternut squash risotto, burritos and a choice of chocolate and passionfruit tarts (I have both, of course). We get home in the evening sated and happy and polish of a slice of chocolate cake for tea.

Monday

Wake up with: £49.03

Go to bed with: £5.05

There’s no food in the house, even the olive oil has run out and I have four people to cook for tonight so it’s time to succumb to a big shop: I buy the fresh ingredients for kisir and borek, spaghetti al ragu and a chorizo stew at the grocer and head to the supermarket for the dry goods and meat—mince is reduced: woo!

We’re down to our last loo roll and I still haven’t replaced the ironing water (we live in a hardwater area so this is a necessity; the limescale stains our clothes) but I hold off in case these two items push me over budget: the temptation to just use my card rather than undergo the humiliation of handing items back to the cashier would be too great.

On the plus side, I discover I have over £30 of loyalty points stored up. I decide to save them for a future emergency, or Christmas, whichever comes first. Although, if I was a betting girl, I wouldn’t put any money on those points lasting until Christmas.

Tuesday

Wake up with: £5.05

Go to bed with: £5.05

LoveRichCashPoor is a month old today! Thank you ever so much for reading everyone—please, please feel free to comment, update me on your own budgeting challenge or just stop by anytime. I’m still very much feeling my way with this blogging lark, all suggestions welcome.

How did I celebrate? Well I ate leftovers for lunch, worked late, cooked a ragu (does anyone actually want a recipe for ragu or do you all know how to cook it already?), hung out some laundry, watered the garden and watched the first three episodes of NBC’s Community. I know, I’m spoiling myself.

There is one very exciting development when I open my inbox to discover I am being featured on Rightmove! I am famous. Okay, I’m not even remotely famous, and a sum total of one person visits the blog as a result (probably my mum), but hey, it’s not every Tuesday that you get featured on the Rightmove blog! For a property-addict like me, it’s equivalent to a fashionista getting a mention in Vogue.

Wednesday

Wake up with: £5.05

Go to bed with: £5.05

It’s payday! Woo hoo! And that means I have officially survived my first month of budgeting. Truth be told May has been a be-atch of a month in budgeting terms with three best friends’ birthdays, one christening, one anniversary, the husband’s birthday, one goddaughter’s first birthday and an unexpected holiday—not that I’m complaining!

I log in to my bank account and discover my statement is unusually short: with just the one transaction each week, I can tot up how much has gone in and how much has gone out in a single glance.

It’s been a five-week month, so at £80 a week, I should have spent £400. In total I have spent £555.56. The overspend is a combination of Amsterdam and my husband’s birthday treat night. On the plus side, I’ve paid in my birthday money (£150) and finally put in a very backdated expenses claim at work. This means my savings account now holds a healthy £813.19. That’s three-quarters of a month whittled off my target.

But I’m not going to give myself a pat on the back yet, after all, I did go over budget and I won’t be able to rescue the situation with expenses and birthday money next month.

Thursday

Wake up with: £5.05

Go to bed with: £0.41

Today is a day of yearning. It’s almost as if it’s finally sinking in that it will be a long old time before I can go on a shopping spree. I haven’t exactly got a history of profligacy, but it’d be nice to splash out once in a while.

Here are the things I’m lusting after this week:

  • Compost so I can pot out my new plants
  • Some beautiful platters, I fell in love with CookinginSensbrocante finds
  • A novel or two (I have officially run out of reading material)
  • Some verbena for my borders and plants to fill the gap left by the tetes-a-tetes from my hanging baskets
  • A blow torch (our friends used one to caramalise the top of their passionfruit tart—me likey)
  • A kitchen storage solution from Ella’s Kitchen Company

Instead I buy loo roll and some ironing water with the rest of this week’s money.

Hey ho, roll on June—and new budget week. Until next time… Thanks for reading.

Belle of the ball: I know, how gorgeous is my goddaughter?

Friday

Wake up with: £40

Go to bed with: £33

With a £53m jackpot promised for tonight’s Euromillions lottery draw, £2 seems like a fair investment—besides after last week’s overspend, I could do with a swift cash injection—so I break into my brand new budget to enter the office syndicate. The husband sends me an email just before I leave work, the subject is ‘one day…’ I open it to find a link to Rightmove. I click through and it’s the most beautiful country house—and way out of our price range. Come on Euromillions. Come on.

I bought the husband tickets for Belt Up Theatre’s Macbeth at the House of Detention in Clerkenwell for our anniversary, so I pedal off to meet him at the venue after work. I buy him a little interval beer and he picks up the tab for dinner at Pho after curtain down. What a date night: it was an incredible production, dark and innovative and the curry went down a treat too. The only dampener is when I have to get back on my bike and cycle home, leaving the husband at the bus stop with my Oyster card.

At this point, I should point out that the reason I have been limiting myself to a budget of £40 for the last three weeks (cough, except for Amsterdam, cough) is so I can buy birthday/ christening/ anniversary presents without going over budget. I’m afraid you’ll just have to trust me on this one, making a public note of how much you spent on a present just seems wrong (besides, it would ruin the surprise).

Saturday

Wake up with: £33

Go to bed with: £13

The husband is working today, so I get up with him and manage to process the enormous pile of laundry and tidy the house before I’m due to meet a friend for brunch. It’s her birthday weekend, so the eggs are on me at café Z bar. After, we order take-out coffees and go for a walk around Clissold Park.

In the evening, there’s some big football thing on that is extremely important. I won’t attempt to explain what it is or why. I was hoping to escape to the two birthday parties I’ve been invited to but I’m feeling yucky and not at all sociable, so I (rather dramatically) take to my bed for the afternoon and emerge only to chow down a burger with the lads that have gathered for this momentous occasion. The husband has decided it’s barbecue season, sunshine or no sunshine—or should that be no sunshine or no sunshine (where is summer?)—and the barbecue goes down considerably better than the football, which is a disaster. Cue one very depressed husband. Poor boy.

Sunday

Wake up with: £13

Go to bed with: £13

It’s my gorgeous god-daughter’s christening and the proud parents, godparents and spouses all gather at The Holly Bush in Hampstead to coo over the beautiful baby and the magnificent roast that has been laid on to mark the occasion. We have a wonderful time writing lists of all the films, albums and books Isabel should discover when she grows up, the food she has to try and the places she simply must go.

It turns out to be a very late lunch, and we get home just in time for some eggs on toast and a couple of episodes of The Bridge before bed.

Monday

Wake up with: £13

Go to bed with: £8.72

Supper club tonight and I’m not sure who is in the house… we’ve been promised a guest appearance, two of the regulars are flying in from Canada and another has a backgammon tournament and may or may not grace us with his presence.

Mmmh—potentially I’ll be catering for six. My mental inventory of our current food-stock reveals we have sausages leftover from the barbecue (and an extra pack in the freezer from the husband’s bank holiday bonanza). My mind is made up: meatballs with a difference. I pop to the shops at lunchtime and score a pack of parma ham, some tinned tomatoes and a huge tub of cherry tomatoes for £4.28.

Tuesday

Wake up with: £8.72

Go to bed with: £8.72

Sunshine! Finally, I can turn off the central heating. This is an all-time record, normally I turn it off in March and on in October and, as I have explained to the husband on numerous occasions, this is non-negotiable—or in other words PUT ON A BLOODY JUMPER. This year, however, with temperatures plunging below 10C at night, we’ve been naughty and every time the doorbell rings my pulse races as I’m currently hiding from the meter man.

I treat myself to a G&T and a long gossip with my sister on the new-and-improved balcony when I get home (and use the last of the tonic, alas) then the husband and I have our very first outdoors tea of the year. Bliss.

Wednesday

Wake up with: £8.72

Go to bed with: £0.37

Good grief stamps are expensive! It’s my other lovely god-daughter’s first birthday tomorrow and, naturally I need to send a card. Card and stamps purchased and this week’s budget is pretty much exhausted.

Now I have to work out a way to buy the cleaning supplies I need (Thursday is cleaning day in the LoveRichCashPoor household) with £2.37. The pound shop it is. I love the pound shop—I find exactly the same brands that I would have bought at the supermarket anyway and snap them up for a pound a piece.

Thursday

Wake up with: £0.37

Go to bed with: £0.37

Out of necessity, this is a no-spend day, although I do take out the week’s remaining £40 to pay for the husband’s first birthday treat, which is lined up for this evening: a screening of Dog Day Afternoon in a pop-up cinema in Stoke Newington Town Hall. I treat him to a katsu curry and a beer to boot (lucky boy) and, with that, possibly one of the longest weeks in the entire world (budget-speaking) ends.

The best things in life are free: sunshine and soul on the balcony

The best things in life are free: sunshine and soul on the balcony

In celebration of the long-awaited arrival of summer (at last), we have invested our remaining cache of John Lewis vouchers in some outdoor furniture. It’s been six long years, but the husband and I will finally be able to soak up the last drops of sunshine on our very own balcony this evening.

And that has given me the opportunity to dive into my wedding chest to retrieve one of our most cherished gifts—a beautiful lantern from my sister and brother-in-law. I’ve been waiting to get this out all year so you can imagine my excitement as I lit the candle.

Unfortunately I have now discovered that it is actually possible to run out of tealights. Who knew?

Still—here is the most beautiful lantern in the world, lighting up our lives with its heartfelt message. It makes me so happy that I want to sing it from the rooftops.  Although LoveRichCashPoor is not famed for its voice, so I’ll leave that part to Etta James….

At last

My love has come along;

My lonely days are over;

And life is like a song.

Oh yeah yeah, at last;

The skies above are blue;

My heart was wrapped up in clover;

The night I looked at you.

And I found a dream that I could speak to;

A dream that I can call my own;

I found a thrill to press my cheek to;

A thrill that I have never known.

Oh yeah yeah and you smile, you smile;

Oh, and then the spell was cast;

And here we are in Heaven;

For you are mine at last.

The best things in life are free: sunshine and soul on the balcony

May love light up your lives

May love light up your life on this sunny day. X

%d bloggers like this: