Welcome to the Fluff! Here I blog my goals, especially my reading and studies, and my ongoing downscaling and using up of material stuff and working towards a more minimalist lifestyle.

Friday, 3 May 2019

May Goals and tasks

20 goals and tasks for May are:

Home and Garden
* Finish clearing the yard (detritus pile etc)
* Make a good start on the veggie bed area
* List the shoes on eBay
* Get rid of the charity bags to shops

Crafts
* Make Emily's bridal handbag
* Finish Paradise Island background
* Finish dk jumper pieces
* Take PI to be framed
* Get help for circular parts of the dk jumper

Study and Reading
* Finish 'Beijing's Courtyards' (10 chapters)
* Start 'Practical Chinese Reader 3'
* Finish Auftakt 2 to about p100 (from p26)
* Read Helen M Stevens' 'World of Embroidery'

Finish up
* Body Shop All-in-One face base
* Boots Creamy Almond body butter
* Body Shop mini Shea body butter
* Boots Mint shower gel
* Baby shampoo
* Nizoral shampoo
* One lippy, but work on all 4 intensive use-ups

Nothing major, quite tame really.  I've removed the regular stuff and re-added in the month's use up goals. The scariest one is the bridal day handbag, but it'll be ok. I've done scary projects often enough before and they've come out just fine. :)

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2019

Thursday, 2 May 2019

April wrap up

Here's how April went:

* April was a No Personal Spend month.   Yup! I did have a few goodies on our short break and spent 19p on some Aldi chocolate, but that's it. Oh, unless you count that I ordered some regular stuff from Superdrug on 30th so as not to lose my BeautyCard points. I don't count that though.

* Go to bed early   Ok most of the time, but I had a bad insomnia bout, which threw things somewhat. 
* Be as active as I can - walk, gardening etc.  Yes, I did my best

* Finish clearing the detritus pile  Didn't get to this
* Work on creating new veg beds, aim for completion.  Or this
* Complete and sow the salad bed.  Yup!
* Site and set up the compost bin  Done! Sir did it. :)
* List the shoes on eBay  Still need to do this, although I did sell a few other things. 

* Progress my DK jumper, at least finish 3 pieces, aim for 4 or even completion.  1st sleeve done, so 2 pieces complete. Started the 2nd sleeve on 1 May. :)
* Start some other embroidery project(s)  No, but I do know what it will be....
* Sew mum's bed cape  This isn't going to happen until autumn, I think. 
* Progress 'Paradise Island'  Done! In fact, I finished the chart. I'm still going to do more though, as the sky needs filling in.

* Finish 'Colloquial Chinese 2'  Done! And passed on to friends.
* Begin 'Bejing's Courtyards' Reader  Yup! Got halfway through.
* Begin 'Practical Chinese Reader 3'  Not yet ready for this one
* 'Auftakt 2' to Theme 3, Section 3  Done to Theme 3, section 2
* Study 8 more articles  10/8  Done!
* Finish reading 'Veganic Gardening'  Done!
* Progress 'Double Your Learning Power'  in progress, but didn't do much. I guess I'm really not interested in this and will consider it finished and pass it on. 

Vocab Project:
* Finish 'German in Three Months'  Done!
* Chinese Magazines   Done!
Obviously, keep up with new texts as much as possible  Chinese on track, can't remember about German. I think it might be.
* Take out all 'German in 3 Months' cards and 2 packs of Chinese cards to learn and do so!  In progress a little bit, i.e. did it twice!

So, 12 essentially completed, 4 still in progress and the rest un-started. That's fine as the last third of the month was a total washout thanks to 10 days of insomnia!

This month's list later on.

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2019

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

March goal round up and starting in on April

Without further ado, we have:

Completed:   10/20
In progress:  8/10

* Only eat chocolate and other fatty treats at weekends  Good except the last week
* Go to bed early  Done!
* Be as active as I can - walk, gardening etc.  Done!
* Finish clearing the detritus pile  Some progress made. We bought a riddle (garden sieve) which will help a lot in sorting out the topsoil/compost from the roots and stones. Yay!
* Finish the shrub pruning  Done!
* Help with further clearing ready for grass seeding and fruit tree, bush and cane planting  Done!  Well, the work is done, although Sir did most of it. That section is his job. 
* Site and set up the compost bin  Not yet
* Sow veg and salad seeds  Done! Some are even growing! Many more to come....

* List the shoes and Body Shop 'can't uses' on eBay  Hair stuff listed, bid on. Also 14 other lots listed (7 sold altogether). 
* Finish Boots 'Almond' shower gel  Done!
* Finish Boots 'Almond' mini body butter  Done!
* Finish Lush 'Superbalm' Done!

* Progress my DK jumper  Done!
* Start some other embroidery project(s)  fabric washed and pressed, redesign in progress 
* Start mum's bed 'cape'  fabrics washed and pressed
* Progress 'Paradise Island'  Done!

* Finish 'German in Three Months'  Book itself complete, plus vocab to 11.8
* Finish 'Colloquial Chinese 2'  0.5/7.5 vocab to date
* Begin 'Practical Chinese Reader 3'
* Study 10 more articles  4/10

So, that wasn't bad at all, given that I forgot all about goals and targets for a week (menopause memory....), and was ill for the last week.

Next up is:

* April is a No Personal Spend month. That includes chocolate and treats, as well as the obvious books, mags, smellies, make-up, craft supplies etc. Only permitted exceptions are a couple of tubs of Dream Cream in case of disturbance to the supply chain, and a new shower hat as mine in mouldy. Ack! I've been shopping too much of late, unnecessary stuff is accumulating and money needed elsewhere. So, 30 days cold turkey.
* Go to bed early
* Be as active as I can - walk, gardening etc.
* Finish clearing the detritus pile
* Work on creating new veg beds, aim for completion.
* Complete and sow the salad bed.
* Site and set up the compost bin
* List the shoes on eBay

* Progress my DK jumper at least finish 3 pieces, aim for 4 or even completion.
* Start some other embroidery project(s)  counted thread cushion I'm longing to start (but am not allowing until Paradise Island is complete) and/or butterfly hoop.
* Sew mum's bed 'cape'
* Progress 'Paradise Island'  Aim for completion now that it's coming on well. Just unsure about that sky section....

* Finish 'Colloquial Chinese 2' 7 chapters to go
* Begin 'Bejing's Courtyards' Reader  15 chapters of the 20 scheduled
* Begin 'Practical Chinese Reader 3'   should get through first 3 chapters
* 'Auftakt 2' to Theme 3, Section 3
* Study 8 more articles
* Finish reading 'Veganic Gardening' 13 chapters to go
* Progress 'Double Your Learning Power'

Vocab Project:
* 'German in Three Months' 2.2 chapters' worth. I put this here so I can get the darned book out of the study section at last!
* Chinese Magazines   11 of them, varying amounts
Obviously, keep up with new texts as much as possible, and
* Take out all 'German in 3 Months' cards and 2 packs of Chinese cards to learn and do so!

I think that's more than enough. Now, time to get some reading done. :)

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2019

Friday, 8 March 2019

Beauty Inventory

Finally getting to blog this. It's basically a copy of the page of the same name, which I'll be updating anon.

Italicized numbers (including in brackets) means a product is in use. Underlining means in intensive use up.

Make Up

Most are in use (except new mascaras, lip and complexion products)
Eyeshadow pans: 44 (1)
Blusher pans: 8 (1)
Bullet lipsticks: 8 (3)
Liquid lipsticks: 4 (1)
Lip glosses: 11 (3)
Mascaras: 12 (3)
Foundations: 5 - incl 2 powder foundation compacts (1)
Powders: 1
Primers (eye): 2

Body Shop Lip Butters: 4 (1), 1 on order, 4 on watch,
Body Shop Lip balms: 4 (3)
Other lip balms: 2

Products/pans used up since the whole collection shot seen here: 4 - 2 foundation samples, 1 palette liquid lipstick (covered on photo), and 1 liquid lipstick.
Products/pans bought since photo: 1 single eyeshadow

Perfumery

Traditional sprays etc: (5 from memory - to check)
Solid perfumes: 3 (2)
Body sprays: 6 (1)
Body Splashes: 2 (1)
Will probably get some more Virgin Mojito Splashes soon

Toiletries

(Body care products including travel sizes)


I've been stocking up a bit on these, getting some good deals on eBay on discontinued lines that I love.

Shower gels: 19

Body Shop Virgin Mojito: 3 x 250ml (1), 1 x 60ml
Body Shop Vineyard Peach: 3 x 250ml (1)
Body Shop Almond: 2 x 250ml
Original Source Lime: 1 x 250ml
Original Source Mint and Tea Tree: 1 x 500ml, 1 x 250ml
Soap and Glory Orangeasm: 1 x 500ml, 1 x 75ml
Soap and Glory Sugar Crush: 1 x 250ml
Boots Mint: 1 x 250ml
Lacura (Aldi) Lime: 1 x 250ml
Boots Extracts Almond 1 x 75ml

Body Scrubs: 6

Body Shop Vineyard Peach: 1 x 200ml
Body Shop Virgin Mojito: 1 x 50ml (1 x 250ml in bidding on eBay)
Body Shop Olive: 1 x 50ml
Soap and Glory Orangeasm: 1 x 250ml
Soap and Glory Pulp Friction: 1 x 250ml
Superdrug Cocoa Butter and Vanilla: 1 x 200ml

Body Butters: 18

Body Shop Virgin Mojito: 4 x 200ml (1) (1 more ordered, 1 in bidding on eBay), 1 x 50ml
Body Shop Vineyard Peach: 1 x 200ml (1)
Body Shop Olive: 1 x 400ml, 1 x 200ml, 1 x 50ml
Body Shop Shea: 1 x 50ml
Soap and Glory Orangeasm: 2 x 300ml (1), 2 x 50ml (1)
Soap and Glory Sugar Crush: 1 x 300ml, 1 x 200ml
Boots Extracts Almond: 1 x 200ml, 1 x 50ml

Used up so far: 0

Will probably buy more Virgin Mojito and Orangeasm on eBay in the coming months too! The Boots Almond and Body Shop Vineyard Peach are being used up though. They're both ok, but nothing I'm really keen on.
I'll also be stocking up on some Body Shop foot butters later in the month.

I don't have stashes of skin or hair care products beyond a supply of 3 of my fave face wash (long since discontinued, but that I manage to source from time to time), and a couple of shampoos that I want to use up and not buy again.

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2019

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Finally updating goals progress. :)

* Only eat sweets on Saturdays  Did ok up to Germany trip, then got back to it the last few days. Doing ok again now.  Am eating some of mum's mints midweek, but chocolate only at weekends. Lost about 2lbs the first week of this (and strictly rationing other fats too)!
* Go to bed early  Err, well, sometimes. Doing better now.
* Be as active as I can - walk, gardening etc.  When and where possible, yes.
* Finish clearing the detritus pile  Did some of it. Hope to finish this month.
* Do the shrub pruning.  Most of it. Just the fuschia to finish and lavender to do first pruning of.

* List the shoes and Body Shop 'can't uses' on eBay  Still waiting...
* Finish 'warm ivory foundation sample  Done!
* Finish Shea body butter  Done!
* Finish Body Shop conditioner  Gone!
* Finish 2 lippies and work on 3 more  Gone!

* Finish my red chunky knit  Done!
* Knit some yarn swatches for wool wash testing  Done!
* Start mum's bed 'cape'  Materials all bought
* Progress 'Paradise Island'  Done! Not much though..  Will I ever finish this??!
* Start purple super chunky knit  Yarn swatched, probably want narrower needles. 

* Finish 'Spoken Chinese 2'  Done! AT LAST - YAY!
* Finish 'German in Three Months'  3.3/5.3 2 whole chapters to go and a few more for vocab noting. Pleased with my clearing off of these tasks though.
* Progress 'Colloquial Chinese 2'  4.5/12  Done!
* Finish with and return 'Grow All You Can Eat in 3 Square Feet'  in progress. Just need to make a few notes and it can go back.
* Study 8 more articles  Done!

So, although the update kinda includes the 1st week of March, I'm pleased with it.

Now, onto the rest of this month:

* Only eat chocolate and other fatty treats at weekends - hopefully lose a few more pounds. Seriously, with keeping it to 10% of calories as fat most days, it's not a chore at all!
* Go to bed early  
* Be as active as I can - walk, gardening etc.

* Finish clearing the detritus pile
* Finish the shrub pruning
* Help with further clearing ready for grass seeding and fruit tree, bush and cane planting
* Site and set up the compost bin
* Sow veg and salad seeds
* List the shoes and Body Shop 'can't uses' on eBay

* Finish Boots 'Almond' shower gel
* Finish Boots 'Almond' mini body butter
* Finish Lush 'Superbalm'

* Progress my DK jumper
* Start some other embroidery project(s)
* Sew mum's bed 'cape'
* Progress 'Paradise Island' - at least finish the sky area.

* Finish 'German in Three Months'
* Finish 'Colloquial Chinese 2'
* Begin 'Practical Chinese Reader 3'
* Study 10 more articles

Some repeats/completions, but I think this is do-able, as long as I make sure of item number 2!

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2019

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Goals to 28 February 2019

I'm part way through already, but here's the list for Feb. Thanks to an '8 By Equinox' (20 March) quarterly challenge I joined in, I'm actually getting a fair bit done. :) Maybe quarterly goals work better for me.

Latest update: 10 February 2019
Completed:  2/20
In progress:  10/18

* Only eat sweets on Saturdays  Doing fairly well so far this month
* Go to bed early  
* Be as active as I can - walk, gardening etc.
* Finish clearing the detritus pile
* Do the shrub pruning.

* List the shoes and Body Shop 'can't uses' on eBay
* Finish 'warm ivory foundation sample  in progress
* Finish Shea body butter  well in progress
* Finish Body Shop conditioner  almost gone
* Finish 2 lippies and work on 3 more  all in progress

* Finish my red chunky knit  Done!
* Knit some yarn swatches for wool wash testing
* Start mum's bed 'cape'  Materials all bought
* Progress 'Paradise Island'
* Start purple super chunky knit

* Finish 'Spoken Chinese 2'  Done! AT LAST - YAY!
* Finish 'German in Three Months'  2/5.3
* Progress 'Colloquial Chinese 2'  3/12
* Finish with and return 'Grow All You Can Eat in 3 Square Feet'  in progress
* Study 8 more articles  2/8

I have hopes of cracking about 75-80% of this lot!

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2018

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Home run on goals for 2018

Completed:  11/20
In progress:  8 more to some degree

* Lose 2lbs  didn't really try
* Go to bed at 9.30pm whenever possible   Done!
* Exercise most days (walks and/or gardening)   the first half of the time period, yes. Afterwards, not so much.

* Finish clearing the lawn  Done!
* List shoes on e-bay  new photos taken, need to get the listing done
* Take all giveaway books to uni  Done!
* Repair lampshade and re-'hang'  Done!
* Sort baking tins  Done!

* Get well on with the paradise island cross stitch  in progress
* Finish lavender bags  Done!
* Start Sophia's Red Admiral piece  took out and pressed the fabric, but decided to change it and retrace the over-detailed outline or it'll look terribly badly worked. Cheap kits, ugh! 
* Finish the t-shirt  Done! Still can't quite believe I got this done!
* Finish my new black cardigan  Done! However, it needs altering as the back and sleeves are not high enough. Got the advice needed at the Harrogate Show. :)
* Finish Sir's scarf  Done!
I also got 2 new chunky knits started - both backs done and fronts well in progress, made a cushion cover for Sir and a cuahion pad, which still needs some msre stuffing.

* Finish 'Spoken Chinese 2'   5/14 Am I ever going to finish this beast?? It's not even got long chapters!
* Start another Chinese textbook
* Finish 'Revise GCSE German'  29/29 vocab to write up
* Restart 'German in Three Months'
* Journal studies, S2, E1 Done! Plus S3 (this won't mean anything to others)
* Restart 'DS5 - Energy'  Done! p12/57, but got stalled again.

I'm ok with progress on this lot. I've had 2 colds and various other things going on, so this is fine.

Here's December:

* Try to only eat sweets on Saturdays
* Deal with the swollen abdomen, if poss
* Continue going to bed very early

* Clear ground needed for blackcurrant bush and raspberry canes
* List the shoes on eBay
* Finish renewing Go Bag supplies
* Finish up 8 of the 10 lippies I'm working on (almost all gone)

* Finish red moss stitch, cable sleeve jumper
* Finish black cable front jumper
* Alter black cardigan
* Finish Sir's cushion pad
* Start mum's bed 'cape'
* Progress 'Paradise Island'
* Do some new freestyle work - piece tbc

* Finish 'Spoken Chinese 2'   0/9
* Note all vocab from GCSE German revision guide
* Finish 'German in Three Months'
* Journal study: S4(i), S4(ii), E1, E2

Maybe I should make every chapter or article a separate entry, then I could cross out loads more!!!  Just might.... ;)

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2018

Monday, 8 October 2018

Goals. Hmm...

Goals are not going well of late.  I don't quite know why, but since we've been living at mum's, I'm finding it rather hard to get on with things.  I suppose it could have something to do with the amount of work there's been to do in getting the house rationalised (i.e. getting rid of all the unnecessary stuff and putting what is needed and/or especially wanted in the best places), clearing out the garage and getting it set up for garden and, possibly, Martin's electronics workshop use (if other people would get their clutter out of there......!) and now dealing with getting the garden cleared and under control.  Add to that 4 viral illnesses in a row and mid-life hormonal crazies and I suppose those are the ingredients for a low level of 'ordinary' productivity!

Tja! As Sir would say.

Anyway, let's see if I can't get the following done over the rest of the month (24 days, including today):

I don't know what I really weigh as I seem to have gained the usual couple of water weight pounds and then not dropped them at the expected time.  Either I really gained them and didn't have any water weight during the last mad cycle (first part possible, latter part unlikely), or it's still there and more hormonal insanity on a new level is coming.  Could well be a combo of both - the hormonal water weight is still there (there are other signs that makes this a bit more credible) and I've gained.  Assuming the water weight is still there, I'm 9st 5, meaning I've regained all of June's loss. Drat!  If there isn't any water in the equation, I'm 9st 7. Double drat!  Anyway, if I can get 2lb off during the rest of this month, I'll be pleased, so:

* Lose 2lbs
* Go to bed at 9.30pm whenever possible 
* Exercise most days (walks and/or gardening) 

* Finish clearing the lawn
* List shoes on e-bay
* Take all giveaway books to uni
* Repair lampshade and re-'hang'
* Sort baking tins

* Get well on with the paradise island cross stitch
* Finish lavender bags
* Start Sophia's Red Admiral piece
* Finish the T-shirt
* Finish my new black cardigan
* Finish Sir's scarf

* Finish 'Spoken Chinese 2'
* Start another Chinese textbook
* Finish 'Revise GCSE German'
* Restart 'German in Three Months'
* Journal studies, S2, E1
* Restart 'DS5 - Energy'

Frankly, I'm sick of seeing the same old tasks appearing on the list (I seem to have said that sometime before....), and the study goals rarely progressing.  OK, so I've got rid of around 800 of my approx 1100 books in the last 3 years, but there are still dozens that I'm hanging on to because I want to study through them, but it never happens.  Some people are just not self starters.  I need to learn to be one or else what's the point of lugging these same titles from one home to another if they're just sat there reminding me that I'm not very self disciplined when it comes to study??  Get on with it, Lizzie Dripping!

OK, enough ticking self off and time to go and finish the floors.  That I do manage to keep up to passably well, although I suspect dust allergies are a major incentive!!  :)

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2018

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Starting up with goals lists again - July 2018

It's been a while, but I've realized how much I rely on 'To Do' and goals lists in order to get anything done.  

Plenty has happened and changed in the past 6 months too, including having moved out of our old place when the owner put the rent up way beyond what we were prepared to pay for a place in need of so much renovation. We moved into mum's upper floor as she only uses the ground floor these days, which meant having to clear out all her stuff and even re-arrange the downstairs in order to fit us all in! After that, we cleared and mucked out the garage and have begun to get the garden under control after about a decade of neglect for the front and lower back sections and not having been properly cared for for more like 25 years at the upper back. Clearing overgrown geraniums is a long and arduous task! Ack!

So, here's what I want to get done before the end of next month (including the progress made during these first 2 days). I'll possibly add to it, but hopefully not too much.

* Make out a budget for the rest of the year  Pretty much done, just need to work out the food budget in more detail

* Reduce weight to under 9 stone, starting at approx 9st3. 
I'd lost 4 pounds and got down to 9st1 just before a fortnight in Germany and Switzerland, but gained 2lbs back over there. Now to get back down to it!

* Finish mum's waistcoat
* Get well on with the paradise island cross stitch
* Try to remove fabric paint from blue, hand-dyed calico
* Meadow scene freestyle - with a fresh piece of fabric, not the lurid object above.

* Clear all the geranium roots from the garden (30-60 mins per day) first bed started
* Finish the garage clear out and re-organization
* Finish boxes etc around the house (inc sales stuff)  Amazon store reactivated

* Read and return immune system book  Reading started
* Finish with and return veggie/vegan 5:2 book  Finished with and reviewed the most important bits. Will return v soon.
* Make some progress reading the organic gardening book
* Make some progress with the veganic gardening book

* Finish 'Spoken Chinese 2'
* Finish 'Revise GCSE German'
* Do first lot of journal studies

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2018

Thursday, 1 February 2018

January Goals Results

Completed:   4/20
In progress:  9/16

Clearing out, admin and necessary tasks:

* Complete the Go Bag project   almost everything bought, one or two more things to sort/collect
* List all sales stuff - spare threads, mags, perfume, shoes, and offer some things to friends   giveaways done, donations prepared and Amazon listings done
* Song project   initial file handling done, plus 54/151 songs retyped and reconfigured, 0 more in progress atm. Very. Long. Job! 30 hours so far...  
* Building Society standing order changes, close old account and sort out some home contents insurance   2/3 done
* Sort through book boxes and living room shelves, (aiming to jettison 100 books) and update Book Inventory page with accurate figures   Done! 160-ish removed!
* Mending and altering tasks: M's shirt, M's vest, my coat, my black cardigan   Done!

Reading and Study

* NRSV to at least end of Corinthians   John - Acts
* Finish Chinese NWT   Done!
* Finish DS4 CD-Rom
* Finish DS5
* Finish 'Spoken Chinese 2'
* Finish reviewing 'Revise GCSE German'
* Finish 'German in Three Months'
* Vocab project: TYG, GCSEG, G3M, SC2, WTs
* Read January chapter of 'The Embroiderer's Year'  Done! 
* Read 'Embroidered Flowers'   on p24/94

Creative

* Finish my cable knit jumper   sleeves done, back rib in progress,.  I pulled out the entire back and have restarted it as the whole things was both too long and FAR too wide!
* Work on cross stitch project aiming to finish sky/background section   started - finished blue, back on with palm fronds.  Did a fair amount, then spotted a fundamental error and had to pull most of it out.  Depressing!
* Start rose needle painting
* Re-start creative bloggingText and images

So that was it for January.  I 'cheated' in a way, because I wanted to keep the number of goals to only 20, so I bunched a few up and actually had as many as usual!!  So, had I spaced them out as I normally do, then there would have been a fair few more completions. :)

© Elizabeth Braun 2018