Category Archives: Frugally Inspired

Reflections: Exhausted Workers and ‘Vintage’ Overuse

Wardrobe 1Last night, I decided to opt for some quiet time and recorded the new programme ‘This Old Thing'; in which the ever-wonderful Dawn O’Porter tried to convince fashion and High Street lovers that Vintage is the way forward.  I had some great feedback about the programme from friends and visitors to my FB page, so great that, in fact, I thought there was just too much media fodder NOT to talk about the art of vintage/secondhand shopping.

In truth, has there ever been more of a prevalent time to shop second hand and source your clothes from somewhere other than the High Street, than now?  I’m not talking economic downturns, I’m talking about the shocking story in the media this week about the Primark shopper who found this rather sobering label in her recent purchase, presumably written by a despairing over-worked employee in one of their sweatshops, or a bunch of guerrilla crafty-minded activists. 6213002-large Sadly, this isn’t the only case like this that has been reported, yet Primark and its other fast-fashion conglomerates continue to rake in profits like no tomorrow whilst shoppers give little or no thought to how or why their beautiful, affordable clothing really are SO cheap.  Everything, no matter which way you look at it, or what side of the world you are fortunate to live on, comes at a price.

After catching up with ‘This Old Thing’, some of the attitudes of not-easily-persuaded shoppers feel almost alien to me, as someone who revels in rummaging through charity shops and thrives on the adrenalin of eBay bids.  I’ve said it plenty before on this blog and I’ll say it again, for all its fast fixes – I don’t miss the High Street at all.  But it does lead me to question, is a love of vintage and secondhand really innate, does it grow with your own personal style?  Or can it be taught?

Firstly, like some of my Facebook Peachy People, I’m not sure I like the word ‘Vintage’ being banded around as often as it is.  It is, after all, mostly a euphemism for ‘second hand’, just as ‘Nouvelle Cuisine’ was a euphemism for ‘hardly anything on your freakin’ plate’.  My love of vintage stems from my desire to not look like anyone else and the freedom a mix and match wardrobe of good quality pieces from all the very best decades can bring you.  I’m in love with fashion in the same way that Coco Chanel was, I love how clothes can accentuate your personality and make you feel.  I’m not a follower of trends, I like to think I look comfortable in my own skin and I like to feel unique, that has been a lifelong desire of mine.

I don’t think about whose bodies my clothes have previously encapsulated my ‘vintage’ finds, a common concern for the guests on Dawn O’s show.  I have a washing machine after all.  I really do enjoy the process of rummaging through the bits and bobs, as I know many people do.  I like the feeling of authenticity in my pieces, I love the stories and tales that could be hidden, pressed into each thread, I like that my wardrobe is a mish mash of one-offs and  quirky tastes.  It is a more rewarding hobby, in my opinion, to find your own fashion in the treasures of people’s pasts than in the racks of monotony.  But that’s just me.

Becoming a lover of vintage secondhand, in favour of all things High Street, is not a learned behaviour, I don’t think.  I think one has to feel connected to the past, long to relive decades gone by, to find their own sense of personal style in everything that has, sort of, been already.  Yes, you can do the ‘Mad Men’ trend, for as long as H&M stocks that shape, but a love of real secondhand fashion takes dedication, focus and a little bit of disappointment, sometimes.  Which simply isn’t for everyone.

But, with all this news of hidden labels and cries for help, can we really afford to be so in love with fast fashion anymore?  With news that H&M has a sweatshop running in the UK, the problems faced by these exploited workers – all in aid of all things ‘affordable’ – are even closer to home than we like to imagine.  So, with that in mind, I’d like to fly the flag for all things vintage, secondhand and even me-made, safe in the knowledge that I won’t be finding any hidden labels in my clothes anytime soon.

Are you following a Frugally Fabulous Year?  Fancy doing it?  Keep it here for more handy tips on life without the High Street!

meStay Peachy x

 

The Importance of Happy Mail!

flowers in springWhat do you like to do when you’re relaxing?  Do you like to take time to connect or reconnect with people?  Today I thought I’d pop a little post up about Happy Mail and the art of sending letters!

Over Easter, I took part in a lovely little Mug Swap, held by Hannah over at Cupcake Mumma.  The rules?  You were given a swap partner and send them a present – which should consist of a mug!  You had the opportunity to send a few likes and dislikes to each other – I always pity anyone who gets me – my tastes can be off the wall to say the least!  I thought this was a lovely idea – I have some incredible friends around the country, and a very lovely penpal in America – who I don’t write to often enough; not to mention some of the fabulous tweeple I regularly chat to on the Twittersphere.  I always have great ideas to send postcards and bits and bobs to people I don’t see regularly, no matter how often I see some of my closest friends, they are always on my mind and I wish I had more time to spend with them!  So this mug swap with a new snail mail friend would prove to be a turning point!

mug swapThe lovely Sarah from Young Ones Five was my swap partner and I was thrilled to receive this lovely big red mug with the word ‘Love’ on and some wonderful Easter-themed chocolates and a little notecard.  I’m happy to say I use my mug every day – it’s perfect for the first brew of the day!  So a huge thank you to Sarah for her lovely gift and I’m SO PLEASED she liked mine! You can read Sarah’s post about the swap HERE and I was so pleased to receive another postcard from Sarah from her holiday in gorgeous Clovelly, the week after!

I plan to do a LOT more letter writing in the coming weeks – I love getting old-school mail and it’s such a great way of making new friends as well as letting our long-standing loved ones know they are always with us!  So next time you have a spare five minutes and a stamp, why not get creative and handwrite a bit of happy mail?!

Stay Peachy x

The Frugal Kitchen: Avocado Brownies!

mixtureAVOCADO…what now?!?!  Yup, that’s right…and guess what?? They are deliciousness personified!

It’s been a little while since I got creative in the kitchen, I’ve been busy readying meals for me and D, plus trying to eat healthily and shed a teeny bit of weight.  When the chocolate cravings call though, one must act – so I decided to try something a little different!

I’ve had an interest in this amazing cross-genre baking for a while, I tried sweet potato brownies a while back, which were gorgeous and cakey, and low in calories!  avocadoAfter reading several sweet recipes using avocados, I decided to try my hand at a quick, simple and healthier alternative to a full-fat brownie!

When it comes to a bit of frugal baking, I like to use as little ingredients but without sacrificing taste.  A classic brownie recipe should be fuss-free, gooey and satisfying.  We keep avocadoes in abundance in our house; D loves them and I am on a continued quest for long, ebony Priscilla-locks, so they do their bit for me as well!  The recipe below took about ten minutes to mix (once the chocolate had melted) and about 20 minutes in the oven.  The result?  Beautifully rich, gooey, chocolatey goodness and (if you’re a calorie counter – which I, sadly, am) they come in at abotu 272 calories for a large slice!  Go on…give ’em a go!

You Will Need (To Make 10 Large Brownies):

100g Dark Chocolate

4 Eggs

100g Dessicated Coconut

100g Caster Sugar

100g Demerara Sugar

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

70g Cocoa Powder

Handful of Flaked Almonds

1 Large Avocado – mashed

ready to bakeMethod

Over a pan of boiling water, melt your chocolate.  Preheat your oven to 180 C and grease a baking tin (ideally square).

In a bowl, mix your flour, sugars, cocoa powder and vanilla extract.  Pour your melted chocolate and add the eggs and mix until combined.

Finally, add in your mashed avocado and continue to mix until your batter is combined, brown (!) and fairly smooth!

Transfer to your prepared baking tray, sprinkle with flaked almonds and bake for approximately 20 minutes.  Your brownies should be very dark in colour and slightly gooey on the inside.  Remove and leave to cool – or shovel one in straightaway!

finishedStay Peachy x

 

Time Out From The World…

ButtercupsWell, what an eventful few weeks it has been.  I’m sorry I took an unplanned hiatus last week – but the good news is I’m BACK and it’s time to look forward and, after a bit of deliberation, I have decided that Frugally Peachy is still a big part of that move forward!  Grab a cuppa dudes….this is a long one!

I think all bloggers, writers, anyone who takes great pleasure in putting thoughts out on the web-osphere, find themselves at a stumbling block every now and again.  I’ve been through just that, more than once actually, but this one really needed some careful consideration.   I’ve been in limbo-land a little since the split and I’ve been spending a bit of time trying to re-find myself.  I haven’t felt like writing my blog, I haven’t felt like tweeting much or even giving myself much time to get creative.  Which left me with a million half-finished projects, a whole head of ideas and a heap of anxiety over how to get on with things!  So when the opportunity arose for me and D to spend a week with my parents in sunny Somerset, where I grew up, I jumped at the chance to escape and regroup for a while.

It was the one thing I really needed, a change from the norm, a chance to catch up with my thoughts and start seriously thinking about putting plans into action. THE CAKE Mostly, it gave me the chance to just ‘be’ for a bit – something I really needed to do and need to do a lot more often than I do!  I spent some time catching up with my parents, cooking, hanging with the little one and my week even coincided with my best friend Rachel’s very last-minute visit from Australia – so we had a fab day out with our other bestie, Cat, enjoying the sites of Honiton, a lovely little village with indie shops a-plenty and a spectacular Boston Tea Party.  We caught up, we ate the world, got giddy staring through the window of the (sadly closed) bridal shop, from which Cat will soon be picking up her WEDDING DRESS and talked all things ‘baby’ – as Rachel is due to have her first baby in September.  My Mum very kindly took Daisy for the day, so it was lovely to hang out with the girls and be ‘myself’ for a bit – which isn’t so different, maybe a little more loose-tongued AND it does mean I can have full conversations without having to chase after or restrain a small person. Me, Cat, Rach Here we all are enjoying some rather indulgent cakes at the Boston Tea Party – this year we will have known each other for 12 years – we have survived many many deadlines, late nights, bad dates, good dates, love, loss, hundreds of nights on cheap alcohol, one trip around the world, one wedding, one turbulent 2/12 years in London and one rather huge, permanent move half way around the world!

I took advantage of the beautiful surroundings around where I grew up also, this week.  With my Mum at work on Thursday, and a little bit of inspiration from the lovely Sonia from Layoutlines, I took a long walk with Daisy along Dyers Lane in the warm weather – and the best thing?  I didn’t melt OR set on fire in the heat!

Swingbridge Cottage

Canal RightMy parent’s live on a lovely estate a little way out of Taunton and these beautiful scenes are situated just across the road from them, a gorgeous lane that crosses part of the Taunton to Bridgwater Canal.Daisy Canal  I used to walk home from my college bus this way and have always loved the quirky cottages that line the edge of the canal – the flowers and scenery looked so idyllic in the sunshine and I was instantly reminded of why I’ve always wanted to live in a cottage.  It gave me some great ideas for my little garden and made me resolve to make regular trips to the countryside too! Swan-age We stopped along the canal to watch the swans – D has just added ‘Duck’ to her vocabulary, then made our way back home for avocado on toast, with a much clearer head and a determination to kick life’s ass on my return to The Midlands.

Well I arrived back in Notts on Saturday afternoon, ready to get on with life.  I’m still taking each day, each week as it comes, I have long-term goals and short term goals – from Interior Decorating to Wardrobe Injections, staking my claim in the world of FICTION, Random Acts of Kindness and trips to the seaside!  Right now, I have a list of projects to finish, a little bit of #craftblogclub excitement AND some snail mail lovin to write!

Blue CottageI’m so grateful that people are still reading and enjoying Frugally Peachy, my blog is something I’m proud of and I want to continue to showcase my craft projects and write about my year without shopping on the High Street.  Thank you for sticking with me – I’m more determined that ever to make 2014 the best year yet – I hope you’ll continue to enjoy my journey!

FlowersStay Peachy x

Winners…and Little Steps

2014 listWell, as expected my blog has taken an unintentional break – I do hope you’re all still out there reading my drivel!  I intend to keep posting as often as possible, but, in light of recent events, I’ve come to the conclusion that setting myself little, weekly goals, is the key to both inevitable world literature domination AND getting through the next few months and the inevitable changes to our family.

Things are grand, really, since my ‘Conscious Uncoupling’.  Last week I ventured out to see one of my favourite local blues acts (hell, I’ve missed going out),  I’ve had the headspace to contemplate quite a bit and get my head down (hence the lack of posts), I’ve had some phenomenal support from friends and family and little D has adjusted really well to our new set-up.  There has been a lot of picture hanging, test-pot painting and LOADS of list-making – but not all blog-worthy at the moment!

Sometimes these little goals are all you need to kickstart things again though, I have two steaming, unfinished manuscripts to work on AND I’ve taken up an obsession with trying needle-felting.  I’m looking forward to a week in sleepy Somerset to catch up with my family and put a few more plans in action – home improvements, handmade gifts and, of course, our #CraftBlogClub challenges at the end of the month!  For now….I have a few WIPs, I shall share a little more later in the week!

hanging heart 1Today, I mostly wanted to announce the winners of my handmade giveaway for Mother’s Day.  It was lovely to see pictures of some of the Hanging Hearts my lovely readers made for Mother’s Day – my Mum loved hers and I’m so glad you guys enjoyed the tutorial!  Well, as promised, I have TWO knitted hearts to give away and the winners are….

ELLIE AINDOW and SARAH CLARKE!

Please drop me an email with your addresses and I’ll get your hearts shipped out in the next few days!  Congratulations!

Well I guess that’s about it for now – wishing you all a Happy Hump Day and I look forward to catching up with some of my favourite blogs (one of those little goals) and showing you my needle felting progress soon!

Stay Peachy x

Have you checked out my blog sale?  I’m having a clearout and there are loads of bargains to be had – check out the page HERE

 

The Frugal Kitchen: Hashed Beef Teriyaki with Noodles

beef teriyaki finalIt’s needless to say that I’ve been in something of a clearing out mood of late, not least in the kitchen!  Last week, I had some beef left over and, rather than going with the usual casserole, I thought I’d try something with a little more bite to it – whilst using up some of the egg noodles I’d had lying around the cupboards for weeks!

The result?  This rather hashed-together, throw-in-anything-you-like Beef Teriyaki!  Made with some of the obscure spices and vinegars that are forever stocked in my frugal cupboards, I literally spent nothing on this meal and it was DELICIOUS!  I thought I’d pop the recipe up on here BUT, if you don’t have quite the right ingredients then fear not – using basic soy sauces will give you a rich, sticky taste and the cornflour is a must for the right texture!  My measurements are pretty loose on this one, I just went with my tastebuds and added a little where I thought necessary – so I hope it works as well for you as it did for me!  I think the dish would work well with pork and am tempted to try a sweet vegetable version too!  I do hope you enjoy if you give this a go – it’s quick, makes work of those obscure ingredients we all have AND it tastes delicious!

beef ingredientsIngredients (To Serve 2)

200-300g lean braising steak

2 clusters of medium dried egg noodles

1 clove garlic

2 tbsps cornflour

21/2 cups water

2 tsps dark soy sauce

2 tbsp demerara sugar

1tsp granulated white sugar

1/2 tsp crushed chillies

1/2 tsp Chinese Five Spice

1/2 tsp crushed ginger

S&P to taste

dash of red wine vinegar

Method

teriyaki sauce 1In a saucepan with approx 2 cups of water, add all your sugar, spices, soy sauce, red wine vinegar, garlic, ginger and chillies and a bit of S&P and bring to a low boil – continue to heat until the sugar has dissolved, leaving a slightly thickened ‘syrup-like’ texture!

Whilst the sauce is cooking, fry your braising steak until browned and tender, and bring your noodles to the boil in a separate pan.  Remove and drain after 2 minutes (ish).

Once the sugar has dissolved in your sauce, add 1/2 cup (thereabouts) to your cornflour and mix until smooth.  Add this to your sauce and continue to stir until the sauce thickens – keep on a low heat whilst stirring and remove from heat immediately after thickening, to avoid congealing.  In your frying pan, add the sauce to the beef and toss over a low heat until the beef is covered – you’ll notice the beef getting really sticky, try not to over cook (if you value your teeth, anyway)!! beef teriyaki 2Place the cooked noodles into serving dishes and divide up your beef teriyaki – serve and ENJOY!

Stay Peachy x

Yarning Up A Storm…The Woolly Bike Trail

Yarn-storming has swiftly become a cultural phenomenon and a sign of the crafty times recently.  Having been treated to some fabulous colourful creations in my local town, I was really excited to hear about The Woolly Bike Trail – a free, interactive workshop experience with Cassandra Kilbride, a prolific yarn-stormer whose colourful creations offer a different and unique view of our towns, cities and architectural sites.

As part of the Yorkshire Festival which begins today and runs arts and cultural events for 100 days, leading up to the Grand Depart of the Tour de France,  Cassandra is offering the chance to join her and take part in 20 workshops to knit, crochet, sew or weave a little bit of your own bike for the ‘Woolly Bike Trail’ – all taking inspiration from Yorkshire’s rich history and culture.  Whether you have a love for the food of Yorkshire, its history of armour and Celtic design, Industrial heritage or even its famous icons, you are sure to find a workshop to inspire you.  I’m personally hoping to make it to the Literary Inspired workshop – The Brontes, The Secret Garden and, of course, Dracula, will all serve as fantastic yarn-storming inspiration at the Bronte Parsonage Museum, Haworth at the end of this week.

The bikes, once finished, will be displayed together at an exhibition at Sheffield Cathedral in July, before returning to their home towns.

Whilst a basic understanding of knitting and crochet is required to take part, all patterns and wool are provided and each workshop promises a lot of fun, the chance to be part of something creative and exciting.  The workshops are a great way to celebrate Yorkshire and to mark your place in cultural history, alongside the Tour De France – now in its 111th year –  whose Grand Depart is hosted by Yorkshire this year.

But best of all, the workshops are FREE!  A frugally fabulous morning or afternoon brushing up some crafty skills and immersing yourself in a little bit of Yorkshire’s bright and colourful culture – just take a look at this marvellous creation to get your needles clicking!  For more info visit The Woolly Bike Trail site and why not head over to see what else the Yorkshire Festival 2014 is offering HERE?

Woolly Bike TrailStay Crafty x

 

 

Lately: Lows, Highs and DIYs

dreyfus cafeLast week was a bit of an impromptu blog break for me – apologies for taking a bit of time out but, as you will see, it was really quite needed!

We had a bit of a whirlwind week, with the aftermath of Daisy’s Birthday, a trip to White Post Farm and my lovely Mum staying with us all week!  Top that off with a much excitable young Miss Peachy spending her FIRST WEEKEND away from the babe and taking a trip down memory lane to London – what more could you ask for???

daisy cakegoatWell…more on the trip itself to come, I’m sure.  With the sudden change in weather patterns and all, I was really feeling the need for a change up in the wardrobe department – not at all easy when you’re on a year long spending ban and still in-between sizes!  So, armed with a little bit of Christmas money I had saved, I took myself off to eBay and the incredible charity shops in Hockley, and I got a few bits of vintage and second-hand loveliness to tide me over and bring a little more ‘me’ back into my life!  In typical secret-goth fashion, I’m bypassing the pastel trends of Spring and embracing my love of leather skirts with this gorgeous vintage leather skirt from eBay – just £10, fits like a glove and goes with just about everything!

leather skirt comboI couldn’t resist a breton stripe top too to go with it – I’m a sucker for a Chanel-inspired stripe and my wardrobe has been seriously lacking in my usual stripy staple for a while, so I pulled a great £3 bargain from eBay!  Having always been a fan of dresses, I decided to really start embracing the idea of separates and picked up this amazing red polkadot shirt from Sue Ryder for just £5.  That’s right, a whole new wardrobe injection for less than £30 and all perfect for all weathers!  That’s my kind of Frugal Fashion!

Not only that, I got one step closer to a little bit of DIY wardrobing with this rather fab velvet skirt.velvet skirt  Simply cut from an old tunic that is both too short and too low cut, I thought something black and velvet would suit everything in my wardrobe – specifically my ‘new’ shirts.  After cutting the desired length of the skirt, I tacked in a thick piece of elastic to hold the skirt in place.  Et Voila!  A whole new use for something old AND another addition to my unique wardrobe.  I have a burgundy tunic I’m considering chopping up – perhaps a future tutorial to follow – once my sewing looks a little more professional!

So, as you can see, there have been plenty of highs and a little bit of DIY….but with the irony that was National Happiness Day, came a little bit of sadness in the Jeffberry household.  As of Thursday Mr J and I decided to separate.  I’m not one to go into the gory details but, after taking some time to work on things, we have simply decided that we don’t work anymore and, for the sake of our family, feel we would be better off as single parents.  So, whilst I’ve been basking in my new charity shop finds and jogging some wonderful memories in London, it has also been a very painful time coming to terms with one big ending and just how I aim to forward from now on.  So do forgive me if the posts drop a little, I’m still out there NOT High Street shopping and have even more reason to support the Frugally Fabulous way of life now – but I have a lot to put in place and a little bit of time out never hurt anyone!  It’s all still business as usual – but my focus is Little D and starting to plan a new future for us, so bear with me whilst I deal with all the tough stuff.

I would, however, like to thank everyone for their support and messages of comfort and to all the lovely people who tweeted me the things that make them happiest last Thursday – like I said, you have no idea how much that meant on that day!  I’ve got through the first few days…it’s onwards and upwards from here!

fearless and free

 

Stay Peachy x

How Does Your Garden Grow?

rosemarySpring, it seems, has sprung!  Compared to the bitter cold of last March, when I was drifting about the home in a heavily pregnant daze, checking off calendar days and admiring the snow outside.  Even as a firm lover of all things morbid, dark and rainy, I’m enjoying waking up to the rays of sunlight and taking warm afternoon strolls in the park!

When we moved into our house – which has now been our humble abode for 18 whole months – we had great designs on the incredibly small back garden space bestowed upon us.  In some ways, I love it, having no grass means very little maintenance and the area is also nice and shady.  On the other hand, whilst we were able to grow an unsightly amount of tomatoes last year in our makeshift allotment, I couldn’t help but look out of my lounge window and fancy seeing something a little more pretty!  Winter came and went, I wrote about ideas for a small garden space on the old blog and we decided 2014 was going to be the year of the Innovative Garden Space!  I’m seeing a little rusty table and chairs and sunflowers, I really want sunflowers!

I can’t take full credit for our ideas, Mr J constantly has his head stuck in this little book I bought him for Christmas, but I thought I’d start off our little How Does Your Garden Grow mini series by showing you our little window herb garden!  Ain’t it pretty?!  And so useful for picking straight from plant pot to saucepan!

herb rackBeing that our windowsill gets a lot of sunshine in good weather, we decided to make a mini herb garden to soak up the sun – herbs are very easy to grow, we are always using them in our cooking and many can grow all year round.  So we kickstarted with some Basil, Coriander, Parsley and Rosemary and what’s best of all? coriander Our little set up cost us absolutely nothing, apart from the seeds themselves and the compost!  The recycled materials have all been saved and salvaged and we have plenty more yoghurt pots and egg boxes to add when we start to grow more.

The two tiered rack we have used is an old shoe rack we were given a couple of years ago, sprayed white to fit in with the kitchen decor.  The mini greenhouse was a present from myself two Christmasses ago and we were given a Garden Basil Pot by my Mum as a gift.  All other containers are recycled, housing little seedlings whilst the eggbox *should* house our first batch of tomatoes for the season.  The Coriander is growing at a rate of knots at the moment – which means there is no excuse for a good old homemade curry – whilst the other herbs are catching up fast and the current lovely weather we are experiencing should help things along a little!  The only thing it needs now is some sort of mini bunting – but there you have it, a little piece of our homegrown home!

sideboardOur next job is to take a look at the outside space – we have moved this rather gorgeous sideboard outside and waterproofed it, ready for a quirky plant feature – what do you think?

Look out for more frugal garden spaces in the coming months!

Stay Peachy x

Garden general

De-Cluttering and Disposaphobia

flowers in springI don’t know if it’s the sudden infiltration of Spring filling the air, or the redundant musical instruments that oft clutter up our dining room; but last weekend I was compelled to treat Peachy Towers to a HUGE de-clutter and a shift around.  So, armed with charity bags, bin bags and one very sleepy child, Mr J and I set about moving furniture and sorting each and every room.

I guess it comes with being at home a lot, not to mention constantly picking up after a baby, but there are times I find our lovely little house a bit stifling, usually when we are head to toe in piles of paper, scattered magazines and living amongst a sea of the aforementioned instruments.  We have little space to work with, our home is pretty compact and once you consider the baby factor, the music, craft, writing, general fanatical geek factors; it’s no wonder we need to make the best of a small space!  Lucky for me, I find clearing out very therapeutic, but our second de-clutter of the year got me thinking a lot about a term Judith Levine had discussed in her book ‘Not Buying It’, are we a society suffering from Disposaphobia??  Is my year without shopping turning me into a Disposaphobic?

I best start by saying I had high hopes for my literary trip with Jude and her year out from shopping.  In truth, she was a million miles away from my Frugally Fabulous Year! Judith Levine She managed to shop.  Twice.  She often talked of self-help groups and associations that helped you to NOT spend, by TAKING your money and then telling you how NOT to spend it.  Plus, we were worlds apart as people; Jude is a successful writer in her fifties running two homes and three cars with her partner.  Me?  New mum on a huge career transition running a relatively new home with a penchant for fashion and vintage, stingy about getting buses, Queen of eBay.  Where I may struggle sticking to a weekly food budget of £50, Jude metaphorically wept on the pages as she discussed her dilemma at losing a particular brand of socks or reminisced about ‘that Winter she couldn’t replace her ski wear’.  Overall I didn’t buy it.  Because she bought it.

But she did talk a little about this theory of Disposaphobia and how, as a society, we are too afraid to throw anything out and I couldn’t help but think she was right, but is it wrong?  Looking around us this weekend, we both moved in with a load of ‘might do’s’, ‘could be useful’s and a whole help of baggage!  It is said that we place so much value on ‘things’ rather than experiences, it feels that by throwing these ‘things’ away, we are throwing a part of ourselves away.  It is almost as if we need physical reminders of where we have been and what we have done – from concert tickets and leaflets, receipts and long-dead crockery – we take everything we have with us, because we are too scared of leaving ‘us’ behind.  I’m guilty of it, ticket stubs that bring back memories of films I’ve loved and gigs long past – you only need to take a look at Instagram to see how important it is, for many, to capture each and every moment of our lives – whether that’s a beautiful woodland scene or a well-cooked omelette!  But why do we do that?  Is it because we have to have a constant reminder of what we have done, where we have been?  Disposaphobia talks of longing to hold on to the past and my oh my it’s a hard habit to break!  I like to make memories and I like to hold on to them, not because they define me but because they are a tiny fragment of my journey.  But I guess I want to learn to live in each moment too – I don’t HAVE to take a photo to remember a gig; I might want to close my eyes and let it all wash over me again, which is something even a photo can’t bring to life.  But, at the same time, having a good throwback session with the photo album can’t possibly be bad for the soul and, one day, I hope to share my experiences with Daisy in the same way that my Mum shared hers with me!  Does that mean I’m Disposaphobic?  Or just happy to hang on to the good bits for another time?

I have a firm belief that, as a creative, you always have a pile of ‘will do’s’ waiting for you – I’m a fabric hoarder, a yarn hoarder and a hoarder of memories.  I’m making my way through the material, de-fusing the yarn bomb, the memories not so much, I want them to stay!  Much like The Dice Man, I live in a permanent state of organised and unpredictable chaos; we have a lot of stuff, and very little places to store them.  I’m not defined by the clothes on my back or the DVDs on my rack, but I will make space for the stubs, the useless bits and the experiences they brought me.  A sure sign of disposaphobia?  I’m undecided!

Well, needless to say, our de-clutter was very therapeutic – check out our lovely dining room now, perfect for family dinners and hardly a musical instrument in sight!Dining room 2  I had one of those made cupboard cleaning episodes and the house is feeling bright and airy.  Peace has been somewhat restored to our chaotic abode – even the sun isn’t unwelcome; says she, a firm fan of the dark side!  Our next job is to make some sense and prettiness of our top room, which serves as a dressing room/craft space – a haven for the disposaphobic in all of us!

Stay Peachy x

Are you a hoarder?  Do you like a good de-clutter?  As always, I would love to know!