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Inspiration….Frugal Resolutions

Daisy Park autumn leaves

The Frugally Fabulous Year, despite the appearance of the ‘F’ Word, is not just about saving money.  I’ll be popping my budgeting malarkey advice, frugally fabulous recipes and ‘wardrobe versus wants’ comparisons in, for good measure, but my decision to take on this challenge comes from a place of questioning ethics and psychology in our consumerist nature and the companies from which we consume.  What was once a challenge about clothing, has become a whole heap of politics about whether or not I can spend a voucher in John Lewis in 2014.  Which got me to thinking…how am I going to go about making 2014 The Frugally Fabulous Year?  It’s an exciting yet difficult task in hand and I want to make sure I complete it to the best of my ability…here’s how I plan to do it!

Mirror 2THE BIG FRUGALLY FABULOUS RULES

1. My challenge involves buying for JUST ME and not other members of my family!  As much as I dream of the day I possess the skills to make a whole miniature wardrobe for Daisy, the truth is, she grows and needs things all the time – the Frugally Fabulous Year is about me and my attitude to my wardrobe!  I will however, be attempting some tiny-person sized crafting projects and I will be looking to source her wardrobe from ethically sound companies too.

2. Aside from the making projects I am setting myself; I aim to purchase 100% of clothing in 2014 from second-hand sources such as vintage and charity shops as well as good old eBay.  I am NOT ALLOWED to buy new clothing from high street stores.

3. The above does, however, not apply to underwear and tights – two absolute staples in any fabulous lady’s wardrobe.  I will, however, aim to purchase with a frugal mindset and from a responsible and ethical source.

4. Whilst I am not specifically not spending on beauty and cosmetic products, I aim to research and explore ethically-sound beauty companies that work for my skin and work for my wallet – where they can.  By the end of 2014 I would like at least 70% of my cosmetic products to be organic and ethical (which may well be the case now)!  The same applies to homeware.

5. Throughout my year, I aim to bring exciting and creative projects to brighten up my wardrobe, home, garden, kitchen and general lifestyle; that are easy on the pocket, reflect my taste and personality and are challenging in the craft department.  I aim to resource frugally fabulous, if not free, materials where I can and learn also to work with what I’ve got.

6. The biggest mountain to overcome is learning to use the sewing machine PROPERLY.  Not to mention using up my Yarn and Fabric Stashes – of which I solemnly promise to use PRIOR to buying new bits and pieces.  Where I can.  Honest.

7. Gifts do not count.

8. Wardrobes vs Wants will be a huge part of my blog – once I am able to fit into most of my pre-pregnancy wardrobe that is.  As an ex-employee of the fashion industry, I have a vested interest in trends, clothing and beautiful things.  The challenge is to try and emulate this through my existing wardrobe (I’m lucky enough to have a lot of clothes I wouldn’t be able to afford now) and my botched creations.

And what do I get if I manage to complete my challenge? Well…one or two of the following will occur, I’m sure

1. I will be immediately whisked off and awarded a Nobel Prize for services to being both Frugal AND undeniably Fabulous.

2. I will be able to treat myself to one, expensive, lovely thing that has been on my wishlist all year.

3. I will have learnt how to be even more creative in my lifestyle, will want to continue learning and so Frugally Peachy will live on.

4. We will put the money we have saved into the ‘Sweden’ pot, to fulfil our dream of a family roadtrip around Sweden.

5. On aforementioned trip, I will meet Alexander Skarsgard, will refuse to return to the UK and will, instead, set up home in Sweden running a hand-knitted gnome shop.

One of them…definitely.

I think that’s about all I can do to pick apart my challenge, so it really is all GO!  Are you planning to follow The Frugally Fabulous Year?  What rules are you setting for yourself?  What do you think you’ll struggle with the most?  As ever, I would LOVE to hear from you!

Stay Peachy x

Hello January: New Year, Frugal You??

heart pieWelcome!  You made it here!  I know, I know, I’ve been talking about this little project for quite some time and, well, HERE IT IS!  Frugally Peachy, ‘The Artist Formerly Known as Life is Peachy’ is live, up and running and eager to get started!

I hope you enjoyed waving a fond farewell to 2013, the year that was and that you are nestling in well to 2014.  The question is; will you accept my challenge?  Why not make 2014 a Frugally Fabulous Year!

I suppose, for those who aren’t familiar with my previous blog, I should give a little introduction.  I’m Emma ‘Peachy’ Berry, a Freelance Writer, Avid Crafter, Vintage Hoarder, Undiscovered Author, Not-So-Secret Goth, Practically Professional Mixer of Genres, Barbara Good Wannabe and Rock and Roll Mama to Daisy May – who is almost One Year Old.  I currently reside in Nottingham, though I’m a Southerner at heart, with my beau Mr Jeffery.  Last year, I started to chart my search to find the ‘you’ in ‘Mummy’, on my blog Life is Peachy.  I wrote about pretty much anything that I was passionate about – from fashion to recipes, crafts to promoting the work of some wonderful small businesses.  I maintain a strong belief in not losing your identity once you have a little one to chase after and, for the most part, I think I remained true to my word.  Nearly one year on and you will still find me freshly eye-linered, shoehorning listens of inappropriate metal at any given opportunity and generally doing all the things I was vehemently told I wouldn’t do anymore!

Wardrobe 2

A Frugally Fabulous Year…

In October 2013, I launched my idea of a year-long challenge, The Frugally Fabulous Year.  The challenge was to go a whole 365 days without shopping for clothes in a high street store.  Why?  Well, aside from undertaking a huge lifestyle change in the form of becoming a ‘work-at-home mum’, not to mention my own acquired vintage-inspired taste in clothes; the way in which we shop as a society had really begun to bother me.  It still bothers me.  It bothers me that mass global conglomerates still use sweatshops to produce second-rate, fast fashion and that employees are forced to work in terrible, often dangerous conditions for little more than a few pence per item.  It bothers me that landfills are gradually overflowing with the aforementioned, discarded fast-fashion (easily bought, even more easily discarded) and that we, in the UK continue to spend like there is no tomorrow with little or no thought to where our clothes come from, how they are made and how sustainable our way of life really is.  Call me crazy, but I decided to opt out of the mass market.  Not wanting to relinquish my sense of style though (I once had a pile of Vogues nearly as tall as me), I decided I wanted to find my own way to keep it that way.  The response was wonderful, I was overwhelmed by how many people were encouraged to try the same thing, I was eager to start advancing my own craftiness by learning to dress-make and dreaming up wonderful tutorials.

Setting the challenge made me feel really great – until the stench of mass-consumerism began to rear its ugly head in every crevice of my life – my kitchen, my bathroom, my child and more.  So I got to thinking, if I was going to sack off consumerism in my wardrobe, why not try depleting it altogether?  I didn’t think the concept was hard; I hate shopping, I hate looking like anyone else, I bargain-hunt as much as I can, I have a passion for learning new crafts, I pretty much cook all our meals from scratch and I refuse to be sucked in by the explosion of the ‘kiddy-food’ industry – parenting is hard enough, without feeling chastised for feeding your child fresh, carefully-prepped ‘normal’ food, that doesn’t ooze out of bright packaging, labelled with gawking animated characters.  So, somewhere between knitting my butt off for Christmas and welcoming 2014; the seedlings of Frugally Peachy began to sprout.

Here’s the cold, hard truth; we have become a society of emotional shoppers, who place sole value on what we have and not who we are.  Here’s my cold, hard response; FUCK THAT.  Not that I’m planning to get all carbon-footprinted, eco warrior over this; but I know I’m not alone in my thinking.  My blogging path has crossed with like-minded others, who are interested in this project, whether it’s environmental, ethical, financial, sociological or otherwise.  I figured other people would want to read about my journey, so I decided it was time to migrate my blog over to something shiny, new and exciting.

So here it is, Frugally Peachy; the blog that charts my journey into the world of all things frugally fabulous.  Expect Crafting (lots), Lifestyle, Home-making and Upcycling Projects (more than you can shake a stick at), Recipes (lots), Tutorials and a little bit of the psycho-analysis stuff along the way.  I hope to provide a little bit of inspiration and a whole heap of handmade goodness.  I hope not to throw my sewing machine out the window and, most of all, I hope you’ll join me in finding your own frugally fabulous feet!  Here’s to creating a fabulous life, with a handmade pricetag!

Stay Peachy x