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Frugal February February 1, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Life, Chatter & Politics, Meme, Travel.
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As you no doubt know, I am on a budget at the moment. I am saving about half of my wages every month for my RTW trip,  and anything left over is going towards the RTW things that I can book in advance. It means that spending freely and treating myself has kind of gone out of the window. In fact, I am selling my shoes, so you know that something must be serious!

So, what better timing could there be to partake in “Frugal February”? The brainchild of wonderful blogger Gemma Cartwright, Frugal February is a month of avoiding buying anything that you don’t actually need. Shoes, expensive meals, luxury items and so forth are all banished to the land of no return, and instead we are all concentrating on saving money and only buying that which can really be justified.

Thankfully the rules are somewhat flexible. For example, I am allowed to justify nights out at the pub with friends as things I “need”, because without them life would just be miserable. The rules as explained by our fearless leader are as such:

This means buying no clothes, shoes, accessories, makeup, cosmetics, books, DVDs, music, magazines, gadgets etc for a month.

Food and drink don’t count, though it’s worth paying attention to unnecessary expenses in this area – do you really need that bottle of wine? Do you have stuff in the cupboard you could use to make dinner, rather than getting convenience food? I also suggest banning takeaways and any unnecessary eating out if you’re really serious!

Daily use items such as toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo etc are fine to buy, but only if you’ve run out completely! Same goes for any makeup you might ‘finish’ during the month. On the off-chance you use up the last dregs of your only foundation during the month, you can replace it, but only if you don’t have an alternative.

Frugal Feb doesn’t mean waving goodbye to a social life. Though you may choose to cut down on nights out to save a bit more cash, my time spent with friends is important to me! My Frugal February ‘no spend’ rule doesn’t include things like the occasional ticket or cover charge, or travel expenses. If I want to go somewhere and there’s a cost associated, that’s fine.

Are you going to take part?


Welcome to the Collective November 24, 2010

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Family, Meme, Wordy Business.
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At the pub last night, I got into a conversation about the wonder that is the collective noun for a group of animals. You know – a bellowing of bullfinches, a battery of barracudas, a parliament of owls, a murder of crows, a shiver of sharks – the list goes on an on. It got us to thinking, if there were a collective noun to represent each of us, what would it be? It ought, really to be based on our foremost characteristics – our personalities, our looks.

As such, I proudly present our first three contributions to the mix!

A stumble of Laurens

An embarrassment of Riches

A consideration of Nics

It also got me to thinking about what some of my nearest and dearest would be called, were they to travel in groups…

A sweetness of Roisins

An intelligence of Lysys

A paling of Carys’

A drive of Nathans

A flame of Carolines

A giggle of Helens

A nattering of Nommis

A fondness of Lauras

Welcome to the collective guys!

What would your noun be?

The Versatile Blogger Award September 23, 2010

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Meme, Social Media.
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1 comment so far

I have been lucky enough to be given an award three times this week – by Kate, Cie and Tina. Thank you girls! Not that you’d ever know that we all knew each other, eh?! Hehe.

There are, of course, rules to go with this lovely award: 1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award; 2. Share 7 things about yourself; 3. Pass the award to 15 blogs you enjoy and let them know they’ve been given the award.

Soo, here we go – 7 things about me:

  1. I own about 100 pairs of shoes, and probably around the same number of dresses. Despite this obvious excess, I still have many days when I feel like I have nothing to wear, which is quite impressive really.
  2. Now that I am single I am discovering that I actually quite like my own company. I have even gone to the cinema by myself a few times, although I’m not brave enough to see Resident Evil all on my lonesome. My favourite personal time is to spend an afternoon in the pub, curled up on the sofa with a good book and a glass of rose! Wonderful!
  3. I have two lists of favourite films. One is the respectable list, featuring Fight Club, and American Beauty, and other intellectually stimulating movies. My second list, however, features all the ones I know I shouldn’t like – and is largely dominated by brilliant-yet-crappy action films and zombie movies!
  4. I am a bit of a survivalist at heart – I even wrote an article about it. A little bit of me is always planning for what to do in case of some sort of apocalyptic nightmare happens, and I find it hard to switch it off. One day I will probably end up living in an isolated cave with a tinfoil hat on my head, but never mind!
  5. I am on antidepressants, and currently am starting to wonder if I am perhaps on a slightly too high dosage. After all, I seem so incessantly cheery that I am giggling and joking nearly constantly. It is quite fun, but I will probably have a word with the doctor next time I go!
  6. I am starting to be more brave, because I used to not do a lot of things because they made me nervous. Amongst my new “brave” plans are going to salsa, joining a gym, and travelling on my own – although having just seen Wolf Creek, this won’t be in Australia!
  7. I always have a new project on the go. Sometimes they fall by the wayside due to a complete lack of time, but other times I stick by them. I am fickle you see, and like having lots of things to occupy my time!!

I can’t think of who to pass this on to, so I am going to take a leaf out of Amber’s book – if you want to be tagged, consider it done!

Knitting on a desert island March 23, 2009

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Crafting, Media, TV & Film, Meme.
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So I have shamelessly nicked this idea from Amber over at Forever Amber. The idea is to choose 5 things (based on the questions below) that you would take with you to a desert island. On which, I presume, you are totally and unavoidably stranded. Hey, look at it this way though – at least is sunny and hot!

  1. A food that can be planted and regrown.

Hmm… I think I would take fennel – I’d get the veg, the seeds, the leaves AND my breath would always smell sweet. Which comes in handy if Brad Pitt happens to be my rugged rescuer, appearing from the past when he was beautiful! Hmm, can’t believe I chose fennel… I really am odd!

2. A person you haven’t seen in a long time.

I would take Stephen in that case – I haven’t seen him in FAR too long, and together we should be able to swim to safety. And, he is with the NAVY (kinda) so will be (hopefully) able to get his navy pals looking for us. On a boat. Duh.

3. A book you (were) read as a child.

Hmm… how I wish I was read “how to escapefrom desert islands” as a child… I would take Enid Blyton’s “The Faraway Tree”, so I could live in a magical, imaginary world if the days get bad.

4. A celebrity.
Easy peasy, this one. Whilst I considered many handsome boys, I decided Ray Mears makes more sense – from sand he creatith food, from trees he creatith water. A magic man! If he is busy (voluntarily enduring some horrific situation involving scorpions and starvation!) then I will take Neil Gaiman, and use the chance to discuss him into the ground about his books!

5. The entire episode run of a television show (it’s a very nice desert island).

It would have to be Sex and the City, mainly because I still haven’t watched the original series’. Also, I would get my dose of shopping, this is assuming  that my desert island does not come with a shopping centre! A few weeks ago I would have said Buffy – but I have watched ALL of that now!!


Brill – what fun questions! On a compeltely different note, I have actually started to knit as I have been saying I would for ages! So far I can cast on as many stiches as I need (all based on internet based tutorials), but haven’t master the art of “the second row” (please insert ominous voice of your choice). It does look pretty though, and the wool is in my currenty favourite colour!

knitting casting on

My Aura January 29, 2009

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Inspiration, Meme.
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Copying Becki at Nectarville, I decided to see what my aura is…

Your Aura is Violet

Idealistic and thoughtful, you have the mind and ideas to change the world.And you have the charisma of a great leader, even if you don’t always use it!The purpose of your life: saying truths that other people dare not say

Famous purples include: Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Susan B. Anthony

Careers for you to try: Political Activist, Inventor, Life Coach



What Color Is Your Aura?