Breaking up with Specsavers

My eyesight isn’t the best. I think things are further away than they are (many a childhood day spent walking into things or watching the TV out of the side of my eyes), and I have astigmatism in both eyes. I’m not writing this to get sympathy – far from it! I’m simply setting the scene of why I needed to go see an Optician in the first place.

So I’ve worn glasses since as long as I can remember. And contact lenses since my 16th Birthday – I love a practical gift!

Also just to note – this isn’t a post slating Specsavers – they’re great at what they do, and I’ve always had fab service. Other opticians are available ūüėõ

Anyway, since getting contact lenses, I’ve subscribed to their lens-mail scheme and happily received a well-organised package through the door every 3 months with a fresh batch of monthly contact lenses and solution. This cost me ¬£21.50 per month.

Now because I’m not great at remembering when I’ve started a new pair of contact lenses, a few pairs would build up, including many bottles of solution, to the point that I would go on a break from having them delivered every once in a while. I’m not gross, just human!

However, it’s only since taking a look at my direct debit’s and deciding whether I really needed some subscriptions, that I looked into purchasing contact lenses from an alternative company.

I feel you know where this is going.
The Math
£21.50 per month x 3 months of contact lenses = £64.50
¬£64.50 x 4 (to determine a year’s worth) = ¬£258

I found a company who can supply my contact lenses with solution and case for £46.79 for 3 months worth, working out at £15.60 per month. £187.20 per year. A £70.80 saving.

This isn’t rocket science. And I can’t believe I didn’t think about it before. But some things become routine and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But this is something I can definitely spend a little bit of time every 3 months to order.

There are perks to schemes such as this, such as a free eye test and money off glasses every year. But I didn’t purchase glasses often enough to justify the saving. Plus, the cost of an eye test is not ¬£70.

You might have already done something similar to this, so I’d love to hear what you’ve sussed out to save you casheesh!

Albert’s Girl x

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What’s important to you??

As much as I say to Albert “why weren’t we doing this all along?! We could have saved loads of money by now!!”, he puts into perspective our life and what being without a budget meant for us.

As I’ve said before, we were never late with our bills or rent or struggled to make ends meet, but there was always a sigh of relief when payday rolled around.¬† Sometimes we would look at our bank account and went “oh my, where’s our money gone?!?”, when we knew exactly where it went. It went to the pub for cheeky Friday¬†night drinkies. It went on that it’s-wednesday-so-lets-have-curry.¬† It went on that gym membership that I just did not use, no matter how much I was kidding myself.

And you know what, that was okay, and still is okay if that’s your¬†sitch.¬† Yea, we could have saved lots more. We could have said no to Friday night drinks. But we didn’t want to. We didn’t have any dependents (apart from the pooch and puss, who were always well fed), and lived in an area which was close to a really nice part of town, where we could walk easily to the pub or to a restaurant and socialise.¬† That was our lifestyle, and as much as I think that we could have saved more, it’s what I wanted to do/be like at that time.

And that’s okay!

Albert’s Girl x

Upcycling

I’ve used Preloved a handful of times over the years for various bits and pieces, but since moving house, it’s been great.

We’ve always moved with furniture that we’ve bought over the years, but a lot of it flat-packed which only lasts a few times being taken down and put back up before it starts to get a little worn.

So our plan was to replace items over the next few years when we have spare (ha!) cash or see something we like.¬† Something that’s not flat-packed and is solid in design. I do love pine!

When we moved into our house, we realised we didn’t have a stand for the TV, so with the help of Preloved, we managed to find a solid pine unit which houses the many games consoles that Albert has, as well as is the perfect size for our TV. All for ¬£30!

They had a coffee table too Рwhich I could resist for £20.

But the reason for this post is the little gem I managed to pick up this morning from a Pre-loved seller.

IMG-20180218-WA0000IMG-20180218-WA0002How cute is this?!

I am literally in love and so giddy! It was ¬£100 but definitely worth it! And that’s less than the listed price!

I even managed to make some pyjama bottoms out of an old duvet cover for the Mr! But that’s another post I think. I’ve already uploaded them onto Instagram if you want to take a peek!

Happy Sunday

Albert’s Girl x

 

 

Sew overwhelming

Yesterday was a bit of a write-off (get it ūüėČ) as the night before had been filled with lots of delicious food and many drinks with my soon to be brother-in-law and his wife. 3am came and went, with dancing to 90 cheese and totes emosh conversations occurring. So you can imagine we weren’t in the best state to be productive the next day.

However, I had the urge to be crafty…..not in a sneaky way.

Instagram is great for inspiration and getting the sewing/making vibe, but at the same time, I’ve got so many things I want to make from my stash, and things I want to make for our new house (I’ve got blackout material pinned to our bedroom curtains so guests get some good sleep – that’s as far as I’ve got!) that I just don’t know where to start!!

Maybe I should have a planner/diary of stuff to make – but that almost feels like it’s getting in the way and I should just make something!!

The more I don’t make something because I’m tied about what to make, the more frustrated I get.

Vicious sewing spiral.

However, I did, in the end, make a cheeky little bag to keep my coloured pencils in to try out the Janome sewing machine I had acquired from my friend who has gone on a travelling adventure. Check out their blog to follow their antics PittTraveling.
It needs a zip, but that’s something i’m¬†going to need to purchase another day. For now, this is enough to get me back into the swing of things!

Also – where’s the sewing emoji? Come on!!

Happy Sunday!!

Albert’s girl x

Moving House and Home

As I’ve come back to this blog, I’ve realised it’s been an awfully long time since I’ve posted. However, it’s not been a year yet since my last post – so i don’t feel as bad!

Life has moved on pretty dramatically since I last posted, as it does! So here’s a recap:

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Moving Home

There has been far too much adulting in the last 6 months which have seen us save up a deposit using the help to buy ISA the government so nicely add to; as well as purchase our first house (!) 50 miles down the road from where we used to live, and move house on 23rd December. Yes, we were crazy enough to take on Christmas and move house as well.

The help-to-buy ISA was relatively straightforward to use, and we set-up a standing order to transfer the amount we could afford into the account each month in order to save.¬† The ISA’s allow up to ¬£200 to be placed into the account each month, with an initial deposit max of ¬£1200.
The only frustrating thing we found when closing the ISA’s were that we needed to wait for a closing letter.¬† In the end, this was the final of 3 letters we received. It was VERY frustrating waiting for this through the post. The first was telling us the account had closed, the second a statement of the account, and then the third was another account closure letter, but stated that this was the one needed to gain the added bonus from her majesty.¬† I HAVE NO IDEA WHY THIS COULDN’T BE A LETTER I DOWNLOADED FROM MY BANK ACCOUNT. All the other bank statements I have are paperless, so why was this any different?!!

Anyway…
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Although I got quotes from removal companies to see best price/deal, in the end, those companies were fully booked and therefore we managed to source a company in Leicester (oh yeah – managed to miss the fact that this is where we’ve moved to!)
They were a little more pricey than others we found, but the fact they could move us relatively quickly and so close to Christmas was fab.

All in all, moving house at Christmas was actually relatively stress-free and quite nice (?!) I would recommend moving house over Christmas, as much as it was a bit of a stress trying to find a removal company who could move us so close to the holidays.¬† I say this as a person who doesn’t have kids so this might have made it more difficult. However, it was nice to know that we weren’t against the clock to go back to work, and had time to settle in and unpack at our leisure.
We still managed to get our tree up, and have a fab Christmas in our own home! As we weren’t able to put any decorations up before we moved (we could have, but I didn’t like the idea of unpacking something to pack it back up again!), I definitely didn’t feel festive until after Christmas day had been and gone.¬† It was our first Christmas on our own, which also made it pretty special, as normally we are travelling to see family.

I feel that’s enough of a post – moving house has taken over the last few months, and I can’t quite think what else we’ve actually had time to do!
If any first-time buyers have any questions about moving house, please feel free to leave a comment – happy to answer any questions. No question is a silly question!

I WILL post again soon!

Albert’s Girl x

Sewing : A personal history

Sewing is my sanctuary. It’s my place to dive into, to not think about work and to free my creativity from it’s everyday suppressive box.

My Mum taught me to sew when i was younger. She had a small Singer sewing machine (which I think she still has) that had a wheeled handle at the side which allowed the machine to move at your own speed. This was great at getting used to feeding the material through and getting to understand how the whole sewing-thing worked.

She then moved me onto another attendant propelled machine but this time was one that was operated by a foot lever. The lever was then attached by a shoestring of leather to the machine. This still allowed me to keep my own pace, but got me used to operating a machine with my feet!

Years passed, I grew up and sewing became a childhood memory. Mum passed onto me her old electric Singer sewing machine when she was moving house as she preferred the treadle machine. 

It sat in the loft for a while until about 6 months ago. 

I was seeing more and more things that I thought “I could make that” or was finding myself trying to work out the pattern/workings of the item.

I saw lots of tote bags becoming popular – good old 5p bag charge! I decided that this would be my first make! 

I then decided that since I can do that, I could make the dog a new bed! 

But that is for another post! 

Goodnight wordpressers!

Albert’s Girl x

Albert, the pooch and I

So my visit to Canada came and went. We got engaged, and had the most amazing time. It rained constantly, but that had very little impact on how glorious I found Vancouver and everything about it.

Ever since we’ve returned I’ve been in life planning mode. Thinking about practical purchases, what to do financially, and very adult discussions including mortgages and house prices (I’m far too young in my head for all this!).

Albert feels it would be too expensive to move to Canada and have a life there. He’s right if we were thinking about moving to Vancouver (there is some pricey housing to say the least!) but we’re in agreement that we would regret it if we didn’t at least try.

So I’m hoping to be able to document all the stages and experiences that come with moving abroad in the years to come, so others can get an idea of the processes and requirements that are needed. ¬†In other words, the worlds longest how-to guide!!

In the meantime, I’d like to keep posting into the ether, about my life with Albert, my passion for sewing (everyone seems to be so i’m jumping on the proverbial bandwagon!) and all other of life’s trials and tribulations. ¬†At least this might allow you (the reader) to take time out of your own lives to know that – life’s shit sometimes, but you’re not alone!!

All the best wordpressers!

Albert’s Girl x

 

 

Current Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

I’m here. Have been for 4 days now. I’m loving it!

It’s picturesque, the locals are friendly, and all I want to do is keep exploring this stunning city.

It’s everything I thought it would be AND MORE!!

We’ve been living like locals taking the bus (and Seabus!!) to explore the neighborhoods and cities. ¬†Having dinner and looking in shops, comparing everything to back home and naturally putting a better spin on everything here.

I’m probably making things seem better than they are in England, and I should maybe give the mother land a break. ¬†But this place is AWESOME!!

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Oh, and something that makes this place the best place in the world..

Albert and I got engaged!!

Albert’s Fianc√©

x

2 more sleeps

I’ve never been a person to count sleeps as a measure of time before an event. I think it’s more of a “Northern thing” ( being originally from the big smoke). 

But tonight is packing night, ready for tomorrow to head down to my aunt’s house. From there we will get a lift to the airport and say goodbye to this Kingdom for 2 weeks.

I have tonnes left to do, and my community caseload needs organising so it won’t go wild while I’m away. 

But I’m going to Canada in 2 sleeps, so meh!

Albert’s girl x

3 days

This time on Thursday I will be on a plane flying high above the Canadian clouds en route to Vancouver.

I am beyond excited!!

Although there is a part of me that is mega worried I have forgotten something to plan or pack (although I know I have 3 days to remember stuff!!). ¬†It’s still a very exciting yet nervous time!

Flights sorted. Travel insurance bought. Transfers from the airport booked. Accommodation sorted.

I think because this is my first time ever visiting the country I think I could settle in, I am putting way to much pressure on this trip being amazing.

However, if I needed more reason as to why it is fate that I live in this country I found it this weekend.
Albert enjoys video games and all things Nintendo/X Box/Playstation related.  The weekend we will be arriving in Vancouver, there is a convention which is host to lots of retailers and game enthusiasts which Albert is all over and all about going to!

Another sign I have had was waiting at a roundabout to take the last exit. ¬†A massive haulage lorry passes me, with my last name and “International Removals” brazened on the side.

I don’t think I need any more signs! (I’m obviously a fully functioning adult without a cognitive or neurological deficit who understands and is aware that it takes more than coincidences for life-changing decisions to be made)

But it helps!

Love

Albert’s Girl x