My Spring cleaning adventure Part 1.

My Spring cleaning adventure Part 1.

Me and my partner are always complaining that we never have time to clean the house between us. We go to work, come home, eat and sleep. We both work 12hr shifts and like many people put off anything more than the basic dust and hoover as really don’t want to spend what little time we have when we are both off and awake cleaning the house.

This is a struggle faced by many of my friends who are of working age. Unfortunately very few people enjoy cleaning there is always something we would rather be doing such as taking the kids to the park, relaxing in the garden or just watching TV.

We finally decided to bite the bullet and start our spring cleaning today. I have a few days off work so no time like the present to gain some control over the environment.

First thing we did was open the curtains and windows. A bit of fresh air helps to blow away the cobwebs and any lingering smells. Then we cleaned the windows to get the maximum amount of light into the house which also helps with shaking off the winter and finally acknowledging the spring. Natural light can play an vital role when combined with other factors it has amazing affects on individual moods uplifting and re-energising.

We used a combination of vinegar warm water and washing up liquid to clean the windows till they sparkled (or at-least no longer had cat fur stuck to them).

Next we flipped the mattress (to prolong its lifespan) and changed the bedding. The bedding gets changed regularly in our house but there is nothing better then fresh bedding when you have spent the day cleaning.

Then I spent the next hour sorting through my clothes organising them into four categories : Bin, charity, keep but put into storage, keep and put away. I was amazed by how many clothes I had been hoarding that didn’t fit me anymore. My wardrobe has now gone from an overflowing mess to a neatly folded delight.

Whilst I was sorting out my wardrobe my partner made a start on washing the bedding we had just changed, catching up on some laundry and starting dinner.

I hoovered the bedroom floor and used a damp cloth to get up cat hair stuck to the carpet.

After that we put out the washing together and decided to have tea and call it for the day.

Tomorrow I will clean downstairs whilst my partner is at work.

websites

http://myfrugaladventures.com/2013/04/homemade-glass-cleaner/ – where we got the window cleaner recipe from.

https://uk.pinterest.com/sonoga/diy-cleaning-tips/ some ideas for making your own cleaning products.

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Kindness its not just for Christmas

Quick Christmas appeal

Christmas is amazing I love Christmas. I love trying to guess what presents I’ve got and if my partner will like what I’ve got him. I love cooking and baking in the run up to the big day. I always try to save some money in the run up to Christmas so I can get something nice for Christmas day and New Year’s Eve.

In all seriousness though Christmas is a time for family, forgiveness and thoughtfulness it’s not just about the presents. Whilst many people are getting ready for Christmas day, worrying if they have bought the perfect gift for their children and if the everything will run smoothly or if there will be another argument over what to watch on tv, others just see it as another day on which they have to somehow make ends meet and survive.

Giving and receiving presents is lovely but there is no need to panic if your gift costs less than their gift. That is not what Christmas is about it’s about appreciating what you have and trying to share a little of what you have with others who have less.

This year I am supporting a Christmas charity organisation called the big give (link at bottom) who raise funds and co-ordinate their appeals to help you help the charity of your choice. You can choose from location and cause to decide where you want to spend your money.

I am also trying to make Christmas go further by trying to raise awareness of the need to help others and be kind not just at Christmas but all year round. This doesn’t have to be a financial commitment it can involve donating old items to charity or donating time or even just letting someone else get on the bus before you or holding a door when you didn’t have to.

I am collecting the stamps I receive on Christmas cards and giving them to charity. It’s a small gesture that doesn’t inconvenience me in any way and can help someone else.

Don’t just be kind for Christmas be kind wherever there is opportunity. The benefits include making another persons day and being aware that you have helped someone when you could have not.

I hope you all have a lovely christmas full of love and appreciation.

WARNING: over kindness can lead to a sense of fulfilment and the need to help strangers.

Links

http://www.thebiggive.org.uk/ -charity donations to location and cause of your choice

welcome autumn

its the end of the summer. tomorrow i will be traveling back to wales and hopefully continuing my blog with all the adventures i get up to with my friends. Already a few plans are forming of things we would like to try and people we want to try to reconnect with. after all it is so easy to lose touch with friends when away from the hub of university life despite all the advances in technology.

English: Fallen Autumn Leaves at an Arboretum ...

English: Fallen Autumn Leaves at an Arboretum in the UK (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes it’s easier and nicer to get back to basics and do things for yourself. pick up the phone or send a letter.

A few days ago i went blackberry picking and today was rewarded with some homemade jam. I am very much looking forward to tasting it knowing i will appreciate it more because i picked the fruit myself.

Blackberry

Blackberry (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today I decided that a new university year means a new start its back to the books and also trying to stay fit. I often find hat trying to balance study exercise and pleasure is difficult to achieve. it is easy to see friends by arranging to study together however it is more difficult to fit in exercise around studying and find the motivation to undertake it after spending the day working hard.

I am going to be testing an app for  the Iphone and android phones called zombie run in the hope it will motivate me to get a bit fitter in between my library sessions. ( I will let you know how i get on later in the month). if you want to check out my progress it will be available at https://www.zombiesrungame.com/Hiddencat12/

Once again thanks for reading.

The advantages of shopping around –reduced price TEFL course.

Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)

Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) (Photo credit: SEE TEFL Teacher Training)

 

Like many other students faced with a long summer and little job prospects I wanted to use the time wisely in some beneficial way. I decided after finishing my last assignment for the year that I would like to undertake a TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) course in my spare time. This would not only keep me occupied and look good on my CV but would also provide the potential for me to work abroad after completion of my degree.

Unfortunately most of the courses I looked into were over £200 which is a lot of money when you have nothing coming in. I was chatting about this problem with a fellow classmate and she suggested checking Groupon (a coupon sharing website). She had got her own course on the recommendation of a friend from the sight at only £50 for 160 hours. This inspired me to have a look for myself. Although £50 was still a lot of money it was significantly cheaper than any of the other courses I had looked into.

On the other hand this led me to wonder why this particular course was so cheap. If I bought it through the TEFL-LINK website it would cost me £560 for the same course I could buy via Groupon for just £50. I looked at the terms and conditions and found that the only thing not included in the course was the cost of postage for the certificate which would be an extra £5.

I decided the best thing to do was look for reviews of the course and the tefllink website. When these came back positive I decided to go for the much reduced course.

This made me realise that there was probably lots of potential savings on the web for things I had never even considered checking. This strengthened my resolve to check in future and try my very best not to pay more than necessary. I bookmarked groupon and moneysupermaket an am going to test them out next time I need to purchase something online.

http://www.moneysupermarket.com

My friend sent me the link for the course which is https://www.groupon.co.uk/deals/special/tefl-express/22121740

And tefllink can be found at http://www.teflink.com/

I hope this helps and you save money in future too. If you know of any other great ways of saving money please do share.

Best wishes

Rachael

May’s Jump Off The Ladder Challenge

Flickr today

Flickr today (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

I found an amazing challenge that I am going to attempt to undertake. This involves jumping off the social ladder and then learning to live with just the things you need leading to less stress and commitment. More info can be found here: http://tshirtsandtwine.com/2013/04/08/jump-off-the-ladder-challenge/  according to

Today is the first day of the challenge as per the rules

I have to remember to check back on the website and record my updates four times:
~ Once during the week of May 12th-18th
~ Once during the week of the 19th-25th
~ Once during the week of the 26th-31st
~ Once on or after June 1st.

According to the blog here is what you have to do:

  1. Enter the Jump Off the Ladder challenge by filling out the form at the top of the right sidebar before May 12th.
  2. Chronicle your progress by submitting updates once a week for the three-ish weeks of the challenge, and one final submission on or after June 1st to summarize your experience (for a total of four updates.)
  3. Win free stickers, and be entered in a drawing for a t-shirt!

How easy is that?! Now for some quick reminders about the criteria for the challenges.

Choose from one of the following “umbrella” categories:

  • Possessions
  • Time
  • Money

Design a personal challenge for your selected category. Some examples of personal challenges include not eating out (money), cutting all time commitments other than family and work/school (time), or living on only one or two pairs of shoes (possessions). Get creative, but remember that jumping off the ladder involves making a dramatic, scary, and possibly uncomfortable change for 20 days. If at the end of the 20 days you decide to go back to your status quo, that’s fine. Just be prepared to be pleasantly surprised by your success!

So there you have it. How easy is that? You can tailor the challenge to your own needs.

I am going to concentrate on Time and Money. I want to slow down and reclaim my time for myself. I also want to spend less money on processed food and supermarket shopping. Instead I want to use the few local shops more often and try making more food from basics.

I will update you on my progression. Support and feedback is as always appreciated. Why not  check it out for yourself at: http://tshirtsandtwine.com/category/blog/lifestyle/jump-off-the-ladder/

Grammer Girl

English: Wooden toadstools in Coed Moel Famau ...

English: Wooden toadstools in Coed Moel Famau There are four wooden toadstools at the side of the forest track here. They are labelled A,B,C and D. I assume that they are associated with the numeracy (and literacy?) trail that has been set up in Coed Moel Famau. See also 1249929 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After attempting a few of the literacy and numeracy practice tests for the QTS exam I decided I needed to do a bit more revision. Thankfully, I have a year to master the art of grammar and punctuation before I take the dreaded tests.

I already own the recommended books, but want some more practice without having to pay anything. My aim is to test a few numeracy and a few literacy websites that aim to help with key skills whilst working through the books.

The official site is:

http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/careers/traininganddevelopment/professional/b00211213/numeracy – numeracy practice test and resources

http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/careers/traininganddevelopment/professional/b00211208/literacy  – literacy practice test and resources

The first sites I am going to try is

http://www.grammar-monster.com  – a basic literacy site with tests

http://www.aplusgamer.com/index.jhtml?partner=^AF4^xdm005&gclid=CNKG8tmYibcCFWXJtAodU3QAxg  – an online game app for maths and english

http://keyskills4u.excellencegateway.org.uk/  – a key skills site that requires a free login but provides feedback

and http://www.tes.co.uk/teaching-resources/ – a website for teachers or those hoping to become teachers.

I will document my success and failures here. anyone who has any suggestions please do share or let us know how you yourself get on too.

Best wishes for the week

Rachael