Repairing Boots, School Lunches, Cupboard Clutter, Sentimental Hoarding & An Admission

Remember these?

Despite my best efforts to extend their life, they’ve been recycled. The parting incident was when one of the zips broke.

I don’t feel too bad about their demise. My old faithfuls triumphed against adversity on many an occasion, including a wet muddy hill trek in Wales.

Saying goodbye was made a little easier by the discovery of a pair of boots I’d forgotten I owned. The Hubby discovered them amongst some motorcycle gear, whilst decluttering the garage.

However I’m having a superscrimping deja vu moment.

I’m back to cleaning and repairing boots once more. I’m thinking superglue for the repair. I’m a superglue fan. If in doubt ‘stick it down’ is my motto.

Double deja vu, in that I’m also back to paying for school lunches. After costing it out and weighing up the pro’s and con’s of whether or not to make lunch I’d started packing a sandwich bag for my eldest this Summer.

It’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind. Although, I haven’t in fact changed my mind. Economically it makes sense to pack a lunch. But my Daughter has asked for a hot meal at lunch-time once more. So, I’ve relented. It’s not every day, only when I’m sure she will eat what’s on the menu. And as I’ve changed my mind once, I can of course change it back should I feel that she isn’t benefiting from the paid meal. Jury out at the moment!

The boots are zipped up and hot school meals are back on the menu. It must be Autumn.

It sure is.

There are leaves on the ground. There is also rubbish on the ground *she types in dismay*.

Time for a declutter in time for Christmas, me thinks. Particularly the kitchen. This is where I will be spending a lot of time in preparation for my simple, frugal, homemade holiday.

My kitchen is by no means minimal. I have 3 slow cookers and 36 spices for goodness sake! 😉

But I use them. For me it’s all about purpose and place. If it has both, it stays.

((In saying that certain items seem to be breeding in my kitchen (luckily not breathing items)).

So I’ll be doing a little more than a 10 minute tidy over the next couple of weeks, and probably will share here on the blog. It’ll motivate me to get started and do a good job.

One area of my life that I must get started on is my sentimental hoard.

Oh yes, It’s still hanging around and indeed growing once more. Whatever mental block I have is easing slightly, but not fully. I’m thinking of seeking professional advice… long overdue some may suggest. Watch this space!

Finally, I’m going to concede. The soup e-book is a non-starter this year. I’m not sure I’m an e-book writer. I like my blog posts, this is where I feel at home.

The plan is that I will post each soup recipe individually here, then get feedback (if you Guys would be so kind!), and aim to put it all together after Christmas and send it out. Being totally honest, I think without feedback it will be of inferior quality. And that wouldn’t be good enough, would it?

I’ve already posted a couple of the recipes, including probably the simplest soup in the world – Cauliflower Cheese. I’ll post one a week going forward.

That’s a wrap! Phew! I feel as though I’ve decluttered my mind. Anything you’d like to share or comment upon, please get stuck in.

Just in case you were wondering, I really appreciate you reading. Thank you

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{ 40 comments… add one }
  • Sharron October 2, 2012, 5:07 pm

    Hi Jo, still here 🙂 Just readin’ n runnin these days!! Life’s been pretty hectic round here. But placement has finished and back to uni, so things will be a lot calmer for autumn, my favourite time of year.

    *Steps on soapbox*….. Rubbish….We live on a main road, that also has a service road to our houses. It, as you can imagine has lots of people using it to get to the big major supermarket and they seem not to give a fig about flinging their rubbish anywhere and everywhere, to make matters worse there is a bin right on the corner of the road 🙁 I have gone out on many occasions and told them to pick it up, but they (in the majorty) don’t care. A bloke spat, yes spat outside my drive the other day i couldn’t go out as i was just out of the shower and wrapped in towell. I poured a kettle of boiling water over it. totally gross. I will leave the dog poo rant, you get the picture. *steps off soapbox*

    I’ve made the cauliflower cheese soup and it was lush Jo, it’s a keeper.

    Sharron x

    • simplybeingmum October 2, 2012, 5:40 pm

      Sharron – it’s good to have you back, I’ve missed your comments!
      Good to hear life’s settling down…
      I don’t get the rubbish dropping thing at all. It doesn’t make any sense. There’s one area where I visit (as shown above) that is particularly bad all year round and like where you are, there’s a bin right there.
      Glad you enjoyed the soup. Couldn’t get much simpler than that could it?

      • Sharron October 2, 2012, 6:10 pm

        Very simple indeed!! Really into soups lately. Can’t beat a nice bowl of soup and crusty bread!! Glad to be back!!

        Sharron x

  • Sharron October 2, 2012, 5:07 pm

    Hi Jo, still here 🙂 Just readin’ n runnin these days!! Life’s been pretty hectic round here. But placement has finished and back to uni, so things will be a lot calmer for autumn, my favourite time of year.

    *Steps on soapbox*….. Rubbish….We live on a main road, that also has a service road to our houses. It, as you can imagine has lots of people using it to get to the big major supermarket and they seem not to give a fig about flinging their rubbish anywhere and everywhere, to make matters worse there is a bin right on the corner of the road 🙁 I have gone out on many occasions and told them to pick it up, but they (in the majorty) don’t care. A bloke spat, yes spat outside my drive the other day i couldn’t go out as i was just out of the shower and wrapped in towell. I poured a kettle of boiling water over it. totally gross. I will leave the dog poo rant, you get the picture. *steps off soapbox*

    I’ve made the cauliflower cheese soup and it was lush Jo, it’s a keeper.

    Sharron x

    • simplybeingmum October 2, 2012, 5:40 pm

      Sharron – it’s good to have you back, I’ve missed your comments!
      Good to hear life’s settling down…
      I don’t get the rubbish dropping thing at all. It doesn’t make any sense. There’s one area where I visit (as shown above) that is particularly bad all year round and like where you are, there’s a bin right there.
      Glad you enjoyed the soup. Couldn’t get much simpler than that could it?

      • Sharron October 2, 2012, 6:10 pm

        Very simple indeed!! Really into soups lately. Can’t beat a nice bowl of soup and crusty bread!! Glad to be back!!

        Sharron x

  • anexactinglife October 2, 2012, 7:17 pm

    What a lovely kitchen! I’m with you, I call myself a “kitchen maximalist.” I look forward to more soup recipes.

  • anexactinglife October 2, 2012, 7:17 pm

    What a lovely kitchen! I’m with you, I call myself a “kitchen maximalist.” I look forward to more soup recipes.

  • Susan October 3, 2012, 2:10 am

    Jo, I absolutely adore your kitchen. Did you ever post the 360 video tour on FB as you mentioned in a previous post? I dream of redoing my kitchen and if I did, it would look very like yours. What type of material are your countertops? (doesn’t look like granite, but of course it’s hard to tell from the pic).
    You can go minimalist on many things, but you can never have too many spices!

    • simplybeingmum October 3, 2012, 7:08 am

      I didn’t post the tour (well remembered!). I’ve tried a couple of videos, but I’m not good at narration. It’s something on the backburner 🙂
      It is granite. Which looks nice I admit, and I do like it. But there are downsides to it. Firstly it shows the dust so I’m forever wiping it down (which I don’t like). It also shows water marks easily. On the practical side it’s very cold. Rolling icing or dough can’t really be done straight onto the counter. I use a large plastic mat – which is okay but does slip around sometimes and it can be frustrating. Nothing’s perfect is it? Case of adapting to your situation!

      • Susan October 4, 2012, 10:38 pm

        When I am able to remodel & build my ideal kitchen (cue dreaming music!) I’d love to have a baking center with a marble inset on the countertop for rolling dough. Or maybe even stainless steel, which would probably be less expensive & more practical. One nice thing about having old countertops that are already pretty beat – I don’t have to be overly fussy about setting down hot pots, cutting without a cutting board, etc. You’re right, nothing’s perfect but everything has it’s pluses!

  • Susan October 3, 2012, 2:10 am

    Jo, I absolutely adore your kitchen. Did you ever post the 360 video tour on FB as you mentioned in a previous post? I dream of redoing my kitchen and if I did, it would look very like yours. What type of material are your countertops? (doesn’t look like granite, but of course it’s hard to tell from the pic).
    You can go minimalist on many things, but you can never have too many spices!

    • simplybeingmum October 3, 2012, 7:08 am

      I didn’t post the tour (well remembered!). I’ve tried a couple of videos, but I’m not good at narration. It’s something on the backburner 🙂
      It is granite. Which looks nice I admit, and I do like it. But there are downsides to it. Firstly it shows the dust so I’m forever wiping it down (which I don’t like). It also shows water marks easily. On the practical side it’s very cold. Rolling icing or dough can’t really be done straight onto the counter. I use a large plastic mat – which is okay but does slip around sometimes and it can be frustrating. Nothing’s perfect is it? Case of adapting to your situation!

      • Susan October 4, 2012, 10:38 pm

        When I am able to remodel & build my ideal kitchen (cue dreaming music!) I’d love to have a baking center with a marble inset on the countertop for rolling dough. Or maybe even stainless steel, which would probably be less expensive & more practical. One nice thing about having old countertops that are already pretty beat – I don’t have to be overly fussy about setting down hot pots, cutting without a cutting board, etc. You’re right, nothing’s perfect but everything has it’s pluses!

  • Jo H. October 3, 2012, 4:07 am

    Interesting to hear more on the boot saga! Let us know how the super glue went? I have used rubber cement on footwear with good results but it’s fussy to use and you have to wait a day to let it cure; I’d like to find a quicker fix!

    Good luck with the sentimental clutter. Some of my kids’ things hung around until they had both left home. Suddenly, I realized that the precious items they had made for me were really just paper and glue and crayon, and not representative of who they had become 🙂

    • simplybeingmum October 3, 2012, 7:16 am

      The glue stuck in seconds. Literally seconds. I put the glue away, went back, job done. I’m a superglue fan, it tends to solve most of my sticky problems. And it was just a supermarket own-brand glue – 99p a bottle I think.
      It’s great to hear your take on the clutter. It’s reassuring to hear that all those years on, it doesn’t hold the same sentiment. Interestingly, even now when I look back I can’t remember why I kept some things. That’d suggest it’s time to go. I’m pretty sure I have some kind of OCD thing going on with paper hoarding. I’m much much improved, but years ago I used to save all the receipts if I went out or on holiday and used to have to stick them (back to glue – see very odd) in a scrapbook in chronological order. It was so bad I’d get anxious if I thought the waiter wasn’t going to leave a receipt. I was doing a similar thing with First-Born’s letters from nursery, cards etc… but haven’t done that with Second-Born – so I know I’m winning the battle with whatever it is!
      Feeling so motivated I’m going to have 10 mins on it later today. Think it needs to be broken down into bitesize pieces else it gets too overwhelming. Thanks!

      • Jo H. October 5, 2012, 5:02 am

        It sounds like you are getting there, Jo. Sometimes the first things are the hardest, because you are “breaking the perfect record” or “breaking the collection”, so to speak, but after first things go, it gets easier and is quite a relief. And sometimes it’s easier if you pick out “the best”, the ones you absolutely love, and put the rest away somewhere – and in a bit, try to think if there’s anything in that throwaway pile you’d actually miss. If you can’t, perhaps it can go without a second look. I’d be anxious until the things actually got picked up by the recycling truck, then just relieved! I actually think I have a bit of a problem too, but I’ve been reading about different ways to tackle it and trying them out, and the above two things are what has worked best for me. Everybody has to find their own way of handling it. I also find it’s like exercising a muscle – the more you do it, the stronger you become. Again, good luck.

        And I’m definitely going to try super glue next time I have a shoe/boot problem!

        • simplybeingmum October 5, 2012, 9:14 am

          Thanks Jo it does help to hear it gets easier, because actually you are spot on. It is getting easier, now I’ve broken the pattern! The glue is working a treat!

  • Jo H. October 3, 2012, 4:07 am

    Interesting to hear more on the boot saga! Let us know how the super glue went? I have used rubber cement on footwear with good results but it’s fussy to use and you have to wait a day to let it cure; I’d like to find a quicker fix!

    Good luck with the sentimental clutter. Some of my kids’ things hung around until they had both left home. Suddenly, I realized that the precious items they had made for me were really just paper and glue and crayon, and not representative of who they had become 🙂

    • simplybeingmum October 3, 2012, 7:16 am

      The glue stuck in seconds. Literally seconds. I put the glue away, went back, job done. I’m a superglue fan, it tends to solve most of my sticky problems. And it was just a supermarket own-brand glue – 99p a bottle I think.
      It’s great to hear your take on the clutter. It’s reassuring to hear that all those years on, it doesn’t hold the same sentiment. Interestingly, even now when I look back I can’t remember why I kept some things. That’d suggest it’s time to go. I’m pretty sure I have some kind of OCD thing going on with paper hoarding. I’m much much improved, but years ago I used to save all the receipts if I went out or on holiday and used to have to stick them (back to glue – see very odd) in a scrapbook in chronological order. It was so bad I’d get anxious if I thought the waiter wasn’t going to leave a receipt. I was doing a similar thing with First-Born’s letters from nursery, cards etc… but haven’t done that with Second-Born – so I know I’m winning the battle with whatever it is!
      Feeling so motivated I’m going to have 10 mins on it later today. Think it needs to be broken down into bitesize pieces else it gets too overwhelming. Thanks!

      • Jo H. October 5, 2012, 5:02 am

        It sounds like you are getting there, Jo. Sometimes the first things are the hardest, because you are “breaking the perfect record” or “breaking the collection”, so to speak, but after first things go, it gets easier and is quite a relief. And sometimes it’s easier if you pick out “the best”, the ones you absolutely love, and put the rest away somewhere – and in a bit, try to think if there’s anything in that throwaway pile you’d actually miss. If you can’t, perhaps it can go without a second look. I’d be anxious until the things actually got picked up by the recycling truck, then just relieved! I actually think I have a bit of a problem too, but I’ve been reading about different ways to tackle it and trying them out, and the above two things are what has worked best for me. Everybody has to find their own way of handling it. I also find it’s like exercising a muscle – the more you do it, the stronger you become. Again, good luck.

        And I’m definitely going to try super glue next time I have a shoe/boot problem!

        • simplybeingmum October 5, 2012, 9:14 am

          Thanks Jo it does help to hear it gets easier, because actually you are spot on. It is getting easier, now I’ve broken the pattern! The glue is working a treat!

  • Apple October 4, 2012, 11:19 am

    Jo, does your daughter want the hot school-meal for the food or to be able to eat whatever the others eat? If for the hot meal, why don’t you get a flask and fill it with warm food for her? I have those Thermos flasks from Tesco for when the kids want to take hot food to school. I pack spagetti, rizotto, even cut-up meat-spuds-and two-veg dinners into them.

    • simplybeingmum October 5, 2012, 9:16 am

      Hi Laura, I’m going to ask her about taking a hot meal. I think the attraction is going up and choosing, but it sounds as though she isn’t getting to pick what she wants anyway as a lot of meals have sold by the time she gets her turn. Thanks for the heads up, I’ll investigate!

  • Apple October 4, 2012, 11:19 am

    Jo, does your daughter want the hot school-meal for the food or to be able to eat whatever the others eat? If for the hot meal, why don’t you get a flask and fill it with warm food for her? I have those Thermos flasks from Tesco for when the kids want to take hot food to school. I pack spagetti, rizotto, even cut-up meat-spuds-and two-veg dinners into them.

    • simplybeingmum October 5, 2012, 9:16 am

      Hi Laura, I’m going to ask her about taking a hot meal. I think the attraction is going up and choosing, but it sounds as though she isn’t getting to pick what she wants anyway as a lot of meals have sold by the time she gets her turn. Thanks for the heads up, I’ll investigate!

  • Live and Learn-Toss and Turn October 4, 2012, 8:34 pm

    Inspired by your post, we are going to try to glue the soles of my husband’s shoes. I’m not sure how well it will work because the break is in a bend of the bottom that is always under stress. However, it’s worth a try because we already have the glue.

    • simplybeingmum October 5, 2012, 9:17 am

      You’ve nothing to lose! The way I look at it is if I extend the life just by say a month, then everytime I do it it accumulates into a much larger save over all! It’s the little things that make the difference long term, bit like saving cash!

  • Live and Learn-Toss and Turn October 4, 2012, 8:34 pm

    Inspired by your post, we are going to try to glue the soles of my husband’s shoes. I’m not sure how well it will work because the break is in a bend of the bottom that is always under stress. However, it’s worth a try because we already have the glue.

    • simplybeingmum October 5, 2012, 9:17 am

      You’ve nothing to lose! The way I look at it is if I extend the life just by say a month, then everytime I do it it accumulates into a much larger save over all! It’s the little things that make the difference long term, bit like saving cash!

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