Friday, 7 October 2011

1 Year.

So it's been just over a year since I started my challenge, and about 3 months since I finished it. It's crazy to think that this time last year I was living off a tenner a week to raise money for charity. And although I raised over £2000....I would never do it again. It's only now that I can look back on it and realize how stressed I was...like, crazy stressed. And I missed out on SO much! It's only been the past couple of months that I've actually gotten back into going out and having fun...and it is amazing. I didn't realize how much I missed it or took it for granted before!
I have learnt some lessons, I am still buying Sainsbury's basics range...although I treated myself to 'real' yoghurt's instead of the basics range (if you can remember my post, they weren't nice). And even though I have treated myself to new clothes, I now make sure that it's either something I NEED or it's in the sale...although I did treat myself to a new pair of Kurt Geiger shoes, which I didn't need at all...but they were on sale ;)
I look back and I still can't believe I sacrificed my living standards for NINE months, to raise money for charity. Yes it was a good thing to do, and I guess you would call it selfless, but still...I was living off rubbish. I gained 3kg from eating crap food. I couldn't go out and socialize with friends as often as most people, and I couldn't get the bus if I was tired after Uni...I had to walk. So I'm happy to admit I am glad it's over.
A huge thank you to everyone who donated, you helped me raise over £2000 for the four charities, with all of it going to VERY worthy causes!
Also I have a new blog! www.luxlife-blog.com

Friday, 26 August 2011

Royal Overseas League Article.

For the past couple of years I have been a member of the Royal Overseas League. They were kind enough to write an article in their magazine (Sept-Dec issue) about my £10 a week challenge, which I received in the post yesterday. It was a great article, unfortunately they got a couple of important things wrong though...the title they put was '£10-a-day charity challenge' £10 a day - I wish haha! If you are here and reading this because the that article sent you here, then it was £10 A WEEK...not a day. It also says in there that I live with my parents...this is also wrong. I DO NOT live with my parents. I live with some friends in a house in London near our University, which we rent ourselves.
I do feel that these two vital bits of information are mis-leading....anyone can live off £10 a day, and if I lived with my parents surely I could have eaten their food?
But no, it was £10 a week (£1.50 a day), and I lived in my own rented house....so I had to buy all my food etc myself, and pay for it all myself with that £10 a week budget.
If you are here from that article, please take the time to read through my blog which will explain everything to you, and if you would like to donate you can do so by clicking on the 'Just Giving' widgets on the right hand side of this post ---------->
:)

Friday, 1 July 2011

Updates

So it's been just over 2 weeks since I finished my challenge, I'm kinda missing the whole blogging thing, and I'm actually struggling to spend a lot of money :/
I now seem to have something in my head telling me not to spend a lot of money, and to budget constantly.
It's been lovely flashing the cards around again and it's amazing to be able to go out when I want and spend money on eating out *mmmm pancakesss and smoothie*.
I am also SO glad that Coca Cola bought out their 125 year anniversary coca cola bottles AFTER I finished my challenge, because although they're only £1.99 each at Selfridges, delivery costs are £4.95! Oh...yeh...btw...I collect coca cola bottles :/ sad I know, but I love them!
So far I've raised £2029 including gift aid and offline donations. If you would like to donate please read the information below, choose which charity you would like to donate to, follow the link to the charity Just Giving page by clicking the name of the charity that's in red, and then click 'donate'. It takes less than 30 seconds to donate via Just Giving and you can do it from all over the world, using any debit or credit card, and they also accept paypal :)
Hughes Syndrome causes headaches and migraines, memory loss, dizziness, strokes, heart attacks, blood clots in the arms/legs and lungs - all of which are potentially fatal. It is also a leading cause of recurrent miscarriage. We aim to achieve earlier diagnosis and treatment of Hughes Syndrome.
Home-Start Guildford helps parents build better lives for their children. Trained volunteers provide practical and emotional support to parents with at least one child under 5, who are struggling and who may be suffering from post-natal depression, illness, disability, bereavement, isolation, multiple births... or just not coping. With your help, we can give parents the strength they need to do what has to be one of the toughest, but most rewarding jobs anyone can do. We can help them to be the mums and dads their children need them to be. Parents supporting other parents: a simple idea that really works!
Tommy's funds medical research into the causes of premature birth, stillbirth and miscarriage, and provides an information service about health in pregnancy.
LUPUS UK is the only national charity supporting people with the immune system illness Lupus. It has a number of groups throughout the UK and supports over 6,000 members through these groups. It also provides funding for medical research into this life threatening and debilitating illness.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

You can now donate via text!

Great news! You can now donate to my Just Giving pages via text!
All you have to do is text 'TPPT70 £5' to 70070. So it's quicker and easier than ever! So no one has any excuses now...now go donate everyone who hasn't already!! I'm still over half way off my target.
Thanks :)
The Bupa 10k Results are also up;

Thursday, 16 June 2011

I'VE FINISHED!!!!

So it's Thursday, and I have now officially my £10 a week charity challenge! It has been a very long 9 months...9 months of eating basic food, 9 months of not buying new clothes, 9 months of wearing leggings and a cardigan full of holes, 9 months of not being able to go out whenever I want, 9 months of not being able to spend what I want when I want, 9 months of sitting in my room watching movies online, 9 months of scrounging food of parents and friends, 9 months of desperately trying to raise as much money as possible for 4 very worthwhile charities, 9 months of explaining to people what I'm doing and why, 9 months of explaining the rules and how it works to people, 9 months of basically living in poverty...oh, and running 10k in boiling hot heat through the middle of London without my asthma inhaler.
Thank goodness it's all over!
BUT
I do still need donations! My target is £4000....so far I've raised almost £1800 including gift aid and offline donations. So please please donate to these amazing charities! You can choose just one or you can donate to more than one. Every little helps, for example, if everyone on my Facebook friends list donated just £1, we would raise almost £600. And then if everyone suggested it to their friends, and all of their friends donated just £1, we would raise thousands!
So just think, if everyone on my friends list donated £10, we would raise almost £6000!!!
The two charities with the least amount of donations are Home-Start Guildford and Lupus UK, so if you would like to donate please donate to these two first;
So here is my very last budget list;

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Budget:
£2.99 - Pot of Raspberries - M&S
£3.50 - Salad - M&S
£1.50 - 2 chocolate bars - M&S
Total = £7.99
Final thoughts:
Would I ever live off a tenner a week again? Um...if I had a choice...No. It was hard. And there were times I felt like I really couldn't do it any more, but each time I felt that I just thought of the charities and why I was doing it.
Was it worth doing? Yes. It was rewarding and taught me the values of budgeting. I now know of ways to save money when shopping (using vouchers is a main one!), and I now understand when I want something compared to when I actually NEED something. So I won't be making the mistake I did in my first year of Uni where I spent money so needlessly.
Would I recommend it to others? Yes, but not for the same amount of time. It would be good to do for a month or two, just to teach people the values of budgeting and learning what you need compared to just what you want. 9 months was a huge challenge, and a very difficult one. It tests you and pushes you to your limits and is also unhealthy - I gained 3kg during the challenge because I was eating awful foods...I can't wait to buy loads of fresh fruit and veg!
So I guess this is the end. I will post more updates on how I'm finding it living off a 'normal' budget, and also how I'm getting on with the sponsorship donations. But for now, I'm off to buy some new leggings and a new cardigan so I no longer look like a tramp. Toodles x

Thursday, 9 June 2011

1 WEEK TODAY!

I FINISH 1 WEEK TODAYYY!! WOO!
Just had to share that with y'all :)
I've raised almost £1800 so far, but with a target of £4000 (£1000 for each charity) I've still got a way to go yet! If you would like to donate please CLICK HERE and choose a charity to donate to. And remember you can donate to more than 1 if you feel generous ;)

Monday, 6 June 2011

10k Run and only 2 weeks left!

So I only have 2 weeks left of my £10 a week challenge! Woo!
Chris and I went back to Uni for a couple of days last week so we had to get some shopping in. Lol we went to ASDA and Chris kept putting things in the trolley that went over my £10 limit (seriously...as if I was gonna spend over £3 on Jack Daniels sauce!) so he was getting kinda annoyed when I kept making him put things back. In the end he got so fed up he just bought his own food. My Aunty later pointed out that we should have done a £20 budget instead of £10 because there were two of us.
My mum and I did the 10k run in aid of Tommy's last Monday. They were handing out free lucozade and snacks so I got loads :P
It was so tough, It was boiling hot and they only had one water station at around 3k's. I had to stop at the paramedic station half way round for a puff of someone else's asthma inhaler because I left mine at home :/ oops.
It was an amazing experience though and it was for such a good cause. Whenever I was slowing down and felt like giving up, there would be someone there cheering us on and it made me remember exactly why I was doing it. We raised over £400 for Tommy's - the baby charity, and are welcoming as many donations as possible for this amazing cause.
Tommy's research into miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth and provide help and support to those who have been affected. With 1 in 4 women losing a baby to miscarriage or stillbirth, everyone will know someone who has lost a child.
From my £10 a week challenge and the 10k run I have raised £1772.61! We're almost half way to my target of £4000, so please please keep donating :) It's for four very good causes!

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Budget:
£2.50 - 8 tins of tuna - ASDA
£2.50 - Lasagne dish - ASDA
£1.66 - Chicken breasts with a tomato and pepper sauce - ASDA
£0.50 - Carrot batons - ASDA
£1.00 - Mushrooms - ASDA
£0.60 - Chocolate - Work
£0.50 - Crisps - Work
Total = £9.26

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Center Parcs

23rd May - 29th May 2011
This week me, my boyfriend, my best friend, her partner and my god-daughter all went on holiday together to Center Parcs at Sherwood Forest. We got a really good deal and Chris wanted to go away somewhere so he offered to pay my share...obviously I agreed! Turn down a free holiday? I don't think so! It only cost about £400 for 4 adults and an infant for 4 nights in an executive lodge! Bargain!!
We had a fantastic week and it was great to catch up with Anna, Allan and baby Rosie. She's so gorgeous, and a complete joy to be around. And she's REALLY good...she only ever cries when she's hungry or tired!
We spent loads of time in the pool (it's free :P) which Rosie loved, and then we also went on a boat ride (which she also loved...until it got cold...).
There are some photos at the bottom :)
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Budget:
£3.00 - boat ride - Center Parcs
£2.75 - My share of the huge ice-cream sundae at Hucks
Total = £5.75
Me and my beautiful God-daughter Rosie
The boys cooking our BBQ
Rosie loving the pool!
Me and Anna with the huuuuge ice cream sundae at Hucks that we all treated ourselves to :)
it only cost £11 for all 4 of us!

London

16th May - 22nd May 2011
This week I got treated to lunch and the cinema by my boyfriend, and then we went to London, so I paid for my own ticket :P which used up most of my budget! We did heaps of free stuff when we got up there, we walked everywhere and went all over the place. Chris was really mean and took me into Harrods and up Oxford Street...but obviously I couldn't buy anything, which was very frustrating.
This week also marked 1 month until I finish!! Only 1 month left! I can't believe I've been doing this for 8 months...it's actually gone pretty quick :/
____________________________________________________
Budget:
£8.80 - Train ticket
£0.60 - Chocolate - Work
Total = £9.40

FREEE!

9th May - 15th May 2011
So I am now officially free from Uni! It is now officially the summer holidays! I had my last exam on Friday 13th :) And my boyfriend Chris arrived from Australia the day before on the 12th (which means I get to go out for dinner for free :P) so I'm now super happy that he's here and exams are over :) wooo!
After my final exam I went for lunch with the girls at Loco's, th
e Uni bar. They do the nicest food everrr and its super cheap!
Oh, you're also probably wondering why I've hardly brought shampoo/conditioner and deodorant this year haha...I had heaps of points on my boots card so I've been using them all up...I only have a couple of hundred left now from the thousands I had when I started :(
BUT I did buy some Frizz Ease hair product from Sainsbury's the other day because it was in the clearance section reduced from £5 or something! I even got a photo :)
____________________________________________________
Budget:
£4.00 - Lunch - Loco's
£0.60 - Chocolate - Work
£1.00 - Hot chocolate - Work
£2.30 - Frizz Ease hair product - Sainsbury's
Total = £7.90

Figs!!

2nd May - 8th May 2011
So after months of searching and waiting, ASDA FINALLY do tinned figs in syrup! Yummyyyy!!! I got 2 tins :) they're only 80p each! Was so excited when I saw them on the shelf...which is kinda sad. But hey, that has what my life has become from living on a shoestring...getting excited about cheap but yummy food.
Now that I'm back home for the summer I'm not spending money on food, so hopefully I might be able to treat myself a bit :) I'm back at Uni ever so often just for a night or so, which is why I got the spaghetti and meatballs...I'm lazy and couldn't be bothered to cook.
____________________________________________________
Budget:
£1.60 - 2 tins of figs - ASDA
£1.30 - Spaghetti and meatballs - Tesco
£0.60 - Chocolate - Chocolate from work
£5.00 - DVD - HMV
Total = £8.50

Healthy start :)

25th-1st April 2011
I was determined to have a healthy week, so I went into Sainsos and just went straight to the things on my list. I didnt go anywhere near the cookies or chocolate! Unfortunately my healthy week only lasted a week.... :/
____________________________________________________
Budget:
£1.00 - Carrot Batons - Sainburys
£1.35 - Rye bread - Sainsburys
£1.89 - Basics chicken slices - Sainsburys
£1.39 - Basics Avocado x 4 - Sainsburys
£0.65 - Wheatbran breadsticks - Sainsburys
Total = £6.28

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

My Birthday!

Well last Monday (April 18th) was my 20th birthday! I feel old...and my boyfriend was so lovely as to remind me I'm half way to being 40...
Anyway, my mum took me and my brother (dad was working) to Portsmouth (gunwharf quays) for the day, where all I bought was foundation, seeing as mine had just run out. Then we went out for a family dinner in the evening which was lovely, aand after that I went out into town with the girls :) I was on tap water but then i was bought something a bit stronger lol!
Apart from working I've been trying...note...trying...to study for my exam next week. I can't do it. I hate exams...I'm awful under pressure and can never remember anything I've learnt. I just freeze as soon as I enter the room and my brain becomes a big foggy mess!
Oh, and we also finished the Wave Stone advert! So I will put that up when the website goes live next month :)
____________________________________________________
Budget:
£9.29 - Foundation - Boots
Total = £9.29

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Easter holidays!

Well....I can't remember what I spent last week. I have a weird feeling I didn't spend any money...I can't remember handing over any cash, and I've checked my bank statements to see if I used my card at all and I haven't used it for weeks :/ Confused!!
So I'm afraid you're gonna have to wait until I remember for the budget section!
All I did last week was work, go running, and edit The Wave Stone advert...hmm...*trying to remember what I spent money on*
Usually I write it all down in a notebook...but for some reason I didn't last week...which also makes me wonder if I spent anything!
Well, apart from apparently not spending any money, I'm enjoying the Easter Holidays and being back home :) home comforts are good. And it was my birthday on Monday...but I will tell you about that in next weeks post.
OH! I just remembered!! I bought a bag of dried figs for £1.38 from Tesco's! And I had lunch with a friend on the day we were editing :)
I can't remember exactly how much lunch cost...I just remember it was under £5...so I'll just put it down as £5.
____________________________________________________
Budget:
£1.38 - 250g Dried Figs - Tesco
£5.00 - Lunch - Uni Canteen
Total = £6.38

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

The Wave Stone

So because I'm back at home for the Easter Holidays, I've been able to spend money on things others than food for my fridge! I went out for dinner with a couple of friends last week, we went to Zizzi's and used a voucher :) With the voucher we shared a starter (dough sticks - yummmmyy), and then I had a pizza...with extra avocado :P We stuck to tap water, so the bill with the voucher only came to £8 each! I worked quite a bit last week, and then I also filmed an advert with a friend (I directed, she filmed) for the new 'Wave Stone' product that's being released next month :) we're now in the process of editing. So I will keep you all updated on that! You can also get updates by joining the Wave Stone facebook page - clickon the following link; facebook.com/wavestone (Yes it looks really dodgy...but I promise it's a massage stone. And strictly for external use only.)
____________________________________________________
Budget:
£1.89 - Lunch at work
£8.00 - Dinner with friends
Total = £9.89

Friday, 1 April 2011

Alex Rider - The Final Chapter

28th March - 3rd April
So since I was about 11 years old I've been really into a book series called the 'Alex Rider' series. Some of you may have read the books. Like Harry Potter, I've grown up with the books. Each year I've waited patiently for the next one to come out, bought the new book as soon as it was released, and then stopped whatever I was doing or had planned to read it. A lot of people grow out of books, but I became so hooked on these that I never grew out of them, I just grew up with them :)
So my excitement at seeing the new book advertised in Waterstones last week, turned to sadness as I realized it was the last one. It was half price if I pre-ordered it so instead of £6.99 it was £3.49. And I even got another free book with it!
I went to pick it up last Thursday morning, as soon as it came into store, and nearly started crying as the guy handed it to me...all I could think was, 'this is the very last time I will buy one of these books...my childhood has ended'.
The Harry Potter books finished a couple of years back when I still considered myself a 'child', but with my 20th birthday coming up in a couple of weeks....I just couldn't help but feel like my childhood was officially over. It's strange how a character in a book can have such a huge influence on your life. My mum got me started on the books when I was certain I wanted to work for MI5 when I was older....the books actually changed my mind, as I realized I could never be a secret agent when I was terrified of heights!
But from the very first chapter of 'Stormbreaker', I was well and truly hooked. The only negative about the books is they all have different covers, instead of being continuous...which really annoys me, because then they don't look good on my bookshelf.
I have all 9 books proudly displayed on my book shelf;
Stormbreaker,
Point Blanc,
Skeleton Key,
Eagle Strike,
Scorpia,
Ark Angel,
Snakehead,
Crocodile Tears,
Scorpia Rising
I finished the book on Saturday - it was amazing. And so sad. I won't give away any spoilers lol. But I'm glad it had a 'sort of' happy ending :)
Also, my mum and I ran/walked 2.9 miles last week! It took us 40 minutes, and we ran half and walked half :) So that's half way to the 6 miles (10k) we need to do at the end of May. We did ruin it afterwards though...my mum treated me to a Burger King :/
How could I say no!? I haven't been able to afford a Burger King since last summer because it's so expensive now!
The rest of the week I basically worked full time at the Spectrum, as it's now the Easter Holidays!! So I'll be at home even more :)
I didn't actually do anything else last week apart from work :( how sad!
____________________________________________________
Budget:
£2.41 - Dinner at work
£0.89 - Ice cream - Wimpy
£3.49 - Book - Waterstones
Total = £6.79

Bowling and ASDA!

Oh wow. I can't remember what I did last week. Umm...ok, freaking out.
Well I remember going to ASDA for my food shopping...aaaand, oh yeh and I went into town and wandered round looking longingly into shop windows. But I did get some gifts, which cheered me up...even though the items aren't for me. And then I had work, and Uni, and the rest of the time I walked the dog, went running and watched movies lol! Oh yeh and I went bowling with the work crew! Because we work at the Gym in Guildford Spectrum, we get bowling for only £1 per person per game, and we had 2 games, so that only cost £2, which suited my budget very nicely :) so I had a lovely evening out with everyone.
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Budget:
£1.86 - Bag of grated cheese - ASDA
£1.33 - Chicken Korma with rice - ASDA
£2.00 - BBQ Chicken Pizza - ASDA
£2.00 - 2 games of bowling - Guildford Spectrum
£0.89 - Ice cream - Wimpy
£1.00 - Weight Watchers cookies (x18) - Poundland
Total = £9.08

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Comic Relief Week

So last week was Red Nose Day (Comic Relief)...this has absolutely nothing to do with my challenge...I didn't even watch it because I was working all night, but I did see this video. Peter Kay and Susan Boyle. Awesome. Fantastic. Hilarious. Amazing.
I love Peter Kay so much...he NEVER disappoints! Everything he does is incredibly funny and has my rolling on the floor clutching my stomach from laughter.
So anyway, last week I had to re-stock my fridge (£6.51 to fill it), which ate up most of my budget :( But I did have some money left over to buy myself an ice cream at work, and also a bar of chocolate :P Which I shouldn't have done...but I've been working so much lately I needed it.
Last week not a lot happened...I just worked a lot and went to Uni.
I've posted a photo of Eric Elephants below my budget, so you can all see them and go buy them...they're amazing. They're the same as M&S's Percy Pigs, but instead of being £1.29 or something stupid, they're only 39p and taste even better!
Also, I'd just like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who has donated the past couple of weeks! I'm so overwhelmed by people's generosity and so grateful. A couple of hours ago we hit the £1000 mark! So we're a quarter of the way there :)
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Budget:
£0.76 - Bag of 7 pears - Sainsos
£0.45 - Milk - Sainsos
£0.59 - Crumpets - Sainsos
£1.00 - 2 Bags of 5 cookies (so 10 in total)...they were doing buy 1 get 1 free!!! - Sainsos
£0.29 - 4 Basics Fruit Yoghurts - Sainsos
£1.33 - Box of 5 Cheez Dippers - Sainsos
£1.00 - 5 bananas - Sainsos
£0.70 - 4 Baking Potatoes - Sainsos
£0.39 - Eric Elephants - Sainsos
£0.89 - Ice Cream - Wimpy's
£0.60 - Chocolate - Work vending machine
= £8.00

Monday, 14 March 2011

Fed up with living off a tenner a week

So I guess I told you about my most exciting event from last week in my previous blog post. I got 2 books for a total of £5.10 from British Bookshops in their closing down sale! So I'm afraid I haven't got much else to tell you, other than the training for the Bupa 10k is going...ok. I'm still having problems with my ghetto bum...and my asthma's been playing up, so I'm off to get a new inhaler tomorrow :)
Also I'm a bit worried because I've been getting chest pains and heart palpitations/flutters?! It's really annoying and uncomfortable! Hmm...I'll ask the doc when I go to get my inhaler tomorrow. Also I'm really annoyed that my blog has all of a sudden stopped letting me use paragraphs...it's quite happy to let me have paragraphs when I'm writing or editing a post...bt when I publish it it ignores my paragraphs and bunches it all together :(
I've also been finding it really difficult to not spend money...and I'm kinda getting fed up with this whole living off £10 a week thing. I miss things like going to concerts, getting my eyebrows done (personally I love it and I actually find it a relaxing 10minute luxury for me), going out for dinner with friends, or going into London whenever I want. I've discovered I can buy books with my budget, and I guess if I really wanted I could go to Primark for cheap clothes...but to be honest I have so many clothes I just don't need any new ones at the moment so I'm still wearing what I bought a year or two ago. So it's more the big 'looking forward' to things and events I miss. I'm just bored with everything right now and need something to look forward to.
Good news - so far I've raised £922.58 including gift aid.
Big thanks this week to Adam Read for his very generous donation, and also Nick and Karen Chapman.
Also, last week I watched a TV programme called '23 Week Babies -The Price of Life'...it literally reduced me to tears...I was bawling my eyes out! It's on BBC iplayer for you to watch, and even if you just watch the first 10 minutes it will make you realize why we need to raise money for Tommy's. We need to help Tommy's raise money so they can carry out research to try and prevent babies from being born so early to give them a better chance of survival.
You can only watch it in the next couple of days though before it's 7 days is up and it gets taken off iplayer.
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Budget:
£2.10 - Book
£3.00 - Book
£0.60 - Chocolate Bar
£0.80 - Special K Bar
= £6.50

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

World Book Night

This week has been brilliant! I've got so many new books...and they only cost me £5.10! On Sunday at Waterstones they were giving out FREE books for their World Book Night 2011...I got two, 'Agent ZigZag' and 'Love in the Time of Cholera'. And then today British Bookshops had 70% off all books because they're closing down this Thursday due to Administration. So I was very excited to find a clothbound hardcover puffin classic of Peter Pan, for only £3 reduced from £10! And it's RRP is £12.99! So I basically got £10 off it. And then I also got a Nicholas Sparks book 'A Message in a Bottle'. They came to a total of £5.10 so I'm even considering going back in tomorrow to see what else I can find! I'm spending the majority of this week at home anyway so I'm tempted just to spend my whole £10 budget on books. Anyway, so that's this week. But last week I didn't spend anything on food either because again I was home all week. I'm getting so lazy with being at Uni, so the only way I actually go out running and training for our 10k run is with my Mum dragging me out of the house every night. I really need to get the balance right between living at Uni AND training by going out running. I think I'm just gonna have to get the girls to drag me out the house and lock me out to make me run. I just don't really fancy running around Hillingdon and Uxbridge...I'm kinda scared my trainers will get nicked :/ Basically I need to start living at Uni again and spending money on food...coz I kinda feel guilty not doing that :S I've just been really down the past few weeks about not being able to treat myself and spend any money...so it's been nice spending money on myself for once instead of on food. Also, do you think I should include charity donations in my £10 a week budget!? I'll put a new poll up so you can all decide... Here's a couple of photos of my new books and my very pretty Peter Pan book :) So anyway, last week's budget was;
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Budget:
  • £5.00 - I sponsored my friend Ross who ran the Bath Half in aid of MERGE
  • £0.60 - A pack of Mentos
  • £1.10 - Car Park fee
= £6.70

Friday, 4 March 2011

Problems with my 'Ghetto' bum

My mum and I have been training for our Bupa 10,000 run in May. It's 10k's which is just over 6 miles. We're struggling. Ha! We're not the most athletic people in the world and in the past I have done everything possible to get out of doing sport...especially running. One time I was so determined not to do PE at school that I 'accidentally' lost a sock...and then myself and my bestie Emma spent the entire double period sitting in the showers pinging hairbands against the walls and playing 'MASH' to pass the time :P So yes, I'm not a big fan or sport. Or anything that needs real physical effort. Unless you're getting something out of it I don't see the point, I just don't enjoy it. I do however, enjoy swimming, tennis, sailing and ice skating. I skated for about 6 years, and completed grades 1-10 in ice-skating and got my bronze, silver and gold, and then I swam for about 8 years, and I completed all of my swimming 'badges' and survival things or whatever. I actually used to be really active...but then I got lazy and now I just do everything for fun every so often instead of every day of every week. 

But anyway, this 10k run is all for a good cause, so it's different...although that doesn't mean I'm enjoying the stitches, knee pain, period cramps and breathlessness thanks to my asthma. If anyone can tell me why exactly I get period pains every time I run...that would be most helpful!? It's rather annoying and painful having them when I don't even need them... I'm not exactly a natural runner...I'm asthmatic, I have knee problems, but worst of all, I have a 'ghetto' bum. The most painful and uncomfortable thing about this running thing is my bum wobbling every time I run. My 'ghetto' bum doesn't cause me any problems in day to day life...in fact I actually like it. But running....it's a nightmare! It seriously needs its own sports bra. At times its been so uncomfortable I've had to run along holding it. So if you happen to pass by the merrow/guildford area and see a girl wearing bright pink trainers clutching her bum...it's me. Wondering what a ghetto bum is? I'm not quite sure...but my flatmates last year exclaimed 'you've got a right ghetto bum!' when I was lying on the floor in the hallway one day (yes...this was a common occurance in Flat 52 in Gordon Hall). I think they mean it looks like a beyonce/JLO type of bum. Shame it's not as toned though. And I can't shake it like Beyonce can...believe me...I've tried. Emma will tell you. So yes that's how our training's going right now. I'll keep you updated...maybe the more I train the less my bum will wobble. Also...if anyone knows if there is such thing as a 'bum sports bra'...please let me know.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Annual Family Holiday - Egypt

So last week was our annual family holiday, and this year we went to Taba, Egypt for the week. It was all-inclusive pretty much 24 hours a day....so lets just say I made the most of it...and gained 1kg in the process :P

I did stick to my £10 budget while I was there though and only bought a cute little wooden and mother of pearl box and I managed to haggle (how amazing is haggling!!!) and got the guy to throw in a couple of postcards for free so I didn't go over my budget :)

It really was a magical holiday and I'm so grateful to my parents for taking us there. It was so exotic and 'Arabian'...like something out of Aladdin! We stayed at the Sofitel Taba Heights which was one of the most beautiful hotels ever...it was set right in between the Sinai mountains and the Gulf of Aquaba, looking out over Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

I was really worried at first with the revolution going on in Cairo, but when we got to the resort I couldn't believe how quiet it was! There were only British people there because all of the Europeans had left, so the hotel only had a 35% occupancy. We were talking to the waiters in the restaurant and they were saying because we were in the Sinai region there were no troubles there...they even consider it a different country! Our Assad (our waiter who served us every mealtime the whole time we were there), said that it wasn't considered the real Egypt because it used to belong to Israel.

The staff at the hotel were sooooo nice and couldn't do enough for us! We also made the trip to St Catherine's Monastery and the Burning Bush in the Sinai Mountains, which was so surreal and as a Christian I felt so honoured to be able to see where Moses had actually spoken to God and received the 10 commandments. Just to be standing where Moses had stood thousands of years ago, to actually walk around a Monastery and view Icons that were thousands of years old! They also still have the relics of St Catherine there, and her thumb is actually on display! I understand some of you may not be as excited by all this as my Dad and I were...which is fair enough lol :P

It was also amazing seeing the Bedouin people and seeing how they live. Some of them still live in Caves in the mountains and travel around the desert with their camels and tents.
We also went swimming/snorkelling in the Red Sea and it was like swimming in a fish tank, the coral and fish were incredible! Really wish I had an underwater camera...but couldn't buy one before we went because of my £10 budget :(

If you ever get the chance to go there, DO! Ignore the warnings about the troubles and just do it, you won't regret it. It really was the most amazing place.

I really really want to go travelling around the Middle East now (Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia etc). It's just like a completely different world to ours.

My brother, mum and I at St Catherine's Monastery
St Catherine's Monastery....yes I climbed a mountain to take this photo.

Bedouin People at St Catherine's

A camel that we thought looked a bit like our puppy dog Dylan


The Red Sea by our Hotel

Half Way!!

Apart from officially hitting the half way mark, It was a pretty boring week. This was the week before we went to Egypt so I spent most of the week at home packing, helping sort out the house, helping mum with last minute things and working. Basically all I spent was about £3 on my lunch at work, I decided to treat myself to a Costa Coffee pannini....lets just say it wasn't the best customer service I've ever experienced. So I complained to head office...much to the Manager's annoyance. Anyway, I won't go into details but lets just say I won't be eating there again.
Oh and I also bought Easter Eggs for my family.
____________________________________________________
Budget:
£3.00 (ish) - Lunch at Costa Coffee
£4.00 - Easter Eggs
= £7.00

Thursday, 17 February 2011

I can't remember!

Wow...I can't even remember what I did last week :/ how bad is that!! I know I didn't do a lot...hmm...
Ok then, so I'll move onto what I spent and then I'll edit this part when I finally remember what I actually did.
____________________________________________________
Budget: 59p - Crumpets - Sainsburys
50p - Basics Natural Yoghurt - Sainsburys
£1.00 - White Chocolate and Raspberry Cookies - Sainsburys
£1.00 - tin of Rice pudding and a tin of Custard (buy 2 for £1) - Sainsburys
45p - Milk - Sainsburys
72p - Basics Tomatoes - Sainsburys
73p - Ground Cinnamon - Sainsburys
36p - Tangerine Jelly - Sainsbury's
9p - Basics Strawberry Jelly - Sainsbury's
£1.00 - Bananas - Sainsburys
50p - Car Park fee
£3.05 - I sponsored Emma Sheppherd to run the London Marathon
= £9.99

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Letter to people without chronic pain - Lupus & Hughes Syndrome

This letter was posted on the Hughes Syndrome Foundation Facebook page. It is a letter to people WITHOUT chronic pain. Lupus and Hughes Syndrome both give sufferers chronic pain. Please take the time 
to read this. It is important. 


Claudine Goze-Weber
LETTER TO PEOPLE WITHOUT CHRONIC PAIN

'Having chronic pain means many
things change, and a lot of them are invisible. Unlike having cancer or being
hurt in an accident, most people do not understand even a little about chronic
pain and its effects, and of those who think they know, many are acutally
misinformed.

In the spirit of informing those who wish to understand,
these are the things that I would like you to understand about me before you
judge me....

Please understand that being sick doesn't mean I'm not still
a human being. I have to spend most of my day in considerable pain and
exhaustion, and if you visit, sometimes I probably don't seem like much fun to
be with, but I'm still me--stuck inside this body. I still worry about school,
family, my friends, and most of the time, I'd still like to hear you talk about
yours too.

Please understand the difference between "happy" and
"healthy". When you've got the flu, you probably feel miserable with it, but
I've been sick for years. I can't be miserable all the time. In fact, I work
hard at not being miserable. So, if you're talking to me and I sound happy, it
means I'm happy. That's all. It doesn't mean that I'm not in a lot of pain, or
extremely tired, or that I'm getting better, or any of those things. Please
don't say, "Oh, you're sounding better!" or "but you look so healthy!" I am
merely coping. I am sounding happy and trying to look normal. If you want to
comment on that, you're welcome.

Please understand that being able to
stand up for ten minutes doesn't necessarily mean that I can stand up for twenty
minutes, or an hour. Just because I managed to stand up for thirty minutes
yesterday doesn't mean that I can do the same today. With a lot of diseases
you're either paralyzed, or you can move. With this one, it gets more confusing
every day. It can be like a yo-yo. I never know from day to day, how I am going
to feel when I wake up. In most cases, I never know from minute to minute. That
is one of the hardest and most frustrating components of chronic
pain.

Please repeat the above paragraph sustituting, "sitting",
"walking", "thinking", "concentrating", "being social" and so on....it applies
to everything. Thats what chronic pain does to you.

Please understand
that chronic pain is variable. It's quite possible (for many, it's common) that
one day I am able to walk to the park and back, while the next day I'll have
trouble getting to the next room. Please don't attack me when I'm ill by saying
"But you did it before!" or "Oh, come on, I know you can do this!" If you want
me to do something, then ask if I can.

In a similar vein, I may need to
cancel a previous commitment at the last minute. If this happens, please do not
take it personally. If you are able, please try to always remember how very
lucky you are--to be physically able to do all of the things that you can
do.

Please understand that "getting out and doing things" does not make
me feel better and can often make me seriously worse. You don't know what I go
through or how I suffer in my own private time. Telling me that I need to
exercise or "do seomthing to get my mind off of it" may frustrate me to tears
and is not correct. If I was capable of doing some things any or all of the
time, don't you know that I would? I am working with my doctor and I am doing
what I am supposed to do.

Another statement that hurts is, "You just need
to push yourself more, try harder..." Obviously, chronic pain can deal with the
whole body, or be localized to specific areas. Sometimes participating in a
single activity for a short or a long period of time can cause more damage and
physical pain that you could ever imagine.

Not to mention the recovery
time, which can be intense. You can't always read it on my face or in my body
language. Also, chronic pain may cause secondary depression (wouldn't you get
depressed and down if you were hurting constantly for months or years?), but it
is not created by depression.

Please understand that if I say I have to
sit down/lie down/stay in bed/or take these pills now, that probably means I
have to do it right now - it can't be put off or forgetten just because I'm
somewhere, or am right in the middle of doing something. Chronic pain does not
forgive, nor does it wait for anyone.

If you want to suggest a cure to
me, please don't. It's not because I don't appreciate the thought and it's not
because I don't want to get well. Lord knows that isn't true. In all likelihood,
if you've heard of it or tried it, so have I. In some cases, I have been made
sicker, not better. This can involve side effects or allergic reactions. It also
includes failure, which in and of itself can make me feel even lower.

If
there were something that cured, or even helped people with my form of chronic
pain, then we'd know about it. There is a worldwide network (both on and off the
internet) between people with chronic pain. If something worked, we would know.
It's definitely not for lack of trying. If, after reading this, you still feel
the need to suggest a cure, then so be it. I may take what you said and discuss
it with my doctor.

If I seem touchy, it's probably because I am. It's not
how I try to be. As a matter of fact, I try very hard to be normal. I hope you
will try to understand. I have been, and am still, going through a lot. Chronic
pain is hard for you to understand unless you have had it. It wreaks havoc on
the body and the mind. It is exhausting and exasperating.

Almost all of
the time,I know that I am doing my best to cope with this and live my life to
the best of my ability. I ask you to bear with me, and accept me as I am. I know
that you cannot literally understand my situation unless you have been in my
shoes, but as much as is possible, I am asking you to try to be understanding in
general.

In many ways, I depend on you - people who are not sick. I need
you to visit me when I am too sick to go out...Sometimes I need your help with
the shopping, cooking or cleaning. I may need you to take me to the doctor or to
the store. You are my link to the normalcy of life. You can help me to keep in
touch with the parts of life that I miss and fully intend to undertake again,
just as soon as I am able.
I know that I asked a lot from you and I do thank
you for listening, it really does mean a lot.'