Sun Dogs, Gloves and Cakes


This week we are on staycation, meaning that Lucy is off work, and Brian is having more leisure than on regular house-husbandry days. It’s also half term, and we’re enjoying some family time.

This week is also a good opportunity to get moving on some cost-saving ideas. We’ve already made a few changes since becoming a one-salary/one-home-maker team:
– Lucy’s mobile phone switches provider this week, saving £36 per year
– We’ve now moved nearly all our email archive into a new inbox as our internet provider will be the next switch, saving £200+ per year
– We’ve been conducting experiments on our electricity usage and whether we change supplier or just change our habits as a result, we should make savings there too.
– We’ve tested the area around our bungalow to see if damp is likely to occur and found that the concrete path is too high and in some places slopes in the wrong direction, and been discussing what to do about this
– Lucy has had her second home-haircut from Brian, definitely salon standard!

The last few days have also given us some perfect autumn weather and we took advantage of this with a long walk yesterday through woodland (also collecting free chestnuts), a community orchard (picking some free and delicious apples), a pretty village, and a church. It was the perfect day for Lucy to try out her fingerless gloves which she has just finished:

Completed fingerless gloves

Completed fingerless gloves

And on the walk back, the sky treated us to a stunning ‘sun dog’ alongside the setting sun. There were two, but the one on the right was misted over by cloud.


Then as we emerged from the woods back to the car, the nearly full moon was hanging so low and big in the sky it was truly breath-taking (it made one of us go ‘Whoah!’ anyway).

A gibbous moon

A gibbous moon

Today the first of our gathered cooking apples were to put to good use in this spiced apple cake.


This may seem back to front, but earlier today Lucy also went to the library and got books about Christmas crafts, decorating homes with natural materials, and…giving up sugar!

However, the goal is not to give up sugar completely, but to try to half the amount she eats, and favour home-made cakes on special occasions over processed stuff as everyday treats. This is something we’ve both done before with varying degrees of success, but any way in which we can be healthier is worthwhile, even if you don’t cut something out completely (if you find this sort of thing works for you, you are a moderator – if not, you are an abstainer – try the quiz here!).

Tomorrow is our holiday treats day, as we’re going into the city to spend the cinema voucher Lucy’s parents gave us last Christmas on seeing the new James Bond movie! There’s enough on the voucher for popcorn and treats as well (but not for Lucy – she’ll do something like paint her nails instead, as opting out of cinema snacks is an easy win towards the sugar goal!)

Thanks for reading, and we’ll be back at the end of the week for a proper update on our October spends, saves and simple living goals.

5 thoughts on “Sun Dogs, Gloves and Cakes

  1. How fascinating – I think I must be an all or nothing abstainer trying to be a moderator and thus frequently slipping gloriously into excess- Thanks for the blog – I enjoyed it 🙂

    • Brian found the pressures of a traditional paid job made it harder to moderate and impossible to abstain! I think I am ok at moderating with food but only if I can keep other things moderated like stress and time management – if they go wrong then I’m in trouble! Changing our lives has had a positive effect on both of us already…:-)

      • Glad to hear it – that ever elusive balance but it does get easier I have to admit – I found slowing down and listening to the seasons helped too….

  2. I love the fall colors as well, but I tend to get cold easily. To cut down on the sugar, we skip the snacks at the movies, after all if you have already had lunch or dinner, why do you need to stuff junk in your mouth to watch the movie? Especially the huge sugar laden soda which makes you have to visit the bathroom mid way through and miss part of the movie. I got my bimonthly trim Saturday evening by my guy, he pours me a glass of wine before I take a seat on the stool and get caped. He is very detailed with the sectioning, pinning it up and ensuring he gets the splits and gets the ends neat with minimal loss of length , usually a 1/4″ or less. Saves me hundreds a year, with great results as well. While I hated trips to the salon, I look forward to date night trims.

    • Thanks for reading! Now we understand how much of my hair needs cutting off each time (it’s curly and a bit unpredictable!) I’m also going to be having a bi-monthly trim, I love the idea of it being a date night! I’m also glad to say I did resist all the cinema snacks, I had a handful of almonds instead!

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