What a wonderful start to the day! Actually to be honest, since I've started walking every day to do my errands and leaving the car at home, EVERY day is a wonderful day. I have my routine down pat now. We live at one end of town and Ali's school is at the other so every morning when he drives to school I hop in the passenger seat. When he arrives at school I jump out and walk the 5km back home again, taking care of any errands along the way. There are so many benefits of doing this! Obviously it saves us money running two cars but another bonus is because I'm so much calmer and rush less I no longer forget things. I keep my trusty blue butterfly backpack by the door and anything I may need to post, drop off or whatever gets put straight in there, no more annoying extra trips every time I forget something. It also prevents me from buying anything not absolutely necessary because I don't want to have to carry it home! Although saying that it can be pretty good weight training at times!
Best of all however, it's so good for the soul! Just the increased exercise and fresh air makes you feel good - but it's much more than that. Getting out and about each day has made me realise how truly lucky I am to live in such a wonderful little community. Take this morning for example. I hopped out of the car and as soon as I begin my walk everyone starts waving and smiling at me. I continued through town and popped my head in at one of the local real estate agents on the corner where my friend works for a daily greeting and a giggle. Heading out of town I pop in to the supermarket to pick up a loaf of bread and run into lots of wonderful people along the way, such as a new friend I met recently who among many other things told me where I could get my new vegetable garden filled with mulch for free! Because I never forget anything any more, I was also able to pass on a bracelet I sold last week to another friend I bumped into in the next aisle as it was already in my backpack, saving both of us another trip!
From there I popped into Bunnings and had a lovely chat with the store owner who told me the best places to get free rocks for the rockery I'm building and also got some very handy advice on the most economical way to grow vegies for my garden, before wending my merry way home. Before I started walking, none of this would have happened but now every day is more fun and brings something new and rewarding. So simple, yet so positive in so many ways.
As for weekends, I walk as long as I like! Last weekend was a real 'silver tea set' weekend where I made the most of every opportunity and stepped out of my comfort zone. On Saturday I went for a big long walk for a couple of hours, then got home and decided to build a rockery. As you do. I'll show you the before and after photos when I've finished but it's always been a horribly messy area which has really bugged me so I decided to finally do something about it. I had a roll of weed mat which I bought last year and never used and it was just enough to cover the space I needed. Next came the rocks which were free and hiding under my house! The previous owners at some stage must have stashed them under the deck and there were heaps; more than enough for me to cover all the edges of the weed mat as well as the joins. I would have loved to know how many kilometres I must have walked lugging flipping great rocks backwards and forwards! It was a great workout, not to mention all the times I had to crawl under the house on my belly to reach them and carefully back out again! I still need to finish the job but Ali is helping me with that and our efforts will save us at least $200 on buying rocks. As it is, the improvement already is already brilliant!
I also weeded and decluttered a large corner of the garden and built a compost bin and by the time I had finished for the day I was exhausted but it was time to get ready for a birthday party. This was a big deal for a hermit like me. I avoid this sort of thing like the plague and I tried my best to get out of it but to no avail and thank goodness I didn't because I had the most brilliant time! I met some lovely new friends, caught up with some old ones I hadn't seen for ages and danced almost continuously for over four hours! Once again it brought home to me how many wonderful people I am privileged to know. Had I not vowed to myself to be a silver tea set girl, I would have missed out on a whole lot.
Sunday dawned a bit chilly and blustery and thanks to all the exertion of the day before I was literally barely able to move! But there was a day to be made the most of so I dragged myself out for a walk. Goodness only knows what people must have thought as I struggled to get my legs to work for the first half a kilometre, to use my mum's expression I must have looked as though I'd done something nasty in my trousers! Thankfully my muscles did eventually warm up though and I ended up walking for hours. The wind dropped, the sun blazed down and it was lovely! So I decided to take a leaf out of my own blog and climb the big hill to check out the view. Here's what I saw:
Our little township
Where the estuary meets the sea
The estuary. Well, a bit of it!
All in all it was a really lovely weekend and I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow, happy that I had made the most of it.
Last week I wrote how I had started to follow Wendy Gower's example of making a note of all the money saving things I did. There ended up being so many I couldn't possibly keep track of them all! However I can definitely vouch for it being a worthwhile exercise, it really does make you realise what a wonderful job many of us do at saving money in countless areas on a zillion things. I won't share them all with you but some of my favourites for the week were buying a pair of unusual pink and grey genuine Converse shoes in immaculate condition on Facebook for $10 (my others were literally falling apart). I was chuffed to bits with this bargain, the seller could have easily got $50 for them!
I also took in a brand new pair of Lee jeans which I had also bought from our Facebook Buy and Sell group to a local seamstress to be taken in and up as they were way too big. Even after the extensive alterations I ended up with an awesome pair of jeans for just $25 and tailored to fit me perfectly! Flea treatments for pets are a necessary evil but a bloody expensive one, especially as only one type works on our allergy-prone dog so I was really glad when my shopping around saved me almost $18 on Comfortis last week. I got them online from a website called www.pet.co.nz and they definitely deserve a plug as their service is just as brilliant as their prices. They have a member of staff available on instant chat to answer any queries, delivery is super fast and they even send a personal follow-up email to ensure you were happy with your purchase. Highly recommended and I'll definitely be using them for all my everyday pet needs from now on! I also got a free haircut with a free bottle of hair oil to take home and paid only $14 for top make-up by purchasing what I needed from our local Sunny's variety store, rather than the $49 'special 25% off' price I had sourced from Farmers online. I sold $90 worth of stuff on Facebook myself which paid for petrol and numerous other things without having to touch my bank account and to top it all off, after grumbling about going over my grocery budget the previous week, I managed to stay within my magic $80 figure last week, woohoo!