Welcome to Simple Lizzie, (previously Fluffy Little Idiot). I blog my goals, especially my reading and studies, and my ongoing downscaling and using up of material stuff and working towards a more minimalist lifestyle.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

February Goal List

A few days late, but here it is.  Of course, I've already started on many of them and even got a couple done!

 Domestic
* Take care of neglected recycling - boxes at mum's and water filter cartridges - end month with no extra recycling on hand
* Clean the oven
* Finish the Go Bag overhaul

Physical
* Focusing twice daily
* Neck and shoulder exercises on 25 days
* Go to bed at 9pm on at least 20 days
* Only buy sweets twice, if at all
* Continue using eye-shadow almost every day

Reading and Study
* Study 'Imitate' book ch 12
* NRSV Bible Ezra to Job
* Finish final re-reading of 'Learn Any Language'
* Review 'Chinese Language - Fact and Fantasy'
* Read 'Contemporary Japan'
* Study Discovering Science book 3 to section 10 (from 4.2)
* Work Physics GCSE revision guide & workbook pages: 21, 22, 23, 24, 25a, 26, 27, 58, 59
* Work Chemistry GCSE revision guide & workbook pages: 41, 42, 43, 44, 46
* Complete 'Modern Chinese Beginners Course' vols 1&2, (ch44-55)
* 'Modern Chinese Beginners Course' vol 3
* Chinese vocab transfer from recent mag(s) and 'Imitate' book
* Finally finish 'Teach Yourself German'
= finishing with 6 books

Creative
* Finish violet thread painting
* Work on 'Paradise Island cross stitch - finish trees and sky areas
* Start winter design project - some artwork and charting the cross stitch design.
* Finish knitting pink scarf
* Knit cream cardy for Velimirovic baby
* Get yarns and patterns for my own knits
* Make kids' picture books out of magazine picture collection

Business
* Make good use of the 'business hour (10:30-11:30 most days) to develop ideas etc
* Complete match up of all social media stuff and on-line digital declutter
* Post at least once daily on 'business' Instagram account

30 items this time.  Let's see if I can complete 20 and have the other 10 in progress at least.  ☺

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2017

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Goals Round-up for January

So, how did I do?

Completed:  12/29
In progress:  9/17

Not terribly inspiring, but could have been worse.  A  lot worse, really!
Here's how it breaks down:

Digital
* Overhaul Sew in Love blog - new colour scheme etc and a new header and 'logo' photo/banners  Done! 
* Ditto this blog, complete with name change across all linked social media  Done!
* Blog all recent textile projects for scheduled posting  Done!
* Remove all the junk code from the 'By Age 50' page  Done!  Plus re-worked the page and made it more appropriate.

Whole section completed! ☻♥☻ Victory on this one section, at least. ☺

Domestic
* Take care of neglected recycling - boxes at mum's and water filter cartridges - end month with no extra recycling on hand
* Clean the oven

Looks like this section will be going forward to the next list....

Physical
* Renew medical card  Done!
* Go to GP re feet referral etc  Done!  First appointment 1 Feb
* Finish organising the Go bag  Documents all scanned (and put in 2 cloud storage 'places')
* Morning exercises on 25 days  12/25 
* Evening exercises on 25 days  0/25
* Go to bed at 9pm on at least 20 days  14/20
* Wear eye-shadow on at least 15 days  13/15 full eyes, plus some days as liner only, so basically done
* Don't buy any sweets. (This is a little bit of a cheat as I'll be eating some at mum's, but if I don't buy any for myself, it keeps it down a bit!!)  Failed miserably on 6th, 7th...   But haven't bought any since. =)

This section is a bit mixed.  I had to give up on the exercises most of the time as I was over-tired and they wouldn't have helped.  Most days I was in bed not too long after 9pm, so I did reasonably well on that, but it could be improved.  I also had a bad sweets craving early in the month, but once I'd figured out why and dealt with it, I was OK and didn't buy any more.  

I enjoyed getting back into wearing eye-shadow more and am trying to keep it up.  Finally learned how to use primer to good effect too.  I've loved make-up since I was about 13, so it's fun to use it more and my use-up for the year is on track so far. ☻

Reading and Study
* Study 'Imitate' book ch 12
* NRSV Bible to end of 2 Chronicles (from 1 Chron 6)  Done!
* Finish reading 'Color' (starting from ch10)  Done!
* Finish reading/working 'Language Change' (starting ch3)  Done!
* Finish final re-reading of 'Learn Any Language'  In progress
* Study Discovering Science book 3 to section 10 (from 4.2)
* Work corresponding sections of GCSE revision guides (and matching workbooks) as I meet the topics:
Physics p21, 22, 23, 24, 25a, 26, 27, 58, 59
Chemistry p41, 42, 43, 44, 46
(Because a lot of this is new and I'm finding it rather hard going...)
* Read through 'Modern Chinese Beginners Course' vols 1&2, (ch21-55)  21 - 43
* Start 'Modern Chinese Beginners Course' vol 3
* Chinese vocab transfer from pile of mags   Done!
* Finally finish 'Teach Yourself German'

Same situation as always here - I get a fair amount of reading done, but study/study reading is a different matter.  I've created a daily schedule to start next week which contains a study hour first thing, then an hour to work in business ideas etc, plus a reading hour last thing at night.  Hopefully, that should see making progress on my science and language book downscale.

Creative
* Finish violet thread painting  Leaf, bud and sepals finished 
* Work on 'Paradise Island cross stitch - finish trees and sky areas  Last section of land trees in progress
* Get pink skirt altered and make a piece of decorated textile with the off- cut to make book covers etc from.  Skirt done!  Thanks Janet, mwah! Offcuts pressed, folded and stored for later use.  Done as far as I decided to go just now.
* Start winter design project.

Not so much movement here as I would have hoped.  As I want to get my needlecrafts blog back up to scratch and the great stats I used to have and build up my Instagram stream that's linked to that blog, (as both will be good for the business I hope to start this year), I should be able to crack on with these soon.  

February list should be published tomorrow.  I have an initial surgical appointment this evening, so I should know more about what and when I can go stuff afterwards.

How was your month?

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2017

Monday, 23 January 2017

Finally joining in 'Pan That Palette'


This is something I thought I'd never do as I don't really have much in the way of palettes since my big clear out nearly 2 years ago, but then I realised that I'd rather not have any in future and so decided to pan not only the lippies (which are well in progress, as you can see) in these 3 multi-use palettes, but also the eyeshadows.  The blushers will probably get depotted to be used up later as it takes forever to make a dint in a blusher and I'm still plugging away at one I've been on with since January 2015 - and there was only half of it left then!


The last time I tried to use up an eyeshadow palette I got fed up within a week as it was all browns and that bores me, so this should be better.  I'm going to use other stuff too, but concentrate on this mostly.  I'll be glad to not have these around too much longer - esp. as there's a bit of a problem taking them out and about for retouches given the, erm, rather risqué cover designs!  Not really the sort of thing that fits in well with my social circle... ☺

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2017

Monday, 9 January 2017

Make-up Inventory and Project Pan 2017

It's that time of year again, albeit a week late.  What's a week in the aeons of time it takes me to use up any cosmetic item?!

Inventory up first:

* Eyeshadows - 61.  I've bought none, used none up, sold 3 on eBay and have still got one on one side to give away, so I'm assuming that I had 5 on one side for the last count of 60 and took one back.  Actually, I need to use shadow more, I rarely bother these days.  I could cut down to 40-45 without much bother.

* Lipsticks - 8, with 3 on one side to give away.  I also sold my Chanel one and used one up over the year.

* Liquid lipsticks and palette colours (with more pigment than gloss has) - 13.  I've used 4 up over the year, sold none and bought none, but seem to be having recurring counting and classification problems!!

* Lip glosses - 18.  2 used up during the year and 2 very close to being finished (although one's vanished, so that may come off the list soon).  Bought, sold and gave away none.

* Blusher - 8.  I sold one and am still  plugging away at the two seen below.  I can't seem to use them up to save my life.  Perhaps it's good that my life doesn't depend on it, huh?  At least I've bought none and not got any old ones back as I had by last January's inventory.

* Foundations - 1. I've used 2 up since the beginning of last year and just have one all-in-one compact left now.

* Powder - 1.  I sold the loose powder I had in stock as it was unopened and I realised that I wasn't going to use it.  I'm now working away at one I bought when I was about 16!!

* CC products - 3.  A new  category.  I realised that I don't really need foundation, concealer, powder etc that much anymore, but just a tiny bit of CC cream mixed with some moisturiser and that's it.  I have quite a bit left in my original Bourjois one, but as it's not cruelty-free. I won't be buying it again, so I found a GOSH product (which is now discontinued) on-line and got a sample of No7's version.  I'm using this latter up and won't be buying it as it's far too dark for me.  Fake tan look, yack!

Primers - 2. I'm using up the e.l.f. one (which is hopeless as an eyeshadow primer for me) as an around the eye concealer - which I don't really need much, but it uses it up.  I got a small sized Shadow Insurance as that's the only product that ever worked much for me.  Generally, I find primers a waste of time.  If you have very oily eyelids, nothing, but nothing will make your shadow last all day.  You'll always have to re-touch and keep a watch out for creasing, but a decent primer will help a bit at least.  Most are rubbish though....

Perfumes - 18.  I actually sold 3 on eBay then found out that I can't post them as they're no longer in their original packaging and had to cancel the order.  Well, I can send one of them, we'll see what the buyer thinks.  I bought 6 earlier this year as the product was going off the market and mum gave me 5 - including the 3 I tried to sell.  I've used 4 altogether this year and put 1 more in a charity bag.  I gave up on it, not being that excited by the scent and also the fact that I've become rather sensitive to perfume of late - hormone wackiness.

So totals are:  6 items sold, 1 given away, 12 used up, 6 given to me (inc one sample), 11 bought - including 3 mascaras which aren't on this list as I finished the downscale on those.

So, that's it for that section.  Now then, the results of last year's project pan coming up.

This is the photo I took a year ago.


There were 3 'columns' here.  The stuff on the left I expected to finish up, that in the middle to make serious inroads into with a view to finishing up and the lot on the right was to be worked on.

Here's the result:


Not tremendously inspiring!  I still have that old mascara (even wearing it now to try and finish it off), and 2 lippies are still on the go - hardly touched them in fact.  4 palette lippies are gone and 7 more substantially decreased, and I sold the powder.  There's been good progress on base products, but the most 'progress' on the pink blusher was parts of it breaking off!

This year's Project Pan spread actually looks much the same:


5 of these I expect to finish this month, so let's hope 2017 sees me clearing more make-up out than 2016 did.  I saw one Project Panner Instagram quite a row of lipsticks to use up this year.  I'm less optimistic, but I'll be doing my best.

To be honest, it's books and craft things that are a bigger problem for me in terms of amounts of stuff, so I'd better get away from the screen and back to my science and language books. ☺

In the meantime, having just finished watching this weekend's episode of Sherlock, anyone else think the sister may be the central part of Moriarty's big posthumous game??

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2017

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Blog Make-Over Complete



I'm happy to announce that I've finalised the re-vamp on this blog - yay!  It's not a deep make-over as I'm still using the same basic layout, template and features, but I've changed the name, font, text colour scheme and the header photo, and also done some work on the pages, so it does look somewhat different these days.

Here's the why of the changes:

Name:  I wanted something shorter and that I could use across all the platforms that are linked to this blog, such as the Google+ page, my YouTube channel (which I haven't put any videos on yet and may never do) and the Instagram account.  I've changed it on all of those too, so it's now standardized.  I'm considering changing the URL to match too, but there is already a 'simplelizzie' on Blogger (albeit never really used), so I need to be careful about decisions there.  Think I'll leave that one for a while yet.

The name has two meanings:  1) I want to simplify my life, especially materially, so having the concept of simplicity being in the name was appealing, and 2) carrying on the old idea of people often thinking I'm rather less than I am, appearing to be 'simple'!!!  (Very few people actually call me Lizzie, BTW.)

Font and text colour:  It's nice to have a change and I felt the pinks and pinky purples went well with the girlie airhead idea.  I do actually wear a lot of both these colours too. ☺

Header photo:  The old one was massively out of date.  I'd taken it over in Taiwan back in May 2010 and I don't even own a lot of the stuff in that old shot anymore!  The current photo is a collection of selected items from my '2017 Goals' list and I plan on updating it annually to reflect what I hope to accomplish during the year ahead.  This year's has a lot of books to read and study up, a fair few needlecraft projects to complete - including a Show trophy/plate that I want to win more of and a miniature chaise longue representing trying to get an Etsy store going - and even some of the make up I want to use up.

Pages:  Again, some were horribly out of date and/or irrelevant now.  I also finally bit the bullet and deleted all the older ones that I'd had not showing on blog, but were still on my dashboard.  I don't need goals lists from 5 or 6 years ago, even though it was fun to see how much I'd done of them since.  I thought of making a Word file of them and keeping them to refer back to, but, really, what IS the point? I also dumped old general goals lists and my big, old use-up list and replaced them with relevant ones.

Now, all but one of the pages are showing (just not the book inventory one, which is also out of date and can't be updated until I unpack the 3 remaining boxes, but still helpful), and they're all about this year and current interests.  New additions are a 'Current Month' one for keeping tabs on my monthly goals progress and a shopping/decluttering page called 'Ins and Outs 2017', which will be a merged version of the annual shopping inventory and clear out posts, complete with a balance (up or down) for each section.  I'm going to be putting everything except kitchen and toilet consumables on there - food, toilet paper, kitchen foil, bin bags, tissues etc.  I'm interested to see how much I actually use in a year as well as trying to keep cutting personal items down.

The next digital projects are for Sew In Love, which has got shamefully neglected of late.  I have 6 projects to write post series about, plus a revamp to consider there too.  I'm not sure what to change beyond maybe a colour change and a new header image when I find either something I can make a suitable photo collage with, or enough projects to photograph together.  I've spent a lot of time on that blog before, so there's not much more I can do without seriously over-hauling the whole layout and I'm not sure I'm up for that.  We'll see.  It's not exactly as if I'm stuck for things to do.

Having said which, I'm going to go and get on with some of those things, starting with a list of stuff to do this week.  Lists keep me on track and stop me a) wasting all my time (I just waste some of it instead), and b) completely forgetting what I wanted/needed to do.  Hormones.  Seriously, The Change has made me closer to being an airhead than I'm comfortable being! Thankfully, it's temporary.

And now, to work!  Or maybe a short nap???!! ☺

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2017

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Why am I bothering to clean up the code?

On my January goals list is the task (which I'm working through quite quickly) to clean up the HTML code on my 'By Age 50' list.  Why am I doing this?  Seems a waste of time if it looks the same, right?

Well, it sometimes does and sometimes doesn't.  I seem to have made the mistake of copying and pasting the stuff from a former page from the front end, rather than the Compose/HTML screen.  Or something.  Anyway, it carried through a tremendous amount of extra formatting code as I'd chosen the Verdana font for the original page and the coding for this appeared on literally every single line - even the blank ones!

The other problem is that with the current version of Blogger, there's an issue with changing text colours once you've selected something different.  So, this sentence appears in green.  If I wanted to change the green before, I used to just select a different colour and that was the end of it. For a while it hasn't worked once the post/page was published and I'd have to go in and delete the green code first (although it seems better now - not sure how much redundant code it leaves, though).  Then, and only then could I get my sentence to appear in red instead.  It's a lot easier to do that on this:


than this:


Before and after clean up shots!!

Now I do a lot of colour and format changing on these lists as the tasks go into active progress, get stalled, go active again and then go back to black and get crossed out as they're either finished or dumped.  So, if I'm going to have to keep on changing colours manually through the HTML screen (thankfully, I did a basic web page creation course in Uni), I'm going to want it as clean as possible to work on.  Makes it that much easier to see.

Also, of course, is the fact that I've changed the whole blog font to one called 'Coming Soon', which reminds me a lot of my old favourite, 'Comic Sans', so I need to get rid of the Verdana font coding as I fear trying to change it to 'default font' will just result in another span code for each line.  I'm also getting rid of all the italics for book titles.

So, yes, it's a bit boring and maybe there's a better way of doing it - perhaps I should have copied the whole lot into Notepad and then re-entered it into the Compose page, but at least this is thorough and I can leave whatever formatting I do want in place.

Hasn't that enriched your day??? ☺

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2017

Sunday, 1 January 2017

January 2017 Goals

Wow! Another year beginning and time for a whole new annual goals list and a month-long one taken partly from the whole year one and partly other stuff that I want/need to get done soon.  I'm also including health (and even beauty!) related stuff this time.

Here we go:

Digital
* Overhaul Sew in Love blog - new colour scheme etc and a new header and 'logo' photo/banners
* Ditto this blog, complete with name change across all linked social media
* Remove all the junk code from the 'By Age 50' page
* Blog all recent textile projects for scheduled posting

Domestic
* Take care of neglected recycling - boxes at mum's and water filter cartridges - end month with no extra recycling on hand
* Clean the oven

Physical
* Renew medical card
* Go to GP re podiatry referral etc
* Finish organising the Go bag
* Morning exercises on 25 days
* Evening exercises on 25 days
* Go to bed at 9pm 22 days
* Wear eye-shadow on at least 15 days.
* Don't buy any sweets. (This is a little bit of a cheat as I'll be eating some at mum's, but if I don't buy any for myself, it keeps it down a bit!!)

Reading and Study
* Study 'Imitate' book ch 12
* NRSV Bible to end of 2 Chronicles (from 1 Chron 6)
* Finish reading 'Color'
* Finish reading/working 'Language Change'
* Finish final re-reading of 'Learn Any Language'
* Study Discovering Science book 3 to section 10
* Work corresponding sections of GCSE revision guides (and matching workbooks) as I meet the topics:
Physics p20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25a, 26, 27, 58, 59
Chemistry p41, 42, 43, 44, 46
(Because a lot of this is new and I'm finding it rather hard going...)
* Read through 'Modern Chinese Beginners Course' vols 1&2
* Start 'Modern Chinese Beginners Course' vol 3
* Chinese vocab transfer from pile of mags
* Finally finish 'Teach Yourself German'

Creative
* Finish violet thread painting
* Work on 'Paradise Island cross stitch - finish trees and sky areas
* Get pink skirt altered and make a piece of decorated textile with the off- cut to make book covers etc from.
* Start winter design project.

Progress is being recorded on the 'Current Month' page and I'll post a summary at the end of the month as usual.

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2017

December Round-Up

How did my push to get productive during the last fortnight of the year go?  Have a look and see:

* Make up Xiaoqin's sampler hanging - Done!
* Finish the violets thread painting - Got back out of box ready to re-start and re-sorted the greens in preparation to complete the leaf. 
* Mount cat-a-cello - Done!
* Finish 'oriental dress' card - Done!
* Finish blue premature baby cardy knit - Done!
* Trial double stocking stitch - Done!  Even started knitting a scarf with it.
* List old winter tyres on EBay - Done!
* Take charity shop bags to Oxfam - Done!
* Deal with box recycling here and at mum's - Ours done, boxes at Mum's broken down and waiting to be cut up and put in the green bin(s).
* Finish "Rapid Literacy in Chinese" - Done! 
* Finish all reading mags in my drawer - Done! 
* DS book 3 - finish chapters 3 & 4 - Reviewed ch 2 in preparation and re-studied ch 3. Did about three quarters of chapter 4, but it's harder than I expected (physics - new to me), and I need some supplementary material. 
* Finish Part 2 of 'The China Dream' - Done! 
* Finish chapter 4 of 'In Other Words' and start chapter 5 - Done!  
Actually decided not to complete the above 2 books as I'm really not that interested. I have too many other books that I actually want to read to waste time on those that have gone off the boil for me.
* Read chapters 5, 6 & 7 of 'Color' - Done!  Got to ch 10 too!
* Finish NRSV 2 Kings and crack on with 1 Chronicles - Done!

Somehow or other, the German textbook got lost in copying over the initial list, which was one reason that I didn't get to that one after all.  Other than that, I'm really pleased with progress this month.  I didn't get back on with the violet embroidery over much, but pretty much everything else got either finished (13 out of 17) or substantially progressed (2 out of the remaining 4 - including the elusive German textbook).

Now to create January's list. How's yours looking?

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Use-Up and Clear Out Inventory 2016

Here's the other part of the annual inventory - I decided to do a separate post for this section this year.  The headings are the same, but this one is for what went out, not what came in. 

* Books  Several boxes given to charity, friends and the local library before moving in February and others throughout the year.
Finished reading/studying about 10, 7 given away or sold (I lost count on both of these, so I need to keep closer track next year)
Collection reduced by about 55%! ☺☺

* Cosmetic Items
Finished: 1 foundation (another has 1 or 2 goes left in it), 2 mascaras, 1 lipstick, 4 lip colours, 1 lip gloss, 2 lip balms and 3 perfumes.
Sold or given away: 4 lipsticks and 4 eye shadows (3/1 still to go out) and 1 eye primer.  3 perfumes currently on eBay.

* Art & Craft Materials
7 card blanks with envelopes, although 5 of these cards haven't yet been sent to anyone.
1 piece of purple A4 card and 1 piece of extra thick white
Bag of stickers almost completely used up on eBay sales packaging etc (sold or gave away most of them before this year started)

* Needlework Supplies
Yarn:
Almost 1 whole 100g ball
4 remnants of DK plus one more run down to a tiny bit left for stitch samples.
Most of the ball of 6 ply red.
Fabric:
5 x patchwork pieces (about 1/3 of a fat quarter in size??)
Completed using up light cream cotton
Several other parts of fat quarters and remnants.
15"x15" white Oslo
6½" square white hardanger
12"x4" lilac Jobelan.
Sold: 80%+ of Oriental fabrics, all 5 fancy fabrics, several pieces of linen/evenweave (including a bundle of 7 currently on eBay and with bids).
Collection approximately halved! ☺☺
Thread:
1 x Pearl Cotton #5 (1 - Bright White)
Finished up ±3 small spools of sewing thread
Sold: 115 threads (about 7% of collection), 6 packs of beads, large bag of ribbons
Sundries:
Most of my supplies of lightweight quilt batting and Bondaweb
All newly bought buttons, and 3 of 4 zips
3 bellpull ends/hangers

* Clothes etc
A few large bags (between the 2 of us) given to charity just before moving in February and another bag gone just yesterday.
A number of novelty bags and other personal items also went in the latest charity drop off.

* Miscellaneous
6 bottles/tubs of nutrient/herbal supplements used up, not likely to be replaced.
2 large boxes of cassette tapes thrown away on moving (also contained some videos)
1 box of possible-to-sell cassettes, CDs and DVDs donated to charity on moving.

* Domestic Items
2 large bookcases (one with glass doors), sofabed & matching armchair, fireplace and wood effect bathroom fittings given away via Freecycle on moving
Boxful of household items and ornaments donated to charity on moving.
1 bag of bedding and fabric scraps donated yesterday.

During 2017 I hope to get through a whole lot more books as 10 really isn't that many for me.  After the initial push to get stuff read in preparation to move, I lost momentum with my reading projects and really only re-gained it in the last fortnight of the year.  I need to keep this up and try and get the 460-ish books that I'm beginning the new year with down to under 400 if I can.  Onwards and downwards....

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2016

Sunday, 18 December 2016

December's To Do list

I seriously *need* to get back into making regular goals lists and having them to hand. I haven't done that at all since I've been back in my hometown and I really haven't been productive in most areas of life. Needlework has been good, but book work? Terrible!  Except the creative section, I've had to copy almost the whole of my 2016 goal list into the new one for next year....

So, here goes with all I want to do over the next 2 weeks:

* Make up Xiaoqin's sampler hanging
* Mount cat-a-cello
* Finish 'oriental dress' card
* Finish blue premature baby cardy knit
* Trial double stocking stitch
* Finish the violets thread painting
* List old winter tyres on EBay
* Take charity shop bags to Oxfam etc
* Deal with box recycling here and at mum's
* Finish "Rapid Literacy in Chinese"
* Finish 'Teach Yourself German'
* Finish all reading mags in my drawer
* DS book 3 - finish chapters 3 & 4
* Finish Part 2 of 'The China Dream'
* Finish chapter 4 of 'In Other Words' and start chapter 5
* Read chapters 5, 6 & 7 of 'Color'
* Finish NRSV 2 Kings and crack on with 1 Chronicles

And I think that will do. Starting tomorrow!

Actually, no. Starting tonight! :)