Monday, 27 March 2017

Bible Journaling Colossians 3v12-14 with Free Traceable Template!


So this week I've been inspired by my quiet times to do an entry for Colossians 3v12-13. 



12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselveswith compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 

 If I have a verse that stands out during my quiet time I write in my diary the verse and any images that come to mind.

I've already got an image in my head for the Armour of God like this but on a soldier, so I thought I'd adapt it and make it for me instead. (Yes the character is supposed to look a little bit like me!). To make the character like me I chose hair and clothes that reflect me (I'm rarely seen out of jeans and a hoodie!) and set about creating something.

My first step in the process was to google some images, and I wanted to find some simple faceless characters. Looking down through Google images I spotted one I liked the look of and I saved it for later. -As an aside, looking for images on Google is like looking for something in TKMaxx, you know there is bound to be something there that you're looking for, but it takes a bit of perseverance to find it!



Next I wanted some help in getting the proportions of a person right, so I Googled that too.


Next was how to draw a hoodie and jeans.
Just to be clear, I have no intrinsic ability to see something and then just put it down on paper. If I have an idea I Google it and then copy elements of lots of different things down until I get something I like. I trace things sometimes too. 

Once I'd got the things I needed I started to sketch out onto my grid paper the size of my margin so I knew the size I was working in. A simple HB pencil and a decent rubber are all you need. I fiddled with it until I was happy with it and then went over the design with a fine liner to make it easier to trace in my Bible. At this stage I decided I didn't like the feet and had to google cartoon trainers!



Deciding what to use to colour the image was my next dilemma. Would I use watercolours, or my newly discovered Caran Dache Neoart crayons, or maybe even some Promarkers. Had I been doing this on card I think I would have gone straight for the Promarkers, but I haven't tested my pro markers extensively yet. I've discovered they don't bleed if applied in a single layer over Matt Gel Medium, but to colour properly with them they need layering, and I'm not 100% sure if the Bible Paper can take that yet. The alternative is to trace onto some thin cardstock or paper and stick it in the margin instead. 
I decided to do a test sheet to check which of my fineliners and pens would smudge when I used alcohol markers or water colours and water based markers.
This is what I found

For the alcohol based pens (Promarkers for me) the best choice was the cheapest pen I own (you can get 5 fineliners for 79p at Home Bargains) followed by a sharpie, but for the water colours and water based pens (Mozart brush pens here) the best choice was either Sharpies or Tombow Calligraphy pen. As I'd decided to do watercolour I chose the Tombow to use in my bible.
I used my white Sakura gelly pen to add highlights and some interest to the background.

I decided when I was doing this that it would make a good template to use at my upcoming Bible Journaling event, so did a neat version to scan and print off. I thought you might like the option to use it too, so here's the Free Download!
Download Image



And once I'd done this I tried out my Promarkers too and made a bookmark!

I hope you like it, please leave a comment if you use it and link in a picture :)

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Testing Supplies in My Journaling Bible


As I said in my last post I've been Bible Journaling every Sunday night since January, and wanted to start blogging about it too. I've given up Facebook for Lent, so have found myself with a little bit more time and am hoping to get some of my pages up on here soon, along with the process I used to create them. I'm hoping I can show people that it really isn't that daunting to get started, and point people in the direction of my favourite supplies, youtube channels, and top tips!

I'm also in the process of helping plan an Introduction to Bible Journaling event over at 10ofthose in Leyland, which will give people a chance to look at the journaling bibles in the flesh and also have some work stations for people to give it a go. It's exciting, but a little intimidating too as I've only been doing this a short time myself!

Back to my first steps into Bible Journaling!

I'm a control freak. There, I said it. I am an information junkie too. When I start a new project I like to get AS MUCH information as I possibly can. Whether its planning a holiday and trawling Trip Advisor for ideas on where to stay, and what 'must see' attractions there are, or planning a lesson and googling the life out of the topic, I just like knowing stuff.
So when it came to starting Bible Journaling I wanted to get clued up as much as possible. I read as many Bible Journaling 101s as I could, watched Youtube Bible flip throughs, and decided the first essential thing I wanted to do was test out all my craft supplies. Over the years I've accumulated a wide variety of craft supplies relating to card making and paper crafting, and just general craftiness, so I wanted to see what would be okay to use in my Bible.

Things I wanted to test:

Pens





Pencils

Paints

Stamping inks

So I set about systematically testing these at the back of my new journaling bible in the Bible Reading Plan pages. I would be looking for ghosting, or bleeding through the pages.

Now bibles are not your everyday book pages. They are very thin, mainly to reduce the thickness of the bibles we carry around. The paper used in Bibles weighs around 40-50 gsm, compared to photocopier paper which is 80gsm, or lightweight card being 160gsm, so you can see its very thin! This does mean that the bible text, or indeed anything your put on the paper, may show through to the other side. I'll refer to this as ghosting, where you can see a faint image through the page.
This is inevitable when the paper is so thin, and is accepted throughout the world for Bibles. As long as it does not distract from the words being read it is fine.
So we will consider ghosting an acceptable outcome of Bible Journaling.

What I consider to be unacceptable is bleeding. This is when the ink/paint actually soaks through the paper to the other side, and is unsightly and distracting. I wanted to whittle out any of my supplies which would bleed through, as this was a definite no-no for me.

This is what I found.

Results
Pens
This is the front of the page I was testing on

And this is what you can see on the back of the same page.


Letraset Promarkers - These bleed straight through the page, do not use unless page prepared
Letraset Aqua Markers - With a single layer they ghost, but a second or third layer will bleed
Mozart Brush Pens - These bleed through
CalliCreative Italic Pens - These bleed through
Sharpies- Fine Line and standard - These bleed through
Calli Metalic Pens - Ghost through
Derwent Graphic Fine Line pens 0.05-0.8 - Finer points ghost through, thicker tips bleed in places
Tombow Brush Pen - Ghost through
White Calli Italic - Not visible
Highlighters - Bleed through on the edges


So does that mean I have to throw out all my lovely pens??? NO! You just need to spend a little time (and money!) preparing your pages if you're going to use them. I've been using Windsor & Newton Acrylic Matt Gel Medium, but a lot of people like to use Clear Gesso (I already had the matt gel medium, so I thought I'd try that first!).
Here's what the back of the page looks like when you prep it first!!



When Acrylic Matt Gel Medium is used all the pens that bled through (including the pro markers!) didn't bleed through at all, although they do still ghost. One thing to consider though is that any ink you place on top of the medium will not soak into the page (which is good!) but that means they sit on the surface and take longer to dry, meaning if you're not careful you might smudge them (which is bad!). The colours are also a little less vibrant too.

Pencils
Stabilo Chalk Pastel Colouring Pencils - Light ghosting, more obvious if activated with water
Derwent Studio Pencils - Not visible unless activated with water, and then they ghost through
Standard Childrens Pencils - Not visible
What you might notice is the difference in pigmentation between the cheap basic children colouring pencils and the Derwent Studio artists pencils. The Stabile CarbOthello chalk pastel water soluble pencils are even more strongly pigmented. So although you can use any pencils in your bible, you do in some respects get what you pay for.


Paints
Watercolour paints - Ghost through
Acrylic Paints - Ghost through

The acrylics go on really well with a credit card or old store card, and if you put it on in this way you can still read through the paint. However, the green and blue colours I have were a bit grainy, and too dark for my liking, as they make it quite hard to read the text, so personally I would definitely limit the use of these colours to the margins. What is brilliant though is how vibrant the colours are, and they don't bleed through, although as you can see they do ghost through. Also if you write or stamp over the acrylic it doesn't show through either!

Inks
Memento Inks - Tuxedo black, Lady Bug red, - Bleed through
Tim Holtz Distress inks - Cracked Sapphire, Barn Door, Bundled Sage, Peacock Feathers
If stamped they bleed, if used on a sponge then they are a thin enough layer to just ghost
Archival Ink - Jet Black - Bleeds
Whispers Archival - Starry Night - Bleeds
Adirondack - Denim - Bleeds

This is the back and front of the same page when I was testing out the stamps.


Most of these inks do not bleed if you stamp off excess ink before then doing your second stamp on the page, but ideally prep your page. They also won't bleed through if you use a medium to prepare your page first or stamp over acrylic paint, but they will still ghost.

This is what I've found so far, I'll update when I try new supplies or new techniques!

Next time I want to talk about Faux-ligraphy and fonts!

Friday, 10 February 2017

Long time...

Wow, time really flies. I really can't believe its been almost two years since my last post! Rest assured I've not stopped crafting, but the time and inclination to blog just wasn't there. So what, may you ask, has changed?

Well for Christmas I got my first journalling bible, and I'm trying to do one page a week in it.
Here's the cover of my lovely Crossway journaling bible. Its a double column with 2" ruled margins.

Ultimately its to help encourage me to spend more time studying the bible, as following the birth of #3 I was just finding it really hard to find time. But then again, I managed to find time for Netflix and other stuff, I just wasn't prioritising my bible :( I'd begun to see Journaling bibles at 10ofthose and wondered what it was all about. A couple of friends had them and occasionally posted pictures of what they'd created. I quickly set up a Pinterest for inspiration and decided that this Christmas and Birthday would be all about the bible journaling! I ordered my gorgeous Bible and a few extra crafting bits (you can never have too many pens, right?!).
I'm studying Warren Weirsbe's Pause for Power in my quiet times

 and either choose a verse that has stood out to me, or one from our Sunday service, and since January have been setting aside Sunday evening to journal. I read lots of helpful blogs and youtube videos about getting started (you can see these on my Pinterest board) and the main thing I know I will battle against is not trying to make them perfect or let it be about showing off what I've done. I'm going to try and post a blog every week showing how I've created my pages. Journaling shouldn't be daunting, and don't be put off if you aren't artistic. I want to share some of the things I've learned (and I'm sure some disasters I'll have along the way!) and the way I approach journaling a verse or phrase. I hope you enjoy it and find inspiration. I may even get inspired to post some of the other projects I've done over the past 2 years!

Saturday, 2 May 2015

The day after the week before

So we made it. We lived for £1 each a day for 5 days. James has said he found it much easier this year because he didn't have a caffeine headache all week. We did have some food left over, which will not go to waste.

700g flour - 21p
approx 40 tea bags - 17p
4 packs of crisps - 22p
1 portion of pancake batter - 8p
2 Custard creams - 2p
3 slices of bread - 9p
1/3 of the squash - 14p
1/3 jar of jam - 10p
1 banana (which I missed off the picture) - 10p
2 small portions of special fried rice - 36p

So we had £1.49 worth of food left. That might sounds impressive, but Joey had school dinners this week (I gave him the option of doing LBTL for his lunch, and initially he said he would because that's what poor people would do, but as school dinners in this country are free for KS1 pupils I told him even poor people would get a free lunch in his class, so he said he would keep having school dinners. He is only 5) so, most of this food would have been in Monkeys lunch, and we would have had the fried rice earlier in the week and had the leftovers for lunch one day, freeing up some bread for monkeys jam sandwiches!

So what did we eat the day after living below the line?
Well we didn't splurge and go mad. We had cereal and toast for breakfast (my toast was dripping in butter though, the one thing I've really missed all week!), then we did go to McDonalds for lunch, but that was because Monkey won Star of the Week at school, and I've been promising him a treat when that happened. Dinner was steak and chips, the steak was from the reduced section in Asda though ;)

Living Below the Line does have an effect on the way you shop. When I went to Aldi to do my normal shop I did keep thinking "we couldn't afford this last week", but was struck by how fortunate we are that, although I am careful and watch what we spend, I never have to keep tally as I go round to make sure I can afford what's in the trolley like last week, unlike many.

If you've been inspired by our week Living Below the Line perhaps you could do it next year? Could you go without a coffee or snack this week and donate the money to help those in poverty? We'll be donating the money we saved from our usual shopping, but more than that we've come away from this week with a renewed sense of compassion for those living in poverty, wherever they are in the world.
Donations can be made through the website below.
https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/lycettsbelowtheline



Friday, 1 May 2015

Live Below the Line 2015 - Day 5!

So as I write this I've just eaten my last bit of food for the day and will shortly be off to bed, and will wake up to many more options and choice in the food department. Today has been a great food day (we tend to keep the best until last in case morale is low!). Monkey started the day with Cocoa rice. He's been getting involved this week and helping weigh out the cereal and milk, which is not only important in keeping tabs on the price per day, but also so we didn't run out of things that we were having every day. Here's a picture of him weighing it out! (I'm teaching him some good maths skills too!)


For me, breakfast was a sausage and egg sandwich. Ideally this would have had butter and a dash of brown sauce, but it still tasted lovely!


Today was the day of the value sausages, here are 9 saver sausages, sizzling in a pan. Me and James had 2 each in our sandwich, and the other 5 were to be chopped into our special fried rice for tea.


Lunch was soup as usual, which I've enjoyed each day, but I think James was pretty bored with it, so didn't have his today.

For tea, as I've mentioned we had special fried rice. This has to be one of my favourite low cost meals, which we do actually have quite regularly even when not living below the line, but with left over chicken.


Special Fried Rice - Serves 4 - 25p a portion
500g rice - cooked and cooled
1 chopped onion
2 mushrooms
2 stock cubes (ours were beef, but any will do)
1 tsp curry powder
250g frozen vegetables
5 cooked sausages, sliced.
2 eggs, whisked

1. Use 1 tsp oil (or I used the sausage fat) and fry the onion for 2-3 minutes, then add the chopped mushroom and cook for 2-3 more minutes.
2. Add the frozen veg and the stock cubes and cook for 4 minutes until everything is warm and sizzling.
3. Push to the side of the pan to make room to cook the eggs in the centre, whisking to make like scrambled eggs.
4. Add the rice and mix all the other ingredients together.
5. Sprinkle the curry powder over the rice mix and then season with salt and pepper.
6. Leave the rice to almost catch on the pan to give it a lovely crunchy texture.
7. When it's almost done add the sausages to warm through.
8. Serve!


So the total for today...drum roll...

Breakfast - Sausage and egg sandwich - 30p
Lunch - Soup and 2 slices toast - 16p
Tea - Fried Rice - 25p
Snacks - 3 custard creams, pack of crisps and banana - 18p

Total - 89p

James and Joey had pancakes for pudding, and I had enough money in my £1 to have them, but I was so full from the fried rice I didn't have any.

I'm going to post again tomorrow with what we had left at the end of the week, and any final thoughts, but for today I'll say good night!


Thursday, 30 April 2015

Live Below the Line 2015 - Day 4

So Day 4, we're in the final stages of the challenge. Today I found it easier than yesterday. I didn't feel hungry this morning, but I was definitely ready when it was time for tea!

After school on Thursday I have my year 11s for revision, and always have lots of biscuits for them. I was telling them all about living below the line, and they were amazed that you could live on just £1 and were asking all about what I'd eaten. When I think about doing LBTL, part of it is personal and making a personal sacrifice to try and understand just a tiny bit of what it is like to actually be hungry and have so little choice in what to eat. Another reason is to raise money for charities like Tearfund who are trying hard to help those living in poverty around the world. The thing I've found most amazing this year is all the conversations I've had with family, friends, colleagues, pupils etc and raising awareness of poverty, at home and overseas.

Tonight in our bible study we prayed for Yemen due to the persecution that Christians face there, but we also read that approximately 45% of people there live below the poverty line. Almost 1 in 2 people are in poverty. That's something that is quite hard to comprehend. I went looking for some statistics about it and found this interesting website showing world poverty.

Some of the shocking statistics include
  • More than 800 million people go to bed hungry every day, including 300 million children
  • Every 3.6 seconds a person dies of starvation, and most of those who die are children under age of 5
  • Every year 6 million children die from malnutrition before their fifth birthday
When was the last time you went to bed hungry? (and I'm not talking about being on a diet!) How would you feel about your children going to bed hungry? or dying from starvation.
If nothing else, I want after this week to have highlighted to people how fortunate we are, and how much we take for granted the variety/access and availability of food we have in our country. If you'd like to sponsor us check out our webpage.

Over to todays menu.

Breakfast - Cocoa Pops & cup of tea - 13p

Lunch - Soup, 2 slices of bread and pack of crisps - 21p

Dinner - Spaghetti bolognese and pancakes for pudding - 49p

Snacks - 2 custard creams - 2p

Total - 85p

The hit today was pancakes for pudding!
125g flour, 250ml liquid (half milk, half water) and 1 egg made 9 pancakes.
Joey even helped me make the pancakes and flip them which he enjoyed. Unfortunately I forget to take a picture until we only had this sorry looking one left, plus the camera lens was obviously misty! A splash of lemon and a sprinkle of sugar, and they were delicious!

Tomorrow I'm looking forward to a very special breakfast! See you tomorrow!


Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Live Below the Line 2015 - Day 3

Sorry for the short and photo free post.

Today I've been busy at work, hardly having time to notice being hungry. I enjoyed my soup and bread for lunch and my crisps too. I didn't take my custard creams with me, so come 3 o'clock I was needing a cup of tea and a biscuit, neither of which I could have (I'd only brought one tea bag with me).

Tonight we were having the curry left from Monday, and also the tortillas I'd made too. Here is one thing I learned today: 2 day old homemade tortillas don't taste good! Unfortunately I didn't have time when I got in to be able to cook them fresh, but I'll bear that in mind in the future!

So how did we do today?

Breakfast - 
Cocoa rice, 1 slice toast with jam and cup of tea - 14p

Lunch -
Soup, 2 slices of bread, crisps - 21p

Dinner - 
Quorn Curry and rice, stale tortillas - 59p

Snacks - 
Custard creams and half a jam sandwich - 5p

Total - 99p

I'm coming to the conclusion that either my hunger is psychological or because we're not eating a lot of protein, but I'm definitely feeling more hungry than usual.

Tomorrow I'm looking forward to having pancakes for pudding!!

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Live Below the Line 2015 -Day 2

Good Evening, I'll keep this short and sweet as I need to go to bed as I've had parents evening tonight, then marked books and I'm working tomorrow, so much sleep needed!

Today has been interesting. I've found it really hard resisting food we have in the house that isn't part of LBTL, so not allowed. I may have to hide completely all these things that are taunting me (ironically most stuff has been there for at least a week or two since Easter, and until now I had no interest in it, which shows you always want what you can't have!).

So today I was off work with the little man, and had to resist everyone eating toast and biscuits at toddler group as I had a glass of water. I couldn't wait to get home and eat my soup for lunch.

The vegetable soup was 10 times better today, in my opinion, as I blended it. Initially I had left the soup like a broth with vegetables in it, as my husband said he would prefer it like that, but I most definitely didn't. So now we have 2 separate containers of soup in the fridge, one blended, one not! I also got a treat for lunch of cheese on toast with my soup! This is the first year we have managed to afford cheese, and only because we bought a pack of sliced cheddar. The good thing about buying it sliced is that it is automatically portioned up, so no wastage and no arguing over who got more!

Tonight's spaghetti bolognese turned out...interesting!
It definitely wasn't bolognese, but it was tasty according to me and my husband (Monkey wasn't quite so convinced!), so gets the thumbs up.

Recipe - Serves 5
Cost - 33p a portion

10 raw sausages - meat removed from skins
2 onions
150g frozen carrots (I separated these out from the mixed veg bag)
500g carton of passata
Tin of chopped tomatoes
2 stock cubes (I used beef, but any would do) made into 400ml stock.
500g spaghetti

1. Fry the onions in the pan for 2-3 minutes
2. Add the sausage meat and fry for a further few minutes to brown the meat
3. Add the frozen carrot, tomatoes, passata and stock, bring to simmer and leave for 20 minutes.
4. Boil water and cook spaghetti as per packet instructions.
5. Enjoy!

So todays money looks like this
Breakfast - Cocoa pops, milk, tea and 2 slices toast with jam - 19p
Lunch - Soup, 2 slices toast with 2 slices of cheese - 39p
Dinner - Spaghetti bolognese (?) - 33p
Snacks - Crisps and 2 custard creams and tea - 9p
Total £1.00

Monday, 27 April 2015

Live Below the Line 2015 - Day 1

Welcome to my posts about Live Below the Line 2015.

This is our 3rd year taking part, and just to change it up a bit we've altered the menu that we had the last 2 years. I took the obligatory photo of all our food and set about planning a menu for the 5 days.



Aldi
Mixed Veg 1kg 0.89
Quorn Pieces 1.48
Sausages x 20 0.99
Onions x8 0.59
Rice 1kg 0.40
Spaghetti 500g 0.20
Eggs x6 0.79
1.5kg flour 0.45
Custard Cream 0.26
Stock Cubes x 12 0.39
White Bread x 20 slices 0.55
Squash 0.42
Jam 0.29
Tinned potatoes 0.15
Asda
Mushrooms 500g 0.50
Passata 0.35
Chopped Tomatoes - 2 tins 0.68
Coco Rice 0.83
Teabags x 80 0.34
Ice cream 0.89
Bananasx4 0.39
Crisps x 12 0.66
Cheese slices 0.94
Milk 0.75
Bread 0.55
Total 14.73

After both Monkey and my husband decided last year to dismiss the smart price cornflakes we had to find a better alternative this year. Although not particularly cheap we settled on Asda smart price Cocoa rice, which I have to say got the thumbs up this morning. Last year we also didn't have tea or coffee, but after my husband had terrible headaches all week we decided caffeine had to be on the list this time, even if it had to be tea (my husband is a coffee drinker, but we couldn't afford a jar of coffee!)

Todays Menu looked like this:

Breakfast - Cocoa Rice, slice of toast with jam, cup of tea. 14p

Lunch - Vegetable soup, 2 slices of bread with 2 custard creams. 18p

Dinner - Quorn Curry with rice and homemade tortillas, icecream. 67p

Total 99p


I made homemade tortillas, which turned out a bit more crispy than normal tortillas, but everyone really enjoyed them!I made 16, we had 8 tonight and will have 8 with the left over curry on Wednesday, and they are just flour and water, super frugal. I'll hopefully have time to post the recipe for the curry tomorrow, because its really yummy!

To find out more about Live Below the line go have a look at the website.https://www.livebelowtheline.com/

Sunday, 9 November 2014

I need a time turner!

If anyone invents one of these it will make them an instant millionaire!

For those not in the know, a time turner is a device from the Harry Potter films which Hermione uses to go to extra classes at school by turning back time and attending 2 classes at once! Its used to great effect in the 3rd film! 
Anyhow, my life at the moment seems to jump from one thing to the next which just time to breathe in between. 
I teach (albeit part time), and reforms in education over the last few years have left most teachers at breaking point in terms of workload. I won't bore you, but most teachers are having a miserable time.

Crafting has had to be put on a back burner for me, and I only do things which are essential. I've even (gasp) given away things I've not even had chance to photograph, which in terms of blogging, and also in terms of keeping a log of what I've made, is pretty dire!

I've made mostly cakes over the past 6 months (my absense from Blogger!) and I'm excited to share them, but I never get the chance to sit down and actually blog! So I'm challenging myself to spend just 1 hour a week getting back up to date with my blogging, so be prepared for a weekly cake hit! I can't remember the last time I sat down and made a card, probably about 3 months ago :(

Anyway, for the time being, if anyone hears of, or happens to invent a time turner, please let me know!!

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Wallace and Gromit Were-Rabbit Birthday Cake

I have been terrible at updating my blog recently, but I needed to share this.

My lovely Monkey turned 5 recently, and he requested a Curse of the Were-rabbit cake, as he LOVES Wallace and Gromit. Now the only problem with 4/5 year olds, is that they believe that whatever they ask for can be magically created (and I always try my best to magically create!).

So here is the cake.

Gromit and Wallaces' head are both modelling chocolate (which I made, and I'll post the details and photos later) and the rest is fondant. The cake (at Monkeys' request) was Vanilla sponge, strawberry jam and chocolate buttercream.
I want to add more photos to this post when I get round to it!

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Final day Living Below the Line

Yesterday was day 5 of Living of Below the Line.
Having been quite strict at the start of the 5 days we found we had a reasonable amount left to play around with. Now if you are very strict with the rules of Living Below the Line you should only have £1 worth of food each day. That means you can't eat 25p for first 4 days and then £4 on the last day. However, this wasn't an intentional thing, it just happened that we had extra on the last day. I suppose for those people living in poverty they wouldn't be eating up leftovers on day 5, I guess they'd be pleased to have stretched their limited budget a little further and that they'd have more to spend the following week.
An example of this was lunch. We had our luxury item, a pack of sausages, to eat, and we also had 2 eggs leftover. This meant both me and dear hubby were able to have a fried egg and sausage sandwich for lunch. Which was delicious!
Realistically I could have had either the egg OR the sausages, not had both together.

My sister in law (SIL) and her fiance came to visit, which was lovely. We had to warn them that we would still be Living Below the Line, but they offered to sneak off if they needed food.
We went out for a little walk and some geocaching. If you haven't done this its super fun, you get the GPS coordinates of some item someone has left and you go find it. Some are boxes you can put a small token in and write your name on a log book to say you found it, some are tiny and can only fit in a tiny piece of paper for names. My SIL has the app on her phone and we found 5 at Rivington Reservoir, there were a few more, but the battery on her phone was dying, not to mention EJ was getting grumpy.
Going out was a challenge because we would normally stop off for icecream or a cup of tea, but we didn't have any funds, so instead we took some squash in a bottle and the last few custard creams.

When we got home for tea we were having the left over bolognese, and I defrosted some bolognese from the freezer for SIL and future Brother in Law (BIL), so we could eat together.
Pudding was pancakes, a definite favourite all around.

Monkey enjoying his pancake.

One thing I've realised today is that having friends or family round, or showing hospitality to people costs.
We take for granted that we can invite people round for a meal, for a brew, for a meeting, and that we'll have food/drink for them.
 Almost every week at our bible study group we meet at our house, and often have cake or biscuits. This week we couldn't even offer a drink other than water. Now obviously everyone who came was fully supportive of what we're doing and didn't mind at all, but imagine if you had people coming round and you couldn't afford anything for them. What would you say/do? Find an excuse to postpone or just not offer anything? If you struggled to make ends meet how would you feel if your kids wanted a friend round for dinner? A work friend who has 3 kids told me she regularly has 7 kids round for tea. How can you do this if you're struggling to even feed yourself?

So how did we end the 5 days? Unbelievably we had some food left:
 800ml of milk (mainly because Monkey and hubby didn't have breakfast)
 1/3 jar of jam (10p)
 1/2 a loaf of bread (23p)
 3 yogurts (24p)
 500g Cornflakes (28p)
1/2 banana (5p)
4 portions of lentil soup (40p)
So £1.30 worth. Don't worry it won't be wasted. I froze the soup in portions so I can take them to work, and the rest is gradually being used now.

I enjoyed my breakfast this morning immensely. A cup of tea and toast with butter. This few days has been a real challenge, but mentally as much as anything. I have found it really humbling to think again about just how much we have, and hopefully it will have had a lasting effect.


I heard a great song yesterday on UCB, called Do Something which I thought was very significant for what we'd just been doing. I just wanted to share the lyrics:

"I woke up this morning
Saw a world full of trouble now
Thought, how'd we ever get so far down
How's it ever gonna turn around
So I turned my eyes to Heaven
I thought, "God, why don't You do something?"
Well, I just couldn't bear the thought of
People living in poverty
Children sold into slavery
The thought disgusted me
So, I shook my fist at Heaven
Said, "God, why don't You do something?"

He said, "I did, I created you"

Chorus:
If not us, then who
If not me and you
Right now, it's time for us to do something
If not now, then when
Will we see an end
To all this pain
It's not enough to do nothing
It's time for us to do something

I'm so tired of talking
About how we are God's hands and feet
But it's easier to say than to be
Live like angels of apathy who tell ourselves
It's alright, "somebody else will do something"
Well, I don't know about you
But I'm sick and tired of life with no desire
I don't want a flame, I want a fire
I wanna be the one who stands up and says,
"I'm gonna do something"

We are the salt of the earth
We are a city on a hill (shine shine, shine shine)
But we're never gonna change the world
By standing still
No we won't stand still 
If not us, then who
If not me and you
Right now, it's time for us to do something
If not now, then when
Will we see an end
To all this pain
It's not enough to do nothing
It's time for us to do something"

 Matthew West - Do Something Lyrics 



If you'd like to Do Something you could donate to help those in extreme poverty here.
Thanks for reading about our Live Below the Line journey. I'll post one more follow up post tomorrow!