Can you believe it is now December? This has been such an unexpectedly awesome month! I certainly met my goal of having fun :-) I did completely fail with my aim of sorting out my bedroom and living room decor, never mind it does look ok as it is, and pretty festive right now:

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I got some star lights for hanging round our bed frame for Christmas, I think they look so pretty :-)

Great things from this month:

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I’ve continued trying to balance out my eating and be more intuitive. I’ve generally been pretty good but I have had a couple of over eating episodes on an evening again. As always, I’m trying not to beat myself up on it but it is a habit I’m really trying to address, not because of issues relating to weight gain or size, but because I feel so crap physically and mentally when it happens. I’m working on accepting that having a snacky evening sometimes is completely normal! I have loads of thoughts on weight maintenance and the scales and what not but I think I need at least one wordy post for all of that!

In December I’d like to…

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  • Continue the good run I seem to be on at the moment and enjoy everything Christmas has to offer!
  • Not feel guilty when I enjoy extra / richer foods
  • Continue to workout fairly consistently
  • Enjoy some really delicious seasonal food!
  • Get my head around the whole allotment thing and have a plan of action ready for next year
  • Start writing up a plan of action for my community healthy living programmes
  • Finish my Diet and Nutrition course!

The course work and action plans for the allotment and community stuff are going to take some work but if I’m going to achieve what I want I need to be super duper organised!

The Big Budget Challenge – how I did and what I’ve learned

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See this post for the rules and guidelines I set myself for the last two months. I’ll be honest, I think I did ok but not brilliant. I managed to clear a credit card and generally feel like I’ve taken control of my finances. I did go over my grocery budget, however I feel like I’ve completely changed the way I shop for food. I also feel like I’ve developed lots of good habits that I’m hoping are going to stick and make me more frugal in the future:

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  • Cooking beans from scratch – I had never cooked beans from scratch and doing the Big Budget Challenge prompted me to try. Its so easy I’m pretty sure this is a habit I’ll be keeping up!
  • Sold stuff on eBay – This was a great way to get a little income out of un worn clothing. I need to get into a habit of having regular clear outs .
  • I changed my skin care routine – instead of using expensive face wipes I now use face cloths and Lush Ultrabland cleanser which is cheaper and more environmentally friendly. I also started using coconut oil as a night moisturiser
  • I got back into the habit of shopping at multiple stores – Lidl, Aldi and Green Grocers which has an awesome discount!
  • I reminded myself of what my grocery staples are.
  • I started to make sure I prioritise the ‘extras’ that I like to buy, especially more expensive health foods, and realised that I really don’t need as many as I thought!
  • Started checking out budget themed websites and blogs for inspiration and making good use of discount codes and online deals
  • Put my name down on the allotment list and got my plot!
  • Started making my own raw nut butter – best discovery ever!

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I think that doing the challenge has given me the reality check I needed and it made me realise how truly blessed I am for all that I have in my life outside of materialistic things. It made me see that I simply could not continue spending money the way I had been. I think the fact that I’ve gone over my grocery budget each time means that realistically I need to increase it a little, but even then I will still be saving over £50 what I was spending before I set the challenge.

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Due to the job scare we had with James in the middle of the challenge I think I can safely say that the challenge doesn’t end here for me. That just proved how tough times are right now, and James is still only on contracted work so we need to be prepared for the worse case scenario. Overall I’m so happy that I set myself this challenge and big thanks to everyone who has read and commented on all my posts!

Huge thanks also to everyone that took part in the challenge. It really meant so much to me that I wasn’t in it alone and I think we have all learned so much by doing it. Three big cheers to all my Big Budgeters and their round up posts!

Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes

Alissa @ Not Just Apples

Sarah @ Every Day’s a Picnic

December Sponsors

Big thanks to my current sponsors Sarah @ Every Day’s a Picnic and Cat @ Knitting Running Eating for being long term blogger sponsors. Thanks again to iHerb, Goodness Direct and Viva Pure for supporting me and offering up some fab discounts and giveaways over the last year! I’m not accepting any new sponsors for December but hopefully I’ll be back next year with plenty of new bloggers, new brands and great giveaways!

As always if this is something your interested in check out my sponsorship page for more details!

How was November for you? Do you have any goals for December? Have you got your Christmas decorations up yet? I’ve just put my little Christmas tree up and I’m feeling so excited!