Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Live Below The Line: Day 1

I survived my first day of Live Below The Line!

Just to recap, I'm living on no more than £1 of food per day for the next 5 days to raise awareness of extreme poverty, and to raise funds for Unicef.

There are 1.2 billion people worldwide, who have to do this everyday, and not just for food. Can you imagine trying to include shelter, clothing and heat in that too? Nope, me neither.

I went to the supermarket on Sunday and here's what I bought:


Milk £1.09
Cornflakes 31p
Frozen mixed vegetables £1
Spaghetti 19p
Long grain rice 40p
Milk chocolate 30p
Peanuts 48p
Chopped tomatoes 31p
Vegetable stock cubes 15p
Baking potato 29p
TOTAL £4.52

I'm allowed as much tap water as I like, but anything extra has to be added.  So for example, I can use store cupboard items, like teabags, sugar, cooking oil etc, but I have to include the portion price. Where the portion isn't a round number I've been rounding up, just to make sure I don't go over the £1.


Monday 29th April

Breakfast: 45g of cornflakes with milk and 20g peanuts 19p

Mid-morning: A cup of tea with milk and one sugar 8p

Lunch: Rice, boiled with a stock cube and veg 11p and one cornflake cake 6p

Mid-afternoon: A cup of tea with milk and one sugar 8p

Evening meal: Spaghetti with ⅓ tin of tomatoes and boiled veg 20p and a cup of tea 8p

Total: 80p


Wow! I didn't expect to come in so far under a pound! I was a little hungry mid-afternoon but I felt better after my cup of tea, but the worst hunger was in the evening. Once I'd tallied up my spend for the day I was tempted to spend the last 48p of my overall shopping budget on something else to eat, but I figured that, as it's only day 1, I should try and stick it out and see how I get on.

Fingers crossed for tomorrow!

Thank you to everyone who has donated so far, it has really spurred me on! To donate or check my progress, please visit my Live Below The Line page.

Monday, 29 April 2013

♥ This Week's Loves ♥


1. Trying on ridiculous sunglasses, just for fun! Mental note: Probably should have smiled...

2. Holiday shopping! After tidying out my suitcase and realising I have nothing to wear in Portugal next week, I decided to treat myself to some bright new clothes!

3. My favourite love this week has got to be Iron Man 3! Absolutely loved it! It amazes me how many people don't stay to see the extra bit after the credits at Marvel movies though!

4. I had my first curry in absolutely ages this weekend, way too long really, so I had my favourite Vegetable Biryani.

5. Got back on my thrifting horse this weekend, and got some excellent new things to add to my vintage shop!

6. I found these old Twinkle annuals, which I've fallen in love with and this may be the start of another collection! I love the cartoons and the colours and style, plus I remember them from when I was little, so there's some nostalgia chucked in there for good measure!

7. I also got a Super Badge It! machine for next to nothing. It was barely used, and wouldn't work right, but I cracked it open and fixed it so now it's as good as new.

8. And another collection begins (how many is that now?)! I got this stash of Bond DVDs too, which means the Sky+ can be freed up a bit more!

9. Tomorrow I start Live Below The Line, so I was cooking up a low cost storm in the kitchen last night! You can follow my progress throughout the week right here on my blog!

Live Below The Line: My Usual Eating Habits

Today I start to Live Below The Line, raising awareness of extreme poverty (and some funds for Unicef) by living on no more than £1 of food per day for 5 days.

I'll be blogging every day to let you know how it's going and to share my meals with you, but I thought I'd let you know what I eat in a normal day and the cost for comparison.

Breakfast: A cup of tea with lots of milk and one sugar (8p) and a blackberry yogurt (38p).


Lunch: A cheese sandwich (28p and, yes, cut into squares!), crisps (26p) and chocolate (18p), all washed down with more tea (8p).


Afternoon snack: More tea (8p) and a chocolate biscuit (11p).


Evening meal: Quorn Gruyere Cheese Escalope (£1.25), potato croquettes (8p) and cauliflower (23p), followed by tea (8p) and iced buns (45p).


So there you have it! I spent £3.54 on food that day, and that's about my usual mid-week, but that means I spend 3.5 times the amount that someone in extreme poverty spends on food, and I don't think I eat excessively or expensively!

If you feel that you can spare any sum of money, in any currency, please donate and support me. The funds raised go to help people worldwide, not just in the UK.



Friday, 26 April 2013

Quick Poll: Which Bag Would You Choose?

With only 9 days to go until I leave for Portugal, I'm torn between two handbags to take to my friend's wedding there and I need your help!

My dress is a 50's vintage style, berry red, textured silk number (if that helps)!

These are the shoes:


Do you think I should go with this vintage inspired bag with the floral brooch...
 ...or this art deco style clutch?

Thursday, 25 April 2013

☆ Flights Of Fancy ☆

Things which have captured my imagination this week...

These photoshopped animals! How cute is this Guinea Lion? How about a Purilla, Snorse or Elephuck?

This song is AMAZING! Love Daft Punk, love Pharrell!

These pulp fiction covers as posters

This dress is so simple but summery, I might remove the belt though...

 ...and add these earrings!

I love these custom puppets, what a great gift!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

A Bit More About Live Below The Line

Yesterday I announced that I'll be taking part in Live Below The Line this year and today I thought I'd give you a bit more info about it.


We'll start with the basics. Live Below The Line is a worldwide project to increase the awareness of extreme poverty.

The challenge is to survive on only £1 of food per day for the 5 days spanning Monday 29th April to Friday 3rd May 2013. Everything, and I mean everything, that I eat and drink within that period MUST be included within that £1, with the exception of tap water. I can't be gifted food, I can't use food from my cupboard, I can't drink a cup of tea at work without including the cost in my £1. As a comparison, I currently spend £3-5 at least every day on food.

Real people living in extreme poverty must survive on less than £1 per day FULL STOP. Not just food, but every other living expense has to be covered by that pound. Living in the UK the chances of me ever being in that situation are pretty slim, so I can't even begin to imagine what that's like. And that's why I'm taking part.

As I said in my last post, I need your support to help me do this. I hope you'll donate whatever you can and encourage me as I go! The funds I raise will go to Unicef, which raises funds to ensure that children and families worldwide have clean water, food, health care, education and a safe environment in which to grow up.

I'll keep you updated with my progress on my blog, but in the meantime, here's the lovely Tom Hiddleston...

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Live Below The Line

Oh my god, I did it, I just signed up for Live Below The Line!
From 29th April to 3rd May, I have to live off just £1 of food a day. Why £1? Because that's the international definition of living in extreme poverty.

I'm not doing this for fun (mainly because I know it won't be), no sir, I'm doing it for Unicef. I know it's going to be a serious challenge and I'd be very grateful for your support, both by way of donations and regular encouragement!

You can find out all about it at Live Below The Line and can donate via my page.

Thank you!

Monday, 22 April 2013

♥ This Week's Loves ♥


1. I've been hunting for months for shoes to wear to my friend's wedding, which is now only 2 weeks away! I couldn't find anything to match but I spotted these and they're a great contrast, so they are my new wedding shoes!

2. Now that the weather is heating up, I realised that I've forgotten what I wore before my Winter coat! I decided to treat myself to this new trenchcoat, I love the leather-look details and contrasting colours.

3. Now that Spring has sprung, I'm loving all the pretty flowers!

4. As you may know, I struggle to do nice pictures of myself! This is me demonstrating an odd love, my dentist! I've been having issues with my teeth and this week was my 7th or 8th appointment of the year so far and I only have one more to go. Hurrah! My dentist is really nice and has made it all very bearable, which I'm very thankful for!

5. My tenant moved out of my flat in Dundee this week so I was down there decorating and putting in new heating and a new suite. It's looking much better than it did when I lived there, shame its too far away for me to live in!

6. Whilst there I went to see Olympus Has Fallen with friends.  I really enjoyed it and wish Gerard Butler would stick to this kind of role. I'm not a fan of his rom-com stuff, I like it better when he kicks ass!

7. Cheesecake. That one's pretty self-explanatory!

8. After lunch (and all the cheesecake), we went to play in the park with Bree. She such a cuddly, funny dog!

9.  My friend is leaving for London this week, and we had a leaving night out for her. So one of my loves is Leanne! She's lovely and happy and funny and friendly and she's made me more me by reminding me that it's ok to just be yourself and do what makes you happy! I'm going to miss her (despite regular visits)! Oh, and she's blogging all about it here!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Why Tiny Bird Heart?

Right now is a prime example of why I named my blog Tiny Bird Heart.


(For best results, read this very quickly...)

Tonight is my uncle's birthday, tomorrow night is my friend's leaving do and this weekend I'm going down to my flat in Dundee (an 160 mile round trip) to do some work before I find a new tenant.

Tonight I have to go back to the diy shop for the third time with faulty heaters and go elsewhere to buy more heaters.  After that I have to wrap my uncle's present and visit him for some birthday chat, tea and cakes.

Somewhere between now and tomorrow at about 6pm I have to pack my car with a hob, new heaters, my toolbox, painting and cleaning equipment. I also have to pack my usual overstuffed suitcase and remember to put enough items in to make one complete evening outfit, rather than the two or three half outfits I usually take. Oh, and I have to work my usual 9-5.

Then I can relax and enjoy my friend's leaving do, before being very sad and saying goodbye :(

On Saturday I'll get up bright and early to go to Dundee, where I'll paint and clean, go and pick up a new suite and oven and hopefully have it and some new kitchen units and a worktop fitted that day.  I say hopefully, because the joiner isn't replying to our mutual friend so I may be joiner-less. In which case, the whole trip is a waste of time.

If that all goes to plan, I can relax again and enjoy a night out with friends.

Then on Sunday I have to interview possible tenants, get paperwork signed and take a deposit before I hand over keys and make my way back home.

(...and breathe).

A tiny bird's heart beats at approximately 500-600 beats per minute...

☆ Flights Of Fancy ☆

Things which have captured my imagination this week...

 This picture of cherry blossoms and snow in Nagano

Want to cuddle all the bunnies in sweaters!

 These cute shoes are less than half price! Now, which to choose...

Not just any map, this one's made up of film titles!

How sweet (and true in my case!) is this?

These vintage weight gain adverts. How times change!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

My Chosen Alternative To Google Reader

On the 14th March, I posted about the impending closure of Google Reader.

I hate it when stuff like that happens. You find a product or service you like, only to have it taken it away and then you have to find a suitable alternative. Alas, my moany cries of "but I liked that one" were of no help BUT I think I've found a pretty sweet alternative!


Feedly, this is everyone. Everyone, this is Feedly.  I actually now wonder what all the fuss about Google Reader was because this is pretty similar, except much more colourful and it's just as easy to use!

First things first, the main benefit is that you can transfer everything from your Reader feed, favourites and subscriptions into Feedly very easily. It does all the hard work for you, you just need to give it access to your Reader to account do it. So that's a major boost!

Secondly, it looks good.  You can change the display to show your feed in a list...


 ...or in various formats with images.


It also has plenty of other ways you can customise your feed, including colours, layouts, modules and stuff.


And there's also a list of keyboard shortcuts if you like to zoom about!


Finally, and another one of my favourite things about Feedly, is that it has apps! Blog feeds on the go?  Don't mind if I do!

So I can catch up on my iPhone...


...and my iPad too!


Does anyone else use Feedly?  What do you think of it? Or do you have another favourite alternative you'd like to share?  Tell me about it below!

Monday, 15 April 2013

♥ This Week's Loves ♥


1. Crimer Show has kept me laughing all week. I read bits out loud to Mum and laugh, not sure she's quite getting it though, think you need to see it written down to fully appreciate it!

2. We've had some proper family time this week, making vintage jigsaws for my Whimsy shop...

3. ...whilst watching the Great British Sewing Bee. I love to see what they make and ogle the very dapper Patrick Grant.

4. This weekend was the first sunny weekend of the year! Full on, two days running of sunny-ness! Spring is here! Mum and I went to a garden centre to see the pretty flowers and bunny rabbit ornaments.

5. Whilst there, I found these tasty treats! I thought the Lucky charms wouldn't be as nice as I remember them, but they were and the Nerds are still delish! I'd never had Milk Duds before and was a bit disappointed that they were just caramel in chocolate but they were still yummy!

6. Still in sunshine mode (despite the cold wind that turned up!) we went to my Auntie's 50th birthday barbecue. It was really good to see all that side of the family in one place for the first time in ages.

7. I finally succumbed this weekend and bought a Kindle. I have a stack of books that I need to read and I never seem to get time, so I figured I'd get a Kindle and I could carry the books everywhere and have no excuse not to read them. It'll also be handy for my flights to Portugal and New York. I've started with The Complete Sherlock Holmes as the book is massive!

8. Seeing Fall Out Boy on Alan Carr this week has rekindled my love for them! Hearing them reminds me of being a student in Dundee, and driving about in the sunshine and singing along! I went onto YouTube and watched all their old videos and Panic! At The Disco's too. Must did out my CDs!

9. I managed to squeeze in two film this weekend too. The first was The Place Beyond The Pines, which wasn't fully what I expected it to be. I think I thought it was more to do with Bradley Cooper hunting down Ryan Gosling, but that's only part of it. It was a good film but not as good as I'd expected.

After that I went to see Spring Breakers, which most people seem to either love or hate. I didn't hate it, but I wasn't that impressed by it either. It looked nice, lots of pretty colours and views, but I found it really repetitive and it was pretty graphic in bits, three people walked out of my screening. Some bits were hilarious though, especially the bit at the piano!

Let me know what you've been loving this week (and what you thought of the movies I saw)!

Thursday, 11 April 2013

☆ Flights Of Fancy ☆

Things which have captured my imagination this week...

Wanted: These fierce boots!

Oh, and this dress. I need to be a lot richer than I am...

These Urban Outfitters retro plushes *cuddles*

I love these bookshelves


So many awesome phone covers on this site



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Maira Gall