Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Budgeting Advice and Universal Credit

Hiya in the UK we are about to receive a massive shake up to the welfare system this means anyone receiving welfare payments will now get them monthly.  Never fear budgeting is your friend.  As you know I do a budget every year as our yearly income can change due to it being shift that are not set out and different shifts are paid at different rates.  J gets paid weekly from work and I get paid monthly.  Each year I see what we have coming in and what we have going out bills wise.

*When we get paid J pays his income into the account weekly and I pay mine monthly when it is received.  So there is always money going into the account.

*All the payments are by direct debit (usually the cheapest ways to pay) plus money for the car insurance is included as is house insurance (these are then paid in full as money is already saved up and it is cheaper than paying per month).

*If you have a very tight budget you pay them in this order:

Rent/Mortgage (or risk loosing home)
Council tax (or face getting a bill for full year)
Food (foodbanks are availiable in many areas for those in serious need)

These are the basics for survival the rest of them are luxury and should be paid secondary.

I hope this post can be of help to somebody, any advice needed feel free to comment.

Love Dawn

Thinking Ahead - Teachers Leaving Gifts

Hiya I cannot believe it is nearly May already, where has the time gone?  Here in the UK we give gifts to Teachers at school during the last week of term to say thank you and to show are appreciation of all there hard work.  I know many Teachers who are inundated with bottles of wine and boxes of chocolates which are nice, but they get so many so I thought it might be nice to do something a bit different and a bit more personalised.

I decided to make a bag charm for each of my daughters school teachers personalised with little touches such as teacher charms, thank you charms, favourite colour beads, guardian angels ect.  Here they are:

 I have now decided to sell these in my shop as well so I can make up any custom order you like and follow your theme.  I can also make them containing daughter, mum, niece ect so if you would like me to make you a bag charm as a teacher gift or otherwise please feel free to leave a comment (all comments are moderated and no personal details are published) or contact me at: www.etsy.com/shop/DawnRoseCreates
I will be happy to work with your ideas and designs.

I hope your all having a fab Tuesday
Love Dawn

Monday, 29 April 2013

Good Morning Campers

Hiya Everyone,

I'm in a good mood today even though it's Monday and even though I'd planned to do some photographing today of Jewellery for my shop to find I had accidentally left my camera on all night and it now has no power.  I couldn't believe it, never mind ever the organised I had other work related things to be getting on with.

I've listed more new items that I had previously photographed in my shop
check out my new items in my shop the link is here

Feel free to leave me any feedback in comments or if you would like a custom made item send me a message at the shop.

Hope your all having a Happy Monday

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Today we went to the fun fair

Today we went to the fun fair, the kids loved it.  Here are some pics of our day out.
 Oh yes Barnaby came too.
 The bouncy castle.
 The roller coaster.
 The merry go round.
The teacups.
The jets.

A fun time had by all.

Hope you all had a fab Sunday.

Love Dawn.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Say hello to Barnaby!

Hiya Everyone,

This is Barnaby, my daughter Peaches has brought him home from school and has to write a diary about what he gets up to in the week.  Every week a different child gets to take Barnaby home and this week he joins the four ring circus madness of the Dawn Rose household.

It must have been a bit of a shock for poor Barnaby as he spent his half hour with us stowed away in Peaches' soaking wet school bag as the rain poured down drenching us as we waited at the bus stop.  We had to warm him up with a hot chocolate when we got in, he seems quite happy now and has settled into the madness quite well.  Tomorrow Barnaby will accompany us to the fun fair, lets hope he isn't scared of heights.

Have fun
Dawn X

Friday, 26 April 2013

Yay Happy Dance

It is nearly the weekend.  J has 2 more shifts to work and then a week off.  I don't know if you remember the porch I started to paint back in February well due to life taking over it never got finished so next week I am hoping to continue with it and hopefully get it finished, I also plan to make more pretties for my online shop www.etsy.com/shop/DawnRoseCreates feel free to take a browse.  This weekend I shall spend time with my family which will be lovely and there may even be a game of Monopoly on the cards but shhhhhhh don't tell the kids because it is a surprise. lol they love Monopoly which can go on forever my eldest daughter is practising I'm sure to be a property tycoon when she's older.

Ah well less of this sitting around there is work to be done along with copious amounts of housework.  Must dash.

Have a fab weekend
Love Dawn x

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Children having a grow again

Hiya everyone,

Today we did our big shop at Asda and they have the new summer stuff in at the moment, as my girls have all had a grow since last summer i have stocked up on cute little outfits ready for the summer months when we are off on holiday.  They loved them (which is always a relief).  This week I have also been making more jewellery and have put an order through for some more gorgeous beads and findings.  Watch this space for sterling silver jewellery and more bag charms.  I have to say I am enjoying the sunshine we have had lately it really makes you feel happy to feel the sun on your bones.

I hope everyone is having a good week.  This weekend we plan to take the kids to a funfair in the local park it should be fun, I just hope it is dry weather for it.

 Anybody got any plans for the weekend?

Love Dawn x

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Simple Sundays

Hiya everyone

Today it is just me and my girls as J is working on a 9 day shift.  It is drizzling outside (managed to get most of my washing dry on the line before hand though luckily), we have a Mince beef yellow stickered stew on the hob simmering ready for later and we have had some creative fun.

A dear friend of mine (Mrs Geekcycled) visited us a couple of weeks back bringing with her hamma beads in many different colours, since then I have had little girls eager to try them out but we haven't had any time.  Today was a perfect day to get creative at my ever used ever so sad looking kitchen table and we decided to make some coasters for our bedside tables.  I made one for J in Everton colours to cheer him up for when he comes in shattered from work.

Here are the pictures I took of the making and of the finished product.

We would like to say a big thank you to Mrs Geekcycled for the hamma beads we all thoroughly enjoyed them.

Hope your all having a fantastic weekend.
Love Dawn x

Friday, 19 April 2013

Mum i want a party for my birthday!

Hello everyone,

"Mum i want a party for my birthday" the sentence that many a parent hears every year.  Parents shake at the cost, the budget can be blown on the party bags alone i know.

My lot love a party, in previous years we have had a soft play (no stress, you just turn up with your cake and your purse).  It can cost around £6.99 a head depending on venue so £6.99x15 kids=£104.85 and no washing up, just settle the bill at the end and shoehorn all the presents in the car, simples!

We have two summer birthdays so tend to have a family BBQ, we buy burgers and sausages from farmfoods, the barmcakes and rest of party table bits come from Asda as does the cake and some alcohol for the adults, with all the food costs ect it costs roughly the same as the soft play. 

Pixie is having a birthday tea with just us this year.

Costs of this;

£10.50 3 kids @soft play
£4.50   drinks for 5 people @soft play
£12.00 Mcdonalds for 5
£8.00 Mr Tumble cake

£35.00 Total

We don't have a big party every year as it would be too costly, but we still celebrate with a dinner of birthday persons choice and there is ALWAYS a cake.

How do you celebrate birthdays?

Have fun
Dawn x

Going to a childrens party and money saving

Hiya everyone,

Kids been invited to yet another birthday party?  I know more money you think, here's how to cut the spending and still end up with something fabulous?

My children get invited to many parties now that they are in school.  Peaches has 4 parties coming up next month and the costs can all add up. 

This is my tried and tested money saving tips;

Buying cards and presents in supermarkets and high street toy shops can be costly.  For a card £1-2 and £10 minimum for a present if I were to pay these prices all four parties would cost me £48 and that doesn't include gift wrap.

What I do is bulk buy cards at 4 for a £1 at the market in my local town (25p each) I buy presents in B and M bargains also in town, you can get something fabulous for a maximum of £5.  So all parties at these prices would cost me £21.  That's £27 saved by savvy shopping and planning ahead.  Gift wrap I buy by the roll, one colour for boys and one colour for girls these cost me £1 each and will do a few presents per roll.  Kids do not care that it doesn't cost the earth at this young age and B and M offer the quality name brand items at half the price of the supermarkets and high street toy shops.

Have fun
Dawn x

We'd like sunshine please

Hiya everyone,

Every morning i watch the news and weather whilst getting children fed and dressed and the weatherman said it would be a nice day.  He lied it is freezing.  I put on my lighter coat to take my kids to school and nursery (we leave early on nursery days and half an hour wait in the play ground).  The girls insisted on wearing socks instead of tights and were frozen.  Not impressed so lets chant together we want sun, we want sun, we want sun.  Ah well nevermind today's delights other than being frozen at bus stops is to tackle the big shop at Asda with J ( he is terrible for overspending)  i hope to remain within my £85 budget.  Wish me luck.

J has decided to go on a diet and shed a stone so this will make shopping extra hard for him as he is lured by the sweet nice treats he can't have and i need to put a stone on.

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend and lets hope it warms up.

Take Care
 Dawn x

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Dawn has been busy

Hiya everyone

I haven't been around for a couple of days i've been busy doing many things.  I had a day of shopping for jewellery making things and then a day of making the jewellery.  So here are some of the items i have now made for my shop.

All items plus more are availiable to purchase in my online shop.  The link is here www.etsy.com/shop/DawnRoseCreates  if you would like to look at my other pieces or if you would like a custom order made for yourself feel free to message me and lets see what we can create.  I have more to go on later but for now i must go raid the fridge and grab some lunch.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Plan A and Plan B

Well hello readers,

Today i had plans, to return the all important nursery school forms then to bob to town on the bus that was plan A.  Plan A hit the wall due to an unwell Pixie.  So we had to action plan B instead, tidying up, clean through (usually a tuesday job), 3 loads of washing and dried it all on the washing line, it was mainly towels and bedding.  We are experiencing strange weather at the moment, after 4 months of snow, rain and generally yak cold weather today we had warm sushine and a gusty wind.  Pixie felt alot better after lunch so we ventured outside for a walk in the sunshine and to blow bubbles in our backyard amongst the drying washing.  We went for a walk hand in hand up and down the cobbled back entry of our houses.  The only sound that could be heard except for the gusty wind in the trees was the tinkling sound of a bamboo windchime.  I've wanted a windchime for years now, i may just need to have an invest in one or two lol.

My backyard looks very sad and neglected at the moment, in a couple of weeks when J is on leave i have plans (weather permitting) to clean it all up and plant it all up with flowers and grow some peas and carrots.  The kids love growing things especially as they get to water them each evening.  I want a cleaned up, pretty place outside where my kids can play during the summer holidays and a place we casn relax as a family and dine outside and maybe have a bbq or two.  Oh well i can dream, lets just hope this years great british weather consists of mainly sunshine.

Love Dawn x

Sunday, 14 April 2013

30 ways to save £1

Well hello everyone,

Moneysupermarket.com have asked for bloggers to write a post about 30 ways to save £1. 

Here are my 30 ways:

1) Take stock of your budget, and see what services, insurances ect you could get cheaper.

2)  Cook double quantities of meals, eat one meal and freeze the other for an instant ready meal.

3) Use mince, very versatile, cheap, nutritious.

4) Add porridge oats, lentils to bulk out casseroles and stews.

5) Cook from scratch, fresher and cheaper.

6) Use a small oven when a big one just isn't needed.

7) If using a big oven fill it, freeze meals in portions afterwards.

8) Don't buy freezer containers ask people who have takeaways to save theirs for you.

9) Be supermarket savvy, hunt for the yellow stickered food.

10) Move away from the takeaways, make your own Naan bread pizza.

11) Bake, fill the oven with cakes, flapjacks, biscuits much cheaper.

12) Turn heating on for limited time in morning and evening for dressing and showers.

13) 5 min showers only, use an egg timer.

14) Running a bath put all the small children in together.

15) Walk to the shops, you will buy what you can carry and fill a basket rather than a trolley.

16) Walk to school, free exercise, slim, trim no need for the gym.

17) Search for free days out.

18) Take a picnic wherever you go, children always want something to eat and drink when out and so will you.

19) Hand me down, pass down kids clothes to younger children when outgrown.

20) Save up and pay with cash, it is too easy to overspend on plastic as the money does not feel real.

21) Turn off the lights in unused room, no person in a room no need for a light on.  (who lives on the landing).

22) Turn off everything at the wall when not in use. 

23) Turn the boiler off at night.

24) Only wash clothes when dirty.

25) Wash clothes on coolest settings you can get away with, less electric, less water, less wear on your clothes.

26) Hang up clothes when you take them off, air them they will do another day.

27) Use airers or hang washing outside to dry, step away from that tumble dryer.

28) Do a stock check before you go shopping, take a list with you and if it is not on the list do not buy it.

29) Cleaning can be done cheaper and just as effectively with white vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, basic washing powder and washing up liquid.  No need for fancy cleaners.

30) Move away from that polish a damp micro fibre cloth will clean it just as well the dust will not resettle and the smell of the polish will not make you cough.

I could add more if i'm honest.  What are your money saving ways?

Love Dawn x

A BIG HELLO toooooooooooo

My new follower Donna, hiya i hope you enjoy having a read of my blog feel free to comment, readers views always welcome.

Love Dawn x

Happy news for many reasons

Hiya everyone,

We had a letter pop through our letterbox yesturday one addressed to my youngest daughter Pixie, bringing fantastic news for us all.  The letter was to inform us that Pixie had been offered a place at the nursery school attatched to the school that her sisters attend.  The place starts in September when she will be three and she is entitled to 15 hrs for free.

Pixie is excited because she gets to go to gool as she says it with her lunch box, school bag and wear a little uniform.

Princess and Peaches are excited because they will see her around school and at play times.

Me and J are excited/relieved she got in because they will all be in the same place making logistics a little easier for us.

The free 15 hrs she will gain means we will not have to pay private nursery fees and the just short of £200 a month i pay to the nursery currently will as of July be paid off my mortgage balance instead.

It is win, win all round.  My next hurdle is to be able to get the hrs i want at the nursery, i want the two and half days so i don't have to walk six miles a day up and down hill.  First thing tomorrow morning that form will be back in school hoping to secure the place and the days i require keep your fingers crossed folks. x

Friday, 12 April 2013

Thank crunchie it's Friday

Well i am glad it is nearly the weekend, this week has flown by and the kids are shattered from being back at school.  I'm hoping everyone decides to have a lie in tomorrow morning because they certainly need it.

This morning Pixie is in nursery and I'm working on stock for my shop.  Suppose i must get a crack on, i hope you all have a fab weekend.

Love Dawn.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

A big HELLO to.....

My new follower Claire.  Always lovely to have new followers and to read your comments.

Dawn x

Monday, 8 April 2013

More sunshine and friends to visit yay


Well today has been a nice day here it's my last day with my girls as it's back to school tomorrow (i will miss them like mad) and i had a visit today from my dear friend it was lovely to catch up.  We had tea and fridge cake and a good natter whilst the kids played.

Tomorrow i shall be continuing to work on stock for my shop.  I have so much to do i could do with more hours in my day.

Oh well i best go and make the packed lunches for tomorrow and get the school uniforms out to save me some time in the morning.

Hope you have sunshine too?


Sunday, 7 April 2013

When the sun shines you have to run with it

Well a sunny hello from me,

Today has been a busy and sunny Sunday.  So feeling full of energy we have been making the most of it. 
I have made a large blackcurrant jam and cream cake (for after tea) a large fridge cake (chocolate cornflake cake sprinkled with crunchy and flake pieces (excellent way to use up Easter eggs which seem to be multiplying on top of my kitchen cupboards).
J made a roast chicken dinner and between all this cooking and baking we managed to have some fun in the park with the girls.

Here are some pictures to enjoy.

Have fun
Dawn x

Saturday Night Date Night

Hiya everyone

Well we have had a very busy weekend here J has been off so we have been making the most of the time together.

Last night we went on a date for the first time since September and we had a fab time at Nandos.

The pics are below.
1) Me
2) J
3) Filling up with fuel
4) Nandos
5) Our tea

When we got home we were suprised to find all three children fast asleep after enjoying an evening watching singing on the tv with grandma and grandad.

What have you done this weekend?

Love Dawn x

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Etsy Shop is now Open

I'm now please to say that i've set up my Etsy shop yay.  I'm just trying to link it too my blog now.

The shop is www.etsy.com/people/DawnRoseCreates

Hope you will all have a look at my shop and any feedback welcome.  There will be more added as the weeks go on.

Love Dawn x

Friday, 5 April 2013

Big shop

Well hello to you,

Today is a lovely spring day sunny but cold though as we dashed out the door at 8am to drop Pixie at nursery and then bobbed to Aldi (this weeks supermarket of choice) for our big shop.  It is a bit of a come down after shopping at Waitrose and having a week of feeling posh lol but hey ho Aldi is fine.  My full weeks shop including food, cleaning stuff for us and house and three bottles of wine (no nappies or wipes as Pixie is now a dry girl) all came to the grand total of £65. 

I now have a full freezer, a full fridge, three full cupboards and an overflowing bread bin.  This should last us till next weekend with the exception of bread which i need stock up on on Monday ready for the lunch boxes as it is back to school for my girlies.

The school holidays have flown by this time we have been out most days and it has not cost the earth either, nobody has had time to get bored.

I had spending money left over so yesterday me and my girlies (J at work) walked down to Mc Donalds for our lunch as a treat, we then walked back and went to play on the park for a while.  Both Princess and Peaches saw friends from their classes at school there and Pixie enjoyed a go on the swings and the slide.  We then walked home.

We are lucky as the park is very close to where we live and when the sun is out it makes up for the fact we do not have a garden.  The best bit is that i do not have to mow it lol.  In summer we plan to have picnics in this park if we get any sunshine.

Have fun
Love Dawn x

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Shopping around for home insurance


We have been in our current home for coming up to 9 years and that means one thing, our home insurance is up for renewal.

I put all my details into a comparison site (paid to compare through quidco http://www.quidco.com/user/2593770/of course) I then find a few quotes that beat my renewal rice one of them being the company the renewal price was with so i rang them up to be told "as an existing customer i must be passed to renewals instead of new policy."  I was put through and asked by the bored sounding bloke with a warm lead and potential for business in his hands "Do you wanna renew your policy or not?" Very unprofessional and at £85 dearer than the price i wanted to pay, coupled with his crap customer service, i do believe these two fingers held up on my left hand are directed at him.  SHAME ON YOU.

Oh well rant over onwards and upwards, I have now sorted out new home insurance and i did it online after all the offices had closed.  I have had more than one phone call from various home insurance sales people this week all trying their hardest to flog you something whether you want it or not in order to meet their sales quota.

I have discussed the whys and wherefores of my house this week so many times i feel as though i built the flaming myself lol.

Have fun
Love Dawn x

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Easter weekend

Well hello,

I do hope you all had a fabulous Easter weekend, the girls were really excited to see if the Easter bunny had been, and he had.  We had a lovely time at my mums sharing time with family and the girls got a copious amount of Easter eggs (over 30) they are spoilt i know.  We are going to use some of the eggs to make cakes with, we find cakes are acceptable in lunch boxes at school whereas a chocolate bar is NOT.

I am still in the midst of setting up my Etsy shop ready for Saturday (very excited) and dealing with all the whys and wherefores.  I also managed a trip into town with Princess and Peaches and purchased my bargains of the week 2 maxi dresses (£8 each) and 2 lightweight cardigans to go with them (£4.50 each) they will do nicely for my holidays this summer.

Here are some Easter pics of Princess, Peaches and Pixie showing you that the Easter bunny has been and because they also wished to share with you their new Easter outfits.

Have fun
Love Dawn x