Thursday, 31 December 2015

Happy New Year

Hiya folks,

I'd like to wish everyone a happy new year, thanks for following my blog for another year and a thank you to anyone who has left comments, I love hearing from you.  I shall be back with more of my madness I mean journey in 2016.  Tonight we are off to celebrate with family. 

Dawn x

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

New year and new plans

Well hello,

We are spending this new year at my mother in-laws with family and should be a nice relaxed affair.  Our new year plans so far consist of zilch (we usually go to McDonalds if I'm honest which is neither healthy nor thrifty but there you go, I don't pretend to be perfect.)

2016 sees me starting a new permanent job (I'm really looking forward to this).  I have a few things that I would steadily like to work through the coming year and I've already booked our summer week away (organised me lol), we off to explore somewhere new this year.  I am still continuing to save up for house projects (mainly decorating) and I also get to start overpaying on my mortgage this year (yay without it being unaffordable either).  I shall still continue to declutter and keep you updated on my progress.

Who else has made plans for 2016?

Dawn x

In with the new out with the old

Well hello,

As you all know I have been doing the whole decluttering before Christmas, the kids even went through their bedrooms and playroom cupboards and did a declutter getting rid of outgrown, broken toys and paper (my bugbear) that had outlived its life here.  All ready to house the new things they had asked Santa for (and hoped to get).  We all asked for items we needed or wanted that would be used and when received they have been swapped with worn out items, for example new slippers in place of old holey ones.  Lots of chocolates came our way too mmmmmmh, these will be consumed and enjoyed.  I also got some new books to read which I have already started.  My idea of heaven includes a cup of tea, chocolate and a good book.

Have you found new homes for everything yet?

Dawn x

Christmas festivities and fun

Well hello,

I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas.  We have been busy with all the Christmas festivities and parties (3 of them).  I feel truely exhausted but also happy and loved, we have had late nights, over excited children, ill children and lots of lovely gifts (Just need to find homes for everything).  We have loved spending time with our family all celebrating together.

On boxing day we had local flooding (this was scary to drive through) they shut the road as the water was too deep and of course the shops shut too.  Asda had a foot high tide mark on their wall as the river had burst its banks.  It was a little too close to home for me being within walking distance of my house.  Luckily were weren't personally affected by the floods but I do really feel for the people that have had their homes flooded.

How did you spend Christmas?  Anybody else had flooding local them?

Another storm is due to hit keep safe folks!

Dawn x

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Hibernation

Well hello there,

Hibernation going on here not because of it being cold or wet as it is unusually dry and mild for this time of year (no heating needed, unheard of in December).  It is down to us fighting the bugs we are being kind to ourselves today pottering about the house doing bits of jobs (me) when energy allows.  Were allowing our bodies to recover.  I have written the Christmas cards for my neighbours (to be posted tomorrow).  This afternoon me and the kids will be snuggling up to watch some films on TV this is as active at it gets today, J is at work (he's not ill).

The view from my window today below.

What you all up to this fine sunday?
Dawn

Friday, 18 December 2015

Christmas holidays

Hiya,

Today I have spent the morning fighting the washing pile and finding downstairs, the cats are sulking because I've washed their beds (nothing new there then). This afternoon consisted of being Santa's elves and making paper chains with the kids, whilst looking after a poorly Pixie who is currently powered by calpol.  She did find some energy to have a little go bless her.  Here are a few pictures of us crafting, a fun time was had by all.  When we finish them were going to put them on the Christmas tree.

Who else is Christmas crafting?

Dawn x

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Endings and beginnings

Well hello,

Today has been the end of school term, the kids are ready for a break poor Pixie has been burning up since we got home and is currently powered by ibruprofen and calpol to get rid of her temperature, aches and pains.  It has been my last day of my supply work, which I have loved and I will miss the kids that I have worked with.

I have had something fantastic happen today though, I have been offered a permanent position in school with a view to increasing hours as opportunity arises.  It is definitely a new chapter for me and I can't wait.  Right now I shall be looking after my poorly poppet whilst trying to get myself well again from my recent virus that I seem unable to shake, tackling the housework, washing and ironing pile and then cracking on with some Christmas fun with the kids.  We have as ever got plans to fill our time with things that are free or low cost despite the fact I get a months wage tomorrow eeeeek sqweeeeek excited.

Have fun
Dawn

Monday, 14 December 2015

Nativity Scene

Well hello,

I've wanted a nativity scene for a few years now but never found the right one.  Today Pixie came home with this nativity scene she made and it is perfect.  It now takes pride of place under the tree.

It fits my Christmas decorations perfectly, most are made by myself and the children.

Have fun

Dawn x

Friday, 11 December 2015

Thank goodness it's Friday

Hello

And breathe out it's friday, an early finish for me 2pm however I only got home after 4 o'clock.  Freezing cold here and the bus didn't show up.   Ahh well heating on, spag bol for tea, Tesco big shop Ordered online, PJ's on and chill out.  Tonight on TV it will be EastEnders, Citizen Khan and Peter Kay's Car Share.  The only night of the week I get to relax.

Have a good weekend

Dawn

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Poor Marilyn

Well hello there,

Today poor Marilyn has been for her operation she has been spayed, I'm hoping she heals well and quickly and that Maisie leaves her alone.

Dawn

Birthday girl

Well hello,

Today is my birthday, I had my birthday meal at the weekend as both J and I have been working today.  I got some beautiful cards, some perfume, cash, voucher and chocolates.  My kids sang happy birthday to me this morning.  Work went really quickly and I'm still fighting this flaming virus.  Ah well kitten cuddles whilst watching Capital tonight, have to be good as it's a school night lol.

Who else is watching Capital?

Dawn x

Coping with stress at this time of year

Hello,

Does anybody find themselves stressing at this time of year?

I do, I have a few things that I have found help me to reduce the stressful feelings.

I am currently living on lists (as ever lol) of things I need to complete each week.  Each Monday in my diary contains a post it note listing jobs to be completed that week.  These bite size chunks make it easier and more manageable.
I have ordered most of this Christmas online this year.  The few items I needed to get from town went on another post it note along with my shopping bags,  the shopping was finished in one trip yay!

I have turned off the TV, the constant ads flogging made materialism drive me insane, I don't want nor need them.  I do enjoy the odd program in the evening such as EastEnders, Capital and Car Share have all been fabulous recently.

As we get closer to Christmas the kids get more hyperactive so we try to keep them busy to avoid the extra madness.

I still have stuff to sort, under beds to cull, a big clean to do, gifts to wrap and cards to send but it is all on a post it note, scheduled this way I feel it is manageable.

What are your tried and tested tricks to stress free?

Dawn x

Banishing the winter blues

Hiya everyone,

I don't know about you but when it's cold and dark outside and the rain is coming down sideways I find it can often effect my mood.  This year I have taken steps to help banish the winter blues.

Here are a few things I have tried and found helped:

* Getting myself out and about a bit more during the limited daylight hours.  I often walk to work allowing me thinking space.

*  Small treats of hot chocolate to warm me up and add some more meat to my bones.  ( I need to put on more weight at the moment).

*  Warming soups and hearty meals make me feel nourished and cozy from within.

*  Snuggling up with a hot water bottle (and a made by me rainbow hot water bottle cover) with my fluffy dressing gown.

*  Reading a book takes my mind to a less cluttered place.  (Shops this time of year are full of noise and madness)

*  Being organised and shopping online means I buy only what I need and I can avoid the hype.

*  We have had a go at some crafts, the kids have made some baubles for the Christmas tree and I'm still beavering away at a massive crochet bed cover.

*  I also light scented candles on my hearth.  I've tried a few different ones now some better than others, I fancy trying the Yankee candles but haven't done so yet.

*  I love bubble baths this time of year too, lush bath bombs are a particular favourite of mine.

Do you get the winter time blues?  What do you find helps to overcome them?

Dawn x

The Coca Cola Wagon

Hiya

Today the Coca Cola Wagon came to a local Supermarket as part of their tour.  The kids loved despite us queuing the rain with the rest of the local nutters all trying to get a snap and a free coke lol.  Some people even dressed up for the occasion as Santa's.

I'm spending the rest of the day on the sofa trying to shake off this virusy feeling I've currently got, I really know how to live me lol.

Dawn x

Saturday, 5 December 2015

I'm back

Hiya,

I'm back, I have had a hectic few weeks recently.  The usual run up to Christmas madness of shopping trips get gift for family, writing Christmas cards (most hated task) a clarinet concert (Peaches), parties at Brownies, school parties are next week plus I have been making and sending out orders for my online shop and I have had my supply work contract extended to over double the length it started out to be (I have enjoyed every minute of it if I'm honest).  We have a week and 4 days left until school finishes for Christmas holidays (eeek written down that doesn't seem very long at all).

Today we have been to a lovely pub for a birthday meal for me (we being J and the kids) it was a really nice relaxed place and certainly beats last year of a trip to the doctors with tonsillitis lol.  I have lots to do at home when I finish at school and I haven't got me Christmas decorations up yet.

The kitten (Marilyn) is going to the vet on Monday to be spayed (I'm not looking forward to this at all) especially as I have to keep her away from Maisie whilst she heals, other than all this life seems to be zooming by at a rate of knots.

A few pictures of the day below.

Have fun
Dawn x

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

The ups and downs of life

Hello,

I'm in the last week of my current supply work stint I don't feel like I've stopped in ages it's all go, go, go here.  At the weekend Princess was unwell, yesturday she was sent home from school due to feeling unwell.  Thankfully she's back to her usual self today.  When we collected the kids from school today Pixie seemed unhappy (out of character) she currently has a temperature and is sleepy (now asleep in n the sofa). She had the nasal flu vaccine at school yesturday so it may well be a reaction to that.  I'm hoping the temperature subsides soon.

I'm not sleeping at the moment and I'm completely shattered (side affect to my medication).  On a plus point  Peaches has gone up a stage in her reading books and been working well at school (very proud).

Hoping the bad bits pass us by soon

Dawn

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Remberance day

Hello,

Today is remembrance Sunday and Princess played her guitar today as part of the church service (very proud).  This weekend has seen me doing my famous blue arsed fly impression of a busy working mum lol.  I have my last week on this block of supply work coming up, it's a busy week in school we have a bring and buy for children in need ( I've made two trays of cakes) and we are dressing as super hero's on Friday as a member of staff this means me too.  I have sorted out my costume and made my ears for my cat woman costume.  It is all go here.

I have so much to sort for Christmas and really need to get some brain space to be able to sort it all out. Eeeek!

Have a good week!
Dawn x

Friday, 6 November 2015

Bonfire night

Hello,

Last night saw us donning our big coats and wellies and heading to the bonfire at the local cricket club.  The event was very well attended despite the rain coming down side ways (I did think at one point we must be mad for being stood outside in the dark in that weather lol).  The parish hall lay on tuck shops and hot dog vans (good luck with getting to the front of the queue).

Instead I did a nice hot tea of hotdogs in buns with onions and ketchup served with chips (bonfire night food) we also took a bag of snacks with us.

It was wet, muddy and sliddy but so much fun the fireworks were great the prettiest I've ever seen.

Who else braved the rain for bonfire night?

Must dash and carry on getting things sorted before I go to work, its Friday big shop night so I need to do a list.

Dawn

Monday, 26 October 2015

Pierce and ping

Hello,

What one thing makes life easier for a busy mum is creating pierce and ping.  By this I mean making healthy, filling meals and puddings for your freezer. 

Firstly decide what meals you wish to make e.g. curry, chilli, bolognaise sauce, mince in onion gravy. 
Secondly write a list of everything you need to buy to be able to make these items.  These meals seem mince heavy but we tend to use a mix of beef or quorn, lamb, pork or Turkey mince could be used to ring the changes.

I chop all vegetables needed to make all the meals and make up the meals in my biggest pans.  I only ever cook 2 meals at a time so say a curry and a chilli on the stove together.  When cooked I cool in my porch (all food is cooled here away from cats) then I portion up, label and freeze them.  When needed I then take the required portions out of the freezer in the morning to defrost then  heat through when I get home.  It makes teatime easier.  It uses less time as I prepare all meals in one go, less fuel to cook as I only cook once and then reheat.

I also buy fresh vegetables e.g. bell peppers, mushrooms, broccoli and carrott shavings.  These are frozen and bagged to create stir fry mix (a nice quick easy tea with some brown rice).

Just a bit of planning and an afternoon free can see you with quite a few stress free dinners banked its cheaper and healthier than a takeaway when the idea of chopping and cooking just seem like to much of an effort after a busy day at work.

Anyone else batch cook for the freezer?  What do you make?

Dawn

Autumn days and warm comforts

Hiya,

Yesturday saw me tackling the washing pile all done now

Today I'm thinking will be a baking day, may just crack on with cupcakes today that are to be kept plain tonbe eaten in the coming weeks with custard for puddings.

The playroom bookcase has been tackled and looks much better now tidy, stories we had forgotten about have been found (new bedtime stories).  The kids have been entertaining themselves whilst I have been having a look at meal plan ideas.

Below is a photo of a dark October day in my dark kitchen (not the brightest photo) hot chocolate and bowls of homemade popcorn (cheaper and healthier than shop bought).  We seem to occupy our time filling it with low cost or free fun quite well these days.  Our car gets its 2 new tyres fitted this afternoon and will be useable again (not that I drive, because I don't, however I'm sure J is missing it).  Thank goodness he can get the bus to work (costs nothing), we are lucky where we live to be only ten minutes from the town centre and buses are every few minutes, supermarkets are 15 minutes walk away so we are by no means stranded.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

It's half term

Hello,

Well last week went so quickly, as you know last Thursday I received my Teaching Assistant certificate and I got a phone call the day afterwards which meant I had a following busy week.  The phone call was offering me a supply teaching assistant position.  I have completed my first week now (first week on the pay roll in 9 years) I loved it.  This is the reason I have had to be super organised.  This now continues a little while longer, but for this week it is half term.  Once again we will be taking advantage of low cost or free fun, due to a few factors including the fact J is working most of the week, the car now needs three new tyres (expense we weren't anticipating) and I have a list of jobs as long as my arm to get through and try to get a head start on the coming weeks by making meals in advance for the freezer.

The list;

Washing pile started Friday night when home from school
Putting clothes away in wardrobe
Tidy up kids have done their rooms
Big clean through upstairs has been done
Change all beds and wash bedding
Big shop Ordered from Tesco delivered yesturday evening

To make;

24 chocolate topped Fairy cakes for the freezer
Large chocolate cupcakes for the freezer to have with custard as a pudding

2 portions of bolognaise (family size for the freezer)
2 portions of minced beef and onion (family size for the freezer)

I also have some more new stock items to make and list in my shop as my new beads have arrived this week. (happy dance)

Will I manage it all? Hopefully!

Happy half term

Dawn x

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Plastic free school trip

Hello,

Since there is now a charge for disposable plastic bags we no longer have carrier bag mountain.  We usually use big jute bags when we go shopping however these bags are too big for some uses.  We found a situation recently upon where we usually requested to bring a packed lunch in a disposable bag (for a school trip).   A big jute bag is too much and we don't have carrier bags, so what did we do?

I purchased three collapsible tote bags (pictured below) from poundland they cost me £1 each they fold down to nothing and can be placed in the child's coat pocket at the end of lunchtime.  I keep one in my handbag for when I go shopping to town.  Excellent for clothes shopping and library books and they take up less space than my cotton bags.  By keeping these in my bag I'm saving money and resources a great buy for £3.00.

Dawn

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

My little Victorian

Hiya,

Today is Victorian day at school for year 1.  Here is my little Victorian, happy as Larry to be all dressed up. 

Have fun

Dawn

Sunday, 18 October 2015

All change

Well hello,

Due a phone call on Friday, this week coming will be a very busy one indeed.  I have so much going on now I need to be as organised as possible.  In order to free myself from as many household tasks as possible in the week I have re organised the order in which things will be done to ensure I get everything done as I will be shattered by each evening. 

Today I have been to church, followed by Aldi for a weeks big shop armed with a list of what we need to make the bulk of all meals for the week ahead.  This little lot came to £80 a mini shop during the week for milk, bread and fruit may be needed (J is off Wednesday so I may ask him to bob down to aldi for those).  I have planned my busy week on paper so I don't forget anything e.g Victorian day, school trip, music group, Brownies.  I have since come home and made a stew for tonight's tea, and we have a yummy cheesecake for pudding.  All clothes are out ready for tomorrow, showers have been had and I have done all my washing and cleaning.  At the moment I feel like I am wining.  I still have packed lunches to do for tomorrow.  I have been really busy this weekend and this week should flow well as long as I don't loose my plan lol.

Have fun
Dawn

Thursday, 15 October 2015

A good day

Hello,

Yesterday I found out that I have passed my teaching assistant course from before the summer holidays.  I'm now a fully qualified teaching assistant (happy dance) and today I went to collect my certificate, my first qualification in my married name.  I'm now looking to the next step of my journey.  J is off today so we went out to wetherspoons for a pub lunch.  I had a superfoods pasta salad and a bowl of chips and a still water.  It was yummy and filling.  I then came home to find I'd won a prize on another blog I follow (I haven't won anything for years) it is turning out the be a good day, who knew.


Dawn

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Because Rome wasn't built in a day

Hello,

Today I have taken the bull by the horns and decluttered another dumping ground hot spot.  The bottom of the wardrobe filled with all manner of bits of old work uniform (him) jeans from before she had three children (her) 6rolls of wrapping pile, tons of bedding, shoes and handbags (a weakness if I'm honest).  I do like handbags a bit too much they are great for altering a look and always fit.  I have got rid of some that I'm not sure why I was keeping however I did find some of my hippy bags which I love and can't let go off.  I have washed and stashed them lol J will never know haha!

Tomorrow I have another 6 full bags to go to the charity shop and clothing bank.  I feel happier and lighter for it and will not miss the items that are going they have served a purpose but are no longer needed in my life. 

Decluttering of the girls room (the Bermuda triangle) is done in small snippets everyday otherwise they would realise I am decluttering in there as well. (Needs must).  If the girls were aware of it they would vet every scrap of paper and every broken crayon, crying of its merits as a prize possession.  Three words sum it up Hoarders from Hell.

Who else loves a declutter?  Anyone else live with a hoarder?

Dawn

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Stuffocation

Hello,

When I went to Waterstones (bookshop) the other day I also bought this, I have only just started reading it but it really does help with mindset of decluttering, organising what is important in life and reducing consumption and buying of unnecessary stuff.

So far I'm finding this a really good read (I usually read on the school run when at the school gate waiting for the kids to come out, I call it me time).

I am still decluttering slowly but I am getting there, however I am nowhere near finished.  If I ever get another free day (hahaha like it ever happens) I shall tackle another hotspot on the list.  I keep looking at carrier bag mountain and think one day it'll be you as I fight the iron out from underneath it (oh the shame).

I need more time. 
Dawn

Just when you feel you'll never make it, a glimmer of hope

Well hello,

Sorry I have been missing in action this week.  It has been a massively mad week and I've been trying to fit everything in.

We have had 2 harvest festivals at school for Peaches and Pixie,  they did really well with their words (proud mummy moment) Princess got student of the week at school last week and Peaches has been on the achievement board twice this week at school.
I have parents evening tomorrow but only for Princess as Peaches and Pixies teachers off school sick.

Regarding budgets and my original goal of paying off the mortgage, I have felt this to be unobtainable many times however this week I have had to renew my fix.  I have now been quoted lower payments so when I have had a good number crunch I may be in a position to overpay on my mortgage therefore knocking it down by 2 years.  I still need time and space to do the full number crunch on my budget as I now have final income figures that I can work with.

I am finally seeing a glimmer of light of hopefully being able to pay off my one and only debt sooner rather than later.  We live a simple life but that's what we are use too and we are happy with it.  We don't feel the need for added frillies in order to make our life complete.  I am however trying to find wriggle room in my budget for a few days away by the sea in summer (August is expensive).

Ah well best get cracking on everything I failed to get completed last week lol
Have fun

Dawn

Monday, 5 October 2015

Carrier bag tax

Hello,

As of today in England you will be charged for carrier bags when you visit shops, anywhere that employs 250+ people are now charging 5p a bag.  I use cotton bags that I take in my handbag, the carrier bag tax may reduce consumption ya never know.  Many shops have had training for today on how to deal with outraged customers who do not want to pay.

What are your thoughts on people having to pay for carrier bags?  Will it put people off buying so much if they have to buy a bag?

Dawn

What's for tea?

Hello,

As you know I shop with a meal plan, Sunday I bought a beef roasting joint (haven't bought one in years due to cost and the fact they shrink) J fancied a change so we thought why not.  I got my roasting joint from Aldi it was a good size and cost £5.00.  I served it with roast potatoes, carrots, peas, Yorkshire pudding and gravy (being northern gravy is a must).  I was so surprised when the meat did not shrink.  I therefore had enough to feed all 5 of us and still have enough left over to make something else with (that's Monday nights tea).  I have also been gifted more apples they were absolutely delicious I made an apple crumble to go with custard (instant) this filled the yummiest up.

Monday nights tea will be shepherds pie made with last night's beef and veg and I have made a large fairy cake for pudding. (Photo below)

The cake making stuff I already had in and the topping is a large bar of white chocolate (melted) with chocolate stars.  I try to keep to a budget, whilst also ensuring everyone is full of healthy, nutritious food with the odd sweet treat of course. 

Today we have a dark gloomy day mainly consisting of rain, so after getting drenched on the school run for a second time today we'll all be glad of a nice hot yummy dinner.  Tomorrow J is off work and Peaches has her church service at school(harvest festival) which we are looking forward to seeing her in.

Have fun

Dawn

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Laundry liquid recipe

As promised here is my laundry liquid recipe;

You will need;

•Soda Crystals
•one bar of soap
•borax
•one large pan (i use a huge stock pan)
•boiling water
•large storage container with lid (my old nappy bucket being reused)
•a stirrer ( I use a wooden spoon)
•old laundry liquid bottle

Method

•First grate your bar of soap

•Half fill your big pan with water and boil

•Add grated soap and stir until it is fully dissolved

•Pour mixture into your storage container

Add half a mug of soda Crystals

•Add half a cup of borax

•Still through

•Add more hot water to fill the bucket

•Give it another still

•Leave over night too cool

Then decant into your old laundry liquid bottle to fill half the bottle and fill the rest of the bottle with water, give it a good shake and use as normal.

Hey presto, laundry liquid for pennies as good as the leading brand!

I purchased soda Crystals and the bar of soap from Home Bargains (UK discount shop) and the borax I am unable to buy in the shops in the UK so I bought it off Amazon.

All aboard the coach

Hiya everyone,

Yesturday i didn't manage to post a blog as I was helping out on a school trip to Liverpool with my daughters class (Peaches), the day started off a foggy affair however when we got to Liverpool the sun shone.  An excellent day for taking photographs of the docks (sorry no photos here though as they are all on the school iPad).  We went to two museums as well,  we ran out of the time in the end and all climbed back on the bus back to school after 20 minutes in the gift shop and another 20 minutes whilst everyone went the loo.

Peaches was a happy little soul though because I was able to accompany her class, I was shattered last night sea air and tons of walking did for me lol.

This morning I shall be catching up on my Friday housework lol, I have started using my laundry liquid that I have made and so far it has worked really well.  I'm very impressed with it and shall blog the recipe for it.

Have fun
Dawn

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Keeping it within the budget

Well hello,

Today I have done a big shop Aldi,  I tend to spend £400 a month on all food, cleaning, toiletries, cat food and litter.  This is for 2 adults, 3 children and 3 cats.  I however do not shop monthly mainly due to lack of space to put a months worth of everything we need, instead I shop monthly for some items e.g. loo rolls, kitchen rolls, cat litter, toiletries and cleaning stuff.

Weekly I spend on food.  I try to buy enough to cover the whole week as I find top up shops end up meaning more than bread and milk, if I go shopping with J or the kids I can come out £20-40 worse off.  The cat litter I get from Home Bargains as it works out cheaper than anywhere else we go in the car to collect this along with toiletries and cleaning products (white vinegar is scarce round here recently).

I go through the cupboards, freezers, fridge (we're usually down to milk, margarine and an egg by this time lol) I make a list, everyone gets a say, we go shopping and follow the mantra of

'if it's not on the list it doesn't go in the trolley!'

I am list woman lol, at the moment I have the Christmas list, food shop list, small buy house list (cups, towels), house big to do list (decorating, memory foam mattress topper), the decluttering list (of what I need to tackle).
I slowly chip away at my lists to get the jobs done, however I am always adding things to the lists so there never totally completed lol.

Who love a list?

Dawn

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Day trips

Well hello,

Today J is off work so we've been shopping in the next town, what once was a larger bustling was a massive disappointment.  I haven't been to this town for many a year although once it was my second home ( I attended university here),  I never thought I'd say my home town is better for shops but it was. 

I did enjoy a trip to Waterstones (bookshop) much larger than ours and we went to the house of raja where we purchased spices in large packs for lower prices than you get in the Supermarket.  My home town does not have a bustling Asian population so we do not have shops like the house of raja.  After finding the shops disappointing I consoled myself in Waterstones lol, see one of the books I purchased below.  I love the smell of new books, I don't often buy new books I tend to use the library or if they do not have the book in stock I buy it second hand off the internet.

I am a self confessed bookworm and I always have a book on the go, oh yes I am the mum reading at the school gate waiting for the kids to be let out, or in the numerous waiting rooms I visit.

Off to make a brew, whilst putting off the washing up till my tea goes down, wraps for tea tonight with all the yummiest fillings.

Who else loves books?

Dawn x

Monday, 28 September 2015

School nights organising.....

Hiya,

Today I thought I'd share my school night routine as a part of my trying to be organised lol.  Here is how it goes; kids come in from school all the school begging letters are piled up together, the bags minus homework books are hung up on the rack along with coats. (It's autumn here now so mornings are chilly, coats are a must), lunch bags are emptied and cleaned, the juice bottles are washed, refilled and put in the fridge ready for the next day.  I start tea and as it cooks I make sandwiches for the next day.  Snacks are put in the cleaned bags so all I need to do in the morning is add the items from the fridge.

When I go upstairs I sort out fresh uniforms for the next day so the kids can get washed and dressed relatively hassle free.  I fill the washer the night before too complete with laundry liquid so all I have to do is press the button on the way past to make breakfast in the morning.

I do so much at night as I'm not very good in the mornings.

How do you get organised?

Dawn x

Sunday, 27 September 2015

A busy Sunday with all the fun at the fair

Evening folks,

Today J was working so me and the girls went too church, this currently takes place at the local primary school as they are renovating the church, we made apple crumble after we had had our lunch and it was delicious, we were really impressed with out new recipe as we had never made one before.  The crumble was made out of cupboard staples and the apples were gifted windfall apples. 

Two loads of washing and washing up later J came home from work, we took the kids to the local park as the fair was here to visit this weekend, the kids went on everything including the big wheel eeeeek.

I've put some photos of our Sunday below, it certainly was no day of rest that's for sure.  Then home for Dinner and showers ready for school tomorrow.

Happy Sunday folks
Dawn

Monday, 21 September 2015

Autumn is on its way

Hiya folks,

A dreary day today, the views from my windows can be found below.  Just got back from the school run (well walk) here's to hoping my coat dries out before the return journey as, as you can see it's as soggy one today.  The new trainers were bliss though like walking on cushions.

In the name of money saving I made laundry liquid yesturday with the help of Princess, I shall let you know how well it works once I've tried it.   The washers on so best crack on with today's to do list.

Have fun
Dawn

Saturday, 19 September 2015

The things that make you go mmmmmmmh

Well hello,

This week has been a busy one, what with medical appointments and school runs plus putting the finishing touches to my new bathroom (a separate blog about this with before and after pics after I've scrubbed it to death tomorrow). 

Today Princess and Peaches have started a theatre group, rehearsals take place every Saturday morning they loved it and got to go on stage to show their work to the others in the class.  From now on my Saturday mornings are no longer chilled they now involve a two bus trip across to the other side of town every week, oh well.

J has started his new job two weeks ago now (2 weeks of trainee rate of national minimal wage). We have taken a £4000 pay cut in the last year as it is, so my already inventive budgeting is being stretched at the minute.  I am hoping the bus passes will be sorted as it's either £7.50 a day in bus fares just to get my kids to school, or a 2 mile trek for them and a 4 mile trek for me which is shattering to say the least. 

I am despite the drop in money managing to keep it all together and still have paid all bills, we just have to wait longer for the non essentials at the moment.

My one must have purchase of a pair of comfy, waterproof shoes I have photograped to show you, £12 from Tesco, fabulous especially as I got soaked on Friday's school run and had a pond in each leaked shoe.  They may not be flashy and name brand but they are comfy and that's what matters.

Princess is at a sleepover tonight, it's all go here lol.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Dawn

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Housework and makes

Hiya folk,

Today has been a gut the house kinda day and three loads washing,  why oh why must it rain every time my washer stops I will never know.  I got a call half way through from a withheld number (heart sinks thinking it's school ringing me) it wasn't, my girls did the reading challenge at the library this summer and completed it.  They were really pleased with their achievements as they got their medals.  They also got their names entered into the prize draw (with everyone else who completed the challenge) to attend a mad hatters tea party, well guess what my girls got picked.  The party is next Thursday at the library. Eeeeek exciting!

I've also been sewing up a pile of things I've knitted, please find below a rainbow hot water cover made by me.

Have fun
Dawn

Monday, 14 September 2015

A great night out, utter madness

Hiya folks,

On Saturday night a few of us went out to town for a night out we started out in a pub then we went off to a new real ale place we have never tried before.  The last place we ended up had bands on.  Below you will find pictures of the bizzare band.  It was a rock place we went too and as the diggers festival by had been on during the day so the place was packed with rockers and punks of all ages.  This band was manic, but very funny they involve the audience when they want to be involved or not lol, a bit like Butlins on mind altering substances.

One bloke decided to crowd surf, the crowds parted and he bust his ankle on the floor.  He was given an ice pack from behind the bar (ice cubes in a bin bag) the main singer of the band threw a dog mask at the injured crowd surfer who donned it and joined the band on stage uninvited.  It was all a bit mad really but really funny.  Me and J both woke up the following morning thinking it had just been a dream, however the photos prove otherwise lol.

It was a great night and yesturday was spent recovering as late nights kill us off these days, it takes till Wednesday to recover from the tiredness.

Have fun
Dawn

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Frugal Exercise

Hello folks,

I've decided to increase my walking as a way to keep fit and also a yoga session a week.  This is a nice cheap form of exercise.  I walk anything up to 4 miles a day currently (the school run) as I want to get toned and build my cardio to help my asthma.  I do however need to make a purchase, I need a pair of trainers as I don't own any.  I don't own any so had a look today as my three inch heels are beginning to kill me off lol, there are so many different types to choose from it's a minefield knowing where to start.

I've done yoga for about 4 years now, this is done at home with a DVD, it cost me £7 four years ago so I feel I've got my moneys worth.

I'm also trying to be healthier in my food choices too, but you know one thing at a time, I'm not about to lob all the chocolate out and live on lettuce that would be criminal, however I shall be increasing the healthy stuff and decreasing the unhealthy stuff.

Anyone recommend a good pair of trainers at a decent price please?

Dawn

Friday, 11 September 2015

Friday

Hello folks,

Yesturday we had some great news Peaches has the opportunity to learn an instrument at school, she desperately wanted to learn the clarinet (she wants to duet with me) and yesturday she found out she has got clarinet.  I now have an ecstatic Peaches, my eldest daughter Princess took guitar lessons last year and because she did so well she gets a music scholarship for a year at school as she's on the gifted and talented scheme.  She has her lesson today (I looked like a pack horse this morning, 3 school bags, 2 lunch bags, 1 guitar and my handbag  trekking up to school) haha.

I'm really happy that all my girls have bobbed back into school life quite happily, Pixie skips in everyday (pigtails bobbing in the breeze) unfortunately some of the little ones in her class are still settling in and are upset leaving their parent. 

Has anyone else got little ones in school?

Oh well best go lob the hoover round because it isn't going to do it itself.

Dawn x

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Dashing about like a blue arsed fly

Well hello,

Today is definitely a day of dashing about,  we are back on the rollercoaster of school, after school activities, appointments and a thousand invites (it feels like it) to birthday parties, we've had three and they've only been back in school a week.

I was up at 6 oclock, filled the washer, made breakfast, got the kids ready, made packed lunches, washed up and got ready myself.  Then we left the house to get the bus to school, another bus ride for me home to collect the cat and take her for her jabs at the vet ( another all clear on the cat flu front thank goodness) I walked to the vet and got the bus back.  Then I dropped the cat home, fed them all and got another bus to town to buy presents and cards (for the parties), bus home, cleaned up the kitchen (cats are messy buggers) pegged out washing, lunchtime, ten minutes sit down then I'll shortly be back on the bus up to school to collect kids and my final bus of the day will be back home. 

I'd like to say my day of things to do ends there hahaha if only, no then it all starts again.

I'll hopefully sleep tonight!
Dawn.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

The building of a capsule wardrobe

Hiya,

As I mentioned fleetingly in my last post I am currently in the process of building a capsule wardrobe, which is a selection of items that can be worn interchangeably in order to vary the look I'm aiming for.  The idea being that dressing is easier in the morning.

My requirements are;

It needs to be items that can be layered for warmth as in North England September can be chilly taking us through to freezing anything up until the end of March, something that can also withstand torrential rain as we get a lot here especially on the school run as it seems to wait for us lol.  I walk alot as I don't drive so the outfits need to be comfortable, I don't work in an office or anything so I don't need corporate wear but I need something I would feel smart enough to wear to church.

These are my requirements and I'm currently looking at what I have and adding a couple of key pieces to it for winter.  I have a set pallette of colours that suit me so I'm sticking with black, white and grey. 

I hope to blog about my new wardrobe when it is complete.

Anybody else have a capsule wardrobe?
Dawn.

We've been on safari

Hello,

As J has a new job starting on Monday he has had a few days off,  we have done a few things we needed to get sorted about the house and a few fun things too.  On Friday we did the school run then dashed off to Manchester on the train.  Had a couple of hours shopping in the shopping centres for a few items to add to my winter capsule wardrobe and J got some new clothes too.  (I'll blog separately about the capsule wardrobe and shopping).

Yesterday we went to the Safari park. Pixie was sent to go on a school trip at end of the school year and I was asked to go as a helper, unfortunately Pixie was I'll and we couldn't go so said we would take the kids in the holidays instead.  Here are a few pictures of our day.  I loved the lions (I have a thing for cats).

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Back to school

Hello,

Yesturday was back to school day for the girls, of they trot waving school bags, pe kits and lunch bags.  It's definitely autumnal here now with a nip in the air.  The familiar smell of tar in the air always reminds me of my own school days, the sight of my shiny new school shoes and the smell of tar from re tarmacking the flat roof at school before the weather consists of rain, rain and yet more rain.

Today for me consisted of a dentist trip (I'd rather forget this one) an Argos delivery (yay happy dance new bathroom bits) a trip to Aldi for a big shop and a memory foam mattress and lots and lots of paperwork.

Dawn

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Simple Sunday

Today's plans include; church this morning, relaxing this afternoon maybe a bit of crochet and a roast dinner at 5pm.  J is working today so it's just me and the kids till about 7 ish tonight.  I'm hoping the weather holds up so I can get the washing out and also because the kids want to play out with their friends.

Hopefully today will be a relaxed affair after the stresses of yesturday.

Have a fabulous Sunday

Dawn x

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Autumn/Winter preparations

Hello,

The last few days I have been continuing with colder weather preparations whilst I have time on my hands.  So I'm in need of a few more hot water bottles after my cat Maisie stuck her claw through my last one, so I need another 3 all in all so we have one each as it can get pretty chilly during the winter months.  We joke we could hang meat in those bedrooms in winter they are that cold.  I have managed to located one new hot water bottle so far 2 left to buy.  I found some beautiful soft rainbow wool and couldn't resist a purchase I have since made 2 hot water bottle covers out of my beautiful rainbow wool.

I am also still working on my ongoing crochet project my massive crochet blanket which will go over the top of my bed in a bedspread fashion to keep me and J cosy during the winter months.

I've just finished baking 24 fairy cakes for the freezer, these are to go in school packed lunches.  My girls were on school dinners last year however the poor choice, small portions, sweet corn with everything and the fact they run out of food by the time they have fed half the pupils requiring school dinners left me with chorus of mum can we go back on packed lunches.  I prefer to make packed lunches and know that my kids are by being fed properly.

Rightho I'm off for a cuppa whilst my cakes cool and then I'll be cracking on with my crochet blanket again.

Dawn

 Here's the hot water bottle cover I made.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Decluttering continues....

Well hello there,

Today I'm doing a big clean through as you do and go into the kids rooms to clean it only to find I cannot find the floor for crap and toys and barbie clothes.  The kids have now been enlisted to clear the stuff off their floor and put it away (a weeks accumulation of stuff) then were then told they need to find some space in their boxes under their beds ready for when there doing their Father Christmas lists as their new items will require homes.  This has been the starter for ten, in September when they return to school I shall be attacking each room in turn with black bin bags.

J's chest of drawers had a collapsed sock drawer so he was persuaded by me (saying I was no longer going to risk loosing my hand in the drawer putting his stuff away) that he may like to go through decluttered anything that doesn't fit (a binbag full) and recant the remainder into the empty chest that's in the wardrobe.  I eventually plan to decant the whole contents of that room into a skip and start again but as with everything else in life its on the list of things to be saved up for.

So another bag of stuff in the bin
A pile of junk from the kids rooms in the bin
A broken chest of drawers in the skip pile

Ahhhh and a sense of relief at more rubbish leaving my space.  Who else finds decluttering therapeutic?

Dawn

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Fun for free and a bit of culture thrown in

Well hello,

Today its a lovely sunny day and in England we're not really overrun with days like these so you have to make the most of them.

This morning J took the kids swimming as he is not working today whilst I sorted out the washing and made up a packed lunch.  When they got back from swimming we gathered our buckets, spades, ball, picnic, bag with the spare clothes (a must) packed the boot of the car and off we went clutching the map to Crosby in Liverpool.

We went to see the Anthony Gormley's (a British Sculptor) Another Place which is situated on Crosby beach in Liverpool, it consists of a statues made of Gormley's body spread out across the beach all looking out towards the sea.

We had a few photos with the statues and then settled down on our picnic blanket after playing dodge the jelly fish to build sandcastles, have our picnic lunch and to people watch.  There were many people at the beach today many other families with young children like us, couples, people walking dogs, other people doing the tourist thing having photos took with the statues.

Please find attached photos from our day.

Right off for a cuppa and a knit now whilst ignoring the housework after all tomorrow is another day.

Dawn