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?


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.....


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

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

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!


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

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

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?


Friday, 11 September 2015


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!

Sunday, 6 September 2015

The building of a capsule wardrobe


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?

We've been on safari


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


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.