Saturday, 24 December 2016

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas to all my readers, I hope you have a good day!

Dawn

Monday, 5 December 2016

Monday Musings

Well hello,

Only three weeks left to Christmas eeeek!  Has everyone got everything ready?  I haven't as yet in fact my tree is not yet up or a single Christmas card written.  Pixie has a part in Nativity so I'm looking forward to that next week and Peaches is taking part in the Christmas service in church too so we have so much to look forward too and enjoy.  Hopefully these things will make me feel festive because as of yet I don't.

It's a bit nippy here today when I came home from work at lunchtime I enjoyed homemade spicy tomato soup from the freezer packed with veg, herbs and spices.  It worked a treat at thawing me out lol.

The light is now fading, the night will soon be drawing in.  The candles on the hearth have been lit and a mug of tea at my side.

Dawn

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Jack Munroe "A Girl Called Jack"

Well hello,

My sister recently gave me the cookery book titled "A Girl Called Jack", a book written during a time of unemployment where she had just £10 a week to feed herself and her son.  During a time where being a bit extra frugal is much needed for us at the moment, this book has been really helpful.  It has helped me to re think my cooking strategy and by making small tweaks I find I am utilising what I do buy to the maximum and less waste is being created as a result.  I am also using my slow cooker more and more and trying out new recipes in it most weeks.  A slow cooker really is a blessing to a busy family, a hot nutritious meal ready and waiting for you when you come home from work tired and need to be back out in an hour on the after school club run.

Has anybody else read this book or tried the recipes?

Dawn

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Rhonda Byrne "The Secret" series

Well hello,
I've been thoroughly embracing my library recently and reading a book a week (I know I'm surprised I've found the time too!).  I like to expand my mind and read both fiction and non fiction.  I've recently finished 3 books by Rhonda Byrne called "The secret", "The Power" and "The Hero".  I found them really hard to put down and recommend them as easy to read.  They offer a different perspective on life and are all about the laws of attraction.
Has anybody read these books?  What did you think about them?  Feel free to chat in the comments.
Dawn

Weekend prep

Well hello,

Today I thought I would share my weekend prep that I do to ensure the weekdays (which are hectic during term time) run smoothly.

The weekend here starts at 4pm Friday, the washer goes on the first load contains lunch bags on a short wash.  They take a while to dry so they are washed first.  Second wash is dark stuff (uniforms and work clothes).  They are all put airers to be dried over night.

Saturday jobs include:

Light wash in washing machine compiling of school tops and underwear, today we had a 2nd light wash of kids bedding.  All light wash goes into the tumble dryer at this time of year. 
All underwear is put away by Princess.
We sometimes go to town on Saturday, or visit family.  On days when we go out we have a slow cooker tea (usually a chicken curry with rice and naan our, fakeaway) today's fakeaway is chicken and chips which is currently in the oven.
While this cooks I prepared sandwiches for the week with the exception  Of Friday which is treat day, they have a sausage roll.  This was my most hated morning task, it's so much easier to prep everything in one go and pop it in the freezer.
Saturday night involves ironing the dreaded school uniforms with pleated skirts and work clothes.

Sunday (my fun day)
Sunday's are started easily with a cup of tea, except on church days.  If I don't have college work I tend to bake with the kids or do something creative.  I make sure everything is sorted and ready to go for Monday morning.  Everybody has a shower and are to bed at a decent time ready for school.

I clean as I go during the week and if I have a bit of time on Sundays I will do a little decluttering.  I was really good last Sunday and made a start on decluttering the living room bookcase.

Hope you all have a good weekend

Dawn

Saturday, 26 November 2016

The new toy

Well hello,

Christmas has come early for the kitties here.  Their old cat scratching post was ruined by children sitting on it so we found a great bargain in this fabulous multi cat Albert Hall of cat scratching posts.  It cost me £20 brand new off eBay they retail at £59.99.  This arrived Monday and took me half an hour to put together.

My bargain of the week!

Dawn

Keeping busy

Well hello,

The weekends are always busy here as usual I have a lot to pack in.   We have visitors coming today so I'm rejigging my usual routine.

Today's tasks

Washing pile (consisting of school uniforms and work clothes) this will be bunged in the dryer as I need them done and out of the way today.
Ironing pile
Wash lunch bags
Tidying up
Setting up spare bed in front room
Make sandwiches for the freezer for next week's lunches (a sanity saver)

Tonight's tea is a takeaway (a treat as we have money left from last pay day)

Sunday's tasks

Creating PowerPoint presentation for my teaching session at college on Thursday

Tea will be a beef stew cooked in the slow cooker.

Anybody else got a lot to pack in this weekend?  If I get bored there is always the decluttering to crack on with lol.

Have a good weekend
Dawn

Saturday, 12 November 2016

New Storage Gizmo

Well hello,

My new storage gizmo has turned up this week and as a result I have been busy with my kitchen cupboard rejig.  The storage gizmo is actually a shoe storage system that you hang on the inside of wardrobe doors but here it does an excellent job as a cleaning products tidy that hangs on the door of the cupboard under my stairs.

This meant I had a free cupboard (previously unheard of in this house lol).  This cupboard now contains bottles of drink of which we have a few.  This in turn leaves space in another cupboard so that the bread and cereals can now be housed here.  Now one of my counter tops is completely clear of everything that is not required to be there.  The only items left are a kettle, toaster, slow cooker (in use), chopping boards and a pan stand.

The storage solution cost me £4.99 off eBay with free delivery and has been a success in organising a messy area.  Much recommended!

Well I best dash there's the washer to empty and dusting to be done.

Have fun

Dawn

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Tackling the tut

Well hello,

I have been having a rethink regarding the storage situation in my kitchen.  The kitchen is in definite need of  a good rejig so that I can use the space in my cupboards more effectively and have less tut out on the units.  I sat there the other day and decided to draw out my kitchen and stated what will go into each cupboard.  Today I have started in the big cupboard under the stairs, it is usually a place where tut goes to die.  It has all now been brushed, mopped and re organised now a walkway has been made and everything can be accessed.  I love a good old ruthless throw out don't you?

I am waiting for a storage item to turn up in the post that I got off eBay, that I'm hoping will transform my cleaning cupboard into a new storage space.  On another note Royal Mail had a parcel for me today but couldn't be bothered to knock on the door so just shoved a collection note through for the sorting office (nightmare at this time of year) bet it's my storage solution! Arghhh don't you just hate it when that happened.

I will show you the storage item when I finally receive it.

Dawn

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Sunday musings

Well hello,

Today I feel as though I'm winning at life.   I woke up to some great news and that has given me so much energy as a result.  Today I have stripped, washed and remade the bed, put a lamb casserole in the slow cooker for tea to be eaten with roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings.  I've done the ironing pile and got everything ready for the week ahead.  This afternoon I will be baking biscuits with Pixie (homework) and having a chill out with a book before I am back to the weekday dashes of tomorrow and back to work and school!

Have fun

Dawn

A quick catch up

Well hello,

I am back!  Sorry I've been away for a while life has just sort of got really busy over the last few months.  The kids have started back at school and growing up far to quick lol. I'm back to work and I'm also back to being a student again too, so lots of changes have taken place and routines have been adapted accordingly to be able to fit everything in.

It's all good fun though, I've been keeping to a budget which is quite tight at the moment and embracing cooking and baking more.  I've been brave and started using a slow cooker, I am now converted and use it at least once a week.  The kids love slow cooker teas.

Last night was bomb fire night so we had fireworks that we got from Aldi and I did hotdogs in buns followed by chocolate Swiss roll and custard for tea.  After watching the fireworks we came inside and enjoyed doritto style crisps and hot chocolate with mini marshmallows.  We had a great time and our smallest cat Marilyn watched the fireworks from the bedroom she loved them too, Maisie hated them she is skittish at the best of times and hid behind the bookcase (as normal). 

Have fun

Dawn

Saturday, 30 July 2016

School holidays 2016

Well Hello,

It's been a quiet week here all in all, the weather has been hit and miss and we have had our fair share of rain.  I have been mainly tackling the to do list jobs in a leisurely manner whilst the kids play (throw toys across the carpet and leave them for people to stand on). 

We have returned the guitar Princess had borrowed from the music service, she has her own guitar for next year's lessons so that's one of less to trip on in the bedroom lol.

On Wednesday I took the kids to summer session at church.  They are running a one hour session of fun each Wednesday doing a different activity each week, last week it was junk modeling (making monsters) we made a Tiger out of recycling, it was fabulous we loved it.

I have made a large rice crispy cake this week too with added Rollos for caramel gumminess, the kids loved it and I packed a slab up for J for work (a nice sweet treat when your working a long shift).

Other than that it has mainly been a week of fighting the ironing pile, searching for new meal ideas and feet up with a book time.

Hope your having a good summer?

Dawn x

Friday, 22 July 2016

What have you done today to make you feel proud

Well Hello,

As the song goes "What have you done today to make you feel proud". Heather Small.

Today I feel that I am cooking with gas, I have made another years supply of laundry liquid (the best cleaner I have ever used), emptied two files of old unneeded documents from yester year, booked an appointment I needed to book and next on my to do list for today is to cut up the old school t shirts for cleaning cloths and pog the buttons for my button box.

What have you achieved today?

Dawn

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Last day of term

Well hello,

Today in the UK many schools break up for the long six week summer holidays, a mix of emotions of happiness (no more school runs) and sadness (missing friends) all around.  I have one little girl who won't be experiencing the last day of school today as she's got a high temperature and not well enough for school.  The calpol has kicked in finally and is slowly reducing her temperature. 

Meanwhile in the weather.....

Yesterday we hit highs of 29 degrees which may not sound hot to some of my overseas readers but here in the UK we don't experience highs like that very often, so when we do it knocks us flat.

After a night of very little sleep due to it being too hot, the fan wafted hot air round whilst making a racquet that would wake even the deepest of sleeper.  I had a breakfast table full of sleepy faces this morning and a poorly one to boot. 

Never mind kids only one more day to go!

Who else melted in the heat yesterday?

Dawn

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Pretty kitty (my first you tube video)

https://youtu.be/awePp3VFTPA

Fun at Church

Hiya everyone,

Today Princess and I went to church, as part of Sunday School they made bread dough with the instruction of leave it for an hour to rise, knock it down and bake it in the oven.  So guess what we did?  I've posted the before and after photos below.

At Sunday School they really do bring out the element of fun, lots of laughter could be heard and the kids loved it.

Hope your having a good Sunday.

Dawn

Saturday, 16 July 2016

And back on track.... decluttering

Well hello,

Today I'm back to being Miss Organised (peeps out from piles of clutter all around.  I have been out and purchased the bulk of the school uniform needed for September, it is still all bagged and waiting to be washed, ironed and labelled.  (This is a summer holiday job).

I've culled all unnecessary uniform (only three days left to go, come Wednesday all the old t shirts will be cut up for cleaning cloths/rags).

Teachers cards and presents have been sorted, all washing has been done.  It's the final push for the last part of the school year.  I have decluttered 10 books off my bookcase and decluttered 2 children's wardrobes.  (I feel refreshed as a result)
I still have much more decluttering to do and so much I hope to achieve in the summer holidays.

Who else is decluttering?

Dawn

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Another term is ending another just beginning

Well hello,

It's that time of year, we don't have much of the school year left (we break up a week today) as every year it is time to take stock and make a list of what uniform I need ready for September.  Today I have ordered 3 school cardigans (one each) as a starter to my back to school haul, it cost me £37 just for that.  In the next few weeks I shall order from Tesco the remainder of the required uniform (I collect the club card points to turn into vouchers for free days out).  Tesco have just sent me codes for £8 off a £40 shop so this week's shop has been ordered online from Tesco utilising their £1 delivery slots.  I spend less ordering online as I have no pester power going on lol to buy sugared junk.  We are currently eating down the freezer (it needs defrosting soon, most hated task!).  I plan to get my baking mojo back in the holidays too as life has taken over at the moment and I need to feed my hollow legged, growing children without it breaking the bank.  I shall be sharing our Summer Holiday journey as usual and hopefully a few costings too.

What's everyone got planned for the summer hols, answer in the comments below?

Dawn x

Share a story

Well hello,

I'm sure that everybody has times where life gets a little hectic, times when our minds need a break and I find when life gets like this taking a little bit of time out to read a book helps to restore your equilibrium.

Here is the book I'm currently enjoying.  I bought it last year to take away on holiday and never got chance to read it, like you do lol.  Has anybody else read it? I'm half way through at the moment but it's a fabulous read so far.

Who is your favourite authors?  Anybody else like to loose themselves in a good book?

Dawn x

Monday, 11 July 2016

Feeling Proud

Well hello,

Today I'm having a bit of reflection.  I am feeling proud mostly of my girls. 

Princess has been chosen to represent year 5 of her school in a spelling bee against other schools in the local area.  Yesterday at church Princess and Peaches took part in the music group leading the church service.  Pixie happily took on the part of the birthday box (she grinned from ear to ear). 

The last two weeks Peaches and Pixie have had certificates from school for good work and on Friday I read their school reports.  I am very proud of my girls to say the least.

What makes you proud?

Dawn x

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Saving Up

Well hello,

Here at thrift world the Poundshop Princess is tightening the purse strings.  Are you saving up for anything in particular you ask? Well yes I am I reply.

We are currently saving up for a new to us car, a few weeks ago our car was caved in down one side by a passing work van.  It was all a bit of a nightmare really and a few other things are beginning to drop off it too so it is time to search for a new one.

After a few weeks of spending on school holidays, school trips, Pixie and Peaches birthday (next week) I am now reigning the spending in so that we can save some pennies.  I have a few more outlays to fork out for yet such as car insurance (already saved for) new school uniform (already saved for, will be buying this in next few weeks) and spends for our annual holiday (already saved for).  Forward planning really is the name of the game to money saving and budgeting that and research. 

School uniforms will be purchased from Tesco's I buy uniform from there every year and it washes and wears well.  I collect the club card points from Tesco and the plan is to get vouchers to patch for days out.

We have three and a half weeks left of the school year so I am currently on the search for things to do in the summer holidays to keep the kids entertained.

Do you have any plans for the summer holidays?

Have fun

Dawn

Schools Art Exhibition (image heavy)

Well hello there,

The sun's out today cracking the flags so off we trundled to view the art exhibition containing artwork made by children in the local Primary Schools.  Princess who took part in felting club last term has her felted flowers that she made in this exhibition (pictured below).  I was really impressed with the children's artwork, full of colour and fun.  Some really talented children here.

Enjoy

Dawn

Sunday, 19 June 2016

We've been busy

Well hello,

We have been so busy lately so I thought I would have a quick catch up.  Princess has returned from her school trip to France this week, she also had her confirmation at church.  Currently trying to catch up with all the washing and get things sorted ready for everyone next week for work and school.  We also have a high school meeting coming up too, very scary.

Have a good week

Dawn x

Drayton Manor

Well hello,

This weekend we went to Drayton Manor.  A theme park for all ages from tots (Thomas land) through to family rides to scary rollercoaster rides for those who are more adventurous.  We went for Pixie's 6th birthday, we had a whale of a time.  A family of 5 ticket cost us £95 for a full days fun, we took a picnic with us and had a ball. 

Anyone else been to Drayton Manor?

Have fun

Dawn x

Monday, 23 May 2016

5 Things I love about summer

Well hello,

Today I thought I would share 5 things I love about summer;

1) Being in a happy mood thanks to the sun being in the sky.

2) Days outside enjoying the warm weather e.g. to the park or the beach (feeling the sand between your toes).

3) Alfresco dining, salary suppers (dodging the wasps).

4) Endless days, kids playing out (the smell of sunshine in their hair and muddy bathwater at the end of the day).

5) Getting all the washing dry (finding the bottom of the washing basket happens for two weeks a year in England).

What do you love about summer?

Dawn x

Monday madness and living in my dreams

Well hello,

Cannot believe Monday is nearly over already only got another three days at work this week until we break up for half term, the weeks are zooming by.  Tomorrow we have school fund raising day and Peaches and I have just iced a batch of cakes and made little flags to go on top.  The theme is countries around the world and each year group is given a country.  Peaches is learning about Trinidad, Pixie is learning about New Zealand and Princess is learning about the Maldives.  Quite frankly I'd settle for a flight to any of these locations at the moment lol, could do with a bit of sunshine.

My dream would be a holiday in Spain however I cannot see it in my head future, ah well we can dream. (Reaches for holiday brochures).

Is anybody else jetting off on holiday? If so where.

Dawn

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Online Shopping Fun

Well hello,

Today I have mainly been shopping online, partly because I cannot get the items required in the shops near me and partly due to 2 of them being presents for upcoming birthdays (Peaches and Pixie).  I have used quidco to get cash back and I have also payed using a cash back credit card.  It's always good to get a little back.

Today otherwise mainly consists of cleaning the house and ironing and making cakes for school fundraising day.

Excited for my parcels to arrive now during the week (like a kid at Christmas) I shall be waiting for the knock at my door eeeeek much happiness.

Love Dawn

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Church Gathering

Well hello,

Today we have attended a church event set up by all of the local area churches in order to celebrate Pentecost Sunday, the event was held in the local park.  There was a huge marquee for the church service, with stalls offering food, drinks, arts, crafts, puppet show, prayer tents, bouncy castles and a climbing walls plus a free food cafe and free cup cakes for all.

Everything was free and free shuttle buses were put on to ferry people from the near by large car park.  The sun shone and the turn out was good, we saw lots of people who we knew from church/school/work.  It had a lovely community feel to it.

Here are a few photos from our day.

Dawn

Southport Day Out

Hiya everyone,

I ment to share our lo cost day out to Southport that we had last Sunday this week however we've had a full on week and I have only just got round to uploading the photos.  We arrived just before lunch time and had our picnic on the beach, the kids made sandcastles, collected shells and paddled in the sea until it came in.  We then had a walk to the end of the Promenade which was nice.  We took a large bag of 2p's with us to play in the arcades with and had an ice cream.  We always grab a bag of donuts on the way home to enjoy with a brew when we get home.

Cost of day out:

All day parking £5.00 (this has gone up in price)

Ice Creams for 5 £8.00

Donuts £3.00

Toilets 20p (outrageous especially as there was no loo roll)

A fun time was had by all.

Dawn

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Saturday shopping trip to Manchester

Well hello,

Today we took a trip to Manchester city centre to buy clothes mainly.  It cost us £8.80 for 2 adults and 3 children return on the train with a family and friends rail card.  The kids were amazed at the size of the place and the shops as we don't visit very often and if we do go it is usually when the kids are in school.

I got to spend some birthday money/vouchers from December lol I just haven't had the time or the energy before now and I bought a much needed new handbag as my usual one that I use for everything has broken beyond repair.

It has been a glorious day today so we have enjoyed the warmer weather (and got 2 loads of washing done bonus) Princess got a certificate at school for her hard work and she got a prize when we went shopping.  Today I have also packed Peaches case ready for her school residential trip next week (I'm going to miss her rotten).

Very sleepy now after a busy day in the sun.

Dawn.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Bank Holiday

Well hello,

Today is Bank Holiday Monday and other than doing my normal Sunday jobs e.g. washing, ironing and quick trip to the post office to post some orders off, I am having a relax due to being absolutely congested and full of a cold.  Currently powered by decongestant and vitamin c (will let you know if it works).  The rain has finally stopped and the kids are out playing with their friends.

Is anybody doing anything nice this Bank Holiday?

Dawn x

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Coconut Oil

Well hello,

I have been trying out some new things recently one of these things being Coconut Oil which is currently seen as the must have beauty item.  Coconut Oil can now be purchased in the UK in most supermarkets and health food shops.

Coconut oil can be used as;

° A leave in hair conditioner

° An in bath body moisturiser

° A gentle facial cleanser, scrub and moisturiser in one

°A lip balm

° A handcream

° A base on which to apply foundation for an even finish

° For oil pulling (swishing around the mouth as you would mouthwash) to whiten teeth.

Has anybody else tried Coconut oil? If so how did you find it as a product?  Feel free to share your experience.

Have fun

Dawn

Wellbeing

Well hello,

Today I thought I would blog about well-being.  There are certain things that I feel I need to do in order to care for my own well-being.  This impacts not only on myself but also on others around me, especially those that I look after.

For me wellbeing includes;

Having restful sleep (I try to get 8-10hrs a night)

I like to look stylish in clean, well fitting clothes.

I like to have clean, conditioned hair.

I try to keep stress to a minimum (lavender baths help).

I try to eat proper meals at proper times.

I like to have my eyebrows threaded and dyed once a month.

By me caring for personal needs it makes me feel good about myself and by being in a happy place I am able to achieve more.

What do you need to be the best version of you?

Dawn x

Friday, 29 April 2016

Family life, a week of full on madness

Hello everyone,

This week has definitely been an eventful one that's for sure.  A part of me is glad it is the weekend.  The weather has been pure madness, we have experienced four seasons of every weather each day.  During the week J lost his keys on the way too work and only realised when he got home at night and couldn't get in, eeeek! We had to change the locks on all our external doors.  Today Pixie has come down with Chicken Pox (again) the poor love has had it twice now.

We also were stuck on a bus for an hour during the week due to a crash, thankfully nobody was seriously hurt.  It has been a constant whirl of madness this week and I'm glad it is not only the weekend but bank holiday weekend woohoo an extra day to chill/ get extra jobs done/recover from chicken pox.

I'm hoping for a relaxed weekend lol.

Have fun

Dawn

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Weeks that fly by...

Well hello,

Yet another week has flown by far too quickly lol.  My week has been a continuous blur of school runs, work, housework, after school clubs, trip to the dentist, meetings and we even managed to squeeze in a visit to a friends house after school one night.

Today has taken a more laid back vibe and and involved shopping.  I use to love shopping once upon a time but now I have to be in the mood lol.  So off we all trotted to town firstly to take Peaches for an eye test we are lucky in the UK as children receive both a free eye test and free glasses.  We will be back to collect her glasses next week, Peaches is very excited luckily for me she likes wearing her glasses.

Princess is being Confirmed this year and today we have tried on dresses and ordered hers plus bought her shoes to go with it (can't believe my little girl is growing up so quick).  We're hoping to collect her dress next week, I still have a cardigan and tights to get to go with it to complete her outfit (which I'll order online).  Life is really busy at the moment for me but it's all good stuff.

Peaches is off on a residential school trip too soon so I have bought the things she needs for that, it is her first time away from home without her parents and I know I will miss her like mad and she will love it climbing up mountains and in waterfalls.  I do feel for the teachers though as Peaches is a Lark, she starts the dawn chorus lol plus talks in her sleep.

So other than the credit card being very much in demand this week has been a good one.

Have fun

Dawn x

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Making the credit card work for you

Well hello,

Today I thought I would tell you about how I am making my credit card work for me. 

Firstly the credit card I use is one that gives you cash back every time you make a purchase.  Cash back is paid in December which is really handy for Christmas (an expensive time for us).

I have linked my card to Quidco which means every time I shop at certain retailers I get paid even more cash back through my Quidco account.

My Quidco referral link is;

http://www.quidco.com/2593770/2184736

If you too would like to start earning cash back too.

When I have finished my shopping trip either online or in store I pay the money equivalent of what I have spent on my card into my joint account so the money is there to pay the credit card bill in full and therefore clearing the balance in full each month without incurring any interest.

I no longer use my debit card for any card purchases.

Simples (as the meerkat says)

Dawn

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Back to school

Well hello,

Today we are getting ready for the return to school tomorrow, the sun is shining here so the washing is on the line and a second load is whizzing away as I type.  The kids are gathering together anything they may need, homework, PE kits, trainers.  Tonight everyone will be showered and in bed earlier than they have been during the holidays, packed lunches will be made and put in the fridge and school uniforms will be laid out ready for the morning.

I have filled my to do lists in the diary, including any changes to after school clubs.  This term we have music group, felting club, Brownies and confirmation classes.  I have written my meal plans for each day and anything additional extra I have to remember.  I currently feel in control and organised lets see how long it lasts lol.

Right now the jobs are more or less completed this afternoon we are off out for a walk in the lovely spring sunshine to get some most welcome vitamin D.

Anyone else gearing up for a return to school or a change in routine?

Dawn

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Decluttering

Well hello,
Today I am stuck in waiting to receive a delivery from Argos and I decided to tackle another little something on the decluttering list.  I tackled 2 cupboards in the kitchen both are under the sink and stuff never really gets put away properly.  The before photos would not look out of place in a shock documentary of hoarders from hell lol.  Here are the finished cupboards all scrubbed out and decluttered, feeling proud of what can be achieved in half an hour when your bored.

Anyone else decluttering today?
Dawn

Monday, 4 April 2016

5 Low Cost Ways To Avoid The "I'm Bored" Whine

Well hello,

All parents have been there me included.  It's the half term holidays, parents filled with dread at the pending "I'm bored" whine they often get met with.

Here are 5 lo cost ways to avoid hearing cries of I'm bored.

1. Use the internet to see if anything is going on locally, e.g. free festivals or events.

2. Invite a friend to play (sometimes this is reciprocated, woohoo)

3. Take a ball to the park, let the kids have a run about and burn up some of that excess energy.

4. Take a trip to the local library/gallery/museum, most are free to get in and many lay on activities for kids in the school holidays.

5. An excellent rainy day activity, have a make and bake day, get the craft stuff out or bake cakes or biscuits together using what you already have in the cupboards.

Just because it is the holidays it doesn't mean you have to spend a fortune to keep the kids entertained, in my experience most kids are content with a picnic and a play in the park.  This can usually be achieved nearby and cost very little.

Have fun

Dawn

Friday, 1 April 2016

Aldi Easy Home Steam Mop Review

Well hello,

This morning the door bell rang and when I opened it there was a delivery man stood there clutching a Steam Mop.  I had ordered this Easy Home Steam Mop from Aldi online.  It cost £24.99 with free delivery.

Everything is included inside the box (including) 2 microfibre base covers and a carpet glider (with some steam mops the carpet glider has to be purchased separately).

It is easy to put together (two screws to hold it together, requiring a crosshead screw driver to secure).

Easy to use and lightweight.  So far I have used it to clean my kitchen and bathroom floors which are linoleum and my porch floor which is tiled.  

Thoroughly recommend this product easy to use, lightweight, compact and a bargain at £24.99 with free delivery which was quick as they only went on sale yesterday.

As we are a family of 5 (including 3 young children) plus 3 cats the floors need to be cleaned daily and I felt the steam mop did an excellent job.

Dawn

Thursday, 31 March 2016

The recipe for a perfect afternoon

Well hello,

Today we had an adventure on the bus too a different library only 15 minutes away but undiscovered by us, until today.

Ahead lay books galore and both myself and the kids came home with a new reading delight. The photo shows how I shall be spending my afternoon.

Dawn x

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Half term crowd pleaser

Well hello,

Today the kids and I made a family favourite/crowd pleaser.  The kids once again received a generous amount of eggs from the Easter bunny (around 30 all in all).  So what did we do with some of the lovely, generous chocolate gifts? We made a big Easter nest and decorated it with mini eggs (all part of the Easter egg goodies).

Big Easter Nest

Ingredients;

3 Chocolate Easter Eggs
   Frosted Flakes
1 Tablespoon of Oil (we used coconut)
   Mini Eggs

Method;

Melt crunched up chocolate in a large glass bowl with a tablespoon of oil in the microwave till molten.

Add frosted flakes (what we had in the cupboard but most cereal would do). Add enough to allow complete chocolate covering a little bashing of the frosted flakes helps here.

When completely covered spoon into large cake case and flatten down.

Add mini eggs to decorate and chill.

When cool cut into slices and enjoy.

Chocolate was from the Easter Egg mountain in the corner of the kitchen, Frosted flakes were from Aldi.  We used Coconut oil as that was what I had in sunflower etc would also be fine, the mini eggs came with the Easter Egg.

This crowd pleaser was made with few skills, utensils and kids love to have a go too with the non hot jobs.  I am by no means a fancy cook but what I make puts smiles on faces!  Everything we used we already had in the cupboards as we're due to do a big shop tonight so finishing up what we already have.

Simple, frugal, fun

Dawn

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Cheap holidays for a family of 5

Hello there,

I'm sat here watching my washing continue to get saturated as it got caught in one to many showers today and it's still raining hard now, I haven't the heart or the inclination to go out there and collect it in.  Whilst sat here I'm thinking about holidays, dreaming of sunnier days and the idea of a holiday away to fresh air away from our usual lead laden sky's. (We live in between 2 main roads that both lead to motorways, heavy traffic both sides and the rumble of articulated lorries lulls me to sleep at night).

I would love a stay away and a change of scenery, on looking at the possibility online I find it quite costly.  Most holidays are set out for families of 4 however there are 5 of us and this often bumps the price up.  Going abroad is out of the question due to cost.

So folks my question is can anyone recommend an inexpensive way for a family of 5 to have a holiday?

Dawn x

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Easter weekend........

Well hello,

The kids broke up from school on Wednesday afternoon and since then every day has felt like a Saturday.  J has landed on his feet at work and been given a four day weekend woohoo which we were not expecting so yay for some family time.

So far I have had a leisurely start to each morning (usually involves 2 cups of tea and some crochet) which has been bliss followed by cracking on with some of my bigger household jobs on the when I have the time list.  This has seen me bleaching areas in my house that had black mould due to a build up of condensation (bathroom).  A clean down of walls (Hall stairs and landing) followed by a paint touch where needed to keep it all looking clean.  The shoe cabinet in the porch has also received a coat of touch up paint as it was looking a bit scraggy (it does see a lot of life lol).  I still have some touch up painting to do in the playroom and the corner of the bedroom ceiling but that's for another day.  I've started spring clean blitzing or should that be continued lol and started to attack my bedroom. 

I have a list of half term jobs I wish to complete in the house.  I just wish we had nicer weather as the washing basket is full and I want to take down nets and curtains and give them a scrub but it will have to wait until I can peg out washing on the line.

Does anybody watch obsessive compulsive cleaners?  I watch this on iPlayer as my motivation. 

Hope your having a good Easter weekend, don't forget the clocks go forward an hour tonight if your based in the UK.

Dawn

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Why frugality?

Well hello,

Today I thought I would have a chat about why people (and me live frugally).  Many live frugally in order to live from one weeks wage to another.  We live more month to month as a family unit financially.  We live frugally by only buying what we need rather than buying stuff that needs dusting.  The savings from this not spending on bits and bobs soon adds up.  This money goes back into the pot.

We have limited amounts of clothes due to space and because we can only wear one set at a time.  (The kids wear uniforms on weekdays most of the year, J has a work uniform and I have specific outfit I wear for just work).  Kids clothes are worn to be a child in not a fashion icon so no designer labels here, clothes are for playing out in and being a child.  Buying non designer items means a huge saving.  This money goes back into the pot.

We have days out and spend time as a family again we keep the costs down by taking our lunch with us allowing us to enjoy some and spend some frugal savings on an attraction e.g. fun fair.  We also have fun for free a trip to the park or beach costs nothing.

We shop around and stick to a meal plan and a budget meaning huge savings on no impulse purchasing.  This money goes back into the pot.

I am not brand loyal and will try out any products.

What do we win by being frugal? 

For us being frugal has meant we have money in the pot too pay for things we may not have had the money to pay for otherwise.  This year this will be 2 residential school trips for Princess and Peaches and a family holiday away for us all.  Other years this money has gone towards holidays, a new car, white goods and decorating projects in the house. 

I have done this for many years now and it has more or less become 2nd nature to us.  We do find it works for us though and has enabled us to live on one wage whilst bringing up 3 children and me being a stay at home mum.  By doing this we have still been able to go out and have fun without us getting into debt.

Any other frugal people here?  Why frugality?

Dawn

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Easter holiday plans

Well hello,

Next week we have three days at work and school until we break up for the Easter holidays.  We then have 2 and a half weeks off, J has most of the Easter weekend off woohoo family time.  The weeks seem to fly by in a whoosh of school, work, homework, housework (basics), after school activities, Church and grocery shops leaving little time for much else except sleep.  The half term therefore I aim to spend doing the things I'd like to be doing e.g. spending time with family and spending time on hobbies.

I have come to enjoy the half terms a chance to breathe out from the day to day routine, rush out the door and spend the majority of the time either on a bus or waiting for a bus.  We may still end up rising early (I have an early bird child) however the rush to get ready and out of the door for a set time is not in the front of our minds. 

I plan on having a bit more of a spring clean (hoping for nicer weather) and I plan on attempting an area on my decluttering list.  On the hobbies side of things I'd like to continue with the artwork changes in my frames in the hallway, I have completed three I have two more to complete and I also have a really interesting book to read.

On the decluttering front I have started on the kids wardrobes and have bought new spring/summer clothes to replace outgrown clothes, the outgrown clothes are now in the charity pile.

What's your Easter plans?

Dawn

A thrifty day out

Well hello,

Today as J is off work we decided to have a family day out, to blow the cobwebs away.  We looked at the options of places to visit.  We are currently looking into other places to visit further a field in the next few coming months.  We landed upon Haigh Hall in Wigan, the kids loved playing on the massive park, fun for all ages as well as a zip wire.  We then continued to wander (lots of walking opportunities) lots of fresh air and places for the family to explore.  We had a look around the walled garden I think in summer it will be well worth a visit when it is in full bloom.  We then ventured upon the miniature railway, we loved it.  Haigh Hall itself had a wedding on at the time (a popular wedding venue in the area) photos of the main hall below.

We took a picnic with us and ate it in the courtyard, plenty of picnic benches about and many others had the same idea as us.  There is a cafe on-site as well as a hotdog van and ice cream van (today it was way too cold for ice cream unfortunately).  The toilets were clean and free to use.

Haigh Hall has a car park and it cost £1.50 to park all day.  The train ride cost £1 each.  So £6.50 for a good day out is certainly value for money.

We are going to go back again when the weather is warmer and do some of the walks.

Where else is good to visit that you would recommend?  Has anybody any experience of Drayton Manor?

Dawn