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