Monthly Archives: July 2014

6 of 40: Big spend day!

Today was one of our planned big spend days though I confess I am still a bit annoyed at how expensive it actually was. Since we’re not going away during the hols at all and Husband is taking two long weekends rather than a week off we thought, roughly, that we’d have one big day out during each long weekend. By big I mean going somewhere where the entrance fee is more than a couple of pounds, you spend the whole day there and it involves a longer than usual car trip! Anyway, we decided to go to a theme park type place since we haven’t really been to one before. It was ruinously expensive to get in and even I was shocked at how many extras were geared towards getting children to nag their parents to buy them a load of tat/sugary c**p. I was particularly annoyed at how expensive the games we’re where you could allegedly win a toy. All we saw were children crying because their parents had spent a fortune trying to win and failing. There was a documentary about these games on TV a year or so ago. Most of them are rigged so the house always wins. It’s awful. We told Girlie that they weren’t real prizes but a bit of a mean trick and that she could pick a little something from the gift shop at the end if we didn’t have any fuss about not playing the games or buying giant bags of candy floss etc (she chose a small dolphin toy that she has played with for hours so far – much better in my opinion!).

We bought a bag of sausage rolls and a bag of brioche to take plus our own cold drinks. Once there we also bought two coffees, a portion of chips and three ice creams. I can’t work it out exactly as Husband paid for most of it but it came in at around £70 which seems an eye watering sum really. And we brought most of our own food and drink with us!! And didn’t do the games! There were crowds of people spending like crazy – where do they get the money from? Madness.

That said, it was a lovely day out. There were some great rides and play areas which our girl loved and she bounced and sang and laughed her way around the whole place. Baby boy is still little enough not to have an opinion – he just likes being out and about with everyone. I would go back but not more than once a year. I think we’ll probably stick with our usual ‘big day out’ venues which are more animal / wildlife centred!

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5 of 40: Theatre!

Another day, another play date! This time one of Girlie’s best friends came over this morning and then we took a short drive and went to see a bit of – free! – children’s theatre in the park. It was brilliant and girlie likes anything like that. Then we had a walk by the sea and, yes, yet another ice cream (I had one too this time!). We put some pennies in the charity pot and so our total spend for the day was £3.61. Bargain if you ask me!

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4 of 40: A no spending day at last!

Phew, I thought there would never be one coming but today was a no spending day! We arranged to meet some friends at our local park this morning. The kids tend to swarm if one parent produces a snack (is it just me or does there seem to be a constant snack time going on with pre-schoolers?) so I like to take something that can be shared when we all meet up. The fridge was fairly empty (shopping day tomorrow) so I whipped up a quick batch of cherry mini muffins…
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This afternoon Girlie went to my parents for a couple of hours and I went to a free baby group. So no spending at all and I walked everywhere so I didn’t use any petrol either!

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Day 3 of 40: Visiting and bargain hunting

We went and visited my parents this morning and then Girlie stayed on for lunch and a visit to her Great Gran while Baby boy and I came home. I was planning to put my feet up for a bit but…well it never plays out like that does it?! He started getting a bit restless so I went in to town, got a couple of books out from the library (I’ve already started The Tin-Kin which is great so far) and posted my Lovefilm disc back. I also picked up some accessories for £2.50 as we are going to a fancy dress party on Friday…the rest of Girlie’s costume can be cobbled together from what we have at home. I also called in to Co-op to see if there were any bargains and majorly scored…
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Two packs of chicken thighs reduced to £1.13 each and a big pack of chicken pieces for £1.75! They are already safely in my freezer. I also got a loaf of bread for 56p which will be handy as we are officially in picnic season 🙂 .The chicken and bread came out of our food budget so my only spend today was £2.50.
I finally did get chance to relax in the garden on a blanket with the bub. I love barefoot weather…especially when lovely chubby toes are on show…

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2 of 40

We headed off to a great community event today…a giant picnic where you could bring or buy food, dancers, musicians, lots of people in fancy dress and games for the kids to play…it was great! Not a lot gets organised in our small town so it was lovely to have such a fun and different day right on our doorstep. Girlie and I made fairy cakes this morning to take and share with our friends. Last night I made up some extra pasta with red pesto and mozzarella so we could have easy packed lunches plus a sandwich in case anyone wasn’t up for the pasta. I also remembered to take drinks for everyone so we didn’t need to spend any money even though we were out for the whole day. I put £1.50 in the pot as there was a collection for a local charity.

It’s been a really busy weekend and, annoyingly, my caesarean scar is playing up so I’m looking forward to a more low key day tomorrow. Baby boy slept his first 8 hour stretch last night without waking up once! If I’d known I would have gone to bed earlier to make the most of it but you know how it goes 🙂 . Some babies seem to be sleepers, some not. Girlie’s sleep was horrendous. Baby boy has been pretty good, just waking up for a quick feed once a night and going back to sleep but he has been waking up more while the weather has been so hot. Hopefully this is the start of things to come! I was up late watching the Dallas Buyers Club which I thought was really good. I still have the Lovefilm subscription and can have one disc at a time which is how I watch newer releases. I also really like the fact that I can watch a huge range if films on ‘Instant’. When we got in earlier, Girlie was really tired out and chose a Disney film to watch quietly while I tidied up! cleared the bags and got tea ready. It’s been very handy! Now all I’ve got to do is try and make it upstairs before I fall asleep…

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And we’re off! : 1 of 40

I don’t know what I’m more surprised about – the fact that the summer holidays have begun or that I have a child old enough for that to be of any particular significance! I was so sad yesterday, her last day at pre-school. It is such a fantastic place and the ladies that work there are brilliant. I’m really going to miss them. People keep telling me that it’s okay because I get to go back when baby boy is old enough but it isn’t the point – my little girl won’t be there. She won’t be that little anymore. Still, there’s the whole of the summer holidays at our fingertips! I worked out that we have 40 days of holidays and over the last few weeks I have been frantically noting local events that we can check out and making plans with friends. My ideal week has a couple of definite things booked in, a few possibles and a good dose of empty space so we can just wake up and see what we feel like doing. Some of the stuff we are doing will be free, some will cost a few pounds and some will be treat days where we spend a bit more.

Today was the last day of tennis (the only activity she is signed up for) and then we went to a friends house for coffee and a play. This afternoon we met up with a group of friends and went to a village show nearby. I was quite disappointed that the entrance fee was £4.50 for adults! For a small village show! Still, we all had a good time. Between the entrance fee, the bouncy castle, lucky dips, ice creams and a couple of treats from craft stalls we spent £14.50. It’s not too bad I suppose but still more than I was expecting! Oh well, it was a nice start to the holidays 🙂

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Hello! Are you still there? Where is this year going? Things are going much better here – summer is always better from an illness point of view and my post op complications seem have eased and are currently causing me only occasional problems. And the weight is finally coming off! I did have to start a ‘diet’ as I hadn’t lost a pound for over 5 weeks at one point and I didn’t want to get stuck being overweight. I still have quite a lot to lose but (according to the body mass index graphs) I am now within the healthy weight range rather than overweight which is nice. I’ve lost almost 3.5 stone (around 47 pounds). Yup, that’s a lot even considering that some of the was baby! I have 4 more pounds to lose before I have lost the weight from my second pregnancy and then another 14 to lose from my first. I’m finding the diet very easy and effective so far so fingers crossed. I’d like to have lost it all by the end of the year.

The kiddos are on great form. Baby boy is thriving and my daughter is about to finish pre-school and will be starting big school in September! I can’t believe it. I know all parents say this but I really can’t. I’m hoping to do some posts about what we get up to over the summer holidays. Husband can’t take much time off and is only consistently off on Sundays so it will mostly be me trying to think up things to do that cost next to nothing (with a few ‘spendy’ days scattered here and there)! Until then, I hope everyone else has been getting as much great weather as we’ve had. It’s been lovely x

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