Monthly Archives: August 2014

Days 30-34 of 40: Summer days drifting away…

imageI could actually add ‘To uh-oh those summer nights’ since I’ve seen rather a lot of the nights lately. I think there are two new teeth in the house! Anyway, it’s funny how not posting for just a few days means I’ve found it really hard to keep track of what we’ve done. We had another ‘big’ day out including a car journey, lunch and entrance to the Aquarium in Plymouth. This is always really worth while as you can collect a form and then get free entry for a whole year. We’ve found this to be a lifesaver during the long, rainy, wall-climbing winter months when you can’t get out as much although we do have to budget in the petrol money etc. Between petrol, parking, entry, pub lunch, an ice cream and a ride on the carousel we spent £76!! Oh well, it was only our second ‘big day out’ of the summer hols and much more our sort of thing than the theme park. We had the cousins over to play and have lunch another day (drinks £3), another day of pottering and a trip to the park with friends with no spending and another day where we drove to ‘the smoke’ to see my bestie and play in the park near her house. I hadn’t seen her in too long and it was lovely to catch up. There was already petrol in my car and free parking at the other end so no spending that day either. Wow, I did manage tire member what we did over four days after all!

We’ve been trying on uniforms and making sure everything fits but I need to have a proper sort out of everything now, put labels in shoes and bags, clear space for school things and so on. Perhaps over the weekend. We’re having another ‘paying’ day out with friends today and then that will probably be the last of the ‘big’ days out for the summer. I definitely feel there’s a sort of summer holiday fatigue going on in our house. On one hand I have the odd wobble (which I swiftly nip in he bud and most definitely keep to myself) about Girlie starting school (and so young! Only turned four in June) and want to keep her with me forever. On the other hand I can tell how much she misses the structure of her days at pre-school and those very organised activities and mini lessons. I’ve felt to sleep deprived over the last few months and I’ve mostly  been home alone with them so I don’t feel like I’ve been much fun a lot of the time. Still I’ve managed to get us all out of the house most days with at least one thing to look forward to I think! We seemed to have reached a stage where a bit more of a structured routine to our days will benefit everyone. The first month or so at school is on daft hours where they do just mornings, then mornings with lunch and THEN full days. Girlie and all of her friends were doing at least one or two full days a week at pre-school so I don’t really understand the need to do short days for so long – it’s confusing! A week and a half would be fine but I presume the powers that be know better than me!

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Days 27, 28 & 29 of 40

imageWe’ve been so busy I’ve barely had time to post here! Here’s a quick round up:

Day 27: We went to the cinema to watch a family film. As this was part of a kids club this only cost £9 for our whole family (Husband has had a couple of days off) which I thought was great. I also used the opportunity to go to a TK Maxx to get Girlie a really good waterproof coat. Fortunately the list from school specifies a warm, waterproof coat but doesn’t dictate colour or style. Girlie only had a very thin showerproof mac or a thick winter coat from last year. This was ok but last winter I remember thinking that next winter I’d like to buy a coat that was properly water and wind resistant and was a bit thicker. This one has a lovely fleece lining and is pretty as well – win! I also managed to get a pair of canvas shoes for her in her new shoe size so she doesn’t have to wear her new school shoes all of the time. Obviously I not counting this spending as our holiday spending. We bought some food while we were out too so our total holiday spending for the day was £15.

Day 28: we went to the park place that we have the season tickets for and met up with some friends and spent nothing!

This brought my total spending for week 4 of the school holidays to £22.25.

Day 29: Both Husband and I wanted a slight change of scenery so we drove a few miles away to a very pretty thatched pub that has a large play area outside. We enjoyed the low afternoon summer sun with coffees and a bowl of chips. Girlie had a great time and baby boy always likes hanging out somewhere new with lots of trees to look at. The pub even had a stack of magazines so I read my first magazine this year! It felt ridiculously indulgent. 

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Days 25 & 26: The start of school is looming

Busy day in the ‘Smoke’ yesterday doing some serious shopping! Okay, maybe not serious by some people’s standards but still! The trip was all about getting Girlie measured for her very first pair of school shoes so we did that and had time for a poke around a few other shops too. I managed to get 2 really nice pairs of trousers for baby boy for £5.99 each and I bought myself 3 new T shirts at £3.99 each. I wasn’t going to buy any clothes but then I figured that if I lose so much weight they look too big then they can go in my comfy drawer (I don’t actually wear pajamas so I have a few T shirts and smartish jogging bottoms for wearing in the evening). I have actually been on a mission to smarten up the contents of the comfy drawer so that might work out quite well! And for now I get to stretch out my remaining wardrobe just that little bit further. I also bought baby boy two proper bibs (we’ve been managing with odds and sods) and a couple of new cup/bottle thingamies. Oh and an advance Christmas present! But the only thing I’m counting for our holidays spending is the £10.94 on lunch as the trip was not ‘leisure’ shopping but planned for ‘ended’ things.

Today we went to a local magic show and bought some Smarties to share with friends tomorrow so the total spend for today is £5.25.

I feel in a bit of a funny place at the moment. With only two weeks left until my lovely girl starts school, on one hand I’m looking forward to it because it will be good to get more of a routine going again and because I think school will be great. On the other hand I am dreading it because I am going to miss her so much and – usefully – people keep banging on and on about how they are never really ‘yours’ again once they start school etc etc. And you are so very tied to that Monday to Friday term time. Like for a looooooong time. And it seems such long days, so many in a row to be apart. And she’ll be doing so many things that I won’t even really know about because kids are totally rubbish at explaining what they’ve been doing. And I want to know that she is alright and kiss her face a hundred times a day. Honestly this isn’t like me at all. I’ve always encouraged her independence and was so happy for her to go off to pre-school. But the start of term is looming and I almost just want to get it over with now. Off with the plaster!

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Day 24 of 40: Tears and Tantrums

Wow, the days just seem to be zipping by now, don’t they?

So, this morning there were serious tears and tantrums going on in our house…it was me, not the Littles. Firstly I joyfully logged on to my internet banking to do the monthly shuffling I do upon getting paid only to discover that I have not been paid all of my money. I am in basic maternity pay which is £138 ish a week but it should have been a 5 week month on my company’s pay schedule but they only gave me 4. So I have nearly three weeks of summer holiday left, loads of school related things to pay for and I have £40 to spend instead of £178. Clearly some fairly substantial head scratching, figure shuffling and frantic calculations will have to ensue. 

Immediately following this I wrote a shopping list based on the meal plan I wrote last night. I was trying to remember how much bread we had in the freezer so I went to check it and DISCOVERED THAT IT WAS SWITCHED OFF AND HAD DEFROSTED ITSELF AND ALL OF ITS CONTENTS. That would be bye bye home made ready meals, frozen fish, meat…all the expensive stuff. I won’t bore you with exactly why this happened but I’ve re arranged things in the pantry so it shouldn’t happen again. So I had to clear the whole thing out…


All of it. There wasn’t anything salvageable. I had a £4 off a £30 shop voucher so I took myself off to Tesco (amid much swearing and muttering I confess) and spent £52.52 on some shopping for the next week or so and enough stuff to almost fill it back up again. Whole chickens were on offer at half price so I bought two. I had also run out of really expensive things like coffee and hot chocolate. I always have Highlights hot chocolate in the cupboard for my evening treat – it stops me sending Husband to the corner shop for a bar of Galaxy! Tesco currently has a jar on offer at £3 if you’re interested. I was surprised to see Carte Noir was actually the cheapest coffee not from an own brand (which I think is ok but a bit meh) at £3 for a 160g Eco refill pack. I haven’t tried it yet. 

As you can probably tell, today has mainly revolved around the pay and freezer problems. Girlie has been with my parents and baby boy and I have hung out at home since the supermarket. Rather than carry on running around in circles I’ve sat down for half an hour and read a book I downloaded for free on my Kindle while letting baby boy roll around on the floor and chew all of his toys! At lease, aside from the food shopping, the day didn’t cost anything else,

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Day 23 of 40: Relaxing with friends

We went to have lunch with some friends today which was lovely. Girlie and I made a great big chocolate cake to take. I forgot to take a photo though, so instead here’s a quick pic from making dinner last night…


…remember all of the discounted chicken I got the other day from Co-op? Well I whipped the last pack of chicken thighs out if the freezer and threw a chicken chasseur together. It was good! I’ll try and post the recipe at some point. I really ought to have taken a photo of the end result but it got eaten too fast! 

So we had a lovely day playing with friends and didn’t spend anything. It’s just as well as the coming week is likely to get a bit spendy – watch this space!

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Day 22 of 40: Another almost free day!

Ok so we spent £2 but that’s a bargain for a day of nature and wildlife activities right?!

Not counted in this as it comes from the food budget but I scored his little lot earlier. Croissants for 17p each! Looking forward to breakfast tomorrow…



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Day 21: The end of the third week

I decided to pop to Tesco this morning as I had a £4 off a £30 shop voucher. I usually get our shopping delivered for £1 as our parking space isn’t on our property which makes bringing the shopping in while looking after 2 kids tricky! However, I had fun really low on cleaning supplies and loo roll etc so decided of stock up and use the voucher. This afternoon I picked my Mum up and we drive to an animal sanctuary where we made a small donation and had drinks. The total spend was £5.50.

And so the total for the third week of the school holiday is £19.34. I didn’t really expect to be spending so little! However, there will be much more spending next week as we have some more expensive days out planned and Husband has almost 5 days off so we’ll be hopefully heading out of town here and there. So far, so good!

Hope you are enjoying the summer, whatever you are doing x

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Days 19 & 20: Down came the rain!

Wow – halfway through the holidays then! We’ve been quietish the last couple of days. Both Girlie and  I seem to be coming down with something but I’m not sure if it is just going to be something annoying and niggling or a full blown cough-cold combo. We’ll see! Yesterday we met some friends at the beach (and had ice creams. Obviously.) and today we went into town and visited the library for the first time in 3 WEEKS. A long absence for us. We picked a big pile of books for Girlie and Baby boy and I managed to get a new release book I had been hankering after. I’m not sure if I’ll get to read it as currently the only chance I get to read is using the kindle when I’m feeding baby at night. Fingers crossed. I let Girlie choose a DVD to hire and she went with a Tinkerbell movie. We also went to the bakery (otherwise known as the bun shop) and bought great big buns!! I bake such a lot but sometimes it is nice to buy something you wouldn’t bother making yourself. I really feel the fact that I don’t support local businesses much. I just don’t have much disposable income and there aren’t many well priced indie food shops in my little town. There are quite a few new shops that have opened and I feel bad that I haven’t supported any of them. But I can’t afford manicures and whatnot and I certainly can’t afford to browse cutesy little interiors and gift shops. Maybe at Christmas. But anyway, a few pennies went to the bun shop today and I’m more than happy with that!

After getting drenched in town we came home, watched TInkerbell, ate buns and cuddled up on the sofa. Because that’s what everyone ought to do on a rainy afternoon frankly. 

Total spending over the last two days = £5.15.

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A wardrobe in waiting

When I tidied our bedroom the other day I was seriously, seriously tempted to pull everything out of our huge (to me) built in wardrobe and do a full on clean. However, not only was I too tired but there is just too much stuff in there and I’m not ready yet. While I would generally agree that you shouldn’t hang on to old clothes that are now too small, I have been doing just that. My body is a work in progress! I had baby in January and since then I have lost exactly 49 pounds. And it s still coming off, provided I pay attention. It slows down when I have ‘off’ days when we go out or have something special and I’m fine with that. I planned to give the whole process a year. The total I had to lose was 66.25 pounds. Specific, no?! So 49 down, 17.25 to go. I really believe I can do this. If I can’t, then I’ll settle for 13.25 but that’s my lowest offer 🙂 . 

I have been adamant that I am not buying clothes for the period between my starting weight and my finishing weight. There is no point. I don’t have enough spare budget that I can waste money on clothes that are only going to fit me in the short term. I have big plans for buying myself an all new capsule wardrobe once the weight is off and I feel it has genuinely settled. Until then I’m trying to make do. I’ve been wearing some outfits that, to my eye, are sometimes bland and sometimes bizarre. God knows what impression I give the people I’ve met in the last year! With every few pounds I lose I find there are a couple of old things that I can get into. The process has been that I can suddenly get something on but it looks awful. Then about 5 pounds later not only can I get it on but it also looks nice. Then 5 pounds after that I can either bin or donate it my depending on its condition because it is too big and I can get into something else. And so on. I have a bag of autumn/winter maternity clothes that I am planning to sell in a few months time. I have bags of different sized clothes both under my bed, stuffed info drawers and still up in the attic. I am trying not to let it drive me mad. It will happen. I cannot wait to get rid of all of this stuff, some of which is 10 years old. Some of it is great and I’m looking forward to wearing it again. A lot of it says nothing about the person I am now. I also unapologetically looking forward to buying myself some new things. I have made two clothes purchases this year. One was a stretchy pair of black trousers from Tesco which are a bit like yoga trousers (ie slightly baggy version of leggings!) which I only bought as I couldn’t wear any of my other trousers due to my size and my caesarean scar. In around March I also bought myself a T-shirt that cost just under £4 from H&M. When I got it home and tried it on it looked AWFUL. But now, more than a few pounds lighter, it is my favourite thing and I have worn it almost to death. So here we are in August and my total clothing spend for the year so far is £12! I can honestly say that has never happened before! I didn’t set about doing it, it just happened that way. I am going into ‘town’ in the next few weeks and might pick up another T-shirt if they have some at a similar price. But then I might not – as I said I don’t really see the point. 

My wardrobe is waiting. The old favourites are waiting to be worn, the horrible old, soon to be too large stuff is waiting to be finally made redundant and the wardrobe itself is waiting to have a thorough spring clean. Eyes on the prize!

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Day 17 &18 of 40: Taking lack of sleep to a whole new level

Argh – I wish I knew why baby is sleeping so badly at the moment. He is 7 months old and chewing like a maniac so I’m assuming it is teeth. I optimistically check his mouth every morning thinking a tooth will have popped through, ready to explain everything but nope. Bare gums every time. I had a major sense of humour failure at around 4.30am having had only 1.5 hours sleep at which point Husband intervened and I managed to get another 1.5 hours sleep in the single bed in baby’s room while baby and Husband went to our room. Nights like that make the days sooo hard.

It was probably just as well that we had a play date to go to this morning as it meant I had to get us up, dressed and out of the house. After a rough night I tend to find I feel much better if I get out for a bit. The play date was lovely and since we headed home by midday we’ve had the rest of the day at home to relax. Well as much as you can relax when you are entertaining a 4 year old while looking after a baby! We’ve made fairy cakes, watched a couple of favourite DVDs and now Girlie is upstairs playing in her room and baby is rolling around the floor in the living room clutching a toy snake. I am sat at the table avoiding all of the things that I probably ought to be doing while they are occupied.

Yesterday was a visit to my parents and a day of tidying. After I tackled the kitchen I headed upstairs. Because of my morning tidying (as mentioned in a recent post) it was quite easy to dust all of the surfaces and give the bathroom a clean. I bagged up various bits I found including a bag of things to go to a charity that my friends are involved with, another bag of clothes to go to the fabric recycling bank, some things we have that need to be returned to Girlie’s pre-school, a bag of toys left behind by some friends and a cup a little girl left here a while ago. It is all hanging in bags on my coat rack so I can locate them easily when I have chance to pass them on. I also headed to the supermarket to stock up on a few things as we had run out of bath/wash for the bubs, shower gel for me, my body puff thingamie had unravelled itself countless times and needed to be binned and I had run out of deodorant. Since Girlie was with my parents I could take my time choosing the best bargains and I bought two of everything so I don’t get caught out again!

in terms of holiday spending, the only thing I have bought was – shock horror! – actually for the adults of the house! I don’t really get to go to the cinema anymore and so I was waiting with baited breath for the DVD release of Divergent. We watched it on iTunes last night so for yesterday and today the total holiday spend was £3.49. Not bad going!


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