Monday, 2 November 2009

Im still here !!

I havent forgotten about you, still here, lots going on, I will let you in on details in a few days then everything will be back on track, so busy at the moment, so appologies to you all - speak to you soon x x x

Monday, 5 October 2009

Money Monday

Well its around again, Monday, Monday, money round up Monday, its the start of the month, so it is a round up on last month so apart from the little hick up when the baby was in hospital and the spending went a little awry, we had a pretty good month only slightly over budget which is a good start as we only started monitoring the situation recently, so with a few tweeks here and there we should be pretty ok this month.

heres hoping !!

Friday, 2 October 2009


I know its not Thursday but I think that it is important, so am playing catch up, From now on Thursday is now Thinking Thursday - its all about taking 5min to just think about other people who may not be as fortunate as us - the Guiding Association have an annual Thinking Day where they think about other brownies and guides around the world.

Today I have a few people to think about firstly my thoughts go out to all the people devastated by the earthquates and floods in Indonesia and the Philappines, I cannot imagine what they must be going through -

Secondly, a little closer to home an article on North West Tonight last night was regarding families in Liverpool struggling to manage during the recent financial downfall and a charity has been set up for donations of food parcels (enough for 3 days ) to be delivered to the needy, I would love to help in some way and would love for this to be a countrywide charity so if Ican find the details of this charity I will post them on here and hope to get more recognition for this worthy cause.

Lastly, a fantastic may that I am following on Twitter (through my other account) called flossy the boss (@flossytheboss) is collecting clothes for the needy children in Ecuador through the foundation called 'The Shirt off Your back Foundation

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Walkabout Wednesday

New Feature, What is walkabout Wednesday?

Well I thought I love looking at other blogs, I think it gives you an insight into other families and lifestyles and more often than not you pick up fantastic tips and advice that you would never have thought of in a month of Sundays or are so obvious you cant see them, you may also be lucky enough to build a friendship so you can share trials and tribulations. Join me as I 'Walkabout' and take a look at other blogs and if I find any new articles here is where you will find them, and maybe make a comment if an article strikes a chord with me. hope you enjoy them x


2. love the post - 'and its not even 9' !


take a peek and see what you think - x

Monday, 28 September 2009

Money Monday - small steps

~ Every journey starts with a single step ~

so despite our little blip when Owen was in hospital our spending this month hasnt been to over the top, although this went awol when we had to pay for tunnel fees, hospital food, petrol, but trust me this was a small price to pay, but we have dusted ourselves off and onwards and upwards, small changes we are going to implement this month.

1. Try and meet all direct debit payments, saving bank charges @ £20 per item

2. Stopped our bank account with an overdraft/debit card and changed to bank account with no overdraft facility and one of the new O2 money manager visa cards, a visa card that you load up as and when and can only use what is available, no cross over transactions and text notifications when money is added or debited.

3. Keeping our spending to a limit, our proposed spend on food for October is £200 which averages out at about £50 per month, £50 will be loaded onto the O2 money manager card and kept specifically for food shopping, if we use less then this is carried over to the following week, and any overspend will be saved up for Christmas, which I have always started buying little bits for in September when the kids go back to school

4. Cook properly, I always try to whenever possible cook from scratch, but sometimes I find that it isn't always the most economical way with all the supermarkets competing at the moment, especially when the recipies ask for 1 of and you have to buy a whole packet of, so what I have tried to do is to cook double the quantities of easily freezable stuff (like stews, sauces, cassaroles etc) which I find cheaper and also means that we still have home cooked food on the two days that I do work ( because bless him my hubby still thinks that his version of home cooked is to read the oven instructions !)

5. I am also going to try and eke out meat as much as I can, again working out to be more economical, for example yesterday I cooked a medium chicken for Sunday Lunch, instead of putting loads of meat on the plate I put a little less on and padded the meal out with Vegetables, I took the rest of the meat off the carcass and then boiled the carcass to make a good stock along with whatever meat came off the bones, I can then make a chicken and bacon stew out of the stock and then we can have a chicken omlette with the rest of the meat so out of 1 medium sized chicken we would have made 3 meals

Chicken £ 4.00
Sunday Roast Veg £ 2.00
Stew veg and Bacon £ 1.50
Eggs for omlette £ 1.00
Total £8.50

For 3 meals for a family of 5 - not bad eh !!

see you next time x

Eternal gratitude to the NHS

2 Posts today to play catch up !

The past fee weeks I have been in a complete flat spin, Our youngest was taken ill, nothing out of the ordinary, watery eyes, slight temperature and a bit of a cough that got worse when he was asleep but when he was up and about he was back to normal, that was the Wednesday, no appointments left in the doctors so Thursday night we thought we would take him to the walk in centre in the hospital, so hubby took him up while I looked after the girls, well within 1/2 hr of being seen at the hospital baby boy was being whizzed down to be incubated to stop his airway closing up, so as you can imagine I have never been so scared in my life, the staff were wonderful with up and never left our side right through to when they transferered him over the Alder Hey Childrens Hospital, anyway, long story short they dont actually know what was the matter with him but were treating him for bacterial croup he came off his tube on the Friday and after a weekend stay in hospital we were released on the Monday - which was actually our wedding anniversary, which we both forgot but in hindsight we had the best anniversary gift ever! - I cannot praise the nurses and doctors enough and even if I started today and continued daily I would not be able to thank them enough, thank you so much x x

Monday, 14 September 2009

Money Monday

For this post I thought honesty would be the best policy. Now that the kids have gone back to school I have had a mid year recap on what we set out to do in our resolutions. Financially we are still pretty much in the same situation, but has now come to a head and needs to be addressed - not because it is getting worse but just because I am fed up of the money situation dragging on.

So anyway after going to the bookshop to try and find a book to help us in our situation, there isnt one definitive book that I could find that deals only on tips to get out of debt, sure they all contain a chapter on getting out of debt, but then the remaining 3/4 of the book is not relevant to me, why would I need chapters on savings and investments???? give me that when I am OUT of debt, plus all of them held some information but not all, and then I thought, surely the first step in saving money.... is to not spend money on a book telling me how to save money !!

After an indepth look at our finances we are just under £17,000 in debt, (this doesnt include the mortgage) included in this is a £12,000 loan which we took out over 20 years in order to keep the payments down to a minimum but looking at the small print it totals (when you add the interest)that we would owe £35,000 !!!!!!!!!. since looking at our finances I have figured a way that all debt can be paid off within 7 years - without it being too much upheaval or cutbacks.

I also chose to share this information with you at the START of my journey so that we can all live it together if you choose to join me on being debt free rather than sounding all preachy at the end of it, yes it will be tough, yes there will be times im sure I would rather throw the towel in and buy something pretty and blow the budget, but all I can hold onto is that light at the end of 7 years (if not sooner)

We have already had a kick start to our budgeting by default - the second car (which has always been needed for Mark to get to work at 5.30am) failed its MOT and needed to much work to put through so that was scrapped, profit (£80) but on top of this we do not need to pay £120 p/yr Tax, £40 p/yr MOT, £300 p/yr Insurance, £65 p/mth Petrol. so in all it will save us £1240 p/yr

So in order for Mark to get to work now we are in the process of trying to find a small 50cc scooter/moped for him to ride(its too far for a bicyle)which on average will cost us £500 to buy, £15 p/year tax, MOT £15 p/yr, £100 p/yr insurance and £8 p/mth petrol Saving us (without including actual purchase price of scooter) £1014 p/yr.

I have picked up some other tips frugal living, budgeting, saving tips whatever you want to call them, so over the next days, weeks, months, years I will share them with you along the way.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Here we go again !!

So it is September 2nd 2009 - nothing monumental to the majority of the world but Im sure a fair few will identify with me, today is the day that we started potty training our little man.

we thought as the older kids start school on Friday (why bring them back in for one day is beyond me , but Im sure that it makes sense to the powers that be!) it would be a good time to at least try,

Ill be honest with you, I do have mixed emotions starting the old potty training routine, first thoughts, no more nappy changes, no having to remember changing equipment (even if we have got it down to 2 nappies,wipes and nappy bag),no trying to find changaing facitilies or even a clean dry surface. saving landfill sites as well as saving us a small fortune monthly. There isnt going to be any mad panic when the baby has no nappy on and you husband decides that this is the time to tell you that he used the last one earlier and for got to tell you !!

Then I started to think about the other side, as he is our only son, if we go out for dinner its not going to be me who is on relay to the toilet with a 30 second warning as I have done with our 2 daughter' much to the hilarity of husband - oh revenge is going to be sweet !!

I remember marvelling at how tiny the newborn nappies were, and picking the nappies for the newborns, of course they have to be the softest, comfy to the bottom, snug enough to not let any leaks through, but not tight enough to blemish new born skin, so after all this and me in my hormonal state picked the ones with the cutest picture on the front !

So here we are he is our last (and while we do not in any way 'baby' him) its another part of babyhood that is never going to return to our house, along with the mountain of bottles, the endless sleepless nights that made every day feel like groundhog day but now in hindsight have a rosy nostalgia to them.

but for now so far it has taken me about 2 hours to write this post because, we have had 2 'accidents' flatly refuses to sit on the potty but knows when he needs to go because he asks for his nappy, but is having the time of his life running round with nothing on showing everybody his 'willy' as for me I think Ill have to get out the packet of Thomas the Tank Engine big boy pants as a bit of bribery save him flashing in public only so long you can get away with that for ...


Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Poem for Wednesday

I love this poem, I dont know who wrote it - credits go to whoever it was - but it gets me through some really tough times x

Dont Quit

When things go wrong

as they sometimes will

when the road your trudging

seems all uphill,

When the funds are low

and the debts are high,

and you want to smile

But you have to sigh

When care is pressing you down a bit

rest if you must but dont you quit

Success if failure turned inside out

the silver tint on the cloud of doubt

and you never can tell how close you are

it may be near when it seems afar

so stick to the fight

when you're hardest hit

Its when things seem the worst

that you must not quit


Thursday, 13 August 2009

I dont know how or why - but I am thankful x

As you already know I have 3 children and would love more, my dream would be a house full of kids like they are in Cheaper by the Dozen where it is all organised chaos, - we have the organised chaos sorted already, but circumstances and finances dictate that we cant have any more children, I do however love all the films with large families in and love reading books about large families. I recently picked up a fantastic book written by a lovely lady Mary Ostyn who actually writes on of the other blogs that I follow the book is called The Sane Womans Guide to Raising a Large Family, and Ill be honest with you I have read it minimum 4 times and still love it!!

Anyway in the book it tells the story of how Mary and husband are raising their family, and the financial obstacles that they have overcome in order to adopt, A paragraph stands out so vividly to me (I am summarising here) "adoption is an expensive business but somehow a door always opens and god provides for us, enabling us to proceed with the adoption process and alowing us to open our doors to care for another child" - Sorry Mary I know I havent quoted it exactly !!
Which now brings me to our situation, for the longest time (in fact for as long as I can remember since being with my husband ) we have had to scrimp and save for everything, I am not overly religious but I do believe that something/somebody is looking down taking care of our family. Whenever we have the wolves at our door (collection agencies), just before they manage to get in something always comes our way, I dont believe that it is down to luck, twice it has happend to us this week, we had some concert tickets that we couldnt go to - had them for about 6months no joy in selling them, but this week when we had a Friday deadline for a debt, someone out of the blue said they were unable to get tickets because it was sold out ! this is not the first time, I was crying because of the relief.

Later that evening, I was taking to Mark (husband) about it and he had thought the same thing - he likes to think that it is his mum looking down on us still taking care of us - I hope so - I dont think that we are ever going to be rich and affording foreign holidays, but we are so much richer than any millionaire who doesnt have to wait and save for anything, I have my family, and we have camping holidays, but my family and the time together with them is so much more precious than any amount of money in the world.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

method in the madness !!

Hi All,

I would appologise for being so absent again ! but it is the school summer holidays, we have been away camping, recharging batteries and to be honest it has done me the world of good, I sat in the tent just after the kids had gone to bed and have taken the time to sit and think and to take stock of various items that have been gradually been building up in my mind, and because we have so much coming up it was great to take the time to allocate memory space to all the things coming up and to mentally declutter, I think sometimes we all get so busy in day to day life that we dont manage to finish one topic before we go on to the next one, or even have the time to mentally process before adding another juggling ball to the collection. So any way now I have had the time to chill and relax I have processed and sorted my thoughts and am now bursting to share all my ideas and memories with you over the coming months, and for once in my blogging life I am ahead of myself when it comes to subjects to write about, - I look forward to sharing them with you and am going to try and commit to blogging at least 3 times per week, and hope that you will join me on the ride - I love you all for your patience !!

Monday, 22 June 2009

The Iron Men of Crosby

Over the weekend we visited what is locally known as the Iron Men of Crosby, which is in fact a series of statues by artist Antony Gormley entitled 'Another Place' this piece of art has been on the beach for at least 3years but is one of thoses things that people flock to see but because it is only on your doorstep, life gets in the way and time flies and lo and behold it is 3 yrs down the line.

For those of you who have not heard of the iron men, it is 100 iron lifesize statues of men, scattered along a mile or so of beach some further out than others.

Up until now all we have seen or heard of these iron men is that when they were erected the number of calls into the police and coastguard went up because the public thought that they were people stranded, or trying to hurt themselves, and again when the initial shock of them wore off they hit the news when the lease was up and they were due to be removed there was public outcry that they couldnt be moved and were part of the landscape now (rather like the 'superlambbanana' - which has been adoped by the people of liverpool - the artist has got NO chance of getting that back off us !!) so anyway the iron men are here to stay and we went to visit them.
To look at them you can see why all those calls were put in, they are so realistic that as you get nearer to look you expect them to move like the statue artists that you see in Covent Garden. and the way that some are closer to the beach some further out all looking towards the sea, it is an amazing sight, each one numbered so the kids had great fun running up to them finding out the numbers although the cultural side of it was lost on them because all the statues are 'naked' so kids took great delight in shouting across the beach to us that they could see it's willy, and obviously the tide being the tide brings in all sorts of seaweed, barnacles, and litchen that clings to the most in-oportune places, kids were in hysterics, nothing a quick visit to the iron doctor with some iron tablets wont cure !!!!!!

I can highly recommend it to anyone, may think twice on taking a picnic on the beach, may feel a bit uneasy with all the 'visitors' watching me eat !

Happy Fathers Day x x

Yesterday was Fathers day, and it made me think about the different relationships I have and my children have with the male figures in their lives, Obviously the biggest relationship we all have now is that of my husband - the kid' dad, I couldn't ask for a better more patient man to raise and guide our children along the way, it says it all when a grown man goes between knowing all the words to Bob the Builder to Hannah Montana and who doesn't mind getting down to glue and glitter.

Then there are the grandads, my dad, I have always had my dad there but have never had the type of relationship that you could talk him about anything - yet he has a great friendship with his grandchildren, my stepdad, who I very rarely speak to, who shows no interest in the kids, and that leaves us with husbands dad, who is a complete nutter and again who the kids love dearly.

So it just goes to show,that like most things in life, relationships vary in their intenseness (if that is a word?) and that each relationship whether it is as a daughter, son, dad, grandad, is each unique and brings a special quality to the table.

To all the sons, fathers, granddads, uncles out there I hope you had a wonderful Fathers day and remember that you mean to the world to someone x x x

Friday, 12 June 2009

I know, I know !!

I know, I know I said that I was going to be more organised and have certain days for blogging certain topics, but that obviously didnt take into consideration school holidays, husband being off work and me having tonsilitis ( I honestly didnt have the energy to lift my head off the pillow never mind think of anything interesting to say !!)

So I'm here again begging for forgiveness ! what we have been doing since last writing is teaching our girls how to ride their bike without trainer wheels our eldest managed it last year so only needed a refresher so all efforts were put into our 5yr old, took the trainer wheels off daddy holding onto the seat, we rode along the prom which is a wide open space no cars, she spent the whole length of the prom crying her eyes out (dont forget this was HER idea to ride her bike without the wheels) did this for a few times stopped and rested, asked Aimee our eldest and Holly (5yr old) if they were enjoying themselves riding by themselves both shouted YES !!!!!! (even Holly who had just moments earlier been crying).. so after a rest decided to try again, back in the saddle and AGAIN spent the whole of the prom CRYING AGAIN !!??? - go figure that one ?? very strange .. all this along with out 2yr old son who decided to jump on his trike that very morning
and start peddling away but with no sense of direction Id be merrily walking behind/alongside him then all of a sudden would be sideswiped by a 2yr old with road rage,
so there we all are Aimee whizzing along telling Holly how easy it is , Holly being helped moaning the complete length of the prom and Owen trying desperately to keep up the rest of the family had done 2 lengths of the prom by the time we had got 1/2 way along - Funny days, it was just one of those lovely days, no work or chores to do just a family relaxation day topped off with the obligitory ice cream on the beach afterwards - Holly still hasn't fully sussed out the riding but that can be saved for another posting !! - take care, see you soon

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Menu Planning

Before I start - can I again please appologise for my lack of posting - back up to speed now and am bursting with ideas for you. so for starters here is our menu for this week.

We are having a very cheap week this week not an awful lot of money to spare this week, so have had to draw on all of my budgeting and cooking skills, but seem to have pulled it off !

Sunday - Sausage Cassarole and Mashed Potato
Monday - Shepherds Pie
Tuesday - Chicken in White sauce with Rice
Wednesday - Spanish Omelette
Thusday - Spagetti Bolognase
Friday - Lasagne and Chips

All this including food for school lunches, milk, bread, dog food etc for a family of 5 cost £35.00 not bad eh!

The future plan is to continue in this fashion even on the weeks that money isnt as stretched (its always tight!) then even a couple of pound saved will gradually over time build so that we have a small buffer zone incase of any emergencies

Hope you are all keeping well and I promise I will be more forthcoming with the posts !!

Love to you all x

T-Mobile Mom to Mom Quiz

T-Mobile Mom to Mom Quiz: "

Take the fun, Mom to Mom quiz and discover your parenting style.

Apparently being a Quick Wit mum means that:

Raising kids, especially teens, requirs a sense of humour. You respond to your teens' antics with intelligent wit and banter that lets them know you love 'em, but they'll have to get up a lot earlier in the morning to sneak something past you.

Hmmm... I hope that when they are teenagers that I can still keep up with them otherwise they'll all be ganging up on me!!!


Saturday, 2 May 2009

family business

Well we are all back to full strength now - (touch wood!!) at least we like sharing things in our family.

Bizarrely though through this time of confinment it gave me the time to actually sit down and reflect on my life and my family. and I have come to the conclusion - I know that I have likened certain aspects to business life- but the running of a family home efficiently is exactly the same as running an efficienct business unfortunately without the sick pay or holiday breaks or any of the other financial perks that paid employment offers and again unfortunately home makers are still unpaid members of society. But still uses exactly the same principals, time management, people management, delegation skills along with the finance section and human resources department. I have drawn on times from when I dod work and have now applied those loosely to family life, we already had the diary/calendar underway a bare minimum requirement for any family, we have the finances under control sort of, and now have the HR dept sorted. only small changes needed to be done, but is surprising at how it has a knock on effect. The children used to have their breakfast on the dining table, but by changing them to eating on the table in the kitchen and by putting a notice board for each child any notes that they need for school or any lists of chores that need to be done can be put on here so that when they are at the reakfast table they are easily seen, I also put a copy of the weeks menu up on the wall so that there is no 'whats for dinner' all week and finally a shopping list is on the main notice board so that if anybody wants anything above and beyond the normal shopping list goes on here and I'll pick it up next time I go to the store. so that is us up to date I think - oh apart from I have also decided that my blog needs more structure instead of posting items as and when I have put a schedule in place so from now on it will be:

Money Monday
Time management Tuesday
Wipeout Wednesday (organising paperwork etc)
Family Thursday
Foody Friday (menu Planning)

So I will try and post something relevant to each subject on each day so that you (and I) know where we are

Speak to you all soon, take care x

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Where do I start ???!!!

AGGhhhhh where do I start, My Little boy was ill Monday, I had it all worked out the kids went back to school Tuesday, and I thought if he was still under the weather he could lounge on the sofa and Ill catch up with my blog and let you know of our first camping adventure over the Easter holiday, but we are now on Thursday, Monday/Tuesday Owen was ill, then Holly Joined in Tuesday evening, Holly and Owen both ill Wednesday either end of the sofa, Holly back to school Today and Owen is still not 100% sleeping the last of it away I think - I hope - and through all this Aimee is getting fed up becasue Holly had a day off school and she still had to go in, Aimee moaning cos she had to go in and Holly moaning cos she Couldnt- go figure that one out ?? in the meantime I am up to my eyes in sicky children and sicky washing - thats not even mentioning what is in the nappies !! wondering what to clean up first, and deciding that the washing can go on first then clean the kids up, poor washing machine wonders whats hit it and I am thanking my stars that we got the added warrenty on it and wonders if over use is ok as an excuse if it blows up??? and in the meantime what am I doing??? - I dont know all I know is that I am meeting myself coming backwards and hoping it will pass soon : ) when it does I will get myself back on track and let you know of our holidays- hopefully tomorrow x

Friday, 10 April 2009

Daddys birthday present

It is Mark's (my Husband) birthday on Tuesday 14th and I dont know about you but a homemade gift that the children have thought about and has taken the effort to create means so much more to me than any amount of shop bought presents and luckily Mark is of the same feeling, we do buy each other a present but we also try and get the kids to make something, we find that it gets them to really think about the person that they are making it for and the look of concentration on ther faces and watching them bursting to tell the recipient when they see them is priceless.

So that is what we were doing yesterday, put the baby to bed (only so much 'help' you need!) the we sat down to make the present and we made a loving memory jar cost was minimal which in the current climate is always grateful.


Pretty Jar £2

Paper Couple of sheets £ minimal

Ribbon £1
Memories £ priceless

With a drink and a snack to get the kids concentrating we sat down and all thought of the things that we love about daddy and the things we love to do when we spend time with him, each child noted about 5 down as did I and filled some in for the baby.

We then typed them out spaced out on sheets in a pretty font.

cut them into strips about 10cm wide each one with a memory on and whose its was

roll up and tie with a piece of ribbon into a scroll

put all the scrolls into the jar (I added a few of his favourite sweets (which happen to be love hearts - quite apt ) for good measure)

then everytime he is having a hard day or having a bad day with any of the children he can take himself off and remind himself that it is only a phase and that we all really do love him - which we do LOTS x x

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

budgeting planning

One of the additonal tools that I have implemented, is I have started to carry along 2 small notebooks, 1 for day to day spending, (or you can adapt your day to day diary for this) one of the problems that I personally have is that I have an amount of money in my purse and by the end of the day it has been frittered away and you spend the next half hour or so trying to recall where you have been throughout the day, that is where the notebook comes in when you have paid and are waiting for your change just make a quick note on how much the purchase was, you may get some strange looks from other customers but as far as I'm concerned you probably wont see them again (unless they follow you around to see what you are writing!) and you will then have at the end of the day a concise record of where your pennies are disappearing to.
The other notebook is what I do my menu planning in. One page, menu for the week, next page shopping list, and next to the items I write in a rough costing of how much each item is (or how much I want to spend up to) with being on a tight budget this gives me the scope to adjust the list to fit in with the budget. Finally when I get home, - and this may seem a pointless and thankless task - I go through the receipt and then list by each item the actual cost, and then to list seperately items that have been bought not on the list, this is where I normally find all the extras that have slipped into the trolley which is where of course all the extra pennies slip away. Although this may seem time consuming, its a task that only needs to be done as often as you shop. and if you are living to a tight budget or trying to pay off debts - or in our case both it needs to be done, make every penny count, and as the saying goes look after the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

The Other Love of my Life

Once upon a time many many years ago when I was only knee high to a grasshopper a pop group burst onto the scene sparkled so brightly and then left, left me in a wilderness until earlier last year when they announced they were reforming I was beside myself with excitement who am I talking about - New Kids On The Block - as soon as I heard I was like a teenager again - much to the entertainment of my hubby who has never seen me like this before and I finally got to meet them, paid an extortionate amount of money (which probably accounts for budgeting going pear shapped in previous post !!) by attended a meet and greet with them and finally got to meet my heart throb - Donnie Wahlberg !!!! I presented him with a Liverpool Football club shirt and then he wore it EVERY night in the last song of the show - what an amazing experience - cant wait to do it all again - will budget more carefully this time ! Lets Get This !! I love em x x x x


So we are coming up to the end of the financial year, tying up loose ends, filing all up to date, ready to be archived.

Right.... and then I woke up and smelt the coffee, unfortunately towards the latter end of the financial year things have gone a bit pear shaped, so another one of my mid-year resolutions is to get more organised, and to try and get straight financially.

I'll be honest with you this year has been a struggle, living from one pay day to the next, and for a family of five, with a mortgage and loan to pay off it really hits home.

The things that you do learn along the way are lessons that money cant buy such as:

1. who your friends are - your real friends are the ones who accept that things are tight at the moment and wont pressure you or treat you any differently

2. How to cook properly - I have always (as far as I can- and I do have the odd slip up !) made meals from scratch, even on junk food saturday we make our pizza, but I have learnt how to cook more creatively with leftovers, making stock and making up stews, bulking meals out with more vegetables and freezing leftovers and also turning the ratio to putting veg on plate first and adding meat as a side dish.

3. how to budget, although we are paying off loans, - if we stick to our budget plan (pear shaping taken into account ! we still aim to have these paid off by mid next year, I have also found a great web site that has great advice advice and tips for claiming back any money due to you and up to date money saving coupons, and much much more

4. that any family can adapt no matter how young or old each family member is, you may have to explain in simpler terms but we try and explain to the whole family that there wont be any luxuries for a while and they seem to accept the small changes.

5. the wide variety of free activities that are available it may take a while to find them by searching various sites but the rewards are amazing.

6. Love of my family, as dramatic as it sounds - with my husband and my children by my side we are a team against the world, in times of crisis, be it financial, emotional or physical we pull together no questions asked, we as parents lead by example and if we manage to keep the family buyant then the kids are great.

anyway going back to my organisation for budgeting, in advance of 6th April I have, 2 lever arch files, one for wage slips/bank statements and the other for bills, a diary to write down any upcoming direct debit /standing order dates, 2 small notebooks (one for menu planning and one for day to day spending records) so we are all cooking on gas ready for the start of the new year and together we will do this - debt free future here we come hopefully - Ill keep you updated as we travel along this rocky road - wish me luck - Im going in !! x

Monday, 30 March 2009

Nature v's Nurture

I was always one that thought that boys and girls behaved depending on how they were raised, but how come I have 2 girls (9 & 5) who are proper girly girls, they seem to have fairy dust that follows them with all the glitter that is thrown around,they play princesses and school and are so engrossed in paint and sequins that it looks like an explosion in a factory,

Then comes along my son (2)( who's daddy is admittedly a footy nut but the football is mainly on in the evening after bedtime) who thinks nothing of using the lounge as an inpromtu football pitch and really boots the football (maybe another Gerrard on our hands), who sits under his highchair pretending to be in a car driving, and then lies under his trike with pencils pretending to fix it like a mechanic.

Maybe its a genetic link as Hubby used to be a mechanic but changed jobs before son was born, who knows, all I know now is that I now have Princesses riding round on Thomas the Tank Engines, and still go skating on a strategically placed car every now and again - ahh well crash helmets at the ready!!

Friday, 20 March 2009

Come and join me for the ultimate blog party,

I'm new to blogging and as far as I can see so far is still relatively new in the uk - certainly none of my friends do it or have even heard of it - so I hope to meet lots of new friends at the party.

follow my blog and find how one happy housewife from Liverpool muddles through life and hopefully comes out the other side smiling - I have my work cut out for me I am a mum of 3 ( 9, 5, and 2), a wife, and a housewife - and I love it !! hard sometimes but so rewarding, look forward to hearing from you all - love to you all x x

Monday, 16 March 2009

Thought of the day

It is better to have lived one day as a tiger

than a thousand years as a sheep

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Frugal Living

So this weekend the whole family was set to work, husband has just put up our new greenhouse, and the kids and myself have all spent the day planting seeds in our new resolve to :

1. cut back on weekly foodbill helping the family budget by growing our own vegetables

2. eat more healthily

so here we are, surrounded by trays of soil, full of the wonder of nature waiting to burst out. so far we have planted 2 types of tomatoes, strawberries and carrots, to be joined next week by 3 sacks waiting to be filled with differing varieties of potatoes. keeps us all healthy, helps to teach the kids where food comes from and how easy it is to produce these small nuggets in your own back garden. we have, by no means an orchard in our garden we have an average sized garden, but one tip that I have learned is that no matter how small your garden is you can always find space to plant some seeds, be it, herbs in flower beds, or hanging varieties of tomatoes and strawberries to plant in hanging baskets, (although hang them in the back garden otherwise all your visitors will eat them while they wait for you answer the door !!)

so hopefully, in a few weeks I'll have some seedlings to show you before they are planted out in the big world.

Wish me luck !!x

Saturday, 14 March 2009

wife and mother

Now what I am about to say will go against what a lot of people agree with or have strived to achieve over the past few decades.

I am a Housewife and Proud of it

When I had my first child I went back to work part time and it broke my heart to leave her each morning at nursery, luckily my husband is very supportive and so when I had my second daughter and then my son said that if I wanted to stay at home then he would totally support my decision, which trust me is no soft option to stay at home.

I work harder, longer and have picked up a wide spectrum of skills that I would have never experienced through sitting behind a desk in an air conditioned office.

I love the warm feeling that you have when you watch the old 1950’s films where the mother stays at home pinny on baking all day (not that it happens in reality!!) I don’t feel that I was born in the wrong era, I love the independence, and strength that modern day women have, but I personally feel that my best job is to stay at home, running a busy household and making sure that the children are ready and to respective classes on time.

During my time as a housewife I have learnt to

Budget as a single income family, which is no mean fete as hubby is a postman so not earning millions – yet !

Time Manage – trying to co-ordinate 3 children, 1 husband, 1 dog and 1 rabbit, remembering, school, after school classes, parties etc

Cleaner – refer to previous post and my 6 binbags full, and that’s just the start.

Cook – working out how to cook nutritional food, healthy, within budget and more importantly that the kids will eat, not always the same thing

And these jobs are only the ones that spring easily to mind, if I was an executive I would be hailed as a wonder for my multi-tasking and paid a small fortune, yet I do all of this for nothing, just for the love for my family, the respect from my family and the wet sloppy kisses that I have off the kids when their faces light up when I am there every morning and afternoon to pick up and drop off at school.. we have very little money spare….money can’t buy everything….and do you know what….. I wouldn’t have it any other way x x

Thursday, 12 March 2009

End of an era

Early last year I embarked on a business venture, I started my own business, making and selling nappy cakes and baby shower/party goods, and unfortunatly have nad to succumb to the old credit crunch, and had to close the business, just had to put the last few items on ebay, really disappointed, and maybe even secretly hoping that they dont sell ! my youngest is now 2 and with doing the nappy cakes was such a good excuse to have newborn goodies around the house - there is something about the smell of baby talc or lotion, - oh well I'll just have to go and lurk around the baby aisles in the supermarkets instead x x x

Monday, 9 March 2009

spring cleaning in La La land

Being a parent involves several skills that you won’t find in any parenting book, you will need all the peacemaking skills to give Kofi Annan a run for his money and all the secrecy and espionage to put James Bond to shame. The latter of which was put into practice over the past week, I braced myself and battled my way through the waste ground that according to our house deeds is a second bedroom commonly know as my daughters bedroom. As we have our two daughters sharing a room we cant really afford to have it too messy, which is where I come in, while the kids are at school I go in like a stealth bomber and blitz the whole room, so that when they arrive home from school everything is pristine (for at least 10 min !!)
Last week it took me 2 days, I managed to get 7 bin bags full of junk out of their room, (don’t know where from) and after those 2 days it didn’t look any different – why?
It does get easier though, before, when my youngest daughter was only in playgroup for a couple for hours in the morning, I had to move fast, tidy, dust and dispose of rubbish down to the tip before picking her up, couple of times we were late, daughter all seatbelted up in car, picking up binbags that start playing all sorts of tinny, tinkly music when you pick them up, so there we are unpacking all sorts of trinkets never used but as soon as I try and throw them out they become treasured possessions (until next time !!)
Which brings me back to last week, and my 7 bags of rubbish, and the icing on the cake is a 2.5ft tall La La courtesy of the teletubbies, hasn’t been looked at for the longest time hence the top of the rubbish pile, as the clearing had taken so long we were late to the rubbish tip so had to go after school pick up. Down to the rubbish tip we go, 7 bags of rubbish into the skip, no problem, soon as we get to La La, youngest daughters bottom lip starts to wobble, oh ohh….. so back home we go, trip to the tip over, and we have a visitor with us, yes La La has decided to extend his visit with us indefinatly – so now he is back home, gracefully decorating the kitchen floor, twice I have moved him, along with the several times the baby has tripped over him…… seriously outstaying his welcome…….till next time !!!

Shirley Valentine Syndrome

"Hello Wall - Its me Shirley"
Anybody remember the 80's film Shirley Valentine, where Shirley tried to escape her humdrum life and spoke to the kitchen wall with the hope that someone would listen and whisk her away to sunnier climes, well as soon as I finished my last post I thought about it and dont you think that blogging is like a modern day Shirley Valentine? you take a few moments every day share your thoughts with your pc and hope that someone, somewhere listens to you and helps your day just that little bit sunnier, well wall I'm off now, I'll speak to you tomorrow

So many thoughts, so little time

I have come to the conclusion that as soon as I had my kids I have become the queen of lists, I write a list of what I need to do then write another list of lists AAGGHH - lists of lists!! I have no time which is why I write lists at least it gives me a sense of some organisation - - One list that I do write and try to keep to is that of the new years resolution, although it is March, I dont think that you have to start in January as long as you take the time at some point throughout the year - (preferably before december and the next new year is due up) which is why at about the end of Feb/Beginning of March after all the festivities have calmed down (and we also have daughters birthday January sons at the end of February) I take a morning to sit down and take stock on what I want to achieve throughout the following few months, which is where I am today.

My mid-year resolutions

1. Start a blog - and to take at least 15 min per day to get to grips with blogging and to learn as many tips as I can to make this the best blog that I can for my own personal achievement

2. Start to scrapbook - I have so many photos all in wallets/folders fro our wedding, Children born, Holidays, relatives no longer with us, and what better way that to take the time to arrange them in such a creative way and what better way to reminisce as you are arranging the pages together with loved ones

3. Learn how to make cupcakes - I've got the baking of the muffins/cupcakes down - no problem but I love the way that they are decorated with the buttercream on top and to also learn how to decorate cakes I would love to have the discipline to sit down and to take the time to make icing/marzipan roses.

4. To chill out more and to not live by the lists as much as I been !!

5. and the old favourite ----- to declutter as we go along so that I dont need to have a full blown blitz every couple of months, logic says do it as you do along, practicality says - I'll do it tomorrow. not no more - down in black and white now (even though that goes against number 4 about the lists - o oh ! its started already !!!)

pointers for the day

20 Affirmations for Busy Mom BloggersBy Jennifer James
I have been blogging since January 2004 and now, five years later, I feel a powerful shift in mom blogging taking place. There is an incessant flurry of blogging information to soak up and learn, more and more companies to connect with, phenomenal opportunities around every corner, tons of products to review, and increasing competition to rise to the “tipping point” ranks of the mom blogosphere. To be sure, it is a thrilling time to be a mom blogger. But it is also an optimal time to take a moment to reflect on why we all started blogging in the first place. For me, it was to connect with moms, voice my opinion to the world, and hone my skills as a writer and I never want to forget that.Here are 20 affirmations for busy mom bloggers perfect for times when life seems to go a little too fast and blogging seems like it’s more of an obligation than a gift.
1. I love my blog.
2. My job as a mom blogger is to be true to myself.
3. There are plenty of opportunities for everyone.
4. Meeting new mom bloggers is an experience I treasure.
5. Mom blogging is a cherished gift.
6. I am a great blogger.
7. I am not afraid to challenge myself as a blogger.
8. I have an influential voice in the blogosphere.
9. I am grateful for my blog.
10. I am thankful for each and every one of my readers.
11. I am appreciative that my family supports my need to blog.
12. Every experience I have had as a blogger has been worth it.
13. I am thankful for my ability to write.
14. It is gratifying to know I am chronicling my life’s journey for my children and grandchildren.
15. My blog is my personal sanctuary.
16. I will do my part to make the mom blogosphere a nurturing community.
17. My blog is an extension of myself, not my whole self.
18. I will cherish every comment.
19. I love being a creator of good content.
20. I am a mom blogger and I love it.

got the house back

Well the kids are back in school after the half term holidays and husband is back to work, baby is in bed and I am sitting with a HOT cup of tea. Normally running around so much cup of tea is luke warm by the time I get to it, so, tradition is 1st day that the house is back to normal I do nothing, put a video on and settle down with a hot drink - lovely ! take 5 min to myself get organised ready for tomorrow onwards - oh and before I forget we have parents evening to look forward to this evening- let you know how we get on

Isnt it funny how life catches up on you!

Just the other day I went to the shops to buy a magazine - nothing unusual there but isn't it funny how your tastes change as you get older, and reflects where you are in life- years ago it was the Beano comic then, Smash Hits and all the teenage angst, through pregnancy magazines, and the inevitable diet ones to follow after the bundle of joy was born (although I'm still on the dieting ones !!) and now I am at the other end when articles are starting to look interesting in Prima and Good Houskeeping - yet I can assure you that I most certainly dont feel older than I did when I was buying Smash Hits, which brings me to today, and here on blogging, taking a few moments in the day couple of times a week to catch up, get my head straight to tackle the rest of the week as a busy, wife and mother it takes time to get organised - so through the blog as it develops hope you enjoy the little snippits that I share with you on here - and welcome to my world x x x