Thursday, 27 October 2016

Queen of cookies

Hello, How has your day been? Ours has been very nice, guess why that is, yes you got it we are on holiday!

Things achieved :-

  • Washing done
  • Vacuumed whole house
  • Shopping
  • Cookies made (by my gorgeous baby girl)
  • Lots of minced and onion in gravy prepared
  • Beds made
It has been another nice day of pottering, a friend was going to pop over this afternoon but as Ben was sent home from work poorly she decided against being subjected to germs.

I popped to the shops this morning and bought three packs of minced beef for £10.00 which this evening I put two packs into the slow cooker with two chopped onions and gravy and tomorrow I am going to make a mixture of shepherds pie, minced beef and onion pies in puff pastry and a portion I am going to freeze as it is to have inside a large Yorkshire pudding with veg and potatoes. So that will be another three meals in the freezer.

The other pack of minced beef will be added to a pack of minced pork (in the fridge) to make a couple of chilli's.

This afternoon my lovely daughter was a little bored, one brother was on the Xbox, another on the PlayStation and the third watching Netflix, so we decided to do a bit of baking an hour later she had made 52 cookies, half chocolate chip and half shortbread. Half of each of these have been put in the freezer to go in the lunches for next week and half are in the cupboard for this week.

We read stories to each other after bath time this evening, my nine year old was a little mortified because he didn't know what to read because he is on the last few scenes of the new Harry Potter book but he knows that I want to read this after him so after lots of tears he accepted that we could read this together and it wouldn't ruin it for me.

I had to pick my son up from cadets tonight so I took the opportunity to go into Aldo on my own and bought a butternut squash for 55p to make butternut squash soup, a joint of beef to make a meal and some sliced beef for sandwiches for £6.50, an extra large chicken for £4.10 which should make a couple of meals, a gammon joint for a meal and the rest to be sliced for sandwiches for 4.50. I might also make some chicken and ham pies using both the chicken and the gammon. I got some pretzel snacks  for £1.00 to be put away for Christmas, a couple of speciality bags of crisps for 89p each and a large pumpkin for 99p. I felt that this was a good shop because it should cover quite a few meals.

I haven't fully worked out how much I have spent on food so far this month but I do feel that I am filling the freezer and making my life easier for when I am back at work and hopefully saving money at the end of the month.

I also bought my son air of trousers in the charity shop that originally came from Next and still had the label on them their original price was  £12.50 I got them for £1.49 and he was thrilled with my purchase and gave me a £1.00 from his pocket money to go and buy myself something tomorrow, so I have secretly put it back in his money box.

Have a nice evening and take care xx

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Still loving the holidays

Hello dear friends,

I hope you have had a lovely day. We have.

We spent this morning at the cheap cinema showing of Finding Dory, and I have to admit to having a tear in my eye at one point (emotional wreck that I am) but it was very good and the children thoroughly enjoyed it.

We then came home and had a very brief tidy up and then we headed off to a friend Halloween party which was good fun, the children had pizza and we had a yummy chilli and rice. Being quite a mild October the children played in the garden on the trampoline and cuddled the rabbits while we chatted about our friends forthcoming wedding on Friday. All our friends are heading off to get their nails done together but as we are being quite frugal my daughter and I might do each others nails tomorrow.

Well I hope you have a nice evening.

Take care xx

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

I just love days with my darlings!

Things we achieved today:-
  • Twenty minutes ironing (I am trying to cut down on what I iron to save time and money - electric)
  • Washing put on
  • Washing hung on airer
  • Apples taken off the tree (by the children), washed and currently in the bowl (see above)
  • Beds made
  • Sausage rolls made
  • Apple sauce made
  • Roast pork cooked for dinner (yum)
  • Hovered downstairs and staircase

We had a day of pottering and doing bits and bobs. Its been very pleasant. This morning the children did some painting.

Its been a few years since I have let them paint after an incident whereby we were decorating upstairs and they decided to surprise us by painting the lounge for us. (including the ceiling, uh oh!). But today worked out much better, I guess age had something to do with it.

The children then helped me to get some of the apples off our tree, my fourteen year old lifted my nine year and daughter onto his shoulders in turn and they passed the apples they got to their younger brother. We had plenty for eating and some for making apple sauce which we are going to have with tonight dinner and freeze the rest.

We also made sausage rolls. I have put half in the fridge and half have gone into the freezer for another day.

We had half a pork loin left over which is sliced and three bags of apple sauce which have gone into the freezer for another nights dinner. Yay! This turned out to be a bargain as the meat only cost £5.50 in the first place. Bargain!

I have just started a price book with everything we buy, how long it lasts and the amount it costs per item/unit and I will continue this for a month and then high light what we are spending the most on and high lighting in another colour things that are treats to see exactly how many treat items we are having.

We spent this evening playing games together. What fun!

Have a lovely evening and take care

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Nearly... Half Term! Yay!

Hello dear friends,

Its Thursday and my beautiful children have broken up from school today. Sadly, I have one day left. I dislike working on days when the children are off, mainly because I'm a bit of a control freak and like to look after my children myself and don't really feel comfortable with anyone else looking after them.

The children have advised me that I need to go off to work tomorrow and get my course on autism (which I admit will be interesting) done and they will clean the house while I'm gone and when I come home we can play board games together. Bless them, I have the best children ever!

Today, I have spent £10.00 on food mainly on stuff for tomorrows lunch, this is another control freak moment, as I'm not here to make the lunch I want to make sure that anything they may want for lunch is in the cupboards otherwise I know I will panic.

I'm starting to feel very excited about our week off together, maybe more so than normal. We have a few plans we are going to have a baking day where the children are going to make various goodies.

We are also going go to the cinemas one morning to see Finding Dory at the cheap holiday club showing. Yay Exciting.

On the Friday my daughter and I are going to one of her best friends evening wedding receptions, the boys don't really want to come but I know we will have fun together.

Well have a lovely Friday,

Take care xx

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Forgetfulness causes spending fail

Hello, I hope you are having a nice day.

I have to admit to having a bit of a ditzy day today. I forget to get the soup out of the freezer for dinner and then heading off to school checked that all the children had their lunch only to find when I got to the school fridge that I had forgotten mine! Doh!

As I had no change with me I couldn't book a school dinner which would have been cheaper than going to the shop, so sadly I went to the shop and spent £4.00 at lunch time. I then went to the shop again after work to buy some food for dinner argh disaster, I spent £20.00 but I did buy other items to go with dinner for the rest of the week and more packed lunch items.

On a positive note, we did get my daughters drama club for free this week amounting to a saving of £3.50, and then at Guides the lovely lady that runs it gave us a guides fleece jacket that was given to them from a little girl who recently gave up.

So pluses and minuses to our day.

Take care xx

Monday, 17 October 2016

How much did I spend and what are we going to eat?


Autumn is here. I have mixed feelings about this season, I love the beautiful colours and carpet of leaves that lie for us to kick as we walk along the road however, I dislike the rain and being cold and wet all day after getting either soaked on our way to school or on our way home. But for today a pretty rain free day I am happy that it is Autumn!

We are quite low on food in our cupboards and freezer at the moment so after school today I had to pop to the shop to get some lunch items for the next few days.

I spent £16.00 in ASDA and £4.05 on chips at the chip shop to go with the rest yesterdays chilli for tonights tea.

Total spent £20.05

Tuesday - soup and bread (clubs night)

Wednesday - shepherds pie and sweetcorn

Thursday - Chicken salad sandwiches (clubs night)

Friday - Omelettes

I am not adding a weekend eating plan to this menu as it invariably gets changed because someone doesn't fancy what we have.

Have a nice evening

Take care xx

Sunday, 16 October 2016

An update of the last couple of weeks


It has been a busy couple of weeks in our neck of the woods, nothing exciting happening for me I'm afraid other than the usual mountain of cleaning and ironing but much busyness for the children.

The last time I posted my darling daughter was heading off on a week long residential trip, well thankfully the week is over and she is back. She had an amazing time and achieved things she never dreamed that, not being an outdoorsy sort of girl, she would.

She pulled herself through dirty tunnels, played volleyball whilst on trampolines, went on zipwires and her favourite thing was a giant swing that was really high, where her best friend and her sang 'I believe I can fly' at the tops of their voices. But my favourite story that she told me was about the raft that they made and then put on the river, she said "One of the boys in our group mum seemed really left out and I felt really sorry for him so I decided to push him into the river so that he felt part of the group". I'm not sure how the poor young man felt about this but it certainly made me laugh.

It was great to have her home and I knew I was going to miss her but I didn't realise quite how much!

Last week, was another busy week with my daughter and nine year old son being invited to the local senior school for a day of music, and the following day my daughter was invited to the high school for a maths and science day. They enjoyed their days and felt they got a lot out of it but came home very tired.

On Friday my fourteen year old went off to camp for the weekend and my youngest three went to the Halloween disco at school. This was quite a big deal, as my daughter announced it was her final Halloween disco at school and she wanted to go out with a bang! The decision was made that she was not planning on going as a witch or anything like that she would go as her favourite super villain Harley Quinn! So then the boys jumped on the band wagon and my youngest son decided he would go as the Joker and my nine year old randomly decided to go as a character from Yu-gi-oh!

Needless to say they had me painting trainers, spray painting tutu's, making medallions, chokers and drawing tattoos on their arms, legs, face and stomachs!

Here are the results, what do you think?

Thankfully I think this week might be slightly quieter although I know I have a super busy week ahead of me at work.

I am starting to log our spending again, so today I spent £10.80 on groceries at ASDA.

This was a bit of a desperate shop as we had completely run out of loo roll and butter.

I also popped into the local charity shop and treated myself to a brand new pair of black jeans with the labels still on for £1.49, I have noticed that people wear black jeans to work quite often, I normally wear black trousers but this means ironing five pairs a week just for me but if I wear jeans I can get away with wearing them for a couple of days therefore reducing some ironing.

Today for dinner we had chilli and rice.

There were plenty of leftovers to go into the freezer for another day.
I hope you have had a lovely weekend, it has certainly flown by in this house.
Take care xx

Monday, 26 September 2016

Baby girl has gone on her residential trip!

Hello strangers,

It has been a busy week around here preparing my beautiful baby girl for her week away on an activity holiday with her year group.

We were given a rather large list of things that they needed to take with them and as my daughter only wears dresses and the list contained a mountain of long sleeved tops, trousers and trainers we had a lot of shopping to do.

We did treat ourselves to a cheeky Doughnut and drink which was rather nice (yes I know it was naughty).

We bought everything that was needed including two pairs of trainers  at the bargain price of £5.00 each, we got four long sleeved tops ranging from £1.50 to £2.80 each, four pairs of trousers for about £2.50 each. We then went into poundland and bought her a large amount of smellies.

Finally we returned home with everything on her list and proceeded to spend the rest of the evening packing her case.

Hopefully, she will be fully prepared and have a wonderful week, attempting everything that is thrown at her and return on Friday as delighted to see us as we will be her.


There's my baby on the back seat near the window, grinning and waving.
Take care xx

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Weekly Menu Plan

Hello, Happy Sunday.

I just wanted to start this post by saying a big thank you to Nathalie, Susan and Bless for all their lunch food tips. I really appreciate all your help and can tell you that I went shopping today and bought eggs for egg salads, chicken for chicken salads, I also bought fruit, yoghurt and cereal bars so hopefully the five pounds I put on this week will soon come off. (Fingers crossed!)

Monday - Chilli and Rice (slow cooker)
Tuesday - Chicken Kebabs with Roasted Vegetable Couscous
Wednesday - Soup and Fresh Bread
Thursday - Chicken Bhuna and Rice
Friday - Shepherds Pie and Veg
Saturday - Spaghetti Carbonara
Sunday - Whatever my daughter would like meal (She is off on her residential trip the day after)
As some of you will know I have started to do my shopping once a week at Tesco instead of nightly at ASDA firstly,  because I am trying to bring my shopping bill down and secondly, because I am trying to make my life easier. Well today we were thrilled to have the added bonus of seeing my brother and sister in law just as we were walking into Tesco so we stopped and had a lovely chat with them in hindsight we should have had a coffee with them as there is a coffee shop inside but they had just come back from visiting mum and dad so I'm sure they had their fill of coffee.
The children have had a very organised day today they have all done their reading, spellings maths and English homework. Had their showers, packed their lunches and bags for tomorrow. I am really proud of how organised they are becoming and how quickly they are getting used to doing their jobs.
Mummy just needs to iron the school uniform and clean their shoes now. Blah! So I guess I had better go and get on with it.
Have a great day and take care xx

Friday, 16 September 2016

Yippee, it's Friday!

Good Evening, finally it's Friday. It's been a long time coming this week.

I have not had the best week this week. Several evenings this week I have suffered from severe headaches and had to go to bed early. I think this has been caused by a combination of working with younger children in the afternoons who have more free time and are therefore louder, being outside in the sun more because of the extra free time and also since being back at work I have not been eating as well.

I haven't weighed myself for the last two weeks but I will do tomorrow and I'm pretty certain the results will not be pretty.

This week when I go shopping I'm going to try and organise quick easy breakfasts, lunches that doesn't include sandwiches and crisps and healthier dinners. I also find when I get home from work I am starving and pick like crazy so I'm going to have some fruit and yoghurt ready as that's a lot healthier than cake and crisps. I'm going to see if I start to feel better again  as I felt really healthy and well through out  the summer holiday.

Wednesday night this week I had to go to a meeting about my daughters upcoming residential trip the week after next and high school applications. I cannot believe that I am doing this for my daughter it feels like no time at all since she was starting school. She is starting to look forward to her residential trip slightly even though it means she will have to wear trousers and do dirty things like raft building (not her bag at all). She has promised me she will give everything a really good go.

We need to go shopping at the weekend and get her trousers and trainers, we have decided to buy them as cheap as possible because she won't wear them again once she gets home.

I am looking forward to having a fairly relaxed weekend. I hope you do too xxx

Monday, 12 September 2016

Christmas countdown week 2

Good Evening. I hope you are having a good start to your week.

Just before I update you on how the Christmas organising is going let me tell you about more good news for my daughter. She was told today that she is being moved up to the top set for maths. Yay, she really has had a fantastic start to the school year.

Now back to what we came here for today.

Last weeks cleaning was the hall which should have included the hall cupboard. Oops it didn't but as I cleaned it out during the summer holidays it shouldn't be too bad so we shall just add it to this week with the downstairs toilet.

So the goodies that were baked and put in the freezer last week were a mixture of small cakes. I think this week I will make some sausage rolls.

The meal for the freezer that I made last week was a chicken curry. I think this week I will make a Spaghetti Bolognese. I can pop this into the slow cooker on a day that I don't need to use it and then just put it in the freezer to use on a day when we are really busy.

Last week I bought some items to go into the children's Christmas stockings. I think next week I might get some items for my mum, she showed me a shirt that she had bought herself last week, she wanted to get it in a different colour but they didn't have it in store and she won't shop online. But of course I will so I can order it, it will only be a part of her present because it is quite cheap.

The items I added to my weekly shop last week was some juice. This week I think I will buy some fizzy drinks for the store cupboard for Christmas.

Well that's my Christmas update. If you think there is anything I need to add to my list please let me know.

Take care xx

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Menu Plan

Good Evening.

 How on earth did it become Sunday evening already?

We had a lovely morning visiting mum and dad. My poor dad has a dreadful cold which is making him feel very rough but mum is trying to entice him to eat by making jam sponges and home made sausage rolls.
My darling daughter and I then went to the supermarket and did the shopping for next week. We chose to do our shopping at Tesco this week as I had a four pound off voucher and they give very good club card vouchers for meals and days out. I thought we could save them out for nice days out in the holidays.

I managed to get a school term calendar at the supermarket half price. I have been after one of these for a while as I find it very difficult to keep on top of everything that goes on for each child so writing it down and checking it each morning helps a lot.

Monday - Braising steak with mashed potato, carrots and sweetcorn (done in the slow cooker)

Tuesday - Spaghetti Bolognese (done in the slow cooker)

Wednesday - Roast Chicken, potatoes, veg (chicken in slow cooker)

Thursday - Lamb, New Potatoes and veg

Friday - Gammon steaks with pineapple, chips, eggs

Saturday - Chicken salad sandwiches

Sunday - Vegetable soup and rolls

Fingers crossed this menu plan will make for a nice easy week of cooking.

I hope you have a lovely evening. I am going to sit and relax and watch a bit of television before I go to bed.

Take care xx

Friday, 9 September 2016

Amazing First Week

Good Evening. I hope you have had a good week.

What an amazing first week the children have had so far.

My darling daughter sat for hours last night writing and practising her house captains speech. It is a position that she wanted from when she went into year one and had to vote for her first house captains.

Finally, she is in year six and had the opportunity to try for house captain. This year there were more people try out than ever before in fact there were only three girls that didn't want to do it. It was her turn to go down and do her speech in front of about a hundred children, during this time I felt physically sick, I thought her speech was funny, witty and clever but I'm her mum I would think that.

My daughter is fairly quiet, a bit of a goodie goodie and although fairly well liked not really one of the popular kids and yet an hour later she came upstairs, running into my classroom with the biggest smile I had ever seen and said she had been chosen to be 'House Captain'. I am so proud of her and I think she really deserved this.

My little nine year old who has never been a big lover of school has come home every night and practised the things he has been doing during the day. He has perfected them and taken them in to school the following day to show his teacher. He has announced a couple of times in the last week that he wants to work his hardest so that he can try and go to grammar school. For me just knowing that my little boy is happily going into school is enough without him now aspiring to achieve such amazing things.

The youngest one is happy at school and reading more. He is also doing his homework without moaning.

The fourteen year old seems to be enjoying his new classes and seems to like his teachers. It is going to be a very full on year for him and he is really going to have to keep pushing himself to make sure he does enough and isn't lazy. But his attitude does seem to be changing and he does seem to be growing up. Fingers crossed he has a great year.

For me, I am just taking one working day at a time and trying to keep on top of everything else to keep life running as smoothly as possible.

Take care xx

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Our new Routine

Hello dear friends,
I am a bit that with this post but like the saying goes better late than never!
We have had a good start to the first week back, Monday morning the usual start of school photos were taken much to my fourteen year olds disgust, but mum won this year, I guess it will get more difficult the older he gets.

Fourteen year old, can you see there is a smile desperate to sneak out.

Baby girl, how can she possibly be year six this year.

My darling nine year old, and happy to be going back to school for the first time ever!

The baby who is quickly becoming a big boy but will always be mummy's baby

I am so proud of all of them they have followed my new plan of getting up in the morning and making their beds and tidying their rooms before they come down to breakfast each morning.

On the whole they have managed to pack there own lunches each except for the fourteen year old who had his little sister make it for him one day because he couldn't be bothered and she didn't want him to starve, bless her little heart.

They are all reading to me on a daily basis and even though they are not getting homework yet, they are doing little bits that they feel they need to practise.

My daughter wrote her speech today as she would like to become the house captain.

My nine year old was using a compass for the first time today and came home and made his teacher compass flowers that he coloured in for her.

My eight year old who is dyslexic has been doing lots of extra reading.

I have been taking a healthy lunch each day that I made at the start of the week together with a couple of pieces of fruit. I have also had breakfast each morning and no snacks.

We haven't been running yet this week but we are back to walking and when my nine year old is less tired we will start running again.

The house is remaining nice and tidy for the time being. Fingers crossed that it carries on that way.

Well that's it from me for tonight.

Take care xx

Monday, 5 September 2016

Time to start organising for the C word...

Hello, I hope you have had a lovely day.

For those of you that have been reading for a while you will know that I start organising for Christmas three months before the delightful day actually arrives, I am in fact two weeks late starting this year but I'm hoping that together we will achieve a relaxed and happy Christmas and New Year.

Right let me explain how this works we take all the jobs that need doing and split them up into easy to manage weekly tasks.

Week 1

  • Thoroughly clean and tidy the hall (you can pick any room you like, I start with the hall and work my way through the downstairs of the house first)
  • Make a list of who you need to buy presents for and any ideas you have for that person, also try to work out a budget for each person so that you don't overspend  (For example, my mum - I know I would like to buy her a heated hairbrush I have seen that is £39.99 but my budget for family other than the children is £25.00 each but this means I can look for any discounts or offers on this item)
  • I make one freezer meal per week from now until the week before Christmas so that when things get really busy at school I can just get a dish out of the freezer in the morning and know that we will have a cooked meal that evening without having to resort to takeaways.
  • I also write a list of home made goodies that I know the children will love to eat over the Christmas period and cook one of these items per week and freeze them, for example, a couple of my children love coffee and walnut cake so that goes on the list whilst another couple love Sausage rolls so that will also go on the list to be made.
  • I buy a couple of presents each week (sometimes more) as I have five stockings to buy I normally start with these.
  • I write a list of the grocery items that we are like to want over Christmas, I have to admit last year I completed a word document for the items we are likely to want over Christmas and saved it so that this year I just need to update any changes. Then each week I add four items to my weekly shopping list and store these in a cupboard I have already emptied purely for Christmas food. This enables me to do a quick dash to the shops when its really busy just for fresh stuff (I may do an online shop this year to make life even easier).
  • I also wrap things as they are bought and give myself dates of when things like Christmas cards need to be written by.
I have followed this plan for four years now, ever since I did a panicky shop on Christmas Eve one year (and for someone who avoids shops whenever she can this was my worst nightmare). It works and it make for a clean, calm happy Christmas.

This year as I am still in the process of decluttering the house I am going to add a weekly task of getting rid of ten items a week. After all we will be adding further items to our mountain of stuff  at this time of year.

Join me, lets motivate each other, I'll regularly update you on how I'm getting on, let me know how you are too.

Take care xx

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Get organised for back to school

Hello my lovelies

As most of you will know my summer holiday is over and I have been back at work for two whole days already, admittedly they were child free days.

 In fact let me tell you about Thursday, we had to be at the school for 8.30am,which amazingly I managed. We boarded the coach and headed off to a place called Stubbers.

 Stubbers is an adventure centre that caters for children and adults, giving them a wide variety of activities to participate in.

The activities that we did on the day were archery, the climbing wall (yes, see that climbing wall I climbed that), and then we did problem solving tasks which I enjoyed the most out of all the activities. Although I was not looking forward to taking part in the activities I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed the day and would go back there with my family.

You can either visit Stubbers for the day or stay in their tents for a weekend, they have family tents should you wish to go as a family.

Fridays day at work was getting the classrooms ready for the children arrival on Monday morning.

So, this is what I've been doing to prepare the children for going back to school on Monday

  • Getting back to an 8 o clock bedtime for the little ones and a 9.30 bedtime for my fourteen year old
  • Completion of their homework so they can hand it in on their first day back and not worry
  • P.E kits are packed ready to take in on the first day
  • School clothes ironed and hung on their door ready to put on
  • School bags packed ready to go
  • Food for the packed lunches are sliced and put into plastic bags so that the children can quickly make their own lunches
Tomorrow evening they will all have a shower so they can just get up and get themselves ready. I will also lay the breakfast table tomorrow evening to endeavour to make Monday morning a stress free start to the day.

I hope you have a lovely weekend.

Take care xx

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Thank you for a wonderful summer little ones


Hello, I hope you have had a nice day. Today is my last day off . The younger children have two more days off, my fourteen year old has one day left and Liam still has three weeks.
I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank them for a wonderful summer holiday.

Thank you Liam for all our chats about your future and life in general.

Thank you baby girl for our shopping trips together. It has been so much fun!

Thank you my darlings for our days out together

I love you darling but next time you go on camp RING YOUR MOTHER!!!

Thank you all for being the kindest, most thoughtful and loving children in the world. I am so lucky to have you in my world.

Hears to October half term.

Take care xx