Saturday, 31 August 2013

Frugal maths

 Did you know that according the awesome power of trade two knitted baby sets with crochet blankets equal....... Morphy Richards bread maker!!! I have just made my first loaf using a basic white loaf recipe to test it out and boy am I impressed! Many many many happy hours of bread eating are coming our way in this house. Better get jam making in the near future, you can't have homemade bread without homemade jam can you?

X x X

Friday, 30 August 2013

Septimus Frugalus

 I am planning to join in with the Septimus Frugalus Challenge over at the Frugal Living Forums. It's a month long polish up on your most frugal of frugal skills. If you are new to the idea of frugal living it's a chance to test the waters and see just how far you can go, or if you are already into the frugal lifestyle this is your chance to get back into the swing of frugal life and hone your skills.

 In TFHMH we are planning to;

 *Buy nothing that isn't at it's most basic. Milk but not milkshake, butter, flour and sugar but not biscuits.

*Put any all pennies we gain from the challenge into our house fund.

*Reuse and recycle as much as possible and reduce our rubbish.

 I will start blogging from Monday about what we are up to in the challenge and how we are getting around any issues we might be facing. Wish us luck!

 And don't be afraid to join in either! The Frugal Living Forums are a mine field of frugal tidbits and friendship. And best of all it's free to join, so why not sign up and have a nosey. Don't forget to say Hi :)

x X x

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Shopping day.

 All this lovely food cost just £1.60 this evening. Everything was reduced down to 10p an item, so I filled my boots.
1x Chicken Tikka Sandwich filling
1x Coleslaw and Potato Salad
1x Wholemeal Pitta breads
1x Living Salad
5x Tomatoes (5 1/2lbs all together)
1x Broccoli
3x Snack grapes
1x Bunch of 'nanas

I also visited Wilko's today as I heard there was a huge clearance sale going on. I picked up a lunch bag for each of the girls (£1 each). The cookie cutter sets (25p) and the apron (50p) will be popped away for my niece as a Christmas present. The other set will be for DD.
 The cards were today's chazza shop bargain for 20p, along with the fab 60's pillow shams everything is sat on.

 Tonight I will be planning what to make with all those tomatoes.

x x x

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Poorly eye adventures

 I've spent the best part of the day in surgery waiting rooms and eye casualty today. It's been almost a week now I've been having problems. This morning I could barely open my right eye thanks to all the sticky icky ness. So began my adventures.
 But long story short I have an eye infection and now have some stronger Anti - B's to pour into it at various intervals.

On the plus side though all that sitting around waiting with no kidlets has meant I have some fantastic knitting time. The pattern above only uses knit and pearl stitches so I barely needed to watch what I was doing. So I have now completed my second lot of a cardigan and bonnet for a set a twins. I just need to pop on the buttons and deliver it to the lovely lady who comissioned me and I can another £10 to my Home fund.

X x X

P.S - £4 in the £2 saving pot today and 70p in the house fund.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Busy Bank Holiday

 So far today we have made pickled eggs for later in the year,
 ....made Rosemary Shampoo and Rosemary Bubble Bath for possible Xmas presents later in the year.
 Picked up DD school supplies for the new school year. A pair of shoes and a lunchbag. Plus Slippers for winter.
But mostly we have watched Baby D playing on her rocking Tigger. Watch this space  for a future Grand National winner!!!

Happy Bank Holiday to you all.

X x X

 P.S - A massive £8.57 in the savings today. A mixture washing machine money, change from shopping and under the sofa.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Allotment Gifts

 This evening I have mostly been hanging Rosemary from the light fittings in the kitchen to dry. OH recons the neighbours will think I'm some sort of witch with my magical herbs in the window lol.
All this bounty was from my parents allotment this afternoon. There is French beans, rhubarb, more rosemary and potatoes. So that is my roast lamb sorted out for tomorrow. I'm thinking of a rhubarb and blackberry crumble tomorrow.
 Also my mum chucked in some of her delicious banana and chocolate muffins to. They take such lovely care of us :) Love you both!

X x X

 P.S = A no spend day for us today means we were nearly stuck for an addition to our housefund. But clever OH remembered a pot of change we put in the car for our holiday and we found another £1.50. Whoo hoo.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

From Trash to Toy

 I've been getting creative today thinking about how we can save a few more pennies here there and everywhere. I'm trying to find a reuse for as much as possible before it leaves the house. A few things excluded! (Nappies especially, yuck!)
 I was looking for inspiration on Pinterest for something useful to do with baking trays and ended up here on this page. I love the idea of travel board games when the girls are a bit older but I need a more toddler friendly version for now.
 I cut out pictures from a very well loved PP magazine and glued them to some old magnets from a takeaway company (twice they have sent out magnets and then changed their number!). I also cut out an unused sticker scene page from the same magazine, attaching it to the tray with a dab of glue. And voila!
 One upcycled tray ready for playing with in the car. And when it gets to grubby, or DD just gets bored I can change the background and the pictures on the magnets (or make more as my psychic senses are telling me).

 Hours of fun, and not a penny spent. Well done me I think!

X x X

P.S - Cleaned out my handbag today and added another £1.60 to the house fund.

Friday, 23 August 2013

New Look, New Aims

 So you may have noticed that I have had a fiddle about with a few things on my blog. Sometimes it's nice to change things about and make them more interesting again don't you think?
 I've added a counter to the sidebar tracking our savings for our first home. It's going to take us a lot of work, saving and sacrifice but inspired by the wonder people over Our New Life we have decided to try.
 We are starting out with some inheritance money I received from my grandmother and aiming for a £25,000 deposit. A mountainous amount but will will power and clever thinking I just know we can do it!

 The only rule we are setting ourselves is to add to it every single day - even if it's only a penny.
Today I am starting strong and have found 7p in the washing machine so that's now in a jam jar labelled house fund. We will add it into our saving account at the end of every week when we do our other banking.

So watch this space for lots of money saving, money making and penny stretching in the near future.
My plans for the day are to finish sewing up some knitting I was commissioned to do. £20 will be winging it's way to the house fund shortly.

x X x

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Happy 1st Birthday Baby D!

Has a year gone by that fast? I'm afraid so. Baby D is officially 1 today. We are having some gifts and cake today and a little party is planned for Sunday at nan and grandpa's house.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Poodling in the kitchen

 We've been in the kitchen today making and creating. DD and I tried our first pack of raspberry cupcakes (5 for £1 Approved Foods). They are so easy to make which means DD could do most of it herself with only minimal guidance, and they are utterly delicious. By changing the muffin cases provided with the kit to cupcake case we managed to make 12 small cakes rather than 6 large ones. 12 cakes for 20p plus an egg is bargain.
 Its not all good news though because the fab baking boy muffins were awful. They remind me of babybath sponges that have been dipped in cheap cocoa powder. YUCK
 OH has been distracting himself during this difficult time by trying some homebrewing. The first experiment is blackberry fizz, at the moment it is all infusing on the fermenting bucket and should be bottled up shortly. Fingers crossed it tastes as yummy as it smells.
And finally I whipped up some sweetcorn relish for the fridge after picking up some more cheap sweetcorn and a pack of reduced peppers at the supermarket. This is just perfect for jazzing up some cheese and crackers.
 Things feel like they are slowly returning to normal. Thank you for all the emails and comments of support. I love you guys.

X x X

Friday, 16 August 2013

And it continued!

 Short post from me today. After all our hassle yesterday with the shop we felt it had been an awful day, then we got a phone call from SIL concerned about a relative of OH's who had missed a family do. OH zoomed over in the car to check on him but sadly it was to late.
  This chap was something of a father figure for OH and his sisters so there is a major feeling of loss here at the moment.
 I will resume blogging when I can but need to concentrate on my helping my husband and family through their loss first.

 Prayers would be very welcome for them all.



Thursday, 15 August 2013

What a day!

 Our poor shop no longer has the majority of it's ceiling thanks to someone in the flats above it. Apparently he started the water running for the washing up and fell asleep. So not only was it raining in our shop, it was red hot boiling rain.

The scariest thing was OH dropped some stock off earlier this morning and commented that he thought he heard dripping, I said we'd park the car and then investigate. By the time we parked the car and walked back to it (about 4-5 minutes) we'd started loosing ceiling tiles. Just 10 minutes later and OH would have been watching the kids in the shop while I was at knitting. Luckily though no one is hurt.
 We just need to wait till Monday for the electrician to check if the circuits are dry yet. Then we can start to see what is and isn't damaged.

 On the positive side though, OH now has a long weekend off with us. Might even get him out berry picking with us tomorrow and get some Blackberry Fizz started for the winter. I will tell you more tomorrow.

x x x

Monday, 12 August 2013

Help me ID

 Fruit and leaf

 I have found some berries in the copse that I am pretty certain are sloes.  Using google and a few books I have at home I am fairly confident I've got it right, but I want a second opinion. What do you think guys?

The prepping season has begun

 Yesterday I made 3 jars of Blackberry Jam (one with whiskey) to start our winter stores this year. I'm hoping to fill my double cupboard with preserved goodies for the winter. I've been picking the blackberries every few days with the kiddiwinks. It's a lovely excuse to walk through the little copse by our home together and look for, among other things, Gruffalos.
 I like a bit of variety in my jam so this is it for Blackberry jam this year, but I will still be picking them for mixed jams, pies, ketchup, syrups, and blackberry fizz which is a new experiment this year.
 We popped by to see Uncle D on Sunday and had a little wander around his garden. We have been promised full access to all his fruit again this year in exchange for one jar of everything we make. It's a wonderland for a prepper in his garden.
 He has 2 huge Apple trees.
 2 huge plum trees, I think they are Victoria plums but don't hold me to it. I do know they are really sweet and tasty when ripe.
A tall Damson tree, the fruit is just beginning to turn so it won't be long till I'm back picking.
 In addition there are blackcurrants, gooseberries, raspberries, pears and rhubarb. I can't believe how lucky I am to have free access to it all. :)

x x x

Saturday, 10 August 2013

It be Pirate Day....Yarrrrr!

 Today be Pirate Day according to Pirate Princess DD so there you arrrrrr! (Sorry!)
  We start off with reading a book all about Pirates called Pirateology.
 While out exploring the seven seas (or popping to the shops) we spotted this Pirate ring cake and just new it was a sign from Davy Jones himself that this was indeed Pirate Day.
Once home we made Pirate hats from our scrap paper pile and decorated it with silver skulls and cross bones.

We are now watching a pirate film together while Baby D naps, soon to be followed with walking the plank (having a bath). And finally I have just downloaded this for are afternoon/night time story. 
 Sometimes it's just so much fun having a theme day.
What theme would you choose for your day?

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Back in the swing

 Gosh it's been a while since I did a post like this isn't it? I've been steering myself away from Waitrose as we were trying to use up everything we could before the move.  But hurrah, now I can fill my boots with red sticker bargains.
 Today's goodies were;
 Falafels - 45p  from 2.00
 Peach Punnet - 85p from £1 (My favourite fruit!)
Spring Onions - 32p from 1.10
Quorn Chicken slice - 49p from 1.60
3X corn on the cob - 79p from 2.00 and on 2for3 so a teeny tiny 37p

 Most of this will be used up in lunches, possibly a pasta bake for the Quorn.

And after I got home from work (my day in the shop today) I found a stressed Daddy trying to battle two tired sleepy grumps. So I popped Baby D in her buggy and took a quick walk down to the copse to check out how the foraging fruit was coming on. I recon I've picked about 1/3 of a tub of blackberries. These are the very first ones on the bush and some are a little hard still but I'm going to freeze them down and use them later in crumbles and pies so it won't matter. It looks like it's going to be a bumper year for Blackberries this year so I am ready to fill my boots. Expect us all to be an odd shade of purple by Christmas.

x x x

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Ho Hum...

 Well that was a big pile of nothing. We finally viewed the flat we were offered and it was just plain unsuitable for us. So no moving after weeks of prepping for it.....Bugger.
 However it has meant we realise just what we have here, and how lovely this flat it so we are kind of rediscovering it.
 The photo above is of the girls bedroom, we used it for all the furniture and boxed up stuff. DD was sleeping on the sofa and Baby D's cot was in with us.
 Once we knew the move wasn't happening we decided to give the current flat a huge makeover. so we unpacked, rearranged and cleaned to create a room for the girls again.
And if you look carefully you will spot them both sleeping in their beds happily. We have some under bed storage on order in Wilko's so ignore the box of clothes please lol. Next room to blitz is our bedroom, which we start tonight.

x x x

Friday, 2 August 2013

A snip at £4

DD's hair seems to have had a growth spurt in all this sunshine. It was in desperate need of a tidy up.
OH heard about a new hairdressers opened locally that gives trainees/students a chance to get practical experience. The prices are also heavily discounted and sometimes even free if they are desperate for people to practise on. Children's haircuts at the moment are just £3 (we tipped a £1)

DD loved sitting in the big chair and being pampered. I think I have a future beauty queen on my hands lol.
 And voila a new look for DD. We decided on a bob cut because of her complete hatred of having her hair up. The only thing I need to do in the mornings is a quick brush and a clip on her fringe (if she'll let me).
 No more tantrums first thing in the morning thanks to tangles. Whoo hoo.

x x x