Saturday, 23 April 2022

Adventures

 


DH; We haven't done much this Easter break have we?
Me; What? We've played in parks...

...eaten in restaurants...



...Visited the real Alice in Lyndhurst...


...fed ducks...


...completed an Easter trail...


...climbed (and rescued children from) trees...


...enjoyed 1:1 parent and child dates...


...baked tasty treats...


...celebrated a birthday...


...visited the zoo twice...


...visited several playgrounds...


...attempted "nice" group photos...


...and eaten several picnics together. I think we've done very well indeed. 
😁

X x X

Sunday, 17 April 2022

Happy Easter

 


 We have has a lovely Easter Sunday here in Frugal HQ. The children have all eaten far to much chocolate than is good for them 🤣 as is the tradition!

We attended a lovely Easter church service in the afternoon at a church we hadn't attended before. It was advertised as an open invitation at our parents and toddlers group so I thought why not. There were some lovely modern hymns and everyone was very welcoming and kind. We managed a few odd looks and eye rolls as the seven of us walked in but the children behaved beautifully. Though Baby C does like to shout Eggs! At random moments today which raised a few giggles.

The children all went on a little egg hunt together with Daddy so I could enjoy the sermon in peace. 

At the end there were lots of hot cross buns to enjoy. 

I'm looking forward to going back next week.

Happy Easter everyone 


X x x

Tuesday, 12 April 2022

Cozy socks

 


My first make in quite a while, save for a story line I plotted after a dream I had last week. 
I've really missed the mindfulness of just sitting and creating something beautiful or useful or both.
DD3 claimed this pair of snuggly socks but I've already picked out some yarn to make another pair.
Long may the crafting bug reign within me 🥰

X x X

Saturday, 2 April 2022

Visiting the Zoo

 

 

Our first zoo visit of the year! Our season tickets ran out just before Christmas but with half the zoo being closed due to the local avian flu scare we put off our visits for a little while. 

Thanks to all the lockdowns we now have enough in our zoo savings for 2 years of annual passes as we put a little towards it each month.  It means that we are not only able to support a wonderful conservation charity but we always have somewhere to take the children for entertainment. Sometimes when the 4 eldest are all in school, Hubby and I will visit for an hour or so with Baby C and just enjoy some fresh air. 

Hubby also suggested today that if we can't afford heating we can also just go sit in the hot house each afternoon 🤣 

We took a little picnic of sausage rolls, bananas and Crisps along with our own drinks from home costing about £4. Obviously our season tickets cost a fair amount for a family of 7 but a single visit would set us back £120 a time so we only need to make 3 visits in order to make a saving. We usually average between 6 and 10 visits so we soon cover that.

Everyone should sleep nicely tonight after all that lovely fresh air and walking around. I certainly know I will! 🤣


X x X

Friday, 1 April 2022

Hello Austerity April

 



 Hello everyone.

  Sorry for the radio silence again. Life just insists on being busy but mostly in good ways. We are all well and happy (most days) which in the grand scheme of things happening  across the world is something we're very grateful for.

  So let's start with a little update on everyone. As always in our house we'll go smallest to biggest.


Baby C is almost 2 already. She is small but fiesty and will happily stand her ground against any sibling that dares to cross her path 🤣. She is currently obsessed with all things doll related and learning new words constantly. 


Miss W- DD3 is almost 4! She is always a happy joyful soul to be around. We're working on getting ready for starting big school in September so lots of encouragement to be independent with dressing etc. She is going through a very creative period at the moment and produces lots of artwork each day. 


Gman- DS - rapidly approaching his 7th birthday. School have identified a few concerns with his learning and started some interventions to help him catch up but he takes it all in his stride. He is currently obsessed with all things mechanical be they toy cars, robots or lego creations he's made. 


Diddy - DD2 - almost in double figures at aged 9 and desperate to grow up. She always does her best to overcome any obstacle be they physical or mental though NEVER in the way I'd expect. I've long given up trying to figure her out and just try to sit back and watch the show. Currently obsessed with all things gaming related mostly Minecraft and Fortnight.


Miss A - DD1 - Newly 12 and not letting me forget she's "practically a teenager now" 🤣. She is learning how to navigate the modern world as a young lady which isn't always an easy thing to do. She has a very sensible head though and we often make time to have a mug of tea together and go over any worries. I'm very proud of the person she is becoming.  Currently obsessed with Tom Hollander, books and YouTube.

 DH and I are doing okay. There's been some difficulties with a neighbour which have taken a lot of time and emotional energy to deal with but we always have each others backs when one of us needs propping up. We are both concerned about what this month may bring to us and our nearest and dearest but we have confidence we will weather the storm okay with a fair few years of frugal living experience to fall back on.


 Times are tough but our family will be tougher 💪 


 X x x

Sunday, 20 February 2022

Half term day 2

 


A quiet day for us. I took a little walk over to B&Q with DD1 but found no bargains and we left empty handed. Home Bargains however had some pretty bedding plants so I treated myself to a packet of 6. 

The weather forecast is still pretty poor for the next few days so I focused on a small corner of the garden rather than waste time doing things that would need doing again. Storm Eunice gifted me a very shabby chic looking wicker garden so I filled it with random sized pots. I used the six plants from Home Bargains and a few random daffodils that had popped up from nowhere by the compost bin.


I think they look quite cheerful all together. Sadly we're now under another weather warning for Storm Franklin so I've brought them indoors for night. Soon though I will be able to sit in my little garden with mugs of tea and good books enjoying spring sunshine.

I can't wait.


X x X

Saturday, 19 February 2022

Half term Day 1




I'm not counting yesterday as the start of half term. We spent the entire day as most of the country did wearing pajamas, eating storm snacks and watching all sorts of things fly past the windows. I was so pleased to see the children's schools had closed for safety, not that I planned to send them in. Until they reach double digits  my children are usually the smallest in their year groups and no match for windy weather.

Saturday is a Library day. They put on construction club which is basically an enormous pile of Lego on a set of tables for everyone to enjoy and craft club which has a range of colouring and simple free crafts to try.
This week we made penguin windsocks which came out beautifully. I've taken a photo of the instruction sheet so we can do these again at home. 


While #1, #4 and #5 were happiest crafting. #2 and #3 were happiest building so everyone was happily occupied for a good 45 minutes. 
After the library we visited H&M and The Entertainer with some of the children's Christmas vouchers. We then picked up some pizzas and milk in iceland before heading home again. 
The weather turned quite bad again in the afternoon so I'm glad we came home when we did.  


Tomorrow I'm hoping for a nicer day so I can begin to tackle what's left of our garden. I lay the washing pole, furniture and slide down to try and keep it safe but it's still all slid around the garden a fair bit. The bit chunks of plastic was a Wendy house, I'm not sure if it's salvageable 😔 but I'm grateful this is the worst we suffered. I've seen some terrible scenes on social media that people now need to sort out. 

 I'm hoping to take a little walk to B&Q and see if I can get some compost and cheap plants. Once the rubbish is cleared away and few colourful flowers are potted up it'll soon look much better 😀 


 X x X

Tuesday, 15 February 2022

Tuesday adventures


We had a lovely session at our usual Tuesday morning playgroup. We were very lucky to just miss the rain as we went in but we certainly didn't miss it coming back out. I am definitely not looking forward to this afternoons school run in it again either 😫 


After playgroup we tool a quick visit to the library for the end of their stay and play session. I was hopeful the rain would pass while we were in there but sadly it wasn't to be. 


On the way home we passed TK Max who had a little stall outside selling colouring packs for Red Nose Day. Each pack was 50p and contained a set of pens, 5 colouring sheets and a little chocolate bar. I couldn't resist treating DD4 to a pack.


I also spotted some 2022 diaries and wall planners in the card shop clearance section. At just 10p each I quickly snaffled a few. The diaries make wonderful little notebooks for DD3 who couldn't care less which date she's scribbling over. I will stash the wall planners for the elder girls birthdays as they aren't actually dated and just have the days of the week on each page. 

I'm off now to swim up to the school. Wish me luck 🤣

X x X

 

Monday, 14 February 2022

Valentines Day 2022

 


This Valentine's Day we are celebrating in our usual frugal style. 

I picked up some cheese pizzas from Iceland for £1 each and added some pepperoni (£1 @ iceland). With a few scissor snips and some artful arranging you can make a cheerful Valentine's meal for pennies. Over all I spent £4 (3x pizza, 1x pepperoni) but remember I am feeding 7 people 🤣

I also popped into the Food pantry for my usual Monday food shop. I've found going a little later at 10am rather than when they open at 9.30am seems to yield better results as fresh stock has time to go out.

 Miss C was also gifted a book and a cuddly toy which seems to be a regular thing now. You can never have to many children's book so I am quite pleased about that 😊.

I hope you all have a lovely Valentine's Day 💕 

 

 

Monday, 17 January 2022

Monday mutterings


Another week is upon us. Those weekends just fly past don't they? 
Today was my weekly food pantry visit. I hadn't needed to go over Christmas as free food was pretty abundant everywhere you looked. It's definitely slowed up now back its usual gentle flow. 
I used up some of the lemon curd I made on Friday by making lemon curd cupcakes. Each one has a little pocket of curd in the centre when you bite into them. There is also a dash of lemon curd in the buttercream icing too. 
As an experiment they've worked really well and are fast disappearing.


This week pantry food was a good mix.

Cornflakes
Apples
Onions 
Grapes
Rice
Lotus biscuits
Maggi bbq bags 
Vegan mince x2
Pate
Corned beef slices
Bananas
Mince 
Raisins
 Bacon grill 
Pork luncheon meat 

Definitely a fair bit to turn into some tasty meals and treats this week. Tonight's dinner is a homemade spaghetti bognaise hopefully followed by any cupcakes the children haven't already snaffled.
You have to be quick around cakes in this house 🤣
X x x

 

Wednesday, 12 January 2022

Wednesday wanderings

 

DD2 woke up early this morning and was unable to get back to sleep. I suggested she try reading in bed for a while to stay warm and to keep her quiet whilst the rest of the household slept. 

She asked if she could borrow one of my books and I agreed. In hindsight I should've stayed awake long enough to see what she was actually reading because when I woke up at my usual time about an hour later she was a few chapters deep into It by Stephen King 🙈 

I had assumed she would go for the stash of David Walliams books 🤣 

 

In the afternoon I visited a few favourite charity shops on my usual midweek trip into town. After last week's beautiful patchwork blanket I didn't think I'd find anything else quite so soon.

Apparently charity bargains may be like buses as I found 2 beautiful Hand-knitted cardigans for Baby C. 



I like the little Teddy bear buttons on this one in particular. Both cardigans cost just 50p each and will keep Baby C super snuggly for the winter. 
The photos just don't do them justice as they've been made by someone very talented. Sadly though I don't think they've ever been worn, something I will soon be rectifying!

Tomorrow Hubby and I are heading out for a little day time date. Its our first outing together since before Christmas so I'm quite excited to see what's been planned ☺

X x X

Monday, 10 January 2022

Cringe

 


I had a rather epic cringe moment this morning 🤣
I was heading up the road with 4 of the 5 children in tow for the usual morning school run when we spotted our postman working his way along the road. 

Postman; Good Morning
Me; Good Morning
Postman; Are you 32?
Me; No, I'm a bit older than that *laughs
Postman; *waves parcel* Number 32?
Me; oh...um...he...yes

If the ground could have opened up right then and there I would of been so happy 🙈🙈🙈

X x X


Thursday, 6 January 2022

Cold but very pretty

 

It was a very frosty school run this morning. It was also beautiful.

We amused ourselves by taking some arty photographs whilst waiting for the school gates to open.


Nature really is breath taking when you remember to stop and look.


X x X

Wednesday, 5 January 2022

Almost back to usual




DD2 and DS went back to school this morning. The weather has gotten really cold again so I send DS to school with his thermals on under his uniform. Due to the Covid rules all the classrooms have to have their windows open during the school day. 

After the morning school run I popped to the local shop for milk, then spent an hour sorting the house while DD1 entertained the smallest two. 

Midmorning we had to pop to DD1's school for her preterm Covid test. She refused it as expected but as she has no symptoms she's still fine to attend tomorrow as usual.

Then we popped DD3 to preschool for her usual afternoon session.

Then DD1, DD5 and I met up with my parents for a cup of tea and a little look around the charity shops. I found the most beautiful patchwork quilt for just £1. I couldn't leave it for that price and told my mum that I was rescuing it 🤣

Someone has put many hours of love and effort into that quilt only for it to end up in a charity shop on a rail of linens. 

DS had claimed it as his sofa blanket and it's already following him around the house 🥰

The afternoon was spent doing the usual routine of school run, dinners and Bath times. 

I think I'll sleep very well tonight 😴


X x X

Monday, 3 January 2022

Monday musings

My poor legs are aching today after yesterday's adventures. It was definitely worth it though. I didn't enjoy hobbling around the house at 4.30am though when both of the smallest humans woke up. Baby C needed a nappy change and DD3 had tummy ache. Neither were happy to settle again so we all ended up under the warmest blankets under the sofa until everyone else woke up around a much more civilised 8am.

DH took charge of the children and I returned to bed for an hour to top me up for the day. 

At midday we headed over to my parents to a nice buffet lunch and to wish them both a Happy new year. We had a lovely catch up.

Once home I finished off the little cross stitch kit I've been working on for a few days. I'm quite pleased with how it came out but the brown outline on the bird doesn't feel quite right somehow. I feel like it should be black like the flowerpot. What do you think, readers?



 This evening I have been trying out one of my Christmas gifts. I'm about halfway through the first picture but I'm not really enjoying it. I'm determined to finish what I've started before I make a decision. It very much feels like I'm doing it because I have to rather than want to. It feels odd because I was really excited to get started. Funny how reality and expectations can differ so much isn't it? 

X x X

Sunday, 2 January 2022

Kensington Palace trip

 

Just before Christmas my MIL very kindly asked if DD1 and I would like to join on a trip to London. MIL wanted to see the exhibition currently displaying Lady Diana's wedding dress at Kensington Palace.

We drove to Richmond and park there for the day before taking the train into London. 

Kensington Palace was small but packed to the rafters with interesting things and bits of history. We got to stand on the stairs where Victoria saw Albert and fell in love with him, which felt very special. Seeing the room she was born in and her childhood toys was sweet. I love the idea of a young Victoria sewing little doll outfits and giving her dolls elaborate names and backstories.



 We of course enjoyed the dress exhibition. Not only seeing THE wedding dress but also others like the toile of The Queen Mother's coronation dress. 

 The Diana memorial was a little underwhelming as you can only approach it from the rear of the statue. I would have liked a chance to look closer at the details of it from the front but that was just the way it is.

 I tried the go through the gift shop with my blinkers on but there was a splendid sale on. We purchased 3 writing pens and 2 postcards for £3.95. The pens were originally priced at £3.99 each so I feel we did well. I now have a lovely pen and souvenir for my current journal.  It was our only spend of the days outside of tickets as we bought a picnic lunch with us which we ate in the gardens.

 I'm really hoping that we can do a lot more trips to interesting places this year. After 2 years of not particularly going very far it would be such a treat to go exploring again.


X x X

Saturday, 1 January 2022

Happy new year 2023

 


We started 2022 with a little walk in nature together. All the recent damp yet mild weather has caused an explosion of fungi to appear. If you walk slowly and look carefully you can find all sorts of shapes, colours and textures sometimes in the most unlikely places.

Our walk led us to our first Olio collection of the year. The quiche will be coming on a special trip out with me and DD1 tomorrow. The apples are enourmous! I think a single one cut into slices would feed at least 3 of the children quite happily 🤣



 My resolutions this year are to live a more mindful simple life. To take more time noticing the little things around us and minimising the day to day things that cause stress.

Happy new year to all my wonderful readers.


X x X