Monday, 8 February 2016

A story of an incredible adventure, book review.

At the library the other week I picked up this book on a whim. It caught my eye as I walked past a bookcase. I am so glad that I picked it up now, I loved it!
I have been reading this book over the last couple of weeks. I have loved it!
It tells the story of Mike who packs up his bike and travels right around the coast of England. He is witty in his retelling and honest. I had difficulty in putting this book down. It has made me want to do something similar. Oh for less money worries/ commitments :-D

What a great adventure he has. I would recommend this book if you happen upon a copy somewhere the tales of the people he encounters on his journey really did make me laugh out loud. His descriptions of the landscapes makes you want to go and see them for yourself. Some of the places we have been lucky enough to visit, meaning I could understand what he meant in certain places.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

An appreciated present

Remember I said that I had booked Stephanie a block of 6 ice skating lesson for her Christmas present? I am very relieved to say that she has loved them.
I was apprehensive as to how she would take to them- I know from experience that ice hurts when you fall on it!

Her first lesson she was (understandably) nervous, she had never been on the ice before. By the time her half hour lesson finished she was hooked! It turns out that after her half hour she then gets to go on the ice for the public skate session which is several hours long. We have been at the ice rink for around two hours after each lesson whilst she skates with the friends she has made there. I now take a book with me! Oh and several layers of clothes, it's cold as a spectator. I wear my snow coat and still feel a little chilly.

To have the lessons they get given boot covers. I wraped them up and gave them to her on Christmas day, look at her confused face!

During her first lesson

Bruise! from falling over.

There is just one lesson left, she found out today that she has earned a certificate and will receive that during her final lesson next week.

The lessons have been super value at a cost of £60 for 6 it turns out it is cheaper than taking her for a public skate (which she gets included in the price!) To go for a public skate it is £11 including skate hire.So I am now trying to work out if there is anyway I can book her on for another set of 6 lessons. Finances to work out!

Sunday, 31 January 2016

A belated happy new year

Wow time really does seem to have ran away again.

Thank you for all your messages, we did indeed have a good Christmas. Things have been a little hectic here. Unfortunately, another family member lost their fight to cancer in the lead up to Christmas, another had relationship troubles. So with the usual celebrations and trying to keep all normal and fun we had funerals etc. So lots of family from oop north visiting at various points over the last month or so, as well as our visit oop there!

Things are settling down now so I am hoping to get back into the rhythm of things. I have a family holiday planned for the summer, we will be going to Ireland with my family (another off of the bucket list). We have booked a cottage to share with one sister and hr family and my older sister has booked the cottage next door for her family. So saving has started in earnest. The contents of the freezer are being stretched as far as possible.

I also have set myself a few running challenges, I completed oen last weekend with the help of two lovelies from my running club. Remember the marathon I never quite completed in 2014? Well I did it!

I finally beat Dymchurch!

Stephanie out earning her first bling of the year on a 5k.

A bit blurred but the medal is a huge cupcake and she also got a cupcake to eat and was too excited to stand still!

We took part in a swim challenge with my sister. We had to swim as far as we could in 30 minutes, we all swam 34 lengths of a 25m pool. Stephanie managed it much better than me or my sister- she left us behind for the first half of  the challenge!

Dylan is still hiding/ shying away from any cameras, but he is doing well. He passed his theory test the other week, just to work on the practical one now. He also got his first job, part time in a local Mcd's, he is using part of the money he earns to do 'computer stuff' the other half is being saved towards a car/insurance. 

So lots to look forwards to this year. Lets make it a good one!

Monday, 23 November 2015

Christmas on a tiny string

This year Christmas is smaller than ever. The children's presents are scaled right back. Dylan is having driving lessons (I'm paying half with his dad). So he really isn't getting much else. Mostly clothes and smellies, just so he has things to open on the big day.

I am going to book Stephanie some ice skating lessons, we have an ice bowl not too far away. Stephanie has been asking to go ice skating for years, but I am still having nightmares from taking Dylan when he was younger (around 10!). I thought as I am not confident ie can barely stand up on skates! Lessons will probably be the safest bet. It is £60 for 6 lessons so she should be able to balance by the end of those! I am considering booking myself on as well so that I am confident to go on and enjoy time with her. To go with those Stephanie will get a few little presents to open. I already have a couple of bits for her- some pencils with her name on which she has ssked for, bought at a bargain price of £2.99. Another something she has asked for is a nerf gun rebelle, these were recently on offer at argos and you got 2 different guns for £8.99 for both so those were collected quickly.

I have heard that you can get cheap turkey crowns in aldi so I shall be heading there on pay day to hopefully get one. Everything else is already bought- I like to get treats- biscuits, pringles etc. These have been bought with my weekly shop for the past few months as and when I spot them on offer.

Christmas is almost done in my house. Just need to wrap up my children's presents and get some little bits for the stockings, I am thinking punch balloons, rocket balloons, wind up racers etc to have some giggles with on the big day. All other presents have been wrapped as soon as they are bought.

Image result for ice skates  

How are you managing Christmas this year?

Monday, 16 November 2015

Home made gifts.

Sometimes my children really surprise me. Stephanie recently had a birthday party (well actually she has had several). I asked what she wanted to do for a present for this little girl, what we could get her. Stephanie said lets not buy one mum. We can make her a jar of sweets like we did for Christmas present last year. So that's just what she did and a card as well.

We have also discussed the plans for Christmas present making. We now just need to get on with beginning to make them. I will reveal once we have finished.

What are you making for gifts this year?

Saturday, 7 November 2015

My birthday meal

I have wanted to go to Jamie's Italian for a very long time but always put it off because it will cost too much etc etc.

Well this year I decided to go for it. I was going to have that as a treat. So I booked a table for me and the 2 children on my birthday. We got there and straight away I was impressed with the staff, polite and welcoming. They spoke to the children and actually stood still to listen to what they were saying. I know when you are buys in a restaurant you are doing so many things at once that this isn't easy, but they did. Once we had finally chosen Dylan and I ordered starters, there wasn't a starter on the children's menu, I was going to see if Stephanie would eat one of the adult ones but she was unsure- the waitress said it's no problem we can bring some breadsticks out for her so that you all eat together.  It really was tricky to choose our food and it took us a long time. Again, staff were fab answering the children's questions about the different sauces etc. on the foods.

Our main courses, we all had a little taste of each others. If was all really tasty,

Playing between courses. We played lots of games which we haven't played in a long time eg the alphabet shopping game, we had so much fun and laughed a lot.

Desserts- we all chose the same.

The whole meal was absolutely delicious. All the staff we saw were very friendly, we had a great time. And the bonus was it wasn't as expensive as I had expected. For a three course meal for 3 of us it was £52.00. Which is a lot when you look at our usual weekly shop, but for a posh restaurant not as much as I thought it would be. I would go back again, but not for a while- our belts are firmly tightened after a blow-out birthday! LOL

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Happy Halloween

I seem to have been super busy since I started back at school. Hardly a moment to catch my breath before onto the next whirling event.

I am still here and trying to keep a tight grip on our finances. I am watching the news waiting for the
pinch to hit harder!

We are still managing to have some fun though, and still sticking to minimal spending.

We went to the local farm for our annual pumpkin pick- we left with just a  few! Lots of soup will be made to keep us warm through winter! LOL

 Stephanie has taken part in some local running events.

 We went out for a delicious meal to celebrate my 35th birthday. Ok so not the most frugal choice but soo tasty. I think this one warrants a post all of its own another day!
We have also had my baby boys 17th birthday. The car in the distance will give a clue to his present this year! Again, a post for another day!

So much to catch up on but now I have a garden full of children asking for lunch- left over party food from last night it is!