Now You Are Five

Five years ago today you almost refused to come in to the world. You’re stubborn little hand was placed firmly on you head and no amount of contractions would convince you otherwise. A very unexpected c-section later and you were born weighing 6lb 15oz, a tiny pink bundle of warmth.I never thought I would have another baby, I had already watched your big sister and brother grow into teenagers. But I knew deep down in my heart that I wasn’t finished with the baby years and you came along and proved me right.

From the moment you were born Daddy and I fell in love with you. Watching your little personality grow is a pleasure. You cemented our little family and brought us joy and laughter every single day.

You have grown in to a very clever, kind, loving and confident little girl. I’m so excited to see what the next five years bring for you. Every day is an adventure to you.One of the things I love most about you is that you view everyone as a potential friend. You have such a warm and welcoming personality which is a rare and special thing.Enjoy your day my little lovely, we will celebrate your birthday with a surprise visit to Santa and a pub lunch (as requested by you).

Being your Mummy is an absolute pleasure, love you always, no matter what.



Word of the Week – Preparation

This week we have all been poorly with Winter coughs and colds. Instead of writing about how miserable it’s been I thought I would focus on the preparation I’ve done for some upcoming celebrations.Being stuck in the house all week has given me a chance to do some planning for Daisy’s upcoming birthday and of course Christmas. All the birthday presents are wrapped and surprise tickets to Santa’s grotto have been bought. Daisy has also requested a pub lunch so I’ve been organising that too.

I placed an order for some of the festive food and drink we want for Christmas. Lists have also been written of the things we still need to buy. Every year we open the chocolates early so Chris will be hiding them from me this weekend.

I’m starting to think about our plans and goals for 2017. I have notebooks full of ideas that I can’t wait to get started on.

So that has been our week, illness and preparation. I’m hoping for a germ free week next week and lots of productivity.

The Reading Residence


Family, Frugal & Home Goals for December 2016

It’s December already and I can’t believe that this will be the last monthly goals post of the year. It’s probably been said every month but where on earth has this year gone. Sharing our goals with you has really helped to keep us on track. It’s definitely something I want to continue with in 2017.

There are lots of celebrations and events in December so we don’t worry too much about the frugal side of things.

Our focus for December is just to enjoy the festive season and not to stress too much if things don’t go to plan.Family

  • Celebrate Daisy’s 5th birthday.
  • Host a little Christmas Eve get together.
  • Carry on with family film night on Saturdays.
  • Make a Winter bucket list.
  • Enjoy Chris having some time off work.


  • Freeze and use up all leftovers.
  • Plan a budget for 2017 (didn’t get round to it last month).
  • Use up wrapping paper from last year before buying new.
  • Organise financial files (paper & digital).


  • Sort out toys (store,donate,sell).
  • Wipe down doors and frames upstairs.
  • Keep on top of daily cleaning.

It’s a nice short and achievable list for December. As a planning and organising addict you can imagine how excited I am for a brand new year. I will be back next year with a fresh new list of goals for January.


Yesterday I went to Daisy’s school to watch her play the part of Mary in the Christmas nativity. It was a very proud mummy moment for a few reasons.

For the past few weeks our house has been filled with the sound of Daisy rehearsing every single song and line. She has worked so hard and the nativity story seems to have really captured her imagination.

Over the weekend we were all struck down with the dreaded lurgy. On Sunday night Daisy was feeling pretty rubbish. Monday morning came and after a bad nights sleep I really didn’t think she would make it as far as school but her determination to take part in the nativity won. Topped up with calpol she went to school.

I arrived early at school and got front row seats so I could see my little girl shine. Daisy’s teacher came to tell me she’d had a few little wobbles and been a bit teary so I wondered if she would decide to opt out instead. I watched as she walked on to stage stifling a little yawn, despite this she remembered every line and sang her little solo part beautifully. She did leave baby Jesus under the bench but a gentle reminder from teacher soon remedied that.img_31271 img_31301I thought I might have a little cry when she sang her solo but I think that wrangling Jake to keep quiet and sit still distracted me from the emotion of it all. I will admit that I had a little teary moment when I learnt she had the part.

I’m so proud of her bravery. Standing on a stage in front of lots of grown ups when you are four years old is no mean feat. I’m also extremely proud of her determination, she could have stayed off school but she pushed on.

Tonight she has gone to bed early after snuggling on the couch with some toast and watching Barbie charm school for the twentieth time. Hopefully she will feel much better tomorrow. She has a trip to Santa’s grotto with school and her birthday to look forward to later this week.

Have your little one’s had their nativity yet ? did you cry ? leave me a comment I love hearing from you.angela




Review: Lalaloopsy Princess Mittens Fluff’N’Stuff Doll

Daisy is always excited when Lalaloopsy adverts come on the TV so she was delighted when a Princess Mittens Fluff’N’Stuff doll arrived in the post for her to review. She was also happy to find a snowflake to decorate along with the doll, it was a great excuse to do some festive crafting.img_29811

img_30011 img_29921 img_30061Mittens Fluff’N’Stuff was sewn on December 21st from an eskimo’s scarf. She looks absolutely beautiful with her ice blue hair and delicate snowflake featured outfit. Her cheeks are rosy and she comes with a pet polar bear.

Daisy’s favourite part of the doll is her glittery tulle skirt and snowflake favourite part of the doll is her ice castle inspired hair which features snowballs, a tiara, glitter and a gorgeous headband.img_30121 img_30141The doll features moveable limbs and head making positioning for play easy and fun. Daisy did find the head to be a little cumbersome at times as it’s much larger than the rest of the dolls body that would be my only criticism.

Daisy had fun decorating her snowflake using lots of gold and silver glitter glue and sparkling gems. It’s now proudly displayed on our Christmas tree much to Daisy’s delight. img_30771 img_31241Mittens Fluff’N’Stuff is part of the new Princess series and can be bought at most good retailers. I think she would make a lovely Christmas present or birthday gift.angela

We're going on an adventure

Disclaimer: We received the doll free of charge for the purpose of review, all opinions are are own.


Word of the Week – Car

This week we have had some problems with our car so I thought it would be the perfect word. Our car is called Valerie and she’s a bit of an old girl. We bought her second hand earlier this year with the profits from matched betting after being car free for almost 18 months.word-ofthe-weekOn Sunday night Chris popped out to drop some parcels off for me and that’s where the problems began. It was quite frosty and cold that evening and as he opened the driver side window it got stuck. I’m not entirely sure of what happened next as it all sounded a bit technical but to cut a long story short the window ended up falling right inside of the door.

Poor Chris came home so frustrated, it was pitch black and freezing cold but he knew he couldn’t it like that overnight.

He spent ages outside with only the light of our living room lamp and managed to remove the door panel to get the window out but there was no way he would be able to fix it in the dark. Reluctantly he boarded the window up for the night, after removing the car seats and bringing them inside of course.

On Monday after a driving all day for work and getting stuck in traffic he came home, wolfed his tea down and got on with trying to fix the window.

He at least had a flood light type thing this time. He spent hours outside and some colourful language could be heard but he finally got the window back in. It will need looking at properly soon and we daren’t roll it down.

To add insult to injury when we tried to go shopping the following night the battery was totally flat. Chris had to knock on about 10 different neighbours doors to borrow some jump leads. He managed to get the car going but he sat outside with the engine running while I rushed round Aldi for the shopping just to be safe.

Today Valerie started up no problem so maybe it was just her turn to have an off week, who knows.

I do love having a car again but there is always that niggling little worry at the back of my mind especially this time of year. I think I will give her a good clean this weekend. Make her feel loved then hopefully she will continue to be kind to us.

Do you have a name for your car ? leave me a comment I love hearing from you.


The Reading Residence





November At The Websters

How on earth is it the end of November already ? It feels like it was Halloween just a moment ago and yet here we are about to leave this month already.

November has been a mixed bag for us, we’ve had some ups and some downs and some highs and lows. Such is life I suppose. There is always lots to look forward to in December starting with Daisy’s birthday on the 10th and ending with Christmas.

Here’s what we got up to this month.

  • We opted to stay home and watch fireworks from the window. It was still lots of fun but definitely warmer than if we had gone out.
  • We indulged in some good old fashioned comfort food like beef casserole and sausage and mash.
  • The children made the most of the early November mild weather and played in the garden.
  • I wrote about the things that annoy my two year old.
  • Daisy got the part of Mary in the Christmas nativity.
  • I celebrated turning 39, you can see some of my lovely gifts here.
  • My eldest daughter turned 19 and we had a lovely day together shopping.
  • We went to parents evening where Daisy made us proud as usual.
  • Jake and I went to a phonics lesson in Daisy’s classroom which was fun.
  • Movie nights happened every Saturday, we’ve watched Labyrinth, Rise of the Guardians, Home Alone and Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas.
  • The hoover broke and the car window broke exactly a week apart.
  • School runs have been either very wet or very cold, layers have certainly been required.
  • Our Christmas tree went up a little earlier than planned.
  • Although we didn’t get out much we did do lots of crafts and activities at home.
  • I spent most of this month feeling stressed and grumpy but I’m hoping some mince pies and twinkling lights will remedy this.

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How was November for you ? leave me a comment I love hearing from you.angela

A Christmas Tree in November

Up until Friday we didn’t have a Christmas tree at all. In a mad January declutter we threw our old decrepit one away with the intention of picking up a snazzy new one in the sales. Needless to say this never happened.

Traditionally I like to put the tree up on December 1st and with that date approaching I had to bite the bullet and pay full price for a new one, ouch. That’s not really the point of this post though.

All across social media I have seen people putting their trees up and making their homes all festive since the beginning of November. I will admit that I scoffed at their eagerness. Once home with our new tree I bet you can guess what I decided to do next.

Yes, I the traditionalist have my Christmas tree up, decorated and twinkling whilst we are still in November. The Christmas soft toys are out and the festive scented candles are burning away.img_30371The children had great fun decorating it with the eclectic mix of baubles we have. img_30591 img_30441 img_30471Our house is that little bit more cosy and warm and it feels lovely. I’m not sure if we will always start the festivities this early. I’ve been so stressed lately it’s just the tonic I needed.

When do you put your Christmas tree up ? leave me a comment I love hearing from you.






Review: Sheaffer Quattro Multifunction Pen

It’s no secret that I’m a stationery addict, from pens to notebooks it all makes me happy. I also love writing to my penpals and have really come to appreciate using a good quality pen. Recently I was asked to review the Sheaffer Quattro multifunction pen which I thought would be the perfect addition to my writing collection.img_28451 img_28461The Sheaffer Quattro is a 4-in1 multifunction pen, you can choose from black, blue and red ink. It also features a touch screen stylus too.

The pen itself is slim and comfortable to grip when writing. With a twist of the barrel you can select which colour you want to use. The pen has a metallic blue grip section and a polished chrome barrel.

I particularly liked the pocket clip as I like to attach my pens to notepads for easy access. I also like how smooth the ink flows when I’m writing. These pens are built to last and can be refilled when they run out of ink.img_28501I’ve put the pen in my handbag as I think the touch screen stylus feature will be really useful. During these colder months I will still be able to wear my gloves and use my phone or tablet at the same time.

The Shaeffer Quattro comes in a stylish gift box and would make a fabulous present for those stationery lovers in your life.

The pen is available to buy at The Pen Shop and all good stationery retailers.


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*I received the pen free of charge for the purpose of review, all thoughts and opinions are honest*



Five Frugal Things For November

November has been a bit of an odd month. It started off well and we managed to squirrel away some extra savings. Along came some unexpected expenses that almost depleted what we had saved. I also find it more challenging to be frugal this time of the year with festive temptations but as always I have tried my best.

1. After another price hike and our special discount coming to an end we contacted our broadband supplier to negotiate a better price. Much to our surprise we came away with a brilliant deal. Our bill is now lower than before the price increase. If only all service providers were as generous.

2. There have been a few birthday celebrations and instead of buying new I’ve reused gift bags and wrap. I also made sure to buy cards well in advance to avoid paying over the odds.

3. I think we are doing fairly well with keeping our energy costs low. With the sudden cold snap turning the heating on has been a necessity. Keeping ourselves and the house well insulated helps. stockings-1816094_19204. A meal plan has been formulated and we have a plan of action. Sticking to a plan will mean we can add a few ‘Christmas’ food items to our weekly shopping list. I have found buying little and often is more affordable.

5. I’m not sure if this one counts as a frugal technically. The bedroom that I won from Dreams arrived, it’s absolutely beautiful and the mattress and pillows are heavenly. We would never have been able to afford such luxury. It will last us for years as it’s such good quality. five-frugalthingsforHas November been frugal for you ? leave me a comment I love hearing from you.