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.

 

 

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.

Frugal

  • 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).

Home

  • 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.

Nativity

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

RachelSwirl

 

 

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

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.

angela

Half Term Baking with Betty Crocker

Although I’m a massive fan of cakes and sweet treats I’m a total novice when it comes to baking. So when I was accepted for the Betty Crocker #FunToMake campaign with The Insiders I was delighted.

The Insiders  are a network of over 600,000 influential consumers who help to spread the word about new products. Membership is free and once you join you can apply to take part in current campaigns.

There was much excitement in our house when a Betty Crocker VIP pack arrived in time for half term. Inside we found a Chocolate Chip Cookie pouch, Chocolate Fudge Brownies, Velvety Vanilla cake mix and a tub of Vanilla Icing. There were also some useful recipe cards as well as flyers and vouchers to help spread the word.img_24961I have absolutely no shame in using ready made baking mixes, I know where my strength lies and it’s not in baking. I have tried one of the Betty Crocker mixes in the past so I already knew the finished products would taste amazing.

Daisy and Jake both love to bake. Mixing all the ingredients together is great fun and if it gets messy then that’s even better. img_25461 img_25531 img_25541 img_25611 img_25631 I want my children to enjoy being in the kitchen and creating delicious food. Baking is a great sensory experience and a brilliant way to learn some life skills at the same time.

All of the mixes were super easy to prepare and they baked perfectly, my absolute favourite is the Velvety Vanilla cake mix it was so moist and delicious.

Have you tried the Betty Crocker mixes ? leave me a comment I love to hear from you.

angela

*I was sent the Betty Crocker VIP pack by The Insiders free on charge for the purpose of review #spon*

 

 

Five things that annoy my two year old

I often write about how life is never dull with Jake my two year old. Jake is a mix of mischief and fun. A few months ago the terrible two’s took hold so I thought I would share with you in a lighthearted way five things that annoy him.five-thingsthatannoymytwo-year-old-1

1. Not being able to take a huge armful of teddies and toys on the school run. Twice a day without fail we have a full on meltdown when negotiations break down about swapping a huge dinosaur for a more child sized friendly plastic one.

2. Vegetables really offend Jake, he’s convinced that they are on a mission to poison him. He has taken a sacred vow that nothing green or nutritious will ever pass his lips.

3. Not being allowed to soak the bathroom floor and walls seriously pees this little monkey off. What is the point of water otherwise, getting clean is just no fun !

4. Walking in the same direction as Mummy and Daddy is such an annoyance, Jake wants to be off as fast as he can in the totally opposite way.

5. Being told NO is the thing that irritates Jake the most, woe betide anyone who dares to challenge his whims and wishes. img_1958I’m sure I could write a whole list of other things that annoy him but that would take me all day. Of course there are lots of things that Jake loves and he never fails to make us laugh and smile everyday in between the mini meltdowns.

What funny little things annoy your kiddos ? leave me a comment I love hearing from you.

angela

RachelSwirl

 

 

Family, Frugal & Home Goals For November 2016

October was another really busy month and despite the busyness we still managed to meet all of our goals which makes me very happy indeed. I had a little downtime at the beginning of this month so my November goals are a little late which is fine as there is still plenty of time ahead to get working on them.

My focus for November is getting the rest of the house deep cleaned in time for putting up the Christmas tree and making our home all festive and cosy for Winter.

happy-new-year

Family

  • Celebrate my 39th Birthday
  • Celebrate my biggest girls 19th Birthday
  • Have one family film night every week
  • Complete our Autumn Bucket List
  • Wrap up all the Christmas gifts.

Frugal

  • Stick to a meal plan
  • Look for free festive days out & activities
  • Plan a budget for 2017
  • Pay £50 extra towards credit card debt

Home

  • Deep clean bedrooms
  • Recycling centre & charity shop run
  • Deep clean upstairs bathroom
  • Store all garden toys for Winter

I’m looking forward to getting stuck in to our goals for November, what are your goals for this month ? do you like to have a big pre-Christmas deep clean ? leave me a comment I love hearing from you.

angela

Listening to that Niggling Feeling

Last Saturday I spent the whole day sat upstairs at my desk trying desperately to catch up with everything while FrugalMrW and the children went to soft play without me. Although it felt good to be productive I had this horrible niggling feeling, something about it did not feel right at all.

The last few months have been so busy that I have barely had time to take a breath. Between the usual mum stuff, house stuff, school stuff and a ton of extra work with deadlines I didn’t know if I was coming and going and last week it all finally caught up with me.

less-is-more-791109_1920I knew exactly what was wrong, I knew that niggling feeling all too well it was overwhelm and I was right on the edge of being totally engulfed by it.

For a few days I tried to ignore it and push on through it. For those of you who are who familiar with overwhelm you will understand when I say I felt like I was wading through treacle.

After years of trial and error I’ve come to know exactly what I need to do when I’m feeling like this. I sit down and talk to the person who knows me best, FrugalMrW and then I stop everything I’m doing and I put it all down.

I’ve spent a few days indulging in things that I sometimes don’t have time for like

Drinking coffee while it’s hot

Reading books

Having double extra long cuddles 

Catching up on my favourite TV shows

Listening to music

Entering competitions

They might all seem like little things but to indulge in them without my mind racing with a million other things demanding my attention felt wonderful.coffee-1197758_1920Although I have no intention of giving up my busy lifestyle, it is after all what inspires and motivates me I now know that putting everything on pause for a few days doesn’t cause the world to end.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that when the risk of overwhelm looms like a large dark shadow put your light on, put your feet up and wrap yourself in all the good stuff that makes you feel calm and content whether it be for a day, a week or as long as you need.

What do you do to combat overwhelm ? leave me a comment I love hearing from you.

angela

 

October At The Websters

October has been another crazy busy month here and I have barely had time to catch my breath. This last week has been especially busy with half term and lots of tight deadlines to meet for work but I’m not complaining as I do work better under pressure.

We didn’t manage to get out as a family as much as I had hoped but we have a few free weekends in November to make up for that.

Here’s what we got up to in October.

  • I had blood test results come back showing that my sugars are decreasing which is great news.
  • We celebrated FrugalMrW’s birthday, he turned 37.
  • Daisy went on a school trip to the Blue Planet Aquarium.
  • We had a wonderful day out at Brockholes.
  • FrugalMrW went to the Vape Expo at Birmingham NEC.
  • We hosted an #AquaDoodleParty and had lots of fun.
  • I went to the cinema to watch ‘The Girl on the Train’ , what an awesome film!
  • We packed in lots of activities at home in the first week of half term.
  • Daisy helped to decorate the house for Halloween.
  • We invited friends round to play.
  • We had lots of family film nights.
  • My eldest daughter finally moved in to her new flat.
  • We tried to stay Frugal.
  • We went to a Halloween party at my daughter’s new flat.

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img_26121 img_26041I will be back at the end of November to tell you all about what we’ve been up to. What have you done in October ? leave me a comment I love to hear from you.

angela

RachelSwirl

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