Sunday, 29 April 2012

The good old British Brolly!

 Here's my Weather forecast for today, much the same as it has been for the last week or so.

 In honour of the Weather (ha ha ha in a sarcastic tone) I thought I would post some pictures of some of the Beautiful Umbrellas you can buy these days, I found all of these at Brollies Galore, only in England would you find a whole website devoted to the humble Brolly!


Aren't they Gorgeous, which is your Favourite?

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Thank You Honey Bees

Rowse Honey will plant a Bee Friendly plant alongside your special message Thanking the Bees for all the hard work they do, all you need to do is "like" them on Facebook and post your message on their wall. Here are Aidan's choice of  words to say Thanks!

Here's a quote from their Website:
 Write a thank you note to the bees on our Facebook page, and we’ll plant a flower just for you, with your very own message on it. And we’ll send you a photo so you can see!

That means there’ll be thousands of flowers all throughout England’s community gardens, with thank you notes to the bees from you guys.

It’s going to be a big job!

Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be zipping all over the place, hand-writing notes, tending soil, planting flowers and snapping every one so we can send you your own photo. Then we’ll send all the flowers to community gardens.

We think it’s a lovely way to thank the bees for their hard work.

Lovely lavender

A couple of years ago we donated £100,000 to a honeybee research project, which discovered that bees love lavender most of all. So lavender it shall be.

Thank the bees

So come along and write a thank you note on our Facebook page (simply head to and write a thank you note on our wall.

We (and the bees) would be most grateful if you’d tell your bee-loving friends about our bee-autiful idea too. So spread the buzz!

I think it's a great idea, the more Bee Friendly plants there are in the World the better :-)

Friday, 27 April 2012

16 Week Check Up

Today I had my 16 Week check up with the Midwife all was well thankfully, she found a nice strong heartbeat (eventually after much searching to find the stubborn baby!) and even heard sounds that were apparently "pea" moving about.

According to the books and websites in my 16 week of pregnancy I should be " experiencing a glorious sense of well being" I am not sure which Utopia some of these writers live on but I can honestly say I feel as sick now as I did in the early stages, but then I did suffer the same with my 1st Pregnancy. 

With Aidan I was sick Morning, Noon and Night from the days before I found out until about 2 weeks after he was born, in the end they diagnosed Hyperemesis Gravidarum (extreme Morning sickness) and I was admitted to hospital 3 times due to dehydration so at least I am not THAT bad this time. The trouble is the Sickness makes you feel so miserable with absolutely no energy, I feel guilty that I haven't managed to achieve as much as I had planned during the day and I am lucky that Chris understands how poorly I am and that I am not just lazy!

What did you swear by when experiencing Morning Sickness?

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Catching Water

We have a Hosepipe Ban here throughout the Summer if you are caught using a hosepipe the fine can be up to a £1000 and I don't know about you but that's not something I am prepared to risk. In typical British style since the hosepipe ban came into place there has rained everyday since! 
And I am talking absolutely Biblical rain not a little drizzle.

Knowing that the rain will stop at some point (it will right??) I wanted to be able to catch as much free water as possible to enable me to water my veggies. We already have a Water Butt connected to our down pipe, its a nice compact size but manages to hold 100 litres of rainwater, but I figured I could always do with a bit more! So I took some 4 pint Milk Cartons and some 2 litre pop bottles out of my recycling bin and chopped the tops off, they can now be found lined up in my garden like little soldiers ready for the next bout of rainfall.

Goodness knows what my Neighbours think, but in truth I don't really care!


Wednesday, 25 April 2012


I just noticed I have 2 New Followers! Welcome and Thanks for following, 
I hope you can pop by and comment once in a while :-)

Stay at Home Mum!

Had to share this with you, it made me laugh so much when I saw it posted on Facebook! 

A man came home from work and found his 3 children outside, still in their pyjamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn around garden, walking in the door, he found even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, the throw rug was against one wall, In the front room the TV was on loudly with the cartoon channel, the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing. In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor. He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill, or that something serious had happened. He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls. As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pyjamas, reading a novel... She looked up at him, smiled and asked how his day went. 
He looked at her bewildered and asked, 'What happened here today?' 
She again smiled and answered, 'You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world do I do all day?...
''Yes," was his incredulous reply..
She answered, 'Well, today I didn't do it.'

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Christmas Reading - DONE!

Yes, yes I do realise it is April!!!

Picture the scene, its late November, theres a definate nip in the air, I am beginning to feel Festive, I pop to the supermarket for a few bits and my eye is drawn to the book section, a sparkley book catches my eye further, it has a Christmassy looking scene on the front, hmmmmmm £3.99 not a bad price so it finds it's way into my Trolley. I get home, unpack my items, look fondly at my book thinking great I can't wait to sit and read that............................... and then life got in the way!

I started to read "The Twelve Days of Christmas" by Trisha Ashley 5 months ago, by no means a reflection of the book which I actually enjoyed a lot, more a reflection of how reading and small Children don't really mix also how reading and long driving commutes don't mix. I found by the time I had free time to read I was too tired to actually manage it! When a nice long soak in the bath (allowing me a few minutes uninterupted reading) seemed to be possible I would find myself suddenly accompanied by a small, splashing person. A few moments at Lunch would find me read 2 pages and then be joined by a colleague who wanted to chat. But now, happily, I can report that I have read every single page, front to back, start to finish. 

I figure if I start now I might just finish my next book in time for Halloween, 
I guess I had better make it something spooky!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Make do and Mend - well almost!

Friday Chris let me know that a couple of buttons had popped off of one of his work shirts  and in the spirit of Homemaker/Stay at Home Mum-ness I decided I would sew them back on rather than throw it out like I would have previously. 

I found a matching cotton and some suitable buttons, I neatly sewed them back on taking time and care. The shirt was then washed and Ironed and looked as good as new ready to be worn again.

This Morning he put on his new again shirt and left the house for the office looking smart..................................................and returned with a tear from elbow to cuff after catching it on some computer equipment! 

I am good at some things but invisible mending isn't one of them!
Any suggestions for re-using the material?

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Amazon Trade-In

I am a bit of a book fiend, actually no Chris and I are BOTH book fiends! Neither of us pay much for our books as they mainly come from Charity shops or are bought cheaply from Supermarkets or Amazon. The downside to having lots of books is where to store them all? Either side of our bed we each have a Bookcase, in our living room we have Book shelves, in the loft are boxes of books, in the kitchen there are 2 shelves of cook books.
 I love having them around but am I really going to re-read or re-use some of them? 

A few weeks ago I discovered Amazon Trade-In where using your usual account you can search ISBNs or Titles and see what books are worth. If you decide the price is fair Amazon will pay the postage and then once received and approved by them they credit your account with the pre-agreed price.I was pleased to discover some of ours, especially the cook books, were worth around £5 - £6 and who wouldn't want a few extra pounds for something that was just sitting on a shelf?

At the moment (until April 25th) they also will give you an EXTRA £5!

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm now my Account has a few ££££s sitting in it, I wonder what books I can buy!

**By the way, I am not being paid by Amazon to mention them although that would be ace! Just thought I would let you all know about a way to make a few spare pound**

Friday, 20 April 2012

Grocery budget update

A little while ago I posted that I wanted to reduce my food bills now I am a Stay at Home Mummy, so far all is going well and I am happy with my reductions. For my last 2 shopping weeks I have spent well under my previous £80 - £90 a week, todays was only £35 so well under half.

I had another huge box of goodies delivered from Approved Foods yesterday, they currently have an offer on the delivery costs which basically meant I paid no postage costs at all so all £35 I spent went on food that will last us for a number of weeks. I get tempted by their bargains so I think I am only going to allow myself look at the website once a month!

An example of the savings Approved Foods have allowed me to make can be seen in last night's tea, we had Chicken Korma, rice and homemade naan bread:

Korma sauce made by Lloyd Grossman and I bought 3 for £1 so cost approx 33p
Naan was a mix which again I got 3 for £1 so again approx 33p
1 chicken breast between 2 of us approx 57p
Small portion of rice between 2 of us about 20p

So total cost was under £1.50 for a meal for 2, which makes me very happy! :-)

Any foodie money saving tips for me?

Thursday, 19 April 2012

I love 2, 3 and 6!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Messing about on the.............canal!

Today Aidan and I went out for the day with my Mum and Dad to a lovely local village called Stoke Bruerne. Its a really nice place to go for a walk as there is a towpath alongside a canal, 2 nice little pubs, a few interesting little shops, a blacksmiths and lots and lots of narrow boats.

There are a few of these gorgeous little cottages along the canal, some are homes some are holiday lets. One was for sale so I had to have a little look and it is on the market for £225,000 oh well a girl can dream!

Mum and Aidan strolling ahead.
Visiting with the "Black Stick man" or what you or I would call a Blacksmith! He was a nice man and even let Aidan have a go.

We also had a trip along the canal on a narrow boat called Charlie which Aidan enjoyed a lot.

Afterwards we had lunch in "The Navigation" a nice pub with views over the water, my Birthday treat from my Dad. All in all we had a lovely day out and it didn't cost the earth, well it didn't cost me anything as it was my treat but you know what I mean!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Planting plants and Sowing seeds

We have had a bit of an odd day weather wise today, 1 minute it was heavy showers and we had to run for cover, the next bright sun, then chilly winds, then some more showers and back to bright sun! I never know what to wear on these kinds of days, I am a cold blooded creature and can't stand being cold but also dislike not being able to move due to clothing restrictions. Anyway, on and off we managed to potter about in the garden, there's my pretty new cordelyne in its lovely new pot, it is surrounded by pots of spring bulbs that have done really well considering I literally just shoved them in the ground in about November! The packs cost me just a few pounds so I figured I had little to lose and luckily I gained these beautiful, cheery flowers.

In my little greenhouse I have my Strawberry plants ready for a little warmer weather and also the tomato plants that I got reduced the other week, 2 varieties "moneymaker" and another that I forget!

Aidan `helped' me to sow some seeds, Lettuces, peas, beans and some sunflowers

In this tub I have planted some Red Onions and some White onions, I don't expect much from them but figured it couldn't hurt to try, see the inventive cat stoppers on the top!
The front tub has my big Sage plant that I got reduced to pence last week and also a littler Coriander plant that was 30p today, on my living room window sill I have some Basil, Rosemary and parsley seeds just beginning to sprout so when they are bigger I will pop them in here with these.

In a separate tub at the bottom of the garden is my Rhubarb plant. I was convinced it had died towards the end of the Summer but decided to leave it and let it take its chance over the Winter and was pleased to see it beginning to shoot again at the beginning of the year. Now its gone mad again and there's some lovely new stems just ready to be cut and eaten.

We have just eaten tea of homemade Cottage pie and to be honest I am absolutely worn out so I am going to pop my feet up and watch Gardeners world from Friday evening.

Enjoy your Sunday Evening x x

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Friday the 13th was good for me!

13 has always been my Lucky number, having a Birthday on the 13th means its a nice number after all you get presents, treats and cards!

I was treated to a little lie in, some gorgeous gifts including:

These 2 gorgeous little hand knitted mice that I fell in love with as we walked passed our Hospital shop on the way back from having our 12 week scan.
Chris went back and got them for me :-)

This very pretty pink cordilyne plant, its such a vibrant colour and looks gorgeous when the sun shines through its leaves.

Kirstie Allsopp's craft book, it has some really nice projects in that I cannot wait to try.A beautiful Yankee Candle shade and plate the same as this one, with a Lavender candle too.

Later in the week I am hoping to use some of my Birthday money to purchase my very first sewing machine!
I know its not a top of the range all singing all dancing one but after a bit of research I am quite confident it will serve my little needs.

In the evening I treated my Mum, Dad, Chris and Aidan to a meal out at the Harvester near us. Mum bought the drinks and we actually all chose something from the Early Bird menu so for the 5 of us it came to £44 which I thought was really reasonable as we all really enjoyed our food.

I had a lovely day, not wild or expensive but I feel lucky nether the less.

x x x

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Best Friends

My Dad sent me this cute little video of a little boy and his Best friend and I just had to share it with you.
The dog is so patient and loving with the little boy, I adore it.

We have 2 cats, friends with Aidan yes but Friends like the boy and his dog? Definitely not. Cats are independent and sometimes snooty only coming to you when THEY want to.

I hope to get a Best Friend for Aidan and Pea one day.

Monday, 9 April 2012

I hope Everybody has had a wonderful Easter weekend? Ours has been lovely, just pottering about the house and garden, catching up on long overdue jobs, watching Disney films, eating nice food and enjoying each others company.

On Saturday we needed to pop to Homebase and whilst up there I had a look around the gardening section. I was surprised to see a huge rack of reduced plants and on further inspection the only thing wrong with the poor things were that they needed a good drink, we have a hosepipe ban here so I imagine the staff are struggling to keep up with the watering of so many plants. I managed to select 3 Tomato plants reduced from £1.99 each to 30p and also a huge sage plant from £3.99 down to 75p. We came straight home, sat them overnight in a bowl of water from the garden tank and as suspected they now look as good as new and are now recovering from their ordeal in the greenhouse.

Our task for today in principle is easy but anyone who has a male of the species living with them will know this will not be the case! In our living room we have a footstool, originally white but now due to numerous spills and toddler hand prints is now a grubby beige colour. Our mission for the day is to find some fabric that both I and Chris will agree on to re-cover it in. A bit of Internet browsing has been met by nothing but "No" "Really?" and indeed "As if!". Wish me luck, I am going to need it!!!!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Look what Im baking!!

Going to be 6 more months before its ready though!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Tense times today in the Pink Fairy Household as the Main Family car had to go for its annual MOT safety check.

Fully convinced it was going to fail, and cost us lots of money that we don't have, I dropped it off at the Garage. "Sit down, grab a drink" the mechanic said, so I made a Hot Chocolate to try and beat off the freezing wet Weather we have had today. As I sat down with my drink I selected a couple of glossy Magazines from the rack and began reading and sipping, trying to block out the forthcoming bad news.

A pleasurable 2 Magazines later a friendly face popped round the door to inform me the car had passed and they were just finishing up with it, "passed" I said "are you sure?" "well I can fail it if you want me to but there's no need!" was his reply!! There were a couple of advisory issues that can be easily be fixed at a later date but for now our car is legal and safe.

Even more great news is that I only had to pay £14 for the test which normally cost £54.85 Thanks to Groupon. If you haven't used Groupon already I urge you to do so, as its a fab website that offers daily discounts on all kinds of items local to you.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

My first day of "retirement" was lovely and made me stop and think "hmmmmm this IS why I stopped working".

It started with some pottering around whilst Aidan had breakfast, I did some washing up and then put on a couple of loads of laundry. When he has finished we sat and watched one of his favourite programmes together before going upstairs to tackle the folding and putting away. He `helped' me by sorting which clothes were his and which were mine or Daddy's. After we did some drawing, it was supposed to be Easter printing but I realised I didn't have any spring colour paints, and then I carried on with a few more chores whilst he had an apple for snack.

After dinner we walked into the Town, a 10-15 minute walk, and we bought a huge bag of bananas for £1 and a bag of mixed seedless grapes for 70p. We popped to The Early Learning Centre and I was really pleased to find they have a sale on so for £5 we managed to get a huge bottle of yellow paint and one of pink, 4 finger paint pots in primary colours, a huge bucket of jumbo chalks for drawing in the garden and 4 paint brushes of different sizes. Whilst in Town we also popped into the Library, I didn't get much of a chance to browse but Aidan was delighted to find a "Timmy Time" book and also a "Thomas the Tank engine" one. I fear he may not have fully grasped the concept of a Library though as he was most upset when I told him we could bring them back next week to swap them for others "No Mummy they are my books I not bring them back"!!!

By the time little legs had walked back from Town they were flagging a little so once home we sat and ate a Pink Strawberry bun each then both had a nap! That's right BOTH had a nap, it felt quite decadent to have a snooze in the Afternoon! Once I woke up I left him to sleep on whilst I did a few more chores and started getting Tea ready, its amazing how the smell of sausages cooking woke somebody up!

After picking up Daddy from work, making a few Avon delivery's, bedtime bath and then having our tea I was ready for bed myself. Whoever thinks this Stay at Home Mum lark is easy really needs to do it for a day or 2! Today will be quieter as Aidan has gone to Nursery this Morning and this Afternoon we will be visiting my Mum and Dad, I guess I really should get on with some jobs around the house but the lure of the Internet got me first!

Have a great day all x x

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Food Budgetting

Whilst I have been working Full Time and Commuting 2 hours a day our Grocery budget has gone sky high, some times as much as £80 a week (!) this feeds 2 Adults, 1 toddler, 2 cats and various passing friends each week as well as cleaning products and toiletries. Some convenience products such as ready meals and ready made jars have sneaked in as well as more treats than we really earned.

Now we are only on 1 wage it is clear that amount HAS to be reduced so I began this weekend to look how I could lower it.

First step was to visit a local wholesaler for pet food. Both cats are fussy and will only eat a branded cat food which obviously costs more. Due to time constraints we had been purchasing their food from the supermarket paying £3.60 for 6 cans, at the wholesalers we can buy 12 cans for £6.00 a saving of £1.20 not a huge saving but over a month it frees up a little under £5.

Next step was to Meal Plan, something I had always done previously but again due to time issues had lapsed on. By only buying in what we need we will be able to drastically reduce not only our expenditure but also our food waste. I dislike wasting food anyway but recently I have thrown things away just because I lacked time and energy to do something inventive with it! I plan to shop more locally especially for fruits and vegetables as our local market is only 10-15 minute walk away.

I have purchased one of these:

It was reduced to half price for £23. I had already purchased some veggie seeds and seed trays from our Aldi Supermarket, I am hoping that they all grow well and enable me to provide at least some of the Family veggies.

The final thing I have done this weekend is to place an order with Approved Foods, a company that sell just past their best before date or near to their best before date foods at a fraction of the normal cost. Amongst other things I ordered:

6 x 800g tins of Tomato Paste for £2.00
4 x Fajita kits for £2.00
10 x tins of Kidney beans for £2.00
4 x bottles of HP sauce for £1.00
30 x Bottles of milkshake for £6.00
12 x sachets of red Thai curry paste for ...................................1p!!!!!!

Overall RRP for my shop was over £80, even including delivery mine cost £35!!!

I think all these things added to the fabulous ideas I have got from looking through Frugal Blogs on here I am VERY confident that I can easily lower our grocery costs. I will keep you posted!