This Summer I am more than a little skint and so haven’t really had the opportunity to do some major SALE shopping as I would have hoped to. I usually look forward to getting a few new tops and dresses around this time of year to update my wardrobe for Summer and enjoy sale shopping. As I don’t have much surplus cash to spend on these items and because I don’t technically “need” anything, I am trying my best to resist the temptation to check out the ZARA sale (that would most likely be dangerous territory)!!

I couldn’t however hold back from my second fave shop and consequently had a little snoop around H&M last week where I found myself a top and Alice a few 2-3 extras. I have found that from almost all of the shops local to us in Beverley (H&M, Topshop, DP and RI) there are some really great bargains to be had. Here in this post I shall share with you the few things I did end up buying, that were both lovely and very cheap, and that would update mine and Alices wardrobe for Summer!

Sainsbury’s

Sainsburys was my first SALE shopping snoop. A couple of weeks ago in Manchester on our way back from the Bryan Adams concert, I eyeballed it for my orange mules I wanted in the 25% off they had. I also looked in the sale section and found myself a lovely peachy, tie blouse with embroidered flowers – it was £18 and 1/2 price in the sale – a bargain yes, but even more so because it had the extra 25% off! I love it with shorts and skinny jeans!

ASDA

Supermarkets stock some lovely things that turn out to be complete bargs during sale season, so again I had to have a quick look in George when I was in ASDA 2 weeks ago. I bought Alice some Summer pumps for £3. Unfortunately we now have one missing and I have to go buy her a pair of sandals today!

But for £3, they were good whilst we had them. I am hopeful the other shoe will turn up soon!

H&M

By far my weakest spot, I simply love H&M for me and the kids! In this sale I got myself a gorgeous orange Tshirt with ruffle bottom – it was £8.99 to £4 and a Jumper out of the Mens section for £6 from £29.99 I believe it originally was.

I love the top and already have it in black which I bought in the January sales for £3 – I find it super comfy, versatile and a little fancy! The jumper is great because with it being a mens it is longer and the arms are really long… I bought a small and think it will be fab for not only Autumn/Winter with my jeans, but for cooler nights on the beach and hanging out when we go camping. Its ace to throw on over my jeans/shorts and Ts!

For Alice I bought her a pack of long sleeve tops – 1 Black, 1 White – they were down to £2! I also bought her a lovely little blue pinafore for her birthday, complete with white TShirt under. It was a lovely bargain at £4.

River Island

I rarely shop in River Island, but discovered a few bargains today in their Sale. I got myself a long, multi fabric Tshirt with frill detail for £4 from £24 and also a yellow tie waist blouse for £2!! I had my eye on a chunky cardi that was £30 down to £6 but I don’t think that beige really suits me!

In the kids section the deals continued with kids pumps and boots as low as £6 and I almost bought Alice some glitzy pumps, but sadly she threw a hissy fit when I put them anywhere near her! Instead we went for a summery little play suit that was £4 from £10!

I am really impressed with this seasons sales. There are some huge savings around if you are willing to have a little rummage and, whilst we don’t have a huge amount to spend in them, I am really please with my 4 new tops, jumper and the little outfits I got for Alice! I didn’t do half bad and Mr Smith barely noticed the expenditure 😉 Its a winner!

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On Monday afternoon I enjoyed a relaxed and very tasty treat with my Mum, her friend and a couple of my sisters. We headed to Beverley to Patisserie Valerie where we enjoyed a rather yummy afternoon tea together. I love days like these and find them such a bonus of being a stay at home mum. With such a flexible schedule, it’s so nice some weeks to have little treats and afternoons out together.

June the 15th is both Mum and my youngest sisters birthday and each year we look for ways to celebrate with the girls! This year Mum specifically loved the idea of afternoon tea and so after finding a great little deal on Groupon, we decided to go for it.

I have never been to Patisserie Valerie before, but have heard wonderful things. I had high hopes and wasn’t at all disappointed with the taste, service and all round relaxed atmosphere. The decor is lovely and the presentation too. Alice joined us and was presented with her very own little babyccino, whilst we enjoyed refill hot chocolates and a stand oozing with yummy things. We had mini quiches, chicken, pesto and sundried tomato sandwiches, as well as old faves like egg, cucumber, smoked salmon and cream cheese, and ham!

The scones were delicious too with an array of jams and clotted cream, as well as the choice of fruit or plain! And then came the final layer – the mini cakes and fresh cream delights. It was all so lovely and anything we didn’t eat, they bagged up for us to take home.

For £19 for 2 people it was both a bargainous and a most lovely afternoon out with Mum and some of my sisters. It was chilled and just fantastic to do something a little bit different together to celebrate their birthdays!

On the morning of I was wondering “what does one wear?” … I knew that whilst Patisserie Valerie is rather nice, it didn’t warrant going over the top and so kept it smart casual! They all dressed up with pretty tops, jeans and nice shoes (thanks for the memo guys) but I kept my look more chilled with a black slogan T Shirt from H&M – “We Are Strong” (£3 in the sale) and my stripe trousers from New Look (a freebie from my sister in law). I dressed my look up with my DP tassel earrings that Mr Smith bought me last year from my birthday and felt my smart cas look was just right!

I loved our little afternoon ladies outing and would love to go again for lunch or a little treat! It would make the prefect date destination or a catch up with special friends. I always love the days I can get together with my sisters – especially when it involves cakes and fancy things!

This is not a sponsored post. If you would like to get a voucher too then you can find them here – Patisserie Valerie Groupon

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I suppose it’s a little sad to be writing about a date night we had a couple of weeks ago (people have them all the time), but it was both a novelty for us and an absolute bargain – so for those reasons I had to share with you all!

So, as I say a couple of weeks ago Mr Smith and I enjoyed a lovely date night out to ASK in Beverley! For once it did not consist of us sat in joggers with a pizza and Netflix – This one was totally legit, with the added bonus of only costing us a fiver too! Anyone who is a parent can appreciate what a novelty it is to be able to go out for a meal kid free, dressed up and on the cheap! And we were incredibly grateful to his mum for offering to have all 3 kids to sleepover last minute, to enable us to actually go out.

 Date night to me is an essential part of the week and something I really look forward to. Our lives are so busy and full on, and whilst that’s mostly a good thing, we often have weeks where we are like passing ships, and we tend to feel a little disconnected from one another. We like to talk, laugh and snuggle (obviously – we married each other), and life prevents this some weeks. We text all day and we obviously talk when we are going to bed (mostly), but for us we have always enjoyed set aside time each week to relax together, reconnect and just catch up. And so date night has become a scared time … time to be us as a couple and not parents (though chat of the kids often come up), and time for us as individuals to relax, have time for us, and time to reconnect and catch up. It is our time where our phones are off and we catch up properly without distraction, enjoying something we both love, and I love this time just being us together.

Life is forever shifting and changing, and when at one time we could be spontaneous about when we had a date, or when time was flexible to go out and do all kinds of amazingly fun things and eat delicious things, these days we need it to be planned and fairly cheap to ensure it happens around busy parenthood and family life!

Forgotten Vouchers! 

 This date night was made extra special because we only spent somewhere in the £5 region, but how?

Well, my sister recently told me about how her clubcard points from Tesco had added up without her realising, and she had been able to get several vouchers for both Prezzo and ASK (Tesco boost them up significantly) with them, for their day nights! “Oh” I wondered… “I wonder  if I have some too?”! I thought it unlikely as I know I usually send the vouchers they post out, but low and behold I had some forgotten vouchers from the last 2 years – £10 worth to be precise, which we quickly swapped for a £40 ASK voucher!

I couldn’t believe our luck – an offer of a babysitter, AND an alomst free meal out! Living the dream moment of life!

I’ve never been to ASK before, but it was lovely. I had the bruschetta to start, Nath the Burrata Caprese. Then for the mains he had the salmon and me the prawn and lobster tagliatelle with extra chilli. It was all so yummy and fresh, and the raspberry lemonade a great accompaniment.

I love date night with my love – spending time together, talking, laughing, holding hands, and discovering new places and delicious foods. I find it is so important in order to maintain being us around parenting. And whilst some weeks that is incredibly hard with 3 kids in the mix and a million things to be done, I am thankful for moments when it all comes together and we have a lovely time together.

If like us you are on a budget and love a deal, log into your Tesco account, and see if you have any forgotten vouchers you can upgrade for a lovely (and very bargainous) meal out together soon!

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These last few weeks have been super busy with planning and carrying out things for Light the world, getting ready for Christmas and trying to keep on top of all of the usual things! Isn’t it just a mental time of year all round? I am pretty exhausted and yet like the kids, getting super giddy about Christmas! I don’t know why, but this year (at least right now) Christmas just feels a bit better than it previously has, and I am pleased to embrace it whilst it’s here!

We have just one week left of school now, which is weird as the kids break up so late, but it is a brilliant week ahead which is adding to the excitement! We have the kids Nativity plays, carol concerts and daddy’s birthday! So much to look forward to, and so many moments to enjoy together. I really am feeling festive this year, especially with the added bonus of a few bargainous gifts (and other stuff) I have picked up along the way too.

Half Price Play doh

I was delighted to find in Tesco last week a huge tub of play doh on offer from £35 to £17.50 (The offer is still there)! Megan had play doh on her list, and was after a kit that was about £15. For £2.50 extra it is way better value for money as she has more than those small kits! She has herself a canister with 20 tubs, and a whole host of tools to get creative with. I am looking forward to seeing her little face when she sees how much play doh Santa brought her!

Sylvanian Families

Also on Megsies list was Sylvanian families. Anyone that knows these, will know how blumming expensive they are. I have spent ages searching eBay, Gumtree, Shpock and Facebook marketplace to grab myself a reasonable size set that would merit as a “main present” to get her started, but that also wouldn’t break the budget!

I managed to find her a lovely set via Facebook market place for £40! It is a house, restaurant, 6 characters and some furniture/accessories! A bargain by any measure and I am really hoping she loves this one too!

Charity shop finds of the week

Its been a while since I have had a good route around the charity shops, but yesterday presented itself with the perfect opp! I was hoping to get Ethan a Christmas jumper for his concert next week, but unfortunately didn’t (yet), but that was okay. I did however find a couple of lovely things for Alice – A boots floral top for 75p and a gorgeous dark green, cord dress with embroidery for £1!! I love them both.

Homemade Wreath

For 3 years now I have made a homemade wreath for our door. It is a craft I find great joy in at this time of year, and something that is a lot of fun to do! It’s always so random and unplanned but comes together in it’s own unique way.

I have loved seeing everyone’s on Instagram, and mine has pride of place on the front door of our new house (which makes me so happy). It is my best yet (in my humble opinion), and the best part is that it cost about £3 to make (complete with silvery loveliness) as oppose to the £8 – £15 you would spend at a florist! It’s worth raiding your local haberdashery and woodland/garden to do your own!

We loved our small flurry of snow this week, and seeing the village dressed in white frost. It is such a beautiful location to live, and I am excited for our first Christmas here. I don’t know about the kids, but after this crazy busy week, I am well and truly ready for that Christmas break next week!

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