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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I realised a couple of days ago, when a friend messaged to confirm a get together, that my life seems to pretty much be in a season of chaos. I seem to be go, go, go all of the time trying to balance and juggle things, and get this and that done, that I am really run down and tired. From kids to blog to hobbies, church, home and this last week my health (Asthma problems) there always seems so much to do and get done! Perhaps I need a cleaner or something, or maybe I just need to work on prioritising and working smarter? Either way I look back at this week and can barely remember anything of what I have actually done – only that it was really busy AGAIN!

A stall with the kids

Last weekend we stayed fairly local so that the kids and I could have a stall at the village church hall. It was only £5 and was an excuse to declutter our tat, and for them to make a little bit of pocket money. I was so pleased with how enthusiastic they were about it, and how dedicated they were to the cause. They chatted to people that came over (trying to up sell) and we made a great little team. They loved that they had an opportunity to play real life shops, selling their unwanted stuff for real life money!!

It wasn’t an amazing turn out but we made about £25 and so they ended up with about £6.50 each (after we snatched up a few bargains from other stall holders). They were so over the moon, because of course at 5 and 7 having a £5 note totally means you are loaded!

Discount Costumes

I was delighted a couple of weeks ago to pick up 3 kids costumes in Wilko for £7! They all had 75% off following Halloween and so I decided to be thrifty and buy next years in the next size up. We have a werewolf, a zombie cheerleader and a mini witch, all for a couple of pounds each. I had to high 5 myself at what a steal it was and I look forward to rediscovering them next year, feeling organised and remembering how cheap they were.

Williams Den £3 Entry

Tonight we decided to kick off the weekend at one of our favourite spots – Williams den! We found out just this afternoon that Monday through Friday until the end of November it’s only £3 each to get in which is an absolute bargain! So of course with it being frugal Friday, we couldn’t let the deal escape us and straight after school we headed over for a couple of hours play.

It was so spontaneous it made for a really fun and lovely evening. The kids loved it and we had a great time. If you haven’t been, but have wanted to, then next week with their £3 entry will be the perfect opportunity. Its great for all the family and Alice gets more and more from it each time we visit.

Santa’s Big Red Bus!

I recently found out about “Santa’s Big Red Bus”, a FREE family event at Wheatley Shopping Centre in Doncaster, where Santa will be visiting in a grotto on a Double Decker bus! It sounds brilliant and we are really looking forward to going next week and checking it out!

If you live close by or even fancy a little drive for something different, then its basically going to be taking place on 25th and 26th November between 10am and 6pm (Saturday) and 11am and 5pm (Sunday) All families are invited to join in the festive fun where they’ll be able to visit Santa’s grotto on wheels and create their own postcard in the Christmas craft workshop, before getting a selfie with the man himself.

There will also be a range of seasonal treats from food stalls, including “The Street Diner” and “Heavenly Crepe”. It sounds like such a lovely idea, is free and will be a great day out to do some Christmas shopping, have some fun with the kids, get creative, and enjoy something delicious to kick off the Christmas season!

Speaking of Christmas – keep your eyes peeled for all of the current and upcoming “Black Friday” deals… Argos have some great half price Playmobil (amongst other things), and there are of course daily deals on Amazon too to get you started! Happy Shopping and happy weekend!

 

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I am delighted to report that we are finally cracking on with our DIY projects in our new home in a hope to spruce it up before our first Christmas here. I think, as it’s a big project, we might just leave the lounge until the new year, because I want it to be right and not rushed! But at the top of our list was to organise the porch/entrance hall as you will see from the below picture I took, it was complete chaos and on some days it was a bit of a struggle to even open the front door!

It now looks so much better and I couldn’t be happier – this little space makes me so happy and it wasn’t very expensive either, as in true frugal style… most of it was from Gumtree or Ikea.

Thankfully Mr Smith has little opinion on our home style (if it was up to him it would stay the same), and so he’s totally okay with me doing my thing! My home style is rather like me – a little crazy, colourful and the odd piece of bling! I love patterns, I love retro and I love glam (though the latter is nigh impossible when you share a home with wild animals kids). And so I decided that from the first step inside our home I wanted to create a look that let them know they were in our home. I went for a monochrome look with a statement mirror and it came together simply and well! Of course I looked around for a few deals, and am very pleased with the areas where I got a good deal and saved us a few quid…

Our Porch

For so long I have wanted an area to keep shoes and coats. A place to walk in and kick off our shoes before going into the lounge. Our old house was a back to back and we were constantly cleaning mud off everything!!! The coats were hung by the door, but that also meant they too were in the lounge and it just felt messy and all out of sorts. I LOVE that now we have a porch/entrance way … separate to our lounge where we can store wellies and shoes, coats and bags.

I originally wanted a locker room style hooks, and have a really colourful wallpaper, however we realised this would be too faffy and so instead opted for white walls (as its a little dark in there), and then with that I wanted to incorporate the lovely black and white stripe fabric from Ikea, so that kinda created an immediate monochrome look!

I wanted an oval or circular mirror and found this amazing one on Gumtree for £20 which I just love! We bought the storage box on Gumtree also for £25, and then the hooks, shelf and fabric for the cushion are from Ikea! I saved money and made it my own style by making the cushion on top of the storage box. It only took me like 10 – 15 minutes to do and I like the pop of pattern in the room.

The baskets are both from Homesense – The smaller one on the shelf was £9.99, and the bigger one in the corner was £14.99! I had some love2shop vouchers so I guess technically they cost me nothing.

Finally, taking inspiration from my sister in law, I decided to put 3 little hooks down low for the kids which they absolutely love too, and they have been eager all week to actually hang their coats up after school – SCORE! These were from the Yorkshire shop Boyes for £2.60 each.

How to make a Pom Pom Light shade

My most favourite touch to our porch is my lamp shade. Firstly because it is blumming awesome, and secondly because it was a right bargain too! The lamp shade is from Ikea and when I bought it earlier in the year I only paid £2.50 for it (I believe they’re about 3 now!). Then, with inspiration from my mother in law, I bought just over a meter of black pom poms from BOYES which cost £2 and glued them round! I just love it – and it adds a little something funky!

So lets get our craft on and make one. It is really simple and quick if you have everything organised.

You will need:
*Chosen Light shade
*Pom Pom trim
*A glue gun

To start just get the shade you want and then choose your pom poms (colour/size) from a local haberdashery (or ebay have them too). I think a crazy pattern one would look cool with bright pom poms if you were feeling ambitious!

Next using a glue gun, just carefully glue small sections to the bottom outside edge of the shade and stick it round a little at a time, making sure the cord marry’s up with the edge of the light shade so as to be neat and professional!

Once you have gone all the way around cut off any remaining pom pom cord and stick the two edges so as to not look tatty. And hey presto – a beautiful and stylish light shade on a budget!

Having a beautiful home doesn’t have to cost a lot when you adopt a thrifty mentality. You can have lovely things, your own individual style, and create beauty on a budget with a little planning and shopping around! I love our new porch and can’t wait for the next project!

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This week has just flown by with it being our half term, and I feel we have had a great balance of both taking it easy and going on some adventures. We have seen cousins & old friends, been swimming and to Halloween parties, seen the my little pony movie (!!!), been to the park and a soft play, and even a great trip to Ikea yesterday to assist us in some DIY projects this weekend! In some ways I wish we had gone to the pumpkin patches or stately homes I had scoped out, but what we have done has been great, and we just generally enjoyed our week of freedom together.

Left over pumkins

With Halloween been only been a couple of days ago, there is a likely chance your pumpkins might still be in a fairly decent state? If not I have seen them ridiculously cheap (or even free – Sainsbury’s White Rose) and they are a great ingredient for warming meals this Autumn.

My sister in law gave us the idea to make a Thai Pumpkin Soup, and I have since seen on Pinterest, where I have found ideas from curries and soups to stirfry’s and Risottos. Of course there are also the good old pumpkin pies, cakes and cookies too. It’s such a cheap and versatile ingredient, and with benefits such as lower blood pressure and a healthier heart, why not save a few quid on dinner this weekend and chop up those pumpkins and get creating something warm and tasty! It will be uber frugal of you, and you may discover a new family fave full of goodness in the process to enjoy in Autumn!

Let me know what ideas you come up with!

25% off at Sainsbury’s

Every so often, and rather frequently really, you will notice that Sainsbury’s off 25% off all clohting in their stores. I love it, especially when I need to buy the kids school uniform or kit them out for a new season! Even more delightful about their 25% off is that I have recently realised that this includes 25% off sale stuff too (whooop), guaranteeing an absolute barg!

Last Saturday we enjoyed a lovely day in York, and as I was aware of the 25% off, I wanted to call by Sainsbury’s Monk Cross on the way home to get Alice some PJ’s! I was successful in my mission and bought her some lovely onesies that were £9 down to £6.75. Nath took the opportunity to get some new work trousers (£12 to £9), and Ethan a watch with his Birthday money (£10 to £7.50). The greatest saving however was on the Sale stuff I got. Some leggings for Alice (worked out at 80p) and 2 tops for me – One a beautiful embroidered number that started out life at £20, but with sale and 25% off was a brilliant £4.50! And then a chill stripes and flowers Tshirt for £3.75. Both were lovely and made my day!

Tomorrow we are hopefully sorting out our pit of a entrance way (shoes.everywhere), and decorating that, so watch this space for me sharing our spruced up new home, thrifty picks, and design ideas over the coming weeks/months! Have a good one people.

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