After a busy and tiresome trip to Norwich last weekend to see out newest nephew, we welcomed a chilled week staying close to home and lazy mornings! Despite that I have still managed to bag myself a few bargs, and this weeks deals and frugal choices have mostly been with thoughts of our summer holiday and getting prepared…if you are jetting off soon with the fam, you may find it useful!

Holiday Extras

We fly to Italy on Wednesday where the baraginous Summer holiday we have been so very much looking forward to will become a reality! All of us have holiday clothes, or at least a summer wardrobe that is sufficient for the Italian weather….Alice however does not!

Being only a baby last year her newborn summer style is long gone and her 12m one is lacking and all a bit random! She has a few dresses, shorts, tops and leggings, but not really enough of things that would be suitable and comfortable for her in 34 degree weather!

Its a real random mix of handmedowns and the odd thing iv’e picked up in sales and charity shops that need a few extras to boost it and make it enough!

With this as my priority I popped into H&M yesterday (it really is my fave for kids) and managed to get her a hat, 2 rompers (one of which was a gorgeous lace number), a pair of shorts and a dress for 11.99!! They were all (minus the hat for £2.99) on sale and then with the added bonus that all sale in store is on 3 for 2!  I easily saved about £15 and she has some lovely extras to make up outfits, and make it up to enough outfits, for our holiday next week!

Hand Luggage and toiletries

Our latest thing when flying is we NEVER check any luggage. To us we think its a waste of money when you can fit all you need in hand luggage cases, so we easily save some £’s by doing this!

We realised a couple of years ago that we can make do with the hand luggage only and so we mix and match our outfits, or only take what we need instead of like 10 extra’s, and it works great! If someone has more stuff than another we squish into someone elses case, but between 4 little cases there is plenty of space for the whole fam for a week!

The only down side to travelling this way however is our toiletries and sun cream – of course you can only take 100ml on flights and I find that the travel size ones are both too small and expensive with all of us using them for a week (we’d need quite a few)! Instead I buy the cheap clear bottles from the pound shop and fill them with our sun cream, and then just buy our shower gel, shampoo and conditioner from Lidl when I buy the food on day 1. It only costs about 3 euros and saves faffing and big spending on the travel size ones!

M&S Final Clearance

I know I am getting old purely by the fact I am loving a lot of things each season from M&S! What I didn’t realise though was that their final clearance in store is reduced to a whopping 90% off!!!! I’m talking £45 dresses for £4.99, £40 trousers for £3.99 and shoes for £4.99!!

I went into the Beverly store yesterday with my sister in laws and we were all going a little nuts about it so I decided to check out the Bridlington one today – I came away with a Zebra print skirt for £3.99 from £35 and a wicked shirt dress for £3.99 from £39.50!!! I was actually going nuts in the shop and was delighted. My only sadness came when I saw an amazing striped top down to £1.29 and they only had a size 16 or 20 🙁 

Be sure to check out those final clearances whilst you are out and about this weekend – let me know what you get!

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What a crazy 7 days we’ve had over here! Whilst Nathan and I are still living with various boxes piled around our room and our bed not yet put up (not to mention the several other corners of the house filled with stuff to be sorted), we are (at last) in our new house and it feels so lovely.  Last weekend was nuts! But with lots of hard work and resilience, its feeling a lot like a home and we are certainly at home here in our new village surrounded by beautiful scenery and people.

All of my bargains this week are home stuff (of course), and were all found on Gumtree. They have completely lifted the lounge and I couldn’t be more pleased with each of them and their price tags!

Sofa’s x2

My plan for the new lounge was to have 2 different coloured sofas that were equally colourful and yet very different too. I am a lover of colour and patterns in my life and decor, and felt that in this house, especially in places like the lounge, I wanted this to come out more so in the furnishings with plainer walls (though I might still crack out a wild wallpaper in the lounge!), so I have specifically spent the last couple of weeks looking for my sofa’s that would fit the bill.
My favourite style of sofa is definitely “Chesterfield” – I love the vintage, grand and stylish look and just find them so cool. With limited budget I never expected to even have a secondhand one for a few more years, however much to my delight I found a gorgeous pistachio green one in mint condition for just £180!! Every time I see it I feel soooo happy!! It seats at least 3 and just looks perfection.

In contrast to it is a lovely purple number (again in mint condish) that I found for only £70 – it has the bonus feature of being a sofa bed too which I feel like is a double bargain! My colours for the lounge are going to be based around an awesome parrot cushion I found recently in Next Home. I want it mainly pinks and greens, and so these sofa’s most definitely fit into it rather perfectly.

TV Stand

In our old house we had 2 of the white Ikea 4 square units in the lounge, and the Tv lived on top. It was a lovely fit, but I had already decided that they would move into the girls room for extra storage, leaving me with needing a new TV stand for the lounge.I sourced a lovely white Ikea one (6 months old) on Gumtree last Friday for £25! Absolute bargain and fits in well with my plans. I picked it up on Tuesday evening and it is a great fit in our home.

Tomorrow we are picking up a table & chairs (again Gumtree – haha) and have our bed to make up and a few more walls to paint. I am so happy to be in our new home and life is feeling lovely!

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We still don’t have a date for moving into our own house (whaaaaaa), but are feeling more settled at Grandma’s. Most of the week she has been kind enough to take us to and from school in her mini bus, and the kids have loved it! In between that we have fun on the Northern Trains hopping on and off to and from school and sometimes taking our journey a little further afield. On Thursday Ethan took his bike on the train too – that was interesting!!!

We are all thoroughly enjoying this glorious weather that has graced us this week (What an improvement to last!) the kids have spent endless hours in the garden, and yesterday Alice and I took advantage of the lovely sunshine and hopped on a train up to Bridlington to see my mum and sisters for a lunch date. Together we celebrated mums and my little sisters Birthdays and it was lovely. It was so great to wander, see the boats, soak up the views and just generally be thankful we only live 20mins from this lush coast now!

Go Ape Competition

Next Saturday we are heading to Dalby Forest to tackle Go Ape with the kids for Megsies birthday celebrations. Unfortunately last week we had to postpone as Nathan has a job interview, but we are excited. Whilst looking into it I saw they had a competition running and wanted to share this with you all as it looks like a great way to be in with a chance of a FREE visit to your local Go Ape as well as some other goodies!

Basically they are searching for the UK’s most adventurous authors between the ages of 4 and 12, with the chance to win a selection of adventurous books – as well as a group adventure in the tree tops with their tribe!

“Go Ape is all about living life adventurously, and Mini Tarzan’s will simply need to write 100-500 words describing their favourite adventure for the team. These tales can be completely made up or a real account of an exhilarating escapade – if it’s fictional, then imaginations can run wild!

Prizes will be awarded to the winners of the following categories:

  • Best fiction author (for ages 4-7 and 8-12)
  • Best non-fiction author (for ages 4-7 and 8-12)
  • Best character (for ages 4-7 and 8-12)
  • Best use of language (for ages 4-7 and 8-12)

As well as this, an additional prize will be awarded to the favourite entry by Go Ape’s two Chief Gorillas – Tristram and Rebecca Mayhew.

Within each age range judges will review the quality relative to age, so all monkeys, whether big or small, will have the same chance of winning!”

Entries are open now until midnight, Thursday 22nd June, 2017 and for further info, T&C’s and to enter visit goape.co.uk/adventure-stories. Handwritten entries can be scanned in and sent to marketing@goape.co.uk.

Family & Friends Railcard

With our new school run being somewhat of an adventure and several miles away, I decided last week to invest in “family & friends railcard” so as to be able to save 1/3 off our adult fares, and 60% off the kids when using the train.

It has been mint and has cut down my travel expenses significantly (especially now that Megs is 5 too).

It usually costs £30 for the year but with code FAMILY10 you can save 10% making it just £27 (offer ends 2 September)! What’s great is that you can use it for up to 4 adults and 4 kids 5 – 15 in any one journey, which I find rather generous. I figure whilst it does cost initially with all of the travel we are doing now it will easily pay for itself.

I am very excited for the Summer holidays where we plan on having adventures galore, and it is going to prove to be very valuable!

Enjoy the scorcher of a weekend we’ve been promised… I am thinking beach, sandcastles, ice creams, paddling and hopefully some sneaky fish & chips. Why not when it’s on our doorstep??

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After a lovely trip up to Harrogate on Tuesday with Alice, to speak at a bereavement care training, yesterday left me feeling rather deflated. I realise that as much I love to raise awareness and talk about my baby girl, the emotions it resurfaces are always hard to take on. It isn’t so much as to stop me doing it, I never could I don’t think, but it is something to be aware of…it really takes it out of you.

This week has been very simple and so I have been grateful for the lovely sunshine and evenings hanging at the park with the kids and their school friends.

Harrogate bargs

There is certainly something rather exciting about visiting charity shops in a posh place! I don’t know about you but I always feel (on the whole) that the quality of donations is somehow a little better and it’s a little more exciting. I know the past I have even arranged with friends to do the charity shops in a more upmarket location haha!

In this situation I was there anyway and was done with my duties by 11.30, so figured after a heavy morning I not only deserved a treat (sushi from boots) but a little bit of retail therapy too. I was not disappointed either. I picked up the Lion King and Bambi for £1.50 each, and Ethan an Autumn/Winter coat for this year (aged 7) which was originally from Next and was just £3.50. It’s in excellent condition, thick and cosy, and the ultimate bargain to put away.

Charity Shop Haul

From Harrogate to our local town, I had a another sneaky visit to the charity shops yesterday.  When I’ve little to do and few people to see I often find myself just popping around town and checking things out.

Yesterday I wasn’t on the hunt for anything, it was more just being nosy, passing time and getting Alice to sleep. But it usually in these situations that you find a few Gems. I was pleased to get myself a cool denim dungarees dress for 2.99 and a fab mustard sweatshirt again for only 2.99. Both bargains, my style and just lovely.

Next I got Ethan a couple of pairs of shorts for 1.50 and 1.99, He goes through clothes like no other and as always has had a big growth spurt since last summer. On the way out I spotted for Megs a lovely Russian doll print dress for 1.99 and so snapped that one up too!

Finally I found Ethan a funky red and white striped duvet set in immaculate condition for £3.99. He LOVES the colour red and has high hopes for a red bedroom in the new house. I am not one to buy second hand bedding usually but this one was so good and so him, I couldn’t not at that price.

Spring Onions

This week I saved money on spring onions for our salads by re-sprouting them. It is a really simple way to save some money as the bits with roots that we chopped off were placed in a cup of water and a week later we had new spring onions. FOR FREE!!! I love them at this time of year.

Ice creams at the park

The only down side to sunny days and after school park hangouts is that the kids whine like no other for an ice cream – Every.Single.Time.  The ice cream van sits there tempting them, and annoying me, and so to avoid spending at least a fiver on tacky Ice Creams, I took them an Ice cream out of the freezer from home to cut back on the pounds. They scoffed it coming out of school and loved it… Tasty and cheap, and eliminated the whines!

I believe as is true with England, the weather is set to rain this weekend, which is a bit of a let down with the lovely sunshine! Have a great weekend and enjoy it – whatever the weather chooses to do!

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