If you didn’t know already, ZARA is absolutely (without a doubt) one of my favourite shops to buy stuff from for myself! Next to H&M it makes me so happy to browse in, wish for and their jeans fit me the best (along with H&M), out of all of the high street stores (isn’t it funny how different we all are?)! Yes Zara is a huge gorgeous love of mine!

Of course then it’s no surprise that I leap for joy whenever there is a seasonal sale! Their sales are always amazing, with many a bargain to be had on many lovely things, and their recent Spring/Summer 18 Sale was no different.

My budget this year was minimal – like almost non existent! So I stuck to shopping online so that I could be in more control. Money is rather tight at the moment so I had to be very selective, but as I just really wanted a couple of new tops to brighten up my wardrobe, I avoided looking outside of that (and the dresses)!

Red Stripe Top – 

The first thing I added was this cool, retro feel top! I loved the bold colours and stripes, long sleeves for the Autumn, and generally just felt like it was me! It was £3.99 from £17.99 and feels a little bit like an old school football top! It will be great with both boots and pumps!

Crazy Shiny Top – 

Next up is this top, and quite possible my new fave! It is a mix of beautiful colours, with a shine through for added measure and looks great with most of my jeans! I like that it’s comfy but looks a bit posh too. A bargain at £3.99 from £17.99!

The Granny dress! 

I call this my Granny dress and it makes me very happy to own!! I actually picked this one up in store when I went to get a gift for someone last week! It was only £5.99 and I love everything about it – the colour mix, the crazy sleeve details and style, and the fact it’s midi length, modest and perfect for church!

I wore it last sunday with pink heeled sandals and pink tassel earrings for a posho church look, but I know it will also look good with my white pumps or silver mules for a more chilled out look too!

I also bought another yellow dress for £5.99 from £25.99 (which I loved) but unfortunately the fabric causes it to cling in the most awkward of places and it looked dreadful. So yeah, it’s sadly a goodbye to that one!

I love these bonus extras to my wardrobe and love what massive bargains they were too – I look forward to wearing them regularly! I was extra good too as I sent a selection of tops and a dress to the charity shop yesterday so as to avoid a hoarding situation occurring – Mr Smith was most shocked!

Did you find any good Sale pieces this time round? Where do you like to shop?

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This Summer has been wonderful, and great for the days we’ve been able to spend with our friends from the village! Our lifestyle is very different these days and we spend a lot more time with the people we live around (which is lovely). I love that the our neighbours and the kids my kids go to school with are not only our friends now, but also the people we socialise with and go on adventures with!

I have loved having the time to talk and laugh with my new pals whilst the kids spend all day playing and getting along.

On Monday we walked 4 miles locally (it took all morning) and the week before that we spent a whole day on the beach in Hunmanby. Then Thursday we had a day out to Scarborough! These trips have been pretty nuts, but a lot of fun too, and they have made Summer more memorable. The great part is that they have also all been FREE!!

Whilst there is still a good week or so of the summer holidays left, I thought I’d share with my Yorkshire readers especially, a few free ideas we have enjoyed with our friends in big groups – just in case you have hit desperation mode and need a couple more ideas to see you through til September!

1. A beach day 

2 weeks ago we went to Hunmanby Gap which lies between Bempton and Filey on East Yorkshire Coast. The day wasn’t super warm, but dry and sunny enough to be able to spend a good 6 hours on the beach digging with friends and chasing the tide (and a seal!). There were about 8 families that came and we built a little base on the beach, where the kids played non stop around us all day and we enjoyed banter and picnics!

I swam in the sea with one of my friends and we all generally just chilled and had fun with one another. I realised on this day that seemingly ordinary days, and things we would usually do over the Summer anyway, were enhanced 10 fold by being in a big group of great friends!

  

Just up the coast is filey brigg and we have also been there twice this Summer for rock pooling with family and extended family. If you want another idea then know that it makes for a real adventurous free day too even with wellies and raincoats on!

2. A country walk 

As we live in a village now, we are fortunate enough to be able to walk 5 minutes out of our door and be in beautiful fields and open countryside. We took advantage of this on Monday and had a spontaneous group trek with dogs and kids! We did just shy of 4 miles on a circular walk that brought us home again. The weather was dry and I enjoyed the exercise and chat with my friends. It always makes me smile to see my kids running through fields and embracing nature – especially when surrounded by their best friends from school (or cousins too).

You may not live as close as us, but a local nature walk of any description with friends, makes for easy exercise and a lovely time!

3. Scarborough open air theatre 

On Thursday a group of us headed to Scarborough in convoy and had a walk around peasholm park and a picnic overlooking the lake.

From there we walked over the road to the open air theatre where they had a 2 hour family friendly show. This was a free event that runs throughout the summer and was so feel good and chilled. There was singing, dancing, “Double Trouble”, magic, puppets and laugh out loud Comedy! The kids absolutely loved it and it was nice to sit in the sun and be entertained together. I was really impressed with what a great day it was and will certainly be keeping it on my radar for next Summer!

Sadly on this trip some of the mums were working but it was great to be with the ones that could come!

 

These little outings and local adventures have made our summer holidays extra special, more fun and adventurous, and they have meant we have spent less whilst still making lots of lovely memories! I love our new friends… they make the ordinary extraordinary!

 I love that we have found wonderful friends amongst our neighbours and that we have found people with like minded interests and outlooks on life. I enjoy hanging out with them, not just because they are lovely people and friends but because there is a high chance our kids are all going to grow up together and end up in the same high school too, and that makes me a little bit excited (and scared) that these potentially could be more than neighbours and school mates – but friends for life!!

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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 T-shirt 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 playsuit 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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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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