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!


This week has been focused mainly on gift buying and getting organised for a fun weekend of celebrating our biggest boy turning 7 (I can’t hardly believed it)! We have been gift shopping, card buying and cake making, and in all of that still managed to have a couple of train trips to see family!! The people in the village are all so kind, and with each week we get to spend seeing mum and my sisters, or Naths mum and his family, I just feel so happy to have this new lifestyle and flexibility. It’s a lot of fun to just pop and see them for an afternoon and have lunch.

Our garden is also flooded with conkers at the moment, as the kids have been over the moon to spend afternoons on the village green hoarding them all like little squirrels! Alice loves to lob them around on dry days, and with so many of them around, and crispy brown leaves, It really feels like Autumn now…. and I am absolutely loving it.

£2 Asda Rail

On Tuesday one of my new mates from the village invited me out, and in the process was able to help me choose a remote control car for Ethan’s birthday (Thank You). Whilst shopping we were delighted to walk into Asda and spot a £2 rail of lovely clothes – so of course I managed to bag a few bargs for myself too! It was one of those moments where you almost think it’s too good to be true, but it was in fact true, and very good!

I got myself a lovely navy pleated skirt and then a funky patterned dress. I felt both would be easily worn for the Autumn and winter as well as obviously intended for warmer weather being left from the Summer range!

Free Apples

I think I may have talked about this before, if not on here, then certainly on my Instagram, but not far from school is a house that in recent weeks has had a basket of apples for the taking. At first I felt a little greedy or awkward to grab some but then I decided it was in actual fact a lovely idea and I should be gracious and accept their offerings to the world. I now grab a 2 or 3 after school with the kids, and occasionally on my own when the fruit bowl is looking sparse!!!

I love that people in the village are so kind as to share their harvests with the rest of us, saving me a few quid in the process! I am tots loving Free apples and my £2 Asda bargs this week!




For the last week or so I have been mostly in survival mode – hence things have been a little quiet over here. My energies have been focused on purely doing what I need to make it through each day, and keeping our home in a clean and liveable state whilst making life normal for my kids! It’s a hard time of year for us and this one has been especially tough for one reason or another, and usually my instinct is to want to hibernate. I have a little, but I have also made the effort to be more sociable with new friends, and make an appearance on the toddler scene here in the village. As a result I have met some wonderful women who have embraced me and made me feel very welcome, and each one has accepted me in my loss without judgement  – it has been a real blessing.

 With each anniversary that passes, I find that I am learning ways to get through it and protect myself and my grief, and only focusing on the day to day essentials. Taking a break from stuff, walking during the day, and watching more TV on a night have certainly been the right decision for me this time round.

With staying more local I haven’t really had a lot of time to scrat around the charity shops and hunt for things, but I did have a lovely shopping trip with my sister yesterday and got some great deals to show you, as well as managing to finally get a pair of kitchen stools for our breakfast bar. There are sales galore starting and deals already on the shelves in preparation for Christmas (WHAAATTTT???!!!) so keep your eyes peeled, but for me in my little corner of the world, here are the frugal things we found this week.

Kitchen stools from Gum tree

When we looked round our house I loved that it had space in the conservatory for a dining table, but also a big enough kitchen to eat at one of the counter tops. I imagined Ethan and Megan eating breakfast together and doing homework whilst I made dinner… it was a lovely space and yet we haven’t been able to use it in that way yet as the previous owners kept the stools.

Thursday however things changed, when I had another scout on gum tree (as I have been doing weekly) and found a lovely pair, originally from Ikea for just 25 quid!

I was so excited (as were the kids), and they already make a huge difference to our morning routine and containing mess to one area. I have enjoyed sitting on them too and they completely transform the kitchen into a more sociable space. Thank goodness again for gum tree and another great bargain.

3 Chocolate Oranges for £2

Oh man I totally went a little nuts inside when I saw this offer the other day with my mum in Tesco but restrained myself. My husband however did not and rocked up after swimming last night with 6! I mean who doesn’t love a good chocolate orange? they are so tasty and a real treat, but 6??? really??? I’ve hidden them in my present box and will monitor their consumption!

So yes – right now (hoping it’s still on) you can buy one and get 2 free at Tesco. They are on at £2 each which is more that they are usually in places like home bargains and even the pound shops, but when you’re getting 3 of them for £2 its a really great deal (just 66.6p each to be exact!). So get down to Tesco quick and stock up for Christmas….if they’ll last that long!

Free Veggies

This week the schools clubs began and Ethan and Megs were both accepted into “Gardening club”! I will probably talk about it more on the blog because I think it’s brilliant, but basically it’s one of many free after school clubs their new school runs, and they were both super enthusiastic to join it and do something they have loved helping their grandma with over the Summer. I think it will be a fantastic experience for them to learn more about plants, nature, growth, harvesting, food, pruning, hard work, and so many other things along the way too.

This week in their little club they were in the school gardens doing harvesting! Each child brought home a bag of goodies for their hard work and I was so excited for some free onions, corn on the cob, cabbage and potatoes – several things for soups and stews for FREEEEE! You can’t really get more frugal than that now can you?? A free club reaping free veggie goodies for the fam – Brilliant!!!

Clearance stores at Princes Quay (Hull)

Hull shopping scene has changed A LOT since being a teenager and is a lot different to the whole host of places I enjoyed in Leeds too. But what it does have that I thoroughly enjoy is a new outlet floor in the Princes Quay shopping centre. Yesterday I went with my sister and bought a £34 jumper in Next clearance for £6 and a £56 Checked shirt in Jack Wills clearance for just £9!!!

The jumper is thick and has cool puff sleeves so will be great for the cooler months ahead, and the shirt is just plain cool. I have never had a rich blue like this one and I love the frill collar too – I am totally wearing it next week for Britmums!!

Okay so way more deals and frugally things than I initially thought, so if you’ve made it this far you deserve a chocolate orange… or 3… for £2!


I realised yesterday that the kids only had like 3 days and weekend left of the hols, and so I kicked my butt into gear and we had a mega fort building sess on the beach! The weather wasn’t the best we’ve had, but the fun, fresh sea air and calmness of the sea were totally worth it! I will certainly miss these train to beach adventures once Autumn and school kicks in!

This week hasn’t been an easy one for me, which I will try to explain soon, but it meant that we have spent a couple of days hibernating and feeling really naff about life. We’ve watched far too many movies and I don’t think I even got dressed one day, so apologies that my bargs haven’t been that fruitful this week (sorry)!

I guess not going out is frugal, right? (we didn’t spend a penny)! But joking aside, it made my day when I found a great jumper in the charity shop yesterday and we got free subs for lunch – here’s how.


My kids are obsessed with Subway! We love it, and have had it easily on a weekly basis over the holidays! I love it because they pack it full of all of the salad options (their fave been black olives!), and when offered any other “fast food” option, Subway wins hands down (score)!

As a result of this addiction, we have quickly racked up the points on my sub card, and so yesterday we cashed them in and had free subway all round. I always go for the steak & cheese when its a free one, why? yup, because its the most pricey normally!!!!

If you visit Subway frequently it is definitely worth having a card, as it’s surprising how quickly a few £3 lunch deals add up to give you freebies!

TopShop Jumper

I was thinking with the change in cooler weather that it might be nice to get a new jumper or 2 this year to update my Autumn/Winter look! I walked into a charity shop for a browse yesterday, and saw a lovely oversized khaki green number from TopShop – it was sooo nice!

I asked the old lady the price as it had no tag, and she said out of nowhere “£3???” – I saw that all the others said £5, and so snapped it up at the apparent reduced price! I look forward to throwing it on with scarves and over a denim shirt!

Good luck with the last weekend of the summer hols, and getting everything ready for the new term – where has the time gone? I hope you grab a few back to school bargs!