I have mentioned before on here, but we don’t tend to make a massive thing of Valentines between Nath and I. We see it as just a bit of fun, and therefore usually buy each other a soppy or flirty card, and then a cheapo gift with some cheesy slogan on it. Our budget every year is always £5 max and we welcome how inventive that enables us to be in sharing our love through a gift.

I usually end up with some tulips (which are my faves) and chocolate of some description with a reason why he bought it (Eg, Milky Way stars with “You’re out of this world amazing”)! I of course enjoy the challenge of being creative, and making him some cute and fun love notes on a treat, and have in the past given him anything from a bag of chocolate bars to a pack of muffins saying “You’re such a Stud muffin”! Like I say – It’s just a bit of fun and it always makes each other smile.

We use the day now (since having kids), as an opportunity to teach our kids about dating and take them out on a family date somewhere special. We big it up and give them a little treat each, and then reserve the evenings for us to have a sneaky dinner date from M&S (or take out) whilst watching a Rom Com! We have had some lovely dates with them for Valentines and is a tradition we really enjoy.

We used to have a goal of going away together but with the more kids we had this kinda fell by the way side and we felt it better to turn it into a family event of love, which is working wonderfully whilst we share our love in our own way.

In true thrifty style I have been on the look out for lovely things to get for Valentines that are under £5, so I though as a bit of fun (and just in case you too want some frugal gift ideas), I would share them with you on the lead up to V-Day!

Valentines Gift Ideas under £5

M&S Sweets 

When I saw these sweets in M&S last week I literally jumped for Joy. I instantly felt they had stepped right out of my mind! Nathan and I will be getting them for the kids as we thought they were so cute, but for £2.50 each they make for a lovely little gift for a loved one.

Glasses and posh pop

I saw these glasses in Poundland for £1 each and thought they were really lovely. Whilst they go with nothing else in my kitchen I still had to have them and think they would be great for a date night tradition. Why not buy a couple with a bottle of something lovely and write a letter to your loved one about how they fill up your heart with sweet fizzes!

Love Frame and some chocs!

I love this little frame I found in Asda on Tuesday and thought it would make a lovely gift for someone with a special picture in it and perhaps a £3 box of chocolates or even £1 ones from the pound shop. They had it in 2 different colours but I loved the pink and gold.

I am going to find a picture of me and Nath from back in the day to put in the lounge on our soon to put up picture rails!

Chocolate gift basket with slogans

I did this for one of the first years of us being married and Nathan loved it. I bought loads of chocolate bars and then wrote a love note on each one and popped them in a little basket. I believe he still has the notes, though the chocolate of course is long gone!

Reeces Pieces – Love you to Pieces
Galaxy – You are the best in the Galaxy
Maltesers – You are such a tease!
Peanut M&Ms – I am nuts about you
Wispa – I want to Wispa sweet nothings to you
Mars – I’d go to Mars and back to show you how much I love you
Starburst – My heart bursts for joy each time I see you

I know I had a few others but I can’t remember them!


Posh or not this makes for a lovely little gift for a loved one or crush! Buy them a pack of doughnuts from Krispie Cremes and slap on “Doughnut what I’d do without a hubby like you”! (Or Boyf, Girl friend, Wifey etc).

And then of course the one I already mentioned. I bough Nathan some Chocolate chip muffins from the bakery and left them with a card that said “You are such a stud muffin!” – He LOVED it!


Whilst the old cliche of valentines, these always go down a treat! A traditional rose can be picked up cheaply and most supermarkets are doing boxes of Thorntons and other lovely chocolates for about £3.

Shopping in Aldi or Lidl, you can buy bunches of Roses, Tulips and other lovely flowers for about £3 and then maybe give them with a big bar of Galaxy or like their favourite pouch of chocolates. Use my slogan idea to make it more cute and fun!

Dates for the year 

This is a gift that barely costs anything and yet is rather romantic and shows commitment. Making a little box or envelope with monthly dates inside of it to give to your love shows how much you are thinking of them and that you want to set time aside to do these things with them.

You could include; The cinema, Massages, A picnic, Rock Climbing, Trampolining, Ice Cream Parlour, A new City, Golf, A new restaurant, Farm/Zoo, Chocolate making etc. Sit down and write out some date ideas and give them as gift this Valentines with a commitment to have proper dates each month together!

Valentines to me isn’t about money and isn’t an excuse to get a pricey item we’ve had our eye on. Its about love and sharing your feelings with others..sharing a day with those we love and making it memorable and a little out of the ordinary and special. I love the opportunity each February to be creative and find ways to tell Nathan how much he means to me through the cheesy gifts and laugh out loud slogans I give to him! I love our family day dates and making it a day the kids can be excited for too and I love that we also use it as an excuse to spread love to friends and neighbours through heart shaped baked goods and little crafts.

How will you spread love this February?


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!


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!


I can’t believe I am already thinking about, and talking about Christmas cards, but hey ho – here we are in October doing just that. I personally blame school…you see, just last week our school sent out the annual “get your kids artwork made into Christmas cards” forms, accompanied with some rather lovely work from the kids, and whilst I find it a lovely idea (and want to support the school), I was thinking that perhaps this year we might opt for something a little different! Of course with saying that I do feel slightly guilty that they won’t be getting a £1.50 donation from us, (or that my kids can’t hand over an overpriced card with their art work on) but I look forward to giving something a little classier from The Smiths, and have instead been checking out the holiday cards available from Basic Invite.

Being Christians I find Christmas the perfect opportunity to spread the true spirit of Christmas to friends, family and neighbours. Although my kids art work is most lovely, it doesn’t quite share the message from our family to others about what Christmas means to us, and what well wishes we hope for them.

With this in mind I especially loved the “Peace on Earth” foil invites with a lovely message. I like the idea of friends and family having an up to date picture of us all looking half decent, looking joyful and making the most of life! I like the idea of personalising that with a heartfelt message of love in a season where hope, Joy and peace ring true.

Their Foil holiday cards are available in gold, silver, and rose gold, and you can choose flat or raised foil on all of the Basic Invite’s foil designs. I find them so beautiful, unique and Christmassy!

I also loved the fold out ones where you can send a little synopsis of each season and what you’ve all been up to. Time flies so quick, and the kids are forever changing… what a beautiful way to capture the moments of the year and share them with relatives and friends we don’t see too much.

The more I think about it though, I am rather tempted to dress the kids up in a Nativity scene with the card saying “O Holy Night” or something similar (wouldn’t that be fun?)!!! My mind is basically buzzing with ideas, and I think when Mr Smith gets wind of it, he may just have to reign me in a little!

Its such an exciting time of year, and whilst Christmas has been a tough one for us, things like this keep me distracted and are a lovely thing to share with others!

Whatever your style, beliefs or hopes for the “Holidays”, you can send a more personalised message and unique card (or Party invite) to friends and family with the simple and easy to use card editor at Basic invite. They are one of the few websites that enable you to customise with an almost unlimited colour palette, and the option to order a sample to see and feel the quality and design before placing your final order (handy!). As well as this I love that you can chose from 40 different envelopes, and then by linking your social media, can capture friends and families addresses to be printed on the envelopes at no extra cost!

What’s even more exciting (and here’s the thrifty part) is that they currently have 30% off when you use code holi30 (If you are ordering from the UK then check the box in the top right titled “currency” to GBP so you can see the cost of your order in £’s).

It might be a little soon to be talking Christmas/Holiday cards, but with a 30% saving we can make an exception!

*Sponsored Post