Monday, 23 January 2017

Living arrows - 4/52

“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”- Kahlil Gibran

This week has been so much better after the previous week of feeling low and not getting up to much. 

The first photo for this week i'm sharing is of Blake having fun in the cozy coupe at soft play. We headed out on Friday morning with friends to one in our local area. Blake loves soft play and being able to run around as much as he wants. It's also great for me as once he has had lunch when we get home he goes straight to sleep and will sleep for a little longer as it wears him out.


The next photo is of Blake bundled up in his snow suit for a lovely walk in the park of my home town. We were over on Saturday visiting my Mum as she was having a little family party to celebrate that she turned 60 on the 19th. We headed out for a walk as Blake was starting to feel tired and overwhelmed. 




Living Arrows

Sunday, 22 January 2017

The Ordinary moments - Walks in the park


One of the things we love to do as a family is go for walks and this year we are aiming to visit places we've either not been to before or not been to in ages. I've been feeling much better this week and so I've made the effort to go out a lot more and do more things with Blake. We have been to soft play as well as going to our local park and yesterday we headed over to Milton Keynes to spend time with my family for a little party in celebration of my Mum's 60th which was on Thursday (19th). 

Blake was getting very overwhelmed and tired so we took him out for a walk to try and calm him down,which worked briefly. I miss going for walks in the local park of my home town, however I do love Leighton Buzzard and can't see myself wanting to live anywhere else in the future. It was a nice change of scenery especially for Blake and we decided to pop to the cemetery to go and see both my Dad and Grandad's graves.

Going for walks is something we love to do no matter the season. I love wrapping up warm in the colder months and feeling cosy. In the warmer months I love to just be outside and enjoy the feel of the sun on my skin. I just love the ordinary family moments of spending time outdoors. 
The Ordinary Moments

Thursday, 19 January 2017

#PlanAheadToSave


As I mentioned in my new years goals post this year my main goal is to sort out mine/our finances. I really want to start saving more this year, spend less and lower our out goings. 

I think its important to be more aware about where your money is going and areas you can cut down on. Before I moved in with Stuart back in late 2008 I wasn't sensible with money and had no savings. Over the years I've learnt to be a lot more thrifty and frugal but there is definitely more room for improvement, especially when it comes to unnecessary spending on Blake for example. 

I wanted to share with you some of the things that caused us to loose money in 2016 and what we will be doing this year to prevent similar pitfalls.

Here are things which caused us to loose money:

 Not meal planning
Not meal planning meant that we ended up wasting food and not using up what we had in. This meant we were literary throwing away our money into the bin.

 Not having a budget 
 Not having a budget meant we didn't know where our money was going. Having a budget means you can see where your money is going, therefore being able to see  the areas where we need to cut down on

 Not having insurance on valuable possessions
Not having insurance on valuable possessions meant that when my tablet broke I ended up loosing out on money as I had to buy a new one. So lesson learned and now I make sure I have insurance on my tablet, mobile and other expensive gadgets.

 Not keeping an eye on when bills go out 
Not keeping a record of when certain bills go out has meant on a few occasions going overdrawn leading to fees as our bank accounts don't have an overdraft

Not saving 
Not saving has meant that when we had an emergency we didn't have the money to help us out meaning on occasion credit cards had to be used.


So here are some ways I plan on saving money in 2017:

1. Meal plan 
I have started doing this using a magnet meal planning board which also has a handy memo and shopping list section. We have already decided a budget for our weekly food shop which we didn't do before which is helping to stop waste. 


2. Using a budget planner
We have started to use a budget planner and will look at what we get in each month and what will be going out. The planner has sections for monthly and weekly spends and any monthly and weekly income we receive. The planner i'm using has has different sections for your outgoings such as bills, car, childcare, clothing, food, healthcare, insurance, leisure etc. 



3. Insuring valuable products
I've recently got insurance on my new phone and also made sure my tablet has insurance too. I would recommend insuring expensive gadgets such as Iphones especially if you have children. 

4. Use a filofax/diary 
I've started using a filofax and diary to keep any eye on when certain bills go out which is very helpful as I can make sure we have the money to cover for them. 

5. To do lists
I've started using to do lists in my filofax to remind me to do certain things for example set up a direct debit to my savings account. 


6. Set up a direct debit to savings
I am setting up a weekly and 4 weekly direct debit into my savings account I'm starting off small with £5 a week and £20 every 4 weeks to see how I get on. 

7. Use cash back sites when shopping online

8. Spending ban 
I plan on doing a few weekend and also a month ban at some point this year 

9. Sell unwanted items 
Any money I get from sell unwanted items will go straight into a money tin

10. Cut down on takeaways and eating out.
By meal planning we will know what we are having each day so the temptation to go out or have a takeaway will be less. 


I hope this post is helpful to you if you are like me and looking at sorting out your finances. 

*In collaboration with Contact Numbers 

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

2017 family bucket list



As there are so many places and things that I would like to do and some which i never got round to doing last year I thought I'd compile a bucket list. I'm hoping that by writing them down we will actually do them. Some are things to do/places to visit as a family or things I'd like to for me or with Stuart. 

As there are so many things to see and do in our local area its somewhere I'd like to explore more as well as doing a little bit of travelling. 

As a family: 

- Visit mead open farm again 
- Take Blake to the cinema
- Visit Whipsnade Zoo
- See In the Night Garden Live In London
- Have a family photoshoot
- Visit the local splash park
- Go to the beach 
-Go Swimming
- Do A children's trail
- Go for a walk at Dunstable Downs
- Visit Rushmere park
- Visit Stockgrove park
- Visit Gulliver's land
- Have a good walk around Willen Lake
- Visit Mk Museum
- Have a lovely walk in the woods
- Visit Wardown Park/Musueum
-Visit Cadbury World
- Visit some local National Trust places
- Have a picnic
- Eat out for Breakfast 


Me:
- Read at least 12 books (approx 1 a month)
- Save 
- Go on a spending ban
- Take more photos
- Use the calm app and book more
- Get rid of clutter
- Drink more water
- Have a pj day (I very rarely stay in my pjs all day)
- Bake at least once a month
- Meal plan
- Create a photo album 
-Join in with linkys
- Grow my instagram 
- Have a massage or facial 
- Give blood
- Get a new tattoo
- Find more ways to save on bills etc
- Try out some hacks I've found on Pinterest 
- Plan Blake's birthday party for December 
- Do something different with my hair


As a couple: 
- Have afternoon tea at new place
- Eat out at some new restaurants
- Go to London on our own for the day
- Have more date nights at home
- Go bowling
- Go on the London eye
- Go to the cinema 
-Have a night away together 
- Take more photos of us together




So that is my list of things I'd love for us to do in 2017 and I'm looking forward to ticking these off. 

Do you have a bucket list for the year ahead? 

Monday, 16 January 2017

Living Arrows- 3/52

“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”- Kahlil Gibran

The past week for me as been a struggle with feeling low and rather depressed. I managed to force myself out this week with Blake though and we have been to the park. 




Blake's favorite place is the park, we have a park which is a five minute walk from our flat  which Blake loves. Now that Blake and I go without the buggy during the week it takes us half an hour to get there and half an hour back but it's worth it as he loves toddling along and is so happy exploring. At the moment Blake's silky bear (blanket) has to come everywhere with us which can be a pain when he ends up dropping it in a puddle or loosing it and we have to trace our steps back to find it. His favorite part of the park at the moment is the slide and a close second is the swings. 


Yesterday (Sunday) we went to one of Blake's friends birthday party and we all had a great time. Blake loved the music session with Ragdolly Anna's and won some chocolate and a chalk board in pass the parcel. He also loved running around playing with his friends, playing with balloons and just having so much fun and was exhausted after. 

Living Arrows