6 Lessons Learnt In Our First Year Of Home Ownership


Can you believe that today marks one full year since we completed on our house. So one year of being home owners and I must admit we have learnt quite a bit in that time.  To be able to afford our own home we had to relocate from Bedfordshire to Lincolnshire and we have no regrets as we love the area and we are a train ride away from bigger cities such as Lincoln, Leeds and Sheffield.

Our house is a 2/3 bed terrace house with a good size living/dining space, small kitchen, average sized bathroom and a small yard. 

So what have we learnt during this first year of ownership? Well read on and I'll tell you:

1. Owning a home comes with extra costs
When renting we didn't have home insurance which is one of the things that is 100% important to have as a home owner. It's important to also factor in utility costs for us  we are now heating a 3 storey home not 2 bed flat for example. Then you need to factor in if you need new appliances for us we had to budget to get a fridge freezer, a washing machine and a dishwasher and eventually we will purchase an oven (we currently use a halogen).  Furniture as well is something you may have to consider we got a new sofa as we needed a bigger one and luckily we were passed on a dining table and chairs set.I think I may actually do a separate post on the true cost of owning a home if anyone is interested?

2. It's important to have a fund for repairs
Our home needs quite a bit doing to it as it's a sort of fixer upper. It's important to have money saved for doing bits and bobs around the home. Our first big thing we did was get a new front door as it was essential as the previous one wasn't in the best condition. We also had our yard sorted so that we have a safe and fun space for Blake outside. 

3. An emergency fund is essential 
As well as having money aside for repairs around the home an emergency fund is important too as you don't know what may go wrong big or small. We've had to get a plumber out twice now for example.

4. Do it yourself when you can 
You can save money by doing things yourself. Hopefully we can start to do some decorating this year and it's something we plan on doing ourselves instead of paying someone to do it for us. If there is something that needs doing then you can save a ton of money doing it yourself. However don't always which leads to...

5. Some jobs are worth hiring out 
We want to get our roof looked at this year and our electrics. For us they are things that we feel is best done by someone who knows what they are doing and worth paying out for.

6. Plan and prioritise 
As a home owner there is always going to be something that needs doing. It's important to list your needs vs wants. For example I'd love to decorate the whole house but there are some things that are more important to get done first such as the roof and electrics. Once these are done we need to look at what is important to us to be done next. 

My First Book Of Comparisons


Blake is exactly like me in the sense that he loves books. He can't yet read but he still loves us to read to him and also will sit on his own flipping through a book looking at the pictures.

My first book of comparisons by Clive Gifford is a book that is packed full of facts along with beautiful illustrations by Ana Seixas. The fun book compairs and measures everything from animals to space, dinosaurs to machines sports and people.

Did you know that a blue whale weighs about as much as 20 T-Rex dinosaurs? Or that a guinea pig is 70% water? This exciting picture book is full of these and many more fascinating fact nuggets.

The book is suitable for  children aged 5 years and over and is ideal for curious children who love asking questions. The book can help to build maths skills as well as to help build understanding of the world around them. 

Blake's favourite pages are definitely  zoom, dino detective and space stuff. He keeps reverting back to these pages especially when he is looking through the book by himself.

Fact books like these tend to be really popular with children and this one is definitely worth adding to your childs ever growing collection.

My first book of comparisons by Clive Gifford will be released 3rd of March and retails at £12.99. Don't forget you can preorder a copy over on Amazon so it will arrive on the release date.


When the system let's you down


The whole system is a mess for SEN children and it not only frustrates but angers me.  I wasn't going to write this post but then it's what we are going through and others must be in the same position.

Our brief backstory is that we relocated from Bedfordshire to Lincolnshire almost a year ago and since then the help for Blake has been near enough non existent.

Back in Bedfordshire we saw a speech therapist and was doing PECS (picture exchange communication) with Blake and was told to continue this when we moved and they advised that new speech and language to continue with support of this.

We were then referred to speech therapy up in Lincolnshire who pretty much decided not to be involved and discharged us. On starting school in September the school SENCO along with our Health Visitor here pushed for another referral.

So after waiting almost a year for anything we had our appointment last week and we are not happy with the outcome. We feel we are going backwards. We have been advised that PECS isn't needed as it will set him back. Although some of the advice given us is good it's stuff we had already been doing and when we had a our last TAC meeting it was agreed the advice speech therapy has given isn't suitable for Blake. At the moment we are at a complete loss as he is no longer seeing anyone and it's looking likely that nothing will happen until he is in a specialist school.

Talking of school Blake is still unfortunately on a reduced timetable which really isn't enough time for him. Unfortunately school doesn't have the funding to keep him in any longer then 45 mins a day due to him needing one to one support.  It's also that the provision just isn't right for him. We are currently at the stage where we are waiting to hear back from 3 schools within county who have been sent the draft EHCP and will come back with if they can meet Blake's needs and if they have a space for him. 

We are keeping our fingers crossed for the local specialist school as the others aren't as accessible for us to get to and to I do worry about if all 3 say they can't because then they have to look out of county for a school for him.