20 January 2019

Phoebe Is Five

To Phoebe

This year has hurtled by at an alarming rate. It's been a big one for you with you starting school in September, but it's safe to say you totally love it and have really come into your own. I think it's made you feel really grown up and your lovely little school gives you such confidence. You love learning and are keen to read and write us little notes. You've also become quite the little artist with some wonderful creations coming home. Things like dance and PE have are a revelation to you and I can tell you're enjoying discovering the new things school has to offer. You're not quite sure about school dinners, or fire drills, although we've settled on jacket potato's with beans most days which is fine with me. I'm not sure you'll ever get over the disappointment that there wasn't an actual fire when the fire bell went and you had to stand out in the playground!

Phoebe on her 5th Birthday


You're cheeky and lots of fun to be around, always cheerful and super loud when you want to be for someone so dinky. A wonderful example was your reinvention of the inn keepers wife role in the nativity this year - so much feist and comedy with a 'no room at the inn I say' delivered in a way that could win you a role in Eastenders and made everyone smile.

You're showing such kindness to your classmates, including them, championing them and fighting their corner and we're unbelievably proud of you for that. You're great at being a friend, a sister and part of a group. People say that being the 'middle' child can be a tricky place in the family but I think having a big sister and a little sister has taught you how to interact and play with children older and younger than you.

As much as you're thriving at school I'm really missing having you home on my days off and Lottie is too. You and Lottie still play for hours with your babies at weekends and you're the first out in the garden to make a mud pie or a fairy garden. You and Ellie have grown closer now that you're at school together, you really look out for each other there which is just lovely.

You are so speedy on your balance bike, we now just need to convince you to get on one with pedals - but as with everything, you'll do it when you're ready! You are such a little magpie, a collector of treasures and all things sparkly and have little bags and boxes of things squirrelled all around the house. This birthday all you asked us for was some clip on earrings and jammy dodger cupcakes and were thrilled with both.

You continue to amaze us with your very clear fashion choices and attention to detail... only recently you asked us to have your hair cut into a bob and it really suits you. You know yourself so well and are confident in your decisions and I absolutely love that. Despite your confidence, you're still quite a home bird and like familiarity meaning new things can be daunting for you. You come to my side and take my hand for reassurance and I love that you know that I'm always there to give it. Bedtime stories are my favourite as you snuggle right in and make sure my arm is around you as we read, a moment of still that I really treasure every day.

You're happy and loving, you share and you care and are generally awesome.
Keep being you little lady because there is no one quite like you.

Love you lots 

Mummy x

You may also like to read:
Phoebe Is Four
Phoebe is Three
Phoebe Is Two

12 January 2019

How To Save Money In January

We always feel a little bit of a financial pinch in January after additional expenditure over Christmas - especially with Ellie and Phoebe's birthday's either side of it. It's not necessarily a bad thing as it really makes us think about what we are spending and encourages us to be financially smart with what we do have left until that long awaited January payday. Now, I'm no money saving expert but here are a few ways I save money and make it go as far as possible during what feels like the longest month of the year:


Meal Planning

This is probably where I save most money, not just in January, but across the year. Planning out your meals and then buying only what you need really helps if you're on a budget, not to mention saves on waste. This week I managed to do our food shop for under £50 when it usually averages £75-£100 per week, which for a family of five isn't bad. I saved money this week by going through our cupboards, fridge and freezer and looking at what we already had in and then creating meals around them. A flick through a cookbook or two gave me some inspiration of what we could do with the ingredients and encouraged me to get a bit creative ready steady cook style! I even managed to cook a chilli and a curry with leftover's to freeze for next weeks meals.

Online Food Shopping

Online food shopping always saves me lots of money as I work from a shopping list which we write as we run out of things which means I shop smart and only buy what we need and am not filling the trolley with store offers or buying things I might fancy because I've been tempted as I walk up the supermarket aisles. 

It works really well when you meal plan as you know exactly what you need to buy. It also means that I save time by saving my basket each time and just re selecting the things we need and the biggest bonus of all is that  I don't have to drag three children around a shop who constantly put things in the trolley! When we do pop to the shops for the inevitable top up of milk or bread I always look in the reduced section for anything I can find to pop in the freezer and save money, particularly things like meat; the last hour of opening on a Sunday is a particularly good time to find a bargain.

Vouchers

We do our online food shop with Tesco's which means we earn Clubcard points each time. These can be converted into vouchers for all sorts of things such as days out or restaurant vouchers which come in super handy at this time of year when we don't have any spare disposable income. If I do need to buy anything online I always check for a discount code before purchasing as there usually is one.

Free days

January doesn't mean you can't do anything fun. They say the best things in life are free and there are loads of ways you can enjoy a lovely day without spending a penny. Some of our favourites are a trip to the park, riding bikes or scooters, doing some arts and crafts, playing games together, watching a movie or using our national trust membership which gives us access to hundreds of places for a run around for free.

Shop your wardrobe

The sales are so tempting and the emails popping into my inbox make me want to buy ALL the pretty things with the big discounts making them look extra pretty... January is a good time to have a look at the clothes you already have, have a clear out and rediscover some things you might have forgotten about at the bottom of the drawers or back of the wardrobe. You'll then have a good idea of things you really need and if you do make any purchases in the sales they'll be the right ones rather than impulse buys. I try to buy things that go with stuff I already have, which for someone who practically lives in jeans isn't particularly tricky, but makes lots of sense.

I hope that helps. I think all of the above just come down to thinking about what you are spending, budgeting and being a bit creative. They are habits I want to continue, not just in January, but for the rest of the year too so that we can make our hard earned pennies go further.


Me x