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Saturday, 10 January 2015

Making the most of a windy day even though it has taken a fence.

Firstly I hope your all safe and well and haven't all blown away! It's quite gusty here but nowhere near as bad as some parts of the country so I counting my lucky stars. As you can see I decided to have a clean round this afternoon, to do this I stack the dog beds so I can get the hoover and mop round but Lego had other ideas!!

It's also an ideal day for getting all the dog blankets washed and on the line as nothing makes them smell fresher than a good gust of fresh air, however I had to wrestle Lego into submission to get them from under him and into the washer.

Although it's very windy it was a glorious sunny morning so I decided to take the dogs along the Viking Way and check on Peter and Murphy to make sure they hadn't blown away.

I love the look of plowed fields.............yes I'm a strange one lol

Stunning views over the South of the City and it really blew some cobwebs away.

Next door has some damage to her fencing but fingers crossed we have been quite lucky here.

So my lovelies what's the weather like near you?

PiC x

Thursday, 8 January 2015

When saving money the whole family have to make sacrifices. Free dog grooming anyone?

Sometimes I never know what I'm going to come home to. After a lot of talks about how we can shave even more money off our outgoings DH thought he'd have a go at a bit of dog grooming. Mrs D who used to clip Womble for us has moved so now was a good a time as any to give it a go, plus it's cold so he can wear a coat ;)

He's never done it before but he grabbed my clippers that I've had for years and had a go while I was out walking Strudel. Mrs D was a very inexpensive £15 per cut but even at that price it still mounted up to around £130 ish a year.

Luckily Womble stays quite still but I'm not sure if that was the shock setting in!!

"Look what he's done to me while you've been out Mum"

"I'm not a sheep you know"

"Now your going too far"

Clipped, bathed and sulky..............I don't think it helped that I laughed so much though did it Womble?

So what was I up to while Womble was being "pampered" at DH's Ruff Cut Groomers?

Doodle bugs (as we hardly ever call her Strudel) and I thought we would have a romp around Lincoln Common. I love listening to the birds while watching all the hustle and bustle of busy lives in town. It just reminds you how insignificant we really are in the grand scheme of things. 

"Come on Mum"

"Oh I didn't notice this puddle honest"

"I'll just run through it a few more times to see if I can get myself clean again"

"Ok, you caught me"

So my lovelies what's the funniest money saving scheme you have come home to?

PiC x

Monday, 5 January 2015

Do I have a screw loose because I blog?

Hello my lovelies I hope everyone had a great New Years, we were baby squashing my Granddaughter so I had a wonderful evening watching episodes of Once Upon a Time with her although I don't think DH enjoyed himself quite so much. For anyone who hasn't seen this series it's based on fairy tale characters who's story is twisted and turned and made into a series. Not really a man kind of thing but DGD loved it and we didn't spend a penny going out.

My New Years resolution of clearing a messy space has been going well, even though hubby has been really poorly for several weeks I have managed to clear something a day even if one of those days was only sorting my sock drawer.......well we can't move mountains every day can we? lol

My other resolution was to keep my trap shut when I get annoyed, well I might as well have poked a red flag up a Bulls nose with this one because by the Friday morning I was into full blown gutter mouth mode as one of the dogs on my local field attacked poor Lego the Beagle. This is the third time this particular dog has gone for one of my dogs and on this particular day it jumped on Lego while he was on a lead and it's owner was half way across the field chatting as normal. My mouth may have stayed parked in the gutter if the stupid Woman had actually apologised instead of calling me a liar................. and as another dog walker had to move his hand from stroking my dog as he got attacked you would think they would have said something wouldn't you?

Long story short we have had an argument over her stupid dog and in retaliation for my outburst she has accused me of having a screw loose as I write rubbish on the internet. In the words of Elaine," it's nice to have a stalker shall I keep it as a pet?"

Well then let's think about this, for many years we have had very little money as my DH and I have brought up four kids and had huge debts which were not of our making. On top of this we had a £23 000 solicitors bill as DH had a court battle which went of for years until he got full custody of his two boys. My Husband and I kept our family on £50 a week for five of us, not for a couple of weeks but for years. During this time every penny we owed was paid off, we went without and struggled, I mean really struggled. The only holiday we had was when a friend lent us their caravan for free and we took our own food.

We slowly paid off every penny we owed and we managed to pay off  the blood sucking Solicitor as we ended up representing ourselves, which was hard work when you have a day job and then come home to deal with the kids and constant barrage of threatening Solicitors letters.

When we paid the final amount off we decided the money we had been paying we were not used to having so we saved it up and we took all three boys to Florida.  We haggled the price down and got a bargain but we soon realised that saving money on essentials enabled us to pay for luxuries, debt free.

We have been those parents who have to swap the kids over in a car park half way between our two jobs as we couldn't afford a babysitter, we have been those parents who have whipped up a Birthday party on a tenner and soon other people started to ask how we managed to be debt free. I would be at work and people would come in for Mortgage advice or Court advice and it was soon a standing joke how tight I was and how little I paid for anything.

Soon I found I was repeating the same advice over and over again to different people so I decided to write it down in a blog so my friends could pop on and see what we were up to and how we saved money. What I didn't know was it would open up a whole new world for me and I would get to meet so many lovely, interesting people who were in the same or similar boat or who had the same goals in life we have. I have support at the touch of a key pad and I've learnt so many interesting things and I've not had to waste time trying a lot of things as I've seen some of you have a go and tell me what a waste of time it was.

Then I got to thinking how much money I saved or made by reading and writing blogs..........well enough so I could pack in my job, stay at home with my kids and be guilt and debt free. We don't go without, we make do so we can buy the things we want. We both suffer with ill health but we don't take money off the state to support us as we support ourselves on a pension and part time self employed wage.

So this person who thinks I have a screw loose for putting my life on the net is their life so much better than mine? well,  they have to stand in the rain waiting for a bus to go to a dead end, part time job with no hope of a promotion and not even a certainty if they will still have a job this time next year. In her job she is surrounded by young, slim, glamorous women and she is desperately unhappy comparing herself to the next generation of competition and she spends her days gossiping about other people and what she doesn't know she makes up. Her life is making her bitter my blogging has made mine better.

I think I'll carry on blogging, what about you?

Thanks for a lovely 2014 and here's to us all in 2015!!!

PiC xxx

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

World gravy shortage, Pirate Santa and the clear a messy space a day challenge.

First I thought I'd post you some pictures of Strudel enjoying the snow. She was two this December but you would think she was a six month old pup the way she's been playing snow plow.

We ran out to the field at dawn the day the snow landed. There's something magical about fresh snow that hasn't been trodden on isn't there? Not for long though eh Strudel?

Not so fresh this morning as the roads around the estate are quite treacherous, it was at this point this morning I watched a Micra go sideways down the road.

Clear a messy space a day challenge news

Apart from a Yoga class and walking the dogs we've pretty much stayed in the house which is fine as I have loads to do. After Christmas we always do a stock take of the cupboards and freezer and to do this you have to sort them out first so I've made a start on the pantry and played plastic Tetris with the Tupperware cupboard. This was part of my clear a messy space a day challenge, I'm going to clear a space a day, inside or out so hopefully this time next year I will have a gleaming house with no junk!!

Every lid has it's partner and all the take away tubs are in a usable order rather than the tumble out on the floor chaos we've been putting up with.

Next on the list was the pantry. As you can see I have a lot of gravy.............anyone would think theres going to be a World shortage wouldn't they?...............there's a reason for this though as every time we went shopping hubby would say we already had gravy in the cupboard but when I was cooking I would get to the gravy part and the wasn't a granule to be found so now I pick one up every time we go shopping regardless of what he says. 

This is why I need a good stock take to stop over purchasing things like gravy!!

Chaos in the packet department, I didn't have a clue what was up there so yet again it has been grabbing a couple of this and that when we go shopping just in case.

Life is looking a little more organised now (well in this cupboard that is)

Packets in the baskets and jars, sauces and a thousand tubs of gravy in an orderly manor.

I can tell from a glance more juice is needed so when all the cupboards and freezer have been done it should help cut down on the shopping bill as I will only be buying essentials. We are on a mission to use everything up in the freezers though so I think we'll be in for some interesting meal choices through January so instead of dieting and buying in special meals along with most of the country we will be using what we have.

And if you look closely you'll see I have enough chickpeas to sink a battleship. 

Here's another box to go to the Charity shop.

Other news

We've also had an assault on Santa today.

He now looks like a one eyed Pirate.

Who did it Lego?

Are you braving the cold or finding jobs inside?

PiC x