Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Thirty before thirty...

Just before Christmas I wrote a blog post called '30 before 30'. I then got a bit cocky and thought I would 'blog on the go' using my mobile... long story short I accidently deleted the post *sob sob*
Anyway I have just about got over it and decided to re write the list which was originally insipired by Emma @ Crazy With Twins whose own 30 before 30 list can be found here.
As the title suggests the list contains 30 things I would like to complete / achieve before turning 30 (June 2016). Assuming I don't go and delete the post again I will update it as time goes on.
So here's the list (in no particular order)

1. Host a dinner party.
2. Give someone a homemade gift.
3. Clear my debt.
4. Visit lapland.
5. Move house.
6. Go on a hot air balloon.
7. Learn to play an instrument.
8. Have another baby.
9. Make over my garden and have a garden party.
10. Lose weight.
11. Raise money for charity.
12. Go to a west end musical.
13. Go horse riding.
14. Join the library.
15. Volunteer.
16. Make Christmas dinner.
17. Learn to bake.
18. Learn to use my sewing machine.
19. Visit Scotland.
20. Win an award.
21. Give blood.
22. Do a weekly shop and take it to the food bank.
23. Take Gracie to Disneyland.
24. Be in a live television audience.
25. Swim with dolphins.
26. Vist the South Coast of England.
27. Sing on Karaoke.
28. Carry out at least five random acts of kindness.
29. Go to New York.
30. Keep blogging and have at least 100 followers.

Who else has got a 30 before 30 list (or similar) what kind of things are on your list?

Sunday, 17 February 2013

My Week That Was {7}

I have seen 'My Week That Was' crop up on several blogs and thought it would be something I would enjoy taking part in it but in true Katie style I missed the start date by a good few weeks so thought I had missed out. That was until I saw the lovely Mojo at Wonderments was taking part and this was her first week so I thought what the hell - let's get involved! So although it is week 7 technically its only my week 1 - oopsie!
Monday - The first day of the working week - booooo! Hubster had a job interview the following day so we spent the day (and night) preping and making sure he had everything he needed.
TuesdayI spent the day working from home, I felt so poorly due to the late night Monday. Husbter spent the day at his interview and in the evening went to work as normal. It was the small ones last day at nursery before starting Daddy Daycare She came home with her development file, some pictures and also lots of paintings and art work that she had completed. I had also received two phone calls from the nursery manager throughout the day, one to inform me that she (the small one not the manager) had banged her face which resulted in a nose bleed and the second was to say that she had been sick and to keep an eye on her - luckily she was fine but that didn't stop the hubster from texting throughout the evening to check that she was OK.
Wednesday - Crazy day at work, thats the only way to sum it up! However the day was made much nicer when I returned home and me and the small one did some Valentine's painting.
Thursday - Valentine's day, or as we like to call it in our house 'just another Thursday', barely saw the hubster as we played the 'ships that pass in the night' game. Made some very questionable love heart pizza for tea for me and the small one.
Friday - One of my favourite days of the week, made better than usual by the fact that me and my friends have booked tickets to see the Big Reunion LIVE! - I can not begin to explain how excited I am by this. Also I carried out my good deed for the day when a dog ran out in front of my car and I 'rescued' said dog and reunited it with its rather frantic owner.

Saturday - This has been a practical day, full of meal planning, shopping list, spreadsheets etc... In the evening I went out with friends. I was so excited as I hadn't been out in such a long time, I spent three hours just getting ready! we only had a meal and I was home for 11 o clock but it was just so nice to go out.

Sunday - Hubster works on Sunday so its always a day for just me and my girl. I work full time so its nice to have a day that is ours. We started the day with a lazy morning and this afternoon we took advantage of the nicer weather and went for a walk. This evening (just infact) my husbter went out on the off chance that we might see the international space station pass by and what do you know, we did! So he's pretty chuffed!

Thank you to Lauren @ Real Housewife of Suffolk County who hosts for letting me join in :)


Silent Sunday - 17th February 2013

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 16 February 2013

I Love My Post - Weekend Blog Hop

I've heard about 'blog hops' but never really understood what they were and then this morning I stumbled across the 'I Love My Post - Weekend Blog Hop' which is hosted by Sarah @ Life in a Break Down and Bex @ Futures
The purpose of the blog hop is to help bloggers find new blogs and to help build up readership aswell as simply spreading the love across the blogging community. (That's my interpretation of it anyway!) So I decided to give it a go, hopefully I have done it right?! never the less I have found some lovely new blogs that I have now subscribed to and look forward to reading.
Why not get involved yourself? you never know who or what you might find :)
Life in a Break Down

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Toddler fun on Valentine's Day

So here it is again, 14th February... Valentine's Day!
Now not that we are miserable or anything but the hubster and I haven't really gone for the whole valentine's thing this year, I think since our wedding anniversary was three weeks ago and Christmas was just before that we our all card and gifted out! Never the less I thought it would be lovely to have some toddler fun and so Gracie and I did some painting yesterday :) Gracie loves paints and to be honest I was pleasantly surprised with how co operative she was, although it did take us two attempts ;) so here is the our 'master piece' complete with very questionable love hearts! I should add that I can not take credit for this idea as I got it from a friend.
Seems as though the hubster is at work this evening, I made the girl and me some valentine's pizza - ok, so its just ordinary pizza cut out into a questionable heart shape (whether its paint or pizza I still can not master the art of hearts!) but still Gracie appeared impressed giving me an 'Oh WOW' as I placed the plate in front of her, so that's good enough for me!
Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!


Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Stage Fright?

After reading lots of other blogs I finally decided last year that I would give one ago for myself. I loved the idea of having somewhere that was mine where I could write down all the ramblings and general drivel that runs around in my head most days. I also wanted somewhere I could record my babies milestones, keep photos and generally save our families memories. It sounds pretty simple right? Only since starting my blog I've had what can only be described as stage fright perhaps? I've struggled to open up and write what I really want to write, I'm not even sure why to be honest? Part of me has been worried that someone I know may stumble across my blog but then so what if they do?
So after thinking about it today I have decided to take the leap and would like to introduce myself properly. My name is Katie, i'm a wifey to a boy called Ben and mummy to a toddler called Gracie. I also have a cheeky dog and a naughty cat.
This is Gracie, the girl who stole my heart and gave more meaning to the phrase 'love at first sight' than I could ever imagine. I still can't believe that this little, peaceful newborn is now my all walking, all talking, temper tantrum throwing toddler, everyone told me to cherish the first few weeks / months, I was told time and time again that time flies and you know what I never believed them and now i'm sat here making plans for her second birthday.
And this is a photo of our little family, the picture is a few months old now and was taken just before Gracie's first birthday, but I like it :)

Phew, that wasn't so bad was it? Thanks for reading and I look forward to posting more! xx


Monday, 11 February 2013

Daddy Daycare

So tommorow is the small ones last day at nursery. Seventeen months she has been going, she first started when she was just four months old as at the time I was at university and about to complete my final year placement and my husband was working away. I remember looking around the place when she was eight weeks old and being on the verge of tears as I was talking to the nursery manager, on her actual first day I drove away in tears but now over a year later I can't believe she will actually be leaving!
It was a difficult decision however one that I think will benefit us as a family. Last September my husband was made redundant and with it he became a SAHD. I was lucky to get a full time job so we still had a steady income coming in and just before Christmas the hubster got a job that worked perfectly around my shifts and meant he was at home all day everyday so it seemed daft to be paying money out for childcare when my husband was at home.
I have been talking to my husband about his plans while i'm at work, I was particularly worried that bubs wouldn't have any social interaction with others her age, however it seems I do not need to worry as there is a playgroup that takes place on a weekly basis in the local village that they will attend, he also spoke about going swimming, going for walks to the park, drawing and panting when indoors and also having the occasional lazy / dvd day. I have to say after working away for the first fifteen months of her life I think my husband is looking forward to the SAHD role, I on the other hand would be a big fat liar if I said I wasn't upset or even a little jealous about the way things have worked out. Never in a million years did I think I would work full time while he stayed at home but I guess you just can't plan for some things...
Whats the childcare situation like in your family?
Thanks for reading :) x

Friday, 8 February 2013

Money Money Money

So having seen a few posts on twitter about money (or lack of) I thought I would do a post about money management. Now I am by no means claiming to be an expert on the subject, in fact I would say I am quite the opposite. I have debt, some days I wonder if I will ever be debt free and most days I wish I could meet my former 21 year old self and slap her hard in the face and tell her NO! Never the less what’s done is done so now all I can do is work hard to improve the situation that I am in as let’s face it, it won’t sort itself out! So here is what I have been doing...

Meal Planning

Meal times used to be a great expense in our house, weekends were mainly filled with takeaways and I used to be in and out the supermarket almost daily picking something up for dinner and of course other tempting treats would end up in the basket. By having a meal plan we know what we will be eating each day and we avoid 'convenience' foods.

This now leads me on to my next point.

Shopping Lists

Once we have completed our menu plan for the week we write our shopping list, we also check the cupboards and fridge to see what food / ingredients we already have in. I know it sounds simple but I can’t tell you how many times I have bought unnecessary items as I didn't realise I already had them in. Also try going down a brand or like us consider a cheaper supermarket. We used to shop at Tesco’s when there was an Aldi right next door and now we do a weekly shop including nappies / wipes and pet food for approx £40 a week.

Spending Diary

Keep track of your spending. Keep a diary for a month and then review it, you will be surprised by what you spend your money on!

Know your APR’s

If you have got any debts then take note of them and learn your APR’s. My husband has a credit card that he routinely paid the minimum payment for every month for around two years before noticing the balance never went down. He must have paid the amount owed twice over by now!

Tackle the debt

Think about how you want to tackle the debt. There are a number of charities that can help with debt management. NEVER pay anyone to help you deal with your debt there really is no need.  Charities such as Stepchange, CAB and Christian’s against poverty can all help.

You can of course tackle the debt yourself (this is what we are doing). First step, if you are in arrears with any payments then contact the companies and discuss it with them. It’s so scary and daunting however you feel such a sense of relief once the call is over.

Also you might want to consider snowballing, this is where you prioritise your debts in order of highest APR’s and aim to pay off the debt with the highest APR first.  To help calculate a snowball plan click here.

Believe in yourself

Finally believe in yourself! At times it will seem impossible, like you are constantly trying to fight a losing battle but unfortunately these things can't improve over night and it does take some time before you see the differences but I can tell you from experience that once you do, it makes it all worth it. I  may still have some debts but I know I'm better off than I was two years ago and I know things now can only get better. As I say I am no expert, I am just talking from personal experience. 

Good Luck and Thanks for reading :)

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

The Liebster Award :)

As you will see from my previous post I haven't blogged for a few weeks, well last weekend I logged onto my blog and my twitter account just out of curiosity if nothing else and the first thing I saw was that I had been awarded this lovely award by the even lovelier Mojo @ Wonderments.

I have to say that this came at just the right time and as a believer of fate, I felt that by receiving this award it was a sign that I should get back into blogging. So here I am! I followed this link from the Wonderments blog to learn more about the award.

So what are the rules?
  • List 11 facts about yourself.
  • Answer the 11 questions given to you.
  • Create 11 new questions for the bloggers that you have nominated for the award.
  • Choose 5 bloggers with 200 or less followers to nominate.
  • Go to each bloggers page and let them know about the award.

11 facts about me:

1. I passed my driving test on my 18th birthday.
2. I spent a summer working on a camp in America.
3. I applied for university in 2009 and didn't tell anyone about it until I had a place (I graduated last year).
4. I crack my fingers :-/
5. In 2010 my wedding was cancelled 2 nights before it was due to take place due to the mass amount of snow we had. Instead we got married 6 weeks later.
6. I fell pregnant while at uni and was in lecturers upto the day before I gave birth.
7. I named my first car Gary.
8. I am super broody.
9. I am DESPERATE to know how he met their mother. (This will only make sense to how I met your mother fans.)
10. I used to love horse riding.
11. I have met Paddy McGuiness twice.

Mojo's Questions

1. Where is the one place you would recommend visiting?

Florida, my husband and I went here in 2008 with friends and it was simply amazing, it has something for everyone, good food, water parks, theme parks, space centre, shopping malls... the list is endless! we went for two weeks and even with cramming activities we know there is still so much more to see. We hope to go back once bubs is older.

2. Who is your favourite band/singer/music?

I am going to cop out of this question a little as I can not choose just one artist. I love listening to a variety of music and this is usually determined by my mood at the time, just some of my faves are the Beatles, Adele, Girls Aloud, Eva Cassidy, Michael Buble.

3. If you could go on a night out with 3 people alive or dead who would you choose?

Ok slightly cheating as one, they are characters as opposed to 'real' people and two, there is four of them but I think I would have to have a girls night out, complete with cocktails and dancing with Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda from Sex and the City!

4. What is your proudest moment?

Probably a predictable answer but giving birth to my beautiful little baby - and a non mummy related proud moment is graduating.

5. What 3 course dinner would you order if money was no object?

I am probably the most boring and un imaginative person but I would just love a platter for starter with gougons, breaded mushrooms, stuff potato skins etc, followed by sizzling hot chicken fajitas and rounded off with a good old fashioned slab of warm chocolate fudge cake and ice cream.

6. If you could go back in time, which era would you like to live in?

I think for this I would choose the 1950's where petticoats were in fashion and dancing was all the rage! I would also like to experience a time pre technology. I sometimes feel the development in technology has become somewhat instrusive for example if someone can't get hold of me on my house phone, they will ring my mobile, if I don't answer my mobile, they will send a text, or maybe they will email me, facebook me, tweet me perhaps?

7. What is your favourite movie?

Like music I have various favourites dependent on what mood I am in that day. Some of my faves are Sex and the city, Alot like love, Grease, Mamma Mia, Twilight, Across the Universe and more recently I have been reintroduced to the classic Disney Films :)

8. When did you last laugh so much it hurt and what happened to make you laugh so much?

This was earlier today when my husband was telling me a story about an 'angry bird' that was out to get him. I would share the story with you but I am pretty sure it will be a case of 'Oh you had to be there'.

9. What lifts your mood when or if you're ever feeling a bit fed up?

Seeing my happy, smiley, cheery little girl.

10. What is your guilty pleasure?

Nights in! Long gone are the days where I used to out to the early hours now its all about the PJ's, blanket, hot water bottle, lots of choc and tv.

11. If you were animal, what would you be?

I would have to say a cat (not one that kills birds and mice though) but one who went on super exciting adventures and then lounged around the house undisturbed. (I'm basing this on my cats life)

My Questions

1. How did you come up with the name for your blog?
2. If you could give your children one piece of advice what would it be?
3. What song has the most significance to you and why?
4. What three things would you like to achieve in the next 10 years?
5. What is your favourite time of year?
6. Do you drive, and if yes how many times did it take for you to pass your test?
7. What's your favourite way to relax?
8. Do you prefer baths or showers?
9. What was your favourite TV show as child?
10. If you had a theme tune to your life what would it be?
11. What is your favourite take away?

Ok, now for my nominations... Although I think the likely hood is that the following blogs do have more than 200 followers but thats because they are so awesome!

Keri-Anne at GingerlillyteaThis is gorgeous blog filled with stories of Keri-Anne's two 'fairies' and their adventures, there is also baking, photography, dreamy days and lots more.

Mummy S at Litlle Guys Mummy who started her blog around a similar time to me and truly deserves more followers over there.

Leyla at This Day I Love who is a mummy to two lovely little girlies and blogs about the things that she loves each day.

Lisa at Hollybobbs whose blog I have only recently started following but wish I had found sooner. Go and follow Lisa and her little family.

Rachel at Mummykindness whose blog encourages us all to be kind to one another and to ourselves.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Back to blogging...

So I haven't blogged for a few weeks, infact I didn't realise just how long it had been until I looked yesterday! I guess the blogging community can be a little daunting, don't get me wrong everyone I have spoken to has been lovely and I really enjoy reading other people's blogs but I never really realised how much of a techno-phobe I was and feel a tad out of my depth, there is a lot I don't know or understand, simple things really like adding a 'button' to my blog, getting the layout just right, linking up with other blogs etc however I am sure over time I will get the hang of it. I really want my blog to work, not just for others but for myself as I want it to be somewhere I can store memories and look back on months / years to come.
So what have I been upto while away from the computer? Well I think the biggest and probably the most obvious  thing is Christmas - It was such a wonderful time, not only the build up but also the day itself. On Christmas Eve we had our 'cosy box' this is something that I started doing once we had our daughter and would love for it to become a family tradition. Basically the box is filled with treats and also 'essentials' in order for us to prepare for Santa's arrival and includes such things as a plate and mug, carrots, mince pies, reindeer food, magic santa key, plus lots more!
Then came the new year, my husband and I went to a friends house where they had a BBQ, sounds like complete madness but it was actually a lovely night, rounded off by sending lanterns up into the sky. So far in 2013 my little family has begun a financial overall, we are trying to live the life of thrift and go by the moto of do we need this or do we want it? So far we seem to be managing and have made signifanct cutbacks and savings but I won't bore you with that just now... Also it was our second wedding anniversary, I have to say that 2 years seems to have flown by! and then more recently we have had the snow dayyyys! Our little troublemaker absolutley loved the snow and every morning checked the window and would then say 'coat, boots, walk'
I think that pretty much brings us up to speed, so for now I will leave you with our little Snowman Stan :)
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