This year we saved the date and finally booked our wedding (yay!) however it has left us a bit penniless and led us to trying to be thrifty this festive season, especially when we have 2 toddlers!
1- Write a strict list for who you are going to buy for and stick to it. We’ve said that we are only buying for children because as adults if we want something we get it! I spent £500 on Christmas presents for siblings, in laws etc and it was really silly.
2- Buy the cheap wrapping paper. I made the mistake of buying gloss high quality (high price) wrap last year only to find my daughter struggled to rip it open. It all ends up in the recycling anyway so be thrifty. Primark and Poundland are fabulous for affordable paper and have some amazing prints.
3- Decide your budget for each child! I saved £10 a month after Christmas last year until October and that gave me £50 for each child.
4- Search for toys in charity shops because I got lots of brand new things for my two. I also recommend comparing shop prices for discount codes to get items at the best price.
5- Go to family for Christmas dinner! This cuts a LOT of budget out. We’ve spend £0 on food for this Christmas because we are going to stay with family!
6- Ebay/facebay/boot fair all the old toys to make way for the new ones. This puts some pennies in the fund.
7- Make homemade gifts for adults so you’ve still got them token gifts. I made salt dough decorations with my 2 year old. We had so much fun and the grandparents will love them! (So have a go!).
8- Ignore the Facebook mums who guilt you because you’ve not done elf on the shelf or Christmas evening boxes. You can create family memories without spending tons of money on silly stuff. The greatest family memories are going for a walk in the evenings to look at Christmas lights with my parents.
In a recent insta story poll I put to you guys which room you wanted to see the most and Indiana was the most wanted. I’m by no means good at interior design and this isn’t what this blog was about but rather wanting to share my families space with everyone.
When we upsized to a 3 bedroom I was pregnant with Indi. I obviously wanted Delilah to have the bigger room because she was the eldest but now I do feel a bit guilty. Delilah has a room bigger than the lounge and poor Indi has a room that makes Harry Potters cupboard under the stairs look like a mansion.
Another issue was that rental properties are generally magnolia painted with brown cheap carpet so I decorated it as best I could with colour to celebrate his outrageous personality mixed with our retro type of style.
A shoe box room indeed!
Firstly his cot.
Delilah was still in hers so couldn’t be handed down (it was also pink, not that I associate colour with gender but this kid needed a break).
It was actually my cousins. It’s been used by other babies and finally made its round to Indiana. The cot bed is 11 years old, been used by 4 babies and is still in fabulous condition.
The bedding is from the Little Bird collection by Jools Oliver for Mothercare as well as the wall stickers.
Underneath is a slide out storage where I keep better…
As well as the stickers I’ve pinned up a few trinkets including a white papillon weave, a lion selfie and a little hanging sign that I got when I first found out he was a boy.
In a little cove a mini wardrobe was made with a shelf and pole.
I will be honest I rarely ever hang any of his clothes up because he’s barely even got them on hangers before we are putting a clean outfit on him because he is a total mucky pup!
But we do have a little chest of drawers in there which we got in Manchester and painted it in Annie Sloan chalk paint in old white.
On top we keep a little basket of night time emergencies.
On the window seal we only have a couple of little bits because we didn’t want it to be too cluttered looking. This silver money box was gifted to him by my Nan on his christening.
And lastly the light shade was a cheap £1 purchase from Wilko to match the blind we got for free!
And there you have it! His little space. One day I will buy a rug to go in here but for now the rest of the house needs doing.
Thanks for reading.
After being engaged for 2 years which I know it’s a long time but another baby, 2 moves I think we are finally ready.
We set a date, booked the church and a killer party venue. I even bought my dress!
Why wasn’t I happy?
I am happy. I can not wait to marry my soulmate. I really can’t.
However I do have PND and sometimes it can be a bitch. It comes in waves and right now it’s like tsunami pulling me down under suffocating me. I feel like I can’t win with anyone, like it’s always my fault. I try to fight my corner but I just can’t win.
I want our wedding to be perfection and I want to enjoy my life because things are actually going really well for me.
I wanted my PND one year on post to be really positive so I’m sorry it isn’t. Mostly I’m sorry to myself. The wedding planning continues and we are both so excited but next Monday I’ve booked to go back to my doctors and get a smidge more help. I won’t be suffering in silence anymore so I’ve got my big girl pants on.
Recently whilst attending a Kit & Kin event I met Marie who was impossible to miss because she’s absolutely teeny and gorgeous! She also happens to be the sweetest human ever and senior midwife in Cornwall.
After delivering a whole lot of beautiful babies she came to discover that many expectant parents arrive at hospital in labour with a lot of unnecessary and harmful products for their newborns, such as plastic chemical ridden nappies, fragranced baby wipes that strip delicate skin barriers, bleached maternity pads, harmful washes and lotion. The dad would then have to run out and leave his partner and their newborn to frantically try and shop for the right items whilst Marie (like other midwifes) would try to re-build mum’s confidence in that she hasn’t ‘got it wrong’ or ‘picked the wrong bits’.
According to Penelope Jagessar Chaffer, babies now have 30,000-50,000 chemicals in their bodies that our grandparents did not have! So after deciding that she couldn’t go on for another 40 years in this career still witnessing this problem she came up with a solution.
Marie got to work designing and manufacturing a pre-packed changing bag with everything a pregnant woman needs for labour, birth and beyond. Thereafter it’s to be used as a changing bag and comes with a removable, washable organic liner, organic changing mat and stroller straps. Her whole life experience as a senior midwife has gone into making and packing this bag. The product is made truly with love, care and consideration.
Expectant parents no longer need to research for hours, shop for days or worry about what could have been forgotten. Instead they have a premium quality grab-and-go bag packed with premium quality products. All bags are made from environmentally friendly materials such as recycled leather and fluorocarbon free, organic cotton canvas. In fact MLM provide the worlds first ever fluorocarbon free baby changing bag. For parents MLM is “confidence you can carry”.
Click here to order yours today: https://www.mlmaternity.com/mlm-shop/
When Emma from ACTION FOR CHILDREN charity popped up in my emails asking to write a blog post for them it couldn’t of come at a better fitting time. Last week our financial status hit a bit of a nose dive and we had to pull the reigns on spending and be a little more thrifty.
Financially we aren’t the poorest parents out there, I know that. Pat works INCREDIBLY hard at 3 jobs for us then I work my (ginormous) arse off at home baking/blogging/brand repping. However we are entitled to certain tax credits which help us tie lose ends together. Last week because of a computer error on HMRC part all our tax credits etc were stopped. It meant we had to stop putting money in our saving pot, tighten our belts and sadly ask for help.
Being a young parent is that little bit harder when your are counting your change out to buy nappies and wipes when your other friends still live at home and only thing they need to pay for is their phone bill. They have the luxury of dipping into student finance or their salary which doesn’t have to go on bills or formula.
ACTION FOR CHILDREN is warning us that 117,000 young parents in Britain are unable to financially cope putting more risk of children in poverty. Over the course of 12 months, a young parent will earn £1,300 less than young people who do not have children. This is worrying given the negative impact of financial hardship on children’s physical and mental health. The report found that young parents earn significantly less than their non-parent peers, despite having the additional costs of raising children which is on average, £8,400 per year. It further shows that young parents have an average income of £14,820 compared to a UK national average of £26,300. Single parents who are 25 and under survive on as little as £14,300.
One of the main struggles for me was how had it was to budget and factor in every cost. Last year when trying to factor in all the little costs of raising Delilah and she go struck by chicken pox. The cream and medicine cost me £18 which I had to take from our food shopping money. We stripped right down, had to eat smaller meals and be very careful how much of everything we used. It made me so anxious and really contributed to my PND.
This wonderful charity helps disadvantaged children across the UK through fostering or adoption, by intervening early to stop neglect and abuse, by influencing policy, and by making life better for disabled children. With over 600 services the charity improves the lives of 370,000 children, teenagers, parents and carers every year.
To make a donation or seek help you can find them at http://www.actionforchildren.org.uk/
I’m not a cheap skate but if I had the option to put our baggage through hold or pack savvier have an extra £100 for my holiday I’d rather the latter. So I set out with a whole lot of nerves and got organised with my packing.
Luckily I’m staying somewhere where there’s a washing machine however most holiday locations you can find a laundrette/dry cleaners, so that helps with sliming your packing down.
For each child for a fortnight I have packed:
* 5 day time outfits
* A set of plane outfits
* 3 evening outfits
* 5 swimming costumes
* A hat
* Trainers (for the flight)
* Evening shoes for Delilah
* Tooth brush each, one toothpaste, three travel bottles of sun cream, 1 mini bottle of baby lotion, 1 balm for bites/bruises
This all fit into 1 trunki and only weighed 5kgs. The trunki was kindly loaned to us by Samy (big up Samy) and was a god send. Delilah sat on it and we whizzed her about the airport.
The good thing about kids clothes is that they are teeny and can be folded into nothing. I knew before we came out that we would be going out for dinner 3/4 times so didn’t need to go all out on outfits. And I’m also solo parenting out here so I wanted to make sure that all outfits were ready to go and put on to not waste a single minutes of fun on pairing socks or trying to see what shorts go with what. I grab a “Delilah- day outfit” and an “Indiana- day outfit” and I’m ready to go.
I planned out before 5 outfits with socks (no vests needed!) and I even set out bows for Delilah! I bagged them up, labelled them and then with a rolling pin I flattened the bags pushing all the air out of them before zipping them up so they were thinner than paper! I packed lightweight comfy rompers, tops and shorts for Indiana and comfy cotton dresses for Delilah.
I tucked their shoes in the side pushed the towels on top (quickly shutting it) and we was done! All the toiletries were bagged in a clear bag which I put into Indianas changing bag. To get them out easily when they was checked.
With our plane tickets (1 adult, 1 child, 1 infant) our luggage allowance was:
* 2 10kg hand luggage (1 for me, 1 for Delilah)
* 1 nappy changing bag (for Indiana)
* 1 handbag (for me which I didn’t use)
* 1 rucksack (for Delilah)
* 4 baby equipment items (2 per child under 5, we took a buggy each per child, Indianas travel cot and his car seat)
Which is a lot before adding any hold luggage.
Delilah sleeps in my bed whenever we go away and we had a car seat ready for her at the villa. Delilahs trunki had all the kids clothes in and mine (a mini suitcase) had mine in. Cosmetics and toiletries went in the nappy bag along with my medication, Indianas prescription milk, purse, tickets, passports and phone. Delilahs rucksack was her toy bag with snacks, iPad with Moana downloaded and 200 stickers, all of which was absolutely useless because she fell asleep before we even took off and woke up as we was beginning to land.
I’m going to add here that Indiana had lived in just a nappy or his swimsuit because he gets so very hot and sweaty. They don’t wear pjs because it’s soooo hot also so it doesn’t take up much room at all.
Enjoy going back to school!
Love Sophie, Delilah and Indiana x
I’ve based my packing on a fortnight in a sunny location with self catering private accommodation.