Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Catch up!

Bah last chance to do my mums tax return so blogging is out for a while. I have all the sums but don't like the online bit. Phooey.

Payday Thursday so am working out a new budget for the year now that Xmas and birthday is over.

Paying bills which is poo but gotta be done. Note to self - Make last £11 payment to Credit card! Whoppeee!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Snow days and reminiscing

Yes schools closed. Two days now.

Small girl in the house. Yeah! Off work.

Yesterday she had a play date.Today we have had a jama day- made cheesy scones, foam 3d picture thing from a kit, felt pictures, some tidying, jigsaw and some TV. Lots of spontaneous drawing. Building of things with bricks

Cheesy scones, fruit and tomato soup. Meal plan out the window today! But we'll just re arrange adn eat the veggies tomorrow with a stir fry!

Heating on low all day.  No more than 16-18 degrees. Its cold. It irks though. If I had a room without stairs in it the heating would not be on!

Saved on childcare - £30 and Travel approx £16. Lol probably spent this amount on the sodding heating!

Back to the grind tomorrow. I have a course starting and also a benefits training session to do. Late start tomorrow as its 10am start locally based training. Then Thursday and Friday before Weeny's expensive soft play party. First and last.

Small girls  birthday treat from the other family was a trip to Matalan to buy clothes she doesn't need. She is five. Some clothes in wrong size 4-5. Then they went to pizza hut. Ah well what can I say. She was disappointed as she likes to open presents and likes surprises.

On her actual birthday  on the 18th we had a wee chum to tea. We decorated a cheapie choc cake ( 75p) had pizza and hot dogs and crisps and carrot sticks, strawberries and cucumber on a blanket on the floor. The girls dressed up, got to put on kiddie makeup and be princesses, danced to Mamma Mia, played up stairs and trashed her bedroom and made necklaces before the singing of songs.

For her opening pressies I purchased two £1 craft sets, a 1.50 jigsaw, a tu tu and a leotard from a charity shop and she was very pleased. Biggles bought her goggles as he is going to pay for dancing lessons for her.  Happy Small girl!!! SGDD from now on! She is getting a bit big to be a weeny anymore.....

Bless five years since the crowning burn! Given that Gas and Air made me sick and I waited so long before going in to hosp  there was nothing else in the way of PR available! All au naturelle! Don't know about you but I gave birth like a dog on all fours. None of this sat up with my hair splayed around my head. Lots of swearing and feeling devastated when after all the pushing I could feel her head slide back..Lol two steps forward and one back and I was distraught after all that hard work! She actually popped into the world with very little fuss really. Tiny despite being over by 8 days but the breast feeding sorted that right out (Much to the chagrin of the other family who found it disgusting) I fed till she wanted to give up around 2-2.5. Easy peasy. And now five! Loved most of it lol


Monday, 21 January 2013

Roll on Feb! Money musings

Battening down the hatches after xmas. I have bills that need paying. French lessons and a car maintenance bill for £90.

I am itching to get my finances in order and start again after xmas. The last of the credit card bill is to be paid in Feb so we have a clean sheet sort of.

Future wise we wait for the all powerful MOD to make its decisions and cast up its offerings to Biggles. He is past the half way mark so moving on rears its head.

We have things we all want to do and make plans for but we wait.

All depends on his next report and what the MOD offer him. He wants to see if he will be recommended for promotion or not. If he is he will take promo enhancing jobs if not he is happy to take jobs for enjoyment. You have no choice in the Military they tell you when and where and how high.

From my point of view I just want to be able to pay my pension and save money for the future. No chance with the mortgage and property owning. Pension and saving however yes.

Do I want to go abroad???? This is will be a non promotion job for Biggles
Do I want to relocate to the middle of nowhere - Lincoln, Wilts, Hampshire for max two years.

I think if I stay here I will want to move closer to work. The reasons being
1. DD will get more and more homework. I want to ensure this is done and she develops good study habits
2. Money. I spend approx 200 on fuel each month and this is only set to rise.
3. Time - less time spent commuting - see point one.

It means the less rural chunk of the county and less pretty.

I will have to still apply for social housing and any move will need to be considered in depth and research done on the area in depth including with the local cop shop re issues in any estate I move to.

I would save £100 a month which can be saved in pension pots or other.

I know what my budget in Feb will tell me. I know what I need to do to get by but I would like to make progress in saving or pension planning. I need to see some sort of progress not stagnation. I think moving will be one of the key areas that will afford me more money in the long term.

Quality of life time wise will be better. Not sure about other areas as I live in a cool wee town with lots of bits going on and a nice community feel to it but overall in general more time spent with small daughter is a good and invaluable thing.

See what the military overlords doth offer and profess....

Payday next week - 30th Jan.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

A birthday...

Its Weeny's big day tomorrow.  She is having a friend for tea and cake after school before her party at soft play next Saturday. We have cakes to bake and decorate and silly things to do!

Shopping wise I need:
hot dogs, milk, beans and cheap bread veg and fruit and bread. That's is it. Ham maybe for sandwiches.

We have lasagna tomorrow from the freezer for Biggles and I. Its a small one but Weeny will have eaten earlier.

Sat - Thai Curry
Sun - Chicken dinner
Monday- Pie or pizza not sure which yet!
Tuesday- Stir Fry with left over veg
Wednesday-Baked potato and cheese and beans
Thursday- Eggy bread with beans
Friday- Curry!!!!
Saturday-sausage and bean casserole
Sunday- lamb chops and veg mash and sauce

My approved food order was fab and I have lots of beans- kidney and butter beans.


Friday, 11 January 2013

Am liking the meal planning but it needs to be flexible!

Meal plan doing fine. We have Curry for tonight as I recall. I might do lemon chicken tomorrow instead of lasagne as I have lemons that need using up. They have been there since christmas. I will use what I need for the recipe and then juice the rest. I may freeze some of the juice and use the rest.
We will have jacket potatoes with the lemon chicken.

I hate waste!! The lasagne can stay in the freezer till next Friday night.
Lemon chicken
Pork Sunday dinner

Meal plan for next week
Monday - Pizza . Cheap one with added toppings. 60p per pizza with left over ham etc etc Easy meal for Monday night and quick!
Tuesday- Sausage and mash- with peas and gravy  Veg sausages!
Wednesday - Fish and chips with peas
Thursday- Tomato soup and bread - Quick and its shopping night! Better for bargains though they are sparse at the local Morrisions.
Friday - Lasagne and garlic bread with veg
Saturday- Thai Curry
Sunday- Chicken pieces roast dinner

At weekends for lunches we have snack foods - pitta and cheese and cucumber, tuna etc etc

During the week  I will have left overs and porridge and sandwiches for lunch next week.

The regular shopping buys I have are mostly fresh stuff and cat food!: potatoes, veg, fruit, milk, bread

I alwasy look out for yellow stickered bread and meat.

Also as a silly thing I have a daily outfit total cost at work. The team now ask me how much I spent in total on todays outfit. I should do pics. lol its an expensive one today totalling £28 quid but thats including boots, coat, jeans, top waistcoat thing and under vest.

Yesterday was a below a tenner day. the team were impressed but not yet ready ot make the move to second hand clothes lol

Thursday, 10 January 2013


Well mostly stuck to the shopping list.I did buy yellow sticker mince reduced from £4 to 2.89,  veg sausages, the linda mac ones reduced to £1, garlic  ciabatta reduced 19p. This is as good as yellow stickering gets in my local Morrisons. Spent £28 but yellow stickers for meat and good stuffs is allowed as an investment. I only buy special offer meat or try to.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Squeeeee! Freecycle and the first resolution!

Mostly so far so good.....

I have acquired a sewing machine from Free Cycle. It is a huge old heavy thing - works ok I hope. Haven't tried it yet. I also have a new tea tray. I swapped one at work.

I have got work to pay for the PTTLS course. ( Preparing to teach in the lifelong learning sector- minimum qual to deliver anything in FE or adult ed.) Starts Jan 23rd.

No joy with fitting in the exercise yet but hey ho there is time.

I have had a no spend day today. Monday was a farce however. Weeny needed her shoe strap fixing. I am not forking out for new shoes for a few weeks! When she gets into the size 11's I have for her all well and good.  I also had to fill up the car. I intend on only filling up at supermarkets. I will endeavour to do so once a week and not forget and leave myself having to get even a small amount of petrol locally as it is too expensive.  Hmm I failed the charity shop test. I just went in for a browse then found a skirt for £4 however the it was brand new and the attached label said RRP £55 so its going straight to Ebay. I then spied another skirt also for £4, some cushion covers- 3 for £1.49 and a sale rail long waist coat for 99p. I only went in for the 99p sale rail. The skirt  for me is very cool however, I would keep the other one but will chance my luck on Bay. Its by some silly label it looks like. Never heard of it but thats not a surprise. Its black, full skirted, hipster style goes to the knee with silver thread through it. Sounds odd but is very nice. Ebay it is however.

My little resolutions now include:
  • making my own washing liquid at least once
  • making jam from brambles
  • making a simple roman blind or two
  • plus the other little stuff

Bummed out on the charity shopping but hey ho won't beat myself up about it.

Sticking to the meal plan so far and will stick it the shopping list.

Also found a free PDF thing for birthday invites. Only went for B/W but they were cute. Weeny turns five on the 18th Jan. Plans are afoot for celebrations.

I have money put aside for her class birthday party at soft play and we will do pressies and cake in the house on her actual birthday.  Will purchase a basic small cake for the soft play event and make my own for the house party.

This is the last time we do soft play parties and the only time I will do the whole class thing. Next year it will be a few kids to the cinema on a Tuesday afternoon when its cheap or a few to one of the wildlife sanctuaries. I kind of feel obliged this year as all the others are doing something similar or have done the class size party.  No birthday pressies of any significant worth however. Have gone for the party and small pressies instead. Will only be the Bratz accessories I have stashed from Free cycle. That was an excellent haul!

Off to find patterns/instructions for Roman blinds. I have old curtains and venetian blind slats as well as cord/string stuff. Fingers crossed.

Good stuff - Quals and freecycle, free invitations from the interweb!
Poor show- spending needlessly in charity shops not including the eBay find as this may be an investment

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Routine looms, frugal plans, .... and P easy soup amongst other things....

Back to work tomorrow. We have taken Biggles to the station after 17 days of loveliness! We have our packed lunches made. We have P. Easy soup made for tomorrow.

P Easy as it is literally piss easy and also made from peas lol.

I had left over creme fraiche so made Piss easy soup here after known as Peasy soup so as not to offend the sensitive. I try not to waste creams as they are not cheap. We had fajitas so had left over Creme Fraiche. Also works with soured cream. Proper fridge found dairy stuff not the nasty bottled sauce style. Bleugh!

Peasy Soup
Chop and soften one medium onion in a little oil. Add a sprinkle of mint and S and P. Add 400ml of stock - veg will do though others such as ham, chick etc work well. Not sure of the redder meats. Def not beef. Boil. Add a good two handfuls of peas - frozen ones maybe more.  Boils for a min or two but no longer. Reduce heat to minimal. Add creme fraiche ( four tbs approx) or single cream or marscapone or whipping or double. Make a judgement according to how much you have left and how thick you want your soup to be if you are using double cream etc etc.  If you only have a small amount of creamy stuff or it pleases you chuck in a handful of grated cheese or to taste or give substance!
Add more mint, S and P and blitz. Ta dah! You can strain if you like or if your frozen peas are getting a bit husky and hard. I keep the husks in, if they are soft enough.
It is very green and makes for good flatulence. I have warned you. Great with HM bread.

So I have me several lists.

Frugal to do list
  1. Meal plan to work out - reduce shopping budget to at least 25 pw and no more
  2. Budget to set and review
  3. Own washing liquid to make when  my current stash runs down
  4. Make simple blinds for the kitchen - I have the material and the old blinds so hopefully I can fashion something
  5. Ebaying - I have sorted out clothes, more stuff, shoes, etc Weeny girl stuff. I also have Biggles warehouse to sort out
  6. Car boot sale when the season starts. I shall reccie a newish car boot in the area to see what its like. I have a preference for one that I know is busy and well
  7. I shall not shop at charity shops or otherwise till at least Easter. I have no need and have many items that I can upcycle and adapt.
  8. I have seeds that this year I will plant in my boxes and tubs.
  9. To complete more online surveys. I am lazy and use my phone for many a thing so
I shall freecycle and skip dive for all other needs. I plan on going to the tip for a reccie and look see.
I also need to get to Biggles house to rescue some freezer food and some condiments and spices etc.  I shall also have a root around for any tupperware for batch cooking.

My free cycle list included the following:
Bamboo or other blinds
sewing machine
photo frames
dvd player
garden table
toys for weeny for xmas lol
oil filled radiator

I nearly caved and purchased bamboo blinds then thought no I can make stuff. So if anyone has any hints on making simple roman stule blinds please send instructions my way.

I do not have a sewing machine so all will need to be hand sewable or wonder webbable lol

General to do list
Car wash and valet - needs some TLC
Put up the princess bed thing - It has a massive screw that I need to set into a joist in the ceiling somehow. Any ideas much appreciated!
Garden to be sorted out a bit  and also the Barbecue for the better weather,
Spring clean and de clutter - will try a draw a month lol

I also have the ongoing get fitter thing and the qualification thing and most def the meal plan thing!

I have got out the mini cross trainer. I will endeavour to build up some time on this in the evening. I will also walk up the stairs and not use the lift. I will walk Weeny to school Fridays bar rain!

Meal plan 1.  7th - 13th Jan
Monday - soup and bread
Tuesday- chicken and salad, chips
Wednesday-  baked potatoes with cheese and beans, I will have beans on toast or something. Only one spud and  Shopping day is Thursday. Weeny likes her spud and beans!
Thursday- Eggy bread with beans
Friday-   Chicken Chow mein or curry
Saturday-  Lasagne- and garlic bread. Its already made and in the freezer!
Sunday-  Pork- Roast

Pudding is always fruit and we always have cucumber and carrot on the side as a snack

Thus my shopping list for this week shall be:

Eggs, potatoes, carrots, brocoli, peppers, cucumber, lettuce, chicken pieces, beans, squash to drink, milk, sugar, bread for freezer, pizza, loo roll, cheap cheese/ham, fruit for lunches and pudding- see whats on special, cat food.

Will only get yello sticker bread for freezing as I already have three loaves in stock and will see what bargains are up. So all in for £25 not including additional yellow sticker bargains??? What do you reckon????  

I will oblige my self of bargains at Lidl and Iceland for certain things ( eggs namely) as you can get 6 free range for 99p. I won't do caged. Most other stuff I find The Sons of Morri to be adequate given travelling time etc.


NYD Ochils 2. What we walked!

Castle Campbell again....
Car park not far form here and a wee road walk before you turn off and head for Sauchie falls. I could have walked from Dollar itself but have no love of walking roads and through houses and streets. I find it very boring.

View from a cairn - not quite Kings Seat. Kings Seat is a Donald and over 2000ft. I think We left it too late in the day to climb the seat. It looks a simple enough mooch however I didn't fancy the steep bits to the above cairn in the dark. just  There was not enough sunshine in the day.

The wee town of Dollar.

 Same hill in sunshine!
No pics of Kings Seat but will try to add some later.