Archive | CRAZY LITTLE THING CALLED… TIME RSS feed for this section

Last minute modelling

16 Sep

Arrived home from work today to hear that it’s ‘dinosaur week’ at nursery and mine were the only children to have forgotten to bring along something dino-themed.

20130916-212329.jpg

After searching the kids’ toy boxes for anything at all dinosaur-related I found this measly little effort amongst the carnage.

They literally have no dinosaur toys whatsoever! So I had to think of something creative … Here goes

20130916-212621.jpg

I took an empty earl grey tea box and glued on the leaflet insert from our Disney dinosaur DVD. I then got Abigail to cover it with stickers and rip up some green paper and fill it up inside. We popped an egg from her toy kitchen on the top and drew on some dots…..

20130916-212832.jpg

And tomorrow she’ll be showing all her friends the baby dinosaur egg that she found! There’s even ‘food’ inside the lid just incase the baby dinosaur is hungry when it hatches!

20130916-213244.jpg

Thirteen for thirteen!

1 Jan

Resolutions for a brighter, healthier and smoother 2013 (and a few apps that may help!)

With the new year at the doorstep I’m excited for the chance to turn over a new leaf and start the new year on a high. I’m going to use the theory that, the more resolutions I take on, the higher probability of personal improvements. Even if a few of them do fall by the wayside… I’ll still have some left going strong!

So for the new year 2013 here are 13 fab new years resolution ideas to inspire you…

Health

1. Get active!

“If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented”.

move_more

Make a health pledge to be more active. Find out how you could benefit from being more physically active- and get on it!

How to get started?

Do this simple fitness assessment to find out if youre doing enough and find out if you’re a healthy weight whilst getting some personal advice here.

If necessary you can get help to lose weight using these fab NHS tips.

Take part in the Couch to 5k Running Plan for absolute beginners (you gotta start somewhere!) No costly equipment needed! Or if running isn’t your thing and if youre unsure of which activity to do then use this handy tool to help match you to your ideal sport.

If you can swap the car for walking some journeys then this is an excellent way to introduce more activity into your day. Walking isn’t really an option for me as the kids are a handful even with a car and the weather is crap so I would look a mess by the time I got to work! I also imagine I would be late practically every day. Besides it is probably useful to get my money’s worth from the very expensive car insurance and tax costs I’m currently paying to have my car on the road in the first place.

For extra motivation on getting active you can sign up to the Change For Life resolution booster!

2. Eat well

eat_well

There’s not much point being active if you still eat badly. So find out if you’re a healthy eater using this test and if you’re not then try to start shopping better. The mind instantly assumes that healthy food will cost more but rest assured that this can still be done on a budget. I’m going to do a weekly (healthy) online food shop with Tesco or Asda as it takes the stress and avoidance out of doing a food shop with the kids. I think this will also stop that urge you get in the shop to buy junk. There’s actually a lot of every day tasks that can be done online to save time.

I like the idea of doing food swaps for healthier choices and finding out what the food labels actually mean so that I can start to make better choices in what I buy.

I will definitely use the 8 tips for a healthy diet for guidance and I also will create a 5-a-day meal planner and shopping list to introduce better foods into our daily life!

For January I will take multivitamins daily until my health improves and stop having them when I know that my new diet is definitely giving me everything that I need.

3. Cut down on bad stuff

Assorted Junk Food

Namely coffee and junk food. First of all despite my love of all things coffee I do need to cut down on this as I binge drink daily. It can’t be good for me. I looked into the effects of caffeine and it isnt great either. I’m on a 10 cup a day habit so this is a bit excessive. I’m going to cut down to a maximum of 4 a day and definitely none after 8pm so that my sleep isnt disturbed. There are other tips to help you get a good nights sleep in my earlier post on why sleep is so important.

Junk food – We all know that junk food is bad. So I will stop buying it and choose healthier alternatives. I’m under the impression that if you dont have it in you wont eat it? We’ll see.

I will be bringing my lunch to work daily… to stop me from trips to Macdonalds or grabbing sweets from a shop on my lunch break. Plus I will make an effort to eat more regularly instead of just binge eating after work.

Home

pink_house

4. Sort out your Household duties

Start using a daily cleaning rota so that things dont get on top of you. I have one available for download if you want to use it for guidance.

I’ve kicked this cleaning change off already by ordering a new hoover from studio 24. I recommend shopping with Studio 24 as this also repairs your credit rating at the same time as you pay it monthly (obviously only if you pay on time). My limit on it has already gone up to £795 from £250 in the last few months.

5. Wardrobes like Narnia

Do the major wardrobe tasks we have previously used that include the outfit challenge and a charity shop run so that wardrobes are streamlined and laundry is easier. This speeds up the early morning madness.

6.De-clutter

Do a full de-clutter by putting everything into correct zones around the home. There really should be a place for everything so that people put things back where they found them. You can sell any unwanted items on Ebay, or Gumtree. Make use of the climb in cupboard (aka the loft!) or the garden shed for things that you will still use occasionally but dont need around all the time.

Work

20121229-192353.jpg

7. Read More

I pledge to read more – a book a week! For me this will be especially in conveyancing which will make me understand more about my job. This doesnt have to be costly as you can join a library like we have.

8. Get qualified

I also aim to get enough money together this year to complete the cilex qualifications, to become a graduate member now, and then a fellow of CILEX in a few years time.

9. Get Organised

20121230-160143.jpg

I will be organised using a new diary and a wall calendar. I will make sure I also have correct bin emptying days logged on the calendar so that I dont miss it as this happened too many times last year – me and the tip workers are now on first name terms!

I also pledge to organise my work notes and read up on any things I still dont understand.

Money

pink-piggy-bank

10. Bills and stuff

Create a new ‘home file’ and paperwork zone at home for 2013 to get all of my outgoings and bills in one place

11. Be more money savvy

I first of all will use this app as I think it is fabulous! I will work out my budget using these tips and perhaps use this handy planner by clicking on the start button on this page . I will continue to pay my utilities in instalments using things such as the prepay gas and electric meters to stop any shock bills from landing on my doorstep.

I will use these awesome tips on how to spend less and Citizens Bureau Advice on how to increase income in case I’m overpaying anything. I will also make use of any exemptions I am entitled to such as dentists and prescriptions as it will be silly not to make the most of this while it is available to me.

12. Quit take-aways

20121021-220304.jpg

Not only does this have massive health benefits but financial ones too. You know how you avoid the cash machine so you don’t have to face the lack of money when you know you’re skint?… well I do the same with my just eat account as I don’t ever want to know just how much I have wasted on take away food this past year. I confess that I have it nightly and that is no joke at all.

“Woah are you serious you have takeaways every single day?! … that’s neither healthy nor economical!!!” (Malcolm Trotter, solicitor)

So in a bid to shock myself I work out my money wastage below to see how much of the holiday would have been paid for by pure good behaviour!!

Costs this year:

Number of Takeaway orders in 2012 excluding Macdonalds: 70

x average cost £11 = £770 OOPS
Macdonalds at least 1x per week

52 at average £14 = £728 per year

Total spent on take aways = 1498

13. Quit Smoking

quit_smoking

This site is amazing to get you started. The idea is that first of all you see how addicted you are and then you see how much money you waste on it using the cost calculator.

Smoking average 10 cigarettes a day = 36.1p per cigarette = daily cost of £3.61 = £1317.65 per year OUCH

You can help to motivate yourself to give up by looking at how it badly affects your body and when you feel like you’re alone you can read about Real-life Quitters and see that you are not alone and you can do it! If this is the resolution for you then you can get started right now using these simple steps on How to quit now.

I have already ordered a FREE NHS QUIT KIT and downloaded the NHS Quit App to help me make a permanent change.
When the cravings do kick in you can stay positive by reading the health benefits of quitting and find out how quickly you’ll start to benefit from it by viewing the Quit Smoking Timeline.

So why give something up???

To fund a treat of course – a treat for your troubles!

Give it up:

1. whether it’s going out an hour later and saving on beer,
2. giving up beer altogether see the Cancer Research Dryathlon for inspiration this January and consider signing up.
3. quit takeaways,
4. quit smoking,
5. give up the sky sports subscription that you never watch,
6. stop downloading songs on i-tunes that you get fed up of after a day,
7. quit the shoe and/or handbag addiction, you can only wear one pair carry one bag at a time
8. where applicable leave the gym if you never actually go to it.
9. Stop going on the sunbeds it’s – bad for you anyway.
10. Don’t buy clothes if you’ll only wear them once and try things on in the shop so that you don’t get stuck with items that don’t actually fit and end up in the wardrobe for years – don’t deny that this happens (the first step to recovery is admitting that there is a problem :)

And Give yourself something to look forward to so that you dont give up

By Behaving well you should have a treat in the future to look forward to so that you get a treat for all of your previous troubles. You choose something that you can use the money for such as:

1. a holiday
2. a new wardrobe of clothes
3. a shopping spree
4. a new hobby
5. a new tattoo
6. a new hairstyle
7. a car
8. a motorbike
9. to move house
10. to redecorate
11. a garden makeover
12. cosmetic surgery
13. driving lessons
14. a new college/open university qualification
15. or just growing your savings and security

The possibilities are endless. What will you choose?

Useful apps that I’ve downloaded to help me achieve my goals

A. Money App

Budget Planner

“This handy, free to download app from the UK’s leading study skills publisher will help you manage your finances and stay on top of debt. Perfect for anyone new to budgeting, it does all the hard work of number-crunching – leaving you free to relax and enjoy the money you have.”

B. Savings Goals App

The application will automatically calculate how much you need to save each month to help you achieve your chosen goal. You may take a loan, use your wage or save money for the trip, or you may combine those two activities. Define your new goal by tapping the “add Goal” button and creating a new money bank.”

C. Lloyds TSB Online Banking App

lloyds-tsb-internet-banking-app-535

“Check your balance , view your latest transactions, pay a bill, make transfers, use it to find out where your nearest cash machine is. ..This is modern convienence at its finest.”

D. Kindle App

kindle-app1

“Read more than 1.5 million Kindle books on your iPhone or iPod touch with the  free Kindle reading app. No Kindle device required. Whispersync technology syncs your last page read, bookmarks, notes, and highlights across various devices.”

E. Gumtree and Ebay apps to declutter the home

ebay-mobile-app-logo

“Sell or give away your unwanted items using these fantastic apps. Just create your account, list your items and sell, sell, sell.

gumtree_0

F. Asda/Tesco app to start doing online shopping so that I dont order take-aways

Asda-launches-transactional-online-shopping-iPhone-app

“Book your slot and start doing your full shop!

Tesco_Shopping_Appx380

The tesco and asda apps allow you to order anywhere you like or even on the go.”

G. Quit smoking App

NHSQuitSmokingiPhoneAppx535

“Help support you in quitting smoking and counts the days that you have been smoke free. Full of useful tips and support”

H. Reminder App

RemindersBasics

“Install your daily housework tasks so that you get a reminder to do them when they are due from weekly to monthly set yourself a reminders list with ticks to check off each thing you have done”

I. Sky Go and Sky+ Apps to get the most from my Sky TV package i.e. stop wasting money

Sky-Go-iPhone-Sports-App

“Sky go allows you to watch sky tv on the go from your pc or phone and sky+ allows you to record things on your sky box from your phone which is fab when you’re out and about and want to record something. Get your money’s worth from your subscription!”

sky-app-to-turn-ipad-l-801417844

Feel free to comment on your chosen resolutions this year!

Domesticated and that

9 Aug

First sunny day in ages and I was an hour early for my appointment so we walked to the park.

20120809-173439.jpg

20120809-173451.jpg

20120809-173509.jpg

As it’s summer holidays there’s too many geeky big kids charging about so we secluded ourselves to this little bandstand at the park.

20120809-173618.jpg

We then got home and I decided to be all domesticated and that and cooked us a proper spag Bol for tea: which Abi hurriedly ate as she was looking forward to the ice cream id made a deal with.

20120809-173833.jpg

20120809-173842.jpg

Typically there’s loads left over so I’ve portioned it up and can even have it for breakfast dinner and tea tomorrow – I won’t of course ;)

20120809-174017.jpg

The containers are baby food tubs that I washed and kept as they are really good for this sort of thing.

The new family hobby

9 Aug

Introduced Abi to a new hobby today after she has shown a keen interest in her own books at home.

I took them to the local library and signed us all up as a regular hobby to do together.

20120809-162328.jpg

To sign up you just need to show them something with your name and address on and fill in their quick forms and they give you a little card that they scan every time you borrow or return a book.

20120809-162443.jpg

The kids enjoyed sitting in the children’s area in the library and picking out some books to read… They didn’t quite understand the ‘quiet in the library’ rule though and zack seemed more interested in making ‘book towers’ but I’m hoping that making this a regular thing will get them used to the visit and learn to love libraries as much as their self-confessed geek mother does!!!

I think reading is one of the reasons I have always excelled in school as it was always natural to me as my mum had started reading us the childrens bible at a young age and she would let us choose library books from time to time (sometimes I chose some a little too advanced and struggled through them till the next visit!) I can spell, I can write well and I enjoy learning new things as reading up on different things is a normal thing for me.

Books help your imagination, they exercise English language skills teaching us words you may not have heard before and in the right context too. You can also see how words can work together in other ways and how they are properly spelt.

To read helps us get ready for the real world as reading is a complete part of society and helps to teach a person to be more well-rounded as we can see many different views on any one topic!

Here are some more reasons for why reading is great!

A frequent book-buyer but an only read-said-books-once-er the £10 average cost of a new book is starting to get in the way as being a little bit unjustifiable!! So here’s where a library comes in – borrow ..bring back…borrow another … Cost = free!!! (the person who thought of this is a legend!)

20120809-163815.jpg

I’m going to make a regular thing of this as being a well read person can only benefit the children in their lives – and they enjoy it too!

20120809-163939.jpg

CALLING ALL MUMS!!!!!!!!

4 Jul

Look what I found!

29 Jun

Oh yes this is the best thing I’ve ever seen in Bury and I cannot believe I’ve been struggling for two years without knowing about this! Bury needs a creche… I already knew about the one at castle leisure centre and the one at Vibe gym but these were always accompanied with the niggling sense that I’d feel like I needed to actually work out while I was there! I mentioned it to a lone parent advisor today and she said “are u serious? there’s Bossy boots up the road- didnt you know?” No I did not… why else would I be pale as hell?!! (I’ve not been able to go on the sunbeds in ages because I have the kids with me all the time!!)

 

I mean seriously are you kidding me ?!! They have been around since 2004?!!! Checked out their prices and they have a minimum 1 hour stay at £4.50 so if you need a little bit of free time to yourself then this is definitely a perfect place to drop the kids off.

 

Here’s where they are….

 

 

Welcome to Bury

21 Jun

Bury is just PACKED with activities that can keep you and the kids entertained!!

 

 There’s everything from soft play areas, beautiful countryside, some of the country’s cleanest parks, fantastic leisure facilities, trains, museums and much much more!

Click here for an up-to-date list of upcoming events in Bury  Or….

Click the links below to discover local activities for you and your children!

Soft play Centres         Parks         Farms         Places of interest

Theme parks         Wildlife         Cinema         Day Trips         Libraries

Railways        Museums         Swimming pools         Theatres

  

Choose from 20 local Soft play Centres where you can sit and have lunch or a coffee while the kids exercise and have fun to the max in a safe and comfortable environment!

         

With the new Rock development there really is fun for all the family with top of the range bowling alleys, Cinema , restaurants, and shops to keep you busy all day long!

 If you like getting outdoors there’s loads of local Parks to visit or you could even take a trip to one of our friendly local  Farms. Why not take a walk up Holcombe hill with its breath taking views and the historic Peel tower! There’s the beautiful Burrs country park here with many tracks to walk, jog or cycle around! Not to mention Kirklees trail, Old kays park and Chesham woods too! Treat your family to plenty of Wildlife and adventure all out in the fresh air! You could even have a picnic!              

 

The East lancs Railway is a fabulous day out with a difference where you can jump aboard the traditional steam engines and take a trip out of town to Ramsbottom and Rawtenstall with their quaint little market towns- that are definitely a must-see.

 There’s Museums a-plenty for those education lovers amongst us  with varied themes such as transport, war, science and industry.  There’s also a comprehensive main  Library and Art Gallery plus many other smaller  Libraries across town!

 For those of you who want to get active we have some fantastic leisure facilities all over Bury including the huge central leisure centre with it’s on site crèche and three Swimming pools . The town boasts many other gym and clubs too.! If a creche is what you need then Vibe Gym in Bury also offers crèche facilities while you work off some steam!  

 

For those of you who just want to sit back and be entertained our local Theatres are some of the best around!

 

 

Day Trips can include a  journey out to Blackpool with its huge 32 acre zoo, The Pleasure Beach theme park or the Sea life centre which are only 40 minutes away from Bury by car. Gullivers world, another one of the areas Theme parks is also nearby and is rated as one of the best around for younger children!   

 

Ten minute trainspotters

6 Jun

Beautiful sunny day in bury so I took the kids down to the railway carpark while I waited to pick up a mate from work at 2.

20120606-133217.jpg

Sat Abi on the roof of the car so she could see and we arrived at perfect time as a train pulled in and unloaded!

20120606-133331.jpg

The guys driving it were lovely as they kindly waved to the kids as they drove past!

20120606-133424.jpg

20120606-133531.jpg

It took about ten minutes to do this and Abigail has had a lovely time! Zack was more interested in his chicken nuggets though ;)

20120606-133649.jpg

20120606-133703.jpg

Getting a bit of me-time in Bury

11 May

Its awfully difficult to find places where you can get a couple of hours free while you get things done. I came across the Bury leisure centre creche recently where you can put them in while you excersise but I wasn’t sure if this was just for leisure centre use. I found a similar leaflet today for Vibe creche where the leaflet clearly says you can just leave them in while you get some shopping done. It’s definitely worth giving them a call if you’re stuck and need to do something  without the kids. I have always been forced to use one off child minders which arent cheap and are often for the whole morning when often you only need a couple of hours free. Here’s their leaflet if you want to check them out.

 

 

St Patrick’s treat for mama geek! (and getting the people’s eyebrow for being such a loser)

29 Mar

Despite the fabulous start to the 2012 SPSP tour, I have since put it on hold for a couple of weeks as we’d had a bit of soft play overload (Abigail had friction burns.) All the running around and climbing in these play areas with her nappy on had rubbed her skin so I wanted to let it heal! Then we were distracted as it was Mothers day and St Patricks all in the same weekend so there were celebrations to be had!

 

St Patricks celebrations in our family are a big tradition (normally huge drinking sessions mainly) but this year as a ‘Supermum’ and a single one at that I decided to come over all domestic goddess and bake for the first time with Abigail…Irish coloured cakes of course!

Upon getting out the pan to use as a substitute mixing bowl I had to acknowledge that I’ve not done very well so far with the establishment of a kitchen kit (as is part of the Supermum mission) so here is a physical note to myself to sort that out ASAP! …and buy a bloody mixing bowl will you woman! 

 

 I’ve been using the tin foil trick to keep my baking trays clean which is a great idea but  decided to buy bun trays anyway as they were dirt cheap from Asda.  

Check out the spotless baking trays - shame about the rest of the oven

Abigail was very proud of the creations that we made and they really made St Patricks celebrations feel more family orientated instead of just a huge booze up (I’m not knocking drinking I’d totally do both if I could)

Our irish cakes - Abigail was so proud

This baking session prompted futher bakery in the following week as Abigail loved the whole “mix mix mix, put the egg in, mix mix mix” routine. (And there was a lot of left over mix to be used up!)

Note to self- mop kitchen floor and buy a goddam mixing bowl!

I also think she enjoyed sneakily eating some of the white chocolate stars that were supposed to be toppings!

One chocolate star for the cake...and one for me

More cakes and a tray bake were produced by our budding baker sister…

There were a lot more dolly mixtures before this cheeky bugger started decorating the top

Then we all (of course) had to eat what we had made…

Even Zack got involved with this bit!

Later that same week I looked in the mirror and realised I’d somehow got pretty spongy round the edges and begrudgingly decided that it would be best if I stopped buying in the cake mix for a while. Then came Mothers day and Leanne took Abigail off to write me a nice big card how sweet :)

my lovely mothers day card

Oh and did I mention that this mothers day was the best one EVER!!!! As my sister flew me to Tenerife for a few days to relax without the kids! 

We walked, dined, sunbathed and generally chilled the feck out. Oh and shopped of course!!

Leanne very happy with her buys

After spotting this ridiculous but REALLY AWESOME Kiely doll- our motto for the rest of the day just became ‘I will be best friend for you’ as  ‘friends’ we were to many… (such approachable laydees that we are)

I will be best friend for you

A hungarian jewellery maker on the beach confided in us that he needed to let his dog fight with another one to ‘sort things out’ and a nice old couple (our holiday mum and dad) helped us find our way home on the crazy spanish buses.

 

In case you ever go there just to let you know that the times on the timetable dont mean anything at all and the bus drivers fling you off the bus by your arm…seriously. But on a good note bus tickets are soooo damn cheap!

 

I got some really cool new clothes from an amazing store in Las Americas that my sister visits regularly called Stradivarius. I did remember to bear in mind my mummify your wardrobe rules on not buying inappropriate things. It also inspired me for when I got back to do a major wardrobe overhaul (like the wardrobe wednesday post) that is long overdue since winter’s gone and the summer stuff starts to come out of hibernation (aka under my bed).

Bury Supermum's event - free sample and info bags

I read Torey Hayden’s Ghost Girl all in one day because I can’t bear to leave something half finished (I wouldn’t have slept knowing it still needed to be read). Great book throughout… ending not so great… then I sat around restless desperate to clean, tidy, cook, iron, watch corrie, drink coffee and most of all blog. I missed my normal geeky existence. I got out a journo pad and kept writing stuff down for our next mums event.

 

I’ve applied to o2 think big for some money to pay for the venue and hopefully this will kick-start a yearly ‘Roadshow’ for the Supermum Project team. We will help mums by bringing all local business and services aimed at mums together in one room to present what’s on offer in our town (for families in particular.)

 

Every now and then I got that look off Leanne like “oh my god you fecking loser doing homework on holiday.” (It was kinda like the ‘people’s eyebrow’ only more directed at my pen.)

I missed my babies like hell. It’s true what they say; absence definitely makes the heart grow stronger; because all of a sudden I didn’t mind Abigail’s constant whining and Zack’s need to be carried around all the time.

the kids stayed at home with their nanny

I just wanted to cuddle and kiss them and I talked about them all the time as though I had ‘talk about your kid’s tourettes’. I bought them some matching vegas style t-shirts that say ‘what happens at nanas – stays at nanas’ which is perfect for these two little monkeys as they are spoiled rotten by their nana Tracy. They didn’t miss me one bit!

What happens at nanas stays at nanas

It was time to leave the lovely Canaries and get back down to business in Bury, but not before Leanne ‘planked’ on our suitcase for a laugh.

I actually nearly weed in my pants laughing at this

Then I got back home *sighs* and its good to be back… Still this weather in Bury is just far too glorious to be inside soft play centres working on the tour! So here’s what we got up to instead…

Early morning baths

Our makeshift paddling pool (I couldn't find the real one)

General messing around being cheeky

 

Finding and blowing up the real paddling pool

Playing in the real paddling pool

Posing for photos

  

Watching the sun go down after a crazy day of fun and dayreaming about what lies in store for us

I promise to get back to Soft Play centres as soon as there’s a rainy day – which can’t be too far off now?? See you soon x

Enter your email address to subscribe to this site and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,362 other followers

Super guide to Bury

(click our map to see loads of local stuff you can do with the kids!)

Benefits calc

Check what you may be entitled to