Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Blog everyday in May

I've just been catching up with blogs on Bloglovin and come across a challenge that a few bloogers are doing. Exactly what the title says 'blog everyday in May'.

I think this will be great for by blog, sometimes I don't know what to write about and often think nobody will be interested in my little life. So with a daily subject i will have something different to write about everyday. Also I want to include a picture in each of my blogs, I recently got a new camera and really don't take enough pictures of the kids etc. so this should give me some motivation.

Like the sound of it, why don't you sign up at www.rosalilium.com blog? Let me know if you sign up and Good luck if you do!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

30 ways to save £1

Moving out at 18 and straight into the life of mortgages I've learnt how to be frugal. It was really hard at first but now its second nature. Now we are a family of five our money needs to stretch further and work harder. I actually get such a buzz when I have picked something up and I know its a bargain. I feel like I'm on the ball with our finances and keep up to date with the latest good deal! So here's 30 ways to save a £1 or more in most points! 

1. Have a no car day. We have every Thursday where we don't use the car. If we want to go somewhere we walk. This is a great way to save money on petrol.

2. Use coupons. Cut them out from magazines, off leaflets through the door etc. A great way to collect them is by emailing companies you use often and complement their products. I do this every 6 months or so and usually end up with about £10 worth of vouchers. Companies really like to hear how good their products are and send them out to thank you!

3. Downshift when shopping. Recently we have downshifted to the supermarket own brand cereals. Small changes like this make a big difference to your shopping bill.

4. If you have time go shopping near to closing time. I know Marks and Spencer reduce their prices alot in the food section on a Sunday afternoon.

5.Take advantage of buy one get one free. This might seem really obvious but when they are buy one get one free if the use by date has a good date on buy 2 and get 2 free. Same goes when products are half price- buy 2 instead.

6. Having 3 children there are 3 special birthdays every year, make your own cake. They will definately taste nicer, be an awful lot cheaper, even if your not a great cake maker the children won't notice. Let's face it they only want to blow the candles out!

7. Sell your old mobiles. Always check ebay first to see what they are going for they usually go for more. If you haven't got the time to ebay, make sure you use a comparison site before you commit to one company.

8. Sell on ebay. One of my resolutions this year was to declutter the house I have managed to sell over £200 already this year, just from selling our old 'junk'.

9. Buy on ebay. Ebay is great for everyday things if you can wait for them to be posted. I bought a waterproof sheet on there for my sons bed it was £1.94 posted!!!!! They were £7 in the supermarket.

10. Go for a jog or brisk walk instead of joining the gym. My gym membership was one of the first things to go after having children. Jogging is more practical you can go when you want and when you feel like it. There is no pressure to go because its free!

11. Do your own DIY. We saved thousands of pounds last year by doing our own driveway. After seeing my parents drive completed we wanted to smarten ours up as well. We got a quote for £5200. We did some research on the Internet and decided to have a go at doing it ourselves. It  cost us £1200 saving us 4000 of the little coins.

12. Save your change until Christmas. I pop all my coppers into a money box, and the occasional £1, £2 or if I'm felling flushed i will stuff a fiver in there. Its really surprising how much its builds up to and is so welcome at the most expensive time of year.

13. Set a direct debit up of £20 per month to a savings account. You won't notice it going out monthly if you do it the day after you get paid and it will build up to £240 after a year. Of course you can also add to it if you have any money left at the end of the month. You will also earn interest over the year.

14. Make your own ice lollies for the children. Super cheap, super easy. Look on ebay for ice lolly molds it will be a good investment and certainly be cheaper than buying supermarket lollies.

15. Take a picnic. Going out for the day? Take your own, you won't have to queue either.

16. Upcycle instead of buying new, revamp your old things. My next project is to paint my kitchen table and chairs.

17. Enter competitions. I have saved lots of money by doing this especially by winning things I need to buy anyway like the year supply of tea and washing powder I won. I have also won things I couldn't warrant paying for.

18. Book train rides weeks in advance. Whenever we are planning to use to train we always book in advance you save a small fortune.

19. Wait for the sales. I can't remember the last time I bought a full priced item for myself I almost always wait for the sales. Matalan have a £5 shoe event on at the moment so why not see if you can pick a bargain up.

20. Check through your bills. Do you pay direct debit for everything? Most companies now offer a discount for paying direct debit.

21. Use loyalty cards. Today I have booked a euro tunnel crossing for the grand total of £9 because i saved my Tesco points up and used them. Your spending at the supermarket anyway so you might as well save the points at the same time.

22. Kids in bed? Why not light the candles at night instead of having the lights on? It will set a nice romantic mood as well as saving on the leccy bill!

23. Compare insurance deals every time. My house insurance was due in February, after using a comparison site my existing insurer came up cheaper than my renewal quote!! ALWAYS check it will save you ££££s.

24. When you have chosen your insurance provider, go through a cashback website. I use topcashback. In fact whenever I buy anything online I always go through them if I can.

25. Make a meal plan and a shopping list. When you do this you know what your going for and won't be tempted by anything else.

26. Try and haggle for things. I'm not so gutsy to do it in the shops, my mother-in-law haggled in barratts the other day and got a bag for nearly half the price it was marked up at. We haggled when we bought our sofa and got insurance for 5 years free!

27. Make packed lunches. School meals are £2.10 at the moment that's £10.50 for one child for the week. that would easily feed all 5 of use for packed lunches for a week.

28. Use discount codes. Sign up to newsletters that interest you and check facebook pages before you buy anything sometimes companies will put a flash promotion on.

29. Use the library. Yep the good old fashioned library.

30. If your feeling fruity, share a shower, it saves water and on the heating bills.

And last but not least enter the moneysupermarket 30 ways to save a pound competition, to be in with a chance to win £1000 plus they will give you £1 for every tip.

So there's my list, its higglidy pigglidy, but thats how I thought of them! Have you entered?

Sunday, 14 April 2013

If only I had known...

Aptaclub have launched a new preparing for birth app and it offers help to mums-to-be and mums. The app is designed to help mums stay organised through check lists, advice and tips. It also has a birth announcer, which is oh so very modern! They are running a fabulous competition with littlestuff.co.uk.

I thought I would enter as after having 3 children I think this app is great and would have been so useful.

I was a young parent, it was a complete shock of my life when I found out. I was eight weeks gone already. I hadn't even noticed I'd missed a period or two because I was too busy planning my 18th birthday party. My last party where it would be all about me! 

My boobs hurt, that's the only symptom I had and all I could think was (or hope that) they were growing! After a few days when they were still hurting I realised I couldn't actually remember the last time I had a period. I mentioned it to by boyfriend of 8 months. 'Your on the pill' he reassured. I wanted to do a test anyway. Shit... I was pregnant. Aged 17.

If only I had known this wouldn't have been the most joyful, happiest time finding out I was pregnant. If only I had known I would be sick, not morning sickness but all day sickness for a long 16 weeks. Dry heaving what the hell was that?! I never wanted to be sick so much so the feeling would go away.

How would I break the news to my parents? My sister? My little 12 year old brother? Luckily (after it had sunk in they were all excited and happy).

My boobs grew and grew and grew. As did everywhere else as a matter of fact. I didn't even consider the thought of stretchmarks until 36 weeks that first one appeared and slowly turned into a mingled mass of them covering the whole of my belly. They were sore, they itched they burned. My body changed so much.

If only I'd known my friends wouldn't be interested, they would carry on living there teenage life, partying, drinking, dancing the night away. If only I had known my path in live would change completely, my out look on life would be dramatically different.

If only I had known the pain of labour, the contractions and what to expect. The positions I would have to get in, the number of people that would see me half naked. The procedures the midwives carry out.

I felt so confused during my first pregnancy about loads of different things being so young and feeling so young. I knew I wasn't really ready for this, but who is? I was embarrassed to ask midwives or anyone questions because I thought they would just think I was young and silly. The last few weeks of pregnancy I found it really hard to sleep and I would be up checking my hospital bag, taking a look in the babies room making sure everything was in place. Wondering if I was doing the right thing. I had a million questions to ask, but I was so worried people would judge.

If only I had known the overwhelming love I would feel when I held that baby in my arms for the first time and the second and the third. Would any of this matter? I think not! But it would have been great to know or have some idea.

If I ever got pregnant with a 4th child, I would definately download this app. All 3 of my pregnancies have been different it would be so convenient for a Mum on the go who usually remembers all the questions I need to ask when the children are tucked up in bed.

This post is Vicky's entry into the Aptaclubs 'If Only I'd known...' competiton.

Ohso healthy chocolate giveaway

Everybody loves chocolate right? I am such a chocoholic and not a day goes by when i don't eat just a little bit. I know its bad! Then I came across Ohso chocolate- a healthy chocolate!!

Ohso sent me some chocolate to try. To be honest I'm more of a milk chocolate girl and ohso comes in dark chocolate or orange chocolate but as it claims to be healthy I thought I would give it a go!

They came through the door nicely packaged in a cardboard box

And once unwrapped they are so cute! They are small but I suppose that encourages you not to eat too much! At 13.5g per bar they are just the right amount to keep your digestive system healthy.

You also get a little "did you know" leaflet inside which has some interesting facts:
  • Probiotics promote healthy gastrointestinal functions that help to nourish the body.
  • Dark chocolate is a natural product which contains antioxidants to help strengthen your body's own natural defences.
  • Ohso chocolate is 3x more effective than most probioctic milk drinks at delivering around a billion good bacteria to your intestine.
  • Ohso chocolate is cholesterol, gluten and wheat free with no added dairy.

Did it taste good? Well not being that into dark chocolate it was good and actually quite soft, I think dark chocolate has more of a harder taste and doesn't really melt in your mouth like milk chocolate. Well this kind of did. I couldn't have ate any more than the bar in one go, which is good the I won't scoff the lot!! I wasn't too keen on the orange bar, it has a really strong taste of orange.

I think they are really good little bars, I would by them if i was trying to be wary of being healthy. My husband also tried them and he said he would rather eat one of these every day than a probioctic yoghurt.

One of you will get to decide for yourself what you think because Ohso have given me a months supply to give away. This is 4 packs of these little delightful bars! Simply enter to rafflecopter widget below. Good Luck!

Competition ends 28th April. UK entries only. Winner will be chosen at random. Ohso will send the  prize.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

confused.com #pinforpoints

Confused.com currently have a pinterest competition win nectar points. There is a grand prize of 60,000 and 50 runners up of 2000. I think its such a generous prize. Usually I don't bother with pinterest competitions, by time I've browsed all the pictures I never have the time to compose the entry! This year we are really trying to concentrate on sprucing up our home, so this competition is of great interest to me! So here's a link to my board.

It's really simple to enter all you need to do is pin at least 20 images showing how you would spend 1,000,00 nectar points. I had loads of fun imagining all these new things would turn up at the door at once, if i was to buy all these things i would have to put some money towards it!!!

Most of my imagines are quite obvious as to why I chose them, for example the dishwasher, simply because i don't have one and it would make my life lots easier!

Last year we spent so much of our time doing the garden up, we chopped hedges, bushes and trees down. My husband block paved the drive and paths and we have just about cleared all the mess it created. The BBQ would be perfect so we could invite friends round to see all our hard work we have done over the past year and of course it would help us to thank them for their help. The garden set would look great we don;t have one at the moment and it would be nice to sit outside WHEN we get some warmer weather. If we had the patio heater though as long as its not raining it wouldn't  matter if it was on the chilly side because this would keep us warmer.

I also chose the grass trimmer and lawn mower as these would help us maintain the garden. (As soon as we put some turf down!)

Next up are these toys...for my husband! Yep he's loves a good nerf gun, we bought him one for his birthday last year as the boys had them, but 2 year old Millie has claimed it as its automatic and she can fire it at her brothers perfectly. So apparently he's in need of a bigger and better and this one certainly fits the bill! Also i would get him this Lego Start Wars because I know he secretly wants one :)

Well i have 3 children so i would definitely need 3 presents. A pram for Millie she doesn't have one and at nearly 2 and a half I think she would love it. A bike for Leon he will be 7 in June and is growing at a super quick rate, he got his bike out of the shed yesterday and he's far too big for it. Lastly I would get this drum kit for 4 year old Toby, he loves all things music and dance and his current drum kit consists of 2 recorders used as sticks a cardboard box and an old metal chocolate box! ( Although if I did actually buy this I'm not sure a would ever forgive myself).

I choose this for myself I am trying my hardest to win one of these this year. I love making cakes and this would make things quicker and easier.

Finally I would get this dining table. Ours is tired and worn, much smaller and not as sturdy. The back on 2 of our chairs are broke. And we would have a spare chair if we had visitors, or if we had another child :D

Let me know if you enter and I will have a look at your board.
I have entered PIN FOR POINTS from confused.com