We went down to the beach at Weston-Super-Mare on bank holiday Monday and I almost had a nervous breakdown. Everything was covered in sand – including Amy! I mean look at her. Argh!
After I calmed down (I really don’t know where my sudden sand phobia came from, but it was immense), we still managed to have a lovely day. We ate ice-cream, went along the Grand Pier and Ben even won me a Care Bear on one of the arcade machines. I have always wanted a care bear and now I have one in my favourite colour purple – eeek! I’m still absolutely over the moon!
It was actually the first time ever that I had a go at a gambling machine that isn’t a quiz machine and I can see why they can become a tiny bit addictive. I had a go at a 2p coin pusher machine and got slightly obsessed with the idea of tricking it. It worked on three occasions and I could fish some ridiculously tacky prizes out of the slot, but hey ho I guess you can’t expect to win a fortune on these things.
My sister and her boyfriend have been back home in Germany for a week now and when they left, I thought I’d have plenty of time to write about all the fun things we did while they stayed with us, but somehow life was a little hectic and I haven’t written about a single thing. I have taken so many photos though that I really want to share some of them – especially as they remind me of the good weather we had when they were here. Somehow England always manages to show itself from its best side whenever my family come to stay. The skies are blue, the sun is shining and the heat and humidity that usually lingers around in Bristol is made bearable by a light breeze. We were lucky again this time, so we decided to drive to Bath for the afternoon. It’s only a thirty minute drive away and a beautiful place when the sun is out. We went straight into the city centre as Ben and Jakob wanted to go into the Roman Baths (my sister and I have both been on numerous occasions), but the queue was so long that they would have had to wait around 20 minutes before even getting to the ticket counter. We decided to visit the Abbey instead and have a stroll around the city centre.
We listened to the water burbling along. We watched canoeists paddle along the river before sliding down the weir.
We saw Sass & Belle owl cushions at a little market stall and took one home with us.
We admired the cute little craft stalls at Bath Guildhall Market before stopping for some cake and making our way to Royal Victoria Park.
We ran along paths, played hide and seek behind the big pavilion and picked daisies before Amy had enough and wanted to play on the big playground.
We had a wonderful day. Everything was in bloom, we all laughed a lot and when we got home, we were all so tired that we had a really early night and you all know how unlike me that is!
What’s your favourite place in Bath or the rest of the UK when the weather is nice?
Money doesn’t grow on trees. We all know that and we all try to make our hard-earned cash go that little bit further. Money Supermarket are currently trying to collect 1000 money-saving tips, so I thought I’d get involved and share my 30 top tips. Please, feel free to share yours. I’d love to hear how you save your pounds and pennies!
1. Check that you are getting the best possible gas and electricity deals
2. Tell your TV and broadband provider you’re leaving, they will knock something of your package price.
3. Always write a shopping list to stop yourself from impulse buying.
4. Don’t go food shopping with an empty stomach. You’ll buy things you really don’t need.
5. Check the internet for voucher codes giving discounts or free delivery.
6. Grow your own fruit and veg, if you can. It’s great fun for all the family.
7. Take packed lunches to work, instead of eating out every day.
8. Consider solar panels, they will pay for your electricity in the long-run.
9. If you don’t have kids in school, save money by booking off-season or term-time holidays.
10. Use car-sharing schemes for daily commutes.
11. Collect bonus points when shopping online or in store and exchange for rewards at Christmas or for birthdays.
12. Enter blog competitions. Your chances of winning are higher and you can use your wins as presents for family and friends.
13. Empty your purse every evening and save small change in a piggy bank.
14. Use your local library or swap with friends, instead of buying new books.
15. Check the reduced section in your supermarket, you will find bargains that you can freeze for later.
16. Try out supermarkets’ own brands. They’re often just as good as branded products.
17. Don’t buy new clothes for one-off occasions, swap with friends who wear the same size.
18. Check out your local charity shops for bargain gifts or lovely second-hand clothes or toys.
19. Instead of buying Christmas presents of everyone, organise a Secret Santa.
20. Buy wrapping paper and cards in the sale.
21. Use flash sale sites to get great discounts on high-end brands.
22. Buy fruit and veg from the market, if you can’t grow it yourself. You’ll be surprised hoe much you’ll save.
23. Bake your own bread. It’s tastier and cheaper!
24. Don’t bother buying cook books. There are millions of free recipes on the internet.
25. There’s nothing wrong with hand-me-downs: They will save you a fortune, especially if you have young children.
26. Don’t buy drinks and snacks on days out: Pack a picnic and bring refillable water bottles.
27. No money for a holiday? Have you considered a house swap with someone living in your favourite country?
28. If you like crafts, baking or cooking, give homemade gifts for birthdays or Christmas.
29. Sign up for interest groups that pay you for your opinion.
30. Cancel subscriptions and read your favourite newspaper online.
If you are like me, you always struggle to find an individual and fun Father’s Day gift or you ehm completely forget about Father’s Day and look like the most horrible daughter in the world. Yes, I’ve been there and done that and I’m not proud of it.
This year however, you can surprise your dad or your little one’s daddy with a really unqiue Father’s Day gift: personalised cufflinks from Ring Jewellery, a company that is popular with stars such as footballer Theo Walcott, chat show star Graham Norton or musician Mark Ronson and sells gorgeous palladium rings and personalised jewellerey.
Ring Jewellery is based in Brighton and sells a range of beautiful pieces of jewellery for all occasions.. You have the chance to win one of them today. All you have to do is fill in the Rafflecopter form below. Please, make sure to carefully follow the instructions as faulty and incomplete entries won’t be counted and entered into the prize draw.
On Thursday, I phoned my parents and funnily my dad answered the phone. As it was daytime and he is usually at work when I phone, I was a little confused and asked him, what he was doing at home. After a minute of silence (it wasn’t that long, but it certainly felt like it), my dad replied that it was Ascension Day. Ascension Day is not only a public holiday in Germany, it’s also known as Father’s Day and I knew that as soon as I’d asked, my dad knew that I had forgotten all about it. I stumbled some German “Happy Father’s Day” phrases and then quickly decided to change the subject. I hate forgetting occasions like anniversaries or Father’s Day, but since living in England, I get really confused with all the different dates.
Luckily, you are reading this blog post, so you will know that in the UK, Father’s Day is on Sunday, 16 June this year. Even better, you can win a fabulous Father’s Day gift to make your dad or your little one’s daddy very happy: a crate of personalised beers from Best of British Beer.
The crate includes 6 bottles of fine British Ale, which you can choose from a range of popular and award winning beers brewed by Staffordshire Brewery, set in the picturesque Moorlands. To personalise your very own Father’s Day bottles, you simple give the lovely people of Best of British Beer some details about the recipient and upload a photo for your perfect and unique bottle. It’s really as easy as that.
If you want to win this fab little prize, all you have to do is fill in the Rafflecopter form below. Please make sure to follow the instructions as incomplete and faulty entries won’t be counted and will be excluded from the draw.
Everyone loves a good wedding, though very few people love the cost. Fortunately, there are ways to keep wedding costs down if you think and act ahead of the big day.
First, book your accommodation well in advance – and before the other guests book the inexpensive options! Avoid posh hotels and look for small independent B&Bs, hostels and self-catering options. You’ll be amazed at the difference in cost between staying at a hotel and travelling to a smaller, less fancy venue afterwards. Consider booking family rooms for large groups if discounts are available.
Book your travel well in advance to save money. This particularly applies if you are travelling by train, as you can get some great advance offers if you book several months beforehand. Be flexible about your travel times and dates and look at options such as coaches too, which can often be very good value if you are travelling across the country. For closer venues try car sharing and filling up the car to split petrol costs. Avoid expensive taxis if there is a cheaper alternative. Lack of planning is usually the biggest driver of costs.
There’s no need for wedding guests to buy a new outfit for a wedding. Why not try updating an existing outfit or customising it by changing accessories.
The bride and groom do not need expensive presents to feel appreciated. Spend time picking a thoughtful, well-chosen gift rather than resorting to an expensive and impersonal gift at the last minute. Look online for better prices, or if you have a specific skill or talent, why not offer it to them on the day to save them costs; for example, if you take high-quality photography, dress hair, make outfits or arrange flowers.
Getting Your Finances in Order
Remember too that if you’re struggling with finances, particularly a raft of escalating credit card bills, then there are better ways to get organised and deal with debts for good. A secured loan can help you avoid overdraft charges and using credit cards, allowing you to consolidate your debts. A single debt is much easier to pay off on time. You’ll also know exactly how much you need to repay each month, rather than being in for a nasty surprise. Speak to a specialist provider such as Evolution Money to find out what options are available to you.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Evolution Money.
We had Amy’s birthday party last Friday (a week late due to her having tonsillitis) and I thought I’d share a quick and easy way to make marshmallow pops. I had seen them on Pinterest a while ago and thought they’d make a perfect addition to Amy’s birthday buffet. They are really easy to make and were a hit with kids and grown ups alike. Here is how you make them.
What you need:
a pack of marshmallows
some sprinkles of your choice
chocolate chips or candy melts of your choice
a small glass or cup
1. Melt candy melts or chocolate of your choice over a water bath or in the microwave.
2. Pop your marshmallow onto a lollipop stick.
3. Dip in melted chocolate or candy melts.
4. Dip in sprinkles.
5. Stand your marshmallow pops up in a glass or cup and let them dry for a couple of minutes.
Have you tried these before? Would they be a flop or a hit with your little person?