Sunday, 31 December 2017

Ways to save money for the new year

As we go in to the new year, lots of us will be thinking about ways to save money and spend less. I for one am looking forward to saving some pennies and reducing some of my outgoings. I have worked out a few different ways of doing this and thought I would share them with you.

  1. Meal Plan! Work out what you want to have for dinner for that week and write it down before shopping.
  2. Shop from a list! 
Doing these two things alone will save you more than you think!! If you stick to your list, and shop wisely, using up anything you may already have at home, you really can cut the price of your grocery shop.

    3. No more Coffee shops! Invest in a nice travel coffee cup like I have. This will save me at least a fiver a week! Mine is from B&M and it is a colour in one. It was a Christmas present, and so fun to do.

  4. Use coupons where possible. In America couponing is big business but in the UK it isn't as huge. I have however found these websites that allow you to print off coupons each month. Any savings a saving right? 

5. Switch companies! So far I have switched my broadband and also cancelled my SKY tv subscription in favour of NOW tv. This is another big saving each month. Shop around, use compare websites and find the best deal for you and your family.

This is just the start for me this year but hopefully these things combined will make me a good saving and I'll be on my way to being debt free!

Mrs H x

New Year New Start!

The time has come. Its been roughly 4 years since I decided I wanted to become a youtube vlogger and now Tyler and Sophie are hounding me to do it too. We are most definitely a youtube family and we watch various vloggers daily. From the kids favourites of Dan TDM and Chase's Corner, to mummy's favourites of The Conway's Claire Witt  and Rebecca Lamb to name but a few. Each year passes and I have either given it a small try or wished I had given it a serious go, and each time its fear of people laughing or fear of people not "getting it" that stops me. But as a family, this is a hobby and something that we really want to get in to. So here goes! Forget what people might say! Here's to a happy, healthy and FUN 2018 full of laughter love and enjoyment!

Happy New Year!

With love,

The Harvey's.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Back to School checklist

My kids are back to school this week. Im so sad about it, even though they are driving me round the twist with tablet time and arguments! Today alone I have heard things like "stop putting your feet on my castlleeeee" "how many times have i told you not to fart on my beeeeeddd?" "Why are you looking at my faceeeee" (the ends of the sentence always drone when they are moaning)

With this in mind I thought I'd do my back to school checklist!!

  • Uniform.Cardigan/Jumper/Dress/Skirt/Shirt/Tie
  • Jacket.
  • School shoes.
  • Pe kit and trainers/plimsolls.
  • Lunchbox.
  • Water Bottle.
  • Backpack/Bookbag.
  • Stationary. Pens/Colouring pencils/Writing pencils/Rubber/Ruler/Sharpener/Highlighters/Whiteboard pen and cloth.
  • Label absolutely everything!!! 
I also like to print out a monthly calendar where I list everything from homework due in days to cake sales and dress up days. That way I am always in control and not frantically rushing to sainsburys the morning before a cake sale! (Been there too many times!) 

Good luck to everyone who's children are starting school and going in to new years and classrooms. Such a daunting time for these babies of ours!!

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Camping Essentials for a First Timer

Having been camping this month for he first time as a family I now know what I would and wouldnt bring next time. That in mind I thought I would compile a list of camping essentials that I would 100% bring on our next camping trip.

  • Torches or Lantern. It is dark at night time!
  • Porta-Loo or a potty of sorts. Midnight runs to the communal loos, in the dark and cold are not fun!
  • Lots of Layers. It is freezing at night time, even in the summer!
  • Dry shampoo. Communal showers are not the nicest of places so a quick body wash and spritz of dry shampoo (or strip wash in the tent with a bowl and flannel) is a cleaner option i found.
  • Kettle! Early mornings are cold and is nice to have a cup of tea in he comfort of your tent is well worth it. Hot chocolates with marshmallows of an evening is so cozy too!
  • Picnic Blanket. I bought the type with plastic backing from primark. This doubled up as carpet for the front part of our tent which made it slightly cosier.
  • Black bags! When rain was forecast I bagged any electrical stuff up just incase. You also dont realise how much rubbish you accumulate until you don't have a bin!
  • Windbreaker or something to contain younger children and toddlers during times when you need them to be contained. 
  • Lots of patience and positivity. Camping is not for the feint hearted. I found it quite tough a first but soon relaxed and got in to the spirit. There are wonderful family memories to be made!

Friday, 7 July 2017

Changing Parenting Style

With my first son Tyler, I wrapped him completely in cotton wool, and then in bubble wrap, and then a get the picture. As a first time parent I had no clue. I was overprotective and a little bit crazy. Every little thing panicked me. Don't get me wrong everything still worries me but I just handle it in a different way now.
After having three children my parenting style has really changed. I know what really matters and what to brush off. With Tyler I didn't like him to get too messy and I taught him to be gentle and kind and never let him play boisterously. He is such a sweet sensitive soul because of it. However, when we went to playgroups I would intervene if a disagreement happened over a toy or if someone was pushing and shoving I would move him away from the equation. As a result, along with being so kind and caring he also didn't know how to stick up for himself as his mama was always so fiercely protective. Jaxon being number 3 it is a whole different ball game for me and I really noticed it when I took him to his first playgroup last week. These little arguments over toys need to happen, they need to be questioned and they need not always have their own way. I know now that this isn't just one child being mean, or naughty but it is them learning how to communicate and be patient. The same with tantrums, I would avoid them at all costs with Tyler and do anything to distract him, but if distraction doesn't work for Jaxon and he really just wants to shout it out, I let him. Imagine being a child and your whole world was that packet of chocolate buttons that you weren't allowed to eat. They just don't understand, and its all a learning process. I just let him thrash it out and then give him a cuddle. It was a funny feeling watching certain things going on in that playgroup, when I know 8 years ago with Tyler I would have been so upset and annoyed by them. I'm not saying that I sit there and let Jaxon take other children's toys or let other children whack him with trains and lego blocks but these days I am much more relaxed about everything. These little Toddler groups are a place for our little monsters to grow, learn and become sociable. Last week Jaxon learned to wait his turn for the slide.....I wonder what he will learn next time!?

Mrs H x

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Top tips to keep sickness bugs at bay!

Having 3 children, and volunteering in a school, I deal with my fair share (and more!) of the dreaded sickness bug. Along the way I have managed to swerve catching it a few times even when the whole family are dropping like flies. Some people may think my ways are a bit extreme BUT if it stops me or someone else from catching it then so be it! This mama bear needs to be fit and healthy for her cubs!

  1. Quarantine! This is a big thing for me. If one of my family members start throwing up, the first thing I do is confine them to one room. (Usually their bedroom)
  2. Clean like mad! Each time said family member is sick put bleach down the loo, dis infect the toilet seat, flush handle and things like the light switch and door handle. Dont forget the sink and the taps.
  3. Wash your hands at every opportunity. Mostly these bugs get transferred from hand to mouth so wash with hot water and soap and then use anti bac gel afterwards.
  4. Do NOT share towels.
  5. As soon as symptoms subside wash all bedding on a hot wash.
  6. Dettol Spray! This is a must for me. Once I have cleaned everything, I spray the dettol disinfectant EVERYWHERE! Sofas, walls, bedframes the lot!
  7. Treatment - with a sickness bug the only thing I find that helps is not to eat and take SIPS of diarolyte. With children i syringe a few mls at a time every 10 mins or so. This is amazing stuff and really rehydrates the body. (I am not a doctor, please read all labels before using)

Sickness bugs are absolutely awful but unfortunately very common. Good hygiene is key but sometimes they are really powerful and with very young children its hard to confine it. I hope some of these tips have been useful to you.

Mrs H x

Week from hell.

This week has been ridiculous. So far, since last thursday, so thats 6 days ago, between them my children have battled conjunctivitus, tonsilitus, an ear infection and a sickness bug!! Honestly, you cannot make this stuff up. Each time i think, thank god thats coming to an end, something else hits! These poor kids need a break! So does this poor mama. Im praying to god I dont get ill as that would literally be the icing on the cake.

Cheer me up, give me some positivity. What fun things have you all been up to?

Mrs Hx