Sunday, 28 February 2010

Day 157: Spending spree

I've just spent £70! Seems like loads and its pretty much all on clothes for Holly... I've not bought her any new clothes for ages...about 2 years ago was when I last stocked up and bought everything big. Everything's starting to look a bit too small and short now so I've splurged in a bit of a sale knowing that a pay cheque is very overdue and another one on the way and for that money managed to get 2 pairs of jeans, 1 pair of denim shorts, 1 pair of boots, 7 long sleeve tops, 3 dresses, 4 pairs of thick leggings and 7 pairs of pants for Elijah...all from Vertbaudet... so I actually think I've done quite well. :)

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Day 156: Good people

Just got back from a gig we did last night in Cornwall so blanket and Saturday night TV rule tonight! So yesterday could have been a disaster sort of day... we set off at 9 from the office and drove for 6 hours with one stop to jump up and down and grab a sandwich and arrived late afternoon for set up in Cornwall. About 10 minutes before we arrived I started to feel really rough. I had a headache, I'd been concentrating on driving for 6 hours and I was fed up of sitting still but then added to all of this I started feeling really sick. I thought 10 mins chilling out at the venue before starting set up would get rid of all that but it just got worse and worse. I was no use and an hour before the gig started I'd spent the whole time I'd been there shaking , shivering and feeling fluey and I'd been sick twice. The venue had put on an amazing tea but I couldn't go anywhere near it and just felt terrible. I forced myself to sound check and just decided I'd get on stage and do what I could and if I needed a sick bucket back stage then I'd just have to do that. Phoned my yummy family and they all prayed for me. Started to feel better and managed the whole performance and felt fine. Thank you God! It ended up being a really good gig. It wasn't a particularly big crowd but there were parts of our teaching where it stood out that it was really key and significant for some of these young people... which is really what its all about and does make all of it totally worth it. This morning on leaving the people's house we'd stayed with they gave us a bunch of flowers each (and chocolates for AJ) and had given each of us a lovely card with extra money just to bless us... and in mine another envelope with more money for my children for lending me out to go all the way to Cornwall :) Totally lovely and not only is it really really helpful in our situations its also the best encouragement that what we're doing is actually worth it. To know that a youth leader who's agenda is caring for the development in their own network of young people to tell us that we've hit the mark with that group that we don't actually know is a real encouragement and made us really happy! SO family day to Chatsworth might just be covered now!

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Day 155: I'd just like...

... just enough to pay to get us in to Chatsworth gardens on a sunny day... with a sneaky picnic and enough cash to get us a cream tea a bit later... I'd just be happy I think having a run around on a nice day... through the lines of trees and round the maze... that'd be just enough.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Day 154: Buy One, GIVE ONE FREE


Well I HAVE looked at the balance... I'm STILL waiting for some expenses but today's post on all that is over-ridden because of this... we're really excited for Golddigger to be releasing a debut album later this year. Thats exciting enough... but more excitingly - as the whole heart behind what we do is positive messages to young people - we're tying in that with the album in more than just content. You CAN pre-order the album and get a free poster... but don't do that...pre order the album and one will be delivered to you and one will be given on your behalf to a disadvantaged young person somewhere in Sheffield. Not only that but you also then have the chance to write an affirming positive message which will be written on a little card and put inside the CD so that the young person will get that and know its been bought for them... How amazing to be given a gift - that you know someone has paid for (not just a freebie) and a personal message. I'm really excited and its been even more exciting as we're starting to get the messages in... I can't wait to write mine!
Order from here x

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Day 153: The best birthday cards


So there have been no money updates for a few days/weeks :S Sorry... the money is not collecting as quickly as is necessary for those sort of posts to be anything other than depressing and truth be told I just don't really want to see my bank balance at the moment. However... being inspired by lovely creative ideas like this I have copied this great idea for birthday cards. Check this uninspiring selection of cheap cards...









I particularly am not digging the 'fake Bratz doll' one... so generally as there are aprox 30 birthday parties to go to per year per child you have that's potentially a lot of cards. Now, to be honest I rarely buy a card ever... but though I have a standard of making them I can normally never find one when in a rush for a kids party so end up just going with the present and 'the card must have fallen off' option... but these ideas for valentines (thank goodness we don't have to do valentines for the whole class in this country!) are so cute and I've just had a nice craft session with the kids making these and we LOVE them. Pretty much the easiest thing to do... though Elijah was more wriggly and it was difficult to get him to stand where I wanted him, look at the camera and make a fist... too much to do at one time for him.
How to: 1.Get a kid, 2. Say 'stand there are make a fist'. 3. Click to take the picture, 4. Upload to photoshop and write Happy Birthday on it, 5. Save to a memory sick, 6. Scoot down to tesco, 7. Get them processed while you go to the sweets section and pick up some lollies, come home with it all 8. Slit just above and below the fist and stick the lolly through. BOOM! Cost... 28p. You can even bring the cost down by registering with tesco online photos - you get 40 free 6 by 4 prints and I did go for the premium lolly - chupa chups... you can get cheaper... but -you know what - why not spalsh out on a chupa chup for 13p when tesco value imitation bratz doll card rolls in at 45p!

Monday, 22 February 2010

Day 152: Party planning


... so I'm not going too far ahead of myself with this but did have the thought that I am going to document what I do and how I plan my kids parties this year. I do tend to start planning really early to spread the cost and because I make as much as I can... so I'm interested to know what that means I do actually spend. This is the first year we're doing both the children their own party... Elijah's just starting to get invited to his own parties now so its about time he got his own. I do absolutely love all of it and though most parties happen at big play centres I don't get at all envious that we can't afford the £10 a head for the whole class...there's something much more special about having it at home, transforming the whole house, getting facepaints all over the carpets, manically baking and being in a big old squash for the day. I totally love it! So average class party at big playcentre... aprox £300. Throw in a craft activity and you're talking much more. Some friends paid £17 a head for a kids party at a centre in Sheffield for a T shirt painting party. It was extortionate but fun but the pens and paints they supplied weren't even fabric pens as we found out when all the children's hard work came off in the wash!
Holly has always loved picking her party themes. Age 3 and 1 she planned for her and Elijah to have a Princess and Pirates party, 4 and 2 it was Lions and Ballerinas... fairly less obvious but then we made everything and she designed the invites, last year it was woodland fairies (and ladybugs for Elijah) and this year we're going for Mad Hatter's tea party for Holly and Monsters party for Elijah...The aims is to bring it in at way under this cost but without resorting to cheap tack. Go!

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Day 151: A little early


Yes its February... and Holly's birthday is the end of June... but you can never be too prepared for a kids party... I'm a little... no... A LOT excited about seeing the new Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland... 5th March........eeeek! And being a massive Alice in Wonderland fan anyway me and Holly have been watching the disney film today to get ideas for a Mad Hatters tea party for her 6th birthday... I'm well excited but quite surprised to find things like this ...http://jessicaclaire.net/index.cfm/postID/134... a 4 year olds very extravagant party... totally amazing if not missing a bit of the quirky shabbyness that I'll be including at Holly's (as its more authentic and much more free) but wow... I love the internet... a billion ideas to inspire all while your husband gets home and watches match of the day

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Day 150: Late


I can't quite believe my lovely children managed today... got in very late after we had a performance at the Victory Assembly Psalms Alive event and they came along and loved it but arrived home at 11.45 all still very awake. By midnight we all got into Elijah's little half size bed, all in PJs and had a story and a pray. Tomorrow I'm treating them... if the balance will allow we're having a bookshop trip... which for my kids is about the most exciting treat possible!

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Day 149: Today

Man, I'm tired... Joel is away AGAIN and I had to get the children to mums, get down the the office, get us all to coventry on a snowy, foggy, slow motorway and then do some filming for ucb tv. We're going to be on a programme called UK CMC and did a few songs and interviewy bits... back and collected kids and off to practice... home and cold and I'm putting he heating up and getting in my jimmies - cos I can.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Day 148: Bleugh

Totally run out of money again... a few expenses cheques for various bits and pieces should be ambling their way over but in the meantime we sit tight.
HOWEVER Joel has now finished his book... so the potential for Richard and Judy book club and WHSmith signing sessions are now back on the imagination radar.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Day 147: Get me!!!


Tonight is just the sort of night that a takeaway is necessary. I've just got in, I'm tired in an exhausted sort of way, had a long week preceeded by 2 weekends Joel has been away for so I'm aware I've not had anything that resembles a rest in a good 3 weeks, have had a week of early mornings and late nights and a meeting last night that finished at midnight has left me feeling a bit drained. Its Saturday tomorrow but tomorrow I drive us down to Essex in time for a sound check, a couple of gigs and home aprox 1 am Sunday night-actually Monday morning... so a takeaway doesn't seem such a bad idea right now... still we're being somewaht disciplined and at least buying a fake supermarket takeaway that you cook yourself... to save a bit of cash!
But get me! We got an article in youthwork magazine and it arrived today... Its what I was struggling to write a few weeks ago and its nice to have done that and now its all printed and totally off my things to do list! Its basically an overview of what Golddigger do and a bit of the heart behind it all... now back to writing songs... thats much easier than articles!

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Day 146: :D

A bit of spare child tax credit and benefit money... over it goes... and BOOM £1699.40 D We're getting there!

Monday, 8 February 2010

Day 145: Can you see that!?

Well I am about to go out and spend some money on a tonne of photo prints - Holly has her 'celebrating my life' presentation at school this week so the pressures on to make our family life sound wonderfully interesting and put up loads of lovely pictures... which I do have hundreds of now but feel a bit sad that the only baby photos I have of Holly were taken off my rubbish phone as we didn't own a camera when she was born :( BUT can you see my jar?!! If you are familiar with big notes you'll know an orange one is £10, a red one (no - I've never had one of those) is £50 and this lovely purple one is a £20... and I HAVE TWO IN MY JAR!!! What is it about cash that is so much more exciting? 40 quid in my bank would be a big worry... but 40 quid in a jar - that's LOADS!
Well this can all go to the bank today... all together there's £50.31 (and 2 cents) taking me down to £1837.21 D !! (and 2 cents credit that maybe doesn't help all that much.)

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Day 144: Finished at last

Not my debt paying... that is not finished... I didn't just come by £7000 since midnight last night so that can not have happened... but I am probably just as pleased to have finished off my very own jumper/cropped cardy thing! I bought the wool and started this about 18 months ago... and its taken me a really really long time... The trouble is that I can't really knit very well... and I like complicated patterns. This one was ok but when I got to a bit that I didn't understand I had to wait for Joel's mum - who lives in Malawi - to plan a trip over so that I could ask her to help me (or more accurately 'do that bit for me') so I've actually slightly broken my no shopping ban to buy the remaining 2 buttons I needed - which cost £1.20.
I made a jumper!!! Its lovely cosy rowan wool - which is expensive but so nice - and so though its actually cropped (I may post a better picture when I've not just tried on the finished thing for the first time and still in my PJs!) it is really snuggly warm... perfect timing to have finished it to get the coldest month of the year to wear it :D

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Day 143: Don't stop believing...

I'm trying not to be put off by the severity of the task and I keep doubting myself into stopping trying - thats bad and wrong and produces rubbish results. As Joel would tell me if he were here is that I shouldn't have limiting belief - and what ever you say about a problem he will ask 'how can you turn that around into a positive statement?' So rather than telling you that I am still a long way off my target I shall instead say... Today I have achieved movement on the card I'm tackling at the moment. I have paid off £56.88 which takes me to £1887.52 D Which is quite exciting as I've takin it down from a 19-- number to a 18-- number. Good good.

Day 142: New dress

I'm not quite sure that I need one but I managed to pick up a nice dress pattern off my mum the other day and might search the loft for some material. Its supposed to be in just 1 colour but I'm pretty sure I don't have enough of 1 material lying round the house so I'm quite looking forward to seeing how I'll have to fit a few pieces together and be inventive! I'll be sure to post pictures of my strange concoction of a dress when its done :)

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Day 141: Positive thinking

Being on day 141 means I've got just over 200 days left of my shopping ban and also means I've only got 59 days left in which to pay off over £7,000 of debt... In the last 41 days I've managed - once you do a bit of adding and taking away of the more debt I managed to get over Christmas - BIG thanks to the big appliance breaking week - I've actually only paid off about £100... so on paper -no - it doesn't look so good really... Still... I'm not quite sure how but I still think I can manage it. Watch this space.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Day 140: Pic n Mix


We had a nice 'date night' last night... We have an amazing lady who does everything in the community and has 6 children of her own but every so often she comes round to babysit for us and gives us money for a meal out... itsn't that ridiculously and amazingly lovely :)
On the way home from wherever we've been we always seem to go to Tesco... sad but true... I think we like wandering round Tesco together when we've not got the kids... there's something exciting about supermarkets without small children when you normally have to amuse them the whole time you're there... so our plan on the way home last night was...'Yay! Tesco for a Pic n Mix'! Pix n Mix is a new addition to Tesco here and of course its exciting... pic n mix is cool... but last night we came across the fundamental error that pic n mix and tesco just doesn't work... its totally impossible. How can you look at pic n mix mini eggs - which you know look like mini eggs but taste a bit of old glue and it not draw your attention to the fact that you could get a whole pack of proper mini eggs from the next aisle along... or a big chunk of fudge that actually tastes of oil and costs 5 times more than the nice fudge in the sweets section... you just can't do it...
So we came home from our trip for pic n mix with a small packet of mini eggs, some CD printer labels which I needed for work and were the 'managers special' at £1 and minnie and micky mouse plates for the children for a quid (and that was our impulse buy splurge)

Monday, 1 February 2010

Day 139: not fooled

Well today's been an interesting one... spent the morning being coached by Joel - who has been on a coaching course, then clothes shopping for him - which he obviously brainwashed me into in his coaching tactics, then collected Elijah - a bit more coaching, me and the little boy made some olive bread, made a vegie lasagne to last mos of the week then went for Holly to have surprise family time... as Joel was away this weekend... so todays surprise was a walk in the woods and a hot chocolate and a little choose at Cocoa on Ecclesall Rd, also this afternoon received some bad news that some friends had their first scan for their baby and no heart beat was detected. We came home, cooked the lasagne, ate and I went over to theirs with some others to pray for that situation... and tomorrow they go back and hopefully that situation will have turned. So my head is a bit all over the place today... not really sure which bits to try to make sense of so instead I'll just report that I've just received 3 emails from HSBC.uk.co.lots of numbers all with a click me and log in link... I don't fall for it... and its most certainly trying to scam me for my login... obviously blissfully unaware that they don't really gain anything if they manage to access my bank account! but it does make me angry that people are trying to get away with that! Like, what can you do?