Thursday, 16 June 2011

Thanks to school I am currently on ebay bidding on ditsy print play suits for Holly. I didn't really need to have to buy her any new clothes but as she's been given the category of 'Victorian bathing suit' costume for the summer concert and a load of really confusing images for inspiration which include full nautical dresses with bloomers and hats (which you can not buy for anyone over the age of 1) and some clingy dodgy stripey things (no thanks) and some pictures that kind of look a bit like the sort of playsuit I could maybe pick up from Primark?! Seriously - other children have been given the 40s dress category (easy) and some lucky ones got 'modern day'... and I get VICTORIAN BATHING SUIT!!! I'm obviously in the bad books for taking her out of school on Monday.

Sunday, 12 June 2011


Well I had a lovely birthday yesterday - breakfast in bed with all the family ending in jam covered sheets and then later on just a nice stroll down Ecclesall rd and a Starbucks. The weather meant we couldn't really do Chatsworth or the park or anything as there a few yukky storms but all I really wanted was a nice chilled out day with my family - and that is what I got :) and aside from having to spend the evening colouring in white elastic with black marker pens to sew into tap shoes for the dancing shows, I enjoyed movies and a cosy night in! Its een great to have had my wages through which gives us a good bit of breathing space for the rest of the month and tonight I've been trying to work through what else we'll need to survive the month so that I can put the rest onto the credit card. Well I think I'm safe for now to move over £340 so thats done and it takes us to £7611.93 D. You know, that does still seem such a lot of money...but then if I think back to my first achievement when I finally paid off my overdraft - that was only £1,500 in total - and yet it seemed such a big challenge. This credit card started off over 9,000 so I've already made it past what I've done before! Anyway that big old horrid number is certainly getting smaller!

Friday, 10 June 2011


What can be more fun than an evening of trying on borrowed and gorgeous dresses!? I raided my friend Als wardrobe on the way home from work tonight. I need to find things to wear for this video shoot and its best if its not just same old things I wear all the time and to every gig. Equally I wouldn't want to spend a lot of money on something new and end up thinking 'Oh I wore that in a video so I can't wear it for many more special occasions' so whats better than borrowing someone elses nice things! I'm going to be very careful and look after them very well...and as a bit of a magpie and a fabric stalker I am very excited to be looking after such beautiful things!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

On good recommendation I tried again shopping at Aldi this week. I don't normally bother with it because I spend too long looking at packets trying to work out whether they really are cheap or just a lot smaller than what I'd get in Tesco. I'm still really unconvinced. I ended up buying some really cheap mangos, blueberries and rhubarb which I don't tend to go near on a low budget month and I didnt even bother with cheese and milk as I knew they were more expensive in Aldi. So I then had to go do another shop for all the Tesco value things and ended up fed up of shopping and forgetting to buy toothpaste and tea bags. I then ended up having to go for those later on at the local coop and spent double what I would have in Tesco. I think I like it when i just go to one place and buy everything! One good thing though was that the children found a quid on the floor. They took it to the Aldi lady and she let them keep it for being honest - 50p each for theose 2! Rumour has it they take it off you at Tesco!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

There's Treasure Everywhere


I had something to blog about just now that has totally run away from my brain. I've been completely side tracked today planning for a music video we're doing next week. Its all been a bit rushed but we're basically trying to get something together for a schools week resource which will be given out to loads of young people in Sheffield and so the schedule and the budget are tight. We've never done anything like this before and I started out today a bit stressed and overwhelmed but after a day of planning and scripting I'm quite excited. Today has been like an epic game of 'find me'. We've had to find a grown up girl, a little girl, a spare guitarist, a spare bassist, a treasure box, some woods, a castle, an old necklace, a letter, 2 matching dresses, some clothes for us that we have not worn on stage before and probably wont ever wear again and some boys braces. Its been fun and apart from still having to raid my parents house while they are away and (hopefully) my friends wardrobe (who happens to be a very well dressed lady who's clothes are amazing and sparkly and nicer than primark) we are nearly there and should be ready by Monday! Its made me realise that there really is treasure everywhere. I LOVE it. I love that we have no budget but are set to make something to be the best that we can out of the resources we already own and can pull together out of the things we have around us. Whats old and ordinary to me is unusual and exciting to someone else and vice versa. There'll be no Matrix flying or autotuning our faces but hopefully we'll be able to make something that tells a simple and important message that actually matters. But for now I'm tired and its sleep time - yes definately.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

We almost have a new piece of land. Among all the stress of managing the budget at the moment it just seems ridiculous that we are about to spend thousands on some extra grass and trees - it just doesn't seem quite as useful as groceries or something practical - but apparently its a wise investment and ahead we go. So the solicitors letter arrived to advise us to send payment over as its all about to happen. Hmmm... maybe and I wonder if we will get it and can fence it off in time to send 30 little pirates in to the trees for a treasure hunt?! That would keep them busy and a bit stuck!

Monday, 6 June 2011

Decided to put the blackboard wall to good use and make it the backdrop for Elijah's party invites. I'm braving 33 kids at the house - no entertainers. I would really really like to pay someone else to entertain a whole class of receptions in my lounge but 'ugh money' and so Joel and I are going to brave it and I now have a list of games and activities! We CAN do it!! Well, how hard can it be? :S

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Care free


Bit of a rubbish day yesterday - circumstance and worry were getting me down. Things spiral into ridiculous when you find yourself calculating the cost of petrol to the park and so opt for the one across the road just because its free even though its not where you want to go - and then feeling like every decision you make is basically decided by money and then what if we have to live on half of what we have now and is life just going to be miserable? I don't want to say no every time to anything I'm invited to, or every time my kids want an ice cream or to go to an after school club. I also - and this is the worst - don't want to wish every day of the month away to be closer to pay day and get that sense of relief that we've made it through. If I'm wishing my life away because money is that stressful then life has really become very pointless! Sometimes I wish I'd never started this blog and continued in financial mess but quite unaware and at least happy... and yet I'm kind of glad that its been an adventure in itself and that I've learned some stuff about how to be in more control of money... but I also know that control is a very dangerous friend and it likes to hold you as close as you hold it. I don't want to be controlled by money or to become controlled by trying to control it. Truth is I am happiest when I just don't care about it. Realistically I know that's not an option I have right now - we're moving more and more into a phase where we have to count every penny and work out ways of earning. How to do that and maintain not caring all that much about it is a mystery but we'll find a way to get there.
I guess I feel like we're wading through treacle for quite some way ahead... and I'm not sure what the end result will be. Hopefully carefree but with strong legs that have been built up along in the wading process. Maybe I will have become a naturally good money organiser that I just do it without having to think about it and I will feel like I never have to give it a thought?! Anyway...its my birthday on Saturday and though I've not decided what nice little thing I might do I also am not looking forward to it in the sense of hurrying it to get here because I am going to enjoy every day of the week for as long as possible. I've wasted 3 days ill in bed and 2 whole days worrying about the existence of the day because we need to pay for the meals it makes us need and the electricity it requires - neither of those types of day are any good whatsoever so I'm NEVER planning to spend them like that again.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Ugh...another sad day goes by and I've been sucessful all because I have spent nothing. Thats kind of crappy.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Sylvanian News


So the girl wants a bike for her birthday - well she now needs one that fits her as she inconveniently keeps growing. She is also desperate for some animals to start her Sylvanian Families collection. Expensive little creatures but they are very cute and seem to have a good market on ebay so its a hobby I am happy to encourage so long as she is happy to not have many. Well I'm seeing what a friend might be able to do in the way of a bike discount and I've just found a good deal on some little bunny rabbits :)
A used cottontail rabbit family just sold on ebay for £6.20 plus £1.80 postage. RRP 16.99 new. So £8 for a used family is actually quite cheap for what I've seen on ebay... its quite a ridiculous market... but I just checked amazon again this morning and picked up this cute little fawn rabbit family for £9.63... they'll come new in a box and everything!!

I was not as better as I'd planned today. Joel is also ill so it was more of a housebound day with a trip to coop for paracetamol. I did not have a budget allowance for medicines but we have certainly spent over. The side effects of these penicillin tablets is that for the whole of last night and the whole of today I have felt like a shed full of bits of wood. Everyway I lay and any position I am in a feel like there is something sharp and bulky inside my body that is sticking into one of my limbs or organs. Its really rubbish - shame I have about another week of having to take them. I'm hoping I just get beyond tired that I can sleep anyway and then I can kind of get back to life. Today, however, we did some painting, the kids re-organsied their room and earned 75p each for their efforts and tonight I've been spending time with my budget folders. I'm eagerly awaiting some expenses and my bit of wages to arrive. We are now living with our cash for the month in a jam jar and NOTHING in the bank account. I suppose its fun.
I did, however, just pay off this months definate installment on the credit card - so with £200 over to that we are now down to £7,951.93 D - ACE - I love having that all in one place - that just seems so much more managable :)

Thursday, 2 June 2011

I did my gig. I felt horrendous right up until sound check. I managed 3 songs before I had to sit down, came home, felt sick, ate beans on toast, drank lucozade, arrived as late as I could and I managed it. I did not faint, vomit or cry on stage and my voice held out until I talked for too long towards then end. Tomorrow I plan to see my beautiful children - its nearly the end of their holidays and I've been stuck in bed so I plan to enjoy them tomorrow and might just spend £3 of my £102 letting them go on the boats at the park - cos they deserve such an extravagance!!
Anyway - the plus side of being bed ridden (aside from having to spend money on prescriptions, paracetamol, lucozade and ravioli) was that I've entered TWO competitions. Loose Women and Dickinsons Real Deal. I entered on the website for free. So bonus if I win one of those?! Well... David Dickinson himself did point out -there has to be one winner and it could be you! So it COULD be me! That one is for £3000 - Loose Women on the other hand is £10,000 AND £5,000 in M&S vouchers... the ladies in the audience did a big 'OOOooooooooohhhhhh!!' at that - personally I would struggle to need that many pairs of pants but I could buy a round of pants and bras for everyone I know with that sort of a winning!
So Im having a miserable bed ridden few days with 'quite severe tonsilitus' but planning to be mended for this afternoon - we have a gig in Sheffield this evening. At least its nearby and I'm pretty sure I can stand up and just try my best to ignore how I feel for an hour and hope my voice holds out. Not only does it mess up a whole event if I cancel - it also means I lose out on getting paid - which I obviously can't afford to do right now.
Anyway - I started making these a few days ago - some cute little wooden bunting flags which will either be a good party bag filler for Hollys party or part of a craft thing I can do with the girls - the idea being they get a short little piece of bunting each and the middle one will have their initial on. Good way to use up tester pots or leftover big pots of emulsion and some MDF we had clogging up the shed. I'd quite like to be finishing painting these rather than stuck in bed but thats not todays plan obviously!