It’s no secret I am in love with changing my home decor for the seasons and every few years. I don’t think you have to spend loads to change a look in a room. I am the ultimate upcyling, recycling, bargain home shopper. Last year, I redecorated my front living room and actually made £400 extra in my pocket and had a brand new look that I fell in love with. With the cozy winter months ahead I am already thinking in terms of making the house warm and inviting.
The thing I love most about winter is getting cozy in front of the fireplace with a good book, hot chocolate with marshmallows, my fuzzy socks on and a good throw blanket over me. To me, that is a cozy winter night in. I love the ambience that a fireplace gives off in the winter. If I could, I would put a fireplace in every room during the winter months. It’s the most relaxing time of the year. A fireplace also creates a great space above to decorate for the seasons. I love a large mantelpiece to adorn all my seasonal favorite items on. Don’t forget the clear twinkling lights are also a mantelpiece must have in winter.
Winter decorating doesn’t have to cost you a penny either. I love bringing nature indoors to give it that rustic natural look. There is so much you can do with fallen branches, acorns, pinecones, and more woodland effects in your home. Pinterest is flooded with ideas that will really make your home feel cozy this winter. Why not use large wicker baskets and fill them with chopped wood next to your fireplace even if you have a faux flame it really creates a warm atmosphere and looks the part too.
I love baking during the winter months to fill the house with those warm, deep flavors of cinnamon, apple, mulled wine, oatmeal, and ginger. White Chocolate Pumpkin Cinnamon Swirls are a family favorite in the winter time. If you aren’t a baker though or don’t have the time use winter scented candles around the house or fill glass vases with cinnamon sticks and pinecones to create the same effect and it makes for great home accessories too.
What do you spend your daily pennies on? Well, most of us don’t have extra money to spend everyday and yet we still spend it without thought. It could be a buying a coffee on your way to work, a pack of gum at the gas station, bottle of water on your lunch break but it all adds up. I don’t think we focus on the daily pennies we spend in the bigger picture of our financial lives. If you are on a tight budget these little daily pennies can add up quickly and blow that budget out of the water without you noticing before it’s too late.
The more aware you are of these little distractions the less likely you will be tempted to spend. I always try to ask myself, “do I need it or want it?” Sometimes as a society we can get carried away with convenience and not realize how much more we pay for convenience too. Grabbing lunch on our work break can cost us a small fortune that we could have made at home and packed for more than half the price. A treat here and there is still nice to have but on a daily basis those are a lot of daily pennies spent for convenience.
Here are six things you are mostly likely to buy regularly without thinking how much you spend on that particular item.
1. A pack of gum
2. Morning coffee
3. A bottle of water
4. Magazines or newspapers
5. Fast food
6. Snacks: chips, candy bar, sweets, pop
I started realizing how much money I was spending on the little daily things in my life instead of trying to buy in bulk and save money by planning ahead. I am usually so good with my money and always have been. I remember at eighteen I was so aware of my credit score and what I charged and spent my money on. I guess getting my bachelor’s degree in business, finance was always at the forefront of my mind. I am slowly living my life a little more sloppy in my old age now. I need to get back to saving.
I love having something to budget for whether it is saving for a large birthday present for hubby or a holiday getaway for the family. If I don’t have the money and I use a credit card to purchase something I really want, I always make sure it is covered by the next paycheck. My credit card purchases are never used on daily spends either. I save them for a big purchase that I may need earlier than I get paid but never more than I can afford. My momma always taught me to follow these little rules to make sure I never go into huge credit card debt. I want to teach my children to be financially smart too.
Are you aware of your daily spending habits? Do you save and keep an eye on your credit report? You can quickly check it with Experian credit report to ensure your spending is on track. Why not try for one week to become more aware of the little things you buy that you don’t need and see how much you could be saving.
We are back in the UK, landed a few days ago. Jetlag has been hard this time than I ever remember it. The kids adjusted faster than their dear old momma. It’s great to be back in my own house, with the hubster and my own bed. The kids are loving having their own rooms again and all their toys. Although B keeps asking me to take him to Grandma and Papa’s house for swim. “It’s only three planes Mommy,” he said yesterday, like it was around the corner. I am missing the hot weather though and my family of course already. It’s always hard to get back into the fast pace life style that we live here. I promised I would ease back into it but who am I kidding there are things to be done.
The Bellagio Bakery treats I couldn’t eat.
This week we have…
We got home to A Collection of Nursery Rhymes in the mail from the great Parragon Books. We love their stories and at first glance I thought it would be just a few main ones but it is actually packed full of all the ones I have ever heard and a few new ones to me. I have been reading them to the kids in the afternoon and they are loving it. I was just talking to Mr P the other day saying how I had forgotten half of all the main ones and couldnt’ teach the kids properly and then it showed up. What luck. It would make a great baby or christening present too. With over hundred nursery rhymes there is one for everyone to love within. Available at Easons, Tesco, TK Maxx, and The Works if you fancy a copy.
I am almost finished with season 3 of Orange is the New Black and funny enough while I was watching last night episode I realized the new girl is Ruby Rose the winner for Australia’s Next Top Model whom I was sitting next to while she was drumming away in a Las Vegas nightclub. Small world! lol I thought I recognized her. I will be starting Pretty Little Liars when I finish as I have heard a few great raves about it. All the shows I am loyal to are starting back up, Unforgettable, Ray Donovan, and Scandal. Sadly I won’t be finishing Grey’s Anatomy as I read too many USA magazines and know the entire last season and it’s been a total let down. Boo.
It’s weird to be wearing pants again after two months of dresses, shorts, skirts, and swimsuits pretty much every single day. But one thing I missed was having my nails done. My parents live in the mountains in the deep country of the north so a nail salon is about two hours away for a good one. I missed my lovely Abbie so much and her creativity. It felt good to get them done this week.
MM got her very first pair of overalls ever. I have to say I adore them on her. The floral patterns on the straps are so cute and they match any top. MM was also so proud of herself when she got to pick her very own pair of shoes out. I went into to Clarks to get her some that fit as she only fits into her summer sandals now. I told her she could pick a pair out herself and I would pick a pair out. I was surprised that she picked the glittery blue ones out. I asked about twenty times, “are you sure you want these?” She was persistent. She hasn’t had them off all week. It seems so grown up that she can pick her own things out now and has her own likes and dislikes. Growing up way too fast.
We also have been trying tons of uniforms on for B. Some of the things I bought before we left for America are cutting it close on the too small size but it will have to do for the first month or so. Sadly I was going to share a photo of all his new gear as he is so excited and proud of it all but his school logo is on EVERYTHING. Minus the first day of school picture that I will definitely take and have to blur out, I won’t be sharing much of his school uniform for safety reasons. I see instagram flooding with all the kids in their gear which is so cute but in B’s school the name is even on their backpacks and t-shirts and shorts and pe gear and coats. Apart from his grey pants that’s the only thing logo free which makes shopping a little hard. The more we get organized for B’s school the more excited and sleeps he is counting and the more nervous I get. I am not nervous for him starting he is more than ready but I feel like the new kid on the block. All the other mom’s have other children already in the school so they all know each other and I am the new one and the expat. It’s like a double nervous twitch I have and hope they will be nice to me. I was made fun of so much as a kid and I just don’t want that to be the case for my kids or to have to deal with all that again with school moms too. EEEK. Preparing for school has so many aspects to it. I look forward to getting into a new routine and feeling comfortable with it all.
I have no patience for waiting for things to get done so as soon as I got home and saw our downstairs tile had all been laid while we were in the states, I was ready to finish the job. I immediately built our three new bar stools to put where I had ripped out our shelves in our kitchen island to create a breakfast bar space. I got out my paint brush and painted the entire kitchen a light grey to pull from the speckled grey in our new tile. While I was jetlagged and SO tired I love getting a project done. Sadly our inside of our breakfast bar back panel won’t be in until next week but other than that my new kitchen and laundry room look amazing, I love them. Hard work paid off for sure. Who needs a man?
I have the honor of judging the Renshaw Baking Mini Bake Off. If your little ones like to bake in the kitchen share their mini creations with @RenshawBakingUK #MiniRenshawBakers for the chance to WIN £50 Toyrus Vouchers. I love encouraging kids to get in the kitchen and experiment more. So let’s get our little bake on!