Sunday, 1 March 2015

This Week At The Webster's - You Never Know What A Week Will Bring

This last week truly has been a week from hell, I thought I would write a quick post rather than not blog at all.

I started last week feeling rather unwell, I struggled along through Monday but by Tuesday afternoon I was in agony and unable to carry on as normal I went to an out of hours service and was treated for one thing which turned out to not be the actual thing that was wrong, I know I'm being rather vague about what was wrong, all I will say is that I had an extremely bad and painful abscess in a very delicate area, I have never ever felt pain like it before in my life even during childbirth !

Finally after a whole week spent in excruciating pain I was admitted to a ward on Friday and finally had an operation on Saturday.

I don't have much else to tell you about last week as you can imagine it's mainly been spent in a haze of pain.

The worst part of it all for me was being apart from Chris and the little ones, not being able to have my big kids visit as normal, feeling totally useless and helpless and realising how ill prepared we really are for an emergency.

The positive things that have come out of this situation is that it's made me stop and realise how run down I was, it's made it more important than ever for me to get myself well and start looking after myself, I've truly realised what is important and what is not.

We have a few tough weeks ahead but I'm determined that if we ever find ourselves in such an unexpected situation again we will be much better prepared, we don't have a massive support system of people who can help us out but those who did I am truly grateful for.

I'm so happy to be home and I'm going to enjoy every moment spent with my family.

I can only hope that this terrible run of bad health that seems to have plagued us since December is finally at an end.


Angela x

Monday, 23 February 2015

Money Mondays - Buying For Baby On A Budget

This week I thought I would share some baby budgeting tips we used when having our children, we all know how expensive it can be buying all the things you need for a newborn but it doesn't stop there does it, babies grow so fast and need new clothes roughly every 3 months so finding little ways to save really does make all the difference.

  • Join sites like Freecycle, Freegle and Gumtree, you can pick up items like cots, baths, play mats and baby clothes for free, the condition of the items is usually really good as they are used for such a short space of time, I got a Pink Lining changing bag from Freecycle, it was as good as new once I washed it and would normally retail at £40 upwards.

  • Facebook selling pages for your local area are great for picking up the essential items at bargain prices, lots are gently used and sometimes not used at all. People usually sell bundles of baby clothes for a fraction of what they would cost you new, I got some fantastic bundles for Jake most included brands such as Next, Zara Baby and Baby Gap.

  • I would always recommend buying a brand new mattress for cots and Moses baskets, I buy mine from Kiddicare online, they offer a good range of prices to suit all budgets.

  • Asking relatives and friends to keep their feelers out for you for you is a good idea, they might know someone giving baby items away or even selling them at bargain prices.

  • If you are buying new always shop around, do your research as some stores may offer a price match, keep your eyes peeled for special baby events or visit the baby shows in your local area to find some cut price bargains.

  • Join some baby clubs online, many offer free gifts or coupons for useful baby items as well as great ideas and advice, here are my favourites
         Emma's Diary

         Bounty

         Asda Baby Club

        Tesco Baby Club

        Aptamil Baby Club

        Cow & Gate Baby Club



  • Buy Nappies and Wipes in bulk packs, we always buy the economy big box packs, they last us the whole month and cost less in the long run.

  • Most supermarkets now offer a range of baby toiletries and nappies that rival the big brands, you could try downshifting to see what suits you and your baby.

Have you shopped around and saved money on baby essentials ? if you have any tips you would like to share please leave me a comment below.

Angela





Sunday, 22 February 2015

This Week At The Webster's - Grumpiness, Crawling Baby Issues & Pancakes

I could seriously fill this whole blog post up with a huge rant about how much of  rubbish week it's been but I won't, mainly because most of it would be tiredness talking.

I am the worlds most grumpiest person after a few nights of broken sleep, and between Jake teething and me having some issues a good nights sleep has been scarce, the week caught up with me and I ended up asleep by 7.15pm on Saturday evening which has helped a little.

Jake's crawling has accelerated this week, he is like speedy Gonzales when he catches sight of something he's not meant to touch, I'm trying every tip in the book but he just laughs at me and makes a beeline for the forbidden object again, I'm totally frazzled trying to stay one step ahead of him, Chris and I held an emergency meeting this morning to discuss implementing strategies to outsmart him, we have decided on a safety gate for the living room door and removal of any expensive technology, we are also looking at cable tidies.

The funny thing is you spend ages willing your little ones to crawl then spend even more time longing for the days when you could leave them in one place and be sure they wouldn't have moved when you return, it certainly keeps us on our toes and there is never a dull moment I suppose.


On Tuesday we celebrated Pancake day, as shocking as it is I only learnt how to make pancakes last year at the age of 36 and I actually quite enjoy it, Chris and Daisy like syrup on theirs but I like traditional lemon and sugar on mine.



Daisy is back at pre-school tomorrow, she has had two weeks off with her being poorly and half term and she is chomping at the bit to get back and see her little friends, I don't know about you but I seem to work a lot better when we have a regular routine in place so I'm looking forward to next week as well.

We haven't had a chance to get outside much this week and I really want to change this, the weeks seem to be flying past and I sometimes wonder where the days have gone.

I'm hoping next week will bring a few better nights sleep for all of us.

Angela

Webster's Week In Wins 15th-21st February 2015

No big wins to report this week but I did have a couple of small wins this week so at least February isn't a completely dry month.

I won some Cussons Mum & Me goodies on Twitter, they haven't arrived yet but I will post a picture when they do.

I've also won a pair of tickets to the Baby & Toddler show in Manchester, I've been going for a few years now, they have some really good bargains, usually a goodie bag and there is always a competition or two to enter, I once won a £200 Mint Velvet voucher just from popping my name in a box at the event.

A nice little freebie from Kiddylicious arrived this week for Jacob, he really enjoyed having them as a little snack.

I'm going to busy myself this week with getting back into completing surveys and entering end of month competitions, I will be back next week to share the results with you.

Angela

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Persil Limited Edition Spring Blossom Washing Up Liquid Review

I'm an absolute sucker for a seasonal limited edition product, a new scent or flavour certainly makes housework a little less dull.

With Spring just around the corner Persil are launching a limited edition washing up liquid in a 'Spring Blossom' scent, it features hints of freesia, white rose, vanilla and dry fruit, it's soapy bubbles smell lovely and really get you in the mood for brighter days and a good Spring clean.


It's floral pink in colour which looks pretty and helps liven up the kitchen windowsill, it's formula is Good Housekeeping approved too.


 
Persil washing up liquid is great for tackling stubborn grease and stuck on food, it left my dishes sparkling clean and the bubbles remained intact while I scrubbed away at the dishes, it also left no residue or scent on the dishes afterwards which is really important to me when deciding which product to buy.

The new Spring Blossom scent will be available at Tesco supermarkets in March and retails at £1 for 500ml which I think is a bargain for such a good quality product, other scents available are Pink Blush, Orange Crush, Lemon Burst and Apple Fizz.

Angela x

*I was sent the product for the purpose of review but all opinions are honest and my own*

What's Cooking At The Webster's - Blueberry Pancakes

Can you believe that I only learnt how to make pancakes for the first time last year at the age of 36, I know shocking isn't it.

I'm getting good at making the thin type tradition pancakes but I hadn't ever made the thick American style ones so in the spirit of pancake day and the leftover blueberries from making smoothies I decided to give them a go.

I chose a simple batter mix and added the blueberries, the pancakes didn't come out looking pretty but they tasted delicious, they made a great finger food for Jake too.



Ingredients

200g Self Raising Flour

1 Tsp Baking Soda

1 Egg

300ml Milk

150g Blueberries

Pinch of salt

Oil or knob of butter

Method

Mix together the flour, baking soda and a pinch of salt.

Beat the egg together with the milk.

Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and whisk in the milk mixture to make a thick but smooth batter.

Stir in half the blueberries.

Heat the oil or butter in a frying pan and drop a large tablespoonful of the mixture per pancake.

Cook until you notice the pancake bubbling then turn over onto the other side and cook for another 2-3 minutes until golden.

Serve with your desired topping.

 
 
I will be making traditional pancakes for pancake day as I love smothering them with lemon and sugar (sweetener for me actually) but I definitely want to have a go at making more variations of the American pancakes in the future, if you have any good recipes feel free to 'toss' them my way !

Angela x





Monday, 16 February 2015

Money Mondays - No Budget Low Budget February Half Term Fun

I thought I would write this weeks Money Monday post about fun things to do outside the home during half term when you're budget is limited, you could also try some of these ideas on the weekend as well.

Shopping Centres

Lots of shopping centres offer free half term activities, of course the purpose is to lure you in to spend your money there but with a strong resolve it's a great low budget idea, my local shopping centre offers a week of themed activities where children can do crafts, experiments, sports and they even have a colouring competition and treasure hunt.

The only cost involved may be the parking but a few quid for a couple of hours peace is well worth it,  you could walk or cycle if you live near by, take some drinks and a snack and it's a no budget day.

Libraries

The library is a great no budget idea for any time of the year but many offer activity days during school holidays, some offer reading schemes where children can collect stickers or book marks for each book they read, many also have child friendly tables and chairs with puzzles and games on.

The library we go to provide a free 'Storytime' session every week, the children can do crafts, play games and learn songs and of course listen to stories, you could give your library a call and see what they have to offer.


Parks

This is an obvious one really isn't it, we are quite lucky and have several really good parks in walking distance, the council updated them all a few years ago and the equipment on them is fantastic, they all have safety gates to stop little ones escaping, nothing simpler or great for a low budget than letting kids run of steam at the park.

Garden Centres

If you live near a large garden centre it might be worth giving them a call or looking on their websites to see if they are running any activity days, the one we live close to has a free story time session each week and have a craft activity running for half term.


Children's Centres

When my two eldest children were at primary school I would love searching out things for us to do in the half term, we went to a pretty good children's centre who would put extra activities on during the school holidays and even organise low cost trips.

The children's centre I sometimes take Daisy and Jake to is a Sure Start centre, all families are welcome with children up to the age of five, the centre's stay open all year round and provide fun activities as well as a healthy snack and drink free of charge. Some of the centres also provide a sensory room and a book borrowing scheme.

It's worth searching out similar places in your area, some cater for children up to the age of eight during the holidays too.

Museums

Museums are usually free to visit and on top of the fantastic array of wonderments to look at and learn about most offer half term activities, children can make a bottle rocket or create a flying saucer at our local museum this half term.


I also spotted this morning that Brewers Fayre are holding Beano themed activity mornings at some of their venues this half term, I'm not sure if you need to purchase a meal it's not very clear but I thought I would mention it in case you have one nearby.

Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for community notice boards or local council Facebook pages they often list events and activities, there is always something going on you just have to search it out, nothing worse than being cooped up with bored kids.

Angela x