Could it be a completely ‘free’ weekend?

toes

Pictured above are my newly painted toenails! I was lucky enough to escape the house child-free this afternoon for a free pamper session with my Mum, where I enjoyed a mini pedicure and eyebrow shape, along with a complimentary cream tea. The event was put on by the caravan site where my Mum is currently an owner and it was lovely to take advantage of it today as I don’t normally pamper myself and with 2 weeks left until my due date it was good timing!

This morning I also took my children along to something which cost me nothing. A one hour kids music workshop held at the library with a local composer. These kind of events are fairly regular at our library so we make sure to snap up a place when we see them as they are great experiences for the children and keep them entertained too!

Today’s activities got me thinking – maybe we could manage a whole weekend without spending any money at all! So tomorrow we will be taking advantage of our (soon to run out) membership to the swimming pool in the morning followed by taking the girls out for a ride on their bikes in the afternoon.

So satisfying to know you can have a lovely weekend the whole family enjoy without spending a penny!

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I’m sorry but… I’m glad the summer holidays are over!

backtoschool

We’ve done some lovely things over the summer; been camping, caught up with family and friends and had some great family days out. But I’m afraid to say I’m secretly quite glad it’s all over. By the end of last week my normally happy, well-behaved children had started to turn into grumpy, tired and argumentative little monsters that never seem to sleep and at 37 weeks pregnant my patience was beginning to wear thin.

So since last night, it has been full on back-to-routine; early dinner, bath, books and bed followed to a return to independant getting ready in the morning (with help from a sticker chart!) in order to achieve the seemingly impossible task of being ready outside the door by 8.20am!

I’m glad to say that, despite a mid pavement tantrum by my youngest, I am really enjoying having the routine back in our lives. After school and preschool the girls, slightly tired from their day, played with play dough together with no arguments, quietly watched TV while I made dinner, bathed, got their PJ’s on and cleaned their teeth happily and settled down to sleep with no fuss at all… I just hope it lasts!

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The nursery is finally ready…now we just need a baby!

nurserywhalescot

Our first (and possibly last – at least for a while!) piece of DIY in our new home. When we moved in the smallest bedroom sported three light lilac walls with the fourth covered in a pink butterfly print wallpaper. It was all very pleasant but not ideal as we are expecting a boy. We wanted to make the room look nice ready for our new arrival but do something fairly simple and easy!

We were lucky that the carpet was neutral and in good condition and the ceiling and skirting boards didn’t need painting. We decided to paint three walls in a light cream colour (Valspar: Clotted Cream) and the other in a feature colour (Valspar: Degas Blue). Our painting isn’t perfect and it took a surprising amount of effort to cover the seemingly innocent light lilac colour but luckily it all looked OK in the end.

After picking up a bargain cot bumper, blanket and bunting in the sale at Dunelm Mill, I had decided on a loose sea-ish theme and I knew I would want something on my blue wall but it took a lot of thinking and internet searching before I came up with these lovely white whale stickers from Little Chip. It took much careful application with the help of my Mum but they look great against the blue wall and with the bunting and I’m really pleased with the effect.

nurserywhales

Currently, the room is a little crowded as my girls were so excited about getting out the bouncer and playmat and it is also storing the moses basket too. But once baby is here, the only things in the room will be the cot, (the same one both the girls slept in), a wicker storage unit for nappies etc. (this has been reused from our old bathroom) and the canvas storage unit below which we found in the loft when we moved.

nurseryclothes

Since almost everything has been reused, my Mum made the curtains and even the cot top changer was a car boot bargain, we have probably managed to transform the room for around £100 – a lot less than most people spend, I’m sure. I’m now thinking about bringing up our old rocking chair from downstairs so that I can sit in the room when feeding at night however I would love to give it a bit of transformation first. We’ll just have see whether I have time before baby arrives!

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Silent Sunday – 31/08/14

picnic

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A new look Happy Smiley People coming soon…

Apologies, I realise it’s been a bit quiet on here recently and that’s been for several reason. It may be the summer holidays, and as I won’t be returning to work in September, I’m technically on maternity leave. But with a 3 and 5 year old to entertain, the last of the unpacking and sorting in the house to get done and preparing for the new arrival – I haven’t had a lot of time to write posts!

However, I have had a chance to think a bit about my blog and what kind of posts and content I want to be able to bring more of in the future. I love being able to share my families fun activities and adventures with everyone and the ways in which we save money through offers and frugalness but I also enjoy being able to share all the great competitions that I have found…

I have been comping, on and off, for a couple of years now. At the moment I don’t have a lot of time for it, but during the periods I have managed to enter numerous competitions regularly, I have won some great prizes including; a luxury 3 night break in Belgium and a £250 Selfridges voucher, as well as hampers, toys and many smaller prizes.

So as well as a fresh new design, the new blog will be combined with a great new competition page which will allow me to share loads more of the best family-centred competitions from companies and other bloggers much more easily and efficiently.

In the meantime I will be trying to enjoy the last couple of weeks of the holidays and the last month of my pregnancy. Then hopefully September will bring a fab new blog as well as a Happy Smiley Baby!

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Silent Sunday – 24/08/14

girlsicecream

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We love our guinea pigs!

guineagirlsOur two guinea-pigs, Lily and Lola, are getting plenty of cuddles at the moment as they have just returned from a stay at Grandma’s house where they’ve been since we moved a month ago. They are now settling well into their new hutch outside, although they may need to be brought inside in the winter if it gets really cold. Luckily our new garden has plenty of dandelion leaves which are their favourite and a nice safe conservatory with no wires to nibble where they can come in for a run around!

Guinea pigs are great pets for young children; so placid and easy to handle. My eldest loves all animals and always gives the guinea pigs and our two cats lots of attention. She would love a puppy but that’s not going to happen as my husband doesn’t like dogs and they are far too much of a commitment for us. Luckily Grandma and Grandad may get one at some point so hopefully she can enjoy playing with theirs! My 3 year old is not as natural or gentle with animals but enjoys an occasional play with the guineas – under close supervision.

I don’t want to be overrun with animals but next year I’d love to get some friendly chickens to add to our household, we’ll just have t0 see…

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