Our Easter Tree

When I spotted a decorative Easter egg tree (yes, just a fake twig in a pot basically!) in my local garden centre for around £20(!?) it reminded me we had some small egg decorations in the loft handed down from Granny a few years back. However, not one to spend that kind of money, or any really, on a twig, we went in search of one for free! After bribing my youngest on a walk to the doctors to drop off a prescription (all in the name of twig finding) we eventually found something vaguely suitable in our own garden. I popped it in a vase to keep it upright, the girls then enjoyed hanging on all the little eggs and it is now being proudly displayed in our front window.


OK, it’s not perfect but as we’re not around for much of the Easter weekend, it’s our one and only little piece of Easter decoration!

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Easter Skill-Based Competitions

I rarely have time for skill-based competitions these days but when it’s the school holidays I do like to have a little browse just in case there is anything I can get the children involved with or manage to squeeze into the holiday somehow! Here are a few I have come across this evening:

Baby Surrey Gigantosaurus Colouring Competition

Win: One of 10 copies of the children’s book Gigantosaurus

By: Getting a little one to colour in the dinosaur picture and sending it to them in the post.

Closing Date: 20th April 2014


Family Budgeting DIY Disaster Story/Photo

Win: A set of The White Company luxury towels

By: Sharing your DIY disaster story (max 200 words) on Facebook.

Closing Date: 24th April 2014


Netmums Easter Hamper Photo Competition

Win: An Easter hamper full of goodies

By: Uploading your best Easter photos

Closing Date: 27th April 2014


Fruit Burst Paper Tower Challenge

Win: Lego Architecture Eiffel Tower

By: Creating a perfect paper tower at least 1 metre high from only paper and sticky tape. Most creative wins.

Closing Date: 30th April 2014


Share Your Thoughts with LandLove Magazine

Win: RSPB goodies worth over £100

By: Sharing your experiences of the British countryside, your news, fun country tales, places you like to visit, interesting folklore, ideas and opinions.

Closing Date: 2nd May 2014


Blacks Explore Photography Competition

Win: £2000 worth of adventure travel or £150 to spend at Blacks

By: Entering a photo which fits into one of the following categories: Wild, Fast, Panoramic, Epic.

Closing Date: 5th May 2014


Good Luck if you’re giving them a go!



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Silent Sunday – 06/04/14


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Free Easter Holiday Fun

Holidays are here again; two weeks to fill with fun for the children without spending tons of cash. We are going on our Sun caravan holiday for the second week of the holidays which, added to stopovers at Granny and Grampy’s both ways, means we only really have a week to fill. So here are some of the activities we have planned which are virtually free:

Visiting cute animals

This may seem a strange one but having two girls means we are always on the look out for cute (preferably baby) animals wherever we go. But you don’t always have to pay for the privilege. A friend of ours has recently got a kitten which we are yet to see and a childminder friend has been incubating some eggs and has 5 newly hatched chicks which we are dying to pay a visit to.

Nature spotting and recording

Another animal-based activity. We have just received some binoculars through the post as a gift for joining the National Trust and my five year old is desperate to give them a try. Nature spotting (whether it be seagulls, squirrels, daisies or ducks) at your local park, forest or beach can be a real adventure for young children. I think we are going to try taking along a pad and pencils too so we can write down or draw what we have seen along the way.

We love libraries!

I know, I do mention this a lot but it’s true! Our library, as with many others, run free activities for children during the holidays. You normally need to book (often well in advance) but it’s worth checking what might be going on where you live. We are booked on a pet themed craft sessions and the girls will also enjoy having a good browse and then picking about 10 books each which I will then have to carry home!

Getting crafty

My eldest loves crafty things and I’m well aware that we hardly ever make time for this kind of activity during the term time. With more free time, I’m sure she’ll love writing and drawing and maybe we will even have a go at some of the craft activities she got for her birthday back in October which we still haven’t had time for. You could always link creative activities to your days out e.g. pictures and stories about what you have done, collect pebbles to paint or flowers, feathers etc. that they can use in their artwork.

Going green-fingered

We aren’t going too crazy with our vegetable growing this year due to our plans to move but I definitely aim to get a few things planted this holidays and I’m sure the kids will love being involved too. We have some seeds leftover from last year and have also got some from my Mum so will hopefully manage a little free food this year with no investment. If you fancy giving growing a go you can get seeds very cheaply from supermarkets or try asking friends who may have spare or your local Freecycle group where you often find people offering surplus seeds or small plants.

Parks and picnics

The second part may be optimistic and weather-dependent but I’m sure we will squeeze in a few visits to the park over the next week. We are so lucky to have a huge, amazing park within walking distance of our house but to be honest even a few swings and a slide is enough to excite the little ones. We try to make it more fun by meeting a friend down there or taking along a picnic lunch or perhaps a flask of hot chocolate to share.

Please feel free to share your ideas for free/cheap activities this holiday in the comments sections below – we would love to have more to try!

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A 3rd Happy Smiley baby on its way…!

It’s no April fool, part of the reason I have been so quiet here recently (along with the fact I have a broken laptop charger and hate writing posts on anything else!), is that I have been enjoying the joys of early pregnancy: morning sickness, tiredness and general ugh…!

Baby no. 3 is due at the end of September and we are all very excited including the girls who are very keen on another sister – we have had to explain you can’t choose!

Our search for a new home has now stepped up a notch. We are officially on the market with a number of viewing lined up this week and some to take a look at tomorrow.

With more mouths to feed, I will continue to be determined to save money on everyday things as getting the best baby bargains out there. I will keep you updated!

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A day of estate agents…

As you will probably be aware if you happened to notice one of the many DIY related blog posts of late, I have spent the last few months frantically wallpapering, painting and cleaning, all in preparation for the day we finally get our house on the market.

And today we are one step closer towards our new home after spending ALL DAY getting valuations from four local estate agents. We always had a favourite in mind but it seemed sensible to get a few comparisons and after a whole day of house selling talk our heads are spinning with agent’s fees, VAT, EPCs etc.

The good news is that after weeks of deep cleansing and a final 2 hour whip round this morning, the house is cleaner and tidier than it’s ever been. And getting it on the market soon would be a great incentive for keeping it clean for photographs and then of course the dreaded viewings… That part is my nightmare, having to provide a tidy, clean house at a moments notice with our two little whirlwinds is definitely going to be a challenge. Although saying that maybe my tidying has rubbed off as they had a great time helping me sort out out the dining room yesterday. Perhaps giving them the choice to help tidy or go to bed may have helped!

So decision almost made, now for the small task of trying to find our dream future family home – wish me luck!

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Silent Sunday – 23/03/14


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