Kick Off The New Year With Some Money Saving Tips

This year I’m attempting to be money savvy, and before you start quoting some of my Instagram posts about how I’m not making new years resolutions, this isn’t something I’m planning on doing for a few months then forgetting about, I’ve been looking at ways I can make cut back all year round. (keep a look out for a post coming up on quick cutbacks to see you to the end of the month too.) 

I’ll step straight to it, and let you know some of the tips I’ve compiled;

Start by writing a list of what a typical month’s spending looks like by writing down all your direct debits and standing orders. These are the regular payments which you can base your outgoing on, things like food and clothing can vary which requires a different cut back formula. Taking baby steps and starting this way is much easier to stick to. I did this recently and realised I was still paying for a washing machine breakdown plan which I didn’t even own! 

Look at when you can switch energy suppliers, there’s no excuses anymore, it’s beyond simple by using a price comparison website and having your latest bill handy. I already saved £21 a month just by doing these 2 things. Same goes for mobile phone bills, look at your monthly usage and compare it to switching to a sim only deal, we did this recently via who had the best deal at the time. If you’re happy with your current mobile then why bother with a flashy new handset. Keep your existing one, and add up the savings, even if it’s only for 6 months, then upgrade when you really need to and pocket the savings.

some money saving tips to do today and start saving straight away

Don’t forget to look at any cash back you could by switching via sites such as Quidco. Same applies if you’re changing providers, using a cashback website can really bump up the savings!

I also set up a direct debit into my savings account to help pay for my car, home and buildings insurance annually instead of monthly. You always pay interest on the later and by paying off in one go when it’s due will save me nearly £100 a year. 

Finally, if you’re paying off a credit card look at switching to a 0% balance transfer and setting up a direct debit to cover the repayment over the months which it’s 0%. Just remember, when the new card comes in the post, cut it up. Chances are you won’t be getting further purchases at 0%, if you can manage without a credit card, cutting it up will stop any temptation. If you do need one, however, look at one which has cash back incentives or 0% new purchases.

I’m making 2018 the year of no credit cards and living within my means, eldest will be off to Uni next year which I’ve got a feeling will be an expensive time for us both! 

some money saving tips to do today and start saving straight away


This is a collaborative post with affiliate links 


Christmas Shopping for Label Lovers

Try as you might, there’s no avoiding it, most teenagers will always want to go with the fashion or peer pressure having the right labels. My eldest 2 are no different, while they’re not so utterly consumed by keeping up with the Jones’ (no Kardashians here, it’s Devon. Give us a few more years and we’ll be there.) having the right trainers will always give them bragging rights. It’s just it can be rather expensive for us parents, don’t get me wrong, my eldest is old enough to get his own. But we’ve recently had that Christmas list conversation and gone are the Lego kits, it’s now all about the fashion.

If that sounds familiar, then keep reading as I’ve got a suggestion on how you can help tick off some of that Christmas shopping list without making a massive dent in your credit card. So let’s just say that your teen (or partner, should add that it’s not just confined to them) is throwing massive hints at a few designer clothes? Then I can totes recommend Get The Label for a starting point.

It’s like an Aladdin’s Cave of goodies which my boys went crazy for. I may or may not have indulged in a new gym outfit while browsing too, (believe me, if you’ve got the right tools for the job, it does help, starting with a pair of leggings which don’t fall down and a crop top that won’t ride up. True story.)

I've got a suggestion on how you can help tick off some of that Christmas shopping list without making a massive dent in your credit card.

My eldest teen has a thing for coats. You know that phrase about a woman never having too many shoes, (that is a thing isn’t it? or did I make that up? ) well his mantra is A 17-year-old boy can never have too many coats. And remember, you read it here first if that is ever quoted anywhere else. So anyway, I’ve indulged that thing with a new bomber jacket.

Middle teen isn’t so clothing label conscious, (yet)  it’s all about the trainers for him. We’re pretty much at the point where I can no longer fob him off with cheaper look-alikes, or sharpie markering a logo on a sensible pair (yes, I have actually done that.) Luckily he found a pair of Addidas trainers nearly half the rrp. I have no doubt we’ll be heading back over there next month as this boy grows like bamboo so I have a deep-rooted aversion to buying him things full price when he’s only getting a couple of months wear out them.

I've got a suggestion on how you can help tick off some of that Christmas shopping list without making a massive dent in your credit card.

And lastly my little wee man didn’t go without either, he’ll be looking dapper this Christmas in the cutest Ben Sherman t-shirt and jeans. I know he has no idea what a designer label is, and given the choice would rather be dressed as Chase from Paw Patrol. However, there are the odd occasions when I do like to make an effort with his outfit and not dress him like a typical 3rd child of a mum who’s happy for him to take full control of his outfit, just as long as it’s clean and weather appropriate.

To top it off, at the time of writing this, I’ve just noticed that there’s a great Black Friday offer over on the website too.

I've got a suggestion on how you can help tick off some of that Christmas shopping list without making a massive dent in your credit card.

This is a collaborative post with Get The Label

Quick And Easy Makeover for a Dark Bathroom

One thing  I’ve learned from living through a big house renovation project is to get advice and opinions from other people. It’s been a few years now since I completed mine, and there are a few things I wish I’d done differently, one is not taking out a few windows. I mean, seriously, what was I thinking? Thanks to poor decision-making (there may have been a good reason for it, but if there was I don’t remember) I have a windowless shower / bathroom room.

I’m not completely irrational, I did install a fan to help with the steam, but this also means that each time a person goes in there, which is fairly often being our downstairs loo, the fan goes on. Which can be quite annoying when that person forgets to turn the light on when they leave!

and guess what, I’ve found an easy fix for that problem……

We now have a new Lumino led illuminated mirror installed when we need a light in there but not the fan! And the easy thing about it is it’s battery powered so no need to call out an electrician to install it. Although I did call on my stepdad and his drill to help out.

It creates a subtle, cosy glow and a pride of place feature in our once stark and bare shower room. I used the opportunity to update the colour scheme in there too before the mirror was fitted, it’s amazing how quickly a room dates! Gone are the boring cream canvas and stark lighting, it’s been replaced with a cool, but modern olive green, making my white sanitary wear stand out, and warmed up with dark ornaments and wooden towel holders to warm it up.

Going green was a big leap of faith for me, I’ve been stuck in a grey and white phase for a few years now, but I fancied going brave in the bathroom, dramatic and cosy was my motivation, with a darker backdrop to help the illuminated mirror as the centre piece, as well as giving a classy feel to the room.

And I’m actually really, rather pleased with the results!

My super easy bathroom makeover with a new Lumino led illuminated mirror. And, even better, it's battery powered!


This is a collaborative post with Lumino


Baileys Bread and Butter Pudding

I’ve not been eating many puddings lately, my sugar intake is always on the high side so I’ve tried honing it in a little to see if I feel any healthier, but I do miss a good stodgy Sunday night pudding treat. So when a whole loaf of fresh bread needing using up pronto I decided to give this much loved old fave, bread and butter pudding, a modern twist by adding some Baileys into the mix.

This isn’t the first time I’ve experimented with traditional recipes and my favourite christmas tipple, and it’s subtle enough for the whole family to enjoy. I actually cooked up this batch on a Sunday morning and consumed most of it with my sister as we sat around the dining room table digging in and putting the world to rights. The best way to eat food I’d say.

Anyway, I’ll cut to the chase; here’s my take on Baileys bread and butter pudding….

this recipe for Baileys bread and butter pudding is the perfect Sunday afternoon dessert, or just dig in & share straight from the dish when warm



  • 100g butter
  • ?half loaf bread, crusts left on
  • 85g raisins
  • 3 large eggs
  • 250ml whole milk
  • ?150ml double cream
  • 150ml Baileys liqueur
  • tsp vanilla extract
  • 25g  caster sugar
  • 25g demerara sugar


  • Heat the oven to 180C, 160C fan, gas 4.  Grease an oven proof dish with butter then use the rest to spread on the bread and cut each slice into triangles. Arrange the triangles so that they overlap in the dish, scattering over the raisins between the layers.
  • beat the eggs and mix with the milk, cream, vanilla extract, Baileys and caster sugar, then pour over the bread. Lightly press down so that the bread absorbs the creamy mixture.
  • Sprinkle over the demerara sugar and bake for 30 minutes until the top is golden and the pudding is just set. Serve warm with single cream or custard for pouring over. Or just dive in with a spoon fresh from the oven!

this recipe for Baileys bread and butter pudding is the perfect Sunday afternoon dessert, or just dig in & share straight from the dish when warm





Thoughtful Christmas Stocking Fillers

There’s nothing nicer than giving someone a variety of thoughtful gifts, and what nicer way than to present it in a cute little stocking. I personally think it’s a great way to show how much thought you’ve put into your gift. The only problem being is that you could get carried away and blow your budget but there really is no need to go OTT. Instead, why not show how much time and effort you’ve put into your gifts?

Start by getting a really nice stocking, one which can be used over and over again, like this personalised pure wool one from Woolovers Choose one main gift then think about some little added extras, each with a little meaning. Maybe a quiet night in bundle? Choose some chocolates (or chocolate shower gel!) , bubble bath or bath bomb, face pack, maybe some fluffy socks, a DVD and a small bottle of wine.

love this idea for a gift of a quiet night in as a stocking filler

Think of inexpensive gifts which the recipient wouldn’t think of buying for them selves, if it’s for a busy mum, maybe pop in IOU voucher for a few hours childcare one afternoon or offer to have their child / children over for a sleepover. Mums  are notorious for not putting them selves first and a quiet night in gift like this will give them the go ahead to have a night off and recharge.

Maybe the lucky giftee is a dog lover. Think about little things which will make those winter walks a little sweeter; some new gloves, a torch, welly socks,  a poo bag carrier (my coat pockets are full of poo bags, having them neatly stored in one place would be much nicer.) heated hand warmers or an ergonomic dog lead which is much easier on the hands on a cold winters morning or an iTunes / Google Play voucher so they can download some music to listen to while out and about.

That should give you some ideas, think lots of little touches to raise a lot of smiles.


This is a collaborative post