Norfolk based Mum of 3: J, D & PND trying to Keep Calm & Carry On

Saturday, 31 December 2011

Laundry Day...

So being ill for a week or two has left me with mountains of Laundry. Having had a browse on the Old Style Forum on MSE I found a way you can cut down on the price of Washing Powder.

I can't find the exact thread but here is the "recipe"

Home Made Washing Powder
1 kg Soda Crystals (90p)
1 kg Posh Washing Powder
1kg Economy (own brand) Washing Powder

I've mixed mine in a large washing powder carton so it's easy to store.

You only need to use half the amount you used before.

You can also use White Vinegar as Fabric Conditioner which I have done before - forumites tend to say 1 or 2 tbsp is enough. The vinegar & soda crystals soften the water & prevent limescale in your washing machine too so it will last longer.

Hubby likes the smell of fabric conditioner so I compromised when shopping yesterday & bought some of Asda's cheap stuff.

First wash is in I'll let you know how it turns out.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Colour your 5 a day

Found these great charts on Netmums - scroll down to "5 a day food charts". DS1 has chosen a veg patch & is highly enthusiastic about colouring his in but then he eats more fruit & veg than anyone else! Not sure there is much point in printing one off for DS2 as he is such a fussy eater - he basically survives on bread, bananas & milk. Have added dried apricots to the shopping list today as he eats raisins he might like those too. Hoping hubby will realise we need to up our portions - yes he has one to fill in too.

Off to the Library with DS1 for some 1-1 time as a treat & cheaper than buying books- one of my weaknesses! We will be looking for some on allotments, craft & eating on a budget aswell as some different bedtime stories & of course a DVD which will probably end up being Batman! 6 bags of clothes to take to the charity shop - had a sort out & there are some things I will never fit in again (how was I ever that thin) and some of DS2's which he has outgrown.

Have a good day!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011


Ok so not the most inpiring blog title but how do you find this period of time inbetween Christmas & New Year?

Having been ill (again) over Christmas I've had a head start when it comes to considering the usual New Years Resolutions
- cutting down alcohol intake
- eating more healthily
- doing more exercise - ok so I need to work on that one!

I'm starting early this time & mine include:
  1. More quality family time - With funds being increasingly tight in our household, rising prices, the recession, appliances which keep going wrong, a house which needs almost everything doing to it & an empty oil tank, honestly I could go on...anyway my point is we are certainly going to have to be more creative when it comes to doing things together. DS1 has got into the habit of expecting treats all the time & it's something that we can't afford to carry on - instead of "material" treats I'm going to try & be more organised with my own time so rather than doing jobs/housework I can do X&Y with him instead.
    It's also struck me that I only have DS2 at home for another 1 1/2yrs which freaks me out for 2 different reasons - he is showing no signs of being ready for potty training & DS1 starting school at 4 yrs was too early for me & truth be told I'm still adjusting to it.
    Considering we live 20 minutes from the beach it's quite shocking that we haven't been for over a year - we have so many beautiful places in nature on our doorstep & we will be resolving that this year!

  2. Thrift - I have always been drawn to the 40s & 50s: the way of life, Make Do & Mend, the fashion & the strong sense of community in wartime Britain. This year we'll be looking to start an allotment - I have no idea how we will do as we can't even seem to sort out our own garden! Also I'll be experimenting with as many money saving ideas as possible inlcuding nagging my family to turn lights & electrical items off when not in use to Martin Lewis' Money Mantra which you can print off his website for free. Unfortunately I tend to indulge in retail therapy when I'm feeling down so this will be a challenge!

  3. Eating Healthily - & on a budget. I'll be trying my best to go back to meal planning like I did pre-kids & using up what we have in the cupboard, making bread & cooking things from scratch more often. Making sure that hubby & I are getting our 5 a day & cutting out fat where possible. Hopefully there will be some fruits from our labour on the allotment .

  4. Less PC/TV - I honestly can't figure out why we pay our TV license at the moment. It's either depressing soaps, cop shows (which aren't remotely interesting for obvious reasons) or shallow reality TV. I keep an eye on the news but generally find it so depressing I don't watch it much. Social networking/internet can make you think you "want" things you will never need or that other peoples lives are much more exciting than yours, people don't call each other anymore & there can be a pressure to keep up with the Jones. Sadly some people who don't have the excuse of engaging in Social Networking don't keep in touch. Life is short - do what makes you happy & care for others!

  5. Exercise - Ugh, I've already lost my enthusiasm since writing this bullet point - lets call it a work in progress... I'll definitely be able to fit in some family walks & a spot of Zumba if I try hard.

  6. Be more organised - My lovely Dad has bought me another Dairy Diary for Christmas this year which I have already filled with Hubby's new shift pattern - so much easier to plan ahead already.

  7. Me time - Somehow I AM going to work in some me time. Hopefully being more organised will enable me to structure my time a bit more & have less guilt about doing something for myself even if the dishes/whatever is piled up. The last 4/5 years have centred around Hubby's rubbish shift patterns. A big part of me really misses having a purpose (my job) & using my brain but as hard as I find being a stay-at-home Mum, (I'm sure I'm not alone in it driving me crazy on occasions) I think I've done a pretty good job of bringing up my boys.

    When I started this blog it was suggested that I call it "Tales From the Ladyshed" - hopefully after all this hard work my ambition of having my own studio in the garden will be fulfilled but for now I need to get my homemade self into the back bedroom & get my creative self motivated. My wonderful friend Marion Barnett aka has written a book on the subject & as her slave I mean apprentice I got one. So this is where I'll start Finding Your Creative Focus

& now for the Spiritual bit...

I am feeling much better (PND-wise) recently & looking back over the past year I can see how much we've grown as a Christian family. We've personally experienced the power of prayer & nowadays rather than worry about things I put it to prayer instead. My anxiety is much less. It's amazing the path God takes you down. Often people come to God when going through an extreme low - it was after being in the depths of despair around a year ago, that a door was opened through our awful experience, we prayed our way through it as a couple (even though Hubby still had doubts) & were given the opportunity to get close to God again. We went on the Alpha Course & had an amazing time at Newday. Since DH & I got married we've attended a few different churches but none have felt just right - like we fit in - we've been welcomed with open arms by our new family Dereham Wellspring Church & its beginning to feel like home. Despite the shifts we're both looking forward to Cell Groups & getting to know the church family better & Hubby is looking to get a date in the diary for his Baptism!

I think that some of these resolutions will help us "obey God rather than men." Acts 5:29