We’ve been hiding
Why the hell have we been hiding?
We think we are flipping awesome when it comes to all things parenting! If you don’t believe us ask our kids… actually don’t ask mine, she tells me I’m the worst mum in the world at least once a day.
Anyway we’ve been hiding ourselves away and not sharing our wonderfulness. This stops now!
We will be sharing all of our tips on all things parenting on a budget. We will give tips and info on our days out, dinners, affordable holidays outside of term time, weekend & after school fun. How to maximise your time with your kids, fun days in, rainy days, educational fun, Learning through play – cooking, cleaning, Goals setting with our kids ensuring they are confident and achieve everything they put their young minds to …oh and how to make slime! (vlog coming very soon).
We hope to you share all your awesomeness with us too! We love connecting with other parents and like minded folk.
An easy 2 hour drive from the Midlands, it’s no wonder that Weston Super Mare was one of our favourite beach destinations year after year during my childhood.
I was delighted to join my 6 year old son this week on a school trip to Weston, it was great to forward plan for our summer holiday road trip we’re organising to Weston this summer.
Top things to do in Weston
- Donkey rides – reasonably priced and a lovely experience for kids.
- The beach – the kids had so much fun playing and being creative with the and. My favourite was burying our legs in the sand and creating mermaid tails with the shells for decoration.
- The sea – you can beat a paddle and a little wave jumping whatever the weather.
- The Weston train, there’s a little kids train you can get on and do a bit of sight seeing. Fun and very reasonable – just £1.50 for adults.
- The museum has recently been refurbed and is FREE!
There are so many more things to do in Weston, these are some of our favourites and most reasonable.
So what did the kids say?
Kane is 6 and this is what he had to say about his trip to Weston Super Mare.
I loved playing football on the beach. I also liked making castles. I saw the donkeys that I liked, i’d like to go on these the next time I go. I liked looking at the sea. I loved seeing the animals when we were on the coach going to Weston. I found lots of shells on the beach while I was playing.
There are so many wonderful beaches in the UK. We look forward to exploring some more after our trip to Weston this August.
A car boot sale is a great way to accumulate some extra money for getting rid of things you probably haven’t used for a while.
Somehow without me buying a lot for my children they seem to accumulate a hell of a lot of (let’s face it, mostly crap). In addition I also have clothes and household things that I haven’t used in a while – so why not make some extra cash.
A decluttered home definitely makes me feel better.
A few tips about having a car boot
- Be militant, if you haven’t used something for over a year chances are you won’t. This applies to clothes, toys, unwanted toys and books.
- Start early – to get the best pitch get to your destination early. ‘ The early bird catches the worm’
- Be realistic with your prices – just because you’ve paid a £100 for an item it doesn’t mean it will sell for that. Being realistic with your prices you’ll feel better when parting with something for 50p. Remember that you weren’t using these things anyway so all the little 50ps soon add up.
- Have fun – go with a friend, make a packed lunch or treat yourself to a bacon sarnie. Take some deck chairs and enjoy the morning, you’ll definitely have fun.
- Take the kids – there are usually plenty of kids there and activities for them. If you don’t have a baby sitter, just take them along. Also it’s great learning for them as you can get them selling too.
Great car boots in near Birmingham
Bromsgrove Road, Romsley, Halesowen B62 OJL – every Sunday morning
Hoggs Lane, Northfield, Birmingham. – every Saturday morning
Ebot Markets 1DP, Birmingham Rd, Coleshill, Birmingham
So I’ve been co-parenting/shared care for the last 2 years, and people -family, strangers and friends ask me how on Earth I do it so I thought I’d share a few useful tips.
By no means do I even remotely like my ex, despite giving me 2 beautiful and amazing boys, he is still unlikeable.
We had a very messy break up that went through court and resulted in a shared care arrangement. I could list all the things he has put me though and bad things he’s done but that wouldn’t be useful, let’s just say it’s been eventful. Since or split I can’t say I’ve been perfect either and could have dealt with some things in different ways- I’ve learnt a hell of lot.
I have had a rollercoaster of emotions and it has not been easy but these few things have enabled me to survive.
- Think of your children -sounds obvious but when emotions are high our focus can get lost.
- Focus on what your doing not what he’s done. A recent quote will live with me for ever, ‘if everyone just focussed on their own child and not others it would be great. This is so true. Focus on your child and not your ex.
- Separate your emotions – you can’t take back who the father of your child is so deal with the ex you’ve got regardless of your feelings towards him.
- Avoid conflict and focus on the positives. Write down some good things about your ex, things they do well in parenting (honestly there will be something).
- Agree to disagree. You will not always agree on parenting decisions, even as a couple you don’t. Don’t let this cloud your way of parenting.
- Communication is key – model the behaviour you want from your ex, demonstrate the positive way you want to communicate with them and eventually you’ll get that back.
- Don’t get sucked into negativity and arguing – it doesn’t make you feel good and it’s not a great message for your child.
- Talk and get things off your chest – within reason but you must live in your truth, always and communication is the key.
- Don’t bad mouth your ex to your children. This will create many problems – your kids will pick up on your feelings without you saying a word don’t add more to that negativity.
- Some progress is better than none. I used to feel that my ex and I had made no progress since we’d parted. Although things aren’t perfect they are a hell of a lot better than they were so I focus on the progress we’ve made not perfection.
If you love your child more than your ex most co parenting issues can be solved
Petrosana hotel, Aiya Napa, Cyprus
I recently visited Cyprus with my 2 boys 13 and 5 (and some other extended family) for my brothers wedding. It was my first time visiting Cyprus with my children.
I booked the flights about a year in advance with Thomas Cook airlines. Booking separate and in advance meant it was a lot cheaper.
I got an independent travel advisor to look for a suitable hotel for families in the busy area of Aiya Napa.
She booked the transfer to the hotel when we arrived in Cyprus and our hotel.
We got a great deal on the hotel and it suited all our needs from great grandad (83) down to my youngest son (5).
It was a quiet resort near shops and restaurants. Just across the road was a supermarket so if you didn’t want to buy breakfast at the hotel you could buy snacks, cereals and other essentials here. We had the option of adding breakfast to the booking we chose to keep it flexible although enjoyed lovely breakfasts and other light meals at the hotel restaurant. Staff and guests were really friendly here.
I would highly recommend for a family get away.
Just 30-40 mins from the airport was also a huge benefit.
Nissi beach was a 30-30 minute walk (which is a nice early morning walk.
Alternatively there is another local beach walking distance from this hotel.
Also Nissi beach and Nicosia beach are short taxi rides away if you or your little ones prefer not to walk.
So thinking about travelling abroad this half term or summer why not try a trip to Cyprus.
Alternatively, staying at home? Check out this low cost activities for the holidays.
Things to do during May half term
- Strawberry picking
- Visit the library
- Play board games
- Go to the park
- Visit free museums
- Bake cakes
- Have a movie day
- Investigate local free events (churches and schools normally have lots on)
- Watch a film (check out the kids club or movies for juniors at most local cinemas)
- Take a walk or a drive somewhere new
I’m on a fabulous break at Woolecombe Bay in Devon. We are at Twitchen House which is one of the 4 parks that make up Woolecombe bay.
We booked this way back in August, 9 months ago. Initially it was a £48 deposit. £9.50 per person. We booked it via the Sun Holiday deals that they run a few times a year.
I was very happy to be able to get Woolecombe as it’s a very popular site, also after having a quick look on their website the true cost of this holiday would be more like £430 so we’ve saved over £300. This trip in total cost us less than £80. That’s just under £20 per head for a family of 5. To stay in a 2 bedroom caravan for 3 nights. Bargain. There are extras thst you can pay for but we just added the £30 for gas and electric which we had to pay. Obviously.
Of all the places we’ve stayed at via the Sun Holiday deals (and we’ve been doing them for over 5 years) I think this is my favourite. The facilities seem to be up to date and modern and lots to choose from.
We paid £5.00 each for a bus ticket that we could use for the durarion of our stay. It goes to and from Woolecoombe beach stopping at all the other sites inbetween. Woolecombe beach was voted Britain’s best beach in 2015 and 2016 and it’s easy to see why. It’s huge so even on a busy day you don’t feel like a sardine packed in with other people all around you. The views are breath takingly beautiful.
Shops and reastuarants are a short walk away and the obligatory fish and chips are available from a kiosk on the beach.
There were no loud funfairs just kids playing ball games and with a good old fashioned bucket and spade.
Our kids were entertained most of the time with the outdoor (heated) pool and play area at Twitchen House.
I love Devon especially the North. So if you are struggling and have never considered a Sun Holiday do it.
There is so much stuff to do here too much to cram into a weekend so we will definately be coming back.
Our party consisted of 2 adults. 3 children aged 14,11 and 7 and we’ve all had a wonderful time.
Do you want to throw a great party to remember without breaking the bank?
These handy tips will help you do just that.
- Plan in advance – have a clear budget and a savings tin (for your birthday fund) that you can add to throughout the year. Also buying and planning though the year will mean less last minute expensive purchases as the party approaches. The works, Poundland and other budget shops have lots of great deals for parties all year round.
- Team up with a mate. Having a joint party means sharing the workload and the cost. You can often host the party at somewhere slightly above your budget if you’re sharing the cost too.
- Ditch the paper invites. There are tons of free, fab apps you can create a great party invite for you child’s party. Quick, easy and FREE! Also you’re saving lots of time and paper of course.
- No – cost activities/games – musical chairs, Simon says, keep up the balloon and dance freeze. Kids love traditional and simple games. Get them to help you plans some too.
- Get the kids making their own food. Create a pizza, buy pizza based and kids favourite toppings. Kids are more likely to eat what they create themselves and if not they’ve had a fun creative task. This can be one of your party activities, possibly messy but fun!
- If you’re feeling particularly brave – Host the party at home! Even in winter there are many great fun activities you can do inside the home. Pamper parties, creative arts/crafts, makeovers and cooking fun. Outdoor parties can include treasure hunts, bouncy castles and sports fun.
Parties don’t need to be elaborate and expensive. Some of my children’s favourite parties have been quite simple and personal to the child.
Not sure where to start, speak to you’re kids and ask for their ideas. Get them creating a food shopping list too they will love to get involved and you’ll know exactly what they will enjoy and want at their party. It means you’ll have less to do too.
Keep following us to see us host a great kids party on a budget within the next month!
We love holidays and haven’t let parenthood stop us from seeing the world.
Why should you? Without obviously mentioning the partying on tables in Ibiza or Vegas where is really not appropriate to take your child. Let’s face it surly every destination has somewhere that is ‘deemed child friendly’ what really is a child friendly holiday – as let’s face it everywhere has children (even Vegas and Ibiza) so why wouldn’t other children holiday there?
So why do some parents put the barrier up to travel sometimes before little Billy has even been boarded a plane? Is it parents own anxieties preventing them see the world?
Well if you are thinking about or actually taking the huge plunge and holidaying abroad with your little one. Here are a few handy tips that may help you on your journey.
- Plan your trip with your kids – be realistic about what you can do with your but at the same time don’t underestimate what a child can experience.
- Travel with other families. You can share food and accommodation costs plus you get some adult company if you’re a single parent.
- Before you go, get kids involved in a pre holiday project. They can research the places to visit, food and culture.
- Ensure they have plenty of activities. Books, films on iPads, colouring and activity books are a must. Let’s face it is doesn’t take long for a 21st century kid to get bored.
- Pack loads of snacks. It’s goes without saying that as soon as you start your journey a child is going to yell ‘I’m hungry’. Packed lunches are the way forward, even a bottle of water cost the earth at the airport.
“Fill your life with adventures, not things. Have stories to tell not stuff to show.” – Unknown
Sharing the care of your child isn’t always easy. It’s often difficult for parents to communicate let alone work together amicably for the sake of the children.
One thing I do know that above all the egos, disagreements and pettiness our children are the and should be the main focus and are the most important elements of any kind of parenting. After a lengthy court process I’ve been co parenting for around two years, it’s not always easy but I’m learning lots that can help me in many areas of my life.
So a few key things that help me defuse co parenting problems.
1. Stay positive and feel happy – your feelings and behaviour will be detected by your child. Try to stay positive even if things aren’t going as perfect as you’d like them to be.
2. Don’t get triggered by you’re ex. You can only control your own behaviour and your own reactions. Don’t focus on them, focus on you and your children!
3. Ask yourself ‘is this going to affect my child/children in a positive way’. Whenever I feel like arguing or reacting to my ex I ask myself this question.
4. Focus on YOU and your children – you can’t control what they are doing so don’t get affected by it.
5. Write things down or speak to someone to offload any negativity or anger to avoid you going crazy or being confrontational with your ex.
6. Communication is the key – think about the language you use and the way you talk to your ex.
7. Treat your ex the way you want to be treated by your ex. Model the behaviour that you want to receive.
8. Focus on the positives – say thank you when your ex does something positive. This sounds horrific I know but it really does work and will make YOU feel better.
9. Back down from an argument and walk away. Think of solutions to problems and don’t try to create conflict.
10. Write down all the positives about your ex (honestly there are some even if it’s one to begin with lol).
We’re here to help parents on with very tight budgets to acheive things they think are too expensive or behind their wildest dreams. We’ve always wanted to take our children to Disney World but when we priced it up it was way out of our budget.
This is how we made it a reality.
1. We searched for villas online. Villas broken down per person can be a lot cheaper than a hotel.
2. The villa we have is an 8 bed. We invited our families to come along, making the cost of the Villa very affordable.
3. We gave ourselves 18 months to save and pay for it.
4. Worked out how much we needed and broke the cost into weekly chunks and set that money aside.
5. Shop around for flights. America is a huge country and there are many was of getting there. If you don’t mind long waits you can fly inexpensively.
We all knew parenting would get worse than the dreaded potty training stage. Just take yourself back to everything you had to deal with as a teen (pretty trivial now) boys/girls, body image, hormones, peer pressure and the list goes on. Raising a teen can be challenging but it’s super rewarding and fun too.
Here are some useful tips to support those teenage years.
1. Give them space, just like adults they want and deserve time on their own.
2. Spend quality time together. It can be as simple as watching a movie or their favourite show together.
3. Communicate, avoiding confrontation. Sometimes teens just want to argue try not to engage in this. Clearly define any problems they have.
4. Show an interest in them, this is a time they are ‘finding themselves’ their interests can change dramatically.
5. School life can be tough at this time. Build strong relationships with school and work with them as a team.
6. Know your child’s friends, invite them round and know their parents too.
7. Have reading/learning time throughout primary school we spend hours reading with our child and doing activities then it stops. Hold onto some of those lovely primary school activities just tailor them to your child now.
8. Clearly state your expectations for your child. Clearly state consequences too but don’t be too extreme, start small and work your way to external if you need to.
9. Have fun. The mood swings don’t last that long so leave them to it and don’t make a huge deal about it.
10. Focus on the positives. Behind the moodiness, hormones and door slamming lies your wonderful child. Praise them for the good things they do, no matter how small.