We got Moby our pure white Jack Russell Terrier at 16 weeks old in 2003…he was the last left in the litter, someone had put down a deposit on him and then changed their mind.
We needed a “ratter” for our Pest Control Business. When we when to view him he was such a nervous little thing, cowering underneath a chair, It was love at first sight for me!.
I want him! I said to my Husband when we went outside to discuss it. My Husband said ok but remember he’s a working dog! don’t Mother him!!.
As we drove him back to Bishopsteignton from Dawlish he urinated all over me as he was scared, I didn’t care, I was just so pleased to have my little companion.
Puppy classes didn’t go very well, he was like a jack in a box, jumping up about 4 foot in the air…his character was amazing, he didn’t have a bad bone in his body!.
Needless to say, I Mothered him far too much…his first pest encounter resulted in him chasing a rabbit under a tree, and 2 seconds later he came running out squealing as he was chased by the rabbit. From that day on he stayed at home with me as a pet and the most amazing companion a girl could ever ask for.
He sensed when I was sad when no one else could.
We spent many weekends taking him out and entered him in various terrier racing events at local country shows, he was lean and quick.
In 2007 when my niece was born I headed to Essex to meet her, Nathan had to stay in Devon for work and I really didn’t want to medicate Moby for the trip so he stayed at home… whilst I was away our new bed and mattress was delivered, within hours Moby had destroyed the new mattress after getting in through the bedroom door. At Christmas, he also dug out our brand new leather sofa….he was a pain…but regardless of that I loved the bones of him and wouldn’t have changed him for the world!.
When Nancie came along in 2008 I was worried that Moby would feel pushed aside…but instead, those two became inseparable, it was so adorable! they really were best friends, my heart still melts when I remember the day we bought Nancie home from the hospital…He sniffed her, looked at me barked, then gave her a lick and curled up next to her. He guarded that girl whenever she was around.
He accepted Erin and Dionysus too when they were born. He cuddled up with them and they petted him when he was scared of fireworks or loud noises, he was a gentle soul.
We took him with us whenever we could, we enjoyed many family camping trips which he loved.
But in April 2012 when Dionysus was 5 weeks old my Bother In Law got married in Scotland, Moby got awful car sickness so we decided to leave him with Nathan’s best friend of over 30 years, this is where he had always stayed if we couldn’t take him with us….and he loved spending time with them.
Our friends had taken Moby and their dog for a walk along Dawlish front, the waves came over the wall and spooked our boy…he jumped onto the track and seconds later a train came along….. our friend held back his girlfriend as she frantically tried to jump onto the track, I thank god that she didn’t get onto the track!.
The British Transport was called so the lines could be stopped to retrieve Moby. Moby died instantly (I won’t go into details) but our friends retrieved him and took him to the vets until we arrived back.
The phone call was the worst …I knew by the tears in my Husbands eyes that our Moby was gone. I had never considered his death to be so close. We never did find his collar and believe me I spent weeks looking across the track. It took a couple of days before we told Nancie that her best pal had gone….at age 4 it was a hard thing to tell her, she completely broke down screaming “No” “No” “No” It broke my heart all over again.
We’ve never held any ill feeling towards our friends (although admittedly I did have a lot of what ifs), we had just lost our Moby, we weren’t prepared to lose our friends too, and they were hurting, still hurting to this day, I really don’t think they will ever get over that day…neither will we.
I never thought about what a huge responsibility it was to leave Moby with anyone.
To this day I have never forgiven myself for leaving him. I lost my best pal that day…my heart will always be broken and I don’t think I will ever have another dog again as I would never get another Moby.
I don’t think I will ever be me again, I lost a part of me that day, these days I’m a stressed person who thinks bad things can happen at any moment.
Such a tragic ending for the softest of souls.
The death of a pet is a strange one, I still smell him around the house (even though we have moved since his death), A white Jack Russell has me in tears, I shudder when a train goes past…and I still cry myself to sleep sometimes and cuddle up with his photo.
The Children are always asking to go to the Circus whenever they see posters up, but usually, they clash with prior arrangements.
So when I was contacted by Paulos Circus and asked to come along to the show I jumped at the opportunity.
Paulos Circus was established in 1816 and is one of the Oldest Circuses
It also meant that the kids did as they were told to do for a week and I used this invitation to my advantage with the little Hill’s.
I also took my Mum along as she hasn’t seen a Circus since it was in a ring of sawdust and horses running about.
On approaching Dart’s Farm you could see the Big Top and the Paulos Circus Logo, this led to loads of shrill shrieking!!! Granny doesn’t get out Much…
We were greeted by a Storm Trooper who said “Halt” Dionysus found this hilarious and tried to fight said Storm Trooper with his flashing glow stick.
Popcorn, Candyfloss, Hot Dogs, along with hot and cold drinks.
Glow sticks are also available to purchase for a few pounds…but I always bring ours from home! so I didn’t purchase any.
The Big Top is also Heated/Air Cooled.
There was an array of glitzy flashing lights with stars and spotlights…the Children were mesmerised. Then the lights went down and the 60-second countdown began!.
The show is full of Jaw-dropping death-defying spectaculars.
I asked the Children to help me decide which part we loved most about Paulos Circus. Yes, we loved the Trapeze and Aerial artists as they effortlessly floated and twisted elegantly through the air.
The Ring Master was loud and funny with an infectious personality.
Mr. N was the above average energetic clown with his humorous blunders and pranks. Thanks for the photo Mr. N!.
The Ring of Death was spectacular, we were all teetering on the edge of our seats, we all gasped and clenched our hearts throughout… then to top it off the Male performer is then Blindfolded!!! Super talented.
But for us as a Family we found the Magic show was AWESOME!! The couple changed various times, each time having a darkened material hoop pulled up to their heads, leaving seconds until they are unveiled in a different outfit…The Finale was tipping a bucket of confetti over the female performer (who was wearing a gold dress) transforming her dress into a beautiful white long dress!!.
This really did leave us all saying “Huh?? how did that happen??
I’ve replayed the video more times than I care to admit to and I still can’t figure it out!. My Husband thinks the dress is thrown over her in the confetti bucket….Maybe?
The show runs for just over an hour, all seats are £7, although you can print off a £2 off each ticket voucher…see Paulos Circus website for further details.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed about the sheer amount of belongings in your home, follow my 7 Steps to Decluttering your Home and Mind.
last year our Home was over crammed with non-essential items… Decluttering was was my Optimum goal.
Have a Charity month – For one month, put away one thing a day to take to the Charity shop.
One in One Out – To solve serious storage problems, develop a one in one out system, where for every item you bring into your home, one item has to leave your home.
Cleanse your mind – Give your mind and body a declutter aswell!. How about a book of Meditation for your bathroom? or before bed?. Check out Gypsy Soul’s Mindfulness book wishlist.
Don’t be a hoarder – If the sight of your wardrobe makes you dive under the duvet, maybe its time to develop a system?. Each Season, wash and put away the clothes you won’t wear until another season.
Cull your files – Do you really need all those bank statements? keep the last 6 years and shred the rest. And as for birthday cards…do you need all of them that you have kept since you were born? I always keep the 1st birthday cards and the handmade ones and recycle the rest.
Sort your drawers out – Make a divide…sorting clothes into Winter and Summer sections. Donate or sell any clothing you haven’t worn for a year.
Yearly bootsales – Do a Family bootsale once a year, we make it a competition to see who can sell the most items and it’s really great for the kids with their Maths.
We still have a long way to go, but already I’m feeling Liberated.
I hope you have enjoyed my 7 Steps to Decluttering your Home and Mind.
It’s hard holding down a job, juggling children, cooking and keeping up with those dreaded household chores.
Organisation is the key!.
Sew whilst watching TV – Keep a sewing kit in the living room, I sew all buttons on and make essential repairs, whilst enjoying my favourite documentary.
Get fire organised – Keep all important documents in a fire retardant box. I keep passports, birth certificates, insurance policies, and driving license in mine.
Remember birthdays – I’m always forgetting birthdays! now I have a book with names, dates, and addresses….no more excuses.
Double up – Have 2 laundry baskets, one for whites, one for darks.
Be prepared – Have a few essentials in your freezer to combat those off days; Milk, bread, and butter.
Get those cupboards organised – Clean one or two cupboards a week and rearrange items. Leaving it until all at once always feels more of a chore.
Tidy in the evenings – Spend 10 minutes each evening tidying up, it’s always a great feeling to wake up to a tidy house…start your day on a positive note!.
Success if KEY – don’t lose your keys…I always leave mine in the door. Find a good place and always put them there! this will eliminate the ten minutes searching for them when you’re already running late.
Make a contacts book – Include names, addresses, phone numbers, and emails. I’ve recently done this due to forgetting to back up my phone contacts when my phone went in for repairs. 200 contacts lost…foolish me!.
Plan your clothes weekly – I have a 5 day (Mon-Fri) clothes plan…I plan for a month and then rotate the clothes and mix up the outfits. At the weekends I end up looking like worzel gummage!!.
I hope you have enjoyed my 10 steps to getting organised. What do you do to keep your household organised? I would love to hear!.
The jar is 283ml, so I decided to look into other uses, as you only need a tiny amount to cleanse with.
I found 60 reasons why Coconut Oil should be in your household.
It’s so versatile
My 60 reasons why Coconut Oil should be in your household
1. Cooking – Replace your usual oil with Coconut oil for a healthy and tasty alternative.
2. Gluten Free / Vegan – Compatible with both Gluten free and Vegan cooking
3. Cleanser/Moisturiser – This is my new favorite ritual and leaves your skin silky smooth.
4. Nail treatment – Rub into the cuticles, smoothes flaws and encourages growth.. Trust me this works!!.
5. Removes chewing gum and lots of other sticky substances off carpets and fabrics! – Trust me this works!!.
6. Headlice – Use Coconut Oil instead of conditioner…again trust me this works, beats any chemical solution on the market!. Wash as normal then apply a small amount, leave on for 10-15 minutes, comb through with the “Nitty Gritty” comb and rinse.
7. Massage Oil – Feeling achy? in need of a relaxing massage? get your loved one to use Coconut Oil…the lovely aroma is an added bonus.
8. Athletes Foot – Add a few drops of Tea Tree Oil and rub into the affected area.
9. Acne – Dab directly onto offending spots. (Gently fights bacteria that causes acne).
10. Stretch Marks – Apply on growing bump though pregnancy to help prevent stretch marks. And apply after birth to reduce scars.
11. Wrinkles – Keeps wrinkles at bay and softens them away.
12. Ringworm – Natural method to eradicate this pesky contagious itching skin disease.
13. Lipbalm – Fed up with buying little compact tins of branded balms? Opt for Coconut Oil, a super minimal cost “Au Natural” DIY option…it also appears to offer some protection against the sun approx SPF4.
14. Cold Sores – Rub onto cold sore when needed, adding a drop of oregano to speed up the process.
15. Nappy rash – A natural non-chemical way to clear up irritation.
16. Breastfeeding – Rub onto cracked and sore nipples to ease and moisturise, Also far better than having a Cos shoved down your bra. (Partners/Husbands), please refrain from offering to do the “rubbing”, talking from experience, you have more chance winning the lottery than having your most generous offer accepted).
17. Nosebleeds – rub onto the dry areas that can lead to nosebleeds.
18. Makeup remover – One of my personal favorites…takes waterproof mascara and lipstick off within seconds.
19. Frizz Ease – Tame those wild curls or frizz (warning use half a pea size amount, rubbed onto your hands prior to application). Applying large amounts 10 minutes prior to the school run is not advisable…unless you have a rather large hood or a wooly hat.
20. D.I.Y dyeing your hair – Put it around your ears, forehead, and neck to prevent staining (I now use coconut oil rather than vaseline.
21. Alzheimer’s – Research shows that the oil slows down the progression of this disease.
22. Calcium – Helps the body absorb the Calcium and Magnesium.
23. Leather cleaner – Use a “pea” size amount on a uncoloured cloth and rub in circular motion.
24. Cracked Heels – This generous moisturiser is ideal to revitalise those unsightly heels.
25. Coffee – Add to coffee (my favorite one!) You need to whisk the oil into the coffee…which with form a froth (or you could use a bullet)..just adding it to your coffee will leave an oil effect on top of the coffee.
26. Salad dressing – warm and drizzle on your salad..this tastes divine, but once it cools it will set again.
27. Facial Scrub – Add a teaspoon of Coconut Oil to a handful of Himalayan Crystal salt for a refreshing facial scrub.
28. After Sun – Soothes sunburn…but use once the heat has reduced (recommended 72 hours).
29. Forget Butter – Reduce those calories and spread your toast and crackers with Coconut oil..very tasty and a healthier alternative.
30. Eczema, Psoriasis, and Dermatitis – Rub onto affected areas to soothe pain and reduce scarring. I personally do this method for my Psoriasis and it really does keep it at bay with twice daily applications.
31. Energy – Boosts your energy (Even more so with a low/zero carbohydrates diet).
32.Deodorant – Mix with Bi-Carbonate Of Soda, Cornstarch and your favourite essential oils for that Au Natural deodoriser.
33. Furniture Oil – Coconut Oil is a fabulous wood restorer which smells divine(Most oils are good at restoring wood, but they are not all completely Organic Raw oils).
34. Chicken Pox – Dab onto the affected spots to soothe and reduce any scarring.
35. Stings/Bites – Rub into the bite, Soothes the infection.
36. Toothpaste – (I really want to try this!) Mix 1 part Coconut Oil with 1 part Bi-Carbonate of Soda and a few drops of Peppermint Oil. Naturally, whitens teeth, freshens breath without added fluoride, sweeteners, preservatives or Chemicals.
37. Aftershave – Rub into hands and apply as you would your usual balm.
38. Toothache – Mix with Clove oil and gargle…whilst cloves are strong and over powering, I personally find that the Coconut balances this out.
39. Haemorrhoids – Said to be a natural remedy (not personally tried this one out) Rub into or around the affected area.
40. Metabolism – Increases Metabolism.
41. Thyroid -Improves the Thyroid Function.
42. Preserves Eggs – Paint a thin layer over the shell to extend shelf life.
43. Hair Conditioner – Strengthens and repairs. Massage in, leave in for 10-15 and rinse thoroughly (I personally wrap my hair up in a warm towel after).
44.Cradle cap – My 3 suffered terribly with cradle cap..it drove me crazy! when the light from a flash hit their heads, the cradle cap shone like a beacon!. Gently massage in the coconut oil (teaspoon measure) leave for 10 minutes and gently comb through, rinse thoroughly.
45. Lubricant – (Not tried this to date) All-natural lubricant for those most intimate moments **NOT TO BE USED WITH CONDOMS, AS COMPROMISES PROTECTION***
47. Bruises – Rub onto bruised area to moisturise and bring out the bruise.
48. Shaving cream – use as neat Coconut Oil, allows the razor to glide smoothly over your skin.
49. Curbs appetite – This really should be in the top 10 for me really (but as usual I didn’t plan ahead!). I have a minimum of 10 teaspoons a day (plus in my foods) and my appetite has noticeably dropped).
50. Pet care – Improves breath as well as giving a shiny coat. Help’s reduce fur balls, rub onto your cat’s paws (or dogs I guess) to help improve digestion and reduce hairballs (fur balls).
51. Sore Throats – Use one teaspoon and let it trickle slowly down your throat, I found this really helps but it does take a bit of getting used to.
52. Smoothies – Add a tablespoon to your smoothie and blend thoroughly (Coconut Oil needs to be whisked in order to eradicate the oil film effect.
53. High heat cooking – Coconut oil is ideal for high heat cooking.
54. Bath – Add to your bath to give a refreshing moisturising relaxing bath.
55. Alternative spread – Use on toast, crackers, and bread instead of butter or spread.
56. Popcorn – This is a favorite with my three kids. add a tablespoon of oil in with the kernels on a high head with a deep based pan with a lid.
57. Pan seasoner – Ideal for cast iron seasoning.
58. Acid reflux/Heartburn – Small teaspoons with foods to keep them at bay.
59. Vapor rub – Mix with peppermint oil, rub onto chest and back.
60. Detangler – Put a couple of melted drops into a water spray bottle and spritz over hair before brushing.
I hope you have enjoyed my 60 reasons why Coconut Oil should be in your household.
I would love to hear from you if you have any great ways of using Coconut oil.
I will soon be sharing my Coconut Oil detox journey….so keep checking in.
So in February we have Two birthdays and Two parties to organise, Its Dionysus’s birthday on the 13th and Nancie’s on the 17th…so i’m being ultra careful…here’s my top Thrifty children’s party bag ideas.
Luckily with their birthdays soon after the January sales, I managed to bag some bargains for their thrifty party bags.
I’m a keen believer in not giving out plastic tat or items that break after the first use, or a chewy sweet that is bound to send your darling child into a raging monster within 2 minutes.
Dionysus turns 5 this year. I have no idea what other 5 year old’s are into!… Dionysus is just Transformer Mad, end of.
So I opted for Marvel, cant go wrong, surely? plus Poundland had a sale and I got 35 Marvel/Frozen activity sets and 12 packs of Marvel face paints (this will go down well with the Mums) for 25p a piece. A packet of haribo and a balloon for good measure.
Nancie turns 9 this year, and whilst she’s really easy to please, I realise I have the potential to cause embarrassment to her amongst her peers.
So I opted for “Ice cream” bags with a “lip” lip balm, teamed up with a packet sweets I think it makes a perfect “big girl” party bag.
I got the Ice cream bags at Wilko on sale at £1.25 each (were £5), Lip balms were also from Wilko for 25p each (were £1). Add a bag of sweets and you’ve got a fantastic party bag for less than £1.70… Thrifty!. (Admittedly more than my usual £1 max spend, but shes having half the friends so i’m good with that .
Now its just to arrange the Two parties, sort the invites and make the cakes..they always want the most extravagant cakes.
By now you have probably already gathered that I LOVE saving money!.
So I thought I would share a few of my top money saving tips with you!. As i’m also a mature student studying Accountancy, I also will also include any *Student discounts. All helps with saving money.
Cash back sites are a great way to earn money back. I personally use topcashback.
Generally I tend to give a lot of the kids clothes away (to parents at the same school), especially School uniforms, that way you tend to get items back for any younger siblings
I always search for voucher codes whenever I do any online shopping, it surprising how many vouchers are out there! plus you can still use the cash back sites too.
Buy in bulk when items are on offer.
Buying large pieces of meat and cut them down, cook up mass batches of homemade goods freeze them down.
NUS Extra *for Students offer discounts on lots of products, including the Co Operative. You can purchase a NUS card for about £12 a year or I think its cheaper if you purchase a 3 Year one.
Purchase kids party bags items in the January sales or throughout the year when you see them on offer!. Our party bags always contain lots of quality goodies and I only ever budget for 70p-£1.00 per party bag.
I only get my haircut at Gershwins as Kirsty is the only person I trust to cut my hair!. I get stand by appointments which are £10.00 off. If you recommend a friend you get a whopping 50% off and so does the friend.
Feel free to say I referred you and we will both get 50% off.
If you are a *Student, and have a student email you can get the student Microsoft package 365 for free…saves you about £70.
Keep a look out for the Woodland Trust events (held nationally). Most of the events are completely free!, we have never been disappointed! take food and drinks though!.
I would love to hear of your top money-saving tips and ways of saving money!.
My Hoover for one doesn’t!, however much I try, there are still some sneaky little bits of Lego that end up in the “Tube of doom”…what difference can one little piece make?.
Now don’t get me wrong, I really do like Lego, and appreciate the benefits of an hour or so of Lego…I find it quite therapeutic!…(apart from when Dionysus destroys the end result in seconds!). Plus it ticks the fine motor skills box.
I’ve always needed Storage Solutions in my life (usually Kilner jars !!), they make me feel so much calmer.
But those evil little blocks catch your feet out when your least expecting it, and generally, you’ve risked not wearing those slippers for that one moment….you FOOL!!!.
I was on a mission to find a super duper storage solution.
By the way, according to my nearly 5-Year-Old Son…”One block can make ALL the difference”… Bad Mum Award goes to Me!!!.
The BLOKPOD Toy and Lego storage bin holds 16 Litres in three different tiers. With Two clever little dividers. Shake the Pod from side to side and the motion separates the blocks by size, dropping them through the separator grids.
Size (all measurements are approximate): The Blokpod is 32.5 cm/13 inch in height, 26 cm/10 inch Circumference, 12 cm/4.5 inch per individual tier.
In addition to the storage solution, I was getting a little bit “Stressed” with all of the Lego instructions floating around the house. So off to Trago I went, to purchase some folders for the instructions.
Eventually, after much browsing around Trago and picking up other unwanted, random items, I found these clear sleeved folders for £2.49. They’ve proved a great success, the kids eagerly hunted through the house for the instructions and even placed them inside, without being asked..result!.
Tip: place a little blue tack at the top of each sleeve, to stop the contents falling out.
The next step forward may well be Lego slippers…
What do you store your Lego in? share your handy tips and help us Mum’s keep sane!.
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Father Christmas…Mr Clause… Santa…The big man in red. What happens in your home?.
From my childhood, I was always under the impression that Father Christmas bought the stocking gifts and One reasonable sized present…
(if you were on the good list that is!).
Now, last week… whilst at College, chatting to a Friend, we got onto the topic of “Father Christmas” she informed me that “her” Father Christmas buys ALL of her Daughters presents!!!!.
I was honestly that shocked that I nearly spat my coffee out all over the Computer
Now don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas, and Mr Clause is a well-kept secret in our household, but…there is no way that Dude is taking all of the credit for months of me wracking my brain to think of mind blowing gifts and saving all the pennies throughout the year.
‘I want some of the credit for those smiles and shrieks of joy!!’
Initially I thought that the differences might be down to regions?, as a few friends from Bristol both said that ALL of the present’s came from Father Christmas.
So I thought it would be interesting to find out what Father Christmas brings to your home? and does he come down the Chimney or does he have a magic key?.
It would also be great if you could leave a comment in the Comment section as to which area you live in.