Happy Heavenly Birthday Dad

Dear Dad,
It is your first birthday without us; your first heavenly birthday... the last few days have seen me thinking back and remembering this time last year. From April onwards things went so fast, but your birthday was spent with you – not as much as I would have liked, but we got to present you with a beautiful family portrait, a collection of memories from Christmas 2016. It is a picture I still treasure, and we need to get it framed as well; still haven’t managed to do this (typical)... I don’t think any of us had any real idea just how ill you were by then, and how quickly time would take you – I am glad we didn’t know then, I think it would have broken my heart; just knowing it was your last birthday with us was enough to deal with on that day.

Last year was spent with you, trying to take in everything about you for future memories – future days without you; this year your birthday is probably going to be spent discussing headstones, memorials and other such cold, hard facts.…

My Inspiration

With today being Valentines Day and all; I thought I would share a little bit of my inspiration with you...
These two...
These two are my why, my inspiration, my reason, and everything in between... they are who get me up in the morning, and heading off to work each day; they are whom I cook for, clean for, work hard for, tidy up for, celebrate for. They are my reason for this life - not for life in general, but for THIS life; right here, right now. I would imagine, that if we'd chosen not to have children for whatever reason - we wouldn't be here, doing what we're doing. But they need stability, love and a home; so we are giving them that, all the while chasing our dreams the best way we can in this moment. It is not a sacrifice - it is the life we want right now, and I am confident we're doing the best we can for them. 
So with that in mind; when I was flicking through an old scribble book of mine the other day, I discovered an old poem I had written for my daughter whe…

Budgeting 101 - Meal Planning (how I do it)!

Good evening once more,
I can't believe it - I had my post almost fully written, was going to finish it tonight and hit publish... but it is gone; grrrrr, so frustrating! Oh well - time to just move on and rewrite; lucky for me this is a topic I love, and am very passionate about!

So tonight I am going to talk about menu planning... don't think I am a whizz at this; I am far from it! However, we do practise this regularly, but for me it is a sanity-saving issue, not a money-saving tool! One day I would like to be more organised, and change it up into more of a money-saving exercise; but that requires far more time and patience than what I have currently got!
So I will start off by talking about how I plan - we do it in the most simplest of ways, and then I will go into more depth in the next post on how I would like to see it work for me in the future... when time is less of a premium in my life! 
I have created my own fortnightly meal-planner, as I couldn't find one online th…

Budgeting 101 - Moving On From Money...

Good evening again,

I think it is very important to discuss the fact that budgeting isn't only about money - it is much more about mindset; and this can take a while to really change... You may be watching the money, and tracking the money - but if you're not careful with the money, it will still win!
Do you understand what I mean?
Budgeting is not just knowing where you are spending your money, it's also about learning how to manage your spending; how to be more careful where you spend it. 
So, the key for me has been 'organisation'... 

Over the next week or so I will be going more into detail on what kind of organising I do to help with our budget, and how I do it; you can expect posts on menu planning, debt elimination and using the internet as a tool, freezer meals, simple savings, pinterest, seasonal shopping, cheap meals, and anything else that inspires me on this journey.

Now don't think they will all be separate posts, I don't claim to know enough to be a…

Budgeting 101 - Part 2

Good evening again,
So last time I connected with you in regard to budgeting we split our money into three categories and began the hard task of allocating and tracking... this was after we had already made a list of the yearly expenses in the introduction, and had worked out our yearly income.
Tonight I thought I would make this a little bit more real, by discussing with you how we make it work; and sharing suggestions on how to make it easier for you to implement. Following this there are so many other little avenues and deviations that all connect up with budgeting and finances along the way that I want to explore, but aren't necessarily specific to setting up a budget... and I want to make this as user-friendly as possible, so welcome feedback and questions.

Like I said last post - the hard part is now setting it in motion, and tracking your spending between pay cycles. I would recommend using the computer; and if you're even vaguely familiar with excel, setting up a tab per …