Thoughts on This Fathers Day...

It’s Sunday afternoon here, and chaos has hit full-force... it’s a grey day outside, and I am meant to be working, but between the washing machine spinning, the jug boiling, Spotify on ‘in the background’ and three children playing loudly (only two of which are mine); I wonder if I will get anything done (at least anything that makes sense)! My ‘office’ is currently our dining table, our house isn’t big enough for an extra desk; let alone having a room dedicated as an office space – so work in chaos I must!
It’s Fathers Day in New Zealand, and we’re keeping it fairly low-key – I don’t know how you celebrate in your part of the country, or in your part of the world, but we have never celebrated excessively. I guess this is partly upbringing and partly us, we have come up with our own traditions and expectations though, partly through trial and error, and partly out of necessity! I do believe it is important to celebrate these occasions, if for nothing else – to acknowledge the hard work…

Babysits - Worth it's Weight In Gold!

This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are totally my own!
Next month we are heading towards our 14th wedding anniversary... Fourteen years folks, that is something worth celebrating!
Now I don’t know about you – but we live in a small town, and other than family; we don’t have a lot of choice for babysitters. We are blessed to have my Mum close by, and an Aunt of mine – both of whom are willing to babysit (most of the time) when we need an extra hand; but we don’t ask a lot, as we don’t want to over-do our babysitter willingness! We also tend to be very family-focused; with working full-time, I find I am more than happy to stay at home with my family and just enjoy time with them... However, sometimes you have to invest in your marriage, or even in yourself and take some time out!
How often do you go out? How often do you tend to use babysitters?
We were blessed enough this year to spend ten days in Hawaii – a trip that was won, so double-blessing – reasonably cheap (for us), and a ‘…

The One Year Mark...

Dear Dad,
I know I didn't acknowledge the one year of your passing as I have with previous milestones... life had got too busy; we were only a few days off flying out to Hawaii for our first holiday without the children, and it was chaos. I know you wouldn't have wanted your memories to be the cause of more stress; you were always putting yourself last.
However, you were not forgotten - even if I didn't write about it on here... We arranged and hosted an afternoon tea in your honour with all your favourite food, and had the family over, together with Uncle Max & Aunty Wendy.
There is a theme here; cream and liquorice!
We watched the slideshow we'd put together for your funeral, together with the funeral photos, and listened to the songs we'd chosen for you... it was very touching, and this is what I wrote in my journal just afterwards:
"It's just over the one year since Dad passed & I have yet to write about it or put a poem together - but that is ok. W…

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 - Mindset Over 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 about 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 b…