Live Lagom, final blog post

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Here we are again, an update on our Live Lagom project. Sadly we’re coming to the end of the Live Lagom and this post is going to be sharing our final results and what worked for us as a family.

You might remember me saying in the last post about how we had bought plenty of tubs and Tupperware to help keep food fresher for longer. This for me has been one of the best changes we’ve made. We’ve seriously reduced our food waste and it has also made us so much more organised and healthier. These days we always have prepared melon in the fridge which is easier for the boys to snack on rather than unhealthy crisps. Ben has even been preparing his lunch every evening, meaning it’s saved us even more money as he’s not eating and spending at the work.
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The food planning has also meant we save money on our weekly food shop. We used to spend £100 a week on food for our family of six and these last couple of months we’ve cut that down to £70. We’ve made this saving by buying in bulk and storing the food for longer.

Another aim we had during this project was to save on energy. We have oil central heating and to help us not go throw so much oil we decided to try make the living room feel more warmer. We bought lamps, throws, and curtains and this definitely helped not only warm the place up, but by making it a nicer room to relax in. It’s even had an affect on our heating bills. The 6 month period before we started our live lagom project we spent £249 on oil, the 6 months during the project we’ve only spent £197, and we still haven’t needed to top up!

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We’ve also made an effort to turn lights, tv’s, etc off when they aren’t being used. This has made quite a difference on our electric bill. I wasn’t really expecting it to result in anything but after giving an up to date reading last month, it turns out we were £40 in credit! They’ve updated our bill and now we’re paying £10 less a month!

Another area that we’ve made a big difference with, is our recycled waste. Since buying our recycling bins it has been much easier to get all the kids into putting the right recycling items in the correct bins. Morgan especially has taken it on himself as his chore to take the bins out for the bin men. He makes sure he does an inspection before taking them then ensure everyone has put the items in the right bins. It is lovely to see him taking an interest and has even started to read books on the environment.

Even though the project is coming to the end it’s definitely not the end for us. We plan to continue living this way but hopefully take it another step. I’ve loved reading posts where those taking part have started growing their own fruit and veg. I definitely want to try this. I love the idea of growing our own salad!

I have to say I’m really sad the project is coming to an end. I didn’t think it would make such a difference for us and actually save us so much money! I’ve really enjoyed everything and loved reading how everyone else has been getting along and even learning things from them. There have been some get articles shared in the facebook group and I hope it continues. The best part about the Live Lagom project, is knowing you are making a difference no matter how small, at least it is something! I couldn’t recommend people enough to take part!

One final note, I want to say thank you to Ikea for picking me to take part, I’ve loved it! AND a big thank you to Kerry from the Nottingham store for your help and guidance

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Live Lagom. Our sustainable lifestyle update!

You may remember I blog post I shared a couple of months back, where I shared the changes we were making to Live Lagom. This has been such an exciting and educational and we’re already half way through!

We’ve been doing our best to live more eco-friendly and I think we’re doing well. Our main aim when we started was to reduce our food waste. As a family of 6, with too many fussy eaters in the family, this was one of our most wasteful areas.

At our shopping trip to Ikea, we bought lots of tubs and tuperware to help keep items fresh. This has helped hugely, with both saving money and throwing less in the bin. One way that I’ve saved money each week is by, buying large packs of chicken. I would normally buy a 500g pack for around £3.99. This was because once I opened the packet of chicken I was worried cling film wouldn’t keep it fresh enough. Now however I buy the 1kg pack of chicken and using our ikea 365+ food container, I’m able to get three dinners worth out of it. It may sound like a small saving but for me it feels great!

Our food containers have also been great for when I cook too much. Ben has loved this the most as he gets to take the leftovers to work for lunch.

Another thing that I feel has made a big difference for us are our new TROVÄRDIG pans. Being the only cook in the house I’m the only one that gets to use these so that might be why I feel like they’ve made such a difference. They are a great size to cook enough for our large family but they don’t take forever to boil water.

In the living room we’ve made it feel much warmer and cozier. Our house in out in the country side which means we aren’t on the gas mains, and use oil to heat the house. This can be crazy expensive through winter and super cheap through summer. With this in mind we wanted to try and reduce and avoid topping up during the winter months. Our living areas are rather open plan, so while in discount corner we managed to pick up a set of curtains for our patio doors and another set to cover the doors. Just putting the curtains over the patio doors made a HUGE difference. It felt 100 percent warmer and looked so much prettier. We didn’t end up putting the other curtains over the other doors because it was needed. Instead I used the fabric to make a door stopper for the kitchen.

Continuing with the living room we also bought some gorgeous lamps to save us having to put on the 8 spot lights. We also got some throws for our sofas, these have been a big hit with the kids and I love coming down stairs on a Saturday morning to find them all snuggled together under them.

So far I think it is going well. The Live Lagom project hasn’t just been about changing our house it has spread out into many areas of our lives. Morgan has even been sharing all about it at school!

The Paint Box Ceramic Cafe – Cleethorpes

At the weekend the In My Bubble clan were invited over to Cleethorpes to get our hands dirty at The Paint Box. A lovely little cafe near the sea front, where the children can paint pottery, while the parents drink tea and coffee. Sounds perfect doesn’t it.

We were met with a lovely warm welcome and even though my boys can be quite shy at times they were chatting away to the owner in no time. After we were seated the boys and Abby went and chose what they wanted to paint. Morgan chose a cute little turtle, Ewan picked a dinosaur, Rhys fell in love with a cup and Abby of course decided the bunny was for her. They had a nice range of items that could be customised, from the little figures like the ones already mentioned to plates, jugs and even clocks.

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My inner artist wanted to join the kids painting however, with Abby present I knew we needed as many hands as possible ready to stop her from any mischief. I was excited to discover that not only do they run fun days for children but they also have special nights for the adults too. The next one being a romantic couples night near Valentine’s Day on the 19th. My little excited squeal should have been a big enough clue to Ben to what I want to do this year!

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After a quick run down of instructions, the kids were painting and loving every minute. Abby’s main aim of course was just to get as much paint on her bunny as possible. Ewan and Rhys did a great job too, they were more focused on trying to get detail onto their masterpieces. Morgan had become a little perfectionist, and he spent the most time making sure his turtle was exactly how he wanted it.

While they painted, Ben and I enjoyed our tea and coffee, even with a toddler in tow we actually managed to get a few minutes to relax.

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Once all the painting had been complete, we handed them over to Rachel, the Paint Box owner, and she popped their names on them. She explained to the boys that they wouldn’t be ready that day as they would need to go in a very hot oven. They take a week to be ready but that didn’t bother the boys as they were more excited that they would get to go back again!

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We had a fantastic time and I can see us heading back time and time again. The boys are even wanting their birthday parties there. This is certainly one activity that’s perfect no matter the weather or season.

Lastly I would just like to say a big thank you to The Paint Box for inviting us along!

You can find The Paint Box on the following sites..

Facebook
Instagram

 

Me and Mine – January 2016

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So here we are again, last year we started this lovely series of taking a family photo a month however I think we only made it to July. Hopefully this year we’ll remember to do it every month!

Daddy is loving…
Getting a new job.
Shopping for a second car.
Watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Mummy is loving…
Baking with the kids.
Going to Clubbercise.
Having family time at the weekends.

Morgan is loving…
Reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Learning to bake cakes with Mummy.
Staying up late at the weekends.

Ewan is loving…
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Playing Minecraft.
Writing Birthday wishlists.

Rhys is also loving…
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Playing Minecraft.
Playing with Abby and her My Little Pony’s

Abby is loving…
Heading to soft play every week.
Her My Little Pony’s
Singing.

My Plans & Goals for 2016

Hey, I’m back! 2016 didn’t start off to well on the blog front. BUT I’m back and ready to get blogging and I’m starting off with putting together just a few goals.
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Although things started off rocky for the blog, things outside of the computer have been pretty amazing. This year is already shaping up to be good, even though we’re only 10 days in! I’m looking forward to seeing how things pan out.

So January is the perfect month for setting up goals and this year I plan on doing a LOT.

I can now officially say, I’m getting married next year! So this year I have a lot of arranging and planning to do. I’ve already booked a few essentials and have some ideas of what I would like my wedding to look like but I’ll be sharing these with you over the next year. My goals on the wedding front is to have at least £4000 saved by the end of the year and to have most of what we want booked!

Another goal I’ve set myself, is to get to a weight I am happy with. Last year about a month before Christmas I started Slimming World. I managed to lose a stone in just that time and so this year I have big hopes to lose the rest. I want to share and document this journey as it’s a hard thing to do. I’m hoping if I write about it, it will help me keep on track.

Along with the diet I want to start exercising. As much as I’ll enjoy being skinny, one day, that isn’t my only goal. I want to be healthy. I have a history of heart disease in the family so I want to make the changes now before it is too late. I also want those positive changes to affect the children’s lives too.

The other big change I plan on making this year, is to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
Just before Christmas I was chosen by Ikea to take part in their Live Lagom Project. I’ll be sharing more on this in another post as there is way to much to say just here. But it is basically, making small but effective changes around the house to help you live sustainable.
If you’re interested in knowing more, keep an eye out for the post coming up soon!

The last goal I’ve set myself this year, is to get a job. I’ve been lucky that I’ve been able to be a stay at home Mum and bring up the children but I’m excited to start my career. I haven’t completed my History Degree yet, so I can’t train as a teacher just yet. So I’m actually going to do an evening course to qualify me as a teaching assistant. I thought this would be the perfect job to start myself off on, as it’ll not only give me the taste of what is it like in the classroom but also it would fit into our lifestyle perfectly without the need of child care during the holidays.

I am have set myself a bit to do this year but it totally feels do-able. Last year wasn’t the best for me so this year I’m going to work hard and make my own luck!

Do you have any goals you’ve set yourself this year?

My favourite posts of 2015

Although 2015 wasn’t an easy year for myself, after looking back over the year I realised how many nice memories I also have. Instead of writing the year off as a dud, I thought it would be nice to share with you my favourite posts of 2015. Because no matter how bad we think things are, they aren’t always that bad!
My favourite posts of 2015…

Bluestone National park Resort, Wales Review
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At the beginning of the year we were lucky enough to be sent to the lovely Bluestone resort in Wales. It was our first holiday since Ben and I had started driving and we were all very excited. We had a lovely holiday and we made some lovely memories we’ll keep forever. We also celebrated Ben’s birthday while we were there, which made his day just slightly more special than normal.

The boys are still asking when we can head back and I’m hoping it will be soon!

Bank Holiday Bike Rides.
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This wasn’t long after the children’s birthdays. All the boys had received bikes as gifts and this was our first outing where we had taken them out for a big ride. I remember the day so clearly and it was a great day. Ben was off helping teach Morgan to ride his new big bike without stabiliser and I was watch the twins and Abby ride/run up and down.

A Very Wet Play Date.

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Over the summer we headed to our favourite beauty spot Hubbard Hills. The boys love it there. They just love playing in the water and fishing for little bugs. They normally end up completely wet through but the smiles and giggles are always were the wet car seats.

Time With Abby.
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While the boys were at their Dad’s house one weekend, Ben and I decided we should make the most of the sunny weather and take Abby out for some one on one time. It was such a beautiful day and I love looking back at the memories.

Britmums Live.
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This was such an amazing weekend that whenever I think of it, it always brings a smile to my face. I’m lucky to have some amazing friends that I’ve met through blogging and I love heading to Britmums not only because hopefully I would learn something new but because it’s a great time to socialise.

A Weekend In Palma.
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This has got to be one of the best weekends of the whole year! I think I can easily say I have the bestest friend in the whole wide world! When Debi asked me to go with her to gorgeous Palma I may have jumped up and down. A break was completely what I needed. We had such an amazing time. I honestly hope we’ll be able to go back one back.