transition, decisions and change

June is my time for transition, decisions and change – The Mind




June is time for transition, decisions and change.

June is a strange month. It has always signified transition, decisions and change all through my life. It sees the beautiful warm sun and heat return along with the longest day of the year. This year the 24th June saw a new moon which for me signifies change and new beginnings.

June 1993 – Aged 16

If we go back to 1993 24th June, 24 year ago it was my mum’s birthday. I got her some fine gold and crystal drop earrings that I still have in my jewellery box. She wasn’t feeling very well and didn’t do much for her birthday. She was weak and couldn’t walk far without getting out of breath. The heat of mid-June wasn’t helping. Two days later she had a heart attack and died a few hours later. The most significant time of transition, decisions and change kicked off there and then.



June 2013 – Aged 36

Fast forward to June 2013, twenty years later. I always seem to make big changes in June when I am at my most motivated and productive. Four years ago I set up my Mrs Mummypenny website whilst on maternity leave. In one day, I came up with the name (brain storming with wine and a brilliant friend is creatively lucrative), bought the domain name (.com and .co.uk), the Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google and YouTube. Boom. My fourth baby was born, very soon after my third!

June 2015 – Aged 38

June 2015 saw me leave my corporate job. I had returned to full time work after my maternity leave ended with Jack. I went back to my EE digital sales role, but quickly moved onto a promotion as a senior commercial manager for retail franchise (thank you digital director Dom for listening to my plans and helping with roles at EE). A tough job, really tough that saw me negotiating contracts and commercial terms with franchisee partners. It was a great job, I had a lot of responsibility and could make real change. I felt like I was doing good for both EE and the franchisees by brokering the right deal commercially for both parties to benefit financially – WIN WIN.




But alas things change. A new female boss came in and clipped my wings. She made me feel useless and incapable of anything. My thoughts were, do I fight or flight? Her thoughts were, Lynn, you need to make a choice between your family or your job. I am a big believer in choosing your battles. She was more senior than me and was seriously affecting my mental health. Im not one to create huge waves (unless you do something to my children!), so I chose flight. Flight with a nice compromise agreement and I left in June 2015.

June 2017 -Aged 40

Today sees me celebrating two years in the self-employed business world. Whoop to getting through the tough first two years of business. We have managed to pay the high mortgage and bills for two years. Okay we have amassed some debt, but that’s 0% and not the end of the world. You can read that story that appeared in the Huffington Post here.

This June saw me do a few things that have stimulated significant change. No 1) I had a meeting with a mentor who planted big seeds about investment in my business and making significant changes for growth and authority. No 2) I enrolled in a course – PR from the heart which is guiding me in my planning and objectives, the what for the next year. No 3) went on a perfectly timed trip to West Cornwall where I lived for the first 18 years of my life. I had some spiritual, enlightening moments on Sennon and Porthcurnow beaches.

west cornwall




These three actions/events have enabled me to work on a clear path for my business. They have also helped with the decision that’s been bubbling on for a year now about relocating. We are moving 100%, to Godmanchester, a village near to Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. New house and schools for the boys. It will mean we can go pretty much mortgage free with a bigger house and garden (moving 50 minutes north means houses cost £100/150k ish less than Knebworth). We will be 50 mins from London by train (we are currently 30 mins). The secondary schools are amazing, the primary school is brand new and opening in Sept 2017(a sports academy). We will be significantly closer to Cambridge where we go 4 to 5 times per week or football for the boys. It’s all looking positive, so we are off. On an adventure to a new location. Decision made.

Thanks to a few wonderful blogger friends who have helped with advice and posts on the subject of relocation, academy schools and new builds:-) Danielle of someones mum wrote this post about Academy schools. Katy of Katy Kicker and Chammy of CammyIRL had two very different views on the quality of new build properties. And thank you to Sara of Debt Camel for digging out an article from the guardian on new builds. Interesting reading on areas that I have never had to consider before.

Such a beautiful village. @ohneil and I took a trip to #godmanchester. We had a wander, ate lovely lunch at the white Hart. Walked along the river ooze. #gratitude to my friends, you know who you are who make my life so much simpler. Helping me to make decisions and help to download everything from my head onto paper/plans. #futureisbright #3positivethings 1) Loved my conversations today..particularly over dinner with Em. 2) Making some big decisions which feels great. 3) Got me a new logo and strapline..exciting. . . . . . . . . . #lawofattraction #loa #gratitude #dailygratitude #thankful #positivity #lawofattractionquote #moneysaving #frugal #ukblogger #ukbloggerlife #ukmoneyblogger #bloggingyourwaytoriches #cambridgeshire #relocation #makingdecisions #lunchwithfriends #friendsarefamily #rebrand #newlogo

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Do you have times of the year where you gain clarity and make big decisions? Was there an event that triggered thsi time of the year to be so significant?

transition, decisions and change



5 frugal things post 35

5 frugal things Post 35 – Hen Dos, Festivals and Rings




 5 Frugal Things post 35

First an apology as I know my 5 frugal things posts are popular. I missed a week last week, but as a bonus that means you get two weeks’ worth of frugal things I have done!

The past two weeks have been extremely busy at the weekends, one of which was a hen do in Cornwall. The weeks times have been busy work wise but I haven’t had to get the train anywhere, a nice rare treat of not needing any additional childcare and plenty of time to focus on writing and planning for the future, including my fabulous new logo ( thank you Super Lucky Di Coke, competition queen of the UK). New website design to come soon (thank you Emma Drew, money making blogger queen of the UK for helping with this choice). Also some major life decisions have been made which feels good.



Hen Do

I’ll start with the hen do as it was SUCH a bargain time. The whole weekend cost £116. 3 days in West Cornwall including accommodation, food, drink, theatre, dinner out and petrol. It was a 330-mile drive to St. Just via Bristol and Exeter to collect two of the hens, money saving part 1, we shared the petrol. Total cost for 700 miles driven was £80. I paid £40 as I lived so far away and the other shared the petrol money. Another hen was drinking so did the evening driving meaning we saved on taxi costs as well.

west cornwall

The mobile homes and Tesco shopping and Minack theatre tickets were covered by the £60 each that we gave to the bride who booked everything. The only extra we paid was £16.50 to the Meadery each for dinner. It was such an amazing weekend which you can read more about here.

Aldi Bargains

I have found a new good time to hit Aldi and whizz around as fast as possible picking up bargains. 9pm on Thursday night is good. No people, no queues. It was great. And I found some brilliant bits. Their camping range is available right now. Get tents for £20 or blow up beds for £10 or my personal favourite that I use all the time a hammock for £39.99. It’s a permanent fixture in our garden and I film lots of YouTube videos from it!!

They have a nautical home range with the most beautiful home wear pieces, bedding, lights, candles. I picked up three Yankee candle mimic products. They smell the same and cost £1.99. I love my candles so I was really happy with this purchase.

 

Moving to a new house

We are moving to a new house and I am doing lots of investigations into cost effective ways of moving. I have been comparing the cost of estate agent fees of high street versus online. There is such a difference. We have friends who own an estate agents in our village that we would use to sell our house through but that would cost £4,500 if we paid 0.75% plus VAT.




I have also spoken to a company called eMoov who will sell the house for £700. They are online, they take the pictures and advertise on Right move etc. They also chase the sale though. Interestingly they valued our house at the same value as the high street agent. It would be our responsibility to be here and sell the house to buyers who looked around. It could be a big way of saving money. I wrote about the costs of moving house a while back on the blog

Going to a Festival

We are off to Standon calling at the end of July. Festivals can cost the earth but not for us! I wrote about my excitement here and learnings from last year. The benefits of this website mean we can save a huge amount of money. Firstly, the tickets are free of charge, saving us around £400 for weekend camping tickets. I do a fair bit of work for those tickets, blog posts plus the weekend at the festival will include lots of social media sharing, Facebook live, Instagram etc.

All of the camping gear and clothes has been supplied by Aldi for which I am most grateful for. The cost of the festival will be what we spend when there. Last year we managed to get through £250 but we ate what we wanted, went on all the rides, ate tons of ice-cream. I am sure we can considerably reduce this cost this year by being better prepared with the food and drink that we bring. I can’t wait.

Goldsmiths Ring Resizing and Clubcard vouchers

I finally got around to collecting my rings last week from Goldsmiths. I’ve got three rings, engagement, wedding and eternity and I had a few scary moments of losing them. Losing weight meant that my fingers reduced in size by three sizes! My wedding wing came from Goldsmiths, which I paid for back in 2007 using my Tesco Clubcard vouchers so I did the same ten years on and got them resized using my vouchers. It was £114 for two rings (the eternity ring was a big job as the diamonds would also need to be reset so I decided against that big cost) and I used £36 worth of vouchers x 3 of value to pay for the work. The work cost me £5 for both rings that now fit hurrah.



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5 frugal things post 35

Standon Calling 2017 – Its Festival time!!




Standon Calling 2017

Have you ever been to a festival? Its Glastonbury weekend and I just love watching the coverage on the TV and have wanted to go for so many year, alas never made it, the tickets always go within 2 minutes and I missed out on working there when I was at EE. Then aged 39 along came Standon Calling. I like to think it’s a bit like Glastonbury on a smaller more intimate level. I went along last year for the whole weekend with the family and had such an amazing time. We have been invited back again this year and it’s looking even better. I cannot wait.

Essential details

Standon Calling is held in a few large fields in Standon village, Hertfordshire, not far from the town Ware. Quick to get to from Liverpool Street in London and most convenient for me as I live 20 minutes away. The doors (gates!) open on Thursday 27th July, with most of the entertainment starting on the Friday.




The headliners are totes amazing, I write this whilst listening to Orbital (I cannot wait, did I say that!). Grace Jones (!!!!), like so excited about seeing her, Clean Bandit, Orbital, Editors, Slaves, KT Tunstall , Laura Mvula…the list goes on and on. I am also very excited about the fancy dress, the theme this year is enchanted forest. I am thinking little red riding hood (home made) with my new festival wellies that Aldi kindly gifted me😊

Last year we camped on the Friday and Saturday nights, hubby wasn’t so keen on camping, but the kids loved it. This year my buddy Neilboy is coming instead of hubby and the boys are going to come in the daytime to soak up the atmosphere. They can then be picked up at 6/7pmish to leave Neil and I to enjoy the evening activities and have a few responsible drinks. We can crash in the tent late! Aldi have most kindly sent me a tent, a tent mat and 2 sleeping bags. They have the most amazing range available in store right now, and online, check it out here.




Learnings from last year

  • Don’t pack so much stuff. We literally had a whole Smax car full of stuff. Tent, sofa, hammock, airbeds, duvets, food, drink. It was excessive. And so much hard work getting the stuff from the car to the family camping area. I think that was the bit hubby didn’t enjoy!
  • But do take food. The food in the festival area is amazing but it’s expensive, as are the drinks. So why not stash some food in the camping area with drink and sit and chill there with some nibbles and a bottle of cider or two. I know that’s what we’ll be doing.
  • Take a bikini or trunks. The swimming pool area is beyond cool. And the wellbeing area has hot tubs. I am definitely going in them this year.
  • Make time for the wellbeing area which is at the top of the hill, really near the family camping area. There is yoga, meditation and all sort of mindfulness activities. I want to spend many hours here.
  • Take something to sit on in the festival area. Lots of people had these long blow up sofa things, £20 on Amazon, thank you very much ordered!

  • Don’t take the kids to the late music acts, we were at the front of the stage for Jess Glynne, but the boys fell asleep 15 minutes before she started at 10:15. Gutted. We listened to her on the walk back to the tent, she was amazing!
  • Plan your weekend, the acts you want to see, the activities you want to do. There is so much going on and you wouldn’t want to miss out on the fab stuff. From the karaoke competition (I am so doing this this year) to the glitter stand to the le bun bottomless brunch.

Take a look at my review from last year for all the gossip, the good and the bad, and click here to get your tickets for Standon Calling. I will see you there, look out for the red riding hood with glitter everywhere!!

This is a collaborative post, I will be receiving my tickets as a gift.



samsung tablet giveaway

Fabulous Samsung Tablet Giveaway

Fabulous Samsung Tablet Giveaway

I am super excited to announce another fabulous collaborative competition brought to you by 10 of the best bloggers in the UK! Clubbing together means that we can offer a very cool prize and this time it’s a Samsung tablet. I am a huge fan of Samsung and have a few things, phone, TV, tablet, fridge, microwave(??). Yes you could say I am a fan. The tablet I have which is a two year old model battery lasts such a long time. It lasts so much longer than the Kindle fire and Hudl, other tablets we have in the house.

Today we are here to celebrate the start of summer, with some fantastic bloggers and I, having teamed up together to offer one of our lucky readers the chance to win a Samsung Galaxy Tab E 9.7”.

For those who are new to collaboration giveaways, they offer us bloggers a chance to giveaway a bigger and better prize than we could alone, with each blogger contributing to the prize fund to offer you an amazing gift.
So who has teamed up to bring to you this prize:

samsung tablet giveaway

Melanie’s Fab Finds | Just Average Jen | The Mighty Duxburys | Mrs MummyPenny | Missing Sleep | Boxes & Swatches | Mother Distracted | EmmaDrew.info | Precious Little Worlds | Futures

So how can you be in with a chance of winning the Samsung Galaxy Tab E 9.7”? Well all you need to do is let us know:
What is your top tip for keeping cool in the summer heat?
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck.
This prize is being administrated by Sarah of UK Bloggers / Life in a Break Down for any issues please contact her at sarah@uk-bloggers.co.uk. For full terms and conditions please view the Rafflecopter widget.

save for your child's future

Saving for your child’s future – Junior ISA’s, savings & bonds

Saving for your child’s future

Even when times are tough I put money aside for the boys.  As the years progress things are getting more and more expensive, things like university, car insurance or buying a first house. Any nest egg we can provide for them will be a great help when they reach a certain age. They current have a Junior ISA each and regular easy access savings accounts.

children are growing up

Equilibrium has pulled together a fabulous guide to help young families plan better for the future, here are some things that you might want to consider.

 We all want our children to be financially secure when they grow up. Luckily, there are things that parents can do today that can make a real difference tomorrow. From choosing a suitable savings vehicle to starting a pension early, there are plenty of ways to get the ball rolling.

Not only does saving for your child give them a great start to their adult life, it also teaches them important lessons about money, especially the rewards of saving. By putting money away for your children from an early age, you are setting a great example and hopefully laying the groundwork for a lifetime of sensible saving.

Junior ISAs

There are lots of savings vehicles to choose from, it’s just a case of picking the one best suited to you and your child. A Junior ISA (JISA) is a particularly popular option. They are available for children who live in the UK and are under the age of 18 and are, effectively, tax-free, long-term savings accounts for children. They are very useful for building up a substantial pot over long periods, such as throughout your son or daughter’s childhood. For the 2017 to 2018 tax year, the savings limit for JISAs is £4,128.

You have the choice of two types of Junior ISA, a cash JISA and a stocks and shares JISA:

  • A cash Junior ISA is a tax efficient savings vehicle, which allows your child to receive tax free interest on the cash saved. The interest rates and returns will vary depending on the institution offering the cash JISA.
  • A stocks and shares Junior ISA aims to provide a tax efficient investment with the potential for capital growth in the medium to long term. The cash within the JISA can be invested into a wide variety of funds, with no tax paid on any dividends or capital growth received. Funds invested within a Stocks and Shares JISA are at risk, as there is the possibility that the value of the funds could go down as well as up, meaning that you may not get back the amount invested.

Children’s savings accounts

Children’s savings accounts offer a popular alternative to Junior ISAs and are seen by many as a great way of getting children into good savings habits. A child can, for example, begin managing their own account once they turn seven. A parent can set up an account with a bank or building society on behalf of their child, and certain providers will encourage this by offering gifts. These gifts are often geared to encouraging a child to save; for example, a money box can show the benefits of putting a little aside every so often.

Children’s bonds

Another option is children’s bonds. While the child owns the bonds, it is only their parent or guardian who can buy them, and it is they who hold the bonds until the child reaches 16. Bonds represent a long-term, tax-free investment and allow parents to have more certainty over the return their child will receive. However, they may not be suitable if your child wants control over their money, nor if they want early access to it, and with this being an investment you might not receive back the amount you invested originally.

save for your child's future

Starting a pension

It may seem odd to be thinking about starting a pension at such an early age; however, doing so can be a good way to build up a substantial savings pot for much later life. While this might not appeal to everyone, it is certainly not unheard of and is sometimes a preferred option among parents who do not want their children to have access to their money at the age of 18. It might therefore be suited to those with an eye on a long-term approach to financial planning. Whilst capital will be at risk, this can be mitigated by the length of the investment, as the earliest a child can access their pension is 55, meaning that volatility or loss in the short term will have less of an impact.

Whatever savings vehicle you choose, be sure to do the necessary research beforehand. While some options may work for one family, they may not be suitable for another. Just remember that whatever you begin to put away now, no matter how little, can make a big difference further down the line.

Equilibrium’s Guide to Wealth Management for Young People is aimed at people aged 25 to 40 who are looking to plan their finances now to help their family in the future.

This is a collaborative post.

healthy body and mind

My Healthy Body and Mind Progress Update #2




My Healthy Body and Mind Progress Update #2

My aged 40 healthy body and mind regime properly started at the beginning of June. The mission began with this post, photos, measurements and an admission of self-loathing of my body. It struck a chord with a lot of people who have messaged me or mentioned it on the street. Now those same people are telling how good I look as my body starts to change. Keep saying it peeps, every nice comment knocks a tiny bit at that hag in my head telling me about my fat tummy or fat bingo wings. You can tell I am not quite there yet!

This is me. In a bikini. In the freezing Frinton sea on Sunday. This is a very big deal of a picture for me to post but I want to share with my followers the reality of a 40 year old 11 stone body. My weight has fluctuated my whole life from 16 stone to my now stable 11ish stone. I am working with a personal trainer, post coming later this week. I want to tone up and make the most of what I’ve got. Kane is helping me with nutrician, toning, fitness planning and mental fitness. I’m excited about the journey. . . . . . #fitness #personaltraining #nobullfitness #seaswimming #freezingsea #frinton #essex #postbabybody #40yearoldbody #what11stonelookslike #11stone #size10 #size12 #bikini #halterneck #instasummer #eatclean #toneup #fitfor40 #fitforty #swimming #prada #pradasunglasses

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Training Sessions

I have now had four sessions with Kane, with varying degrees of pain. The last session was last Saturday at 8am, the morning after a few Pimm’s the night before. A dose of milk thistle and a nutritious fruit, veg an ginger smoothie did the trick to give me energy. Dylan came along too. He had us rowing (I won), lunging and squatting (Dylan won), hill running (just awful, Dylan thrashed me) and then dead lifts (I was much better at lifting, Ilifted maybe 32kg).

The other sessions are always a mixture of working different parts of the body. There has been pulls ups, chin ups, strange stomach crunches (after which I ached for 5 days!), lots of rowing, lots of hills runs, lots of work with weights, bar and dumbbells. My body is changing, I am looking forward to remeasuring my body one month after the first time.

Other Exercise that is Free

I am ‘meant’ to be doing two other exercise sessions a week. But realistically I am doing one other formal one. I do a Pilates or Yoga session from YouTube. Channels like Psyche Truth are good.




I am also meant to be going for a run or a bike ride as well. But my current problem is that I ache for about 4 days after each PT session, making a run quite a challenge. I have been for a couple of runs sine starting the regime and my 5km times are impressive. So I do either a run or a yoga/pilates session.

Nutrition

Since starting personal training with Kane I have been sending pictures of everything I eat via WhatsApp messages. I am aware of a few things: –

  • I am not drinking enough water
  • I am not eating my 5-7 fruit/veg a day
  • I am eating too much red meat
  • I am drinking too much alcohol
  • I have a thing for crisps

But on a positive

  • My gluten/bread consumption is very low
  • I eat very little dairy
  • I love my fish
  • I start each day with a hot water and lemon
  • I only drink one coffee a day
  • I eat very few takeaways
  • I eat less than 2000 calories per day (but mainly because I miss out meals)

healthy body and mind

This week our session is going to be nutrition focussed. I know what I am doing wrong and am prepared for a little telling off.

Healthy mind

I am working hard to battle the demons in my head that always tell me about my fat tummy. I had a styling session with my friend Clare and she found me the most beautiful clothes from H&M which make me look fabulous and slim! I can look at pictures of myself and see that I look good. Pictures of me in a bikini or underwear are a struggle to look at. Although it doesn’t stop me wearing them, especially in this heat.

Getting new bras fitted also helped with my mindset, the new bras give me such a great shape and again make me look slimmer.

I have also been doing an online PR from the heart course, all about finding your business purpose from the heart rather than the head. Its helping me greatly to focus on the right things form Mrs Mummypenny and it’s also impacting my personal life and making me challenge everything I do and say. Is it from the heart or the head? I am being grateful and authentic at all times whoever I am talking to or what I am doing.

healthy body and mind




Money Making Madness Linky #1

Money Making Madness Linky #1

Welcome to our Money Making Madness Linky, a fortnightly round up of some fantastic money making blog posts written by bloggers from all over the world. We want to read all of your money making blog posts so that we can be inspired and we can all help others – do you have an online income report, have you de-cluttered and sold your items on eBay or have you written a fantastic guide for making money online? Maybe you have an alternative way of making money that you are keen to share with the world from up-cycling furniture to making hair bows to making cards anything that earns you extra pennies, pounds or thousands!

Open to all bloggers, we look forward to seeing what you have posted recently, and how you have made extra money. We invite you to add your post to the linky.

Yours hosts

money making madness linky #1

The Money Making Madness linky is the brain child of personal finance bloggers; Charlotte Burns from Lotty Earns, Emma Bradley from Mum’s Savvy Savings, Emma Drew from EmmaDrew.Info and Lynn from Mrs Mummy Penny.

We are really excited about inviting you to join in with this linky.

Why take part?

Taking part in the Money Making Madness fortnightly linky will help you to not only find awesome bloggers and read great blog posts, but it will help to bring more traffic to your own blog posts. Give it a try, we would love for you to join in. We would love for you to take part regularly, every two weeks.

The rules

We are really excited that you want to join in, but we do have some rules for taking part in the Money Making Madness linky.

  1. Your blog post must have been published within the past 365 days.
  2. It must related to money making in some way – income reports, a new money making method you have found or something similar.
  3. You must include a link back to all of your hosts within the blog post you are linking up – you will find the HTML below.
  4. You may link a maximum of three blog posts per linky.
  5. Please visit other bloggers participating in the linky – if you would like to leave a comment then that’s great too. We would ask that you visit a minimum of 3 different blog posts within the linky.

Or copy and paste:

I’m taking part in the Money Making Madness Linky hosted by Charlotte Burns from Lotty Earns, Emma Bradley from Mum’s Savvy Savings, Emma Drew from EmmaDrew.Info and Lynn from Mrs Mummy Penny.

Just click on the link widget below and add your link.


wardrobe de-clutter

Wardrobe De-clutter and style session with Claire Wacey of CW Style




Wardrobe De-clutter and style session

Would you love to know how to create a fashionable and great value capsule wardrobe? Read on and you will get all the info you need and read about how I now have this for £200.

I was struggling with my clothes. I have a wardrobe of clothes, not loads, but I have enough for most occasions. But some of them are old and now ill fitting! Some are two sizes too big. And I always seem to wear the same clothes for meeting and events. I have a jade green blouse that I wore in my Good Morning Britain feature that I have also worn to meet Disney, Smart Energy GB event and my profile shots for website!

Claire from CW Style came to visit

A shopping trip and visit from Claire Wacey of CW Style was much needed! Claire is a stylist. She styles people, food, home wear, events and can make anything look beautiful. Of course, she always looks stunning herself! We met at a Lean In networking event 18 month ago and have collaborated on a few pieces of work together.

She arrived at 9am after a quick catch up we hit my wardrobe and shoe collection. She had a look at each piece, most of it she picked up and immediately said keep or get rid. These pieces might have been tired, old, ill-fitting or the wrong style. Anything we weren’t sure about I tried on and it was an immediate yes or no from Clare or me.




As you can see I have a huge pile of stuff either to sell or to take to the charity shop. Anything with a good label will sell on eBay and there are around 10 Ted Baker items that are going.

Wardrobe de-clutter

Charity shop pile

wardrobe de-clutter

eBay pile

My wardrobe was then uncluttered and Claire had a good idea of what I already had and what I needed. I wanted a capsule wardrobe with items perfect for meetings and press meetings with clients, and to have the ability to mix and match everything to create lots of different outfits.

wardrobe de-clutter

H&M Shopping

We headed to Welwyn Garden City to hit the big new H&M shop that I knew would be amazing value for money. I have been loving H&M for about two years now. They nail current trends; the clothes last well and often look way more expensive than they are. And we could get everything we needed in one shop.

We split up and collected around 8 items each to get going with. Let’s just say the items that Claire picked up were more suitable that what I picked up!! She knows the clothing range of all the high street retailers inside out and already had a picture of everything I needed.

wardrobe de-clutter

She found three beautiful dresses, 2 smart ones and one more casual look. Two pairs of fitted slacks in white and orange, one pair of black smart cropped trousers, one cream loose jacket, one orange T-shirt, one pleated navy skirt. One pair of black leather pumps, one pair orange kitten heels, 2 small leather belts.

wardrobe de-clutter

There are maybe twenty/thirty different outfit combinations here, particularly when you add in the brightly coloured camisoles and T-shirts that we kept from my wardrobe. The shoes will dress up outfits or dress them down.




The only extra addition to create the looks was statement jewellery, I just needed maybe three chunky necklaces to add feature and interest to high necked tops and dresses.

Thank you so much Claire for the beautiful wardrobe. If you would like Claire to do the same for you she offers a four-hour styling session for just £250. She will go through your wardrobe and go shopping with you in this time. Creating the exact looks you are wanting on the exact budget you are able to spend.

I have an exclusive offer for you from CW Style, just use the code MUMMYPENNY10 before the end of July 2017 and get 10% off your style booking.

Disclaimer – I received my style session free of charge.

 




west cornwall

Hen-do Weekend in St. Just, West Cornwall which led to discovery, joy and focus




Hen-do Weekend in St. Just, West Cornwall which led to discovery, joy and focus

West Cornwall is one of the most beautiful places on this earth. It’s my home, my heart and I adore going back for visits. I was most excited when Ridley Writes arranged her hen do location to be St. Just.

St. Just is the village where my mum was born and brought up, and where she met my dad who was jumping off cliffs on a marines training exercise circa 1954. They fell in love, married and had my sister ad brother very soon after the wedding. They then moved around the world with the army which dad joined after the marines. Eventually they settled in Penzance where I came along much later in 1977. Penzance was my home for the first eighteen years of my life.

We used to go to Cot Valley and Cape Cornwall for long coastal walks, we would spend hours playing in the natural pool and rock pools at Priests Cove. I would pick beautiful bouquets of wild flowers and do my nature searches, ticking off animals and plants that I spotted. As a teenager, my friends and I would spend every possible sunny day at Sennon and Porthcurnow beaches. Its hold such beautiful, powerful and happy memories for me.

The Hens Arrive

We arrived after a six-hour drive in misty St. Just at 4pm on the Friday afternoon. I had driven 300 miles via Bristol to collect hen Jess and then Exeter to collect hen Cleo, it was a good journey down, six hours is fast even including the collections and a bit of traffic at Bristol. We discussed anything and everything as you do on a long drive and felt like we had known each other for years rather than three hours by the time we arrived.

We arrived at Roselands Caravan Park expecting Haven esq mobile homes, we hadn’t paid much money (£60 each for caravan, food and booze!) as it still low season but boy were we impressed. There were seven of us at the hen do and we had the choice of caravan 17 or 20, being the first to arrive. We made the executive decision to take no 20 as it had a smaller living area, thinking that Bec would want the bigger living space caravan for the activities we had planned and communal eating.




Jess, Cleo and I set up home in caravan 20. I was happy to take the sofa bed in the living space as I knew I would be up early every morning. Our caravan had 3 bedrooms, two bathrooms, was immaculately clean and had beautiful views over the moorlands. The caravan park was lovely, there was a park for children, a games room, a small shop with essentials, a bar.

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Minack theatre

The other hens started to arrive and we settled in the bigger caravan 17 for dinner of spaghetti bolognese, garlic bread and salad. And we had a few drinks. We then realised rather late that we needed to leave for the Minack Theatre. We were off to see a performance of Tristan & Yseult. I have been to the Minack many times before on school trips, but you can never fail to be blown away by this stunning theatre. Cut into the cliff edge to the right of Porthcurnow beach. The setting is absolutely perfect for a dramatic theatre performance. I saw Hamlet there once, amazing.

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Turns out though that arriving at 8pm, when the show starts at 8pm mean that you end up with seats at the back of the theatre, rather high up. Not good if you suffer from vertigo. It was fairly chilly so we had all brought blankets and rain jackets, we were well prepared.

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It was an incredible performance and story about a threesome basically. A woman who loved two men. It was comedy and dark all in the same scenes. It was very explicit and not really suitable for children. I needed parts explained to me, handily I was sat next to the bride who was most helpful when I got confused. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The best bit was when it turned into night and the view was just inspiring.



Misty Saturday in West Cornwall

The plans for Saturday were loose, we wanted to assess the weather before deciding on what to do and where to go. Our only commitment was dinner at the Meadery at some point that evening. We chilled in the morning, had croissants and coffee for breakfast. We headed into St. Just at lunchtime for a walk down to Cape Cornwall and spent an hour or so exploring the rocky beach. We paddled in the sea (in our wellies), we took selfies and searched for heart shaped rocks. Bliss.

west cornwall

west cornwall

We grabbed some scones and clotted cream from the St. Just Co-op and headed back to the caravan for lunch for our afternoon task. Cleo, who is Miss Graffiti organised a knitting activity for us. I haven’t knitted since 1993 but it came right back like riding a bike. We also cracked open the gin and cider. The music was Dirty Dancing soundtrack, followed by Madonna. Such a fun afternoon, thank you Cleo.

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We headed to Newlyn Meadery for dinner, drank a litre of blackberry wine a big reminder of our youth. We bumped into an old school friend Lorna and agreed that we all looked the same as we did aged 16, rather than 40 years old! Dinner was chicken in the rough, salt and pepper squid, chips and salad. It was medieval in style, not gourmet but lots of fun.

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Stunning Sennon Sunset

We drove back to the caravan via Sennon beach and arrive at the most perfect time, sun set. It had been misty all day but it finally cleared at 9:30pm. Arriving at the beach was like magic. It felt incredibly spiritual and like nature had created that moment for the seven of us. You could feel the tension when we arrived and we all scuttled our various independent ways to take in the beauty of the sunset.

west cornwall

west cornwall

I took my shoes off and paddled in the water, the cold sand feeling so good. The sun sinking beneath the sea was stunning and my parents came to visit that evening. They came to say they loved me and were proud of me and everything I have achieved. We all met back up had a group photo and headed back to Roselands for more gin and 90’s music.

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Sunday Morning Porthcurnow

Sunday morning I, of course, awoke at 6am, despite the 1am bed time. No one else was awake so I jumped in the car and headed over to Porthcurnow beach for more time with the sea, sand and nature. Porthcurnow is my absolute favourite beach in the world and when you arrive at 7am in the morning its empty. It’s a beautiful cove cut into the cliff, the beach is stunning and you would mistake it for the Caribbean in the height of the summer.

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The waves were crashing in, it was inspiring and awesome. I drew my circle in the sand and stood listening to the elements about direction my life should take. A seal popped up in the waves to say hello. There were thousands of shells brought in by the waves overnight. A dog ran over to me to say hello whilst standing in my circle. I was surrounded by nature, water, the smell of the salt, the colours of the cliff flowers. I stepped out of my circle and a huge wave came in and took away my circle. At that moment I knew what I was to do with my life and business. Decisions I had been struggling with were made and life could move on.

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Thank you, Becky, for the most incredible hen do. It gave me so much and I gave so much to the weekend. You have the most amazing friends, you are blessed. And I cannot wait for your wedding. Friends are family. Forever friends.

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Here are a few more links to previous posts all about Cornwall and saving money:-)

Arranging a staycation

Saving Money in the Summer Holidays

More money saving Ideas for the summer holidays


How to Prepare for Christmas financially as early as possible

How to Prepare for Christmas financially as early as possible

I am on a journey with my finances. I know this journey never ends and continues for the rest of my life but I really feel like we have made significant decisions and changes recently for our financial good.

Mrs Mummypenny has been officially trading for nearly two years now as a limited company. This means that financially I have got through the tough times and turnover is good. Alas credit cards were used over the past two years to get me to this place. Currently we do owe some money on the cards, mostly 0% but there is some debt. I wrote my personal finance blogger debt confession back in April. Coming clean about our £15.5k debt.

Since then I have written a couple of updates, this being my latest and we have managed to get the debt down to 14k already!! Have a read and you can see all the things we are doing to cut back, save money and make money.

It is a struggle if I am honest with you. I am grateful to say that most of my life when I was in employed corporate jobs we had enough money, we could fritter money on takeaways, dinners out and holidays. Adjusting to not being able to do that is a challenge. May was a particularly restrained month. We spent hardly anything, the result was being able to knock a £1,000 chunk off the credit cards. But I ended the month feeling hard done by, not proud of the debt that had been repaid.

I have started doing some small things that are helping me to feel better about the restrictive spending habits.

Christmas Savings

I am making a start with Christmas. Always a tough one to budget for when you need to cut back and when you have three young boys. They are already discussing their birthdays (November/October time) and Christmas and the kind of things they would like, its June boys!! Long way to go!

prepare for christmas

Christmas Last year meeting Real Santa

Christmas is tough time. It’s not my favourite time of the year due to it being dark, cold and miserable. Christmas is a time when the wider family gets together, but not mine. This makes me feel sad. I try to make an effort for my boys but it can be a struggle. Comforting food at Christmas is important, roasted ham joints, chutney, roasted turkey, sausage rolls, crisps and dips! I like to get the boys what they want. Josh has already decided on a laptop, so I can start researching that now to find a good deal.

To make life easier financially it makes sense to pay a small amount of money into savings for particular goals, like the Christmas Saving card from Asda. You can have one card or a few and save £144 over the year on each card. At the end of your weekly/bi-weekly shop you can add a regular amount onto the card or maybe round up your shopping to the nearest £10 and put the difference onto the card, this will make the savings less noticeable to your weekly budget!

prepare for christmas

Once you have saved certain amounts on the cards you will be eligible for a bonus in November, in time for your Christmas shopping.

  • Savings between £49 and £96 means a bonus of £1
  • Savings between £97 and £143 means a bonus of £3
  • Save up to £144 means a bonus of £6

Just pick up a card, or cards in store and get saving. All the money saved on the cards will need to be spent in Asda. Here is a handy FAQ section from the Asda website for more questions.

I will be saving around £800 using the Asda Christmas Savings Card. This has meant saving £20 a week for 39 weeks of the year (including a bonus) but it will be so worth it when I have that cash sat there ready and waiting to be spent on gifts for the boys and yummy Christmas food. Hopefully there will be some money left over for a gift for me!

This is a collaborative post.