Keeping Active at Home for the Lazy Lady/Lad


Keeping Active at Home for the Lazy Lady_Lad

I am lazy.

When I’m not at work I can be very lazy. I find it easy to sit and watch TV or play on my phone for hours. I don’t feel the need to exercise every day like some people do. I’m not one of the people doing workout videos in my living room or joining in with Joe Wicks PE lessons each morning. I’m not running circuits of my garden.

I’ve got a two bed semi, with a small garden and a (nearly) 8 month old crawling around and getting under my feet, so a living room work out session just would not work for me even if I had the inclination or desire.

During this period of self-isolating and social distancing I’ve figured out a couple of ways of getting off my arse, increasing the steps and movement, the lazy way! And I’m going to share them with you, hoping that if you have any others you could share them with me in the comments.

  1. Putting washing away one item at a time. 
    I’ve been doing this for years and it’s a particular favourite of mine. When washing is clean and dry, I take each item upstairs to put it away one item at a time. A pair of socks counts as one item. This increases my number of steps massively, and gets my heart rate up going up and down the stairs with each item. I actually quite enjoy this and feel good afterwards.
  2. Bring shopping in from the car one bag/item at a time
    I’ve always done my grocery shopping once a week, and this is even more important at the moment. I may try to reduce it to once every 10 days if I can. When I arrive back home with the groceries I bring one bag in at a time. Many people try to carry 2 or more bags at a time to unload the car as fast as possible. But by bringing one bag in at a time, I’m easily increasing my movement.
  3. Haphazard, Illogical Housework
    I hoover the living room, then go upstairs to hoover one of the bedrooms, back downstairs to hoover the porch, then back upstairs for the other bedroom, kitchen, then the stairs and landing. It’s one chore, but by doing it in an illogical order I’m getting way more steps in and getting my heart rate up. You can do this with any chore, whether it be vacuuming, dusting, mopping…
  4. TV OFF > Music ON 
    You’ll be surprised how much more moving you do when listening to music instead of watching the telly. The TV demands us to sit and watch so we don’t miss anything, but music doesn’t make those sorts of demands of us. Turn your favourite tunes on and you’ll no doubt start finding yourself jigging/dancing around or at least moving around your home much more.

How are you keeping active the lazy way? Are you currently doing any of the things I’m doing?

Keeping Active at Home for the Lazy Lad or Lady

DIY: Making a Fiddle Board


DIY Fiddle Board blog header making a fiddle board for my son; a Montessori play idea. sayidoonabudget.com mumminonabudget

If you follow me on Facebook, Insta or Twitter you may have seen in my stories and on my wall, pictures of the fiddle board I’ve made for my son.

A few weeks ago I asked my husband to make one. We sat and looked at ideas online and I drew out what I would like to have on the board, but the husband said he had too many other projects on at the moment. So I asked my Dad, he also has a lot of projects on. So I decided I would make it myself!

Fiddle boards are based on the Montessori appraoch of giving babies and children real world items to play with and are ideal for babies once they are able to confidently sit unaided. R is 7 months, has been sitting unaided for 2 months and confidently pulls himself up to kneeling, meaning he is at the ideal developmental stage for an activity board.

I’m no stranger to be a bit of crafting and DIY as you will know if you’ve seen my posts on creating pom pom buttonholes or the time I created my own DIY wedding invitations. How hard could it be?

The first item I sourced was a board left over from when the husband built an under stair storage unit (which I may write about in a post soon), and then I took the little one to B&Q where I bought:

  • 1 wheel £2.90
  • 1 double light switch £3.47
  • 1 furniture pull handle £4.38
  • 1 plumbers T shape pipe £4.20
  • 1 door chain £5.12
  • 1 misc

At screwfix I picked up a pack of spring door stops for £5.49. My shopping finished on ebay with two chunky plastic zips for £1.99 per zip and a foam clock for £1.49.

I decided to use paint we already had from when we decorated our house in January 2019.

Total: £31.03

DIY home made Fiddle board in the planning stage sayidoonabudget.com

With all the items at home I started to plan out where I wanted to put each thing, then the DIY got under way!

The husband set me up in his workshop with the tools and PPE I would need and I set to work creating a cut out hole to recess the lightswitch into. That wasn’t the easiest of tasks as all I had to do it was a drill, enter me drilling a hole in each corner of the square I’d marked out, then drilling holes in the hope they’d join together. This worked better than I thought it would, meaning two taps with a hammer to break the small areas i couldn’t drill out and the recess hole was made.

I then used an electric sander to sand all edges and round off the corners. Two coats of paint took 3 days to dry out in the workshop due to the wet March weather we’ve had.

Attaching each item was fairly easy. Once I was satisfied the board was complete and safe for my son to play with it, I hooked it over the hand gap on the draw of our understair storage unit and sat my son in front of it. So far it has been complete for 5 days and both my 7mo son and 1 year old nephew have got enjoyment from it.

There is space to add extra items to it in future if I wish and I will happily remove items and replace with new things to keep the board fresh and interesting.

Tools and supplies I used:

  • Wood glue
  • Electric sander
  • Electric drill
  • Screw driver
  • Screws
  • Cable tie
  • Scissors
  • Face mask
  • Goggles
  • Pencil
  • Grinder (grinding off screw lengths that stuck out the back of the board)
  • Paint brush
  • Confidence

If you have made one I would love to see a picture of what you included on the board. How did you go about making yours? What toys or activities have you DIYd for your little one/s?

DIY fiddle board _ how I went about making a DIY fiddle board for my son. with costings. sayidoonabudget.com

6+ Free and Cheap Ideas for Entertaining Children


6 Ideas for Entertaining Children

I wrote a blog post for The Nottingham Bank last year titled ‘How to ensure your wedding comes in on budget’ to provide some key advice to their readers on reducing the cost of a wedding. Recently they asked for ideas on how to entertain children during half term that don’t break the bank and I contributed a few suggestions. The Nottingham Bank have put some of my suggestions into a blog post titled Five half term ideas that won’t break the bank on their website.

It doesn’t go undetected for long that living frugally is a topic I’m well versed on so I thought I’d share the tips I gave The Nottingham Bank as well as giving you a few extra ideas for how you can keep your sanity and your ££.

  1. Investigate your local area
  2. Get outdoors with a treasure hunt
  3. Find a community garden 
    For more detail on the above 3 tips, go to The Nottingham Bank’s blog post where you will also find two more tips from other bloggers. 
  4. Hit up your local library. My local library has a ‘story and rhyme’ session on Wednesday mornings. It’s a half hour session designed for babies and toddlers where songs such as ‘wind the bobbin up’ are sung and a big story book is read out. The session is totally free and open to anyone.
  5. Go Scrumping. My childhood often involved scrumping for blackberries or Hazel nuts with my sister. She would climb the Hazel tree and shake the branches whilst I scooped up the nuts as they fell. Another fond memory of scrumping was for blackberries in the hedgerows of a farmers field, getting sniffed by heifers as I filled my bag and my belly with the berries. Exploring the countryside with Tupperware and a mission can be brilliant fun for children of all ages.
  6. Attend new baby and toddler groups. Many baby and toddler groups are free for your first attendance. If you’re stuck in a rut attending the same group every week, look slightly further afield and scope out a different group to give your little one some variety and save yourself a couple ££.

Plus, baking at home anything from simple fairy cakes to a quiche; going old school with a game of rounders on your local playing field; setting out on a bear hunt; hosting a teddy bears picnic; creating decorations from salt dough and signing up to a bird watch to report on what birds you have spotted in your area.

How do you? What’s your children’s favourite things to do in the holidays that don’t break the bank? Let me know in the comments.

A round-up of my 5 favourite posts from 2018


A Round-up of my top 5 blog posts from 2018 on sayidoonabudget.com

As 2018 draws to an end I thought it would be nice to look back over the posts I’ve published during 2018 and create a round-up of my 5 favourite posts from the past year. Tomorrow is New Years Eve when we will be ringing in the new year, a time when we all get a fresh start, a chance to make changes if we so wish.

I don’t talk about my personal life much on this blog, but if you follow me on Twitter, you will see me talk much more about my life, and if you do follow me on Twitter you will know 2018 has been a year of saving hard for my husband and I. We have been saving to buy our own home together. We have made a lot of sacrifices in a bid to build up a deposit, and the saving has been made even harder by the fact we both made big career changes in 2018 too!

I am incredibly happy to be able to report that in November we had an offer accepted on a house and are planning to complete and get the keys before the end of January! Meaning I already know 2019 will bring a big change for us, a very positive and exciting, if not slightly terrifying change. We’ll be #realadults then? I’d you’d like me to a blog post to document our moving in please let me know in the comments.

So, without much further ado, let’s move on to my 5 favourite Say “I Do” On A Budget posts from 2018. In no particular order…

Tips on how to get the most out of selling on Etsy from Origami By Russell

This post was a collaboration between Russell and I. I had wanted to showcase some of Etsy Tips from Origami by Russell bought to you by SayIDoOnABudget.comthe origami Russell creates for a little while such as his origami fortune cookies and his origami lily fairy lights, then when he said he would kindly share some tips on how to get the most out of selling on Etsy, I thought it would work really well to combine the showcase of my favourite creations of his with his tips. Check out this post to read his 9 fabulous tips on how to improve your selling success on Etsy such as how to avoid a foreign currency fee from your bank.

Supplier Spotlight: An Interview with Kelly of Sparkle Vines

I was thrilled to be able to feature a dear friend of mine when she decided to set up a business designing and hard-crafting hair accessories with Brides, Bridesmaids and Sparkle Vines Supplier Spotlight blogFlower Girls in mind. Kelly started Sparkle Vines after hand-making the hair accessories she and her Bridesmaids wore to her own wedding in June of this year. You can order from her Etsy shop or by DM’ing her through her Facebook page, and an choose from her pre-made range or can put in a special order for a custom piece.

Bring an Old Wedding Custom Back With Herbs

A couple months ago I created a guest post for Rachel’s blog site, ‘Veiled Productions’ on the topic of wedding traditions and where they come from. After creating the post for Garden Herbs for your Weddingher on the origins of wedding traditions and customs I was inspired to create a post on how to bring the custom of carrying herbs in wedding bouquets back. I did quite a bit of research on the topic in the hope of inspiring others to consider using herbs in their floral arrangements. Within this post you will find a piece from a lady called Sarah who used bee friendly herbs in her floral arrangements which gave a nod to the fact she grows herbs in her garden and loves using them in her cooking.

How to plan a wedding for £10,000! – A Guest post from Polly May

Polly May (of Polly May Blogs) and I decided to arrange a blog swap with each other and this is her post for Say “I Do” On A Budget. Using her experience as a weddings and How to plan a wedding for 10k by Polly May. A guest for sayidoonabudget.comevents planner for a hotel Polly May talks you through how you can break down a £10,000 budget to allocate for each part of your wedding. Many couples find budgeting one of the hardest parts of the early stages of wedding planning, so this post from Polly may should hopefully be very helpful for many who are trying to work out how to get started. If you read this post and then read some of my real budget wedding features you will get a brilliant idea of how you can make your dream low cost wedding a reality.

Finding Suppliers

I’ve mentioned a few times in various posts about how difficult the husband and I found Header - bid serviceshunting for suppliers. An engaged friend of mine who is currently planning her August 2019 wedding also confided in me that she was struggling to find wedding photographers let alone, find one she and her Fiance wanted to book. This gave me the inspiration for a post on the websites you can use to aid your search for wedding suppliers, from photographers to florists.

How we haven’t celebrated our 2nd Wedding Anniversary


Kinda not celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary

2 years ago today I went from a Miss to a Mrs when I married the man I love more than biscuits. I love looking back at pictures from our wedding day, but even more than that I really enjoy looking at pictures of the things we have done together since we promised our lives to each other.

For our first anniversary we bought each other paper gifts and 1st anniversary cards. We took a trip into town where we ate blue ice cream and had dinner at an Italian restaurant. Last year we felt we had properly celebrated our anniversary. We took pictures of ourselves with the gifts we gave each other and took pictures of ourselves eating our anniversary meal.

So, that was last year, what’s been happening since?

In the past 12 months, I paid for him to have a drifting experience for his birthday in January, we went Zip-lining in Wales with some friends for my birthday, we have both made big career changes and have taken tips to Devon and Cornwall. What we have not done, is bought a house, which is something this time last year we thought we would definitely have done by now. We may still be living with family, and saving hard, but we are really close now! We have made quite a lot of sacrifices in our bid to get ourselves on the property ladder, including not buying anything that isn’t a necessity or something that is could make use of / need.

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The Joy of House Sitting and Getting Impatient with Saving


The Joys of House Sitting and the Frustrations of saving for your own home

The husband and I are house sitting for his sister and her husband at the moment. We arrived at their house on Wednesday evening just as they were leaving, and we are here until a week tomorrow. This is the second time we have house sat this month, although last time it was for some friends of ours. Last time, it was again, for 10 days, spanning the end of August, and the start of September.

When we house sat for our friends, we were also cat sitting their cat, Marmite, so it made sense. This time, it is more of a pity situation. Yes the sister-in-law gets the security and comfort knowing people are looking after her house, and by having us here, the chances of being burgled etc are reduced, but if the husband and I weren’t living with my sister, this opportunity would unlikely have been presented to us.

Back in June I did an update post June I did an update post on what had happened since I got married in October 2016, and in that post I explained that we moved in with my sister and her boyfriend to increase our saving ability. We are now so close to having a deposit saved, and we’re hoping we will be able to look at houses and put offers in etc in November! Which is really close now, but by then we would have been living with my

The Joys of House Sitting when your in the pains of saving for your own home

sister and her boyfriend nearly 18 months. And will be a good 20 months at least since moving in that we will be moving out and into a home of our own.

The experience of living in my sisters home hasn’t been too bad to be fair. It definitely could have been a lot worse! But, her and her boyfriend are very different people to the husband and I, and well, damn it, when you are 29 (me) and 33 (the hubby) you want to be in a home of your own, where your own rules reign supreme.

And (yes, I did it, I started a new paragraph with ‘and’) that is why house sitting for people is so wonderful. We get our own space, admittedly, in someone else’s home, but we get space to ourselves to just be us without worry of others.

So, 3 months on from my post in June, I’m still feeling very much behind the curve in life. We’re trying to enjoy the stage of life we are currently at, and are trying not to compare ourselves to others, but my God, are we bloomin’ ready for our next chapter to start now!

Are you where you want to be in life?
Are you feeling behind the curve, and like life just isn’t going the way you hoped it would?  

Seeing as I am now on my second time of house sitting in short succession I thought I would provide some tips on how to be a good house sitter that might be useful for you if you are going to be house sitting soon.

Tips on how to be a good house sitter from a 20 something who is nearly pro at house sitting for people

Tips on how to get the most out of selling on Etsy from Origami By Russell


Etsy Tips from Origami by Russell bought to you by SayIDoOnABudget.com

From the instant Russell agreed to do this post with me my creative juices were flowing and I couldn’t wait to get started. I’ve known Russell on Twitter for quite a while now, we met, as I do most of the suppliers featured, during a Twitter chat hour. Russell may, in true British fashion disagree, but I think of him as a King of the Twitter Chat Hour (especially #weddingdaychat)!

Not only are Russell’s products just the sweetest, but he is also a wonderful person and a real cheerleader for people who are trying to break into the wedding biz. And if there is anything that I’m totally on board with, it’s lifting people up. Russell truly supports everyone and is always more than happy to share advice with anyone who needs it.

So, how did Russell start ‘Origami by Russell’?

It all started with my daughters wedding.
About 3 months before my daughters wedding she read that in Japanese folklore, a origami crane represents long life and happiness. Because of this they are often given at weddings.
She really liked this idea, and I was tasked to dust off my origami skills and make 180 of them for her. I feel that I should add here, this was a skill I hadn’t used in almost 15 years!
After a few failed attempts I was soon back in full swing and had soon made the 180 she needed.
I had forgotten how much I enjoyed origami. So after the wedding and encouraged by the comments from the wedding guests, I decided to open my Etsy shop.
That was back at the end of 2016, and I’ve have steadily grown both my paper and design ranges ever since.

Russell

My two favourite products from Russell’s range are the fortune cookies and the origami Lily fairy lights. I can image the origami fairy lights laying across the top table, or used as part of the table centrepieces by putting a string inside glass fish bowels or curling a string around a mirror plate. And the great thing is, after your wedding day the origami lily fairy lights will look awesome adorning your shelves or hung over a mirror at home.
The fortune cookies are incredibly versatile; they would be fabulous used in so many different ways, such as:

 

  • A few scattered across each wedding breakfast table for the guests to open up and read funny messages inside
  • Given to each gift as their wedding favour or as part of their wedding favour with a lovely message inside each of them
  • If you were to write each guests name on one they could act as the place name too!
  • One presented to each guest on their saucer when teas and coffee are served
The flexibility of the fortune cookies and fairy lights are what really appeals to me, as lots of uses for one product increases the affordability, and as you all know, I am all about frugality and recycling/reusing.
Etsy Tips from Origami by Russell
After a good amount of experience of selling on Etsy, Russell has agreed to share some of his tips on how to get the most out of selling on Etsy.
  • Tip Number 1
    Etsy pays
    it’s shop owners every Monday.  So pay your Etsy bill on a Sunday from your shop account.  This saves you a foreign currency fee from your bank.
  • Tip Number 2
    Set up international postage, especially to the USA.  You will be surprised how many Americans will pay £10 postage for my £7 items. It costs you nothing to offer it so there’s no reason not to.
  • Tip Number 3
    Set up a personal account on Royal Mail’s Click and Drop website.  All orders you get on Etsy automatically add the customers name and address to the site.  You can then quickly buy (at a discount) postage and click and drop will mark your order as dispatched on Etsy. Automation makes the life of an Etsy seller easier!
  • Tip Number 4
    Use IFTTT.com to link your business Facebook page to Pinterest.  Each time you post a photo to Facebook, IFTTT can automatically add it to Pinterest for you. Saving you time, and it’s free!
  • Tip Number 5
    Keep your shop fresh.  Don’t set it up and leave it.  If you had a physical shop you wouldn’t do that.  Keep tweaking your listings.  Add new ones every few days if you can.  If not, deactivate one, then reactivate it a few days later.  Just do something to show Etsy you are still working on your shop.
  • Tip Number 6
    Keep an eye on your competition.  Are your prices okay?  Are you under charging?  Or are you pricing your products out of the market? 
  • Tip Number 7
    If you’re selling enough, look at signing up to QuickBooks.  It links in to your bank account and can link to your Etsy account too.  It speeds up your book keeping, and is well worth the cost if you are selling enough.
  • Tip Number 8
    Make sure you have the option to request a custom order option turned on in each of your listings.  You never know what someone might want and you could be missing out on a sale.
  • Tip Number 9
    Lots of blogs and forums say that 50 listings on Etsy is the magic number.  From my experience once I got over 50 listings my sales started going up.

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