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.

As we are trying to follow the traditional anniversary gifts as per the list I posted last year, this year we were to get each other cotton gifts. After thinking quite a lot about possible gift ideas, I came to the conclusion that pretty much every idea I came up with was a useful gift, such as a new bedding set or a new shirt. Eventually, he told me he would like me to buy him some thermals. I was dead set against this idea. Thermals?? As an present to celebrate two years since our wedding day?? Uh, No!

inCollage_20181008_110915647.jpg

But, he kept saying that was what he wanted, and persuading me with his argument that there was no point buying each other gifts that we wouldn’t use. Plus, although I liked the ideas of getting him something such as a lovely cotton cushion or a framed cotton print, let’s face it, we live with my sister. We don’t really have anywhere to put the cushion or to hang the print, so why get something like that for it to just go into storage with the rest of our stuff in the spare room of my parents house?

So… you guessed it, I bought him some thermals, from Heat Holders, and they’re 47% cotton. He works outside now, and so they will come in very handy in the cold winter months. Maybe not the most romantic of gifts at first sight, but what can be more loving than making sure your Husband, is comfortable and warm? With this thinking, I picked out some pyjamas (I checked the label, they’re 99% cotton), and some new slouchy, wearing around the house comfy bottoms (58% cotton according to the label) for him to buy me. Last year, the gifts we got each other were a total surprise. I like gifts to be a surprise. Next year, is leather, so I’m hoping we can do surprise gifts for each other next year.

We swapped gifts on Saturday, and yesterday he treated me to a Carvery for Sunday dinner. I was planning on setting the dining table really nice and cooking a steak dinner for when he comes home from work today, but we have cancelled that idea because he has been hit down with the common cold. He has bravely gone to work today, even though he is dying with man flu, and says he doesn’t want me to cook him a special dinner tonight because his cold means he won’t be able to fully appreciate it. Therefore, as we have already swapped gifts, we aren’t actually doing anything to actually celebrate our anniversary today.

We may not feel like we’re really celebrating it properly this year, but what we are doing is right for us right now. We both have a shared vision of what we are doing to get to where we want to be, and that, to me, is what I want right now.

I love him more than biscuits, and he loves me more than pizza, which is saying A LOT!

Have you had an anniversary you kinda, didn’t celebrate? What were the reasons you didn’t celebrate it in the way you would have liked if things were different?

When you're kinda not celebrating your 2nd wedding anniversary from sayidoonabudget.com (1)

 

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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2nd Wedding Anniversary – Looking for opinion and ideas


What do you get your Husband for your 2nd anniversary_

Today is exactly 8 weeks until my 2nd wedding anniversary. You may remember when I posted last year about us choosing to try and follow the traditional wedding anniversary gifts. Last year was paper. That was quite easy… easier than this year anyway!

This year, the gift should be cotton.

So, what makes a good cotton anniversary gift? Some ideas I’ve considered are:

  • A quality cotton shirt from somewhere a cut above where we’d normally shop
  • Beautiful cotton bedding set
  • A cushion with some romantic wording on it
  • Some form of a cotton print. There seems to be quite a few types of prints on cotton out there.
  • Or I could cheat and get him a ‘cotton’ scented candle.

That’s as far as I’ve got. If you have a good suggestions please let me know as it is getting closer and I’m just not sure!

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Career Highs & Motoring Lows


Making my way in my 20's

Career High

In April I started a new job doing what I have wanted to do for years!

In 2007 I went to Winchester University to study Primary Teaching, it was a 4 year course, and I would have come out with a BA Hons in Primary Education with QTS, however in the first semester of the third year I left. The reasons why could be a whole other post, so I won’t go into now, but if you are interested in why, let me know and I might do a post about it.

I love training, teaching and coaching people and it seems that any role I have taken on i have gravitated towards and somehow always been utilised for training and coaching colleagues. At my first office job, for a big mobile communications company, after just 6 months I became one of the people that would training new starters. Then when I worked in a sales office for a utility company I coached new starters and existing employees on their telephone manner and the sales cycle as well as coaching them on how to stay focused and motivated. My passion and abilities in training and leading people gave me a lot of opportunities at that company.

Then my role previous to now, was working as a Customer Account Manager for an LED lighting company. I was there 4.5 years, and from being there less than a year I was used to create training plans for all new starters into the Customer Service department and to deliver the four week training plan to each new starter. I also became the product trainer. It was during this time that I decided I no longer wanted training and teaching to be a PART of my job, but wanted to take the plunge into a full time training role.

So I took the plunge and I am incredibly glad I did. It feels utterly amazing to think I am now a ‘Training Consultant’! Especially when I consider how many training jobs I applied for without hearing back at all before I got my chance.

I work for a not for profit provider of apprenticeships delivering training and conducting progress reviews with the learners. Not only have this company taken me on as a trainer but they are putting me though some NVQs too so I have will appropriate qualifications for the job!

A GIF representing me after finding out I got the job

Motoring Low

However, this new new job means I have to drive a lot of miles in my own car. The company I now work for is a charitable organisation, so a company car was not included. I have to visit my learners in their workplaces to conduct progress reviews, and they can be as far away as a 2 hour drive. My 55 plate Civic was the first car I chose myself. I’ve had Rosie (my car) 5 1/2 years and Rosie has been a good car. Been being the operative word. She makes strange noises, seems to loose power, stalls regularly (irrelevant of who the driver is) and has broken down twice in the past 6 months.

But I can’t afford to get a new car 😦 because the Husband and I are saving for a deposit on a house. We can’t buy a car outright, and even getting a car on finance or lease is not an option because the monthly payout will reduce the amount we are able to save each month. Plus it would reduce the amount a mortgage provider would lend us as it would impact our “affordability”.

So little Rosie will just have to carrying on limping through for a while yet. It’s just one of the many sacrifices that are being made in our bid to try and get on the property ladder.

Please tell me I’m not alone? Do you have a car that is barely hanging on?
Have you recently made a career change, or, are you like I was a few months ago, plugging away trying to get into a role you really want?

Life might be quite hard in some ways at the moment, but I feel optimistic and continue to look on the bright side whenever I can.

highs and lows of trying to make it through my 20's

My last minute Honeymoon


Last Minute Honeymoon

In the evening, after most of our guest had left, and some were left chatting and enjoying their last drink together, my new husband and I said goodbye to the stragglers and snuck off to our hotel room. It was the first time I had seen the room we would be spending our first night as Husband and Wife in. The room we had at Donnington Valley Hotel & Spa was not overly fancy but was nice enough, with a sitting area, the bed and a spacious bathroom complete with His and Hers sinks. It was the best hotel room I had ever stayed in in the UK.

Once I had taken my wedding dress off and we were both comfortable, we took time to open the cards and gifts from our guests whilst sat on the bed. I made a note of what we had got and from whom to make the thank you cards we would send more personal. Many guests had chosen to gift us cash to use to book a honeymoon with. We were very happy to find out we had been given enough for an abroad honeymoon, rather than just a weekend at Bognor Regis.

On the Sunday, after checking out of our hotel, we to Thomas Cook (our chosen holiday booking company) and due to a mix of our small budget and the crazily last minute booking, our choices were very limited. We were hoping to go to Rhodes, but the price had gone up, meaning it was out of our budget. FYI – last minutes does not = cheaper anymore! We looked at the prices of some holidays the week before our wedding to get an idea of where we might be able to go, and then when we were sat in Thomas Cook on the Sunday the exact same holidays (same flights, same hotels) were a couple hundred quid per person more! We ended up booking a holiday to Fuerteventura for week. We were flying the very next day!

Got Married on Saturday > Booked Honeymoon on Sunday > Fly on Monday

Off home we went to pack our suit cases, last minute low cos honeymoonand after a frantic and rather panicked look for our passports we headed off to stay in a hotel with parking for the night. I had never stayed in a hotel the night before going on holiday, but I would definitely do it again. For less than £90 we got our stay for the night (room only, no food included) and parking of our car for the week. Upon checking in we got upgraded to a suite room. sadly, unlike the movies would have you believe, this was our one and only upgrade for our honeymoon.

Our honeymoon was not the location or hotel we would have chosen had we not been booking last minute, but we had a lovely week (after my husb stopped moaning about the location and hotel), we found some great restaurants, and spent many a relaxed day on the beach and even managed to get in a couple of excursions without breaking the bank.

Unfortunately I can’t remember the exact cost of our honeymoon, but I know the flights and the all inclusive accommodation cost us less than 2,000 for the both of us.

I know that, even though we were waiting to see what money we were gifted from our guests, we didn’t have to book a last minute honeymoon. But to me, and in he conventional sense of the word (see definition below), a honeymoon is supposed to be taken right after you get married, not months later.

Definition of a honey as taken from oxforddictionaries.com is a period in time following a couple getting married, or a holiday spent together by a newly married couple.

Since I got Married – an update


Millennial Struggle

I got married on 8th October 2016. Since then life hasn’t exactly panned out the way I expected it to. The Husb and I went to Fuerteventura on Honeymoon for a week directly after our wedding, which reminds me, I don’t think I’ve ever written a post about my honeymoon… [find post here]

Once married, the Husb and I carried on living in the rented house we had together until June 2017. Basically, my Sister and her boyfriend had bought a house together and moved into it in February 2017, they got on the property ladder! Which was really great and a big achievement in the times we’re living in. But they were feeling the pinch of first time home ownership, and were considering getting a lodger. We gave them our spare double bed from our spare room to put in their spare room as it is much easier to get a lodger for a furnished room, and they started to advertise for a lodger, but weren’t having the best of luck in getting someone. The husb and I had really started to be very determined to get on the property ladder ourselves, but the miniscule amount we were My life - an updateable to save each month whilst private renting meant it was dawning on us we may be fighting a loosing battle.

This lead us to asking my sister and her boyf to consider having us as their lodgers. It took quite a lot of consideration on both sides, as my sister and I hadn’t lived together since we were teenagers and as we are rather close, we didn’t want to end up having a big fall out. None of us wanted to out the good relationship we have with each other on the line. However we deemed it was a safer option for all of us, and mutually beneficial.

Eventually, we moved in to their home in June 2017 and have now been living with them for a year! A whole freaking year! and we don’t yet have our deposit saved! The story about our deposit I will publish in a separate post as it is quite long.

So yea, at 29 (husb is 33) I am married, but not  on the property ladder, and the joy of parenthood feels like a distant unattainable dream. This is not where I thought I would be in life at 29. I try to keep a realistic and positive mind-set. I have friends my age, who look at what I have and wish they had a serious, committed and loving relationship with someone. But that doesn’t stop me looking at my friends who are married, on the property ladder and have started a family already and feel like I am behind the curve.