Thursday, 3 September 2015

Do you know someone who deserves a box of chocolates?

Luxurious chocolate brand Elizabeth Shaw have come up with a wonderful way for you to try to win a special gift to the people in your life who deserve a treat.

If you know someone who's just had a baby, you have friends getting married, someone needs cheering up or recognising for the special things they have done then you can nominate them at Elizabeth Shaw's Special Moments website.

You have until November 22nd 2015 to nominate your special people, winners will be drawn every week. All the weekly winners will be entered into a draw at the end for the chance to win night away for two people.

All you have to do is visit the website, enter the details of the person you'd like to win and the reason you think they deserve a box of chocs and then you're done.

Disclosure: I wasn't paid in pennies or chocolates for this post, I just thought it was something you might like to know about.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

The golden rules of school uniform

It's back to school time again (although new school uniform seems to have been in the shops since before last Easter!). Thankfully Boyzilla is out of uniform now and into civvies for his post-16 education, but I couldn't resist sharing this infographic from Johnson Cleaners with some great tips on buying and caring for those pesky uniforms...

Disclosure: I wasn't paid pennies or given any goodies for sharing this infographic, I just thought it was something you might like.

Monday, 31 August 2015

Plans can be broken

I use my diary for planning. I don't just put my appointments in, I put my 'to do' list in and my meal plans and odd notes of things I don't want to forget to do and reminder of when to put the bins out and when I've given my son pocket money. 

I worked out long ago that if I don't write things down I tend to forget about them. I've tried digital planning apps, Filofaxes, all sorts of different sizes and layouts of diaries and decided that paper planning suits me better than anything. The act of writing things down, forming the words, helps me to remember.

The other great thing about planning though, is that the plans can be postponed, but not forgotten about. Over the last two days I've set out a 'to do' list for myself, but then decided to spend time with my family instead. The fact that I've written down the things I need to do means that I know I won't forget any of those jobs when I sit down tomorrow to tackle the things that need doing.

How do you keep on top of your 'to dos'?

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Reasons to be cheerful - Doing our thing

Reasons to be Cheerful

This week, we've just been enjoying a restful time and chilling.

I've landed some more writing commissions (yay)

Decluttered the cupboard in the guest bedroom (where does all the stuff come from?)

And had a great meeting with my friend Ellie to plan what our Scout Troop will be up to over the next term.

All in all a fantastic week!

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Discount Code: Kid's Decor at Graham and Brown

Designer wallpaper and wall art company Graham and Brown have been in business since 1946. You can see some of their wonderful designs in the pictures in this post.

From the 4th until the 21st September 2015 they are having a 20% off sale on all their children's products: wallpaper, paint, wall art, stickers, cushions and bedspreads from - for example - Disney's Frozen, Marvel's comic heroes and their gorgeous Eleflump range.

As an extra special treat, they're offering readers of ALifeMoreLived and extra 10% off all the sale prices with the code Kids10

Check out their full range of products on the Graham and Brown website.

Disclosure: No payment either in pennies or in kind was received for this post.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Never go shopping without a list

I have a shopping trolley. I got one with views from cities around the world on it; I didn't want to look too much like an old granny! The trolley has more than paid for itself since I bought it and has been fabulous for carrying all my loot home from food shopping. It's fantastic not to have to carry bags of shopping, I can just merrily wheel it along behind me.

As well as my trolley I never go shopping without a list. That way I end up buying what I actually need and want, rather than two bags full of random stuff that 'looks okay'.

Once I've checked my diary for the week and decided on what we're going to eat, based on what we're actually doing, I check the cupboards and the fridge and make a list of the ingredients I need to buy to be able to cook up the meals we want and have the packed lunches we need, anything I'm missing goes on the shopping list. Then I decide what fruit and extra treats we might want and then check on the sundries for kitchen, bathroom and toilet we might be low on.

With list and pen in hand (so I can mark stuff off as I buy it), I head to the supermarket, do the shopping I need, fill my lovely trolley and get back home sharpish (I don't really like food shopping).

Yes, of course I occasionally see an offer that's too good to resist or something that I think we'd really enjoy, so I'm not afraid to go off list now and then, but I find having a list and sticking to it really helps my budget and stops us wasting stuff by buying food we end of not eating.

What are your top tips for food shopping?

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Reasons to be cheerful - pulling it all together

This summer has been a fantastic one because now I'm working in a school again I've got to have the six week holiday and I've been able to use that time to get my house and garden organised, to catch up on some long neglected learning for my volunteer roles in Scouting and to spend some precious time with my son.

I know that when I go back to work next month I'll have strategies in place so that I won't be in complete overwhelm with a full-time job, writing, three volunteer roles and a house and family to look after.

The most important thing is that I now know when to say 'no', and I'm not afraid to do it, so I'm confident that I won't be over-stretching myself or burning myself out.

I'm really looking forward to the new academic year and the challenges and opportunities it's going to bring.
Reasons to be Cheerful