5 Tips for Saving When You Have A Baby

5 Tips for Saving When You Have A Baby

Having a healthy child is a huge blessing, and as a parent, you deserve to be celebrated. The only detriment
is that with the vast numbers of baby products in the market today, it can take a toll on your bank account.
It can be amazing to see how much it costs when you start buying all of the items your infant needs!
There are lots of different ways that will assist you to save money when you have a baby.
By implementing
a couple of strategic money saving strategies you will feel better about your financial situation, more
comfortable with the responsibility of having a child, and your bank account will reflect the positive choices
that you’ve made
#01. Avoid Formula and Breastfeed
One of the most heated discussions amongst parents is one the preference of breastfeeding vs. formula
feeding. While there might be lots of different opinions concerning the more nutritious option, it goes
without saying:
Breastfeeding is the most natural, organic and cheapest option.
Later on, after a while, some parents result in pumping, a convenient system that allows them to get back
to work without worrying about their kid’s lack milk. While pumping might sound expensive, and therefore
resulting in more spending, you will still come out ahead. Formula prices range depending on whether you
want powder, liquid, organic, or formulated for the babies with allergies. The point is, when you calculate
your costs at the end of the month, you will have spent more than 100 pounds a month.
#02. Make Your Own Baby Food
It can cost you more than 8 pounds a day if you are purchasing either regular or organic baby food from the
store. Instead of spending too much cash on these foods, you can try preparing your infant food. All you
have to do is get a standard blender to help you whip up a host of cheap and healthy meals. Some of the
most natural things to start with are nutrient-rich vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, and peas. Just
cook and
purée them until they reach a soft, smooth consistency. You will have not only a healthy baby but
also a fuller pocket.
#03. Get Double-Duty Items
Does your child need a crib and a Pack ‘n’ play? Does he require that stroller and a classic pram? It feels
good to give your child everything that you think they need, but you need to prioritise. According to Sam
from MovingBabies, choosing one of the best convertible car seats offers flexibility and peace of mind.
Rather than buying a one purpose item, it’s best to look for items that will
serve multiple purpose especially when it comes to larger ticket items. In addition to a convertible car seat that fulfils different
needs, instead of purchasing that classic crib, get yourself a Pack ‘n’ Play system, which gives you the
convenience of a bed when at home and also while traveling.
#04. Let Your Mom Friends and Family Help You Out
All around the world, moms are the most enthusiastic persons when it comes to babies and baby products.
They love to pay it forward, and they are usually excited to give you, their dearest newbie mom, the clothes
their baby wore for only two minutes. Hand-me-downs not only cement your friendship with these ladies
but it saves you up to $500 which you would have spent at
Gymboree.
#05. Save When You Shop
Some people are better at this than others. However, there is no denying that budgeting and shopping
according to the specials can help you save over the years.
You might also want to set up a new email
address and sign up for newsletters from your favourite stores, thus allowing you access to their daily
emails with discounts and sale notifications. It will help you not flood your email inbox as well as make it
easier to find the deals you want.
How you manage your money as a new parent can have a significant impact on your bottom line. Simple
steps like buying cloth diapers instead of disposable ones, breastfeeding rather than using baby formula,
and shopping smart can save you a lot of money every year.
It does not take much effort to save. You just
have to cut down on some of the fancy items you buy. Remember, being a great mom does not mean you
have to drain your bank account.
Inspired by James, from MyBestWorkBoots.com

budget kitchen

Post 4 on Victorian house renovation – kitchen extensions and finishing off

Previous posts are :

Our new house

Victorian house renovation – living rooms and starting hallway

Post 3 on Victorian house renovation – Hallway and bedrooms

Two and a half years later we have "finished" our main changes to the house. The kitchen extension is completed and I am loving it! We knocked the outside coal shed, and outside toilet down, removed the back wall of the house, then re-built it into our new kitchen / family room. We also built the salon on the side of the house.

I have been thinking a lot about storage recently, but read a brilliant quote online- "If you think you need more storage, then you probably need less stuff". So I have been having a massive de-clutter and in fact don't need any extra storage now.

The kitchen itself was done on a budget for a couple of reasons. 1. being I wasn't really sure what units I actually wanted and where. 2. I prefer my money to be spent on holidays and not stuff 3. Very important I have a young child that I wanted to enjoy the kitchen and not be shouted at her cutting on the solid wooden tops I liked haha!

budget kitchen

budget kitchen
Dining area
budget kitchen
wood burner
budget kitchen
Kitchen area
velux in kitchen
Velux in kitchen
cheap wooden floor
Wooden floor from Cushions in Norwich
dated kitchen
Our old kitchen - pic off Zoopla,

So the budget for kitchen was set low! I found second hand bits on Gumtree and spent hours trying to figure out where I wanted all the units. In the end we estimated it costed £300 (three hundred) for our budget kitchen. The kitchen doors are mostly solid oak doors I got for free off Gumtree. I sanded and painted them up. We got a few flatpack units and built them ourselves. This is extremely easy to do! The kitchen carcass for our sink was less than £40. If you are willing to purchase bits separately and do the bases yourself you can save a lot of money. We paid a local carpenter to fit the worktop for us, but put units together and designed it ourselves.

Wooden floor is planks from Cushions in Norwich. Worked out £400 for kitchen floor for materials. It's 25mm thick, so can be sanded and restored a lot before needing to be replaced.

I wanted a full cermanic sink, so found one secondhand off Gumtree for £30.

My husband wanted a Range master. This was extra at £250 including hood on ebay.

Kitchen tiles were £40 in sale at B&Q. I did this job. It's extremely easy to do. Only tricky part is cutting them around electric sockets. I used black grout in hope it would look cleaner for longer.

Middle room got finished with office under the stairs for Andy.

office understairsmiddle room in Victorian house

White floor didn't work in Jessica's room, so we sanded it back to wood. I am really pleased with the simple look of white walls and wooden floor. I aim to do this throughout now. Every 6 months I go through the house and touch up the areas which get dirty.

wooden floor white walls

My work room on side of building: Only 2 metres wide, but perfect for me. Toilet and utility room at the back.

beauty salon Norwich

Driveway done too ! Secondhand slabs used making it around £400 with materials and labour.

Overall I am really pleased. If I had done things different I would have project managed the extension myself getting specialised trade men in for each job.

Next project is to make the garden feel like a tiny oasis in Norwich city centre. Not an easy job when my daughter loves her ugly trampoline. The de-cluttering is helping loads as we are now going to downgrade the size of our shed.

 


Glamcor eyelash extensions

Which lighting to use during eyelash extension application?

There are loads of different brands of lighting available for applying eyelash extensions. Most of them are just variations of LED lighting. The most well known one is the Glamour light, it's a massive investment though at over £300! It's got a great reputation and people speak very highly of it. If money was no object I would definitely get one! I have listed a few different options on this blog for suit everyone's budget.

Glamcor eyelash extensions
Glamcor Light, Classic Elite

Personally I use a ring light with a magnifier in the middle very similar to the one I have linked to below. I use my reading glasses and look through this 5 x magnifier, so I am able to isolate the natural lash completely without any worry of missing any faint baby lashes hiding behind the natural lash before applying an eyelash extension.

If you struggle to apply eyelash extensions through a magnifier you can purchase an LED video light, which is what the Glamour light is. Personally I would recommend persevering with a magnifier, but if you really can't get on with one then LED video lights are great! Mains powered ones are the best. LED video lights have a dial on them for increasing and decreasing the brightness. It's best to go with daylight balanced ones, so there is less strain on your eye sight.

eyelash extension lightening.
My beauty salon with light above my couch. I also have a Velux window directly above my beauty couch.

You can get magnifier glasses which clip onto the front of your normal glasses or just magnifier glasses if you don't wear prescription glasses yet. These can be used along side an LED video light.

Dental surgeons and medical trained people tend to use loupes. If you get loupes from medical companies they are normally around £500 and made for your eyesight. Their loupes have an LED light attached to the middle of the glasses and a battery pack, which clips onto your trouser belt.

 

Eyelash extension lighting


How to stop biting your nails?

I feel this blog post might be a work in progress! My daughter Jessica just won't stop biting her nails and they are getting extremely sore. Please feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments

nail biting
Nail biting.

Things I've either tried, or had suggest so far have been:

  1. Treat! Reward chart with a nail polish as a treat at the end of the week
  2. Chewable jewerelly.
  3. Nasty tasting nail polish
  4. Keep hands occupied while watching telly etc. Fidget tools are great for this.
  5. Squeezable ball, mini puzzle or similar
  6. Promise to paint their nails once they are beautiful or treat them to a manicure.
  7. Make sure school is aware and other care givers
  8. Is it a learnt behaviour? Is someone else biting their nails around them? If yes this might need to be addressed first.
  9. Is anything causing child to be anxious? Starting new school?
  10. Buy books on keeping good hygiene to help educate young children. Children who bite their nails often get worms. Eggs get stuck under their nails.
  11. Hynoposis

Why am I so worried about nail biting?

Nail and cuticle biting can damage the fingers and leave permanent scars. It can also leave the skin open to infections. I have personally known a friend of mine to got blood poisoning (septicaemia) and ended up on an antibiotic drip in hospital. I think it's really important to try and stop your toddler/ children to stop doing this at a young age before the habit lies too deep.

Please feel free to comment on this blog with your own ideas.

Ways to stop biting nails


Books I read in 2017

Now Jessica is older and enjoying reading herself, I am able to be able to read again myself.

I pushed myself to be able to read on my kindle and haven't looked back!

I added the overdrive app and linked it to my local library, so I am able to enjoy some books for free. You just need your library card number to register with the app.

When I can't find the books I want on Overdrive I find them on Amazon and they are instantly added to my online bookshelf. I would say my favourite book this year was 'A boy made of blocks'. It's a great book about the difficulties of parenting with a child with autism it was a real eye opener for me and had me in stitches and tears throughout! Absolutely loved reading the amazing progress made by the young child and the progress of the father to being a great parent.

Products from Amazon.co.uk

Please feel free to comment below with any recommendations you have for me to read next.

 


plastic free Norwich

New years resolution - going plastic free

Hi,

It's been a while since I last really blogged. I have been busy with work and family life. This blog is all about going plastic free, or at least creating less waste. It's shocking that all the plastic ever made is still on earth! It takes over 300 years to decompose

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year. This year mine and Jessica's (plus Andy being dragged into it) new years resolution is to use less plastic. It's great how it's been high-lighted in the media so much now. It's going to be a gentle move over to more recyclable items. I personally see no point in getting rid of items we already own and Jessica is adamant that Lego isn't to be included in this new years resolution hehe! We mostly buy second hand, so I'm justifying it that way! I have seen wooden "Lego" bricks before, but as most eco friendly items seem to be it costs a fortune! Our biggest problem is going to be the supermarket for going plastic-free and I begrudge paying loads more to be environmentally friendly. Don't get me wrong I don't mind spending slightly more, but seems daft to spend a great deal more and unfair.

plastic free Norwich
Plastic free Norwich

In the salon I am aiming for a plastic free shelf! I moan about Tesco enough that I feel I should take the first move. It's not going to be easy. I currently have in bulk nail varnish remover, I am able to do refills on that if you have your own bottle. I need to have a really good think about what I am going to stock. Please note I am not an open salon. It's by appointment only. I am not an open shop.

.Jessica is in her final year of infants school now and going to be doing for first SATS this year! Not that we have told her she has exams. Her school is great and they are very laid back about them, so the kids shouldn't even be a aware they are taking them.

Last year I de-cluttered the house and cut back on our spending as our new year resolution. It's been great and now just feels natural. I am amazed by how many people have no idea how much they spend on food a month! I still have a lot more de-cluttering to do sadly.

Chat soon,

Liz

Here are a few of my fav alternatives to plastic items. Most of them remind me of childhood.

 

 

Plastic free Norwich UK


5 Important Winter Care Beauty Products You Should Use

5 Important Winter Care Beauty Products You Should Use

Winter is not the most energetic of the seasons and it can be especially harsh here in Britain. The rain and the wind not only hurt your morale, they can cause a bit of havoc on your skin and hair as well. If there’s ever a season to look after yourself, then it’s definitely winter.

The good news is you don’t have to spend hours pampering your skin and hair or throw money at expensive products and treatments to look good. There are great winter care beauty products out there that help you maintain a radiant and healthy skin and hair.

So, if you want to make sure you survive this winter, these are the five important winter care beauty products to use.

1. A proper moisturiser

Moisturising your skin is always important but it’s definitely a crucial part of your beauty regime in the winter. The problem is the dry and harsh air that will put your skin under more stress – you’re constantly going from cold air to hot indoors air. What many people get wrong is they assume the same moisturiser they use in the summer to also work in the winter. This is often not the case but you need to opt for something more moisturising even if your skin is slightly on the oily side.

There are plenty of good moisturisers out there. Green People is a great organic brand to try – the moisturiser is free from parabens, lanolin, alcohol, artificial perfumes and colourants, making it suitable for those with skin problems such as eczema.

2.A good protecting serum

Another way of adding moisture to your skin and protecting it from the elements is with a serum. Serums come in all shapes and sizes – they can help with targeted problems such as dimples or dark circles under the eyes or help you keep your skin looking radiant and young.

For the winter season, Neal’s Yard Frankincense Intense Lift Serum is a great pick. It’s a relaxing and calming aroma with a sweet lavender-like fragrance. It’s definitely a great product to put on at night, helping your skin look brighter and to feel smoother in the morning. Neal’s Yard has other lovely serums to keep in mind as well – if you have a particular problem you want to tackle, pick something to help you with it.

3. A soothing lip balm

The harsh weather conditions can cause havoc on your lips. If you are a regular user of lipstick and your lipsticks don’t have a moisturising effect, you might find them peeling and cracking during the winter. A good, soothing lip balm is a good idea to help your lips feel and look healthier.

Yes to Coconut Cooling Lip Oil is worth looking into. It has a lightweight formula,which adds a tiny touch of shine to your lips without wearing them down. Another good option is the Bioderma Atoderm Lip Moisturising Stick – it’s nothing fancy but does the job well.

4. A purifying cleanser

Your face will have to deal with a lot during winter months. You’ve probably indulged in a lot of tasty (yet sugary!) treats over Christmas and perhaps even drank a few extra glasses of mulled wine. The air is filled with different types of toxins and pollution and your poor skin has to deal with all of this. It’s important to pay attention to your cleanser and to pick something that really gets to those pores and removes all the dead skin and dirt from your face.

However, you can’t pick a cleanser that’s too harsh. Your skin is going through a lot in these months so you need something gentle but purifying. Two good options to consider are the Antipodes Grapeseed Butter Cleanser and The Organic Pharmacy’s Carrot Butter Cleanser. You can find both products online at Feel Unique, for example.

5. A relaxing and warming mask

Now, you do need a bit of pampering during winter. The weather can be dull, the nights are dark and summer seems so far away. Luckily, you can always attend a relaxing beauty treatment or simply pamper your face at home with a facemask.

A relaxing mask will give your skin time to rest and rejuvenate. You definitely want to pick something soothing and warming, as it’s the perfect way to prepare your skin for the cold air outside. So, consider checking out the Balm Balm Hibiscus Face Mask. It has a glorious fragrance to it and you get a lot of masks out of the bottle – you will have to mix the actual mask yourself each time. Grab a book, make a cup of tea, and just sit and relax.

The above five winter care beauty products will help your face stay healthy and happy over the dark and cold days. You can find discounts for the products with different beauty retailers through VoucherBin and can help yourself to save from winter hazards on a budget.

So, treat yourself and your skin. A good beauty regime over the winter will guarantee you look glorious during summer too!

Sponsored by Swapnil K, Marketing Analyst, VoucherBin


Eco cleaning recipes for sensitive skin

A huge chunk of human population share the same annoying condition which can prevent them from enjoying life to the fullest. It’s related to the biggest organ in the human body – the skin. Sensitive skin is something we have to deal with and manoeuvre around on a daily basis. From surprising rashes after trying a new moisturizing crème to random irritation and extreme dryness with cracking and even bleeding, abnormal sensory symptoms are hard to ignore. Store-bought cleaning products often contain various toxic and harmful chemicals, which can irritate and make even people with normal skin itchy, let alone those with the sensitive type.
In an attempt to alleviate this suffering, we’ll be sharing some ideas with you. When setting on the journey of DIY and skin-friendly cleaning products, three items should be always on your mind. They are baking soda, vinegar, and lemons. These are nature’s degreasers and disinfectants, and when combined with water they are capable of turning every stubborn stain and splatter into a distant memory.
Kitchen spray/Window cleaner
An easy recipe to start with is the one used for disinfecting your stove top, kitchen countertops and anywhere else. Its natural ingredients will keep the space where the magic happens squeaky clean and safe for your health. What you need for this concoction is one cup water, one cup white vinegar, 40 drops of essential oil of your choice and two tablespoons of rubbing alcohol. We need the rubbing alcohol to spread the oils in the water – we don’t want them floating on top and demanding a good shake before use. Tenancy Cleaning London suggests to mix the ingredients in a spray bottle, apply to a surface and wipe off with cloth. Enjoy bacteria free kitchen!
If you remove the essential oil of the equation, you can also use this spray to clean and polish windows, glass table tops and cupboard doors. Stainless steel can also benefit from it, but always make sure you read your appliance manual before using the spray on it.
Oven deep cleaning 
Starting with our three trusty friends, we spray the oven walls with a water-vinegar solution. A good ratio is 1/3 vinegar and 2/3 water. Powder baking soda and make sure you generously cover the more stubborn splatters. Then it’s time for the course salt sprinkling, right on top of the baking soda – this will fortify its degreasing powers. To seal it all spray again with the water-vinegar solution. Now it’s a waiting game, while you enjoy the low sizzling sound of the vinegar and the baking soda interacting. For best results, let it sit overnight. On the next day just scrub it carefully with a steel wool and you’ll see how easily all the buildup disappears. This proven recipe is one of the most effective eco ones and your skin will be more than thankful for ditching harsh chemicals.
Vinegar in the bathroom
№1 problem in the bathroom is mould and it’s something inevitable, when we are talking about a place where moisture can linger for longer amounts of time. Luckily, removing it is the easiest task when you put vinegar to good use. Spray it directly on the affected spots and let it do its magic. The acids will dissolve and completely get rid of the stubborn bacteria. As you know, it can linger and resurface later in time, but this won’t be the case after our vinegar total ambush.  And all this sans hard to pronounce ingredients.
Inspired by Demi at GMX

Seven year anniversary as Elizabeth Smith Beauty

It's seven years today, 12th September, that I started my adventure working self-employed as Elizabeth Smith Beauty and I haven't looked back! It's a career I love and works perfectly around my daughter's schooling.

I would like to thank my clients who have been with me since the very start. I really appreciate their loyalty, because of their loyalty my books have actually been closed to new clients for just over a year now, but I am hoping to be able to see new clients for skincare and threading soon. I will, however, always limit the amount of eyelash extension clients I have as these people have regular appointments they need to keep up the look. My existing clients are my priority.

In the future I see me continuing to concentrate on lashes, threading and facial treatments as my main interest.  The link between diet and skin care fascinates me. Having recently removed cow's milk from my diet I have personally seen a massive improvement. It's extremely interesting how food intolerance affect your health. I am NVQ City and Guild qualified and regularly on the look out for more courses. I have trained in something new every year.

Tonight I will be raising a glass with my husband to celebrate!

 

 

 

 


Afternoon tea Norwich

Where is the best afternoon tea in Norfolk?

The popularity of the traditional afternoon tea has risen over the past few years, despite it's origins being in the 1800s, it's something that has never gone away, and for good reason. Traditionally served late afternoon it's a meal consisting of either tea or coffee and a selection of sandwiches and cakes. The classic being a cucumber sandwich! It's normal to have selection of different sandwiches such as cucumber, smoked salmon, egg, cheese with pickle and beef with horse radish. Sweet desserts are normally sweet scones as well as miniature brownies and Panna Cotta. It's not that unheard of to have a savoury scone as well. It's usually finished off with fresh strawberries and garnished with salad leaves.

Afternoon tea is getting more and more popular in Norfolk, but where is the best? With more and more places offering it and trying to stand out from the crowd I have put a list together of some of the restaurants and cafes that offer amazing cakes local to me in Norwich. Most places offer upgrades of champagne etc. A lot of places are now catering for gluten-free options and other dietary requirements.

I am on a quest to find the best cakes and selections on offer. Please feel free to comment on this blog with your own recommendations. I am happy to add them! This blog is very much a working project I will come back to it and tweak it from time to time. The prices of these afternoon tea options are of Summer 2017 the time of posting this blog.

 

Afternoon tea at Imagine Spa in the Norfolk countryside. August 2017

List of restaurants and cafes offering Afternoon tea and cakes in Norfolk. The prices I have included are for full Afternoon tea not including extras such as champagne etc.

Assembly House in Norwich city £19.95 each person
Barnham Broom in Norfolk £15.95 each
Bidddy's tea rooms - £13.95 each
Byfords Holt £14.95
Cafe Britannia £11.95 each. I adore the idea of of this cafe. It's run by offenders from the prison making them less likely to re-offend when they are are released.
Dunston Hall £20 each
Harriets Cafe Tearooms £19.95
Imagine Spa at Blofield - Read my personal review here - Divine Afternoon tea at Imagine Spa £16.95 each
Number 17 in Norwich
Patisserie Valerie - Norwich city centre
Sprowston Manor

Afternoon tea Norwich
Afternoon tea with bubbles at the Assembly House in Norwich - Dec 2016

 

Afternoon tea in Norwich, Norfolk