Monday, 28 October 2013

Saving money on utility bills

With the heavy storm that hit us through the night and today I think I can say the winter has arrived with a bang.
If you haven’t started preparing for winter now is a good time to begin, as the weather is changing as we move through the days and weeks ahead. It is good to plan ahead of time for the extra cold or stormy, blustery days that await us.

So if not done already you should have started getting your winter clothes out now, and put the summer clothes away. A good way of storing them is in vacuum bags, best things invented as they help to make room and don’t use up too much space.
To help save money also during the winter is plan ahead for Halloween, fireworks night and for Christmas and start putting your lists and plans together ready for the eventful days ahead, so you know what you are buying for what, and remember to have a budget and stick to the budget the best you can.

The energy rates is going up again this year if you haven’t already heard and so if you are worried then I would start thinking about switching now if you wish too, but there are ways to save money on electric and gas, still if you decide not to switch, such as:

-          Don’t leave lights on in rooms that are not being used.

-          Any appliances that you can turn off when not using then turn them off, as even though the items are not on, electricity will still be running through them if on at the mains, so turn off.

-          If you have central heating, have the heating set to come on, on certain times, example if you work during the day have the heating on 30-15 minutes before your wake up time, as this will help you to get up easier especially in the winter when it is extra cold in the mornings. Have the heating turned off at the time you leave for work, and then turned back on one the approximate time you are back home from work. Then turn off at the time you go to bed.

-          Use small lamp lights instead of main room lights (which switch on via the wall) as they use up more energy in a room than a small lamp plugged into the mains.
Start stocking up for winter, and no this is not the same as hoarding completely different. You don’t have to go overboard but start getting tins of soup, boxes of cuppa soups, frozen vegetables and meats so you can make those hearty stews and casseroles, and frozen food lasts longer so if you don’t fancy going out when it is bitterly cold then you have some food stored ready to be cooked.

The points you have gained from shopping cards, such as nectar points, Tesco club points can start being used towards your shopping your winter shop so you can have a free shop when you like to.
I stock up on toiletries aswell such as showers gels, shampoos, toilet rolls, toothpastes, spare toothbrushes and cleaning products, that have long use by dates and they are kept (the items that are stored for when we need to use them) in our shed in our garden so we don’t have to go far should we need something, and again in the winter we won’t need to go out to get anything, and being pregnant this year it is essential that I have everything I need ready so the months ahead where I can’t go far I won’t need to.

Start donating or having a clear out: Any clothes from last winter that don’t fit, or shoes that have seen better days, then it is time to donate or dispose, and create two piles for both. You can at your local recycling centre still take clothes and shoes you wish to dispose of for recycling bins. To find your local recycling centre check under your local authority.
If you drive start getting the anti-freeze and ice scraper out, and plan your mornings ahead ready to defrost your car so you can still be at work in plenty of time. Or to save money when it is cold why not get the public transport if possible and if you are in London get an Oyster Card which are really cheap now about £5.00 and then top up as you go, and this will save you money on petrol and time in the mornings when it is extra cold and don’t want to get up extra to defrost the car. However as the public transport seems to come to a halt and have problems during bad stormy or snowy weather make sure you check and plan your journey away ahead of time.

Turn off the hot water when not using it. Depending on what system you have, we had a boiler in our last place which we could turn the hot water off during the day when we weren’t using it, and now we have switches for the shower for example which we use to turn off, and so again saves us money. Also don’t need to wash up all day, just wash up 2-3 times a day, in the morning, after lunch or dinner and or do all before you go to bed at night, and then put away the next morning.
Create a winter fund, start putting a fund together for the winter days which can be used towards bills, shopping or Christmas. I do one for Christmas, our expected baby, shopping and holidays.

I put my money into certain accounts aswell to pay off certain bills.

Protect your money and be aware of scams online. In the winter you may shop more online like I do, and so do be vigilant when buying online, don’t use easy guessing passwords but ones which are hard to guess, as I have been a victim of fraud online and it is not nice, and if you do suspect anything contact your bank and report it to your bank. When it did happen to me I was refunded and you should be too but it just a pain when it happens as you have to then change your card details too.
When it is dark and you are out or running, make sure you wear something bright so cars can easily see you. I have seen a lot of people when I used to go running wearing dark clothes when it is dark and in Epsom there are a lot of main roads, and a car isn’t necessarily going to see you when it is dark.

If you do walk home from work when it is dark make sure you have your mobile on fully charged and are alert, don’t have headphones on, as you won’t be aware of who is around and it is best you stay alert as someone could jump out on you and use it as an opportunity to attack you. People think it will never happen to them, but it can especially if you make yourself vulnerable, and they can see you aren’t paying attention.
When it is cold outside use it as a way of having a girls or guys night in, and instead of going out spending money why not save money and have a few drinks indoors. In my mind you are never too old for a sleep over and it is good way of catching up with other people without being surrounded by loads of other people you don’t know, you won’t have no queuing to be served at the bar and can play music you like and at the level you want so you can still have a good conversation without having to shout over some load no tune music. You can play music that you and your friends like instead of music you don’t like.

Use winter to organize and tidy other areas, such as kitchen draw, your bathroom cabinet or change your bed clothes and have a change around, so it will help refresh you and put on the extra warm duvet quilt or blankets ready, and make your room seasonal so you have duvet covers for the different seasons.
So even though the nights are darker and it is dreary and cold, if you like me suffer with SAD, it is a great opportunity to help reduce those feelings and make winter just as lovely as summer.

Many thanks for reading,

Carrie X

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Organizing time for your friends.

Yesterday I had a real good catch up with some friends I have known since I was a young child and we’ve all grown up together, my friends mum and my mum and my mums friends daughter I grew up together. We always would hang out and meet as kids, and even went on holidays together when we were younger. However as time moved on and we started having our own lives we stopped seeing each other as much, as life has it, but we always make sure we meet at least once a year if possible, and this inspired me to write this blog.
Sometimes we get so caught up with our daily routines, going to work, taking the kids to school, picking up shopping, meeting the better half and then when we get home we start to cook dinner and clean, along with other chores in the home; that we sometimes can forget our friends, and before you know it feels so long since you last contacted them or saw them, that it would feel strange just calling them out of the blue.

Catching up with friends even if it is once or twice a year or every few months, is healthy because you are seeing someone different and it is great to have a catch up once in a while, what they’ve been up to and what they’re doing with themselves now, and then what you’ve been doing.
My friends for a long time were my survival when things at home were tough, and I couldn’t have got through those times without them, and so it is important to me that I stay in touch with them.

So what I tend to do when it comes to meeting friends is I always pre-arrange a day to meet up, and stick to that day, if I know I am definitely going to be free on that day. Sometimes you may need to cancel if something else crops us (see my previous blog on what to do is something crops up); Or my friends may cancel as one has a little boy and sometimes if he has had a bad night then she will say sorry but not able to make it, but then we arrange another set day, and we always know we will meet up at some point, and don’t leave it for too long.

Making space to meet up with friends can be hard but even if it is for an hour having a coffee then that is still making time. Never try to arrange too much if it going to be impossible, but remember that making time for friends gives you some me time and them time aswell, as it is a release sometimes to chat with friends about the goings on in your life, instead of seeing the same person every day or the same four walls, so it is important that friends are not forgotten and will be there for you, if you are there for them.
Send them a text now again just to check how they are, and let them know you’re ok and that you are thinking of them and you will meet up with them soon. When you say that do so and say to them, let me know when you are free so we can meet, and that is opening that next meeting straight away, and if they don't respond don't hassle them but send another text a couple of week or month check your diary select a date or weekend your free and ask are you free on such and such a weekend? Would you like to meet and catch up then? Once that is done they will respond if they are good friends and will either say no or yes, if they can't then check your diary and suggest another weekend, and comprise on a date that suits you all.

Many thanks for reading,

Carrie X









Friday, 18 October 2013

Kitchen Pantry Organization

Today I organized my kitchen pantry as it was jam packed and had cluttered up, so I organized it so it is now a lot easier to find items and take items out and put back.

This is the before shot, (see picture below on the left) the top shelf did have teabags but it was only after I cleared the top shelf that I remembered to take picture.
Before picture
Tea draw

So all my Teabags went into a kitchen draw to make  create more space and we do have a lot of different types of tea that it made sense to put in draw as we do drink tea daily. We also have a jar o decaf coffee out too as we tend to have a decaf before bed time, for some reason it helps me to sleep.

As I did each shelf I used some flash all-purpose spray and a wet cloth to clean the shelves and then separated the shelves into categories.

The first shelf I put all the other type of hot drink refills and sachets on to the shelf organized first, and other items we mainly have for breakfast or as a snack.  
Then all my baking ingredients I use on the 2nd shelf, and this carried on to the next shelf with my cake decorations, dessert sauces and creams and oils.


The next shelf all sauces and extra ingredients for dinners; some boxes of cuppa soups, rice and gravy granules.
Then below all tinned items that we use for dinners and lunches, and I separated on the right what Elv (my husband) mainly has when he comes home for lunch and the right what we use to make our even meals with in the middle and on the right of this shelf.
Then the next shelf is a container with sachets for making casseroles and stock cubes, next to that some spaghetti; then in the larger container is all herbs and species and next to that some prawn crackers which I will be having with my meal tonight.
Then you will see the after shot of a more organized, decluttered pantry.
Didn't take long at all, and now I feel more at ease that it is tidier.
Makes all the difference when you can take something of the shelf without something else falling on the floor after it.

I then organized the whole kitchen and gave it a complete deep clean, just go to do the floor which I will steam clean, I will do a blog and take pictures of my entire kitchen organization once completely done. 
I hope this will help you, if you have an area or want a better organized pantry and kitchen.
Many thanks for reading,
Carrie X


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

My new home organization- a fresh start and bigger space.

So I have now moved into my new home not far from our previous place just the other side of Epsom near the hospital, but it is nice to have a fresh start and a bigger space.

I am going to share some of the furniture and storage organization I have used so far for my new home. The house organization and interior is not fully complete yet but getting there slowly but surely.
So the first thing I bought was storage for the bathroom, and purchased a 5 Drawers Slim Storage Trolley on wheels as I thought this was great, because if I do need to move this to another room I can, and our bathroom is in our new home pretty small so it fits perfectly.

This storage draw unit was purchased from Argos for £27.98, and I ordered this online for delivery which took less than 5 days, it is great because I can separate it out, originally I had my make up in the draws on top, but these have been moved to my chest of draws in mine and Elv (my husband) bedroom. But now I have on top a spare bottle of handwash, suncreams, and moisturisers for my face, in the first draw I have medicines and supplements, 2nd draw I have my hair removing products, such as creams, spare cartridges for my current razor, the 3rd draw is body moisturisers, 4th draw spare roll on deodorants and the last draw spare toothpastes and toilet brushes.
I then have near and around the bath 2 chrome bathroom units, which I bought from Sainsbury’s for just £3.99 each, and keep our current products we are using for showering, bathing and hair washing, and great as we can grab as we are having our morning or even shower, bath or wash.
(see picture of these two chrome units below)
Then in the  picture on the right which is below the sink I have a large toiletry bag from Boots, which is made by Soap and Glory (see picture below) this holds all spare shampoos and shower gels.
Then on the window sill I have another small drawer storage unit which you can see on the left as you are looking at the picture, and this holds travel size shampoos, moisturisers and shower gels, which I keep for when we travel.
The top draw of this unit I have spare face and body scrubs, foot creams and other moisturisers that I use.

We will be adding some more storage to the bathroom just to clear those last bits on top of the draw unit and on the windowsill but haven’t decided on what I would like yet but that is all it needs and then the bathroom is practically done.
Spare towels are kept in mine and my husband’s room in a built in unit in a storage bin.
Then in our bedroom we still have lots to add and have planned to order more furniture to the bedroom next week or so. We are not going for usual bedside units this time instead my husband is going to have Ottoman to put his clothes he wears for work in and then he will have a fitted shelf beside his bed so he can put his other bits and bobs and probably have a longer shelve which will be the width of our bed at the top of our bed, I will have beside my bed a cubed storage unit, with bins as I am soon to be a mum and so I want to be able to just reach for baby changing items, and keep my reading material and journals near my bed too.
We have been lucky in the rooms as we have built in wardrobes, and so I have the one in our bedroom and my husband has the one in the guest room, which we both agreed on.
This is my chest of draws in the picture above, which I am using as kind of dressing table, bedside that there is a tall mirror which was here when we moved in, so great to have but I will be making this once I have another draw unit into a proper dressing table for myself or I may get the dressing table that matches the chest of draws, but not sure on that yet. This draw unit was from Argos for the price of £62.99, and I had to wait about 10 days or so for delivery but worth the wait.
As you can see I have my large make up bag on top in a storage bin, with some nail varnish remover, another black make up case and my makeup brushes. I have borrowed the lamp you see for the time being from my mum but this will change aswell; I currently use this for when I read but the room before I go to bed but it can still be quite dark once the main light is off so I will eventually have one on the chest of draws, and one near my bed.
In the bags you see I have gifts which I keep and has saved me some money this year as I have been able to use some items I have previously bought as gifts as Christmas presents this year, and the other bag has our hair care equipment in.
In the draws, the 1st draw has the rest of my makeup, my smaller makeup bags, make up sponges, cotton pads, nail varnish, spare hand creams and a travel make up brush set.
The 2nd draw has my underwear and socks, the 3rd my t-shirts, vest tops and pyjamas.  
In the next photo below the table you see is what I am using as a bedside table at the moment which has my roll on deodorant, my body spray, the current hand cream I am using, night spray and my stretch mark cream, which is essential at the moment as I am expecting my first child in January. I also keep some cleansing wipes to remove make up and when it is warm weather I use these to freshen up and cool me down and some wet wipes.

Here (see photo below) is the built in cupboard in our bedroom, which keeps our spare bedding at the moment but they will be moved, as we have a bed in spare room which has storage underneath, and I will go into this another time, as the guest room needs to be changed around completely and want to do a separate blog for our guest room once it is completely finished, but for now the spare bedding in a brown storage bin in the cupboard, our spare towels in the other bin, and then some more bathroom/toiletry items, in green basket is spare sanitary towels, in the blue, beige and pink cosmetic bag I have spare hair bands and a shower cap and in the pink toiletry bag some spare perfumes, creams and deodorants.
If you see the blue little wash bag next to the pink one, I keep samples of shampoos and shower gel and creams, such as the ones you get in magazines, spare shower caps and soaps. This I do take away with me with my walking pharmacy and mine and my husband’s joint travel toiletry bag.
Great thing to have and we never have to buy any when we go away.


In the picture above is my hanging storage unit, supposedly a show rack but I have used it for other items as well as storing my flip flops I still left out when the weather was still quite warm, a few pairs of flat shoes, which I don’t wear all the time only for going out, but I also keep my scarfs, gloves, spare body sprays, my England flag, belts and spare travel hair brush in the little pockets too.  
I would recommend this product and I am planning on getting something of this nature for the guest room but slightly different. The one you see in picture is from Sainsbury’s for the price of £8.00.
The bag on the outside of the door you see I keep my PJ’s in that I am currently wearing for night time.  
Then looking further inside my built in closet, not the biggest of spaces but still helps the need on not spending money on a wardrobe, I have put in our bathroom corner unit we had in there, as it doesn’t fit into the bathroom I use this to put spare pocket tissues, and bubble baths on.

I have cleared the top of this wardrobe out as there is a storage bit at the top, which is not shown in picture but I will keep some items in there, but not sure what as of yet.
Again still needs some changes made but works for me at the moment.

I have put all the shoes and clothes I am not currently able to wear away in vacuum bags and storage bags in our shed in our back garden, which is always locked when we don’t need to go in there.
I have some new shoes bought in my wardrobe my Doctor martin shoes I bought when I went away to Skegness, which I still need to break into as they can pinch at first, and then my ruck sack which I use for shopping.

Next to my wardrobe on the write I have my boot storage unit, but this will be changed to and probably will go into either the guest room or shed.
However our bedroom is getting there, as we can’t afford a whole chunk of stuff at the moment we are having to do it bit by bit.

Then downstairs in the hallway we keep our jackets we are currently wearing along with our shoes and boots we are wearing at the moment, again this won’t stay like this as we will get a proper storage unit for our shoes and boots, but we are using for some a storage bin, and then box you see is for items to be donated until we can get an alternative. You will see an unopened package, this is to be returned is in the package is a BT TV box and hub, but because BT had messed us around with getting it all installed this is to be sent back, as we now have sky TV and broadband.
Then lastly here is our sitting room some furniture we have kept, but again is a working progress but slowly but surely getting there.
Once I have done this room up better I will go into more details of what we store in each place and have it a bit more organized.
When moving into a new home don’t worry about doing it all up at once, as long as you have the essentials then these will get you by and then you slowly create the rooms how you want as you go.
Many thanks for reading,
Carrie X

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Cooking and writing is my therapy

Some people use yoga and meditation, people play golf or paint art, listening to music, but for me therapy is not just exercising and listening to music and meditating, but I have also found that writing and cooking for me is too like therapy to me, cooking is not just a chore.
I love to write and cook, especially when I add my own touches to a recipe and it works out. Developing a story and making it grow.
I have made some mistakes when cooking and I am not one to boast about grammar, but for me I write and cook from the heart, and that to me is what is important, keeping it real and honest.
My Nan was my biggest influence when it came to cooking, and my untie Fai would teach me a few things too, when I stayed at hers sometimes. I always liked writing even at school.
I wouldn’t exactly call me Nigella Lawson and I don’t think Delia Smith will be feeling threatened by my cooking anytime soon, and I don’t think JK Rowling has anything to worry about, but when I am in the kitchen cooking or sitting and writing a blog or story it gives me something else to focus on and I love being creative, and creating a fictional story is great as it like watching a movie or reading a book it takes me away from reality for a while, and I think that is the secret when you use things for therapy it’s about turning off the norm and going into the fantasy land of cooking and storytelling.
There is nothing like making a good homemade soup, but last Friday the one I made wasn’t my best and I did beat myself up about it, as I am if I am going to be a completely honest a perfectionist, but that is good because it will help me to make sure the next soup I make is one of my best. Like when I first started to exercise and keep fit, I am learning each time I cook and write. I know what not to do next time; how I can make it so it meet with my taste buds? And that to me is another key thing to cooking, it is finding what is right for your taste buds, the same as writing is finding what I like to write about and read about.
Sometimes you can get mixed views when it comes to writing and also cooking, I have not made a meal for my friends or family yet or read them any of my stories, but would like to cook them all a meal I just need to learn to be more confident to do so, and make it special. I do lack confidence even though I know I can cook and write I just need to believe in myself a bit more.
Developing new ideas
I also like creating and developing new ideas, but the problem I have is my mind will jump from one idea to another and before I know it I have too many ideas that I don’t know where to start; this is where I have learned to organize and plan, and write out the ideas so I will remember them and I can always come back to them once I have completed my first idea.
If you wish to get into cooking and being more creative in the kitchen then my first tip is to keep it basic at the beginning, don’t run before you can walk. This is how I have improved my cooking and baking, because instead of taking huge steps I have taken little ones, which has helped me to learn new recipes and ideas, so then I can be more ambitious. Tip for writing, write about things you know about and think of events that have happened in your life that you can use in a story.
When writing jot it down don’t wait for it to slip you mind, don’t worry if you think it’s rubbish at first, just write it down then you can edit and change it as you like. Write for 10 to 15 minutes a day will help you get started and keep writing then edit it only a few times once you have done a page or edit once you have completed a chapter.
When cooking my 2nd tip is to read the recipe 3 or 4 times or even 6 to 7 times if you wish to, so it stays stuck in your mind and get all your ingredients prepared first and then read again on mixing the ingredients together and cooking details to complete the recipe.
Don’t mix time consuming with difficult, there are some meals that can take a bit of time to do but can be fairly easy once you have prepped and made the recipe a few times. Some meals can be very quick to do but can take a little longer to cook, but doesn’t mean it is difficult it’s like anything different recipes take different amounts of time to prepare and to cook, but doesn’t make them hard work.
Cutting corners
There is nothing wrong in my opinion with cutting corners, I still buy tubs of homemade soup and tinned, and still by a jar of curry sauce to save time, but then I will make a dessert instead, or I will make some croutons or some homemade garlic bread for example to go with it.
If you have a busy lifestyle then sometimes it’s must to cut corners, but you can still add your own touches to a meal for example, if I am having a roast dinner I will make a dressing to go over the meat whilst it cooks, or I will make my own roast potatoes, and use tinned peas and carrots. Who says I can’t?
Sometimes the most simplest and quickest of meals are the best. For example this Friday my husband’s away to Southampton for his brothers birthday, which I won’t be going as I know they will be having a pub crawl and being pregnant don’t fancy it this time, but I decided rather than buy a Chinese takeaway I would make my own. So I bought some diced meat, broccoli and carrots, beansprouts, some chow mein sauce, some rice which I will make my own egg fried rice with and some spare ribs, with prawn crackers on the side. I may decide to eat this in bed or watch a DVD downstairs, but veg out for the night.
So I am not exactly making my own Chinese meal but I making my own version in the respect that saves me money as it will be cost friendly compared to a takeaway and I am still doing a little to add my own touches which suits me and I may also do some writing over the weekend whilst my husband’s away to keep me occupied, who knows.
All I say is if you want to cook and write, which you too may feel therapeutic then be my guest and if you want to cut corners go one, who’s going to know and people don’t really care.
I will be adding some recipe ideas and pictures of my cooking soon and some more writing tips too so please watch this space.
Many thanks for reading,
Carrie X

Monday, 14 October 2013

Something that crops up.

So today we had my step dad nephew sort out our electric, and that was fine as this was planned yesterday, and at the time I had nothing else expected to do that I needed to go out for, but I can planned to do some blogging and other work on my computer.

But as I do plan my weeks ahead I set out what I will do each week. However after filling in a form for maternity leave, is see that the midwife had put the wrong address on my MatB1 so I had to change my plan and go out to the doctors to have this changed. Also my husband was due to come home just after 11am but because he had to cover for the other caretaker who was doing some errands for the school they work for, he only managed to come back for work for an hour.

So what do you do when something unexpected crops up and you have made other plans?

Well of course it depends what it is, but if it is maintenance on the house and you need a plumber to come out asap, then if your other plans are not so important then of course arrange for the plumber to come as soon as he can, and once he has been then do the other bits you’ve planned to do afterwards. Remember though that you are only one person so you can’t be expected to do 25 things at once, but write out your plan and workout what is most important so what must be completed on the day and what can be put aside for tomorrow or whenever you have another free slot in the week.
If for example you have a doctor’s appointment booked, which was booked a week or so ago and you need a plumber or electrician to come out, then remember that tradesmen, ie. Electrician, plumber, you are paying them to do the service so they have to work around what is best for you, so tell them that “I have another appointment at 3pm so I can’t be expected to stay in the whole day when can you come out to sort out my problems? I will need for you to come out before my other appointment then or after”. If you have an early doctor’s appointment, for example, then I would recommend to arrange for the servicemen to come after your doctor’s appointment in the morning.
Tell them that “My other appointment cannot be changed so you will need to come out when I can be at home for you to fix my problem” give yourself enough time to get back as if your appointment is say 9am and you have to get a bus to the doctors and then back, which can take half an hour, arrange for the servicemen to come out an hour and half or so afterwards. Don’t think you have to work around their clock.

What if you have an expected delivery is coming and now the company who has arranged the delivery for you rings to say that they not able to deliver on that date already arranged, but the other days the company suggests for delivery, you have arranged to meet with friends or you have planned a meeting with the bank manager for example and they cannot be put off?

Remember who has paid for that delivery, YOU and so the company will again have to work around you, don’t let them to take control and arrange it around themselves.

Most furniture companies will use independent delivery companies and so the deliveries will be schedule by the delivery company but not the company who has sold you the product. However if they have said “Ok, we can’t do Monday now as planned but we can reschedule for Tuesday” you check your diary and Tuesday morning is fine,  ask them what time can you expect the delivery, and they will have gap times, example 8am to 1pm. If that time is not good for you, ask when is the next slot the item can be delivered in, as usually the will have a morning delivery slot time and afternoon/evening slot. Choose what is best for you. If they say they are going to delivering between 8am to 1pm, which you have agreed on, and nothing arrives say by 12noon, get onto the delivery firm or company the items was bought from and chase the delivery then, don’t wait until 1pm or 2pm when you have an appointment at 3pm, as they can’t expect for you to be in all day and they should have delivered between the time they have agreed on.

Ask them (either the company who sold you the item or the delivery company) where the deliverymen are and how far are they, it could be that they are lost in which case you can then provide directions, or it could be that they are stuck in traffic but least then you know, and then you can decide on what to do, if you are not happy with waiting another hour tell them, it’s your right then they will have to arrange for another day of delivery which is best for you.

If they say they will be an hour late, and you wish to complain then do so, as most of the time you have to pay not just for the item itself but for the delivery too. Remember you are the paying customer so you don’t have to agree with anything. If the company has arranged for the delivery service to be delivered between 8am and 1pm then they should meet that promise.

Another tip when we expect a delivery we always ask for the company to pass our telephone numbers to the delivery service, to make sure they ring us at least 20 to 30 minutes before hand, just in case you do need to pop out and you know you can as they haven’t phoned you yet. Also if you work close to home, why loose a day’s pay or use up a day’s holiday when you don’t need too?

If they call you and hour or 30 minutes before and you work around the corner or 20 minutes away then you can pop home within that time to await delivery. Of course make sure you check with your employer or manager that it is ok for you to go home for the delivery and give your manager some days’ notice too in case they do need to have someone cover you just for that time, first before you just up and leave without word, unless you are the boss of course.

A friend has called has reminded you it is Susie’s party tomorrow for example which you have forgotten about and you have arranged a night in with the kids.

If you work, a mum, have errands to run and have pets to feed, then remembering events like a friend’s birthday can easily pass your mind. I am a nightmare when it comes to remembering birthdays and now we are all getting slightly older, we don’t tend to go out for our birthdays now.

However normally if someone is having a 40th or a 30th sometimes they would want to celebrate by having a party or meal, but it pass your mind even though you did write it into diary but with other appointments and kids birthdays, it just popped out of your head, that’s life.

I would say first of all as I know from experience, forget the guilt, take control and just let her know that you will try and make the her birthday but you not sure if you can get a baby sitter but you will do the best you can to make it. That way you aren’t really letting her down, but you are being honest because you won’t be able to go anywhere if you can’t have someone look after the children whom you trust, but you’ve said you will try and make it the best you can.

Explain to your children that mummy friends has a birthday party like their school friends and you may need to go if nanny or a friend (example) can spend an evening with you, and we can have our night in tomorrow. Be upfront, most children won’t bat an eyelid and you are treating them as people.

If you are not able to get a babysitter, you can’t be expected to work miracles and your friend will have to understand if you are not able to make it.

However looking at another scenario, if you have double booked yourself in the terms of planned to go out with someone from work and you forgot about your friend’s birthday party the same evening then you will have to think, whom is the most important to you? Can you arrange another night with your work friend and go to party? With work friends there is always another night, but with other friends who you don’t work with and whom you don’t see all the time, then make them the priority.

Never feel guilty as no one is able to cut themselves in half and if you are someone who has a lot of friends out of work and in then one side with have to give, and you will just need to re-arrange another time to see them.

What if a friend calls out of the blue to say they are in town and wondered if you wanted to meet them or is ok if they pop round, but you have already planned to spend the day with your mum?

A tough one, but the way around it is why not contact your mum and explain a friends whom you don’t see often is in town is ok if she joins us? Mum shouldn’t mind, as you are still spending time with her but you are seeing your friend too, then you’re not letting anyone down. Most mums like to meet their children’s friends no matter what age you are and will be happy that there is another women to talk to.
Let you friend know that you had plans to meet your mum today, and go shopping but I would really like for you to come, mum don’t mind at all, can you make it?

If she not able to make it as she may only have a couple hours to spare then at least you’ve asked her and find out how long she is in town for and if she is down for a few days which she has no other plans then see her another day; or if your friend says she is only town for today then say “Ok then let us know before hand when you are coming down again and I will make sure I am free, and we can meet up then” Or arrange to go to hers one day to meet.

Really I prefer it I was the friend coming to visit our would always let my friends know before hand, as people won’t be waiting around for you to turn up, so ask them to give you more notice next time.

There is always a way of working things out, as with all relationships friends, marriage and family it is about compromises and what works well for all of you.

If your friend tries to make you feel guilty and is disappointed and annoyed you are not able to meet, then she will have to be let down, and say that “I am disappointed too, but I didn’t know you were coming into town today, and you made plans mum some time ago as we don’t always spend time with each other a lot now, and so you are not willing to change those plans” She may feel hurt by this but if she is a friend then she will understand, as the world doesn’t revolve around one person she may have other friends and family and wouldn’t stop her plans for you, which you wouldn’t expect and I say that what works for one works for all.  

It is not just about receiving it about giving aswell.

So if something does crop up as things will, look at your plans I bet that there is at least one thing that can be changed to fit in that other task you need to do. Friends can always been seen it’s about compromising, being honest and it is not possible to see everyone at the same time.

Never panic and try not to worry, things always work out in the end.

Many thanks for reading,


Carrie X


Saturday, 12 October 2013

Long time

It feels such a long time since I last wrote my last blog post, but since moving to a new home I have had no internet for over a month due to BT letting us down, and then changed to sky broadband instead, and finally since last Thursday (10th October 2013) finally I had access to the internet again.

It got me thinking how times have changed, it isn't that I have just realised that technology and the internet have taken over the world, but that it is surprising how I felt without having the internet. I felt restricted and now I do have internet back I feel I have access to the world again.

I have when I needed to, borrowed a family's computer to use the internet but it not the same as using your own as you feel that you can't use theirs like you would at home. Now I have internet back at home I feel like life is normal again.

I do think with the internet now and because of online shopping and the information you can access without buying a book for example, can make you become lazy and so what I have done is not allowed myself to search the internet all day or watch YouTube all day, but have made slotted times for myself.

The advantages is that when I want to make a dessert for example I don't need to search through a recipe book but go online, and get a recipe from BBC cooking website, or all recipes website (as examples) I don't have to go far to search for any information I need.

How would I cope if I had to write letters again instead of emailing or use my landline to call a friend instead of texting on my mobile?

It would be strange and felt that it would take too long and the internet is a convenience station that I call it.

The bad side to the internet is people can easily commit fraud, which has happened to me recently and a few times before then, and I know it has also happened to other people I know too. Someone decided to take my bank details and top up their pay as you go phones, and this was not just the odd £10.00, it was a few £10.00 and £20.00 mounting to £100.00. Then today I see checking through my recent transactions as it has made me more vigilant even though I have always been careful and taken care of my money, that the persons who had taken the £100.00 had taken a further £30.00 too, before I had changed my card details. Thankfully the bank have refunded me the £100.00 and will be refunding the £30.00 aswell. It is just so frustrating because there is no way of finding out who it was.
However it is good to be able to blog again and to access recipes and other information I want, and feel that as long as you take precautions, it is good to use and welcome the change of life as it is now, and glad to be back on the net.

Many thanks for reading,

Carrie X