About Me

My name is Jules and I am a wife, mum and nanna. I have recently taken early retirement from Special Education which was a job that i really loved. I am loving life and fully intend to make the most of it making some fantastic memories along the way. Family and friends are very important to me and I enjoy spending time with them. I love socialising and having a laugh.

Monday, 25 March 2019

Empty day suddenly becomes very busy!

Afternoon everyone,
What a beautiful day we have here again. Hubby has been gardening for most of the afternoon.
 This morning when we got up we had a relatively blank canvas for the day. We went to the next village to pick up a birthday present for our granddaughter and then had a walk round the shops. We bumped into an ex pupil which is always lovely. It’s so nice to hear how they are getting on. It's so funny that they have left school years ago butstill call you Sir and Miss.  Next we decided to pop into Wetherspoons for a coffee. Some Wetherspoons can be a bit grotty but this one is actually really nice. £1.25 for a refillable coffee, you can’t go wrong. We sat and chatted and watched the world go by for an hour. It was very pleasand and really relaxing.
Just as we were on the way home the mobiles started to ring and ping. 🙈 'Mum, can you pick the girls up from school tomorrow please and feed them, be great if you could keep them till about half 7 too as I’ve got an extra shift at work.'  'Mum is there any chance  you can ring and get me into the dentist as I’ve broke my tooth and I’m at work and can’t keep ringing.'  'Mum I’ve dropped a massive clanger, I’m at work till half 5 and have forgotten to book After school club for grandaughter, don’t suppose you could fetch her and keep her till I get home from work.' Then it was the step daughter ringing to see if we had an old phone as she has broken the screen on hers 🤷🏼‍♀️. Amongst all this I had my own mum on the phone wanting me to go with her to her club this afternoon as her usual friend wasn’t going. I went from completely relaxed to manic in minutes. How does that happen??? I’m going to start turning my mobile off I think for my own sanity.
For now, whilst granddaughter is playing with the dolls house I am sitting in the garden with a cuppa and no blooming phone!!!
What on earth the kids would do if I was still at work I've no idea. I think the problem is that we are too available and the easy option. Tomorrow my phone may mysteriously be broken.
Hope everyone else has has a relatively relaxing day.
 Until tomorrow
Jules x

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Sunday, 24 March 2019

Wedding dress dilemma!
Evening everyone,
hope everyone has had a lovely weekend. The weather here has been really good. I've washed anything that wasn't nailed down and feel like the house is lovely and fresh again. It's so nice to be able to have the windows open and spend a few hours pottering in the garden. Lets hope its the face of things to come and we have seen an end to the horrible cold, wet and windy weather. 

I have a wedding to go to in August. My darling daughter is getting married and so I will be mother of the bride. This is a role that brings some amount of pressure, namely looking the part. 
Well, I have been searching for months for the 'perfect' outfit. As a fifty something, young at heart mum, I wasn't happy with the traditional dress and jacket combos that seem to be mostly all there is in the wedding shops. Coupled with this was the extortionate price tags that accompany said outfits. While I don't mind paying out for a special outfit, I do mind paying for something that I don't even feel comfortable in and certainly wouldn't be able to wear again. I also wanted something in baby blue as this is the colour of the bridesmaid dresses and i'd like to match. 
My daughter rang me on Saturday and said that she had found the perfect dress in Manchester. She sent me lots of photos, and, as we could return it locally if I was unsure, I just told her to bring it. It is perfect. The only problem is that i won't zip up :(   Now my daughter just trying to be diplomatic said " I think they're quite small sizes mum", I said, "You're kidding, I will have to go on a diet to get into it" My lovely daughter just replied " It's fine mum, ill just swap it for the next size up" 
Well being the stubborn so and so that I am I have decided to diet, exercise and then try it on again in two weeks. My guess is that I will need the bigger size but i'm not giving up without a fight.  Watch this space in the next few weeks for an update haha.
Is it just me that is stubborn and refuses to accept the reality? Does anyone else feel under pressure the older you get to look good at social events? Just want her day to be perfect and to make her proud. Answers on a postcard!
Until tomorrow,
Jules xx

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Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Hooray its stopped raining!

Evening everyone,
Well I don't know how the weather was where you are but today it was just like a summers day. The sun was shining and the temperature rose to 16 degrees.
As the weather was so lovely I decided to join hubby on a walk. He walks usually on average three times a week, usually 8 - 10 miles at a time. 
He always moans at me to go with him but I have to confess that I am very much a fair weather walker. So, today I had no excuse and actually was really glad that I had taken him up of the offer. 
As I've mentioned to you before, we have the beautiful Mowcop on our doorstep, in fact the castle is the first thing i see each morning when i open my bedroom curtains.
So today this was our walk. Mowcop is very high and so the views over Cheshire are amazing especially on a lovely clear day like today. 
Our walk took in parts of the Gritstone trail and also the Mowcop heritage trail. The village itself is very picturesque with a tiny school and church. When we walked past the church yard the grass was being mowed. The smell of the freshly cut grass was lovely and it felt as though summer was truly on its way. Such a change from the hail, snow, wind and persistent rain we have had recently. As we walked past houses we stopped to chat to people who were making the most of the lovely weather and tacking their gardens. 
Here are a few photos that I took today. You can see how lovely the weather was and just how far the view stretched over the Cheshire plains. 

You can see in this final photo the burnt grass. This happened last summer when the grass was so dry. There were lots of fires locally particularly in the Peak district.
When I got home the two loads of washing I had pegged out earlier were dry. This is a first since last year. I love being able to line dry.
Lets hope today was the start of things to come. I love the warm weather. Makes you feel so much more energetic.
Until tomorrow,
Jules x

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Monday, 18 March 2019

Mrs Hinch mania

Evening everyone,
Today I found myself having a conversation with my daughter about the blogger Mrs Hinch.  Here is a link if you're interested in learning more about Mrs Hinch. Mrs Hinch I think she was quite surprised that I actually knew who she was talking about. The youngsters seem to think they have the monopoly on most things these days including good old housework it would seem.
Now for anyone that doesn't know who Mrs Hinch is, she is a young mum who blogs about cleaning her house. She is very house proud and posts photos and hints and tips about how to keep your home spik and span. She is so popular that now a lot of her posts are sponsored by companies such as Zoflora the once cheap disenfectant that has now become more expensive due to its popularity.
Good on her I say!
 I did say to my daughter that it is nothing new. A few years ago I used to read a blog by fly lady and this was very much the same.
When I was newly married I can remember my grandma telling me not to get overwhelmed by the housework and laundry whilst working full time. She had a lovely old saying which was just give it " a lick and a promise". Now this isn't hardly as exciting or racy as it sounds. What she said it meant was to do a quick once over daily to keep on top of things then a good clean at the weekends. The point of this was that hopefully what you miss one day you'd get the next when you were doing your quick dust and wipe over. I still do this now.
 Each morning i get a clean cloth from my box of cloths and dust all through. I then rinse out the same cloth in some hot water and the wash down the work surfaces, fridge door and kitchen cupboards using a squirt of lemon juice ( no nasty chemicals where food is prepared).
After this i go into the bathroom, rinse out the cloth again in hot water and then put a squirt of the anti bacterial hand wash onto the cloth and wipe over the bath, sink and work tops. I don't use cleaner on the bath and sink as my hubby has really sensitive skin. I find that if I do it daily it stays clean and so there isn't the need to use any harsh chemicals.
The toilet I clean with anti bacterial wipes every day and then put toilet bleach down it before I go out.
 The cloth that i've been using in the kitchen and bathroom gets popped into a small bucket with a lid that has milton sterilising fluid in and then at the end of the week they are rinsed, washed and dried ready for next week.
A quick whip round with the hoover and empty the dishwasher and the house is all tidy again for the day. I hate it if I have to rush out and leave things untidy.
 I always make our bed and open the window before I leave the bedroom each morning and also pop in to make my daughters bed too and usually pick up any clothes, make up, towels etc that may be left around. I'm sure she thinks she lives in a hotel!
Thankfully we live in a tiny two bedroom cottage so there aren't too many rooms to clean each day.
Washing and ironing is done most days so it never really builds up. Jobs like cleaning the windows, polishing the furniture etc get done at the weekends.
Do you have a certain routine that works for you? Do you do the laundry or shopping on the same day each week? I think that most of us are creatures of habit usually.
Until tomorrow,
Jules x

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Sunday, 17 March 2019

Mysterious happenings

Evening everyone,
Hope you're all well and have had a good Sunday. I was up with the larks (6.10 am to be precise) due to a very wide awake grandchild that had had a sleepover.  Oh to be 9 and full of energy again!
I thought that we had had a frost overnight but as I sat there with my morning cup of tea it started to snow. The weather in this country doesn't seem to know what to do at the moment. One minute its lovely and sunny and you think that summer is on the way, the next its snowing, hailing, raining cats and dogs and horrendously windy. No matter what outfit you put on you're always caught out. This happened to me today. I decided to take my granddaughter out for lunch with my mum and nephew. It was snowing and cold when I left the house so was dressed for such. I had boots, sweater, scarf and thick coat. By the time we had left the restaurant the sun had come out with a vengeance and myself and my granddaughter were roasted alive on the car journey home.
I read today on Sues blog ( our new life in the country ) that they have been having a terrible time where they live in Wales with the rain and rising water. Sue lives just a few miles from where my caravan. Indeed the lovely cafe at Llanwrst look as though it may be flooded due to the river breaking its banks.
I feel really sorry for anyone who lives near to rivers or fields that can be come flooded, I don't think I could live with the constant threat of your home and all your possessions being ruined. So sad.
After we got back from lunch today I went with my mum to the church as they were having a fundraiser for a homeless foundation. I know the couple who run the charity and go most Tuesday lunchtimes to have a spot of lunch and a coffee. The money that they raise from the lunch goes to help the homeless. There was a tombola stall there today that was just sweets and chocolates. I gave my granddaughter £1, mum gave her £1 and then an elderly lady we know also gave her £1.
The tickets on the tombola were 3 for £1. This is what she won, so lucky. Obviously i sent it all home with her as I didn't want the sugar rush after effects here, especially after my 6 am start. Her mum said that they would be shared with her friends and handed out selectively haha.
Tonight I had a walk to our local coop. I haven't been doing this due to getting in the house at odd times and just being too busy. I do like popping in about half 6 as this is the time that they usually do the reductions. There are lots of things i could buy but don't. I cook everything from scratch ( apart from a jar of curry sauce now and again if i'm in a hurry) so any ready meals etc we just wouldn't use. Tonight i was lucky and managed to get a pkt of strawberries and a pkt of blueberries for 40p each. They should of been £2 each.
I've washed and just used a few tonight with some pineapple that i already had in the fridge. They were very nice.

Until tomorrow,
Jules x

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Saturday, 16 March 2019

Talk about a wet weekend!

Evening Everyone,
Hope everyone is well and is having a good weekend. The weather here has been atrocious again all day. I'm fed up of getting wet every time I step outside. 
It was so bad here earlier tonight that even the dog refused to go out!
Hubby had made arrangements to go walking with his mate tomorrow but they have decided to postpone until later in the week when hopefully the weather will have picked up a bit. Fingers crossed!

It pains me to have to either have the heating on all day to dry the washing or put it into the dryer. Roll on summer when we can dry all the laundry outside. 
Apart from the obvious financial benefits of line drying your washing it actually is much healthier. I love getting into a freshly made bed that has been dried outdoors. Smells and feels so much fresher and aids a better nights sleep.

Looking forward to the lighter evenings too so that we can spend some time getting the garden sorted out. Hubby wants to do a mini make over of the garden this year but obviously this will need to be on a tight budget and I will post pics of this as we go along.

I'm having a year off doing anything major in the cottage with having lots of expensive events lined up.  We are supposed to be having a new shower fitted but this won't cost anything apart from the shower itself which we will get at trade prices. My son is a plumber so will get it for us and then fit it for free. Well, I say free but I'm sure I will be repaying in other ways. Such is family life.

I've got my eldest granddaughter sleeping over tonight as her mum has gone out with friends and dad is on nights. My daughter is working tomorrow too so I will be taking my granddaughter out and about. I have promised to take her out for lunch with my mum ( great granny ) and also to a spring fair at the church. She's hoping to buy a gift for her mum for mothers day which is on the 31st of this month. It is also her own birthday on the 31st so if I get time I will take her to choose a gift for her birthday.

I'm hoping to get back to my routine of walking to our local shop in the evenings. Firstly for the exercise, secondly to walk the dog and also to check if they have reduced any fruit or veg. I'll keep you posted on any bargains I may get.
Have a lovely Sunday everyone and fingers crossed for an end to this blooming rain. 

Until tomorrow
Jules xx

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Friday, 15 March 2019


Just a very quick post tonight. I wanted to apologise for the break in blogging. Sometimes life gets in the way when you've got a family, extended family and a circle of very close friends. 
My mum always says that things come in threes ( she is very superstitious). Well in the past few months its been a roller coaster for us. We have had family members with relationship breakdowns and all the fall out that comes with it. Friends with serious health problems that have tugged at our heart strings and made us take a long hard look at our own lives. This is always the case when you realise how fragile life is and makes you have a real good look at how you're spending your own life. 
We have bought a new caravan and had all that to sort out. Its been non stop! We also have a 30th birthday, a 21st birthday, hen parties, a huge wedding and an 80th birthday to organise.
 I literally feel like I've been in a whirlwind and not had a minute to spend on myself. That's the down side of being the person everyone asks for help. 
Well, now that things are getting sorted and into some sort of routine again, I felt that it was time for me to get back to doing the things I enjoy, including this blog. 
Thanks for taking the time to read. I will be blogging about finances, cookery and ways to garden and make home improvements on a budget.

Until next time,

I will try to read all comments and reply. Please be polite and kind. Thanks :)

Empty day suddenly becomes very busy! Afternoon everyone, What a beautiful day we have here again. Hubby has been gardening for most ...