Thursday, 15 September 2016

My Little Piccolo Baby Food Pouches and Weaning Onto Solids

Back in July (can you tell I am behind?) we went to an awesome blogging event, Lottie and I. What made it awesome was the timing. Lottie was about to go on to solids, about to start weaning and this was a weaning workshop. Held by My Little Piccolo in Mothercare. What's not to love! And it meant I could have coffee and cake with Forget Me Knit. Double win!
What's funny above is Lottie is in a Mothercare dress AND she is sitting in a Mothercare Orb buggy (which we adore). Both bought and paid for. The dress was a birth gift from my Great Aunt (Granny's Sister) - you can see it better here - and the buggy Daddy bought a couple of days before my C section (yes that day when they sold us the wrong car seat).

So back to the event itself. Piccolo's baby nutrition expert, Alice Fotheringham spoke about solids and weaning. I was blown away by the content. Everything I believe in and more. There was no hard sell of the product which actually made me love them all the more. I believe that weaning should be a mixture of finger food baby led weaning with the addition of spoon feeding. This is also what Alice reassuringly stated. It is my personal opinion and is 100% the right approach for my Lottie. She is too hungry to rely on what she manages to nibble and not drop, but ultimately that experience of picking up and chewing food is far too valuable to miss out on. It gets the jaw ready for speaking. It builds fine motor skills. It develops and strengthens hand to mouth coordination way better than any toy and it encourages them to put things in their mouth that they are actually allowed to. Put simply it is a joy.
So how do you balance giving them that finger food fun, with also loading them up with a pouch, fed by spoon? Well the answer to that one will differ for every baby's needs and each and every family's varying cultures and diets. But I can tell you what works for us. Oh and she still gets to hold something as she will not let me feed her with a spoon unless she is holding one too so meal times always begin with two clean spoons.
The first couple of weeks we were on solids Lottie only did a number 2 every 4 days, mainly because she would not drink water so only had breastmilk. Plus it was Summer and very warm. I did not at all panic and just made sure I did not overload her tummy. So in that first fortnight she did not have solids 3 times a day and didn't even have solids every day.

I very soon found a winning formula for breakfast and it is: Weetabix, plus a dash of water from the kettle, plus a dash of chilled milk to cool that water and half a pouch of Piccolo. A different fruit flavour each day. She spent a couple of weeks on half a Weetabix biscuit and very soon went up to one full biscuit. Despite there being Weetabix AND half a pouch she finishes it all and no I don't need to play aeroplanes with the spoon. When she's had enough she simply refuses to open her mouth. Yep it's as easy as that. The fibre in the Weetabix with the combo of the fruit and water means she is very regular now. Due to waking 2-3 times a night for breastmilk, she's not hungry enough for the Weetabix till she's been up 2-3 hours. 

Sometimes that timing clashes with things as it did on the Eat Walk Talk food tour the other day. That's the beauty of pouches. We were in a very posh Ice Cream parlour (Swoon Gelato) and Lottie was in her highchair having brekkie :-)
Excuse the creases on her dress but we dashed out without me ironing it as it was a very early start. Funnily enough it is the same dress I mentioned above. She does have other clothes I promise LOL!

As a thank you for attending the Mothercare Piccolo event, we were given a month's supply of Piccolo and we finished the last one today. We received them in a lovely branded Piccolo cardboard box (you can see it in the IG pic at the end of this post) and it was very sad pulling out the last one yesterday, seeing the bottom of the empty box, as they have been such a huge part of our journey onto solids. So that Peach and Apple did yesterday and today's breakfasts in two halves. The colours on the packaging make my heart sing and I smile each time I reach for a new one as they are so cheery. Seriously I love them. With our samples we got a canvas Piccolo shopper tote bag too. It comes in very useful, like when we went on a food tour the other day!

I was thrilled therefore to discover that they have released new flavours and we get to try those too. They are hitting the shelves this week.

So... the original flavours were 
  1. Apple and Apricot
  2. Banana Blueberry and Apple
  3. Cherry and Yoghurt
  4. Peach and Apple
  5. Spring Greens and
  6. Squash Red Pepper and Chickpea.
Lottie ADORED all of them. The only comment I would make is that she sometimes made a face with the Cheery and Yoghurt because it's a little "tart" but she still always ate it. I always lick the spoon between servings and I loved them all too. The Spring Greens are FABULOUS for teething as they're good and alkaline to counteract the nasty acidity of teething. The Squash Red Pepper and Chickpea is very wholesome and fab for the evening. I was gutted when we ran out of them and will be buying more.

The new flavours are:
  1. Mango Pear and Kale
  2. Raspberry and Apple
  3. Sweet Potato Beetroot Apple and Pear.
As you can see, the flavours are utterly divine. 

All of those listed above are stage 1, but stage 2 will come in time as the brand develops. So these are classed as first tastes. But Lottie very easily copes with textured food as she's 8 months on 25th September and as I said, she still has a half pouch of Piccolo every morning with her Weetabix and the savoury ones could certainly be served as a sauce with potatoes or pasta.

I recently went into Boots to look at the competition and to stock up. I was VERY surprised by the market leader's flavours where the same ingredient is mentioned 3 times like "Peas Peas Peas". It might sound cool but I prefer to know at a glance what is in there like you do with our much loved My Little Piccolo. We're big fans having now tried them for a couple of months.

These are the stores that stock My Little Piccolo. I think the most straight forward place for us to get more from will be Amazon. The chickpea flavour is £7.20 for a five pack on Amazon with free delivery.

  • Waitrose
  •  
  • Whole Foods
  •  
  • Ocado
  •  
  • Planet Organic
  •  
  • BOOTHS
  •  
  • AMAZON
  •  
  • Abel & Cole
  •  
  • Hubbub
  •  
  • Cheeky Rascals
Lottie was utterly thrilled to receive our initial samples and I know she'll be over the moon too when our delivery of the new flavours arrives.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Getting a Quote for Baby Photography


As you'll know from recent blog posts we had a family photoshoot over the Summer. The photos are stunning and I do love them. Don't get me wrong I really do. We've had wonderful feedback from friends and family who love them too but I sometimes wonder what it would be like to have had them done outdoors or at home. Doing things we normally do, or in an unusual or picturesque day-out setting rather than in simply a photo studio. So for that reason I was thrilled when bidvine got in touch to ask me to review their website. I knew I'd want to get quotes for a family photoshoot so that we can start planning the next one, perhaps for when Lottie is 1 year's old which is just around the corner after all - I know, time flies! Sniff!
With Bidvine you simply detail what service you require, enter your postcode and you're good to go. You're then given a short list of questions and they are really intuitive and tuned in to the service you are requesting quotes for, meaning the professional gets all of the info they would want and need to give you a really tailor made quote. It's a great service as it brings professionals in their field to your attention that you may not otherwise know of.

I chose to get a quote for "baby photography" but would have liked an option for family photography given we have six year old Aaron to consider too.

I received notification of the quotes on my phone via SMS and it was very easy to click through and read them. Although I had forgotten my password but was thrilled that not only did they have a forgotten option but also, that the email to reset it came immediately.

The two photographers who responded to my quote request gave the following detail:
  1. £325. My package would include my travelling to you with my lighting set and child photography props. I generally find that it is better to spend a little time talking with the family before setting up so that the children begin to relax with a stranger in the house. Once set up, I would usually expect to have the photography completed within 1 hour, but will stay until you have covered everything you would like taken. This also includes a review of the images. You then have 2 options. I can provide you with all of the images in high resolution on a USB before leaving, or I can take them away with me and make any minor adjustments that you would like or apply special effects. 
  2. £300. First of all congratulations for your baby! As you can see on our profile, we're a photographer couple, and we have an 8 month 'old' :) little girl. We're living in Bournemouth, and happy to travel to your home - as we have a car, we can easily get any location you prefer. We're free before the 20th Sept or after the 29th. For the price we've offered, we can give you 2,5-3 hours shooting on the selected location (home, and/or outdoor). Basically, we use natural light and we prefer to make lifestyle photos which mean you'll get relaxed, natural and carefree photos as a result. We can offer you at least 70 pictures on printed DVD, and in online gallery and in a photo book- within 2 weeks after the shooting. You can have a look at on our references: - They give the details of their website, blog and Facebook page.

If you've ever had a photoshoot done you will know that these prices are very reasonable considering what they are offering. And it is so lovely to get the information sent to me rather than trawling the internet. Plus as you can see with the second one they are prepared to travel from Bournemouth which unless you used a service like this you would never know. It's like a very convenient yellow pages but your fingers DO NOT need to do the walking ha ha. Old enough like me to remember those adverts? Gosh with Google now does anyone use the Yellow Pages?

The other brilliant thing about Bidvine is it shows you if the professional has any reviews and lets you read them. The second quote detailed above has a Bidvine account which has had 3 five star reviews from happy customers. One of them is detailed here just to show you the level of detail you can expect from a happy reviewer and yes it does make me want to book them:
We know Alexandra and Gabor through a friend and we only kept in touch in writing. In the third trimester of my pregnancy, we have decided that we want some beautiful pictures to remember this wonderful time waiting for our baby. It was no question we want to hire them for the job as we saw their work. We asked them, settled the date and the other details and we were excited to see them in person finally. It was a great experience. They were doing this job in a way we hardly felt we were being photographed, meaning we did not have to pose and smile in an artificial way. It was easy and we felt in an instant, they know what they are doing. Apart from some much needed instructions all we had to do was enjoy each other and the beautiful weather at the seaside. They were easy-going and so friendly, open-minded. They got to know us while taking the pictures. And when we got the pictures it was just magical. We could see our happiness and love all captured in the photos perfectly. I highly recommend them if you not only want professional photographers but a lovely day spent with nice, kind people and amazing pictures as a result. It was a great, complete experience with them.
Reading that reminds me of ALL of the reasons why I will never again have a photoshoot in a studio.

What you soon discover when you fall in love with all of your photos, as we did this Summer, is that you can't part with any of them, yet can't afford to receive them all printed either. The modern way to deal with that is to only get a few printed but buy ALL of them on a digital record which makes it very easy to share them on social media too :-) We did that with ours and bought them ALL on CD.

So I was very glad that one of the questions on Bidvine was:
What format would you like to receive the final images in?Answers being:
  • Digital files online
  • Digital files on a CD
  • Prints
  • Album
I think it is a great idea to focus the mind and think about things like that beforehand rather than afterwards when emotions are running high and you may make an impulsive decision you'll live to regret, or that one spouse is in favour of with the other being sad with the decision. You can't discuss these things in front of the photographer and if they're proposing to leave you with the USB stick or CD on the day it is good to have conversations like that upfront in private, in advance, as a couple. Can you tell that we didn't LOL?!?!?

I love that the first quoter above offers to take the USB away to do editing. This wasn't offered with our shoot in the Summer, so yes, we and they were lucky the pics were perfect, but it does mean you are literally just paying for the photographer's time and space on the day and not the great deal of time and work that goes into editing like it does with wedding photos for example.

I love that the second quoter above offers a photobook. I know how affordable these are given how often I use photobox.co.uk BUT it is lovely to have the offer of that as the last book I made took upwards of 18 hours and busy family people just don't have that time to spare. Plus the professionals, doing it often, would be faster and know the tricks of the trade to get the desired effect quite swiftly. Photobooks are beautiful I can't recommend them enough. I did one to record a year of Aaron's life. So the first pics were at Peppa Pig where he spent his 4th birthday and the final pics were of his Spiderman 5th birthday party and there were 56 pages in between to record a year of his life. It took a long time to make as most pages had about 4 pics on each with the odd page having one statement photo.

Back to Bidvine, it's not only photography you can get a quote for! Have a go, it's very user friendly

Monday, 12 September 2016

British Gas Home and Boiler Cover BYE BYE

High water pressure on boiler fixed by bleeding radiators
Add caption
For a few days the pressure on our boiler has been really high. I'll have a shower but then have to reset it for Aaron to have a bath. Or he will have a bath and I have to reset it for Lottie to have a bath. OR I have to reset it to wash dishes. The only way I could find to over-ride the reset was to turn the tap ironically to increase the pressure. Suffice to say it worried me that I was going to blow the house up - I have never taken risks with gas or boilers till now.

So, at the weekend I couldn't wait to ring British Gas on Monday and rung them this morning. Bearing in mind we were with them for 12 years, then a gap and then with them for 2 years. I cancelled the subscription in June, just to have one less thing to pay for every month but only for 2 reasons. One, because it had had its annual checkup (the boiler) and two, because they rung me to tell me it was up for renewal?!?!??! Like what company even does that?!?!? They all (building insurance included) just write to you and if you forget to open the post, the contract rolls over. But the gentleman wouldn't let me cancel in that phonecall so I called back a few weeks later and the phone call cost me £8.

Anyway all I wanted to do today was reinstate my boiler and heating cover but she wanted £99 with a minimum of £79 for a call out PLUS £21 a month to do that. I explained that traditionally you could get the fix built into your cover but she said not if you join us with an existing fault. I explained I only left at the end of June at which point THEY had given the boiler a clean bill of annual health, but she was hearing none of it. The whole reason I cancelled it was in my experience of having cover for 15 years we've only ever had them out 5-6 times.

Anyway I was so upset I hung up and cried but I am so glad I pulled myself together (driven by wanting to wash the dishes, give Lottie a bath and fear of blowing the house up). I resorted to Google. And the fix was SIMPLE as per the pic above.

All we had to do was bleed the radiators and I got hubby to do that this morning before he left for work.

Now for the first time in a few days the boiler is not making a scary constant hum. The temperature digital display is a healthy figure and more importantly the needle is in the green area instead of up at 3 and 4.

I hate that huge companies have NO sense of discretion.

If they had reinstated my cover they could have got £21 a month for a year and I could have had an engineer out built in. They KNOW my boiler they know it is not on its last legs.

Anyway bye bye British Gas, you were up there in a list of a handful of brands that I absolutely LOVE and am very loyal to. But boom gone! Won't be recommending you to anyone now and if ANYTHING goes wrong with the boiler in the future I will be getting a local friendly tradesman to deal with it. Oh and I have to be authentic and sincere as on that note YOUR engineers are SUPERB, shame I can't say the same of the phone service! Each and every one of your engineers I have met in 15 years always acts like they'd stay here all day if I wanted them to. Nothing is ever too much trouble.
Water pressure back to safe level after bleeding radiators
But no, that's it now, all I had was high pressure and you didn't care and couldn't even give me the tip that I found out myself above. That's fine. You live and learn and I have. Thanks for nothing! Bye bye!

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Bella Italia and Num Noms Make Your Own Pizza Event

We went to a lot of blogging events in recent months and one of them was for Num Noms at Bella Italia. Aaron knows his way around YouTube so was VERY familiar with what and who they are. The toys, not the restaurant. It took some persuading to get him to attend as his attitude was very much "they're for girls". But I told him he'd get to make his own pizza and an icecream sundae and he was sold. You can see above just how VERY thrilled he was with himself.
Luckily one of the events team convinced Aaron that there are Num Noms for boys and so convincing was she, he even got it face painted on his arm. Let me introduce you to the Wasabi-go-go num nom:
Even my lil Lottie had a play, as below, so we may just have a future Num Noms fan in the making. It was a wonderful event I think Aaron's beaming smiles prove that.... Apart from that one of the guests mistakenly thought I had taken her table/seat when all in fact I was doing was perching on the edge to prepare Lottie's Weetabix. Shortly after we arrived. It was an early event and she has breakfast a couple of hours after waking as she still breastfeeds so much at night. She was next to me in the buggy and I just chose the nearest clear surface to be near her. Once I felt the wrath though I did make myself comfortable at that table as I thought I've got the rep now, may as well go the whole hog! What do they call it? In for a penny in for a pound ha ha! Then there was confusion on the way out, as to how many Num Noms we were allowed as Aaron had two (I'd let him have Lottie's). It was okay, as we were then given an extra, to apologise for the confusion (I felt as if I'd been frisked). And then there were 3 Num Noms LOL, which actually absolutely made Aaron's day and had him playing with them all the way home. Both of these things would normally have been like water off a duck's back, but Lottie was grizzly at the event, I *think* due to teething. Very odd as in 6 weeks it's the only time she's teethed and since then two teeth have pierced her bottom gums. But to date, only about 2 mm or less is visible of each one. If you rub her gum they are like razors but they are far from fully grown teeth - or toothy pegs - yet! How they've pierced the gums with no sleepless nights I'll never know. My girl must have a really high pain threshold. Aaron actually spotted the glimpse of white enamel before me, as he spends SO much time with his Sister he utterly adores her.
So do you love Num Noms? I think we'd love the collector aspect of them as there are already quite a few things we collect :-)

Bye for now, Liska xx
P.S. there will be lots of posts coming soon showing you what we got up to this Summer :-)
P.P.S. big thanks to this lady from the events team who was so good with Aaron I could have hugged her:
You can see the tracks of Lottie's teething tears here below. In her wonderful Tot Seat which I only took her out of for a change of scenery due to her grizzles. She spent all of 90 seconds in a wooden highchair though LOL. But since then she's got very used to our Ikea one at home so I think she'd cope if we were to visit Bella Italia once again. You can't go wrong with Tot Seat though as it goes where you do and is always clean and to hand. Don't you think she is JUST adorable in jeans. I know denim is not the most girly thing in the world but boy does it suit her. She has a playsuit in denim (all in one) that we got from my friend Aleks and she's worn it so much people must think it's the only item of clothing she owns but I just love her in it and so does my Mum. But anyway, apologies to anyone who was in the company of this stressed out Mum, but due to her not being herself (which was the only time in the 6 weeks hols this happened) I was a bit preoccupied and had my hands full. I'm so glad Aaron was none the wiser. He was a happy bunny to be sure.



Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Mummy and Me August 2016 Edition

I joined in with Mummy and Me in June 2016 and since then have been looking forward to joining in once again. 

I entered the Summer holidays with a little trepidation. My first 6 weeks school holidays with TWO children, but it's actually been easier rather than harder with two, as Lottie has had SUCH a positive effect on Aaron. When she was first born he was getting a little too grown up. Saying he'd outgrown all of his cute TV shows, calling everything "boring" and having too much screen time, but it's like Lottie has made him playful again. He's extra silly and extra fun and to be fair they've both been such great company that I can honestly say that come Monday 5th September I will miss his little self LOTS when he enters Year 2 of school (which is his 3rd year when you include Reception).

From our wonderful Summer holidays, thankfully August is a month where I have plenty of "Mummy and Me" pics to choose from, some of them are even professional. We went for a family photo shoot, with Bumpkins, something I'd booked all the way back at The Baby Show at which point Lottie was in my tummy. We'd actually planned on a family shoot for 6 years since Aaron came along. I'm so very glad we procrastinated and never got round to it as it means that Lottie is in the pics. I'd feel like ones of just the 3 of us would be out of date now, so I am thrilled we waited albeit that it wasn't on purpose.
I know only too well though, that ordinarily it is easy to go through your camera or your phone and find no pictures that you yourself are in. As Mums and bloggers we all too often view life from behind the camera lens. As recently as yesterday Lottie was in her best dress and I got a fab picture of her with Daddy. You can see it here although Daddy is cropped out. Later I was like hang on, we can't go to bed, us both dressed up, without a pic of Lottie and Mummy so I made it happen, gave Daddy the camera and went in the garden before it was too late (or dark LOL). One of the reasons being it's the first time in 2016 that I've worn heels - I love these sandals I don't know why I have neglected them all Summer. I'm a loon! We were both dressed up yesterday (although getting up at 5 and leaving at 7 means I didn't put on any makeup) as Lottie had a photo shoot. Yep she was a baby model yesterday. I'm so very very proud of her. You'll be excited too when I can show you the pics, or direct you to their location when they're online. I'm beyond thrilled about it, for so many reasons. You star Lottie. You were SUCH a good girl yesterday and your darling brother who is so good to you, was so patient, saying his Charlotte was busy being a "muddle". Oh he does make me laugh so. We'll have to forgive him that he woke you up.
The pic that for me will always represent Summer 2016 is this one below from 9th August. It's only a selfie taken on my phone camera but I just love it. The kids adore being with their cousins and it was a wonderful day out. The trip on the Thames AND the fabulous time we had in Greenwich's National Maritime Museum. I vlogged the day, although as there was hours of footage it is mainly the Thames trip and I will try and edit the Museum footage as soon as I get a spare moment. I have lots of outstanding vlogs to publish to be honest. Don't be put off by it being 36 minutes as the content is so interesting.

Me and Aaron even made a Vlog for Cadbury Dairy Milk Buttons and Channel Mum over the holidays, which was a dream come true as I've wanted to work with Channel Mum for the longest time. Daddy loves watching back the footage of Aaron and I. You too can make a Memory Lane with Cadbury Dairy Milk Buttons by clicking here.
There are of course lots of days out where I forget to get pics of me and my kids (Mummy and Me) :-( and one of those was the International Balloon Fiesta. We were sumptuously and comfortably hosted there in the member's enclosure by Red Letter Days. There were several other bloggers who could have got a pic for us, if I'd only thought to ask, but alas this is the only one I have, below, despite personally taking hundreds of pics and video. As you can see it is only Charlotte and I as Aaron was busy playing with Jane's son. They played so well for 8 hours straight. But huge thank you to The Owlet for taking this photo - very unusual that my smiley baby is not smiling:

I'm linking up with Life Through My Eyes; click the button below to join in too:

Nicola... Life Through My Eyes



Summer is Over and So is The Expense

So Summer 2016 is done although you wouldn't know it from the glorious weather we're still having and the blue skies that keep being posted by everyone on Instagram. It might turn out to be like 2014 where Aaron didn't wear a jacket to school until after November began. Very unlike 2015 where he was already wearing one in September. When he started reception 2014 so many kids were in Summer school uniform. The leaves already on the ground though are an indication that even though Autumn is not yet here, Fall, quite literally, begins regardless. The Americans have got it right calling it that.

The back to school bits and bobs are sorted in this house, despite Aaron not starting back till Monday 5th September. I bought all of Aaron's black trousers, white polos AND red sweaters in Aldi before he even broke up from Year 1 this July, as they have school uniform on Special Buys just for one week or as long as it lasts. So it forced me to be organised. In fact, a few of us hopped on the bus straight from the school run and had what felt like first pickings. I got all three things all in the right sizes and was chuffed. The quality seems exceptionally good too but only wear and tear will see the proof in the pudding. 

I purposefully didn't get shoes in July. Everyone says "their feet may grow in the Summer!" Blimey, they're so right. He's been a size 13 for well over a year I think (since January 2015 I can now see thanks to blogging his January school shoes age 4 when I realised one pair doesn't last a whole school year) and when we went shopping today I asked to borrow the foot measure and he's now grown to a size 1. It's a big milestone actually after 4 sizes in double figures he is now into a shoe size in single figures and only 5 sizes smaller than me! Awwww. Feels like a threshold into growing up.
I was thoroughly happy with the price. £22 and they're real leather. Skechers wanted £35 for synthetic uppers despite them having a Back To School Sale sign in their shop window. Turns out it was 30% off a second pair. No, I buy the 2nd pair circa January NOT now!

Another thing sorted today as well as buying the above shoes is that I dropped his red sweaters into a school Mum friend who sews the school badge logo on. Saves the cost of buying the official red sweater from the school office. £1 versus £8 and considering I have four that's a huge saving. Granted, some of that saving will go on reimbursing her for her time, but it's still a frugal saving to be had. Plus ironically the school ones are not great quality despite the price. They have a label of a decent brand in them, but neither wear nor wash well. I've learned that lesson two years ago not to be learned again. They're not at all colour fast.

So, with the cost of keeping kids entertained, fed and watered for the 6 week school holidays and then the cost of school uniform (reduced thanks to Aldi purchases), it's no wonder this feels like a time of belt tightening similar to January after the splurge of Christmas. We haven't had the cost of an overseas holiday to contend with, but I am a stay at home Mum so my extravagant days are well and truly behind me. Plus, 6 weeks being a children's entertainer means less "working from home" paid work gets done which worsens the problem.

Thankfully spending time in the garden is free :-)
I've blogged in the past about how I didn't have a baby until I had cleared all of my debt: When Credit is History. Loans and credit cards, not the mortgage obviously. So I am not about to endorse any kind of debt. We've seen globally since 2008, that anything other than responsible lending literally gets the whole world in trouble. So I only buy something when I can afford it, which is why I was so thrilled this year to be sponsored to go to BritMums Live otherwise it would have been the first of five that I'd not attended. Until I catch up with my work and things are back on an even keel the only thing that would be a problem is unexpected costs or an emergency. We have a new tumble dryer and a new fabulous 10kg washing machine, so I guess the only thing that would see us come unstuck would be car related OR given that I cancelled our subscription for boiler cover any breakdowns in that arena with the cold snap on the way would also be problematic with a baby in the house. I hate compound interest (long term loans) or withdrawing money against the property (equity withdrawal) so it'd have to be something like a short term loan to see us through. Vivus has the parameters that the loan is £100 to £500 and payable within 10 to 41 days, to see one through until pay day. The first loan they say is half price as they are a lender not a broker and as I'd see it as a one-off that'd be appreciated. It's not something, touch wood, we've ever had to do thus far though.

I've saved ALL of Aaron's stuff since 2010 for our "second baby" but now we're sure she's a girl ha ha, like she has been in the flesh for 7 months now, I'm tempted to sell all of his "boy" stuff. Don't get me wrong, anything and everything that could remotely be unisex or for a tomboy I am keeping but there are already things I can certainly turn into cash, not that I have ever sold a thing on EBay or Gumtree in my life, but even at my 43 years of age, surely I am not too old to start.

Anyway I plan to make this final quarter of the year one of prosperity - I have my plans. I just need to be self-focused, disciplined and set some goals. Instead of just drifting.

Collaboration post.