Saturday, 30 June 2012


Grazebox deliver little snacky boxes through the post. (they fit through the letterbox, fear not! You could always get it delivered to work)

I've read a few blog posts about the service, so thought I'd have a go and see what it's like.

This is what was in it..

A cashew nut, cranberry, raisin & choc button mix. Was delish!

Cheesy cashews & rice crackers. Nit delish at all in my opinion. Cashews are much better honey roast than cheesed.

Apple & Cinnamon flapjacks. As you would expect. Nice if you like flapjacks.

Firey seeds. I'm not a seed fan so gave these to mother. No report back as yet!

So, I know what you're thinking, Why would I buy a box with something I don't like in?

The box contents are kind of random but you can log onto the website and mark the selections you...

really don't want (bin)
Will try (try)
Like (like)
Would like more often (love)

It's a good service but quite a luxury one really. Those thrifty people amongst you could take inspiration from the site and make up your own boxes. (note to self: take inspiration from the site and make up boxes myself)

My first box was half price but I got a friend code so you can try for FREE!!

Just click go to and use the code 97NFJ4NA

It's definitely worth it for free, you can even pick which boxes you want using the LOVE option.

Disclosure: I have not been approached by to write this review nor have I received payment or goods for review purposes. I happened upon the service from reading other blog posts and I like getting things in the post!

Project Mortgage Payoff: Budgetting Spreadsheet

Well there's a title guaranteed NOT to be clicked on!!

But that's my starting point on shifting the millstone of my mortgage. After yesterday's post about my renewed enthusiasm, this is my first step to making changes.

So. (in a Will I Am fashion). I've downloaded a budget  spreadsheet from and filled it in. I used the spreadsheet version so I don't have to be online to view it.  But there is an online version you can log in to as you wish.

My conclusion...reduce outgoings and increase incomings. Not rocket science and quite frankly, I knew that already.

So. How?

Well money god Martin Lewis always says pay off debt before you save. So good news for Next, you're first as I can pay you off in one go. How? By shopping at Aldi rather than getting my shopping delivered from Tesco. More about that in next Saturday's post.

For those with larger debts to pay off, a sensible and achievable amount is 10% on top of your monthly minimum payment. When I last payed off a credit card I paid..

Minimum monthly payment + the interest added that month + 10%

It made a massive difference.

And when you've paid it off, that amount can either be paid off your next debt or saved to pay off the mother of all debts - the mortgage.

So anyone with me so far?

The less daunted and still enthusiastic Claire

How To Clean an Ice Hockey Kit

If you, like me, live with an Ice Hockey Kit, you'll appreciate how much it can reek.

Have you seen the Febreeze advert where the Azerbyjan Wrestling Teams kit is reportedly smelling like strawberries? Well I can assure you an ice hockey kit smells worse than a wrestlers....cossie!

It seemed the norm that the players just leave their kits and throw them on at the next match. Well, not in this house.

Most of the kit won't fit in the washer, that's the problem. But it will fit in the bath.

So, cold water and copious amounts of Milton will leave kit smelling of, not strawberries, nothing. I leave it to soak for about 4 hours. Poking it periodically. The main offenders are gloves and leg pads and if they keep floating up, a puck (usually found lurking in a corner of the stink bag) will weigh them down to keep them soaking.

It's fab. It kills the bacteria that's making the stench and everyone is happy!

I then leave the kit to drain in the shower then throw on the trampoline on a sunny day.

Et Voila! No more stench from the kit bag and a man that doesn't smell like sweat or strawberries!

So, What's your smelly bug bear?

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Renewed Enthusiasm

This blog originally started years ago when I watched the BBC2 programme Pay Off Your Mortgage in 2 Years.

I loved the programme and decided that was what I would do.

Clearly, I was sidetracked somewhere along the way as about 7 years later, it's still lingering.

But t'other day, I happened across the. Blog Mortgage Free in Three. It's fab! It's renewed my enthusiasm and I'm ready to give it another shot.

Co-incidentally, my rental property has just been vacated (in the night without notice tut tut!) and I've seen this as another sign to seriously get shut of the mortgage. By putting the rent up!

I'll be paying the mortgage whilst it's empty. How I regret not paying the damn thing off all those years ago.

So tomorrow, I'll be spreadsheeting!! Working out my incomings and outgoings and seeing how much per month I can afford to overpay.

I'll keep you posted on what I'm doing to reach my goal and would appreciate a few "keep going"'s and "erm...what are you doing?....remember the plan" comments along the way, if you don't mind.

The Ever So Slightly Daunted Claire

PS - 2 bed furnished semi, big garden & driveway 3 miles from Preston City Centre if you're looking for a new abode!

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Help!! Party Bag Inspiration Needed!!

There's a birthday on the horizon and I like to go all out. But really I need to try harder on the scrimping side of things.

When my eldest was 5 I remember doing personalised party bags. I bought personalised key rings and pencils and each child had something they would love in the bag.

In hindsight, I was probably the most touched by this gesture! And it certainly cost a fortune on top of hiring the playbarn.

So, I need your help. What can I put in these darned obligatory party bags with will be

A) great & please the kids
B) cheap

By cheap I suppose I mean cost effective. I absolutely don't mean dirt cheap crap.

So far I've come up with

1) A fabric party bag with their name sewn on (I've loads of scraps to make these so no cost here)

2) A piece of the home made birthday cake

Erm...that's it.

So, ideas anyone?!

What have you put in party bags that the kids have loved?


*photo courtesy of the uber talented Katherine Emblin at Pendger Celebrations, Lytham


@thatfacepainter, genius that she is, has come up with...

Elastic bead bracelets
Those little plane kits
Personalised chocolate bars (normal bars rewrapped)

So...anymore ideas?! Keep em coming!!


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