It’s Friday and it’s time to celebrate the weekend!! Unfortunately, I’m still doing Dry July so I won’t be seeing in the weekend with the traditional Friday night glass of wine (OK, the reality is it’s probably more like a bottle!)
I’ve been back at work this week after our beautiful holiday in Taupo. Here’s a little snapshot (proper blog to follow shortly):
Miss M and I exploring Taupo whilst Hubby and Miss T are off skiing without us…
I’ve also been a bit quiet on the blogging side. But truth be told, there is a reason for that!
As promised we have headed to Lake Taupo, broken arm, sniffly noses, croaky coughs and all. We will get out there these school holidays and WE WILL HAVE FUN!
Luckily for us, at least the weather was lovely for prawn fishing.
So what is prawn fishing? Well, to start with we are at Huka Prawn Park on the banks of the Waikato River. The Park is a working prawn farm. The tropical prawns are raised in ponds heated with waste geothermal heat (steam) from the geothermal power station next door. They have added the prawn fishing park and other family activities, as well as a restaurant – a platter of prawns and a cold glass of white wine with a view of the river meandering past anybody?
If you’ve been following along you will know that it is currently school holidays in New Zealand. If you’re new to this blog, welcome! Anyway, it is currently school holidays, and I’ve got a week off work to spend with my girls.
It all started out great, with traditional hut making and sleepovers, and a touch of roller skating… And that is where it started to go wrong (unbeknown to me). Miss M was complaining of a sore wrist after a fall on the roller skating rink. She could still move her wrist in all directions, bend her fingers, and do everything else a wrist is supposed to do. So we decided to put an ice pad on, and give it a day or so to settle down.
A few days later and the wrist was still sore. The X-Rays revealed a sprain. The Doctors were a little more concerned. And this is the result:
I was so proud of the girls today. We managed to have a great day, without devices – wet and windy wild weather and all.
After a treat for breakfast (bacon and egg baps, with coffee from the cafe around the corner for Hubby and I), I took the girls roller skating. Although Miss M has been skating before, she is still very much a learner, and this was Miss T’s first time on a skating rink. After a few false starts, they had a ball. They raced each other and the clock. There were “musical spots”, “show off your tricks” (i.e. manage not to fall over), and skating “limbo” (not surprisingly, the tiny tots on wheels won this one!). A hurt tailbone and a sore wrist later, they can’t wait to come back! All for a $2 entry fee! A bit of frugal family fun for my new better budgeting segment I think.
The girls – in a good mood – even helped me with grocery shopping on the way home. Well, not sure if “helped” is the right word, but they certainly took it upon themselves to fill up my trolley for me…
After lunch we did the traditional childhood thing and had the neighbourhood children over for an afternoon of hut building, playing board games, making a banana cake for afternoon tea and pizza for dinner. Followed of course by ice cream sundaes.
Somehow we have been convinced that the neighbour should stay for a sleepover. They dragged the spare TV into the hut, snuggled up in the piles of cushions and blankets under fairy lights and sheets and watched a movie. And that is where they are now. In the hut, on the floor, snuggled up in blankets and cushions. Not quite asleep.
It’s school holidays! Well, to be fair the girls have been on holiday for a week already, but have been at school holiday programme. NOW I am also on holiday for a week!
Bring on a week of sleep ins, lazy mornings sipping coffee in the sun, reading blogs. Movies with the kids. A trip to the skating rink. And a few days in Taupo. A touch of prawn fishing (I will have to explain that one more when we do it!). And Hubby may even take the girls skiing.
I have also set myself a few blog goals:
I’m writing a guest blog on ‘teaching your children the value of money’, I have timed this to get it done on my week off.
I want to get my ‘subscribe’ button working.
I’ll keep you all up to date with our holiday adventures 🙂
And of course there are a few boring jobs to do around the house. I’ve already cleaned the linen cupboard.
So I might not win Mother of the Year, and I may not be the world’s biggest blogger, but one thing I do know how to do is set a family budget.
For starters, a family budget is a living breathing thing. It needs to be set, worked with, reviewed, updated, reviewed again … and so forth. Yes, strict accounting principles would say you don’t change a budget – if you can’t meet it, you failed and you need to examine why. And whilst there is a very strong logic behind that rule, this is a family budget, and family needs change.
I have outlined a number of steps below to help you along your budgeting journey.
Welcome to Better Budgeting, part of a new section in our blog – a Working Mother’s Guide to healthy living on a shoestring.
With my background as an Accountant, it makes sense for me to share some of the tips and tricks I have learned in the industry, and my experience applying them to the family budget. This page will be covering ideas for feeding the troops and frugal family fun. We will also look at the ‘Golden Rules’, saving for a big occasion, entertaining the family and staying fit. We will look at ways to track your hard earned dollar, and of course – how to keep more of it!
Frugal Family Food
This page will cover frugal family food ideas. But with a twist. One of my passions is good quality food on a budget.
To me, the affordability of food is not measured in its cost, but in terms of its value for money in a nutritional sense. That bulk bag of yesterday’s baked muffins for $2 may seem cheap when you have lunch boxes to full, but the reality is they are unlikely to have significant nutritional value. Yesterday’s muffins will fill the tummies for a short period of time, and then the kiddies (and husband!) will be asking for more. In the meantime, they have consumed excess sugar and refined carbohydrates that they probably didn’t need.
There were thirteen candles in our house this week. Officially a teenager in the house. A milestone duly celebrated with even more teenagers for a teenage sleepover!!
All whilst I’ve pledged not to touch a drop of alcohol for Dry July! Luckily for me, a compassionate mother has sponsored me a “Golden Pass” so I can commiserate the upcoming teenage years with a well-deserved glass of red wine.
So what are we in store for?
The metaphor of conquering Everest in the wrong shoes springs to mind [Rachel Halliwell on the terrible teens]
To me, the most surprising thing is how much my 13-year-old resembles her two-year-old self.
Like her two-year-old self, she is prone to tantrums because she cannot find the “right” shoes or the pants she wants to wear are in the wash (absolutely my fault, washing should be a same-day-service, oh, and I should be a mind reader and ensure that whatever has been dumped on the bathroom floor appears clean on the day she wants it!).
Canada is an absolutely stunning country. It has wide open spaces and turquoise blue lakes, surrounded by the snowy caps of the Rocky Mountains. There are hot springs and local breweries, poutine and bear jams. It is an ideal place to explore and grow as a family.
This itinerary covers the sights, history and culture of Vancouver, and gets you out into the Alps, exploring the lakes and away from the crowds.
I’ve signed up for Dry July! I have pledged not to touch a drop of alcohol for the month of July, and I’ve signed up for the Dry July fundraiser to raise funds for people affected by cancer.
Not only am I looking forward to the health benefits of not drinking for a month, but I’ve also lost too many people I love to the hideous illness.
I was 18 when my father rolled his truck on his way home from work. The first few cars drove past him, thinking he was a drunk driver. But the truth was, he had suffered a stroke. He was flown in the rescue helicopter to Auckland where emergency surgery kept him alive. We arrived in the early hours of the morning, baby brothers in tow, to find out the cause of the stroke was a brain tumour the size of a golf ball. Dad was given two months to live. Three days later my youngest brother turned five.