Father’s Day on a Budget

Father’s Day is coming up in Australia so this week I thought I would put together a list of budget friendly gift ideas. These are just little things that I think my husband or Dad would love to receive that don’t cost an absolute fortune.

Father's Day Gift Ideas 1An Awesome Mug – Coffee mugs are always a welcome gift in our house. We seem to go through quite a few of them. It may have something to do with the fact that I am incredibly clumsy and have a gift for breaking crockery. Maybe.

BBQ Tools – Father’s Day means Spring is here and as the weather warms up we will start to use the BBQ more again. A nice set of BBQ Tools (Kmart have some great ones) will set your Dad or partner up for the coming months (and maybe give you the night off from cooking dinner!).

A Gift Card – The trick with gift cards is to pick the right store for the recipient. Opa loves home improvement projects, so a Bunnings Gift Card always makes him happy. Similarly, if your Dad/partner is into games or cars, I’m sure he’d love one from EB Games or Autobarn.

Homemade Fudge – Fudge is a great treat that you can also personalise to cater to the preferences of whoever Father's Day Gift Ideas 2you are giving it to. My Dad loves Cherry Ripe chocolate bars, so I’ve been tweaking my recipe for Cherry Ripe fudge. I think I’ve just about perfected it (if you’d like the recipe let me know).

Breakfast in Bed – This is usually at the top of my Husband’s wish list for any special occasion. Who doesn’t love waking up to the smell of bacon being cooked just for them?

What are you gifting the Dad’s in your life this Father’s Day?

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5 Simple Ways to De-stress

The last few weeks have been a bit stressful around here.  Nothing major has happened (touch wood) but I just feel a tad wiped out. I’ve had assignments due, exams to study for, homework to help with, a husband to deal with, and eventually it all starts to pile up. When this happens, I find it’s important to do a little something for myself to help me relax. As busy Mums we all know how difficult it can be to take time for ourselves, thanks to that charming monster that is “Mum Guilt”. So I thought today I would share 5 things I do when I feel my stress levels rising, that don’t take a lot of time or money, but that help me unwind.

Have a cup of tea. 5 Ways to de-stress on a budget 2I know this sounds ridiculously simple, but when life is just getting way too much and it feels like things are coming at me from all sides, the best thing I can do is turn the kettle on. Just taking a few moments to take a break and do something for myself can give me that little recharge I need to get back on with life. If tea isn’t your drink of choice, find something that takes a moment to prepare that you can just sit quietly and enjoy. Don’t forget to make sure to use your favourite cup, it really helps, trust me!

Take a bath. Sometimes a cup of tea just isn’t enough. Sometimes I need more. Soaking in a warm bath can do wonders for bringing back my sanity. I like to light a candle or two and add some bubbles or Epsom salt to the water. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just a little something extra to make myself feel special. I might even pop on some Norah Jones, to really set the mood. It doesn’t have to be a long bath, 15 minutes later and I’m ready to face the world again.

Give yourself a manicure/pedicure. This is  just another little thing I can do to take care of myself that helps me relax. Again, it doesn’t have to be fancy, a simple coat of nail polish will do the trick. But if I have time, soaking my hands and/or feet (depending on how much time I have) and giving myself a massage and my nails a file help soothes my soul. As an added bonus bright, shiny toenails  can keep me feeling on top of it for days to come!

5 ways to de-stress on a budget 3Write it out.  When I feel my stress level starts building I often find myself getting caught up in my own head. With all those thoughts going round and round sometimes I just need to get them out. For me, writing them down seems to be the best way to do this. Once I’m done, I can rip it up and throw it away if I feel like I really need to be rid of them, or I can simply just turn the page. I also find it helpful afterwards to take a moment and think of 5 good things in my life right now and write them down. This gives me a positive vibe to move forward with.

Go for a walk. If all else fails get outside and get those endorphin’s pumping. You’ll be feeling better in no time!

So there you have my 5 simple ways to de-stress. What do you do to relax and unwind? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

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Mother’s Day on a Budget

Mother’s Day is coming up in Australia so this week I thought I would put together a list of budget friendly gift ideas. These are just little things that I would love to receive that don’t cost an absolute fortune.

breakfast-1869599_640Coffee mug – I love a cute coffee mug, or tea cup, depending on what time of the day it is but my “Mum” mug from my son is my absolute favourite.  Kmart have some super cute ones this year. You could also include some of her favourite treats with it to make it extra special.

Chocolate – Lindt chocolates are my Mum’s favourite so my son likes to give her a box every year, and this year will be no different (sorry Mum if you’re reading this, but we both know you were expecting it anyway). It’s just a little something for him to show how much he loves her.

A Gift Voucher – I know some people think gift vouchers are impersonal, but to me a gift voucher to a shop I love but feel guilty spending money on myself at is a lovely gift idea. Two of my favourite places would have to be T2 and Lush.

slippers-795631_640Slippers – Winter is coming, so this is the perfect time to get Mum something to keep her tootsies snuggly and warm. My bunny slippers (a Mother’s Day gift from years gone by) are looking a little worse for wear so this is what I am hoping for this year (*hint hint* hubby if you’re reading this). I love these quirky ones from ASOS.

A break – Let’s be honest, as Mum’s this is what most of us are actually hoping for. A day (or even just a couple of hours) of peace to relax.

What are you hoping to receive for Mother’s Day this year?


More Budget Friendly School Holidays Ideas

Today is the last day of term 1 in NSW. I feel like the last 11 weeks have gone by in a flash! These holidays I have my youngest brother coming to stay with us for a week. Fun fact: My youngest brother and my son are actually the same age! The two of them are like chalk and cheese and so this week I’ve been trying to come up with a few extra ideas to keep them both entertained and I thought I’d share them here. I’m sure we’ll also get up to a few of the school holidays activities I have posted previously.

  1. Check out the local shopping centre for free or cheap activities. Our local centre usually has some great holiday activities for kids. Sand art, Lego competitions, petting zoos, and scavenger hunts are just a few things we’ve participated in. Most of them are free or just a few dollars so we’ll have a look and see if there’s anything that interests the boys.
  2. Play board games. I’ve posted before (in this post and this one) about how awesome board games can be. We have quite the collection these days so I’m hoping there is enough variety that they will keep them entertained for a while.
  3. Build a blanket fort. I think this is an awesome idea for those rainy days when we’re all stuck at home inside.  I can throw a blanket over the dining table and rearrange the couches a little so both boys can have their own little base. Bonus points if I can set it up just right so that they can both see the TV and then they can double as snuggle nests for a movie night.
  4. Try GeocachingThis has been on my list of things to try for a while and I think both the boys will get a kick out of it. For those of you who don’t know what it is it involves real life treasure hunting using GPS. If it’s a hit I might do a separate post of how we go.
  5. Lego. When all else fails I’m just going to get the Lego out. Both of the boys love Lego (Let’s be honest, even I love Lego!), and they can then play with their creations once they’re built. Two activities for the price of one!

What do you have planned for the school holidays? I’d love to hear some more ideas to keep these boys busy in the comments.

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5 Ways to Use Up Leftover Roast Meat

Now that the weather is cooling down, baked dinners start to feature more often in our weekly meal plans. While not always the cheapest meal there’s just something so lovely about a delicious weekend roast I just can’t resist and they come with the added bonus of… Leftovers! Not one to let things (Food especially!) go to waste, I love to come up with different ways to use up leftovers so this week I’ve put together 5 ways to use up leftover roast meat.

  1. Sandwiches – Leftover roast meat is great to use as sandwiches fillings for lunch. Use a few slices of your favourite bread, add some sauce or pickles, and salad if you swing that way and Voila! You have a cheap, delicious lunch.
  2. Curry – This is probably my favourite thing to do with leftover roast meat. Curry is an easy, delicious meal to add to your weekly meal plan and using leftover roast meat makes it a super cheap dinner as well. I think I am going to write a separate post on how I make my curries so keep your eye out for that.
  3. Pasta – Another cheap, easy meal to make with leftover meat is a simple pasta dish. Boil some pasta, whatever you have in the cupboard will do. Heat up the meat and add it to the pasta. Stir through some sauce and top with a bit of grated cheese. Simple and delicious!
  4. Stock – Save (freeze if you have to) any meat bones and use them to make homemade stock.
  5. Pizza – Those of you who follow my Meal Plan Monday posts will know we have Pizza Party Friday Night every week. Leftover roast meat and vegetables make awesome toppings for homemade pizzas. If you’d like a post on how we make our pizza’s let me know in the comments.

So there you have 5 ways to use up leftover roast meat. What do you like to do with leftovers? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments.

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