Sunday, 12 August 2018

Life Lately - Trips, Tips and Trying Things Out

We are not even halfway into August yet, and I am already feeling somewhat exhausted by it. I'm quite lucky in that my job is term-timely so I get this mammoth amount of time with my family. However, I had an unexpected (and somewhat expensive!) trip back to my parents at the start of the month to attend a family funeral, and I seem to have been chasing my tail ever since. Of course, I appreciate that I am fortunate enough to have been able to go back to be with my family, but it just highlighted the how big the gap is between us. Joe and I have both agreed that we would love to go back 'home', but uprooting your life 300 miles is a costly, and stressful, task - even if you have already done it once before! 

Because of my trip North, Joe has been working pretty much every hour he has available to fill up the dent in our budget, and this means I haven't really spent that much time with him over my time off. We are going away on holiday to York for the week on Monday, so I shouldn't complain really. We're staying in an airbnb for the first part of our trip, and then meeting up with my parents for the second half and staying in their motorhome. Joe has said he can't wait to enjoy the first half of the trip and endure the second half - but at least the boys will enjoy it! Dylan and I stayed in the motorhome while I was pregnant with Robin, and Dylan adored it so at least we know they'll be happy. Let's pray this rain goes away before then, though!

I mentioned in my last post that I was hoping to do something with Joe for our sixth wedding anniversary, and I managed to book us in to a new restaurant that had only been open for a week. The food was incredible, and we really enjoyed the evening. If you're ever in the Taunton area, I would recommend you check it out! Other things I've been up to include breaking my toe (fun!), finishing The Cactus by Sarah Haywood - and unfortunately not reading anything else! - and relaunching my little shop.

You might remember that last year, I designed some tote bags with my friend Dannie to raise money for our chosen charity helping women in need of basic healthcare.  Since then, we still have a steady flow of bag sales, but I have also created my own range of candles. From a logo redesign, to picking out the glass containers, I have found every aspect of pouring candles to be so enjoyable and relaxing. I'm definitely the type of person who always has a bit of a busy mind buzzing away in the background, but being able to take some time out and mix fragrances has been such a joy. I would love it if you could have a little look, I'm hoping to expand the range slowly and add some new scents too. 

As I'm typing this, I guess I should be sorting through our clothes and packing everything away but I feel that can wait. It's definitely one of those 'when the kids are in bed' type of jobs! If you've got any tips for a trip to York with kids (or without, ha!) then I'd love to hear them! 

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

How To Stop Your Pets Eating Through Your Money*

Are you spending too much money on your pets? Here are just a few tricks to stop your animal companions eating away at your funds.

Buy supplies in bulk

You can save a lot of money on pet supplies by buying them in bulk – a huge bag of pet food or rodent bedding could be a lot cheaper than buying the same quantity in small packs. Local pet shops and supermarkets may not always sell these supplies in bulk, however online wholesalers are likely to sell these bulk pet supplies. Be careful of buying items such as wet dog food in bulk that could expire before you’ve had a chance to use them.

Make your own pet toys

If you’re constantly buying new pet toys, it’s possible you may be able to save money by making your own DIY toys out of everyday items in your home. For example, you can make your own DIY tug rope for a dog by twisting together a few old t-shirts and knotting them at the end. Empty cereal boxes and cardboard toilet roll tubes meanwhile can make fun rodent cage toys.

Shop around for veterinary care

Vet bills can often be one of the biggest expenses of being a pet owner. However, you can often save costs by collecting quotes from different clinics and not just choosing your local vet. There are low cost vets out there that specialise in offering treatment for pet owners on a budget. There are also pop-clinics to consider, veterinary colleges and clinics with payment instalment plans.

Consider pet insurance

In many cases, it can be worth taking out pet insurance to help cover the cost of vet bills. Pet insurance is often cheaper to take out when your pet is young without any health problems – fixed rate schemes can ensure that you pay the same amount throughout your pet’s lifetime. Older pets with existing ailments can be quite expensive to insure and you may be better off going without insurance. Make sure to shop around for insurance in order to find the best rates.

Give your pet a healthy lifestyle

Keeping your pet healthy can also reduce costs. Many medical problems later in life that require expensive veterinary treatment including diabetes, heart problems and arthritis can be prevented by not letting your animal get overweight. Regular exercise can help to prevent this. When it comes to dogs in particular, walks can have all kinds of health benefits such as naturally trimming a dog’s nails and keeping them mentally stimulated. As for their food intake, keeping to a healthy amount won’t just save you money in vet bills, it will also save you money in food shopping too.

*Disclaimer: Collaborative content.
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