How Much Are You Spending? 10 Tips on How to Save Money & Enjoy Your Car


According to a survey, the average driver spends £189,000 on motoring-related expenses in his or her lifetime, which is more than the price tag of a house. These expenses include the cost of the car, fuel, insurance, MOT tests, service fees, and tax. Add to that the cost of parking and other fines, driving lessons, driving and theory tests, and car accessories and you can see why it’s an expensive drain on our finances.

Does that sound a bit depressing? Cheer up, as we’ve got some nifty tips on how you can save on cash on your car…

Keep it light. Unload your boot (and your back seat!) of unnecessary items that weigh down your car. Extra weight reduces a car’s mileage, making the engine consume more fuel because it has to work twice as hard to move.

Avoid drag. It’s also helpful to remove bike racks or top racks that can create drag, which can make your engine work harder to move the car, especially at high speeds. If you don’t need the rack, remove it before setting out.

Use cruise control. If you’re traveling over long distances, maintain a steady speed and avoid wasting fuel by switching to cruise control.

Smooth operator. Avoid accelerating or slowing down too quickly when you drive, as this consumes a lot of fuel. Keep it smooth and you’ll save plenty of cash. Think to yourself that every tap of the accelerator involves spending money.

Check your tyres. It’s important to keep your tyres well-inflated to make sure you get better mileage – low pressure causes you to use more fuel as you drive and also reduces safety and grip.

Move to the shade. Parking your car in a covered or shadowed area can reduce the evaporation of fuel from your tank. It also makes it cooler inside the car, so you’ll need less air conditioning to cool the car when you step in.

Turn the engine off. If you will be idling in a traffic queue for more than 30 seconds, turn off your engine to avoid wasting fuel.

Drive safer. When it comes to insurance, you’ll be able to save a lot if you have a clean driving record. Insurance companies also look positively at drivers who have taken a defensive driving course and those who have vehicles that are equipped with safety features such as automatic seatbelts, antilock brakes, or an alarm system.

Shop around for insurance. You can take advantage of a variety of car insurance schemes, especially if you opt for black box insurance. Do your research and shop around for the best deals by using price comparison sites – never simply accept your renewal quote without question.

Save as you learn. Learning to drive isn’t cheap but there are ways to save cash along the line. Take advantage, for example, of the free online resources at your fingertips to help learn the rules of the road and practice for your driving theory test.

This is a collaborative post

Posted in category: general life


Everything Is the Worst – Modern Kids TV Theme Songs


One of the few perks (and lets face it, there has to be some) of being a child of the 80’s, was kid’s TV; it was brilliant.

What was even better than the programmes themselves were the theme songs.

Come with me on a trip down memory lane…

*insert wavy dream sequence intro here, shimmer, shimmer*

You’d come in from playing out the front, unsupervised of course, to some honey on toast with a mug of full sugar squash and turn on the telly to the opening strains of Dogtanian.


Maybe then you’d channel hop over to watch some Ulysses 31


Or the equally amazing Mysterious Cities of Gold, another French / Japanese cartoon with a 24 carat theme tune!


The list goes on, He-Man, Dungeons and Dragons, Wilo the Wisp, Grange Hill, Gummi Bears, all had brilliant theme songs and opening titles.

Tv shows today seem to spend all their money on the show and then cobble together something in GarageBand as an afterthought for the theme song.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Something Special as much as the next person but if Mr Tumble really wants to win over parents and kids alike, ditch the earnest singing and whack a synth solo and some awesome guitar riffs over that intro.

The opening of Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures would be improved ten-fold with the addition of some wailing guitar and maracas.

Some kids TV shows have totally done away with a theme song altogether, it’s just not right I tell you. Grandpa in my Pocket, I’m looking at you, that is not a legitimate opening song, it’s just recycled background music, lazy, lazy, lazy!

I for one am calling for a return to TV theme songs of the 80’s, who’s with me?

Posted in category: general life

My Least Favourite ‘Ritual of Womanhood’!


Our bodies are amazing things. Without any conscious thought from us, they do things to help us survive, our fingers wrinkle up in water to help us grip things, we crave stodgy food in winter to help us lay down a warming layer of body fat and we sprout body hair to trap air and keep us warm.

This weekend I went through the time honoured, totally annoying, womanly ritual of shaving my legs for the first time all year.

Shaving my legs is my least favourite part of being a woman, our choices are all rubbish:

Leave your hair to grow – look like a hippy
Shave your legs – time consuming, causes ingrown hairs and you have to do it so often
Wax or epilate – OUCH 

My legs were atrocious, Ez had commented the day before saying, ‘Mama, your legs are all furry like a lovely little kitten, but much bigger’.

If I’d had cloven feet and a tail I could have passed for a fawn; honestly in some lights, it looked like I was sporting moleskin trousers!

I would have happily left this task another couple of days (weeks or months!) but Annie had been invited to a pool party and there was a chance I may have needed to stay and go in the pool with her.

As I didn’t want the lifeguards thinking a chimp wearing a swimsuit had broken in to the Lido, it was time to shave the legs!

I emerged from the bathroom hours later, 4 pounds lighter and swearing that this winter I wouldn’t leave it so long; but let’s face it, we all know I will!

What is your least favourite part of being a woman (or indeed a man!)

Photo courtesy of Matt Thompson

Posted in category: general life

Splashing in the Sunshine


Saturday was a glorious sunny day and the kiddos were in their element.

They donned their rash vests and were out in the garden before you could say, ‘where on earth have the kids gone?’!

Splashing in the Sunshine | Water Table Garden Siblings | (8)Splashing in the Sunshine | Water Table Garden Siblings | (7)Splashing in the Sunshine | Water Table Garden Siblings | (6)Splashing in the Sunshine | Water Table Garden Siblings | (1)Splashing in the Sunshine | Water Table Garden Siblings | (3)Splashing in the Sunshine | Water Table Garden Siblings | (2)Splashing in the Sunshine | Water Table Garden Siblings | (5)Splashing in the Sunshine | Water Table Garden Siblings | (4)

The water table was hauled into the middle of the garden, filled up and then emptied over the course of an hour as Annie and Ezra created a series of ‘ant habitats’ on the stepping stones using cut grass, stones and lots, and lots of water!

Funnily enough we didn’t see a single ant the whole afternoon, they were probably hiding from the deluge of water, like the rest of the bugs in the garden.

What did you get up to this past weekend?
Did you manage to get out and enjoy the sunshine?

Linking up with…

What Katy Said

Posted in category: Point & Shoot


Point + Shoot – 19.05.2015


Thank you to everyone who joined in with Point + Shoot last week.

This week my post is a happy, sunny one :)

Our winning post from last week comes from Kaye over at Hello Archie. I just love the depth of field in this photo and little A’s stance, what a cute kiddo.

Fashion Friday #17: Toddler wearing Little Bird hot air balloon hoody at Town Gardens

Don’t forget, our joint favourite photo / post from the week will win 12 Instagram prints from our lovely sponsor,, even more reason to play along.

You don’t have to play every week, just drop by when you have something to share. You don’t need a fancy DSLR either, a phone camera works just as well.

As for the photos, they can be absolutely anything. If you saw it, or did it, at the weekend, then photograph it and link up.


Posted in category: Point & Shoot