I have a problem, We go food shopping every Thursday but my biggest problem is going shopping on empty stomach so the usual drill is that our trolley ends up being full of junk that we don’t usually end up eating so for the past week I have been attempting to shop on a budget, which usually goes well until we reach the isle with the Krispy Kremes and then we are in danger zone so I wanted to get it into my head how important it is to work on a budget and meal plan for a family of five (plus cat)

Deals deals deals! one of the best things to stick to a budget is sometimes buy bulk and look for the best deals that you can find in the shops, shopping around and doing some research is also a must when it comes to saving the pennies at the checkout, be of course aware of sneaky supermarket tactics for getting you to part with your money, items at the checkout themselves and even putting ‘deals’ at the end of the rows are a way of tricking you into buying more than you need, always look in the right sections for the best deals.

We do this a lot, now that I have organised the cupboards a bit more, its helped make sure we don’t over buy in the baked beans, the day before food shop look around the house to see what items you need and what things you don’t, check dates on things and note down anything that will be going empty soon.

Same as above, writing down what you need, keeping and sticking to a list is a great way of preventing over spending, going off the top of your head will only end up causing silly purchases, make sure that you take note of what you have eaten during the previous week and do not deviate.

Better said than done, the other week when we went to Home Bargains I found the handiest item in my kitchen, a meal planner, I update it weekly of whats going to be cooked that week, lazy food for days when we are going out (food shop night is pizza night got an example) mark what has been the favorite of that week so you know what can be repeated and reordered and the children love running into the kitchen to see whats on the menu for the week coming.

A big must! Husband and I went shopping one Sunday afternoon, we had planned to get something fun for dinner, rarely happens but we also went when hungry.. which means our trolley was full of junk food and gross things that we wouldn’t normally buy, it was fun but we overspent and didn’t plan at all and it only ended up being a bit wasted because we let our stomachs do the shopping, make sure you have something light before you go so you wont be tempted by the nice smells from the hot food counter or the bakery!

I asked some other lovely bloggers what they’re top tips are for working with a budget while food planning and here is what they said.

Make lists of meals each day! And before you go shopping, check what you already have, so you don’t buy what you don’t need! – Becca from My Girls and Me

Plan out exactly what you are going to have to eat for the week, make a shopping list of those items and then order online so you are not tempted by non essentials instore – Mandi from Big Family Organised Chaos

 Find out when the supermarkets reduce their ‘nearing sell by date’ items. Try and buy items that you can freeze for future meals while they are reduced. – Nikki from Family Travel with Ellie

Bulk batch cook meals into portions and label well, a “ready meal” ready to go and fit in with the meal plan – Emma from Ready Freddie Go

Don’t restrict yourself to shopping in the supermarkets. Poundshops and bargain shops such as b&m/home bargains sell food/toiletries often at a fraction of the price the supermarkets charge, meaning you can save so much money and stick to your budget. – Beth from Twinderelmo

We make a list of meals for the week and often bulk meal prep on Sundays. It saves us time and money, that way when we are having a lazy/ or busy day we have meals prepared in the freezer. – Karina from Mums The Nerd

I plan ahead so leftovers can be used the next day for lunch/dinner; as pie, soup, with baked potato or with salad.  – Amy from Eps and Amy

What are your tip tips on meal planning with a budget?

Until next time..

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Cake Cake Cake, who doesn’t like a little bit of cake for a special occasion? Normally cake is saved for birthdays but who’s to say you cannot have some fun on other days too and with Bakerdays you get that right through your letterbox.

Bakerdays themselves is a British based company just on the edge of the fantastic Sherwood Forrest that have over the course of years supplied personalized cakes and biscuits for all sorts of things including companies, so if you ever need to get yourself some cookies with your name on it, these are the places to go, but I am here to talk about the wonder that is a cake through your letterbox, perfectly sized for two people, however we have managed to share it out with everyone in the family.

There is a little selection of styles of the cake sponge itself that you can choose, I picked the basic one and completely forgot my husbands love for lemon cake so when he bit into it he was slightly disappointed at the lack of flavor but that was purely my fault when selecting, plus I don’t think his taste buds are working as when I tried it I could taste the vanilla in the sponge. What is also great is that they have a diary free and a gluten free option when ordering but unfortunately not a vegan friendly no matter how much of the site I searched for it, so perhaps in the future they will include a vegan sponge option.

Bakerdays have such a wide collection of different designs including adding your own images, this one is for fathers day and I went with a drink theme, it looked great on the website but I don’t know because of the process of getting the design onto the cake made it a little distorted or the fact that its been really warm here and it just didn’t sit well in the post, either way the design was bright and colorful and I think that if it was a bit cooler it would’ve been clearer and more obvious as to what it was.

All in all its a cute little novelty idea and the fact that it just fits perfectly through your letter box is a bonus, the cake itself is a lovely moist cake and the icing is perfect and isn’t to thick on top of the cake, it is small but that’s the blessing of it as I cannot imagine fitting a large cake in a letterbox!

if you want to give Bakerdays Letterbox Cakes ago then check out their site here and enjoy the convince of cake through your letterbox and also don’t forget to use FATHER15 at the check out for 15% off your order!

until next time

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*Disclaimer - Product was sent to me for review purposes only, all thoughts and opinions are my own

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Today marks the second birthday of Mummy Cat Notes, I still remember the day I made it, it was raining and I had my tiny baby resting on my chest while I sat up at the computer reading other blogs and wanting to start one myself.. I had the name planned but I of course started over on Blogger and made the switch to WordPress early last year, because Mr S also uses WordPress for his website and I wanted to be able to get help when I needed it from him if things went wrong.

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How has year two been compared to year one, well frankly and honestly, its been hard.. on fathers day last year I was told what I said on twitter had upset someone, all I said was that I was proud of my husband working hard and how we didn’t need to rely so much on the government, I probably worded it wrong and like anything on the internet, it doesn’t matter how you say something, someone will take offence to it, I felt insulted and upset and that I was being made out to be a bad person when I honestly do not think that I am, it escalated into being accused of copying another blogger and then finally resting on me being accused of being bully to then end up being bullied myself by those who believe this other person over me, without even asking me for the other side of the story.. thankfully there is the amazing thing known as the block button and I made it my goal to completely block out anyone who associated with those who accuse me and compared to how I was back when it all happened, I don’t care anymore, I have come out of the other side with a smile on my face and know that while some may think I am a horrible person, I have many friends online and in real life and I realize now that those people who seek to make me feel like I am worth nothing shouldn’t even be on my radar and in the words of King Theoden from the Lord of the Rings trilogy..

‘You have no power here’

..but enough about that, I wanted this post to be a positive one because despite the bad times, there has been some amazing times in year two, I FINALLY plucked up the courage and started contacting brands, I was always so fearful of doing it but I made it my goal for 2018 to start doing it and I have done some really fun reviews and posts, and of course have plenty yet to come for year three! its really boost my confidence and I feel like I am stepping in the right direction with my blogging, I still want to keep everything personal, I always wanted to just use it as more of a journal to document days out and silly events along with products that I purchase and want to share, I always find it odd when everyone is obsessed with the selling part of blogging, cant you just enjoy telling your story as well as selling? I get that others want to make this a job but for me, right now and as always, blogging is a hobby that I have always loved, even back when I use to write in my little green notebook… however theses days its more about my children than which celebrity I have a crush on that week/month (Richard Hammond) but blogging now has helped me feel more creative than I have ever been, I am taking more photos and investing more and more time with writing not only here but I have even dabbled in some stories too, none will see the light of day of course but its been so wonderful just being able to stretch my braincells and maybe make me feel a little less of a mombie! I honestly had forgotten how much I love photography until I started my Photograph Sunday series, I make it my mission each week to take a photo of something so that I can add it to the post and its made me really learn how to use my camera and lenses properly and for the first time ever save up to buy my own lens rather than having to rely on my wonderful uncle for his help in that department.

I have a mad year three ahead of me, with meeting the amazing Becca from My Girls and Me in the summer holidays and even going to The London Baby Show in the autumn which I cannot wait to go and meet some wonderful brands and maybe even bump into more bloggers, Year Three is going to be my best year yet, and I am so excited to continue my journal as a blogger, sharing my world with those who want to read it and because I have been watching a LOT of Ugly Betty lately inspire others to create their own little space on the internet to rant and to connect with others.

Happy Birthday Mummy Cat Notes!!

xx

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Summer is finally (almost) here and what better than to share with you some of the beautiful dresses that are on offer in Next at the moment..

I am usually very much a leggings and tshirt kind of person when it comes to dressing Robin, so actually branching out and getting her some pretty summer dresses is a big leap for me, I am always worried her beautiful skin would get burnt in the sun but in the long run its better to be cool with a nice flowy dress than be stuck in a skin tight pair of sparkly leggings..

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Purple Check Tassel Dress

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Blue Frill Sleeve

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Denim Mid Blue Flamingo Shirt Set

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Multi Spot Dress

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Lilac Unicorn Dress

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Lemon Print Dress

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Silver Buckle Corkbed Sandles

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Some of the dresses I got for Robin are just simply beautiful, I think my favorite of the lot of them has to be the Lemon Print dress, its just so pretty and can work so well for a wedding outfit, its got this adorable little collar which when Robin wears it with a cardigan sits over the top of it and just looks so adorable.

I can see many of these looking so pretty in the autumn and winter too, with some jeans or tights layered with long sleeve vests, the only one I cant seem to love is the flamingo shirt one, the legs are far to short for my liking and I prefer a much longer leg, and of course with the fact that Robin is tiny enough as it is, it doesn’t sit in the right spot on her body to make it look right, but I know we will make plenty use of the thin shirt that came with the set.

The little sandals are perfect, Its really hard to find shoes that I 1, like on Robin and 2, fit her properly, I do like the look of the jelly shoes but you need to wear them with socks or the rubber, rubs onto the skin and can cause cuts but I do think they are really cute.

I have seen to many more wonderful cute dresses I want to get Robin for when we go away and for the summer in general, her wardrobe is mainly autumn/winter stuff as she is still very much a tiny girl and I didn’t feel the need to get anything new as everything still fits her perfectly fine in the 12 -18 size but the weather changes everything.

What exciting things have you seen in the shops lately for the little ones? or perhaps for yourself?

Until next time

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How quickly did the month of April speed past? April for us is such a busy month with lots of birthdays and of course the half term that landed at the start of the month, I have so many wonderful things that I call my favorites this month so rather than babble about nothing i am just going to jump right into it.

H O M E –

Cereal Dispenser – I got this after I watched SprinkleofGlitters speed clean vlog, I saw it and thought that I had to get it and thankfully when I did look for it on amazon I found it at good price of £9, Mr S thinks I am being rather stupid when this thing turned up but I can see he loves it now, it holds two types of cereal, mine I have the children’s multigrain hoops in one side and some porridge in the other and I just love how it looks in my kitchen.

Painting my kitchen – While this isn’t exactly a ‘item’ but for the past two months since I did up the children’s playroom I have been addicted to decorating and once I sorted out the bathroom floor I wanted to attack my kitchen, which hasnt been touched since we moved in almost 8 years ago now so it needed some much needed TLC. I picked some paint I liked from the shops, this lovely dark grey called Storm Cloud and have slowly been working my way around the room and its really started to make me enjoy my kitchen a lot more than I used to.

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M A K E – U P –

Maybelline Brow Drama – I have probably mentioned this before in one of my favorite posts, I know I talked about it in my ‘Whats in my makeup bag’ tag post that you can read here but its been one of my favorite makeup products that I have owned, I don’t really have eyebrows, they are really fair and when I don’t have anything on them, I look extremely odd, I have been looking into Micro blading but the price is so off putting, but Brow Drama is literally the next best thing, its basically a mascara for your brows and come in a collection of colors, I honestly do not know how I lived without this product in my life.

Angel Perfume – My mum got me this for my birthday, along with a large amount of chocolate, this has been my favorite for a while now and I love how it smells even after the day as gone on, the bottles are always adorable, the one she got me is the refill one so when it runs out I can get the girls at the perfume shop to put some more in there for me.

G A D G E T S –

Nikon CoolPix – This month was my birthday month, Mr S asked me what I wanted and while I knew it was expensive I asked for a camera, I have had my eye on the coolpix for a while, it has the option to record video as well as take photos and while I dont plan on vlogging at any time, I love taking videos of the children and wanted something I can just drop into the nappy bag and not be so cautious about it like I am with my Nikon D60, the camera is fantastic, the only down side that I have is that it wasn’t rechargeable batteries so I have to get disposable ones, I am planning on buying some rechargeable ones so I am not endlessly changing them over and they feel like a complete waste.

The camera itself has such a fantastic zoom on it, I can sit in my house and get a wonderful clear picture of the bus stop that is just over the hill and the quality of the images I am getting are perfect, not as clear as the D60 for obvious reasons but I adore it, it comes out with me during the school runs and as its been beautiful here lately we’ve been going for walks and I’ve been snapping away.

O T H E R –

Bullet Journal – I tried to do one a while ago, the start of the year but I felt utterly non creative that it never got anywhere, but last month I sat down and ignored my self doubt and just had at it, and I love what I’ve created so far, its just mainly for blogging but I have added a monthly diary so I have somewhere to add dates and things, my favorite month cover page I have done so far is May, its just so pretty plus I think that my wonderful Mummy group online also do their on bullet journals really inspired me to do mine again, seeing all their creations.

Cars 3 – Kai was given this for Christmas and it honestly has been on repeat since, Robin loves it and it feels like I am living with a mini Kai again with her coming up to me with the controller asking for it to go on again, and I don’t mind it going on endlessly, its actually a good film and I love how in the end the female car wins the race and shows her mean boss and the other cars that it doesn’t matter who you are, you can do whatever you want to achieve, plus the growth of Lightning McQueen (who it turns out is actually called Monty) from the first film being this show off and self centered idiot into this person who he never expected to be, its such a great film and I often find myself a little weepy at the end.. blame those hormones haha

Grimms Wooden Toys – April was also Robins birthday and the one main feature that I wanted for her as she became two was the fantastic Grimms Wooden Toys, made famous for their beautiful rainbow, One of the things that this toy company is known for us open ended toys to allow children to explore their imagination and shes is loving all these bricks and pots which also look stunning on shelves.

And I Will Kiss – Underworld – I don’t know if you are aware but I am an actual crazy person, This amazing song appeared on my YouTube suggestions and I forgot how amazing this whole thing was, so much so that I went and found the footage from the 2012 Olympics that London hosted and I honestly sat there and got a little weepy, how amazing was that time? here is the song.. and I hope you enjoy it too.

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and there we have all the things that I have enjoyed this month and forward onto May, what sort of things have you considered favorites?

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