8 Easy Tips to Reduce Your Grocery Bill

In light of my recent post about Grocery Budget Busting and trying to use up what’s in my pantry & freezer in an effort to save money, I’ve decided to share some tips on how to reduce your own grocery bill.

Yesterday, on my first grocery shop on my self-imposed grocery shopping ban, I noticed a few things

  • Those half-price (or sometimes better) deals are seriously there to draw you in. I was walking past and noticed one and immediately I was like ohhhhhh and made a direct beeline for that product (I can’t even remember what that was and it was only 24 hours ago, so obviously I won’t die without it)
  • I started to question if previously I have just been spending $180/week on groceries because “that’s my budget”. Regardless of if I had to purchase meat or not, I always managed to spend AT LEAST that amount of money.

So here are some tips to help reduce your own Grocery Bill:

  1. Before you go, have something to eat. Take a bottle of water with you and chew gum if you have to. This way you are shopping on a full stomach.
  2. Join rewards programs if the shop offers it. Here in Australia, we unfortunately don’t have access to Coupons (I wish we did!!!). These programs are free (Woolworths Rewards and Flybuys are 2 that I know of and Flybuys I use all the time), they give you money back, just for shopping. I’m always surprised when someone doesn’t have a rewards card. IT’S FREE MONEY PEOPLE!!! (sorry for shouting, I just don’t understand it hehe) I usually try to save my Flybuys dollars up for Christmas. But I have been known to cash in some money when I have been a bit short before. Also, with Flybuys, you can connect your activity tracker and receive 10 points every day you reach 10,000 steps. There are other programs you can link to your card, and you can use Flybuys at Coles, Coles Service Stations (when you get your fuel), Target, Kmart, Liquorland and First Choice. Every 2000 points = $10. This all adds up for doing what you do usually.
  3. Menu/Meal Plan. Yes, it can be long and sometimes painful, but this is the only way you will know what you need to buy! When the catalogues arrive, look at the specials and compare, then choose where you will shop and what goes on your menu. Ask the kids what they would like for dinner. If the answer is Chicken nuggets and chips, put potato’s and chicken on the list. (my kids love it when I cut the potato’s using the peeler and put them in the oven. They taste and look like potato chips and they think it’s a real treat!) Some of our family favourites that go a fair way or can be stretched are: Shepherds Pie, Lasagne, Taco’s, Sausages and Veggies, Spaghetti Bolognaise, Chicken (it’s so versatile you can use it for anything really), Casseroles/Stew/Slow-Cooker Meals (especially in Winter). I love adding Dumplings to my casseroles as that makes the meal stretch quite significantly especially when teamed with pasta or rice and it’s full of veggies.
  4. Make a list. Write out everything you need, but be sure to STICK TO IT!! Again, it’s easy to be sucked in to the ohhhhh specials!! Those tags are designed to be eye catching!!!!
  5. Check what’s in your pantry/freezer and use that first, also, cross reference your list you’ve just made and cross it off if you own it. Sometimes (like me) you may be able to get away with a small shop because you have no room in your freezer or pantry. Do you actually know what’s in there? What’s lurking in the back? Or that top shelf? Are you doubling or tripling up on some things? Shop at home first at least once a month to use up what you can and have a “top up shop” only. Imagine only doing a top up shop once a month and only spending $50 instead of $180 – that’s a savings of over $1,500 per year!! Fun Fact: That’s almost enough to fly a family of 4 from Brisbane to New Zealand and back 😉 Holiday anyone??
  6. Look at the price. Now this one seems obvious, but with packages being all different shapes and sizes, sometimes what first seems the best deal really isn’t. Look at the 100g/100ml price and compare. Don’t be brand loyal. I have started trying Coles brand products and 9 times out of 10 I don’t know the difference and a lot of the times, when looking at the nutritional label, there IS no difference. I’m a bit of a snob with my coffee, so I do spend a little more but when I’m only having 1 per day generally, I figure, life is too short to drink terrible coffee. Oh and toilet paper, I like the brand I like, so I won’t compromise. But milk, flour, sugar, etc are absolutely fine being the home brand and work just as well. Also, compare prices in the Deli per kg to the pre-packaged. I can generally buy Chicken cheaper from the deli then the meat section and sometimes Chicken Drumsticks are on sale for $2-$3/kg – When this happens, I stock up and buy a few kg’s worth. It makes for an easy dinner and you can use them a few different ways. (as of right now, Chicken Drumsticks are $3.50 per kilo at Woolworths, 2kg would easily make 3-4 meals for our family depending what I make with it, that’s around $2 per meal or 50c per person)
  7. Use leftovers. I love leftovers. It means I often don’t need to do anything except heat and serve. It makes for easy dinners on those days when you’re running late or you just can’t be bothered. You can purchase Chinese containers for $10 for 25 at Coles or Woolworths (same price at both) if you would prefer to freeze and have a stockpile of ready to go meals, but don’t forget to use them!!!!
  8. Stick to your Menu/Meal Plan. If you make a meal plan, stick to it as much as possible. Sometimes, you will unexpectedly end up with extras, or you get a random invitation to a BBQ (it is Summer in Australia after all), so some weeks you won’t end up making every meal on the plan. Therefore, when this happens, make sure these meals are the first thing to be added to next weeks meal plan. You already have all the ingredients after all.

So this is my list and 8 easy tips to save yourself some money. My top hint is definitely taking advantage of Rewards Programs and taking the time to discover what other things you can link to it. Get the most you possibly can out of these free programs that can end up giving you $100+ (depending on your general shop) come Christmas time. I have used Flybuys to purchase Christmas Presents and Christmas lunch for the extended family and I haven’t had to dig into my budget for this.

I hope this has helped, and I plan on sharing some of my family’s favorite recipes over the coming weeks while I use up what I discover in my freezer and pantry! On the menu tonight is Spaghetti Marinara.

Christine xx

 

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Grocery Budget Busting

Usually tomorrow (Friday) is my grocery day! But this week, tired of the overwhelming mess in my pantry, I’ve decided to challenge myself by not grocery shopping – or at least drastically reducing the amount spent.

The honest mess in my pantry.

The plan: Use as many items in my fridge/freezer and pantry as I can.

Exceptions: I am allowed to purchase Milk, Bread/Wraps, fresh salad ingredients and fresh fruit (lunches and snacks). But ONLY when I’ve run out of the items we already have.

I have plenty of items to bake snacks for school – biscuits/cakes/slices, my freezer has enough meat and misc. items in there, as does my pantry. There were some things I’ve purchased because they were for a recipe that I never made (Tamarind Paste anyone).

My normal grocery budget is $180/week to feed a family of 4 (2x adults, Miss 5 and Mr 4). Overall, I would love to cut that down if possible.

My Goals:

  •  To save as much money as possible from my grocery budget.
  • Stop unnecessary overspending.
  • Get creative with my recipes using food I currently have available.
  • Declutter my freezers (we have one fridge/freezer combo plus an additional freezer).
  • Declutter my pantry.
  • Become more intentional and smarter with my grocery shopping and hopefully get my budget down as much as possible.

What I will report back: Recipes used, actual money spent on purchasing groceries and what I bought, updated pictures of my pantry, a list of anything I’ve thrown out (because of out of date etc) and amazing discoveries (because who knows what’s actually in the freezer & pantry).

CHALLENGE: Look in your pantry and freezer – could it do with a clean out? Instead of throwing out and being wasteful, could you maybe skip a week (or 2) grocery shopping and save yourself some money? What difference would this make to your family?

Let’s bust this grocery budget!!!

Christine xx

31 Days of Blogging Challenge.

Another Challenge I will be participating in is31-day-challenge inspired by The Caffine Gal (what can I say, her blog name just calls to my coffee-loving heart). However, I am choosing to do this challenge a little differently, as I don’t want to over-commit or limit myself and only post about this for 31 days straight.

I’ve decided to spread this post out a bit and keep the variety of my posts going (because there will be days where I just want to write about cake! haha) and so I will continue to write when inspiration hits.

I’ve also chosen to skip day 1 as I have done an Introduction post when I first started blogging, so straight onto day 2: 20 facts about me.

  1. I have brown hair & brown eyes.
  2. I have curly hair which I really dislike most days, but then there are other days when I simply love it, especially when I need a nice up-do quite quickly.
  3. I was married at 23.
  4. I had my first born (Miss S) on my 27th Birthday. Yes, I delivered my first child on my birthday.
  5. Mr L was born almost 2 years later, but I was only 28.
  6. I’ve had 2 c-sections, both emergency, one under general and one under spinal block.
  7. My husband has missed both births of our children.
  8. My husband and I have been married for 10 years this year (2017)
  9. I endured 2.5 years of IVF.
  10. But both children were conceived naturally without outside help.
  11. I have 4 nephews, but no neices.
  12. I have a handmade sewing business (Little Cherry Owl) that focus’ on Girls Clothing, but I also do embroidery and make all types of things from embroidered t-shirts, hooded towels, felt masks, finger puppets, keyrings, personalised items (e.g.: library bags, chair bags etc). I’ve been sewing for over 5 years as a business, but Little Cherry Owl is only 2 years old with this year being my make or break year!
  13. I really enjoy going to Gymnastics, even though I’m not fantastic at it, I still love it.
  14. I have only ever left the country once, which was for our honeymoon on a cruise.
  15. The first time I ever got on a plane was the day after we got married to go on our cruise.
  16. I have only ever visited Queensland and New South Wales. I haven’t been to any other state in Australia. (but hoping that will change in coming years)
  17. My favourite movie is Dirty Dancing. I have seen Dirty Dancing on stage twice, the first time was for my 21st birthday, the second was more recent. I much preferred the first one.
  18. I’ve seen Bon Jovi in concert – and LOVED every second of it. (I’ve also seen Roxette)
  19. I’ve always said I was born in the wrong era, I love older movies (think Dirty Dancing, Grease, Labyrinth etc) and older songs (Queen, Bon Jovi, Michael Jackson, Bryan Adams)
  20. My brother-in-law sung our first dance song at our wedding. She’s The One, Robbie Williams version. He is so talented and it was such an emotional moment.

Well there you go, 20 facts about me. It was easier then I thought!!

Christine xx

 

Week 2 ~ 52 Weeks of Gratitude

Week 2 ~ Spouse / Significant Other.

What can I say about my hubby? We got together when I was 20, started living in sin at 21 😉 married at 23 and this August we have been married for 10 years. 1007333063320

What first attracted me to my hubby in that bar all those years ago? His eyes, he has these amazing blue eyes that I get lost in. Every. Time. He wasn’t my “usual type” but that hadn’t worked in the past, so I thought, lets have some fun…. almost 13 years later, here we are.

In this time we have made our house a home, we’ve painted, renovated and boy have we had some fights and heartbreaks, but also some immense joy and of course – love! We have had so many new experiences together but also enjoyed time apart with our friends.

Why am I grateful for my husband?

  • We have bought 2 beautiful little humans into this world (Miss S & Mr L) and we certainly have our own carbon copies in these 2, with Miss S exactly like me and Mr L like hubby – and imagine my joy when he kept those beautiful blue eyes!!!
  • He’s my other half, he is the one that made me complete and I love him to pieces (even in those times he’s driven me CRAZY, and vice-versa).
  • He works hard and allows me the luxury of staying at home while the kids are still young, letting me be involved in the school,
  • He supports my hobbies/business ideas like sewing from home for the last 5+ years (and of course, his encouragement is one of the reasons I started blogging!)grateful-hubby
  • He let’s me sleep in when he knows I need it, and has, on occasion even taken the kids out of the house when he knows it’s been a particularly rough week and I need that time. Just the fact he knows when I need it I appreciate so much.
  • He’s supported me through the ups and downs of IVF (even though both children were conceived naturally, but that’s a story for another time), and held me all those devastating times when we thought we weren’t going to have children.
  • He truly is my rock and I’m not sure I would have been able to mentally cope through all of the hard times throughout the years without him.
  • He’s a smart man who knows when to bring wine 😉
  • And of course, he married me!10209822585381046

I have so many reasons to be grateful for my husband. At the end of the day, I always appreciate that he is in my life, I couldn’t imagine sharing it with anyone else if I’m really honest.

Luckily, loving him is (mostly) easy

Christine xx

To see previous posts from the Gratitude Challenge, click the link below:

Week 1 ~ Why start this challenge?

 

Spiderman Cake Tutorial

As you would have seen from my post yesterday, Thursday was Mr L’s 4th Birthday. He loves all things Avengers/Superheroes. He originally wanted Spiderman for his cupcakes, and with the effort this one took I’m so glad that I saved my effort for this cake.Spiderman Cake 1-4.jpg

  1. First I baked the cake. I chose a Chocolate Devil’s Food Cake and baked in a rectangle brownie pan which was nice and deep (about 5cm).
  2. Once cooled. I printed out a colouring in page from Google. I just searched Spiderman Face Colouring Page and chose my favourite. I then re-sized in Microsoft Word to fit an A4 page, printed and then cut it out.
  3. Placed the piece of paper on the cake and then trimmed the cake using a serrated edge knife.
  4. Do this to both layers (if using 2, which I did)Spiderman Cake 5-6.jpg.
  5. Chocolate Cream layer in between cake layers. To make this I put some thickened cream into my bowl (maybe about 200-300ml), 1 tablespoon each of cocoa powder and icing sugar and whipped until stiff. This was kind of an accidental genius moment as the result tasted like chocolate mousse and it was DELICIOUS!!!!! Put the second cake layer on top.
  6. Crumb Coat. I used Wilton’s buttercream recipe for my icing most of the time. Otherwise I just use regular butter in a packet and icing sugar with a splash of milk and play with the quantities until I’m happy with the consistency. The Crumb Coat isn’t supposed to be neat, and it isn’t supposed to be pretty, it’s designed to suck up and stick in the crumbs so that your top layer can be beautiful and smooth with no crumbs showing. Cover the cake and all the sides in icing, Spiderman Cake 7.jpgit doesn’t have to be a thick layer of icing, just thin enough to catch those crumbs, then put in the fridge for at least half an hour or so. Yes, it’s a pain in the bum step, but you’ll be glad you have done this when you get that perfect smooth crumb-free final look! You won’t regret it – I promise!!! I do this even if I’m piping on the cake instead of wanting a smooth finish, as it helps the piping stick to the cake.
  7. Now it’s time for your final icing layer – I use the angled spatula that you can see, it’s so much easier to get that awesome smooth look. See that beautiful finish…. isn’t it pretty?? Spiderman Cake 8-11.jpg
  8. To get the web placement right I used my wire cake leveller but you could use a knife, floss, clean fishing line etc to lightly mark your cake in sections.
  9. Now, here is where the hard work starts and your muscles get a work out. I used Wilton Black Sparkle Gel for the web. I used a skewer in the end to poke the hole as opposed to cutting the end off the tip for a finer result. Follow the lines you’ve made in step 8.
  10. Next do the little dips in between each part of the web Spiderman 11.1.jpguntil the top is covered. Mine isn’t perfect, but the end result is effective. This is the part where I put the cake back in the fridge because my arms were killing me.
  11. Next follow your lines down the side, start at the bottom and work your way up until you’ve finished all the way around. I kept telling myself it will be worth it in the end. My arm muscles certainly got a workout anyway 😉 Spiderman Cake 12-14.jpg
  12. Next is the eyes. I have made Marshmallow Fondant before and if you are completely covering a cake I highly recommend it! The taste is amazing and sooooo much better flavouring then the store bought stuff. Although, if you need black, purchase it. I have tried and tried again to successfully make black and it always turns out grey. I have been told to purchase the black powder, but am yet to try this. These fondants are purchased. I went back to my print out and cut out the eyes (but don’t throw out the face yet). Roll out the fondant (use icing sugar on baking paper and continue to move it as you’re rolling it out to keep it workable and not sticking to anything). Use a sharp knife to cut around the paper (I have a little tool that I use that is like a super small knife one end and a point at the other end)
  13. Trim the paper again and do the same with the white.
  14. Almost finished with the eyes…. Use water lightly on your finger to clean off the icing sugar and stick the white fondant to the black. Don’t use too much, it’s better to not use enough and add to it, you can’t take it back. Also, wash your hands after you touch the black – every. time. Trust me on this. It’s tricky to get black fingerprints off white fondant. It’s possible, but I prefer not to do it.
  15. Last step….. can you hardly believe it?!? Use the original face with the eyes to cut out to work out roughly where the eyes should sit. DON’T lay it down on the cake,  just hover it over and get a rough idea. spiderman-cake-completeEnd result – Mr L LOVED IT!!!!! (I also had to make him a Spiderman outfit to wear to dinner, he thought his Lego Spiderman was so cool!

I’ll do more step-by-steps as I do more cakes and cupcakes throughout the year. Hope these inspire you to make your own cakes, even if they aren’t perfect, the kids still love them and I bet they won’t even notice or remember the imperfections, they’ll just remember that super cool Spiderman Cake you created with love.

Christine xx

 

Cupcake Decorating #1

Thursday was my little man’s 4th Birthday. This time has just flown by, but one thing I do love doing every year is making my kids birthday cakes.

First is the cupcakes from Pre-Prep Wednesday. Spiderman was the request, looking back, I’m so glad that I didn’t go down this track. His main birthday cake was Spiderman and it took a LONG time.

I used my go-to cake recipe for all my vanilla cakes from the Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book. I have the revised anniversary edition and it’s in a very loved condition hehe so I had to take a photo from google, but I remember my mum baking me cakes from this exact book. It’s full of memories and hope to pass those memories onto my own children! the-australian-women-s-weekly-children-s-birthday-cake-book.jpg

But, if you aren’t a make-from-scratch kinda person, then I have also used the 75c packets of Butter Cake mix from Coles or Woolworths, and these work perfectly fine (I also usually put in an extra 2-3 tablespoons of Self-Raising Flour just to bulk it out and be the consistency I prefer). Now, back to the decorating.

I use the Wilton Colour Gel as it gets an amazing colouring that I just can’t achieve with the Queens Colouring in those bottles (you all know what I’m talking about). For the cupcakes I’ve used Royal Blue for one batch and Leaf Green for the second, for the icing i used Christmas Red & Royal Blue. I decided against Spiderman as I had run out of time, so using my Wilton 2D piping tip I piped from the outside in going upwards as I went (Similar to a soft serve ice cream cone but nowhere near as tall). These went down well with the kids. Cupcakes.jpg

Tomorrow I will do an in-depth post on my Spiderman cake in step-by-step form.

Christine xx

PS: The photo’s in my feature image are all cupcakes I’ve done over the last few years. I’ll be slowly adding tutorials as to how I’ve created these effects over time.

 

Personality Test Results

So I’ve heard plenty about these tests on Podcasts, come across them on Blog Posts, so it’s my turn. Let’s have a bit of fun and see how these results vary.

First one was a Myers-Briggs style test from 16personalities.com – I looked at doing the actual Myers-Briggs test, however at $49.95 + tax, I’m not in a position to do that one at the moment. My result: ENFJ – T which stands for: Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging (with the T being Turbulent) ~ and a link to my profile: https://www.16personalities.com/profiles/5890f4975594a

What Myers Briggs say about my personality type ~ ENFJ – Warm, empathetic, responsive, and responsible. Highly attuned to the emotions, needs, and motivations of others. Find potential in everyone, want to help others fulfill their potential. May act as catalysts for individual and group growth. Loyal, responsive to praise and criticism. Sociable, facilitate others in a group, and provide inspiring leadership.

Second, I tried Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tenancies Quiz. The four types are: Upholder, Questioner, Obliger & Rebel. Turns out, I’m an Obliger.

What Gretchen Rubin says about Obligers – Obligers respond readily to outer expectations, but struggle to meet inner expectations. In other words, they work hard not to let other people down, but they often let themselves down. Obligers may find it difficult to form a habit, because often we undertake habits for our own benefit, and Obligers do things more easily for others than for themselves. For Obligers, the key to forming habits is to create external accountability.

Third is the Big Five Personality Test. My result is: I am highly open to experience (O), my score for openness was high, at 77.5%, I am highly conscientious (C), my score for Conscientiousness was high, at 82.5%, I am moderately extraverted (E), my score for Extraversion was moderate, at 47.5% (Myers-Briggs I received 59% extraverted), I am high in Agreeableness (A), my score for Agreeableness was high, at 87.5%, I am low in neuroticism, my score for neuroticism was low, at 17.5%. Some parts of this quiz I agreed with, others I don’t especially when reading the descriptions of each.

From the same website, I again took the test to check my personality type from the 16 choices. And again my result was ENFJ (62.67%) with my next closest one the ESFJ (59.95%).

Fourth is the DISC Personality Testing, I chose the free one, but again, there is a paid full assessment for $29. My at work DISC style is S/CD or S/DC.

What it says about my style S/CD or S/DC – You have a blend of Supportive, Cautious, and Dominant traits. Your Supportive traits are probably a little stronger than your Cautious or Dominant traits. Some words that describe you are: Helpful, Kind, Results-oriented, and Careful. You have both people-oriented and task-oriented traits, although you may tend a little towards a task-oriented perspective. You can either be reserved or outgoing. You probably like to get things done in a way that protects other people’s feelings. It is likely that you are supportive and careful, but you can get moving and make things happen if necessary.

Out of the personality tests I’ve taken, I found the Myers-Briggs most in depth and accurate, followed by the Gretchen Rubin Four Tenancies.

Today’s Challenge: Choose at least one test and discover what your result is. Share below and tell me what’s your type and do you find it accurate?

Christine xx

Books Read January 2017

I am always on the lookout for new authors, self-help titles, and recommendations. Sometimes it’s hard to find a good book you can sink your teeth into and get wrapped up. So I am starting a new monthly post including books I’ve read for the year. I have a Kindle Paperwhite and am a subscriber to Kindle Unlimited, therefore, a majority of my book choices are through that platform.

  1. A Shade of Dragon by Bella Forrest
  2. A Shade of Dragon 2 by Bella Forrest
  3. A Shade of Dragon 3 by Bella Forrest
  4. A Shade of Vampire 37: An Empire of Stones by Bella Forrest
  5. A Shade of Vampire 38: A Power of Old by Bella Forrest
  6. Everything We Keep by Kerry Lonsdale
  7. All The Breaking Waves by Kerry Lonsdale
  8. Kill Me Again by Rachel Abbott
  9. 52 Small Changes to a Happier, Healthier You by Brett Blumenthal
  10. Stranger Child by Rachel Abbott

Some of these books are short or I couldn’t stop reading, which is probably why I managed 10 in 1 month! I only received the Kindle for Christmas, so have caught up on Bella Forrest‘s books (although, her new book was released 2 days ago, so it’s next on my list of books to read!) If you like fantasy books (similar to Twilight, but COMPLETELY different) I highly suggest this series starting with A Shade of Vampire 1, that introduces the main characters and it builds and grows from there. I’m really enjoying those reads and have been hooked from the very first book.

Kerry Lonsdale and Rachel Abbott are new authors to me, I found them from Kindle Unlimited recommendations and am glad I took the plunge and am currently working my way through their current titles.

Other authors I love: Jodi Picoult, Cecelia Ahern (I read PS: I love you long before the movie came out and from there I was absolutely hooked, it was a book that made me laugh and cry and then laugh again), Gina Robinson (another favourite that I discovered only last year that I found through ebooks, I discovered her Switched at Marriage series and couldn’t stop reading, I have been lucky enough to do some advanced reading for her previously and am hoping to do more this year), Dean Koontz and Stephen King. Jodi, Ceclia and Dean’s books are the only ones I have kept on my bookshelf (along with the Twilight Series – guilty) when I decluttered that space.

Do you have any favourite authors? Books you love? I would love your recommendations. (And bonus points if they are available on Kindle Unlimited)

Christine xx

PS: All links provided above are direct links to the author’s websites, none of these are affiliate links.

52 Weeks of Gratitude Introduction

Week 1: Why Start this Challenge?

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Original Image: http://jenngietzen.tumblr.com/?crlt.pid=camp.dNAX05gQVRSy

After seeing this Challenge on the lovely Hannah from Paint Me A Smile’s Blog, I decided that I loved the concept. I really wanted to partcipate and believe that being Grateful and showing Gratitude is one way I can live more intentionally.

From now on, Monday is my official “Gratitude Day”. Why Monday? Because so many people dislike Monday’s, so if I chose this day to be a happy day, then it rates higher on the list.

“The more you are in a state of gratitude, the more you will attract things to be grateful for.” ~ Walt Disney

I’m looking forward to not only sharing a bit more about myself, but to opening up my heart and appreciating what’s right in front of me, and who knows, my gratitude posts could inspire you to start your own challenge.

Christine xx

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What’s in your bag?

When writing the draft for this I had “maybe clean out the bag first, or don’t and be 100% honest that it isn’t neat haha” so guess what I went for??

In the spirit of keeping my blog true to myself and to my readers, I decided to dump my bag and show you what you can find in there on a fairly regularly (let’s be generous and say monthly) basis.whats-in-my-bag-beforeYes, here is the 100% honest version of exactly what’s in my bag. The messy pile items vary day-to-day/week-to-week, but basically I had my sons thongs that were hurting his feet, so purchased new ones and was meaning to take these out when we got to the car. Done groceries and thongs were promptly forgotten, McDonald’s toy from the movie Sing, random receipts & rubbish, an old script, used iTunes voucher and Flybuys vouchers.

So after doing a quick, much-needed clean out, here is actually what SHOULD be in my bag on a daily basis (Note to self: throw out those receipts!!!):whats in my bag after.jpg

  1. My Handbag (obviously) ~ It’s a Chanel that my husband bought back for me from Dubai when he visited with his family, I had to stay at home with the kids as we thought they were too young to travel at the time, luckily we did as he had a 7 hour unexpected wait in Singapore so was travelling for over 24 hours – with 2 kids, yeahhhh NO! lol So I like to think it’s authentic, so we’ll go with that 😉
  2. Kikki K Planner in Large ~ This planner has everything I absolutely need in it. It’s basically my brain. Sometimes I will carry it in my bag with me, other times, it will stay in the car and I’ll take out what I need. I guess it depends on whether I am going to be sitting down (e.g.: going for coffee with friends, watching the kids play at the playground etc) as sometimes something pops up, or we are arranging the next meet-up or inspiration hits. This way it’s right there and I can write it down immediately. I’ll be doing a flip through planner set up post in the near future.
  3. Kindle Paperwhite & Handmade Carrier ~ I’m loving my Kindle. I do take this with me everywhere I go as I can read when I am able to. It saves me carrying around a book or 2 as sometimes I feel like reading a self improvement book, other times I love losing myself in some fiction. The Cinderella Kindle Pouch was made by myself on my embroidery machine. I LOVE it. It’s padded so it protects my kindle when thrown in my bag. Sometimes I just throw my phone and some cash in here and carry the pouch on it’s own.
  4. Laura Jones Wallet ~ I saw this design and fell in love. I umm’d and ahh’d about it because 1. I had a handmade wallet that was ok, but not perfect, but maybe I could make a new one that was and 2. It’s mostly white….. I must say however, that the white has held up remarkably well and I don’t regret the purchase at all. It has PLENTY of space for all my cards, I can put my phone in there and carry it as is if I want and it has a separate section for those not-as-often-used cards.
  5. Keys ~ What can you really say about keys, here’s my roller door button, I drive a Mazda 6 Diesel Sedan/Hatch, it also has my house keys. Ohhhh exciting.
  6. Finally, my iPhone 6 ~ Yes, I’m an Apple girl. I love my iPhone and have been using one since the 3 come out, and last year I upgraded to a MacBook Air for my laptop. I love the connectivity between devices. Unfortunately I no longer have a pretty case on my phone as a result of having this funny habit of dropping my phone and the skill to manage to drop it at just the right angle to smash my screen costing me $$$ 😦 (once I even managed to close my iPhone 5s in the door while it was in my jumper pocket, resulting in a shattered screen and a bent phone, yep, I have skills) So ugly Otterbox case it is.

So, there you have it. My real-life What’s in My Bag? post. The brutally, embarassing showcase of what happens when your a mum. So when you see the other posts that look like a flat-lay for a magazine, and wish your handbag looks like that, don’t be scared, you aren’t alone.

Today’s Challenge: Are you brave enough to take a brutally honest photo of What’s in Your Bag?? (Or am I completely alone in the mess?)

Christine xx