Thursday, 5 March 2015

After #wallsaucemakeover

Last month I wrote a before post about our mural makeover project with wallsauce showing how dull and uninspiring the playroom was.  Big boring magnolia walls lacking personality, well wallsauce certainly came to the rescue in that respect, the room has been transformed and the boys are very happy with the end result.

A photo posted by Karen (@missingsleep) on

Hubbie found it easy to put up.  The instructions are quite comprehensive, letting you know what additional tools you might need (such as a spirit level and plumb line) and tips for a successful installation.  To achieve the best results they recommend two people work together to install the mural, hubbie is quite determined (or should I say stubborn!) and managed to do it on his own.

A photo posted by Karen (@missingsleep) on

We had the textured self-adhesive which hubbie would vouch for as it meant no messing about with paste or water, just peel off the back and stick to the wall so that certainly made things almost effortless.  I think the extra £10/m2 is worth paying just to simplify the installation.

The boys were absolutely delighted with the end result.  It seems we always tend to gravitate towards the mural; it makes an exciting backdrop for any pictures we want to take.  Youngest blew out his birthday candles with Batman watching on.  The image intrigues the boys, they like the action captured in it with the bullet holes and the smashed up police cars.  They are in awe of Batman dominating the picture and it makes them keen to have adventures of their own.

Here is a little video with eldest highlighting why he likes the mural so much:

Eldest thought the mural would be the size of a regular poster, so it was a pleasant surprise when he saw the finished installation.  He was ready for action; he changed into his Batman costume and wanted to have an adventure.

You can really tell it was a captivating mural when my son’s friends are planning on moving in with us just to be near it!!!  I will be sending their parents the link to wallsauce instead…

PICKUP! #chocninja Campaign

PICKUP! this very morning launch a new campaign inspired by their Ninja Chihuahua to find more #chocninja dogs to join his crew as apprentices.   Ninja’s are renowned for blending into the background but Ninja Chihuahua makes an exception because PICKUP! are something else entirely so he enjoys being seen on television!  Delicious thick chocolate biscuits require guardians to make sure every mouthful is respected and that the nation does not miss out on such a lovely treat.  PICKUP! have found five dogs already who demand respect, will your dog make the grade and be number six? Today the nationwide hunt begins.

PICKUP! research found that 73% of dog owners think their dog had special skills; so do not be shy putting your talented pouch forward.  I wonder if Summer could be a ninja dog in training!  She certainly shows lots of stealth when stealing her daddy’s shoes, odd socks and the boys soft toys to chew on!  One minute you see her looking all innocent then she sneaks off and lays claim to whatever she can get her paws on… today she had pinched the shoelaces out of a shoe before I had even noticed she had moved!

So I think I should start a training programme for her to become the sixth #chocninja she certainly has potential.  She could spend her evenings swotting up on ninja films and watching the video clips of the chosen five for tips and moves!  She will have to learn to quit whining, as it is easy to pinpoint her location when she follows me around crying for attention.  Although she does go completely silent when she is up to mischief!

We will continue to go on long walks together, the owner (me) fuelled on PICKUP! and then we can make sure she has the endurance to adapt to ninja life.  I am sure my pup would be resourceful using the weapons available to her, who need’s throwing stars when you have a steady supply of tennis balls to improvise with instead!

You can keep up to date with all the ninja news and find out more information through the PICKUP! facebook page or on the website.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Confused about Investments?

I am new to investments as we never seem to have much spare cash to put anywhere other than the absolute essentials, food, utilities, the mortgage any little left over seems to be quickly spent by the kids.  They have lots of after school activities, themed dinners and as is the way with lots of children they enjoy badgering their mummy for THINGS (toys, sweets and magazines)!!!  I am hoping though as hubbie and I get older that will start to change, as the mortgage slowly gets paid, we might free up more disposable income finally.

My parents are very sensible, never spending more than they earn, building up a little nest egg (which helped my brother and I with our respective houses).  I want to follow in their footsteps so I can help my own children when the time comes, whether its extra money for a wedding, the deposit on their first home or to set up a savings account for any potential grandchildren.  But if we keep living hand to mouth I will never have anything to leave them (aside from a big house in need of serious renovation!!!).

I was having a look on Nutmeg, which seems a very flexible and intelligent online investments platform.  I like that you can update your preferences depending on how risk adverse you are (not very!) and what your goal is (mine will be something to do with the children no doubt!).  It’s very important I look after my boys in the way my parents always have for me.  You then add your investing timeframe, for us it would probably be 10 or so years, just in case they need a little help funding their education.  At one point eldest said he wanted to be a doctor, although this does vary daily, at one time he said a singing builder… but it is important to be ready for any eventuality.

I like how it plots a graph of your projection depending on your contributions and risk level (I would settle with “avoiding loss is the priority”!), but if you are feeling brave and adventurous (“I’ll risk large losses for higher gains”) then there is the potential to earn a considerable amount (enough to secure their education and a few cruise holidays I think!).  The graph tells you if you are off track for what you originally wanted to achieve and how to get back on track (it cleverly says the revised contribution level to do this!).

It’s definitely given me some good ideas if I ever manage to get on top of my finances!