How we saved money in the break!

I managed to spend very little money during October term break.  To be completely honest, I am now only earning £160 a week in maternity pay, so the purse strings have had to tighten.  With Ed’s 30th Birthday, Olivia’s 8th Birthday and Christmas looming, I’ve had to try and be as tight as I possibly can.

What really saved the day, was ‘BH_Rocks‘ on Facebook. Also Bournemouth Rocks and Poole Rocks.  If you have children of school age, then you should know about this latest craze, and should be an artist in the making by now.  The idea is that you find rocks, stones, pebbles and cobbles.  You paint them however you like.  Then you hide them around town for others to find.  If you find one, you take a picture and upload it to the Facebook group, and the owner of the rock can see how far the rock has travelled. We were extremely lucky as we have so much paint and arts and crafts bits that just don’t get used.  Well they were dragged out and our dining table was turned into an art station.  Here are some of the rocks we painted- although the crocodile and poppy stones are not ours.

We hid the rainbow, lady bird, bee and smurf stone all in Poole Park.  They were found that afternoon and posted straight online.  Olivia gets so excited when she sees her stones with other children.  While hiding them road Poole Park, we took the opportunity to have a little play and a wander round, as the weather over the term break was actually quite nice.


We also had the opportunity to spend some of our stone painting and hiding fun with Olivia’s dance friends.  We went to Upton Country Park– on a mission to find as many hidden rocks as possible.  Turned out that the kids were actually quite bad at finding them, as the majority of them were found by the mummys, and although I’d love to gloat and pretend that mummy was me, it wasn’t! Emma just so happens to be the queen of rock finding.  Emma did give the children clues, and they all found one each.


We visited Hamworthy Park twice.  I have never been before, so was shocked at how beautiful that side of town is.  On our way to rehearsals for Olivia’s next show ‘Oh Happy Days‘, we stopped off there to collect some rocks to paint after the practice.  We had to be quick because, as usual, we were running a little later than I expected and I thought that Lytchett Matravers was a lot further away from Hamworthy than it actually was.  Ed, Isla and I later went back in the week which was lovely, as the weather was good, and it was so quiet and peaceful.


On the Saturday we spent a spooky evening at Adventure Wonderland.  They opened their doors in the evening for families to celebrate Halloween, putting on a great little show, having access to the maze (in the dark), which was also interactive, with ghostly people jumping out at you every now and again.  Also the children had access to the indoor play area, and were given a hot dog and chips meal.  This cost us under £20 for all 4 of us.  Not too bad.

As always, I enjoyed getting Olivia dressed and made up.  Here is her spooky face and make up transition.

After much deliberation, I had decided that it may be frowned upon if I did matching facepaint for Isla.  Damn all the judgement, boring, sensible people in the world that I don’t want to upset!  Ruining my inappropriate parenting fun!

Olivia and Isla did have matching costumes though! So I got my kicks a little.  Both outfits bought from Wilkinsons– Olivia’s £6 and Isla’s £4.


Bless poor little Isla, who is really suffering with the dark evenings at the moment.  She’s absolutely petrified of the dark.  I noticed a few weeks back when I was walking out with her in the evenings.  She would become agitated when the sun started to set, and by the time it was dark- she would be screaming! The same thing happens in the night.  It is a very different cry in comparison to her ‘look at me, your ignoring me!’ cry.  So in addition to all the usual stuff that we as parents have to lug around in our changing bags, we now have different sets of torches and lights in there.  So halloween, we kitted her out with glow sticks too!



Overall, we had a fantastic but cheap half term. Now very much looking forward to the Christmas break and preparing for the festive season.

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