Wednesday, 10 June 2015

So, Where Was I?

Hello

I would not blame you if you had long since given up reading this blog and moved on to other bloggers.

I haven't posted in over 6 months and my last post told you we were having some problems.

We spent the months before and after Christmas going through investigative procedures which resulted in February being told that The Chap has super sperm. Yes, seriously that's the term the Consultant used! Super Sperm! I bet you are imagining sperm wearing y front over tights now aren't up you as they frantically swim towards an egg?

His were plentiful, of a good quality and going in the right direction. Bless Him, he was so proud of his swimmers. He even told his parents over Sunday lunch recently. That wasn't awkward  at all love..

So why weren't we we pregnant with his determined little heroes ?

No matter how wonderful his sperm is at 42, if there are no eggs then there is nothing to fertilise.
The problem is all mine. I had hardly any eggs left.

So very very sad.

I had been using a fertility monitor which cost £100 new and I bought second hand from eBay. The sticks were then about £30 a month. Getting pregnant is not cheap.

I knew I wasn't ovulating all the time but thought that sometimes you could miss it, as you ovulated after taking the morning test but the it had gone by the next morning.

No, no egg, no happy fucking smiley face for me on the machine. (sorry for the swearing)

We are lucky we could have one round of NHS funded IVF where I live if we could give up smoking for three months. I smoked my last cigarette on 3rd of January before we had been told we couldn't conceive. The Chap a few weeks later after our consultant appointment.

TC sole contributions to the process is a twenty minute happy time in a locked room with some mags, me? Well mine involved needles blood work and a lap and dye. That's a process of injecting dye into your Fallopian tubes to check for blockages.  Don't let anyone tell you it will be a bit sore. Forcing one's cervix open is a painful but quick procedure the dye hurts like hell and then you wait with your FooFoo out for all in the X-ray department to examine.

IVF was booked for April as we had to start before my 39th birthday to qualify for free IVF. Honestly we were really lucky to get it hardly any NHS districts offer it so it was liked being offered hens teeth.

So the beginning of feb we learnt of my barren status and settled down to see if our IVF would be lucky. Would it?  What would happen?




I'm writing this now 20 weeks pregnant, and fat with knickers that roll down as I'm too tight to buy maternity knickers wearing eBay bought maternity clothes with terrible indigestion and Yet I couldn't be happier.

Two and a half weeks after being told the devastating news about our pregnancy prospects and I can't tell you how many tears later I was going to bed and couldnt find my pjs. Whilst searching for a clean pair I came across an old test and took it. I don't know why there was no smiley face again on my ovulation machine.

I thought I saw the faintest of faint lines. I didn't say anything to TC. What was the point? I cannot have kids. The next morning The Chap left at 6am for an early meeting and I was at the store by 20 past six in jogging bottoms and hoodie sans underwear. I bought one of every test. I mean damn the cost right? All were positive. Cue more tears and then a 14 hour wait before my handsome and loving Chap returned home to the good news.

No child will ever be more cherished and more loved than ours and I cannot wait to meet my baby on Halloween!!

Thank you for reading, it's been a journey hasn't it?

Frugally Yours
Abigail
X

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

In Which I Am A Paragon

Afternoon All

Hello Mrs G, thanks for your kind comments.

So it is a good thing that I write a frugal blog isnt it? It means I always watch the pennies and make do and mend.

It means we live always conscious of the pennies and constantly save toward the future.

Do we bollocks..

I am so sorry to burst your bubble, but I dont live like Frugal Queen or Mean Queen. I think they are brilliant, but I could not live like that.

TC was about 9 months ago made a Partner of his firm and so we do want to enjoy some jam now, but not on credit.

Anyway in a week we are going on holiday... on a cruise no less and have splurged on an outside cabin with balcony. We travel around visiting Toulon, Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Genoa. I am so excited and cannot wait. I have also been very lucky and TC put in £250 toward the coast of my holiday too. It is all full board, but we will have to pay for the drinks and any extras we want.

After 4 years together we have only ever been to Spain to his parents villa or for a weekend in Amsterdam when he got really sick.

So its a proper holiday with waiters and room service etc.

Of course I needed to get some new clothes, so after work I hopped to Tamworth and their retail park which is open until 9PM buying two tops and two pairs of trousers, I also ordered a multiway dress a few weeks ago thinking i could wear it for the two formal nights.

I got home and The Chap wanted to see what I had bought him to go away with as he has now surrendered all buying of clothes to me. I had not got him anything as he only needed shorts and they were in pretty short supply in October. Gloves and hats no problem, but not shorts.

"No worries" says he "I will grab some from town on Saturday"

ME "Where in town? as everywhere has sold out of shorts and only has winter clothes in"

HIM "No Screwfix has shorts in"

Screwfix, I ask you?? Thats where he is buying his holiday clothes from now. I really do give up, no one is ever going to think he is a Metrosexual as he grunts his way through life in a Star Wars Tshirt and Air Max Trainers.

No seriously I bought him a tshirt for Christmas and as he had had such a bad day at work I gave it to him early.
Image result for what the fett tshirt


It has not been off his back since.

Bless his cotton socks.

So what I am longwindedly trying to say is I am not someone to look up to as a frugal blogger, but I am trying my  best, however I do occassionally think "Stuff this for a game of Soldiers" and go and blow cash on unneccessary purchases, plus in the last 12 months I have increased from a size 12 to a 14 and so nothing fits and I constantly look like I am popping out of stuff. Oh dear!

Frugally yours
Abigail
xxxx

Friday, 29 August 2014

The Big Shop

When I get paid, which was today, I always immediately go shopping and buy all our food for the month.

Here it is..



The whole process took 2 hours today and I spent £150. I will need to go back and buy more vegetables and milk during the month, but all these bags and boxes that fill the boot and spill onto to the back seat also include toiletries and cleaning products.

I start thinking about "shopping day" about 5-7 days before I get paid, and write a list as I check cupboards and start thinking what we both need for the next four weeks.

I then rewrite it, according to where I'm going to buy each item from. 

Aldi is always cheapest, but my girls won't eat their cat food and I swear by Catsan so that has to be done somewhere else along with, for example, curry sauces as I don't like Aldi ones. 

So "shopping day" always means visiting 2 supermarkets, I do one straight after the other, but today I did 3 separate transactions. 

Why?

Well on Thursday The Mirror newspaper was offering a £5 off a £40 shop at Aldi, so I bought two copies of the paper to get 2 vouchers and then split my shop into two separate transactions. That meant I walked around on the first shop writing down prices and adding them up on my calculator to make sure I didn't exceed £40 by too much so I had a chance of making the next shop to £40 too. I don't mind looking a prat to save.

It meant I got £10 worth of free food which covered all the chicken I bought and more.

Then Lloyds bank are offering 10% cash back on all food purchases from Morrisons for the next 10 days, meaning I got paid for the final transaction too. 

I always start with Aldi though so I can double check that everything I still have on my other supermarket list is not available in Aldi.

It really pays to prepare, food costs so much today that I want to make sure my money is going as far as possible.

The only downside is when I got back the last thing I felt like doing was cooking!

Frugally yours
Abigail
X

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Aaaaargh!!!

I just found an old face mask I got free and thought, why not?
Apparently Twinkle isn't impressed as she wandered into the bathroom when I had it on Miaowed twice and scarpered downstairs.
TC just saw me and said I look like I have just had plastic surgery.

I am hoping to look 25 in a bit.

Frugally yours
Abigail
X

Friday, 15 August 2014

ERNIE


The Chap had a letter from his bank the other day, they are transferring his ISA to another ISA and reducing his interest rate from 2% to 1.3%. He was not happy and we were discussing where best to save your money.

In these days of large debts and poor interest rates on savings, trying to get a decent savings rate is pretty impossible.

I do not know what TC will do, but I have started to put some money into Premium Bonds. I am not advocating this as a savings plan to anyone, but in the last 12 months I have had a 7% return on my money, much more than I would expect on the high street at a bank or building society.

If you are not from the UK, you can read more on Premium Bonds and Ernie here. Interestingly, according to the Premium Bond Probability Calculator on MSE If you hold over £100 per year the chance of winning anything is 4.5%.

Just be aware that some years, I have not won a penny for over 12 months then had a bigger win of say £100.

I like Premium Bonds, I like receiving the Long White Envelope with a cheque enclosed and enjoy the thought you never know I could win a £1Million!

I can get my money back at c. 10 days notice.

But beware, the rules for buying Premium Bonds have changed a lot recently and its pretty annoying if you go in the Post Office unprepared.

Some Thoughts

1)      If you already have some bonds, make sure you have your Holders Number to hand when you buy more so they are amalgamated together with that £25 your Aunt Bertha gave you on your Christening.

2)      Do not go in to buy them with cash, the post office will not accept it, due to cash laundering regulations. Seems ridiculous to me as most of the time one is only buying them a £100 at a time.

3)      You will need your bank details, as they have very recently changed the payout from a cheque to bank transfer.

4)      If buying them for someone else, e.g. I often pick up some for The Chap, you will need them to sign the form.

And finally, you can only buy Premium Bonds in multiples of £100.

It is a faff to buy them now to be honest, TC has registered to buy them online and says that is irritating too.

I like having them though, as it is a bit trickier to get at your money quickly so no impulse buys of shoes etc, but I can still grab my money back if needed within 2 weeks.

One last thing, if you do have an old £1+ premium bond knocking around, write to National Savings and Investments Agency, immediately as chances are it is registered to the wrong address and they cannot find you if you had won. When I did this years ago I got a nice cheque for £100 as they numbers had come up more than once in the 20 years since it was bought.
Frugally yours
Abigail
x

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

So I Joined A Gym

Yes, can you believe it? Sedentary me?
 
Its blooming expensive at £65 / month, and was not the cheapest in my area, but it is the nicest and it has a pool. Its actually a country club style place and so I am thinking I will start to have to wearing Chanel inspired tweed suits and drive a Range Rover.
 
I'm certainly the poor cousin in its midst and it does amuse me driving the Polo into their car park amongst the BMWs, Audis etc. It these situations I always think to myself, I wonder how many of these cars are paid off like mine?
 
Anyhoo, as it is soooo expensive I have to get my moneys worth especially as I had to have 7 weeks off as I did my knee in tearing a ligament.
 
So this week I was back with a bang, but this time rather than running, I have started going to the classes. Monday I did fitsteps a Strictly Come Dancing (Dancing with the Stars for my American readers) inspired workout that was so much fun. Infact so much so that last night I tried Zumba. What a difference. I have always nutured a secret belief that I am quite a good dancer. But, with Zumba by the time I had got the hang of the step it had either changed or I was off the beat.
 
Anyhoo, by the end of the class I was soaked in sweat and feeling decidedly sick and had cramp in my toes.
 
Off I went for my hot shower and to change into new clothes before driving home. It turns out I had remembered everything I needed for the shower and the change after except new knickers, so I had a choice put on the sweat soaked pair from class or go commando. What would you have done?
 
I am certain these situations only happen to me...
 
Ok, I am rubbish at Fitsteps and Zumba and look like I have a bad case of Dad Dancing, but I thoroughly enjoyed them and have booked another Zumba class on Sunday but it is a family class, Do I need to "borrow" a kid? and Friday I am doing an Express Spin class after work. I had a Spin induction yesterday. Im a bit worried about that to be honest.
 
And as I was leaving there was an outdoor class going on where men and women were running around and moving tractor tyres. Should I be intrigued or horrified? You decide..
 
Ok, it is ridiculously expensive to join a gym, so I'm trying to get my moneys worth but most of all I would like to shift some pounds and therefore and going for the cardio type work outs.
 
My debts are paid off and I am saving, so at the moment I can justify trying it for 12mnths and seeing whether I will get my moneys worth,
 
Frugally yours
Abigail
xx