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Lylia Rose is a UK money blog by Victoria Sully featuring lifestyle topics with a focus on making money online, blogging, working from home, self-employment, staying healthy as a busy work-at-home-mum, side hustles, saving money + family finance tips.

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March 2016 Roundup

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march 2016 family roundup

March 2016 Family Roundup

March was a disappointment weather wise, wasn’t it?!  I was fully holding out for spring, but it didn’t show.  There were a couple of randomly warmish days, but any other sun filled days were simply to fool us.  Our living room is south facing with a ginormous oversized window.  It can get quite warm on a sunny day giving the impression it’s much warmer outside than it really is.  On a couple of occasions in March I did the preschool run in a lighter jacket and pumps with no socks, only to be absolutely freezing the entire time. It may explain why I caught my first cold in over a year and my immune system was unusually down.  I was definitely getting ahead of myself and eager for warmer weather.

The biggest March news just has to be Reuben’s first birthday!  Reuben turned one year old on the 5th March.  We kept celebrations fairly low key with just mine and Ben’s close family visiting over a weekend.  I had found it trickier deciding what to do for Reuben’s first birthday compared with Bella’s first.  For Bella’s we had a giant garden party at my Mum’s house.  We didn’t have a garden at the time, so had to borrow!  Bella’s birthday is in June and the weather was great, so a large garden party was an obvious and easy choice.  With temperatures being so low in March there was no way we could do the same for Reuben.  To invite the same guest list would be far too many people for our living room, so we decided to keep it minimal.  I felt a little guilty that we appeared to make more fuss for Bella’s birthday, but I do think the larger celebration overwhelmed her.  After Bella’s first birthday she went through an attachment stage with me and I’m certain her birthday was the trigger!

March 2016 Family Roundup

Nonetheless, we had a lovely time and I’m sure Reuben did too.  He got some lovely new toys which he immediately enjoyed playing with and they’re still his first choice to play with today.  I can’t believe a whole year has passed by already, but at the same time giving birth and the ten day hospital stay seems a lifetime ago.  So much has happened in the past year; those stressful times are luckily a distant memory.

March has been a bit of a down month if I’m honest.  We’ve had some terrible family news and have been coming to terms with a close family member having terminal cancer.  It’s the third person I’ve known to have such a cancer and it’s just so sad.  Money was also pretty tight and my website has been quieter than last year, so I had to get a job.  I hate stressing about money, so rather than wait around for things to pick up, I found a job and got to it!  I’ve been working for a week now, starting at the end of March, and work 5-6 days a week from 5am.  Yawn!  It’s a little bit of a shock to the system and I think it will take a little while for me to get used to the new routine.  It means I haven’t been able to do as much networking or blogging in the evenings as usual, but needs must.  It’s also meant we’ve been pretty skint for a few weeks and living on a tight budget.  I do hate stressing over every penny, so it is a welcome relief I found a job so quickly and budgeting will be better from May.

So with all that stress, being ill a couple of times and the gloomy weather, I’ve been feeling a like I really need a holiday!  Me and Ben have only been away together once for a babymoon when I was 6 months pregnant.  That was 4.5 years ago!  I am absolutely dying for a break!  Unfortunately we won’t afford a proper holiday this year (by proper I mean foreign, plane, beach, warm weather, etc), but we have both booked two weeks off in the summer and will be booking some days away in England somewhere as well as some days out.  I CANNOT wait!  I really feel like we just need something to look forward to and to cheer us up.  Now I have the security of a job we can save a little money and treat ourselves. Hopefully the rest of the year will be a bit brighter as it really has been a bit of a crappy start!

I did get my brace in March!  I can’t quite believe that was only at the start of March as I’ve got so used to it now it feels like I’ve had it forever!  I’ve not got used to eating properly, but I have got used to seeing the brace and feeling it.  I think eating will be strange for the whole duration, but I have quickly got used to what I can and can’t eat and how I can eat.  I even braved a meal out and it wasn’t half as bad as I thought it was going to be!  To follow my orthodontic journey and catch up on my experience so far click here!

We haven’t done much more to our house, though the kitchen is next on our list.  We purchased new worktops, a sink, tap and tiles back in January, but just haven’t had the chance to install it all yet.  The worktops are real wood and need three coats of oil each allowing a six hour drying time for each coat.  We really need a dry weekend to do this.  We just have two more coats to do on one of the worktops, so we’re getting there!  Nearly every weekend we’ve tried to do it, it’s rained!  It will also be good for Ben to have a few days off to do the tiling and fitting the new worktops to allow enough time!  If anything goes wrong a two day weekend might not be enough!  I’m not sure how long we’d cope without a kitchen with us and two littles. 

Ben has painted four of our garden fence panels!  We’re going to paint them all green and I think it will make the garden look so much better whilst we continue to sort it out.  The garden is a huge task and we didn’t realise quite how huge a task until we started.  It’s a 90 foot garden, so there’s a lot to do.  We also calculated it will take 16 hours to paint all the fence panels, so that’s a whole weekend’s worth of painting!  There’s so much to do to our house and we’re two years in.  It can feel quite overwhelming sometimes.  When we moved in Ben thought we’d be done in six weeks!!

We did a car boot this month and got rid of EVERYTHING in our attic ‘car boot corner’.  I feel so much better now it’s all gone.  I’m sure I have some sort of OCD about having things we don’t need.  We’ve had our car boot corner since moving in and it was driving me insane.  I’d think about it almost daily and just want it gone.  I read another ladies description about clutter on a blog recently and she described it perfectly.  She said it was like a weight on her shoulders or constant noise in her head.  That’s exactly how I feel about it.  I prefer to have exactly what I need and feel happier being minimal.  I can’t stand having things stored away which I don’t use.  Even my clothes are down to half a wardrobe and I’m still forever looking through to see if there’s anything I don’t need!  I think I’m a bit obsessed with sorting through things and getting rid.  Soon though, I won’t have anything left to sort through and I hope I do then feel at peace!

March 2016 Family Roundup

Look at my car for the car boot though!  We couldn’t get anything else in!  We sold more than half, then I listed the rest as a job lot on eBay and it was gone within a week.  Aaaaaah.  Relief!

A pretty down in the dumps blog post from me!  Not my usual tactic – sorry!  Hopefully April will bring more positive things for us :)

Hope you’ve had a much better March!