The older I get the more I turn into a grumbler…


I whinge about leaving doors open, letting the heat escape from the house, I moan about wearing shoes indoors, I moan about shopping at expensive supermarkets when the cheap ones fair just as well.

I really don’t like wasting money.

But behind my moaning is a sensible approach.

Take my latest bugbear…

We went away for the weekend recently, and I know I turned off the heating and water before jumping in the car.  However when we came home I walked into a beautiful toasty house where every radiator was aglow.

My husband swears he didn’t overrule me, but I think the red in his cheek came from more than the heat.

Heating an empty house is like burning money in my opinion and yet with set heating times it seems almost impossible to avoid.

That is until now….

Today I heard about Hive.

A new app designed for people like me!

It lets you control your heating remotely, from wherever you are!


You don’t need to change your energy supplier, you do need to pay a one-off fee of £199, but I reckon I could easily recoup this within six months by having remote access control to the heating and hot water.

Hive is so clever that it can even notify you when you reach a certain temperature in the house.


Caught in an unexpected rainstorm in the shops at four pm, your hotwater doesn’t normally come on until seven pm, but you are due out at six. Hive solves this dilemma easily by allowing you to get the hot water on using your phone, leaving you free to fight with the umbrella and get home fast to climb into a steaming hot bath.

This short video displays lots of times when a clever little app like Hive can come in handy.

For more details on Hive, have a look at their website.

How it works

A person who knows what they are doing (an engineer) comes to your home (as part of the £199 set up fee) and plugs a ‘hub’ into your broadband router so your thermostat can connect to the internet and be remote controlled.

This clever little box simply plugs into your broadband router so that your thermostat can connect to the internet and be controlled remotely. Your qualified engineer will plug the hub into your router as part of the installation process.

Then you can download the app for free, managing your hot water and heating from wherever you are.

But that is not all…

The Hive hub automatically turns on frost protection when you turn your heating off, plus you can preset your preferred temperatures for speed and ease.

Nice and funky!

One way to combat increasing energy prices, is to get smarter about your usage, I am going to be that with my new Hive heating!

I am terribly over excited, never again will the other half heat the house when we are out for the weekend.

In association with Hive



As a child, I loved the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and I thrived on watching the superhero foursome Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michelangelo.  I even dressed as Leo (the mighty leader for a fancy dress party – my main memory is of being incredibly hot!)

Hence why I am pretty excited to be giving away a copy of Season One on the blog today!

All you need to do to enter is follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter, and leave a comment telling who your favourite Turtle is!

Winner will be chosen at random on January 6th.

3 Facts about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

All the Turtles are trained in the art of ninjutsu

There was once a female Turtle who just mysteriously disappeared.

Uncle Phil from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air was the voice of Shredder in the orginal movie.

To enter – follow the rafflecopter instrictions and leave a comment telling me who your favourite Turtle is.

Dont forget to read the terms below before entering.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions

  • The promoter of this competition is MarketME Ltd Second Floor, 7 – 10 Charlotte Mews | London | W1T 4ED
  • By entering this competion you accept the following terms and conditions.
  • The competition is open to United Kingdom residents aged 18 and over only, excluding employees of the Promoter or anyone else connected to the competition and/or their immediate family.
  • Winner will be chosen at random from all eligible entries received before the closing date.
  • The competition starts on December 18th 2013 closes on the 6th of January 2013 at 12.00am GMT.  Entries after this time will be discounted.
  • Entry is deemed as a blog comment using the rafflecopter – bonus entries are allowed.
  • Prize winners take full responsibility for any and all liability, claims, demands or causes of action they may hereafter have for injuries or damages arising in connection with any prize and the use thereof and agree not to sue or make claim against the Promoter for damages or other losses sustained from using any prize.
  • The first prize is a Season One DVD Of Teenage Mutant Ninja Tutles as detailed here.
  • The prize is non-refundable and no cash alternative will be offered
  • The winner will be announced on this website within 14 days of the competition ending.  The winner will be contacted by e-mail, if they do not respond within 3 days another winner may be chosen.
  • Entries using any software or automated process to make bulk entries will be disqualified.
  • The Promoter’s decision on all matters is final and binding on all entrants.
  • No Correspondence will be entered into.
  • Entries that do not comply in full with these terms and conditions will be disqualified.
  • Prize winners take full responsibility for any and all liability, claims, demands or causes of action they may hereafter have for injuries or damages arising in connection with any prize and the use thereof and agree not to sue or make claim against the Promoter for damages or other losses sustained from using any prize.
  • Where prizes are to be provided by a third party this website will have no responsibility for the acts or defaults of any other persons.
  • All personal information about prize winners collected for the purpose of this competition may be shared with other Promoter entities and/or agents so that prizes can be delivered. Entrants accept that if they win a prize, the Promoter will have the right, without additional payment or permission, to use their name, age, town of residence and likeness for the purposes of announcing the winner of this competition and for related promotional purposes.
  • By taking part in this competition you agree to be bound by these terms and conditions and by the decisions of the Promoter which are final in all matters relating to the competition.
  • The Promoter reserves the right to disqualify any entrant and/or winner in its absolute discretion for any reason and without notice in accordance with these terms and conditions.
  • This promotion is governed by the laws of England.



BB squealed in delight recently when a large box appeared at our door.  It was sent by Rosetta Stone, who are mixing up languages and Christmas this year.  They have kindly set up a free coupon to learn German in six months, watch this space, and a real challenge – a make your own cracker set!

I am not a natural crafter, in fact I shudder at the sight of scissors, glue and sparkly things, but being thrifty, I decided to give it a go….

Check out these beauties!

Impressive eh!

Made by me, BB and BB’s Godmother – who unfortunately suffered a scissor related craft injury through BB’s ‘enthusiasm’ with the cutting element of the crafting!

You want more?

 I am willing to bet the lovely Maggie from RedTedArt is worried that there is a new craft blogger in town….

And now, all I have to do is learn German!

In today’s well connected world, our mobile plans can feature as a regular expense. Most of us are willing to pay a small fee on a regular basis for the privilege of being able to stay in touch with our loved ones wherever we go.

The trouble is that it’s easy for our phone bills to get out of hand if we’re not careful. With so much on offer on the market, it can be hard to whittle our bills down.

Here, we take a look at a few things we can do to bag a bargain when it comes to choosing our mobile plan.

Photo credit 

Wait for a deal

Prices fluctuate in the mobile market as much as they do anywhere else. With savings to be made and deals to be snapped up, there’s no sense in being impatient when the time comes to shop for a new plan.

As well as reduction to the price tag, you can expect to find added bonuses to your plan. One such bonus is the double points offer run by Sainsbury’s on their mobile plans. This is part of their winter deal which will upgrade customers from a £10 bundle to a £20 bundle free of charge.

Their double nectar points offer can also help families save as much as £180 – something which the Mobile by Sainsbury’s infographic has discovered is enough to buy a whopping 200 loaves of bread … talk about knowing what side your bread is buttered on!

This is far from the only mobile phone deal on the market though so researching all available options is highly recommended. This article – Christmas 2013: Best Pay As You Go Mobile Phone Offers – might be worth a read if you’re looking for more advice and ideas.

Track your usage

The key to spending as little as possible lies in knowing the amount that you need. It could be worth using your phone freely for a few months and then tracking your usage to see what you rack up.

When you have an idea of the minutes, texts and data which you require, you’ll be well placed to seek a deal which offers you exactly that amount. Tracking extra charges and use should be simple using internet banking. According the BBC, an increasing number of people are already using their phones to check their accounts and this means that this is a change you’ll find easy to make when turning your attention to your mobiles.

Compromise on your handset

The price you pay for a mobile plan can vary astronomically, depending on what you include with the purchase. One of the factors which has the largest sway on the price is the handset which you choose to include in your deal and it may be worth compromising here.

The difference between entry level handsets and those on the cutting edge is considerable – both in terms of spec and price. While there’s no sense in depriving yourself of features which you’d use on a regular basis, it’s true to say that few of us need to be on the cutting edge or own a top-of-the –range flagship model.

Consider sacrificing a few of the latest features and you could well see yourself making a dramatic saving on the price you pay each month for a phone. Ask yourself whether you’d use the features being advertised and consider whether they’re worth the increase in price.

If the answer is no, look at a cheaper, lower grade model or consider opting for refurbished units which are often cheaper to buy. Make sure you check what warranty you get with these though as they may differ from that of a brand new handset.

In assoication with Sainsburys

Christmas can turn from being a fabulous festive holiday into a commercial, over inflated nightmare which leaves your purse empty and January a very long month.
Like any parent I love to give my children things to make them smile and I adore spoiling my nieces, nephews and godchildren.
But I don’t want to break the bank.
So when Sports Direct approached me to take part in their Christmas Challenge, I leapt at the chance.
Look what I got for £50…

An impressive haul, and lots of presents ticked off on my list.

The clock will make Twin Boy’s day, as he is an Arsenal fanatic like his Dad.  The Minnie Mouse set will delight BB and my eldest daughter will love her new cuddly doggy pillow.

How cute are the Hello Kitty headphones (and ear muffs).

So if you are looking for somewhere to get your stocking fillers, I highly recommend you get your skates on and zoom down to Sports Direct and get your mitts on some bargains.

And yes, you are right – you did spot Play Doh in the mix…..

Disclosure: We were gifted the items from Sports Direct for the purpose of this review.