A New Year, A New You (+ giveaway)

I admit, I love watching TV. I'm a bit stuck in my ways though and if given the option, I'd choose a TV series over a movie. I think sometimes that movies feel too long and I like little half hour/hour long episodes to watch. Even if I've seen the series a million times (I'm looking at you 'How I Met Your Mother', 'Friends' and 'Gavin & Stacey'!), I'd still go for one of those rather than branching out and watching something - TV or movie - that I've never seen before.

This year, I want to change that. My boyfriend Chris is always in shock at how little movies I have actually seen, especially classics. I'm going to make it my resolution to watch more movies that probably wouldn't be my first choice and to do this, I'm opting for movies that will make me laugh. I feel that comedies would be the easiest way to ease into them - they're just like one long sitcom episode! Here's what I'll be watching, in case any of you want to too:

Yes Man
 I do like Jim Carrey as an actor and I love the positivity of this movie. Carrey stars as a man who is stuck in his ways and attends a self-help seminar to unleash the power of saying yes to things. I definitely think that I need to start doing that myself!
Due Date
A high-strung father-to-be (Robert Downey Jr.) is forced to hitch a ride with an aspiring actor (Zack Galifianakis) to make it to his child's birth on time. I am familar with Galifianakis due to the Hangover movies - which I love - and he is my favourite actor in them so I'm sure I'll enjoy this one too.
Doc Hollywood
Eek, I've never actually heard of this movie - how awful is that?! It was released a year before I was born so I'll use that as an excuse. A young doctor (played by Michael J. Fox) is offered a job as a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills. On the way there, he causes an accident and is sentenced to community service at the local hospital. Locals become attached to him and he falls for someone there.
Two Weeks Notice
This is probably one of those movies that everyone has seen but nope, I have to admit that I haven't! I'm not a huge Hugh Grant fan but I'll give it a go. Environmental lawyer Lucy (Sandra Bullock) goes to work for billionaire George Wade (Grant). He becomes dependent on her, asking her advice at all hours for frivilous matters so she hands in her two weeks notice.
Horrible Bosses 
Three friends (Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis) are all workers who despise their oppressive employers. They can't quit so they come up with a plan to get rid of them for good. Unfortunately, they aren't the cleverest...

I can't wait to get watching! If any of these movies sound great to you and you'd like to give them a watch, you can purchase them here: http://amzn.to/2j0b7u7

Alternatively, I'm giving away this bundle of movies over on Twitter! Just give me a follow and retweet the competition post. 


Save Money On The First Year With A Baby: 8 Top Tips

While a newborn is a source of joy for many parents, it can be financially stressing as well. Some of the expenses that come with a baby range from baby food, nappies and clothing. This makes parenthood relatively expensive. An average two-parent family can spend more than £250,000 from when a child is born until he/she reaches 18 years of age.

While raising children may be expensive, it all depends on with the kind of upbringing or lifestyle you choose to live. Just because a report says you can spend £250,000 for the 18 years for one child doesn’t mean you necessarily have to. Instead of doing what other (most) parents do, you can choose to take an entirely different route to save money in the process. Here are a few ways in which you can make/save money on the first year with an infant.

1. Do not upgrade your space: Many first-time parents choose to upgrade from say a one bedroomed out to a larger house (say two bedroomed house) just before the baby arrives. While this may seem like the way forward, it isn’t necessary. Young children take up very little space hence do not need the extra room. In addition to this, 30% of all your household expenses will be on the baby’s well-being.  Why spend more money for an extra room you do not need while you can save it for later?

2. Buy less baby stuff: The number of baby-related products has been on the rise over the recent past. Although most of these gadgets may seem fancy and necessary, you may not need them at all. Buying less stuff, and just what the baby needs can save you a fortune in the long run. Before you can spend any money on a new gadget, think about it carefully before dropping any cash on it.

3. Shop for multi-purpose items: Do not be moved into buying a Pack ‘n Play or a crib, or a bouncy seat and swing either. If you have to, go for the Pack ‘n Play instead of all the other three. The Pack ‘n Play can be used as a bed at home and while traveling as well.

4. Consider used items:  We get it, you need your newborn to have new and fancy clothes.  While this may be a good move, it would be wise to shop for secondhand clothes and even toys that are in a good state. You will be surprised at how much you get to save for excellent quality items that were used maybe once or twice.

You can even buy larger items on Facebook selling sites or eBay at a much lower price. Bouncers, swings, and high chairs can come in handy especially for your child. You however need to be wise and smart when shopping for second-hand items. Learn to wash or disinfect these items before giving them to your baby.

5. Buy things as you need them: It can be hard to tell what your baby will need once he/she gets older. To avoid buying something he/she may not need/like, just wait until you get there.  A good example of such items is a swaddle. Some babies actually hate being swaddled while others love it. Using a swaddling blanket at first to see whether the child likes it or not would be a nice approach.

6. Cloth Nappies: Although it may seem a little gross and old-fashioned, cloth nappies can come in handy especially when trying to save some money.  You, however, should be prepared to do some serious laundry with these. As a parent, you should get used to yucky situations hence never feel embarrassed about using baby nappies. If possible, consider going for reusable nappies as these will save you so much more.

7. Learn to prepare your baby’s food:  Baby food is unbelievably easy to make. As a matter of fact, some of the easiest foods to make include steamed vegetable puree. The other interesting thing about preparing baby food is that there’s no special formula for it. You only need a blender or a steamer to help make the food smooth enough for the baby. The only thing you need is some creativity and your hands.

8. Try Free Samples: With so many baby products out there, its very easy to get free samples from some of the biggest UK baby brands like Pampers, sites like WOW FreeStuff & Freebies is a very good site to get lots of freebies.

Did you do any of these money saving tips with your own children?
(This is a collaborative post.)

© Mum of a Premature Baby

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