Angelicscalliwags Challenge: September Update

Hello, my name is Claire and I overspent on my holiday to Northern Ireland.

There, I said it and it is very true.  I’m thinking financially things will be a little tight until after Christmas, although to be honest that is always the case for us with every member of the family’s birthday falling between September and February and then there is Christmas…sigh.

Welcome to the September sum up of the angelicscalliwags’ challenge.  The challenge is on to pay off our mortgage by the end of 2017

How did we do this month?

We have currently paid back 21% of our mortgage since January of this year.  Only 79% left.

We are so pleased to have it under 80%.  It really is so exciting watching it go down each month!

As we spent a lot of the month travelling, the Scalliwags challenge has not been given much consideration.  So I thought for this post I would simply update you on some of our earlier endeavours.

  • The Chickens

I love our girls, am completely and utterly in love.  They are such enormous characters and so chatty!  They reliably produce enough eggs that we are able to sell some and also give some away.  We were blessed in return with stacks of apples.  This is particularly useful this year as our apple tree only produces on alternate years.  The children have been making fresh apple juice, apple pies and eating loads as snacks.  We didn’t like the chickens being just in the Egloo and it’s run so we have donated Oscar’s run to them.  Oscar (our dog) needed his run whilst we had crawlers so they didn’t inadvertently crawl in stuff we had missed picking up (if you get my drift):

It is situated right next door to our Little House, which is kind of cool for the children.  The little house chooks!
It is situated right next door to our Little House, which is kind of cool for the children. The little house chooks!

And here they are inside, very happy with lots of space to play, dust and dig:


  • T11 found out that it was Harvest Sunday at church this week and so decided it too should be harvest time at the Angelic Scalliwags’ residence.  He has spent all week harvesting his raspberries (which his sisters turned into some rather lovely banana, raspberry and white chocolate muffins), and all his herbs.  He has big plans for his herbs.  He has frozen a heap for use in ours and his Granny’s cooking.  He has cleverly mixed them so, for example, his bolognaise sauce mixed herbs has frozen oregano, basil and bay:
Snowflake shaped frozen herbs (he used our snow flake shaped muffin tin to freeze them in)  Love it!!
Snowflake shaped frozen herbs (he used our snow flake shaped muffin tin to freeze them in) Love it!!

He is also drying some.  His plans for these are to make little sacs of herbs to either pop into drawers or run under the taps for a bath.  These will make up the bulk of his Christmas presents this year:

His second batch drying for his gifts
His second batch drying for his gifts
  • The girls have also been busy making their Christmas presents with C10 already finished two scarves and starting on a beanie hat for Daddy (it’s okay to mention it, he knows about it!)
  • We have also made up the children’s clothes packs and have only spent money on under wear.  Here is a picture of the younger girls clothes.  B2’s on the right and A4’s on the left.  We put them into outfits as the older girls get them dressed in the morning (or they do it themselves) and this prevents dodgy combinations:


We were incredibly blessed on our latest trip to Ireland as cousins and friends gave us so many bags of clothes we almost couldn’t fit them into the car!  Thank you all so much!

  • We also managed to donate five bags to the Salvation army, earning us another ten pounds to spend there.  This is such a win win deal:


And that is all!  Next month I hope to rein in our spending so our bank balance is looking a little more healthy by the end of the month after our holiday!


  1. What’s wrong with dodgy combinations?!? Two of my granddaughters excel in that! I am more particular when we go out but, at home, I let their imaginations go wild.

    Glad you had a wonderful vacation in N. Ireland.

    Myra, from Winnipeg, Canada where we are having “English” weather – dreary and rainy – good for napping

  2. 21% is fantastic! Love reading about T11 and his herbs – I should be following his example! Good luck over the next few months, though I’m sure you and the kids will find clever ways of being frugal and creative with birthdays and Christmas.

  3. Congratulations on your journey thus far to pay of your house mortgage early. I love to see all the ways you are conserving. I have found that I can save on food and clothing fairly easily, but when it comes to books, oh, my.

    When reading the part about chickens, I read about you loving your girls… being chatty… (and thinking you were talking about your children and then you would lead into a chicken story)…and then they reliably produce enough eggs…. I had to laugh. (Please know I am not making fun of your writing…just my thinking.) Love your blog. I look in my inbox daily to see what you are going to share each day. Have a wonderful day!

  4. I love your chickens… I shall one day be the proud owner of some as well and i shall credit you with re-kindling fond memories of growing up with chickens… well not WITH them, but you know what I mean! I am very impressed with your young man’s herbaceous endeavours! I love seeing youngsters with an entrepeneurial spirit! It’s an incredible gift you are giving him and your other kids. Well done all! Try some bath fizz balls with crushed lavender petals? Also a lovely gift!

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