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Have some old fashioned Halloween family fun….


We love Halloween and the kids always make an effort to dress up – even if the costumes only stay on for an hour or so usually!

I’m not a fan of trick or treating but the kids are (naturally) so we compromise and I generally take them around the houses we know in the street and then we come home and have some Halloween fun of our own – between answering the door to the constant knocking that is!

I thought I’d share some of our Halloween traditions with you….


Obviously, there’s pumpkin carving.

There's the obligatory dressing up fun.

There’s the obligatory dressing up fun.

A little bit of apple bobbing.

A little bit of apple bobbing.

A 'Who can eat the most mini doughnuts threaded on to a ribbon' competition.

A ‘Who can eat the most mini doughnuts threaded on to a ribbon?’ competition.

Then there's decorating marshmallows on sticks.

And finally, there’s decorating marshmallows on sticks.

Who needs trick or treating?

What to do with Conkers….

what to do with conkers

Have you ever wondered what you can do with conkers, apart from actually playing conkers?

I’m guessing your answer is probably no that one.  Me neither, until we went to the park last week and came home with about a million of them!


We had lots of fun kicking up leaves and collecting conkers – so much fun that I didn’t realise just how many we had until we got home and emptied our pockets.  We had so many of them that I instantly thought there must be something we could do with them all.

While I decided what to do with them, I popped them in a bowl on the sideboard where most of them are actually still sitting over a week later so I give you my first use for conkers – looking pretty in a bowl….

what to do with conkers

Next up is a use for them that I’ve read about a few times and although I don’t think there’s any scientific backing to this theory, I’m choosing to believe it.  Apparently spiders HATE conkers and they won’t come near them so I’ve now got a few conkers dotted around the house for this reason – a couple near the front door and a couple in a smaller vase on my bedroom windowsill.

We’ve used another few conkers from our pile to play our own version of bowls.  I marked six with a dot of red nail varnish and six with purple and then we chose one large one as our target.  The kids took in in turns to ‘bowl’ their conkers at the target and at the end, we saw whose conker was closest to the target.

We’re planning to make some tree decorations with a few of the conkers and I have plans that include lots of glue and glitter to bling them up although I may keep some of them au naturale as they’re so pretty.

My final use is a fun one – we’re going to throw some in our bonfire on Bonfire night as I’ve heard that they make little mini explosions when they heat up quickly.  It’s because of the steam from inside the conker needing to escape apparently so we’ll be standing right back and trying that next week!

I can’t think of any more but if you have any ideas for what to do with conkers, please let me know in the comments.

#SaveMoneyMonday – How to Unlock mobile phones for free….

unlock mobile phones free

Mr Frugal finally got around to upgrading his iPhone 4 a few weeks ago!

He’s been deliberating for months whether to upgrade to the 5 or whether to hang fire for the 6 but now that the 6 has finally been released he’s actually not that bothered and as he couldn’t get a good deal on the 6 (he didn’t want to pay for the phone itself OR pay much per month), he went for the 5s.

This means that he has his old iPhone 4 to sell, the money from which will come in very handy for Christmas!

I’ve taught him well so he did a fair amount of research on who is offering the best price at the moment and he was quite surprised to see the difference we would get for an unlocked phone as opposed to his phone which was locked to the O2 network.  As much as £19 difference on the phone we wanted to sell.

In an effort to try and get more money for his phone, he tried searching online for an unlock code to unlock mobile phones free as apparently most phones have some sort of code and can be quite easy to unlock but he couldn’t find one anywhere. Short of taking it to one of those dodgy market stalls which he didn’t want to do, he decided there was nothing else we could do so we left it in a drawer until we had chance to sort it out.

He was having a whinge about it at work the next day when someone suggested he just call O2 who his phone was with and ask them if they would unlock it for free for him.  I laughed when he told me and said there was no way that a company would unlock mobile phones free as this would allow customers to go to their competitors but he decided to listen to his friend and not me!

Good decision!

O2 unlocked his phone for him within a minute or two of him being on the phone to them (or at least they arranged for the text to be sent to tell him how to unlock his phone).  No charge, no fuss, no hassle.

So if ever you’re looking to sell your mobile phone for any reason, call your provider first and get it unlocked and you’ll get more money for it!

unlock mobile phones free

Monday’s Parenting Pin It Party #75….

I love Monday’s when I’m off work and the kids are off school, especially when it’s my turn to host the Parenting Pin it Party because I know that you’re all going to link up some brilliant posts for me to read while I relax on the settee with a nice cup of tea and a jammy dodger or two. ;-)

I had a hard time choosing my favourite posts from last week’s party but in the end, I chose these two:



I’d love for lots of you to link up with the Parenting Pin It Party this week.  If you haven’t joined in with us before, it really is super easy.  You just need to a add a link to your favourite parenting post to the linky at the end of this post and then add the badge to your post (not required but it’s always rather nice to do).

One day this week, I’ll pop over and have a good read.  I’ll pop over and pin your post to the Parenting Party Pinterest board along with all of the other entries and then next week’s host will then choose her favourite two posts to be featured in their post next Monday.

It couldn’t be simpler could it?

The Diary of a Frugal Family

The Parenting Pin it Party is co-hosted each week by myself, Romanian MumKiddy ChartsMum of OneMummy AlarmAll you need is love and cake and The Fairy and the Frog.