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  1. I didn't want our blog to be purely business based as after all one of the main reasons we decided to go self employed was because of our family so its only right that we include them.

    Anyone who has children will know that they certainly keep you on your toes. There is never a dull monment in our house with 4 mini monsters running around causing chaos and i'm sure that other parents with multiple children find that their children have a pack mentallity of they can jump up and down or push each other over as much as they like but if someone else even dares to do this then there is war and suddenly their siblings seem to come running from all directions to stick up for the one getting hurt.

    A classic example of this happened to us recently where a young boy around 4 decided to hit our youngest twin Charlotte. Now Charlotte is tiny for her age but appearances are certainly deceptive as she can be very fiesty and has learnt to stick up for herself ! 

    Charlotte warned the little boy to stop hitting her but he was having none of it, so suddenly when her three siblings turned up to help her the poor little boy was suddenly not so confident anymore and needless to say when they all told him to leave her alone he soon ran off!

    Trying to juggle school holidays and work has got to be difficult for every parent. You dont want to miss out on spending quality time with your kids but then you still have work to do and its hard trying to find the balance. Also when you have multiple children everything is so expensive so we try to plan everything in advance to get the best possible deals.

    I think that I am a great bargain hunter and that is nothing to be sniffed at. It is not all about how much money you have but about being smart with your money. Our friends often laugh at me or say 'How do you afford to do so much all the time?'  The answer to that is I spend a lot of time researching things and looking at offers, whether that be using Tesco Clubcard points for days out or Groupon offers or even booking things 18 months in advance and then setting up a standing order each month to pay things off. I seem to find that i dont miss £20 a month but to pay £300 outright for something is different.

    Even though I have heard about Sun newspaper holidays for years it is only recently that we have actually been on one and for the £70 that we paid for a weekend in Dorset it was amazing. My husband James could not believe that it was so cheap for 3 nights accommodation for 6 of us and as we were fortunate to have fantastic weather in February half term we spent time on the beach, crabbing and enjoying the walk to see Old Harry. An added bonus was that we spent very little as there was so much to explore that was free!

    Something that I am now going to do is compile a little book of free or cheap days out and things to do locally so when the dredded 6 week holidays come I am prepared to have as much fun as possible but to save the pennies at the same time!

  2. Everyone would like to be there own boss, right?

    Our story started back in February 2014 after the birth of our twins, Charlotte and William. We already had a son Samuel 5 years old and a daughter Emily 18 months old when the twins were born. As you would expect we received lots of beautiful gifts one of them being a paper cut of our family tree with all of our names on a branch and our dog Bella at the bottom too! This was probably my favourite gift and one that inspired me.

    A couple of weeks after the birth of our twins I suffered a huge relapse of a Neurological condition called Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy or CIDP for short that I suffer with. I was off my feet for a couple of months and with 4 young children to care for James had to take time off work.

    James at the time worked in sales and one thing lead to another that he didn't hit a couple of months sales targets due to not being at work and caring for our family that he lost his job.

    Anyway this was the catalyst we needed to spur us on in our dream to be our own boss and so Celebrate Your Way was born when we purchased our CO2 Laser engraving machine!

    We spent a lot of time being busy fools and being 'messed about' by several people who we thought would help us, one being a web designer who after 4 months of going backwards and forwards decided that he couldn't actually make us the website we wanted so we decided to part ways.

    I always had the idea that being self-employed would be easy. Well you can pick and choose your hours and you don't have anyone to answer to so you can come and go as you please.

    How wrong was I.

    As our accountant likes to tell us 'The first year we were just playing at it' and I do agree. We spent a lot of time designing, sourcing suppliers, insurance, thinking about packaging, printing business cards and flyers, thinking about how to get our name out there, a logo, how to create a website that wouldn't cost the earth, the list really does go on and on.

    There have been a lot of learning curves along the way and being disciplined to work during the evening after a long day with the children or at weekends is hard. We even plan family holidays around our quieter months or take long weekends rather than a 2 week summer holiday just so we don't get behind with orders or enquiries.

    I can honestly say that we truly didnt appreciate the things that we would need to do or think about to get our business off the ground or the time that we would need to put in.