Monday, November 30, 2009

Dare #10

This morning I am in shock! Even though I knew all along that December was fast approaching it has finally sunk in now. Tomorrow is the 1st of December!!!!! This morning I let Tucker outside to do his "business" and I was amazed by the snow that was on my grass.

So here is your dare this week:

Dare #10

At some point this week (if you are the primary family cooker) take a night off!! Make your spouse do a night of cooking or order pizza or other takeout food. Everyone deserves a break every now and again. I think with my night off I will start doing some Christmas wrapping!

Last week's dare was an easy one for me. Last week was full of Christmas activities. First it was the Gemma Christmas party, Friday was the Mountainview Christmas party, Saturday Ryan and I went Christmas shopping and then went to go watch A Christmas Carol in theatres. Sunday morning I blasted the Christmas tunes on Galaxy and decorated the whole house. It was a blast!

Some of the guys at the Mountainview Christmas party!

Waking up after a busy Friday night was not an easy task but it made for a successful Saturday. First Ryan and I headed to Walmart to finish up small gifts and stocking stuffer's. We got there early so by the time we were ready to check out we missed the big crowds. Then made two more small stops before heading to the movie theatre. I have wanted to go see A Christmas Carol for a long time. I have never been to a 3D movie before and was so excited to experience it! In my head I had thought because Jim Carey was in the movie that it was going to be a humorous movie but it was the complete opposite. Although the effects were really neat I was a little disappointed because I was looking forward to a humorous Christmas movie. Either way it was a very well made movie and it made me feel very "Christmasy" afterwards!

Ryan and I with our 3D glasses on


Friday, November 27, 2009

Technology Challenged

Yesterday I had received a couple of e-mails from people complimenting me on my blog. They said they would write a comment on the post but they couldn't. So to let everyone know I have figured it out and I am now able to accept anonymous comments! Woo hoo! And I figured it out on my own..."I'm a big girl now" :-)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Money Saving Ways

There are many words that my friends use to describe me. Punctual, kind and friendly are ones that come to mind but recently I've been getting a new title, "cheap". Now I'm sure when they say that I am cheap they don't mean that I stand on the corner of Hammond and 5th concession waiting for cars to drive by but I prefer to be called "frugal".

My frugal ways came about in University. Through the school you get a meal plan card that has a certain limit on it and once it's maxed out you have to pay with cash. I was worried during my second semester that I would run out of meal plan points so I decided to cut back on a few things. For example, in the mornings I loved to go get a tea from Tim Horton's but I determined that if I just got hot water then I wouldn't have to sacrifice any points.

One of the greatest tools my parents ever gave me was the knowledge of how to save, budget and spend money properly. I have my monthly expenses calculated, what I need in my bank account weekly to pay them off and how much I have to spend freely with. Here's a little example:
Groceries-$400.00/ month $100.00/week
Vacation Fund- $80.00/month $20.00/week

I find writing everything down has really helped with being able to see where my money is going. I have a little red book where I write down all of my spending and at the end of the month I calculate it all up to determine if I overspend/underspent and on what.

Groceries have become a big part of my budget planning. My boyfriend and I buy the groceries and share them, even though we don't live together. Here is an example of one of the weeks of our 6 week meal plan:

Week 3
Sunday- Roast Beef (or chicken), mashed potatoes/fixings Cooking: Ryan/Lindsay
Monday- Sheppard's Pie Cooking: Ryan
Tuesday- Beef Tortilla's Cooking: Ryan
Wednesday- Chicken Carbonara Cooking: Lindsay
Thursday- BBQ Pork Chops, roasted Potatoes Cooking: Lindsay

** Every Friday is Pizza night and Saturday's are the day off ****

With this meal plan (there's 6 weeks of planned meals in total) plus lunch and breakfast items we are able to spend $100.00 a week on groceries. I follow a grocery list very carefully. As I cross an item off the list I put the price beside it and then at the end I take out my handy-dandy calculator and add it all up. If it's over $100.00 then I take something out I really don't need and if it's under I can get a treat.
(Yes, I'm that loser in the grocery store with a calculator, ha ha)

I know having a meal plan and tight budget might not seem very exciting to some people but I like being organized and I love seeing my savings and RRSP's grow with the extra money that I am saving. The extra money that I am making at my second job has allowed me to renovate the house that I grew up in, that I know call my own. I know it doesn't sound like I'm a young, unmarried 22 year old but I think living a little strick right now will really pay off down the road.

I will be posting $10 dollar meal recipes in the future. So keep checking back for money saving meals!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dare # 9

Even with a super busy week last week I managed to get a few chapters of a new book in. It is starting out really good but going to bed at 8 doesn't allow for much reading time!
Here is your dare for this week
Listen to a Christmas song! It's that time of year again and with the end of November just around the corner there is no better time then the present to get into the spirit for Christmas! It can be a childhood favorite or a new release from your favorite recording artist. Either way sit back and listen to the lyrics and think fondly of all of your favorite Christmas memories! :-)

It seems as though the month of November is crazy when in comparison to October! Between work, holiday shopping, birthdays and events there is rarely any time to take a breather!

Holly and I on her birthday celebration night!

Last weekend Ryan and I went to Toronto with his parents. It was a trip that we mainly took "just to get away" but ended up being a successful because we got some holiday shopping done!

Ryan and BIG fish at the Bass Pro Shop, Vaughan Mills Mall

Once we got home (5 hour drive later) we were feeling energetic because of the lovely weather and so decided to go ahead and get all the Christmas lights on the house. This is the first year that I have a house of my own to decorate so I was very much looking forward to it.

Me, excited to put up Christmas lights!

Normally, it is a job that my Dad would do as Mom would decorate the interior and do all the Christmas Baking. However, Ryan didn't want to follow that tradition and wanted my assistance. I couldn't quite figure out why until the first time he stepped on the ladder. All of the sudden when he was only about a foot off the ground his whole body started to shake. To make a long story short I ended up being the one to put the lights that were higher up on the house while Ryan gave directions for the ground! Maybe next year he will be able to face his fear and I can stay inside where it is warm :-)

Ryan putting some lights up!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dare # 8

This week, if you are not already doing so, read a new book. I for one can't usually finish a book in one week because I only read a chapter a night but try your best to at least start one. Jill let me borrow a book of hers last week called, Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella and I can't wait to start it! :-)

Last week was a very busy week for me. Many people think that sod farmers are done as soon as the frost hits but in reality this is our busiest time of year! Dad and I had a meeting in Kingston at 6:30 at night and decided to drive home that night. We got home at midnight at up at 4:30 the next morning to start work. Tuesday night I drew a bath and laid in it and fell asleep because I was so tired. Luckily, Ryan woke me up shortly after to let me know that supper was ready.

Hope you have a great week!


Monday, November 9, 2009

Dare #7

Dare #7

Sometime this week take a bath. It doesn't have to be a bubble bath and it doesn't have to be super long but take at least 5 minutes for yourself and soak in the tub! Maybe bring a book or light some candles, do whatever you want but make sure you take the time for yourself and enjoy!!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dare #6 Complete!

I think one of my most favorite things is festivities and holidays! I love preparing for them, whether it be gifts, decorations or food, I can't wait to organize it! Halloween especially is a great event in my books which made last weeks dare very simple for me! :-)

Here is mine and Ryan's big pumpkin after we gutted it and started to carve out the face. We couldn't wait to see what it looked like lit up!!

Here is the "scary" snake face that we carved! Ryan is so meticulous and the end result of the carving has to be perfect. I like to rush through it where he enjoys perfecting it.

The pumpkin carvers with their masterpiece! We were pretty proud! :-)

Being that I live in the middle of no where we don't usually get alot of trick-or-treaters. So to make up for the few that do venture out to the boonies we make sure that we REALLY make it worth their while! This year I made up 18 candy bags. I book brown paper lunch bags and filled them with candy, chips, drinks, stickers, pencils and toys! Ya we go a little over board but I just get so excited and I remember which houses had the best candy when I was growing up. I hope that one day a kid will look back on their Halloween experiences and think of my house as "the place to go for good loot".

Can't wait till next year!