Friday, August 31, 2012

Grocery Savings Week 2


Happy Friday everyone! At this small town girl’s end, it’s been a rough one. I’ve tried to keep in high spirits throughout the whole week but it’s been hard. I’ve felt like a little bug getting squished. The good news? It’s the end of the week and I have the whole weekend to recuperate.

Last week, I convinced you all that I was crazy.

That, and I also convinced you that you COULD only grocery shop once a month to spend less. To spend $300 or less.

A lot of you asked some really great questions. Like, what about fresh produce? And what about bread and milk?

All great questions! First, this weeks menu. Breakfast and lunch are the same as last week.

This week’s supper:

Sunday – Pork Tenderloin with roasted potatoes and vegetables.

Monday – Meatloaf with homemade Mac & Cheese

Tuesday – Chicken Caesar salad with garlic bread

Wednesday – Pasta with roasted red peppers in a rose sauce.

Thursday – Sheppard’s pie

Friday – Pizza night!

Saturday – Leftovers/free night

Onto produce. This is hard. Everyone leaves their fridge at a different temperature and buys different kind of produce. Here is a list of the things that I buy and how long they last for us.

Fruits and Veggies Lasting 1 Week:

  • Bananas
  • Berry’s
  • Grapes
  • Leafy greens (minus Romaine)
  • Mushrooms
  • Cherry’s
  • Peaches

Fruits and Veggies Lasting 2 Weeks:

  • Cucumbers
  • Celery
  • Beans
  • Asparagus
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Pineapple
  • Kiwi

Fruits and Veggies Lasting 3 Weeks:

  • Melons
  • Broccoli
  • Peppers
  • Pears
  • Avocado's

Fruits and Veggies Lasting 4 Weeks:

  • Apples
  • Citrus fruit (Grapefruit, oranges, lemons and limes)
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Sweet Potatoes 

The idea behind this is like last week, PLAN! It’s so important that you plan what you eat according to what is going to go bad first.

I’m not going to plan to eat salad on week 4. Salads will be eaten up on weeks 1 and 2. Weeks 3 and 4 are meant for frozen and canned fruits and veggies, plus the ones that haven’t gone bad.

Sometimes, you might not be able to go through some fresh ingredients before they go bad. That is when your freezer is your best friend. Mostly everything can be blanched (half way cooked) and frozen for later use.

For every shopping trip including the last one, at the top of my grocery list I have written the date, SEPTEMBER 14TH. That was a reminder to myself that every time I went to buy anything it had to be dated for after that day!

Lunch meat? Check out the dates. At Walmart, for $5 (a two pack) the meat is always dated after when I need it.

Milk? We drink Natrel and 9 times out of 10 is dated for when we need it. When it’s not? We will still avoid going to the grocery store. Instead, we’ll pick up what we need at the corner store. Is it more expensive there? Usually. But, I know that if I step into a grocery store I will buy something else besides milk.

Bread? Did you know that the date listed on your bread is only for it’s shelf life in open air? In the fridge, your bread lasts 3x as long! So, once a month I buy 5 loaves of bread and keep them all in our extra fridge! They last.

Other dairy? Cream cheese has great shelf life! As does sour cream! Just make sure to check the dates! You won’t want to mindlessly throw any products in your cart before checking the date first. We buy 2 long packs each of cheddar and mozzarella cheese to last us the month. They ALWAYS last. We will go through them both no problem in 4 weeks and they do not go bad before the end of our meal plan.

Finally, remember, the freezer is your best friend.

Freeze tortilla wraps for lunches, snacks and future suppers (can you say Fajita’s? Yum!).

Freeze butter to keep it fresh!

Produce that is on sale? Buy bulk and freeze it! The other day a whole bag of onions and carrots were on sale for $1 each! So I bought 2! One to have fresh during the month. The bag of carrots I peeled, chopped, blanched and froze. The onion? I diced and froze! Ready to throw into meals!

It probably sounds like a lot of work. Honestly, it’s not. A little extra planning and prepping can go a long way! I don’t know about you but the time after work seems to fly by because there is always so much to do! Now that I am able to prepare for our meals before hand it takes away that stress and extra time. Time is the important part!

Check out grocery savings part 3 next week for more money saving tips and a special recipe!

Hope you have a great weekend!


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ceremony Part 4


Happy Wednesday everyone! It’s the 4th and final segment to the ceremony series. Last week we ended with the first kiss and leaving the church!

While Ryan and I were hiding away in the church basement looking at each other saying, “we’re married, we’re married”, our guests were exiting the church. 




We got the signal and walked back through the empty church arm in arm. As we waited at the door, we finally heard them announce us as husband and wife. As the front doors of the church opened we stepped out a everyone shot the pop streamers!

It was a little scary at first but a fun way to be introduced! Kind of like a grand entrance!



As I was standing around chatting and giving hugs, I felt this little person come up to me and wrap her arms around me. I bent down to give her a proper hug and at first she ran away. When she did come back she wrapped her arms around my neck and we looked at each other.

This series of pictures and this moment will always hold a very special place in my heart. Love you very much, Maddy! 



With a few more snap shots for guests we had to be on our way. Guests were invited to go ahead to the hall for cocktails as we got our formal pictures taken.


My original plan for a going away vehicle was an old truck. We had it all set up with the owner until the Thursday before the wedding he called to cancel. Claiming he couldn’t have the truck clean and ready in time.

I have to say I was a bit crushed but I had no choice but to move on as the wedding was only 2 days away.

Luckily, my parents have the cutest Volkswagen Beatle convertible that we were able to use. It was a little tricky to climb in with a big dress but was so fun to drive away in!   





As we were driving away Ryan gave his signature “peace” sign and we headed off to get pictures, taken horns loudly honking behind us! I was smiling ear to ear!



Monday, August 27, 2012

Point Form Kind Of Weekend


- It’s Monday, that kind of sucks!

- At the end of this week there will be a long weekend and Shawville Fair! Woo hoo!

- This weekend I was a bachelorette again. Ry went on a four wheeling trip about 3 hours away. He kept asking me if I would miss him. It was really hard to keep a straight face while saying yes.

- I knew that since Ryan was away I would get alot of “me” time. Watch the shows/movies that I want and eat what I want. It’s kind of nice to cater to yourself for sometime instead of someone else.

- The weekend started out perfectly with a trip for supper with the girls to Boston Pizza on Friday! I don’t know why but supper went by in a blink!

boston pizza

- That night I rented American Reunion and fell asleep half way through. Wild Friday night!

- I woke up with the blues early Saturday morning. I mean getting up at 6 AM on weekend? Blah! I curse you internal clock!

- Saturday did end up feeling extremely long because of my early morning riser ways.

- I would like to thank my bestie Jilly for introducing me to Friday Night Lights. That is what my Saturday consisted of. Sitting on the couch watching episode after episode. Real productive. 


- I was too enthralled in the show to even make myself lunch. I was about to eat my elbow by supper time.

- I was A LITTLE productive on Saturday after all. After seeing a posting on the local yard sale page via FB I ran to Shawville (next town over) to pick up 4 new dresses that I bought for 35$! I love everyone of them! And I love a good deal!

- I even wore one of my new dresses to church Sunday morning.


- You know what I miss about Ryan not being home? Sleeping with the lights off. My hydro bill goes way up when he is away. Lights must remain on during the day and at night.

- I figured out this weekend that I have a poor mental measuring brain. I wanted to go for my run on Sunday morning before it got hot. I had been getting bored of my usual way and decided to take a new route that I thought would be the shame! WRONG! My usual 5 km ran turned into 7.5 km! Bah!


At one point I almost broke down and called my mom to come pick me up. I didn’t cause I figured my parents would laugh at me for my lack of measurement skills. It’s all about the ego!

How was your weekend?


Friday, August 24, 2012

How We Started Spending Even Less At The Grocery Store!


Happy Friday everyone! Another week has come to an end. A crazy, busy and tiring week that I am so glad to see gone. Like I said last week, come on fall!

I mentioned that last weekend I went grocery shopping. What I didn’t mention was that I went and picked up enough groceries to last us a month!

I know, a month to go without grocery shopping seems a little crazy. And, I’m just crazy enough to do it but it is saving us so much money!

I had mentioned a long time ago about how Ryan and I budget our money. With the use of a strict meal plan the grocery budget was set at $100.00 a week.

Now, we spend about $65 (or less) a week!!!!

This money includes breakfast, lunches, suppers and snacks for 4 whole weeks!

Here’s some tips on how we do it:

1. Plan your meals!

- There is no way you can grocery shop once a month without having some set plan. This requires sitting down and planning out your meals for the next 4 weeks. This needs to include, breakfast, lunch, suppers AND snacks.

Here’s what 1 week of food plan looks like;

Breakfast options:

Oatmeal, toast, cereal, waffles (recipe to come!), eggs or bagels.


Ryan packs the same thing for lunch everyday. 1 ham sandwich, one peanut butter sandwich, 2 granola bars, homemade cookies and a piece of fruit.


An example of week 1 of 4 for suppers;

Sunday- Spicy Sausage Penne

Monday- Honey glazed pork chops, roasted potatoes and carrots

Tuesday – One pan chicken and sweet potato bake

Wednesday – Japanese Meatballs

Thursday – Chicken Fajita’s

Friday – Pizza

Saturday- Leftovers or other

2. Make a clear and accurate shopping list. Don’t forget to shop your own pantry first!

 grocery list

I always make two drafts of my shopping list. One is a rough draft of everything we need from week to week. I then transfer that list and categorize it. Grains, dairy, meat and etc.

After the final draft of the shopping list is done I go through my cupboards and cross off stuff I already have that I don’t need to purchase.

Why do I add these items to my grocery list in the first place if I already have them?

Because it’s encouraging to see things get crossed off.

3. TRY to go when the store will be less busy.

I know it’s super hard but the least crowed the more time you can take to figure out the best deal.

4. TRY to go grocery shopping alone.

Again, another hard thing to do but treat yourself to a date and go get groceries by yourself! You wouldn’t believe the amount of money Ryan can throw in the cart during a shopping trip! Bugger! ha ha

5. While shopping mark down the prices and round up!

I always leave enough space on my shopping list to write the a price of each item. That price I always round up to accommodate taxes. For example, if something is $3.75, I will mark it on my sheet as $4.

Once each category is complete. I take out my iphone and calculate the total.

This just keeps you accountable for the spending. It makes you conscious of how much things really cost.

So, what does a months worth of food look like once you get it all unpacked?

Kind of like this:

Book club and bachelorette 004

That is $244.60 worth of groceries. So, to feed our family of two right now it costs $61.15 a week or $8.74 a day!!!

The best part? For the most part, it is healthy and homemade (not processed) foods.

Only grocery shopping once a month can be very hard. It takes some practice and some planning. The benefits of not entering the tempting grocery store any more then once every 4 weeks, is mountains of savings!

Worth all that planning!

Check it out next Friday when I tell you WHAT to buy to save money at the grocery store and still eat like kings!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ceremony Part 3


Happy Wednesday everyone! This week is one of those weeks. You know where you feel a little down and tired. Especially the tired part. This week is especially busy around these parts and I am crawling my way to Friday when I can finally breathe.

Last week, we continued our talk about the wedding ceremony. I had met my groom at the front of the aisle and we had performed part of the ceremony.

Now, it’s time to sign the wedding registry and make it official on paper too! We made our way down to the table and we all took turns signing our names.



While my lovely bridesmaids looked on! 


We were finally officially married not only in the eyes of God but on paper too! It was a pretty amazing moment! I wanted to skip back up the stairs to where we would be announced husband and wife. 


Finally, we were introduced as Mr. and Mrs. and Ryan was told to salute his bride! Yay! 




Some people how found it weird that we didn’t kiss BEFORE we signed the registry. My thoughts were that I wanted that special announcement as husband and wife AFTER we were married by the church and legal on paper. Once we were official then I wanted to kiss my husband for the first time.

We were making our way back down the stairs so that we could go down the aisle. The wedding musician's were suppose to start playing a upbeat jig as we exited. They never started playing.

I remember looking over my shoulder at them giving them a bit of a stink eye, hoping they would come to their senses and start playing.

Then, I heard some beautiful voices at the back of the church singing “Oh, Happy Day”.


To say I was in shock would be an understatement! Ever single detail of the wedding I had known and organized. Little did I know my parents had a little surprise for me.

A long time ago Mom and I watched License to Wed. At the end of the movie, as the couple got married, they were serenaded by a choir singing “Oh, Happy Day”. I always thought it was so neat but never mentioned it again. Years later, at my own wedding little did I know the same thing would be happening! 



Figuring out it was my Mother who had organized it.


One of my favorite pictures! 

Once the singers were done we had one last kiss and then the musicians played their jig so that we could exit the church. 




We didn’t stay outside the church for long though. Immediately we dashed away so that we could have a moment together and then re-enter and exit the church.

To be continued….


Monday, August 20, 2012

Book Club and Bachelorette Weekend


Happy Monday everyone! I had an absolutely fabulous weekend! It was filled with so many fun activities that it really passed by in a blink! Let’s recap!

Friday night was book club! I had been really looking forward to this particular meeting because I enjoyed the last book and it was at a new hosts house! Thanks Tara for hosting!

This meeting we covered The Dirty Life by Kristen Kimball. Over super yummy snacks we had a very in depth discussion about home, farming and being self sufficient.

dirty life

When driving away at 11 (I think a new book club record?) I had this overwhelming feeling of being refreshed. I needed an evening with some ladies chatting. It was a perfect Friday night.

It was perfect until I arrived home. As Sharon drove away I couldn’t help but notice that none of the lights in the house were on. My first thought was that Ryan was spiting me (we may have been grumpy prior to book club) and left none of the lights on knowing how scared I am of the dark.

When I tried to flicker the lights on and off (like that’s going to work!) it was still pitch dark. You could hardly see the hand in front of you and of course there was only one reason why our lights were off….

A serial killer.

Totally rational, I know! :-)

So, I yelled down for Ryan and he came burling down the stairs. I simply explained to him that the farm across the road had lights on but just ours was off. So, there must be a serial killer!

He proceeded to walk all around the house in his underwear checking lights and breakers and I followed close behind with a flashlight trying to be helpful constantly asking, “Are you SURE you don’t want me to grab a knife? Are you SUUUURE?” 

When everything was checked out we got on the horn with Hydro and within 20 minutes they were there outside the house.

By 2:30 AM we had power again and we could finally get some sleep. The next morning we found our “serial killer”.

Book club and bachelorette 012

Power line –1 Raccoon – 0

Saturday morning I had to go get groceries. I was on the road by 6 AM with a very strong coffee.

That afternoon I relaxed and then finally got ready to head out for a night of fun at Vee’s bachelorette party!

vee's bachelorette

The bride-to-be

We had a delicious meal at an Italian restaurant where we got serenaded by a young accordion player.


vee's bacheloreete 2

We then got our seats and laughed for an hour straight at the Absolute Comedy club! So good!

It was a great night celebrating Vee and the upcoming wedding!

Feeling inspired by Friday’s book club I got to work on some canning on Sunday! I had been picking vegetables constantly and it was time to do the first round of canning.

Book club and bachelorette 040

Chopping and freezing peppers, diced tomatoes and dill pickles!

It was a great weekend filled with lots of girl time! Something so great and rejuvenating when you spend so much time with great ladies!

How was your weekend?


Friday, August 17, 2012

Falling For Fall


HAPPY FRIGGIN’ FRIDAY! How can you not be happy when it’s Friday and the weekend is just around the corner?

DUDES, for serious, I am SOOOO over summer! Summer for me started back in pretty much March when there was no more snow and I was dreaming about my upcoming nuptials.

So, that’s 6 months of summer and now I am SO ready for it to be over.

Summer is hard on me. I work ALOT of hours and I still have to find the time to keep a home, exercise and be social. It’s hard when you work 60-70 hours a week in the summer. I wish that number was wrong.

For me now I’ve crossed the very important things off of my summer “to-do” list and now I’m ready for something new!

- Get married - CHECK

- Go on honeymoon – CHECK

- Celebrate Canada Day – CHECK

- Host a pool party(x2)– CHECK, CHECK

- Go to Toronto – CHECK

- Impulsive dinners out, movie dates, pool time, golf, water parks and fun! - CHECK!!!!!!

There are sure signs that fall is around the corner. The other day while sipping tea on the front porch, I opened the news paper and saw this!

Shawville Fair

Shawville Fair! A true sign that fall is upon us. Bring on the annoying beer tent, beavertails and some Terri Clark!

Another sure sign that fall is around the corner? My garden is exploding! I have more tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers then I know what to do with! I guess I have to get canning!

Garden Bounty

Fall is coming full speed ahead but I wish it was here already! I'm just that impatient. Bring on the cooler weather, shorter days (yea, I want shorter days, I’m a little sick in the head), fall colors, pumpkins, hearty soups/stews (seriously, I DO NOT want one more BBQed hotdog, hamburger or steak!) and cute fall clothes! Bring on the boots and scarves!

Outfit 008_thumb[1]

Cuz’ sometimes you just look silly in the middle of summer with a scarf and boots on! Even if you’re cold. At least in the fall it’s acceptable to cover your always shivering body!

This summer has been epic, one for the books! One that I will always remember but now? I’m so ready to move on! 



Happy Friday!


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ceremony Part 2


Happy Wednesday everyone! A full work week…yuck! ha ha! What happened to Mondays and Friday’s off? Life seems so much sweeter with an extended long weekend!

Last week, I spoke about the wedding ceremony. One of my favorite moments of the day was just about to happen. I was holding onto my Daddy ready to walk down the aisle to my man. What a feeling!

Just as those doors opened and we took our first step and…


I froze.

Yup! I was standing still, Dad lightly tugging on my arm for me to move forward. Dad looked over at me and said, “Are you ok?”

I nodded and he nodded back and we continued our way down the aisle.



Still to this day I have no idea why I paused. I think I wanted to stop for a second and take in the sight. I might have been waiting for everyone to finish standing up. Honestly, I have no clue. All I know is that I was so full of emotion and at that moment that is what my brain told my body to do!

Half way down the aisle I thought I was a pro! I kept thinking that this was easy!

Then, Ryan turned around and I lost it! I started sniffling and crying like a big baby! The only reason I know what Ryan’s faced looked like was because of watching the video afterwards. The instant that I saw him my eyes went blurry with tears.



My Dad gave me away which was one of the saddest and happiest parts of my day.


I was finally arm and arm with my FIANCE for the last time!


He helped me up the stairs and we got in position to start the ceremony!




The ceremony was a breeze! My nerves had subsided by then! With a couple of opening prayers my Aunts (my Dad has three sisters) stood to read the scriptures that we had chosen which were;

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12a

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

Ephesians 3:14-21


It was now time to exchange rings and vows! I wish I could say that I was strong through it all but watching my soon to be husband choke up made me lose it a bit. At one point I think Reverend Hobbs thought I was going to pass out because he told me to breath. But, we got through the vow and ring exchange in one piece, barely! :-)



One of my favorite aspects of the ceremony was during the ring exchange where Ryan and I both gave eachother our wedding bands and then Ryan presented me with my engagement ring again. This is what our student minister, Nancy said for the engagement ring presentation;

“The engagement ring is a symbol of a promise and intention. Now today, the intention is realized and the promise is fulfilled. So would you please place the engagement ring on Lindsay’s finger over her wedding band, symbolizing that the love that brought you together will protect and sustain you.”

We had decided early on into the wedding planning process to have a hand fasting which is an old Celtic tradition representing part of my heritage. The best man tied our hands together symbolizing, “tying the knot”.


Then, this was read;

“These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.

These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.

These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.

These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind.

These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears form your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy.

These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children. These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.

These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.

And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.”

Our ceremony was already so touching and meaningful to us. I can say that it did seem to go by in a blink but it wasn’t over yet, we needed to sign the registry, kiss and be announced as


To be continued…