Thursday, November 29, 2012

Winter Wonderland

It started yesterday and it's still going. Our first snow of the year. Well actually that is not true. We had some flakes blowing around a few days ago but nothing like this. I let the boys (kitties) out to play in it. It's not the first time they have seen snow but I'm not sure if they remember it.

Chipotle kept lifting his paws out of the snow looking pretty annoyed at the coldness and how the flakes stuck to his fur. He paced around our back deck for awhile unsure of his game plan. He LOVES to go outside. He wakes me up crying because he's so desperate to go outside. He's an adventurous soul who loves to investigate everything. I thought he would come back in but the moment I turned my back he slipped away and I saw his tip of his tail going around the corner.

Pepper is more of a homebody. He will go outside, roll around and check things out and then want in 5 minutes later. He's content to snuggle with me on the couch and follow me like a mini shadow through out the day. He seemed rather ok with the snow. I think he was happy there was something to dig in again since the ground has been frozen for awhile. He promptly dug a little hole in the snow and peed. He had a method of walking through the snow where he cleared a space with his paws and then walked forward and lingered in that spot as he made his way slowly through.

They are trained now to come sit in front of the window when they want in. They are very intelligent and have realized it's the best way to get my attention. I see them peering in to see if I'm there and then if they spot me they meow at me. Pepper is a little more insistent and will come and slam his paws on the door or stand up on his tippy toes to check through the glass in the door. Then when I let him in he chirps at me as if to say "what took you so long".

I always feel anxious when they are outside. We live on a road which is just off a very busy intersection and highway. I only let Chipotle out at low traffic times of the day. He checks in every once and awhile which is great. Today is his first day venturing out in the snow for an extended period alone. I'm feeling nervous about it but I guess that's how all Mom's feel when their babies spread their wings.

Here is Pepper testing out the snow. Chipotle was gone to fast for any photos.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Dreaded Holiday

As much as I love Halloween I completely loathe dislike Christmas. I find it a really stressful and annoying holiday. Maybe once we have kids it will be different but even as a child it wasn't my favorite time of year.

This year we'll be spending Christmas in Quebec. I wish I could be home for the holidays in BC but flights are so expensive and everyone is so busy. I'd rather wait until after all the craziness is over.

My SIL next door is hosting this year. They have a fantastic two level garage that we're going to celebrate in. I know it sounds a little strange but we already use it as the hang out spot and it's very comfy.
She has enlisted me to help decorate and plan games/activities. She's also asked if I'd like to  make some munchies and dessert. I'm slowly getting a reputation for fun new foods.

I think the general plan is for us to spend Christmas eve together having dinner. Then the next day we have a big breakfast, open gifts and spend the day hanging out and competing in a games tournament.

BF and I have done absolutely no Christmas shopping. As far as I know nobody is exchanging gifts really. Usually a big gift is bought for my MIL and FIL that everyone pitches in for. Everyone gets something for the kids and then there is a secret Santa exchange for the adults. This year we've been told not to buy gifts for the kids. It's a little confusing. I'm not really sure what's happening. So BF and I are going to make "fun coupons" for the kids. A book of things they can redeem with us for fun times. I might attach it to a little something :)

I'm looking for handmade options for everyone else. I had told my SIL how last year my family in BC did a "make it or bake" holiday. She seemed to like that idea. So I think I should have something in mind just in case. If I find the right wool I might make some dryer balls for everyone. Paired with some homemade goodies. Not sure yet.

So I'm looking for ideas :)

What would be a good coupon for younger boys? (we did a "movie night for you and a friend" once for example)

What is a good homemade option for adults? (3 different couples)

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Gorgeous Birthday Gift

On my birthday one of my all time favorite bloggers Carla posted that my color combo had been chosen for her wallet tutorial. I was so excited! Since I never win anything I didn't believe it at first but she confirmed it for me and I was jumping for joy. Now there is no way she could have known it was my birthday but sometimes life works like that and it's so magical. I was beaming to my visiting friend and BF that I had won one of Carla's amazing creations.
It came right away. When I opened the package it was even better than I'd expected which is pretty incredible since I already thought it was absolutely beautiful looking at her photos online. What's even better is that I have the piece from the tutorial to look over while I try to recreate my own.
Check it out!

All of Carla's pieces are one of a kind. If you are looking for a unique gift for somebody you should have a look at some of her creations. She does custom work and has a lot of beautiful fabrics to chose from.

Thank you Carla for this unexpected birthday gift. It made my week. The colors are amazing. I'm sorry it took me awhile to post. I was hoping to send out a little special something for you by now but I'm still waiting on a supplies order from Etsy. I look forward to sending you something soon. No hints though ;)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What's Cooking Wednesday - Egg Chart

Today I'm playing "Chopped" in the kitchen. I have some eggs that are just passed expiry, potatoes that are starting to grow eyeballs, celery that wants some love and some leftover cooked bacon. This in my home equals some serious potato salad.

I was a little concerned about the eggs but then I remembered a little chart I had seen online. Behold the egg test chart :

My eggs were starting to stand up so I did a little happy chance. We only buy free range eggs so I would hate to waste any because they are 2-3 times the price of regular eggs. Woohoo! Now I'm off to make that salad. Mmm, can't wait!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tuned In Tuesday - No Love

Evaluation Test - Check

So today I had my placement exam for French school. My MIL and SIL came with me. It's a good thing because BF completely told me the wrong place to go. Ugh. Luckily I got to the school and there was a wait to get into the class so I didn't appear late.
I was given a CD, a booklet and an answer sheet. I listened to the tape for 10 minutes before I got bored, started flipping through the booklet and realized I was supposed to use them both at once. Everything was in French. No English instructions anywhere. Very confusing. I almost gave up before I started :(
The first part consisted of 29 questions and took 1 hour because you follow along with the CD. It was multiple choice but I still marked 10 with question marks. I had no clue. The rest I gave it my best shot to pick the right answer. It was way over my head. I felt it was better to leave them blank to give an honest assessment.
When I finished the first section I took it up to the teacher and waited while she marked it. Then she told me I didn't do well enough to move onto the next section. I just smiled and said "merci". Oh boy. I know the point was not to score high.. just to figure out what I know but it still didn't feel very good.
The results get sent back to registration and I will FINALLY be put on the waiting list for classes. I hope I get in sooner than later. It's really holding me back from a lot of things. I'm not sure how many people are ahead of me but it might be a long wait.  *le sigh*

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Another Earthquake

About 4am this morning there was another earthquake. My sleeping is all turned around so I was awake for it. This time the low rumbling was present but the shaking was a little less. My two furbabies were snuggled up together beside me so I just put one hand on each of them to comfort them while it was happening. I let BF sleep through this one as he had to get up for work in a few hours.

It seemed to go on forever and I felt very tense. I looked online to confirm it was really an earthquake. Last time the info was available immediately but this time it took longer to find anything.

Ugh, all these earthquakes and natural disasters make me uneasy :(

Anyone else feel the quake?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Numbers

Travel Fund - 380
Wedding Fund - 300
Furniture Fund - 250
House Fund - 700
EFund/TFSA - 2.68
Total Savings $1632.68

In September I managed to put $1000 towards my savings which brought me to the above total. My October goal was to hit the $1000 mark again. I had a lot of unusual expenses in October due to the holidays, my friend visiting and of course my own birthday :)

Here are the numbers for the end of October:

Travel Fund - 400.45
Wedding Fund - 400.40
Health Fund - 321.82
House Fund - 1500.00
EFund/TFSA - 10.01
Total Savings $2632.68

I did it!!!! I barely did it but I did. It was a 3 pay period month for me but since I had a lot of extra expenses it was a big challenge for me. Not one I'll be able to repeat for awhile sadly. I am very happy with my progress over such a small period of time though. 

My savings goals for November are:

  1. Save $600
  2. Set goal amounts for each savings account
While I'm feeling great about getting back on track with my savings I feel that I need to set some goals. It's great to save and have money put aside but I need to figure out how much I actually need in each account. It feels so much more exciting and rewarding to work towards an actual set amount. So it's time for me to sit down and consider what I need to have realistically for the future. 

What is your biggest savings goal right now?