Friday, January 29, 2010

I want your everything, As long as it's free

I can't believe I have been away for so long. Yikes!

A couple of updates:

I went and met with the ENT specialist this week regarding my sinus issues. The news wasn't great but also wasn't bad. I've basically exhausted all of the non-surgical options so the last resort is surgery. I'm scheduled for Endoscopic Sinus surgery at the end of April. I really wanted to avoid surgery at all costs but if I do then I have to live with my sinus issues for the rest of my life and it's super unpleasant. The surgery only takes about an hour, I'll be put under and there should be no cutting. He's going to go in and scrape away all of the cysts in my various sinus cavities and then he's going to drill larger holes so that they'll drain better. Those 2 things should considerably improve my quality of life and I cannot wait.

The only downside is I won't be able to run in the 5k I wanted to do in May... but I'm ok with that. This needs to get resolved ASAP. And the sort of good thing is I'll get 4 days off work and he says recovery won't be bad.

I found out today that our household has been selected for the Nielson Homescan panel. I went and checked the mail tonight and our scanner had already arrived. I am a giant nerd and can't wait to get started on this! The scanner is charging as I type and starting tomorrow I scan everything that gets brought into the house!

This week was my bf's birthday. He turned 31 which he wasn't particularly thrilled about but what can you do? I overspent again on his gifts. I gave him the X-Files complete series boxed set (which now he says I have to watch with him... ugh!) I also gave him a leather coat which I'd purchased at Danier after Christmas. He LOVES his coat which makes me SO happy! At the last minute I also went out and bought him a video game which cost me an insane $80.

Because of the birthday this whole week has been TERRIBLE in terms of food :( There was lots of delicious cake. Also, I was kind of, not depressed but unhappy re the surgery news so I had Subway for lunch one day which included cookies and pop. No more though. Tomorrrow I get back on track. Clean and healthy eating. My birthday is in a few weeks so there will be more cake then, but then that's it!

With the cleaner & healthier eating comes be getting back on track with my workouts. The wii has been severly neglected these past few weeks. I need to fix this ASAP! Tomorrow I`m going out shopping and I need to find some kind of better resistance band for the EA Sports Active. I think I might also jump on the same bandwagon as everyone else and dust off the 30-Day Shred and get that started.

Since my goal of running a 5K in May has been put on hold, my new goal is to lose 10-15lbs before my surgery. I have 3 months to do this so it`s totally realistic.

And that`s about it for now. After tomorrow`s shopping outing I`ll be able to finalize my January spreadsheet for my budget and then I`ll post my February goals. I`m kind of excited January is almost over. It wasn`t a terrible month or anything but lots of bad happened and I`m ready to put everything behind me and start fresh.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

So I've been pretty much off sick with the flu all week. That was unpleasant :/ I did go back to work yesterday to try and get caught up on some work but missing 3 days meant I fell WAY behind on everything. I'm seriously contemplating going in on Sunday to get some uninterrupted work time. We'll see though because I also need to start my course if I want to write my exam before March 31st.

This week I got paid which is always fun. There's still a week left in this month and I already know I'm going to be way over in the grocery section. I talked about it with the bf yesterday and for the month of February I'm going to try something different. Instead of shopping at the Sobeys by our house I'm going to head over to one of the cheaper stores, either the No Frills or Food Basics and see if that makes any difference. The interesting thing, in January we have my bfs bday so we buy some more expensive food for a meal. In February we have both Valentines Day and my birthday.

In the mail yesterday I also got my renewal notice from Costco. My membership is due in March and for the last 2 years I've paid for the Executive Membership. Up until about a year ago we would shop at Costco on a weekly basis and most of my groceries would come from there. I've slowly changed my habits though and don't spend as much at Costco anymore so this year I will downgrade back to the regular membership. One of the advantages of the Executive one is that you get some cash back. I got my voucher and it's for $55 so that's enough to cover the lesser membership. Yay!

Monday, January 18, 2010


So my birthday is coming up in February and my bf has been asking me for a couple of weeks now to provide him with a list of things I want.

Well.. given that Christmas just happened and I had a hard time coming up with a list for THAT... I'm having an even harder time trying to find things I want! I love my bf very much but he's not very imaginative when it comes to gifts. Also, he's not one to go out and purchase something, he'd likely find a way to order it online. This makes coming up with ideas kind of hard.

I honestly have no idea what I want. Maybe I'll just ask for an ipod to use for running. I already have one but it's one of the big & heavy ones and I love, love, love it but running with it kind of sucks.

Jeff's bday is actually coming up next week but I, being more organized bought his gifts during the boxing day sales. I always spend more than our limits on him so it's good I get things at great deals!

In better news, Pay day is in 2 days!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Weekend Update

I have had such a lazy and unproductive weekend. I actually hurt myself SNEEZING. Wtf is that??! I have managed to get some cleaning done, but as my movement is limited due to my sneezing injury (so ridic) I haven't been able to workout. It seems as though every weekend a different excuse comes up and that needs to stop.

I wish they would stop playing Christmas commercials on tv. That being said, I still need to take down my decorations.. but I guess they don't feel all that Christmas-y since they're purple.

I'm trying out my new crockpot for the first time today. I made some Boeuf Bourginion and it's making the house smell AMAZING. I also plan on using it more time this week to make some pineapple pork. I really need to find some more recipes so I can get in the habit of using it a few times a week to free up some of my time when I come home from work.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Catching Up.

I've been on a course all week which has me going into work at my regular time but getting home about 2 hours later which is kind of making things sucky right now.. but it's only temporary so I'm trying not to let it stress me out. It doesn't help that this course is keeping me away from my regular work so when I come home I spend a couple of hours playing catch up with all of my emails. It's only temporary. It's only temporary!

On monday I was able to get a quick run on the treadmill in. I only got a mile done again because I accidentally wore the wrong shoes. Whoops! The good news is I ran most of the mile and shaved a minute off my time. Progress is good however slowly it comes!

Over the weekend I joined the X-Weighted National Challenge and woke up monday morning having had a nightmare that Paul Plakas had kicked me out of the program for having a bad attitude! That was weird. Anyways, my weight-loss goal is 25lbs in 26 weeks which seems more than attainable to me. I actually wanted to up it by 3lbs but it wouldn't let me as it didn't feel it would be a healthy weight for me. If I manage to lose to weight i'll be down to 168lbs which seems reasonable for my 5'11 large build frame. From there I would probably want to tone up but not really lost much more.

Money-wise my spending has been pretty good this week since I've been too busy to do anything! I did spend $10.61 on monday at the Pharmacy, I needed a new toothbrush, toothpaste and some peroxide for my poor toe. These last 2 days I have also spent a total of $2.50 on coffee. I've resisted the urge to buy a bagel or muffin or fritters which I'm super proud of! Good for the wallet and good for the waist-line!

Today is supposed to be grocery day but since I hadn't made a meal plan or list yet we're going to go tomorrow. I'm thawing some fish right now for us to eat, I'll throw together a salad and roast some b-sprouts and that'll have to be good enough. My homework after dinner is getting that list done!

And that's pretty much it. I pvr-d The Biggest Loser last night so I'll try to get through that at some point tonight, I find that show so motivating!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The shape of things to come

This weekend went by WAY TOO FAST! I can hardly believe it's almost 10pm on Sunday!

I spent zero minutes working out this weekend which makes me mad at myself. Normally I wouldn't beat myself too much over it, but I'm working late 3 days this week and won't be able to work out then either! Such a terrible way to fall off the resolution so early in the year! I'm not giving up though, I'll figure something out.

I did however have plenty of time to go shopping. I bought 2 workout tops, 1 wii game on sale and a bunch of grocery items that were all on sale at costco. I ended up spending about $80 on the grocery stuff alone! But it was on things like PB, bread, V8 juice, cereal, things I would have needed to get at the grocery store eventually. The only other thing I bought myself was a COSCO cup for cold drink. It kind of looks like a Starbucks cup, it's actually super awesome and I can't wait to try it out tomorrow morning for my smoothie!

Today was brunch at my aunt & uncle's house. My uncle is also a runner and I've roped him into running a half marathon with me to celebrate my 30th, which is in 2011 so we have plenty of time to train. I had mentioned it to him on Christmas Eve and he was all over the idea.. but he was also inebriated so I didn't expect him to actually be up for it. Today I found out he's quit drinking and he's dead serious about training! I'm very excited to have a running partner!

After brunch we sat around and watched Fanboys and then I came home to try to get the house as clean and tidy as I could. I got all of my laundry done and put away. I vacuumed the bedroom, hallway and stairs. Vacuumed the main floor and dusted. I still need to get all of the Christmas stuff put away but that won't happen until I get some storage bins.

I also started getting to work on my meal plan for the week. My mother got me a crock pot for my New Year's gift, but I just got it today so I'm SUPER excited to use it! I haven't had a crockpot in over a year since I broke my last one. And this one is even better, it has a timer!

Ok, I'm off to watch the rest of Chuck and then to rewatch this week's Dollhouse. Goodnight!

Friday, January 8, 2010


I wasn't sure I would make it through this week, it was SO BUSY! I had to deal with the fact that I was off last week, so lots of catching up, plus starting a new job which the previous person left virtually undone for the last 2 months. Everything needs to be done 5 minutes ago! I love this kind of hectic work environment though so no complaints from me!

My workouts have taken a back seat this week which is disappointing but such is life. I'll get back into it tomorrow. I was planning on getting some studying done this weekend but forgot my school books at work... totally accidentally, I swear! Normally I'd be able to go in and get them but this weekend they're doing some kind of power shut-down and I won't have access to the building. This'll give me PLENTY of time to work out! And get some cleaning done!

Money-wise this was a mostly good week. Fridays are usually the 1x/week I buy lunch since a group of us meet to catch up. This week work treated us so I had to pay for nothing! That money will get transferred to savings at the end of the month.

The only bad thing was running out of dog food for both dogs this month. We normally have it timed so that I only have to get 1 bag/month but in December I never got around to it, so it looks like my budget is taking the hit this month but in reality I had money leftover from the last. And you can bet that next month I still won't need food but I'll buy a bag anyway to stay on track!

Here's what my tracking looks like so far, 1 week into the month.

The Bell bill was way high but I called them to have it lowered, it should hopefully be under $300 for next month. The rest of the bills come towards the end of the month so they'll be covered by the second pay I get this month.

Tomorrow I'll be going to Costco to pick up a couple of items in the grocery department. Also, while I'm there I'll be asking for a credit. The weekend before last I bought an Everlast package for the Wii at a cost of $38.XX and this week they have it at $8 off! I want my credit! Had I known I would have just waited to purchase it, but Costco is usually really good about crediting you back.

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

First run done.

So, I knew I wasn't in the best shape but yesterday I found out how bad I really am! I wanted to knock out a simple 3k run on the treadmill which never used to be a problem for me. O. M. G. I huffed and puffed my way to 1 mile and called it quits. I'm glad that I finally bit the bullet and found out how far off I am though. It's amazing how you lose your conditioning though. Sad really. but what this does is giving me a starting point and I can only improve from here!

A couple of hours after my 'run' I started feeling really cold and overall gross so I think I might actually be fighting off something. I still felt a bit off this morning but got ready for work anyways and the feeling passed by lunchtime.

Today was payday which is always fun. I also got some backpay for some acting I did in December.. I'm counting this towards my extra $2010 in '10, the money's getting transferred to me TFSA. I'll update my sidebars sometime on the weekend once everything has gone through.

I totally forgot to pvr The Biggest Loser last night so I guess I'm off to read a recap so I can be prepared for next week! Not that this show requires muck knowledge, but I like to know what I missed!

Monday, January 4, 2010

First day back!

I tossed and turned all night last night. I think I may have been a little bit excited to get back at it! I was crazy busy all day at work too which made the day zoooooom by. In a week I start a 4 month assignment which will pay me around $200 extra net per month. So in preparing for this I've been trying to wrap up loose ends in my current job while learning stuff about the new job at the same time. It's going to be quite an interesting experience.

I also received an email today from someone else within the department who's interested in meeting with me to discuss a potential job opportunity. I love how when I'm not even looking for jobs they seem to fall in my lap! Where I'm at now I'm fortunate enough to get my university courses paid for so if I move that condition will have to follow. The nice thing about the opportunity being presented to me is that there's more chance of advancement for me, where I am now, to get anything better that's permanent I would need a university degree, and I'm still a long ways away from obtaining it.

Because of all the busyness at work, I ended up staying late an extra half hour.. which somehow double my time getting home as traffic was heavier. Not fun, but it's not an every day thing. I was hoping to run and also workout this afternoon but all that went out the window. My bf had a lovely smoothie waiting for me when I got home though which was amazing because I was STARVING!

Dinner ended up being Butter Chicken made with leftover turkey and brocoli served on some minute rice. Still no pictures, but take my word for it, it was DELISH! The bf and I played rock/paper/scissors for the leftovers but he won, boourns to that!

While I was getting dinner prepared I was on the phone with the bank which is always fun. When I had set up my student line of credit I had asked for the monthly interest fee to be automatically taken from my chequing account, the fee went through on January 1st but nothing ever came out of my account. Sure enough the girl told me that it was never set up how I had wanted but she fixed that up for me so I'm good to go moving forward. I also activated my new TD Visa which arrived in the mail today, finally! And speaking of things arriving in the mail, my Tax Package also arrived! Am I the only one who gets excited about doing taxes??? Last year I actually got a small refund, less than $50 but every year prior I was always paying. I can't wait to see how all the changes I've made this year will have improved my return. Plus, we took advantage of the Home Renovation Tax credit so a bit of money from that will be coming back our way.

Money-wise I was good today. Well, good but bad. I only spent $1 which is good.. but it was on tea. I have a kettle in my office along with mugs and tea bags but I had it in my head that I wanted a honey lemon tea to help with my sore throat. The $1 comes out of my $20 weekly allowance though so it's all good, it just feels like a waste to essentially pay for hot water!

Tomorrow I have a couple of errands to run. First to the old bank to pay off my old student LOC as my reiumbursement cheque came in. Next to my current bank to deposit a cheque to pay for the Christmas present I got myself! And finally a couple blocks down to Zellers to return the running tights I bought even though I should have just walked away but felt embarassed.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

We had a really late night last night. I was in bed at 2:30 :( I wasn't a big fan of the party as I felt like the ONLY sober person there and half the people were fall on their butts drunk. I'm glad I wasn't drinking though. I had half a glass of wine at dinner and then water the rest of the evening.

The dinner was buffet and incredibly delish. I had a couple of shrimp, some smoked salmon, waldorf salad, a bit of chicken cacciatore, a small piece of salmon and some wild rice as well as lots and lots of maple roasted root veggies. The veggies were my FAVE! After the eating there was dancing and they had set up blackjack & poker tables so I killed time playing those.

This morning I was planning to wake up nice & early because it's my last day of vacation :( I have lots of laundry to do plus I want to be able to fall asleep tonight! Unfortunately, the bad weather knocked out the power and the alarm never went off! I rolled out of bed at 9:30, yikes!

This is going to be a very laid back day, it's my last day to accomplish things on my to-do list such as the laundry, some housework and finding that silly camera cord so I can't start posting pictures! I've only been talking about it for 2 weeks now, lol!

I'm still debating whether I should attempt a 3k run today. I'm feeling very sluggish, as if I'm starting to come down with something, and my muscles are still screaming at me... but today would be a great time to do it as I'm off all day and have no plans to go out. I suppose I'll see where the day takes me. I am going to take a break from the wii workout though. It's been tellingme for the last 2 days I need to take a rest day and I'm more than happy to oblige today!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Christmas Party Day!

Jeff's work Christmas party is tonight. I haven't particularly been looking forward to going as I won't know very many people, but today I'm starting to get a bit excited! My aunt, who's a hairdresser was supposed to touch up my color and then do my hair for me but she's MIA which majorly sucks.. but my hair is short, so it's not terribly difficult to style. Last year I had bought a dress for another party we ended up not doing to, so I'm just going to wear that with some heels. Basic but dressy enough for a formal-type party.

I spent the morning shopping with my mother. Zellers had announced a buy 1 get 1 1/2 Price for their Sportek Activewear and I wanted to pick some stuff up. They had tights marked at $12.97. It was too good to be true though, only the CORE stuff was on sale, none of the Running :( I bought 2 pairs of tights and it came up to $60! I felt too embarassed to cancel my purchase though, so I'll for sure be returning those, either tomorrow or this week sometime.

Afterwards we went to Walmart and they had some decent tights and shorts at almost a third of the price. RIDIC. I bought a pair of shorts and will be back once I've returned my other things. Stupid Zellers, this is what I get for trying to support Canadian stores. Idk.

I also stopped by the store and picked up 2 beautiful loaves of bread and some crunchy pears. YUM!

Last night we had a quiet New Years Day. Lots of tv, video games and movies. Apparently we were supposed to be eating dinner at my parents house, but nothing was ever confirmed so I cooked a turkey. It was the BEST. TURKEY. EVER. Omg. i got an about 8lb Butterball. Thawed it overnight. Rinsed & patted dry. I then cut up 1 carrot, 2 celery stalks and an onion and stuffed the bird, then I rubbed some olive oil all over, sprinkled sea salt + pepper and threw it in over at 425 for 25 minutes and then down to 275 for the rest of the time. Also, I cooked her breast down and the meat came out SO. JUICY. This is my 3rd attempt at making my own turkey and this is by far a success. I will make it this way every time from now on!

The EA Active Sports is still majorly kicking my butt. My muscles are still store from day 1 but I've been doing a workout each and every day. After each EA workout I've been doing 10 mins of Step Aerobics using Wii Fit. I got the riser for the step and it's actually a decentish workout. I wanted to also try a short 3k run but I'm going to save that for tomorrow I think.

While we were out I was able to convince my mom to come and do yoga with me. So tonight or tomorrow I'll be looking up locations and dates and sign us up! I'm excited to do this with her! It'll be a good way for us to spend time together without shopping which seems to be all we know how to do!

Anyways, I have to go and shower and do my nails real quick! We have to leave in just under an hour and a half! I can't believe vacation is almost over :(

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 Monthly Budget

I've finally finished my 2010 Monthly Budget.

First, we have the breakdown of my monthly income, this is for months with only 2 pays.

In our household, my bf Jeff pays the mortgage, and I pay all of the bills. Every 2 weeks I transfer him my half for the mortgage. Every 2 weeks he transfers me $180 to cover his half of the bills. He also pays for half the groceries and dog food. In december I got an incrimental raise at work, I have yet to figure out what the actual dollar amount of it is though since at that time I had also capped out my EI & CPP. I made this budget based on my old salary and anything above that will get transferred to my TFSA.

I do have quite a bit of money left over which is good. I originally didn't set up a Clothing category as I currently use the money is my slush fund for that, I have more than enough clothes as it is already, I don't want to encourage myself to purchase any more.

I'm thinking about setting up a running category to pay for running clothes, shoes, race fees and such.

My bank account is currently set up so that everytime I pay for something via ineract $0.50 gets transferred into my TFSA so I need to keep about $20 flexible for that, but I think I'm going to look into paying extra towards the mortgage.

I'm going to try this out as is for a couple of months and see how it goes. I may have forgotten something but this is basically the same budget I started using last year so I think I'm on track. And if anything, I'm trying to cut my expenses and bills, not increase them!

At then end of the month I'll recap with actuals and see how well I did.

Happy New Year!!

I hope everyone had a safe and fun New Years Eve! We kept it very low key here. I don't think, in our 7 years together that we've ever done anything to celebrate the New Year. Last night we were even in bed before midnight! I was super tired and I wanted to get an early start to my day today, it was worth it! We had a nice dinner, a bottle of wine and watched a movie and I'm happy with that as a way to bring in the new year.

Over the last week or so I've been putting together a list of Resolutions/Goals that I want to work towards over the next year. I find if I don't have anything like this in place I just kind of coast through the year.

In no particular order, here are my goals.

Create a Will
I've been meaning to do this since we bought the house 5+ years ago. With the house I have my various savings which at the moment don't add up to a fortune, but it's still important to have my will in place. I plan to research this more in the new year and save up the money to get it done.

Bills to Credit Card
Since I became debt-free in May I've been able to prove to myself that I can use a credit card and pay it off in full at the end of the month. I want to have all the bills I can be automaticall paid with the credit card, this way I can take advantage of my credit card's cash back. It's not much but I'm sure it'll add up.

Earn an extra $2010
I got this idea from a variety of blogs out there. My plan is to earn an extra $2010 in 2010 to be put into my TFSA which is my Emergency fund when it's actual cash I'm getting. This money can come from anywhere such as Swagbucks, Surveys, Acting Pay & overtime from work, and anything that I sell.

I only started contributing into my RRSPS this summer. When I get my taxes back I want to see what my contribution limit is and figure out a way to achieve it over the next whatever amount of years. I also need to decide if it's more important for me to max out my TFSA first.

De-Clutter the House
I have so much stuff that needs to GO! I have lots of books & dvds & video games that I'll bring to a local consignment shop as well as some decorative pieces. Lots of junk that if it can't be sold or donated will be sent to the dump. I also have some bigger things like a couch, a tv & stand, snowboard, aquariums that are taking up valuable space in the house.

Paint Loft, Master Bedroom, Master Bathroom & Basement
This is pretty self explanatory. This summer I did my living room, bathroom, dining room & kitchen, this is everything else except for that cat's room. I've been in this house for over 5 years, it's time some color went up on the walls!

Run 1-2 5K's
I hope to get at least 1 run in but ideally 2. I would like to run the Ottawa Marathon 5K in May and then the Army 5K in Septemeber. This gives me more than enough time to prepare. I've started this goal a couple of times but ultimately give up out of boredom or because of an injury. I plan to train smart and not overdo it. And to overcome the boredom, caused by running on the treadmill, I'm going to get over my self-conciousness and start running outside. I've also talked a family member and a friend into running with my so they'll help keep me accountable.

Finish 4 University Courses by March 31st 2011
I get my university courses paid for by work. March 31st 2011 is the end of out fiscal year at work, between now and then I want to get 4 courses done. In the past year I've only done 2. I need to just buckle down and focus and get them done. I do my courses through correspondence and I get 6 months per course to get them done. I need to trick myself into thinking I only have 3 months!

Try Yoga in a studio
I love yoga but I've only ever done it at home following a video. I LOVE the Namaste series that aired on tv a while back. I feel as though I would benefit from practicing in a studio. This is a challenge in that I'm super self concious and shy to it'll take a lot for me to get over that and go to a new place with new people, but I want to do it.

Only buy lunch 1x/week MAX
I often get into ruts where I'll go days or weeks buying my lunch. Despite doing my best to make healthy choices, this isn't good for my budget. Every Friday the girls get together and do Friday Lunch, I still want to participate in that and I budget for that. Fridays are the only day I want to buy my lunch. Monday-Thursdays are off-limits.

And that's it. I may come up with more as the year progresses but these are the main things I want to focus on this year. Some are 1-time things, some are ongoing but they're all things that I want to get done before the end of 2010.