Posts filed under ‘The Money’s In The Bag’

It’s fall and I need an overhaul.

Pinterest
I saw this lovely idea on Pinterest last night, and since I’m in a “it’s autumn and I need CHANGE” state of mind, of course I
had to do it.  It was simple enough, cheap enough, and just so cute and hip looking that I couldn’t pass it up.
I think these will do for now, but I might want to swap for different pictures, do a bit of a different contrast/light balance
next time around, and what have you.  But I think these will look good above our couch, which is where I’m envisioning
them and so excited to pick them up.  However, the Shoppers photo lab tells me it will be 5-7 days before they area ready.
Seems a bit of a stretch to me, so we’ll see.
I’m seriously finding SO much good stuff on Pinterest.  I highly encourage everyone to at least check it out.  In fact, why
don’t you check out my boards that I’ve got going on.  I haven’t pinned too much stuff yet, but there’s a few neat things
that I am anxious to try.

http://pinterest.com/tristarobinson/

There’s a couple dressers that we have that are old and I am totally sick of, but it’s not in the cards right now to be buying new stuff.  I’m wondering about somehow refinishing them.  Before I go any further, I will have you know I am totally NOT crafty, like, at all.  I mean, I could be if I actually tried, but I haven’t tried and so I guess I just say I’m not.  However, I’m not, or wasn’t, a runner, either……

Hmph.

My next project I want to attempt is this lovely, minimalistic-inspired wreath that I just think is so cute and trendy

Those adorable white things?  LIMA BEANS!  Glued onto a styrofoam wreath, and then spray-painted so the glue spots are concealed.  You can also use acorns (the beans not the actual acorns) and then the wreath has a brown base.  It would be perfect and adorable for fall.  I’ve always wanted a wreath on my door.

Okay, and one last crafty thing because this looks like something that is doable, easy enough to be successful at, budget-friendly, and… plain and simply awesome.

Using Paint + Glaze To Create an Antique Look

Basically, you can go from this:

To this:

All Things Thrify looks like a fabulous resource for home decor/accessories on a budget.

I’m really craving a thrift store shopping adventure to pick up some items that could possibly transform or that I could possibly transform into something magical.   This places needs a bit of a pick-me-up, and I’d say it’s about a good time for that.  Not only that, but the last time I ventured into a thrift store, I came out with a satin scarf (think: something your great-grandma would wear on her head) that I like to use as a make-shift hairpiece, a shirt that worked for a 1950’s/60’s “outfit” and that could work today too, and some killer wedge espadrille sandals.   I’m in need of some new clothes, and again since we’re talking budget, what better place than a thrift store to find some gently used, nicely broken in, and stylish gear?  I’m trying here, I really am!

Since we’re on the topic of cheapness and home decor, what are your favourite frugal decorating tips?  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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September 6, 2011 at 9:26 pm 4 comments

C25K: Week 8 Day 3

Woop!  Killed it this time instead of just mildly torturing it.

(Oh! I want to link to this article comparing breastfeeding to running.  I’ve linked it before but it’s friggin’ awesome hence the double link.  Enjoy.)

I killed it in terms of pace, speed and challenge, but I did not kill it in terms of distance.  In fact, I have taken a few steps backwards when it comes to distance, but only for this one run, and I THINK it’s because I tackled a MASSIVE hill, I ran at a very very intense incline for probably about 6 blocks.  It was hard, it slowed me down to no end, and there were many-a-time where I thought I should stop and walk the hill, then give’r the rest of the way, but not once did I stop, not once did I let my negativity overcome my abilities, because I knew that it was there.

I ran down to the river tonight and along the river for only a slight bit, and then back home.  It’s funny how I can always time my runs so that I am arriving home just as the run should be done.  I guess I’ve been running around this neighbourhood for the last 8 weeks so I’ve got a pretty good grip on how long it takes to get from point A to point B.  I am SOOOOOOO excited to start week 9 because I KNOW THAT I CAN TACKLE IT, ROUGH HOUSE IT, and MAKE IT!  And that just makes me so astoundingly happy.  Two more minutes of running than what I’ve been doing?  Piece of cake.  I’ve got this, baby, I’VE. GOT. THIS.

Whenever I see other people running, I feel like we are in a bit of a secret club and we can connect on a level unheard of.  It’s a neat feeling and I feel good to be part of ‘that group’, or clique, really.  Grade 8, how I’ve missed thee.  And this is totally egotistical and actually I am wondering if I should even put this anyway but I’m going to because I know deep down that I am not an egotistical selfish person, and I hope you know that too, so… here goes.  Sometimes when I see people running intervals, like they are just starting out a program, or doing a different kind of running program, I VERY SECRETLY (not so much anymore, sigh) think to myself, maybe they read my blog, and maybe I inspired them, and maybe they’re doing the C25K challenge and secretly following along on my blog!  YAY.  Likely NOT but it’s fun to think that and it gives me a jump in my step.

Since we’re divulging, I’m going to divulge something to y’all that makes me feel like a big whopping loser but that’s okay.  I think I did so well tonight at running because I was totally using it as a therapy tool.  A couple hours prior I had a meltdown on the phone with the National Student Loans Service Centre.  Like, I’m talking a breakdown.  I’m kind of embarassed and I’m willing to bet I was the girl they talked about after we hung up the phone.  Ugh.  Since I’ve been on maternity leave I have readjusted my loan so that I only have to make interest payments.  I initially wanted to do repayment assistance where the government would help me, but our income was above the limit for that.   That was stressful, because they have super strict dates and things you have to do and if you don’t get it in RIGHT on that date, it’s kibashed, but yet you still have to wait for pay stubs, information saying how much you make, etc., and if you don’t have it by that date, kaboom, done.  I kind of got the runaround with that so needless to say whenever Student Loans comes into the picture I have a mild panic attack.  I got a letter in the mail saying my account was SERIOUSLY PAST DUE and I owed like, $3000 or something, and my account was negatively affecting my credit.  I was ultra confused because I HAD made the payments that I was required, however, they had sent a letter with my revision of terms that I was supposed to sign and return by a certain date (aforementioned STRICT DATE) and since I didn’t, blam, all done, things got f’ed over and cancelled.  I DIDN’T GET THE LETTER.  So I started crying on the phone.  To the poor lady at the student loans centre.  Whom I said “Just listen to me PLEASE! I keep getting screwed over! I am so confused, please just listen to me explain this, *sob sob sob sob*”  Like I said, UGH.   This is what pregnancy and motherhood hormones do to us!  So long story short, I’m kind of a loser, it’s all figured out now and all is well and I don’t owe $3000 after all (good grief, thank goodness), and I took out my lameness on my run hence the awesomness.  The end.

Week 9, you’re on baby, YOU ARE ON.  I’m pumped.  Cue Rocky theme song music here.

July 29, 2011 at 2:39 pm 2 comments

Material World Mailbag Postess.

Lily and I got excited when we saw the Purolator truck pull up, knowing it was The Purse and The Wallet.  Super quick service, we are very impressed.  Also impressed by the 50% off of our purchases, yessum.  So I quickly brushed my hair (astonishing, I know), pulled on a spit-up stained sweater, and grabbed the pooch so she didn’t go nutso over the courier (she did anyway).  Yours truly signed for the package and ripped it open with delight.  Even such pretty packaging.

Like really, nice pretty blue box with gold letters?  I am in, so in and just knew  it was going to be good.  Each time I pulled a clump of filler-paper out (such an eco-waste, especially considering the recycled products used to make the purse and wallet lining, as well as my new shoes, coming up), Lily got excited and I think she thought there was going to be a treat in it for her?  There wasn’t but I pretended the purse was ours.  It’s sort of similar to how I think she thinks all of Cade’s toys and belongings are for her.  I think that she even thinks Cade is for her, her new play-thing.  Not quite yet missy.

Eeeeps!  Purdy.  I like, I like.  It’s a little risky ordering online (ha, not really risky, more like exciting, like waiting to pick up your roll of film) but I am super extremely pumped stoked satisfied excited what have you over the purchases.  I can’t wait to sling the bag over my shoulder and walk proudly.  And then pull out my wallet because it’s nice and I have never had a matching-ish wallet and purse ever.  I feel like a real adult, sort of like the first time I got heels and called them my adult shoes and wore them oh so very proudly.

So basically you probably think I have every single dollar bill ever to make purchases left right and centre but I don’t.  The first was a long awaited (because I am picky) Christmas gift from Kyle, and the shoes were purchased with birthday money.  I have been needing some kind of spring/fall casual shoes since last fall and again because I am picky, I just finally found some and I am so very excited about them.  They’re simple shoes, made from recycled tires, hemp, natural organic cotton, and other eco-friendly types.  Plus I do get the impression that they are going to be hella comfy.  Awesome.  They even have little infant shoes which I just think Cade would absolutely love and be very proud to be sporting eco-friendly toes.

So uhh I just wanted to showcase my new stuff.  It’s been awhile since I’ve purchased nice new clothes and things for myself, so needless to say I am a little bit excited.  We’re going to Edmonton for Easter and because I basically have next to no summer clothes, I need to do more shopping there.  Thank goodness for at least a little bit of an income tax return to help me out in that department.
What have you bought recently that you absolutely love?

 

April 4, 2011 at 3:29 pm Leave a comment

My house is small, but would you like a London Fog?

I’m going to rant a little bit, just so that you can all think I am greedy, spoiled, a wanna-be elitist, whatever it is that you want to think but I promise you it likely isn’t true because I am neither of those.

I am frustrated.  Often with a lot of unfair things in this lovely world, but at this exact moment, I am specifically frustrated by the housing market and by money, just to speak on general terms.  I hate how houses cost eight bajillion dollars to buy and before that you have to have 5 % of a downpayment, so then you need 4 bazillion dollars to put down.  It seems impossible, even though I know it’s not because people have done it, but c’mooonnnn.

Kyle and I are middle-class, average-income, working individuals.  We rent a decent house, albeit small and old and could use some work, but it’s good and it works for our family.  We’ve got a fairly big yard, and live in a really good neighbourhood.  The owners of the home live next door to us and are wonderful, plus they obviously allow pets which is an absolute must for us.  I’m not entirely complaining about our current situation, but I am frustrated that I feel forced into it.  I am ready to move on and be done with the rental market, because just between you and me, it kinda stinks.  Because we both have student loans, and one car loan, along with paying high rent which is nearly the cost of a mortgage (we pay $1200), it’s frustrating and hard to get ahead.  We have worked for everything that we own, and we’ve worked hard.  We’re not starving, and we certainly aren’t hurting.  We can afford luxuries such as going out to eat once in awhile, a nice car, modest travels once in awhile, and we have good friends and family.

I realize eventually we will own a house, but it’s likely going to be somewhere in the neighbourhood of 2-3 years, hopefully on the lower end of that.  Basically, whenever we get decent sized chunks of money from now in, we’re going to attempt to save it when we can.  When we can, being the key words there.  There are a few things we need to take care of before we can do this, such as obtaining some furniture for our upstairs living area.  We’ve had our couch for probably about six years, and it has been really our main piece of furniture in the living room.  It’s taken a bit of a beating and, for lack of a better word, looks like shit.  The springs have started to go on the left side of it, too, and because it’s bright red, it shows every bit of dirt, spill, as well as the nasty dye from new jeans, so needless to say, it needs replacing.  The other ‘issue’ (here’s where the spoiled, greedy, elitist part comes in) is that it’s hard to have people over, because there’s minimal seating room.  We’ve got a couch, and a glider chair that we purchased right before Cade was born.  This mama’s got some other mama friends that she would like to entertain… and it’s hard to do that with shanty-town furniture :)

We’ve had to learn to budget differently since I’ve been on mat leave and have only been making 55% of my wages.  It makes it a bit hard, because we’re probably using 55% more water, power, energy, etc. since I’m home all the time with Cadester.  There’s certain sacrifices we’ve made in order to make this new financial arrangement work, and we’ll have to continue to make them when I’m back at work.  Though my wages will be back to normal (I’ll feel rich, until…), we’ll have to pay for daycare.  It’s not the end of the world it’s just been an adjustment and will always be different now with a third little bean in tow.  I shouldn’t even complain, because we really don’t have it that bad.  And like I said about the spoiled piece, I do sound spoiled.  We don’t need to buy a house, we want to buy a house.  We don’t need new furniture (though I like to think we do… but we do!), we want to buy new furniture.

I get into certain moods where I spend too much unnecessary time focusing on what we want or don’t have, rather than on the lovely things that we currently are able to enjoy.  I know we all get into these ruts, or at least I tell myself we do to feel better.  Do you guys get into ruts where you want want want?  It’s the beauty of living in a technological, modern generation, I suppose.  Deep, deep, deep down I know that my life is grand and everything (well most things in it) are grand.  I’ve got a healthy little boy who is the best thing ever(albeit too healthy, he’s drastically growing out of all of his clothes right before our very own eyes), I’ve got a lovely dude in my life who loves me and treats Cade and I with such love and greatness, I’ve got pretty amazing people in my life that I am able to call my friends and family, I’ve got a super-cute little stinker of a doggy who makes me laugh daily, and I too have my health.

I’ve got a dirty-ass couch and my house needs to be painted.  So what?

What kind of budgeting ideas do you guys have?  What areas of your life do you sacrifice in order to expand other areas, and what are those areas?

 

March 25, 2011 at 4:07 pm 5 comments


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