Saturday, 4 May 2013

Sparks & Recreation

It seemed that this week in the blogosphere (I felt like such a nerd writing that), there have been a lot of exciting announcements!

Young House Love bought a new house, and I couldn't be more excited. Okay, maybe I could, like if it was actual news for someone I knew and loved (although if I met them I'm pretty sure we'd be best friends). I'm especially excited because sometimes our house projects can be really discouraging, because we haven't really reached the cosmetic change stage yet, and so it'll be nice to read their blog starting from scratch on a fixer-upper so that maybe I can see them do some of the projects we have on the horizon. 

In other blog news, East Coast Creative's Jess is expecting a surprise baby, so that's exciting! I like to include a picture with each post, but the only picture is of a pregnant stomach that says "Yup there's a baby in there", and I'm afraid of a grandparent seeing it while skimming and jumping to conclusions. Not worth the risk!

The Pinterest Challenge has returned, I'm not sure what I'll make yet but I hope to contribute something. Will have to do some brainstorming this weekend!

This e-book bundle is so tempting to me. It's 97 e-books for $29.97. That's a really good deal. I've resisted so far, but I hope someone I know will buy it so I can live vicariously through them.

What have you read this week? Any interesting new blogs being added to your daily routine? Let me know about them in the comments!

Friday, 3 May 2013

Patience Patience

Our bathroom has been gutted for 5 months. Agh. To be honest a lot of the time I don't even think about it, we've had some setbacks like the ice damming and insulation issues. Right now, I can't wait for it to be done. Sometimes I'm a little tempted to just hire a contractor and say, "Just get it done, don't ask us questions, don't dilly dally, just get it done and open the door when it's done and we'll pay you and we'll love it." However, we have a bathroom downstairs, we have no reason to be in a big rush, and we can save ourselves a lot of money by figuring out some of this stuff ourselves. 

This blog post is kind of just my rant, I'm losing patience with the projects, and being hung up waiting for different vendors to get back to us or things to get moved forward. Right now while we wait on a few quotes, we've started some of the other projects on our list:
- New Front/Back Doors: We got a quote, and plan to order them as soon as we hear back. Really excited about that!
- New Garage Doors/Openers: Got a quote on this also, we need to clean out our garage and want to wait on some of the bathroom quotes to make sure we don't spend money we'll need for the bathroom before we order them. 

So that's where we're at right now, patiently waiting for things to move forward, doing what we can to stay sane by getting a few things done, and taking some time to relax also. Hoping this doesn't take forever, it would be really nice to finish our bathroom in May. I don't want to jinx it, so let's just see what happens. After that, who knows what will be next! We've talked Kitchen, which is a huge project and one that we hadn't planned on doing for a couple years, so we'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Window Shopping Wednesday: Mother's Day Ideas

With May 1st comes a slew of events in our family. Something about August just turns up the fertility apparently. There are lots of birthdays, including my Oma, my sister, Philip's dad, Philip's brother, and Philip!  

I've definitely been keeping my eye out for great gifts to celebrate all of these May babies, as well as Mother's Day. I've finished shopping for Philip, started for Jonathan, but still have my sister and father-in-law to go! 

I thought we'd talk Mother's Day gifts today for our Window Shopping feature, because most of us have Mother's while not all of us have brother-in-law Jonathan.

Each year I buy my mom a book. It's a tradition I started a few years ago, because there aren't tons of things my mom needs, but everyone can use a good book. I like picking out something I think she'll like, and then I write a note in the cover as a keepsake. I started doing the same with Philip's mom as well, because I think it's a nice tradition. I've already got their books picked out and high up in my closet in hiding (psst mother's this is not permission to snoop when you come over!). If you're still looking for a mother's day gift though, here are some ideas.

This cup and saucer set is so sophisticated and feminine. I love the mixes of shades of pink and gold! 

A magazine subscription makes a great gift, and some magazines (such as Real Simple, which I'm partial to and have subscribed to for a few years) even have promotions going on that make them a pretty good deal! 

Tuesday's with Morrie is my very favourite book in the world, and a recommended read. If your mom likes to read like mine does, this would make a great gift. 

If your mom likes to bake, this cookie cutter set from Ikea is about as adorable as it gets. Who doesn't want cookies in the shape of woodland animals? It's also super affordable at 3.99, you could put it in a basket of baking things for a themed gift.

A good old breakfast in bed never ceases to please, and this crepe square with ham and egg looks interesting. Some other things to do for mom: dishes, mop/vacuum, and fresh flowers are good too!

In our family, a scarf goes over really well. With my mom, sister, and I we had tons of scarves - moving out was quite the scarf dividing ceremony. This pretty Spring scarf from Stella & Dot is beautiful.

This card from Smock Paper is delightful, it's beautiful and sure to make your mother feel cherished. 

If your mom has a good sense of humor, this might be right up her alley. Some E-Cards has some hilarious cards, I picked one out for my mom while browsing for one to include here, I'll have to keep you posted on if she likes it!

Hopefully after this you'll be more prepared for Mother's Day (which is only a week and a half away by the way), I think most mom's would be happy with any of these beautiful gifts! I know I'm looking forward to celebrating with my mom's and making sure they know how loved they are. 

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Would You Tues: About You

Out of curiosity...

How old are you?

Do you wear dresses or pants? (traditional gender roles FTW)

Do you live in Winnipeg?

Monday, 29 April 2013

More Money Monday: Step 3

Now that you've begun tracking your spending, and have identified your goals, it's time to get started on your budget! 

Step 3: Income

Step 3 is pretty straight forward, think about where your incoming money comes from and write it down. Easy as that! It should be a bit easier than other steps because it typically stays a lot more steady and it's easier to figure out than say how much you spend on entertainment or groceries. You may need to dig through the filing cabinet or look online at your bank account to find some of the information, but once you've found it you'll be well on your way. 

To get started, use this free printable and fill in the columns, following along with the points below. 

1. List the ways that you receive money. Some typical items here would be your pay cheques, getting a bonus from work, maybe you make a little bit of money on the side through contract work, being a Mary Kay lady or somesuch, or even babysitting. 
On our budget these lines include Cass' pay cheque, Philip's pay cheque, Philip's work bonus, our tax return. We also have a line for miscellaneous revenue to allow a place for any gifts or unexpected money we take in, and a line for payable which helps us to track money that we've received but know we need to pay back out right away (say, if we earned money that hadn't been taxed, and we want to make sure we aren't led into thinking that the money we got is all ours). 

2. Calculate the amount you receive each month or year for these items. You'll find that it's easier to list things like pay cheques monthly, and things like tax returns yearly. For the annual budget, multiply bi-weekly paycheques by 26 to see how much you're raking in each year.

It's as easy as that, you now know more about your income than you did before. 

Extra Credit:

1. Now that you've tracked your income, look at your goals sheet and see if there is anything you can add that is income related. Do you want to make more money? How will you achieve it? Write these down in the "How I can drive this income" column.

If you're handy in excel (Philip is, I'm not), you can create your budget in the computer so that as you manipulate numbers you can see what it can look like with some of the differences you plan to make through your goals.