Friday, April 6, 2012

Wow...its been awhile!

I have been much has happened in the last month and I'm overwhelmed as to where to start again!

1st - I was offline the last two weeks or so of February because we maxed out our Internet. Or should I say...*I* maxed it didn't start its 'new month' until the 3rd of March.

The 3rd of March was crazy busy - last skiing day of the year, canteen hours worked (gotta love being a hockey Mum) and then the last activity was a date night for my husband and I! We went out to a benefit social for a friend of mine who is fighting Autoimmune Hepatitis. She is now officially on the liver transplant list and this was a fundraiser for her and her family.

The next day - the 4th of March, brought a very tired Mum and a family emergency. I received a call just as I was heading out to finish my last set of canteen hours that my dad was going in for emergency surgery to repair a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm. I was stopped on the side of the road talking to my sister in law, hung up, then immediately I turned around, headed home and packed a bag, then headed for the city - 2.5hrs away. Thank God my husband was home on days off and was able to be with the kids. He ended up calling in to work in the following days and taking another set of days off as vacation so I could remain in the city with my Dad, Mum and brother.  He is home now after spending 4 days in ICU and 3 days on the regular ward. He still has a long road to recovery but is ALIVE! He beat the odds and will keep on going forward!

SO - that was the first week of March. When I got home it was hard to get into the routine of things. I was still worried about my dad, I'd been away for a week and off routine, I was tired (Still am...) and honestly, blogging was the last thing on my mind! For some reason its taken me until now to be able to get up the drive to blog again! Let's hope I can keep it up.

So - with my Dad being in the hospital and me not really paying attention to routine, I didn't really keep track of groceries etc, but I'm proud to say that we stuck to budget in a decent way! I am over budget each month by $47 dollars. I honestly am wondering if the cost of food has gone up enough that I may need to revamp my budget amount. I am thinking I may need to boost up to $700/mth since I am struggling to stay at the $600. Its just too hard living so rural and not being able to price match.

So - here we start with April - this is yesterday's grocery shop. I'm a bit irritated that I didn't make it to the city on 10% Tuesday - I could have saved $22....grrr!

So - here is the first picture!

I am in 'tomato stockup mode' so there is lots of tomatoes - hoping to grow MY OWN this summer..... The yogourt was on sale at a buy 2 price, more expensive if you only bought one. And the big mini wheat cereal boxes have pins in them for a free box!

The bag of grapes is gone already and one container of tomatoes. For snack last night. Amazing how my kids can inhale fruit!

So that's where I've been, what we'll be eating and...yah. I need to get back on track. I miss my blog.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Mirror Mirror On The Wall...just how spotty can you be?

I adore my kids - and I love how our family routine is really helping keep the house clean lately! Of course, we still have our Messy Mom Mondays (which are not specific to Mondays.... but just get blogged about on that day).  BUT - I do have to say, that having the kids help with chores more often really helps keep the clutter down. Along with major purging.

So - here is my bathroom.  One of the kids chores is to clean the bathroom.  Looks great doesn't it???!!!

A close up of the mirror perhaps?? Yes - those 'spots' in the top picture on my towel are NOT issues with the towel itself....its the mirror. Seriously gross.

And just to show how talented my children are - NONE of which, mind you, are over 4' 8" can see just how strong they are when they brush their teeth..........yes - the spots go to the top of the mirror....

*sigh* Real Life.

Friday, February 10, 2012

budget? I have a budget?

So - I did pretty darn good. We did spend more than $300 but Robin used some hockey pool winnings to get the rest of our groceries - my main shop was $292.11.  Just over $100 of that was meat that was on sale. So - I actually did REALLY good! :)  Plus I will get a free exercise mat with the purchase of 2 of those cereals, got 2 jugs of milk free with the purchase of all the cereal and will have coupons for the next cereal purchase! :)

Milk went up in price.........*sigh*

The frozen chicken breasts went up too - same price for only 3kg instead of 4kg...

Within 5 hrs of purchasing, the grape tomatoes are gone, 2 of three strawberries gone..yep. Hungry kids! LOL

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Oh yes - I'm a happy Mum! So - that wonderful broken window experience? (we really need a sarcasm font)

ITS OVER! We got the window fixed - and in less than a week!!!! Amazing! They found a reclaimed window and were able to get it installed in a week. Wonderful small town - they put it in while my hubby was home so he went to the library to study for his Power Engineer exams and they installed the window. I didn't have to hang out in town with the Duo all day and he got some studying! AND - we got a 'new to us' window! WHOOHOO!

Alas, by the time I got the picture taken, the attack of the gravel roads had already occurred but you get the idea....

And pssst - don't forget I'm Listed on Top Mommy Blogs! You can vote for me by clicking on this link, and then when you check out other blogs from my referral I can become 'Clicky'! LMBO I've never been CLICKY in my life!! :) :) :)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I'm listed on Top Mommy Blogs

I was blog hopping one day and found a site called Top Mommy Blogs.   I LOVED the variety of blogs on there, and I loved how easy it was to find something fun to read!! SO - I looked into it further and realized that ANYONE can join. Anyone. You, Me. Yep! ME!  You register your blog, and they check it out and make sure it fits their criteria - basically that you're a Mommy and you blog regularly. So I registered - and lo and behold my blog was accepted.

Now - here's how it works! You can vote for my blog once a day. As long as you go to Top Mommy Blogs from the link above, you'll be 'referred' from my blog and it counts towards my 'votes'. That's it - thats all you have to do - then, EXPLORE!! Explore all the other blogs! I have no doubt I will never reach the top 25, but hey - its fun to dream, right???? :) :) :)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Pantry Purging....

Number three on my 12 things to do in 2012 is to PURGE PURGE PURGE. I also want to stick to my budget. So - I am Pantry Purging this half of the month! I am trying to use up all the things we have and figure out what we really 'need' - the things that I tend to use a lot of and always need to buy. I'm hoping it will help me work my stock up shopping trips a bit better.

On top of that - Dear Husband did a Costco run and that was $155. Now - that puts me over budget for this portion of the month, so my plan is to cut back on $50 for the next 3 budget periods to make it up.  My last blog post about groceries. I had about $52 and change leftover. We ended up using that for a few last minute stops and a roasted chicken craving fulfillment! :) No pictures...I know. You're so disappointed! ;)

So - this half of the month its just been milk and produce with a few basics that have been purchased.

The first one was from around payday - the 15th. We still had a few bags of apples from our last grocery shop, so I stocked up on eggs and salad stuff. OH, and butter for baking and pop for movie night! :)  Of course the milk - and no, there wasn't a lot but I refused to pay almost $6/jug, so we just went easy on the milk and drank lots of water. I'm happy to say that 15+ days later, we still have one jug of pop left!

This was another mid week stop - ran out of apples, margarine was on sale - and we always need it so I grabbed it. More yogourt since the kids ate my last one to MAKE yogourt and of course - bananas. Oh, and 2 more boxes of sugar rock oranges. Kaylyn ate one box in one day....  The milk will get us through until Rob gets home and brings a couple jugs with a much cheaper purchase price.

I haven't done a major grocery shop myself for February yet = I'm waiting til 10% Tuesday next week, but Robin did grab a bunch of stuff on his way home - he got cheese slices for 1/4 of the price I had scoped them out at here. Sad, huh?  And again -sorry, no picture! :)

 On the 31st I had $7.58 left over from January's grocery budget, so that starts us off on a good foot for February!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Reusable Sandwich/Snack Bags!! LOVE them!

Ahhh - back to the blogging world after our internet was maxed out....wings were clipped til a new month started! I love living the rural life - but sometimes it bites the big one when your options for technology are limited.

I am not a 'tree hugger' per say, but I definitely do not like to waste, and I don't like all the plastic that can go into our landfills. I did try buying rubbermaid containers for lunch, but in this house there is a big sign on our door. It reads like this...


So....I was on the hunt for a new idea along with searching for some reusable produce bags. I ended up finding both - but chose to only buy one of them this time around and will purchase the produce bags in a couple months. Spread out the money spreading cheer a bit! ;)

I decided to go to Etsy first. I'd never shopped Etsy before, but I figured I'd help out another stay at home mom perhaps - someone with talent at sewing and could actually make money.....unlike myself.

I found quite a few different shops selling these snack bags!!  Huh. Imagine - someone thought of it before ME!  *wink* (Insert sarcasm font)

I looked at many, but ultimately found Jamie at Ever Sew Clever, I really liked the look of the bags, and I liked how she interacted with me. I figured if I was going to make the purchase I'd like to get enough for all the kids. The listing was set for 6 bags - 3 small and 3 large.  So I messaged her and she got back to me immediately saying that she had changed the listing to be 12 bags, 6 of each size.

I got the kids to check out her Facebook page and pick their fabrics. Then I ordered right away! No procrastinating from this girl! Amazing! *no sarcasm - seriously - amazing! LOL*

I waited a few days a good week before I started to anxiously check the mail. I know - California to Manitoba...not exactly an overnighter...throw in a bit of customs...well, yes....I know I was impatient.  I had ordered them on the 5th of January, and Jamie shipped them the very next day! I received them on January 24th. And wouldn't you know it? The 23rd was the only day I didn't check the mail - so they could have been there the day before!  LOL

So! Now I have these lovely bags in hand. I was, the kids were so anxious to use them....okay, so was I. I can't lie.

Here's the ones we actually got!

The kids have their own colours, but are pretty good so far about sharing.

Inside is a plasticy type lining - it doesn't keep things air tight so sandwiches have to be packed the morning of, nor does it keep 'wet' things like cantaloupe, but other than that we've had no problems!
(Gotta love my lack of a manicure...huh?)

I LOVE these and will never go back to disposable sandwich bags or even containers for that matter! I can't believe how much I can fit into the kids lunchkits by not having containers. And the lack of garbage is awesome.

Okay. I'm a slight tree hugger.