Sunday, September 8, 2013

where does the time go.

The last time I posted, I had just returned home from a trip to Canada. Well, I just got back from another trip to Canada. The cousins got to hang out and i was so happy to meet my newest neice, and get lots of snuggle time in. My friend Karen got married and it was awesome. Her and her hubby did a completely d.I.y wedding and it was awesome. She loves all things vintage so she managed to work that into her wedding. From the typewriter to leave"love notes" to the mason jars holding her locally sourced flowers (smart move) and the wooden tables with burlap table runners this wedding represented Karen and Dan to a T. I really regret not having my huge camera to take more pictures! As a bridesmaid I was completely nervous about my dress, our bride gave us the go ahead to choose our dress based off her colour scheme. Since I was nowhere near her to get her opinion on my dress of choice I was worried until the day she saw it. I was originally going to make mine but chickened out and bought it off Eshakti instead. It worked out though, all the bridesmaids went together without clashing.
After the wedding I spent the rest of my time kicking around Ontario with my hubby and the kids. We took them to Niagara falls for the night and had an awesome time. I took lots of pictures with my phone, because I know they will not remember it when they get older. While they had passed out shortly before the fireworks went off I got to enjoy them from our hotel room in my Pjs. I got in many visits with my friends and their Kiddo's. I think I saw a love connection between my son and my friend Karen's daughter, maybe we should start planning their wedding.... I kid I kid. I of course got in lots of fabric shopping, I should post my finds on my sewing blog... Soon. Last but not least I got some thrift store shopping in. I didn't score any duplos like last time, but it wasn't a total loss. I found some my little ponies for my kids and a couple of cute shirts for me. I wish I was a picture taker but alas I get so into the moment I forget that I have a camera in my pocket and miss out.
Well that's it for now, ta.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My trip to Canada

It's been quiet on my blog, which is not unusual around here, but there was actually a reason for it.  I was in Canada visiting friends and family!  I was lucky enough to be able to attend my friends Stag and Doe, and then the next weekend celebrate a very special little girls birthday (My neice turned one!).
 I also got in some small-ish shopping trips.  I was trying to find some books for my friends little girl, and my sister always says that kids don't need more toys, but you can never have enough books.  Well, books are expensive new, and I remembered something.  My friends is awesome, and loves vintage, she wouldn't mind if I headed to a thrift store (she would be proud) and found some books.  After I left the mall I headed to the Value Village across the street, and memories of highschool came flooding back to me.  I cannot believe I forgot how much I actually liked going to thrift stores.  Well, I found a lot of books, both for myself and for my friends daughter.  Then I head to the toy section, that was a bad idea, I found a New - My little Pony, and some Megablocks.  I kept the pony for my kids, and the blocks are staying at my moms house for every grandchild to enjoy.

It didn't end there, a few days later while visiting the same friends, we went to another Value Village, we bought more books, and I bought a few more toys for my kids.

Just when I thought it was safe, I stopped at ANOTHER Value Village while visiting my sister.  More books, more toys.

No I don't have a sickness, but it was highly addictive to walk into these stores, and not pay insane amounts of money for toys.  I would never get that kind of deal online, or even via Once upon a child (damn them and their markups).
I won't speak about the markups that thrift stores seem to have going on with clothing, but their toys and books with only $1 a piece, plus they had a buy 4 get one free there, so....score!

Anyway, I just wanted to share a bit of my haul, of some of the things I brought home
Those were some of my books, I ended up with 2 of the same books, with different covers, weird! The two disney books (beside the dora book at the top) were C's choice.  They were normally $15.00, but they were used, and $1 each.  He is a thrifter at heart that boy.  I found what I also hope were some good books for my friend, for her daughter, but alas no pictures of those.
In return, my super awesome friend bought me this (and also the 2 Disney Books that C found)
 YEAAAA.  I'm not sure how she found it, but it is awesome and covers my love of all things Alice in Wonderland.
It's hard to tell from this picture, but I also got quite a bit of Duplo while in Canada.  There were some Megablocks in the mix but the price was right and it was still better than buying new.
Also, I cleaned them up in the washing machine, but don't tell my husband :D

While some of the trip was stressful (travelling with my little ones by myself always unnerves me a little), it was awesome to see everyone.  I always had a huge pang of sadness hit me whenever I would have to walk out the door and leave.  I know I will see everyone again in August, but all of our babies are growing up, and not being able to just see them whenever I want really hurts.  You get used to your way of life, and when it changes it reminds you that life continues to go on, even when you aren't always there to see it.
I am looking forward to my next visit to see everyone, which I hope involves more visits with friends, and maybe some pre-wedding drinking with a few of my girls, before our lovely girl Karen gets married!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tackling a budget!

When I was a single girl I never had a problem keeping control of my bills.  I tracked them online, opened the letters as soon as I received them and paid them on time (there were a few slips here and there, but I didn't make a habit of it).  I had complete control over everything, I knew my account numbers off the top of my head, and even though I was terrible at saving money, I made sure I took care of my bills. 
Since getting married and having kids, I have been slacking, hardcore.  I have been letting the hubby take care of all of this, and to be honest, it stressed me out.
I never knew the bank balance, still don't know ALL of our account information (scary I know) and had no idea what bills were paid and what ones weren't (so many damn LATE FEES).  The hubby finally asked me to start doing the budget and I agreed.  He joked that I was going to get to know all of our financial information and then leave him, but I assured him that it wasn't going to happen I just like knowing what's going on.
The reason I don't want to feel helpless is, I had an old co-worker whose husband took care of EVERYTHING!  Bills, car payments, even filling the car with gas.  As a 40 year old woman, she had no idea how to pump gas into her car.  We all expressed concern over this, but she assured us that it was nothing to worry about.  I really hope she knows what she is doing, or she is screwed!

I started doing the budgeting last week and am still getting used to it.  There are so many factors in America that I have to get used to, like -getting bills from the hospital or doctor-.  I never had to deal with that before so it's a little stressful, you never know when, or who you will be getting a bill from, and then you have to remember what you even got a treatment for.  We have great insurance, but I still dread opening those bills.. 

Then I had to start using a program.  Before I used Quicken (which I liked, and still do like to this day), but Hubby suggested I use YNAB (you need a budget).  I use it, but I am still not sure what it's purpose is, or if I'm even using it correctly.  I need to sign up for one of their webinars.

I'm hoping eventually I will have a complete handle on what each and every bill that comes in is for, as well as knowing how much we have coming in and going out.  For now, I am the keeper of receipts and bank balances, and I am becoming a hardass when we start talking about buying things (Hubby has to be the hardass when it comes to going out for dinner, I love going to restaurants....). 
Hubby has become obsessed with coupons, he watched a few couponing shows, and instead of making fun of the extreme couponers, now he gets tips and tricks from them.  He was so excited when he got dental floss for free because he had a coupon, I told him this was "the start of it all".  Maybe we will become as good as those people on the show, with the exception of buying stuff we don't need in mass quantities.

For now, a tip for all of you Ladies out there (single or not), get to know your bills, accounts, and start budgeting, you will be happy you did.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Goop Shame

I was thinking about renaming my challenge, I haven't come up with a better name, but knowing that Gwenyth Paltrow is out there somewhere in the world, hawking her "GOOP" website, really makes me want to rename it so this blog somehow doesn't come up in search results for her crap....

Anyway, I took some pictures today, finally, to show everyone just how much crap I am working with.
The follow pictures are of all of the lotions of bodywashes (and some perfumes) that I could round up in the house, I know there are a few running loose but I haven't managed to find them yet.

The first picture shows you how much bodywash I have to use (I'm going to smell SOOOOO GOOD), it's on the left and there are 5 big bottles and 2 small sample bottles.
 The second pictures is from a different angle and shows you all the perfumes and lotions I have to go through (I will still smell SOOOOO good and my skin will be soooo soft, ha).  It's hard to tell but there are about 5 different perfume bottles in various stages of "empty-ness".  There are also about 10 various sized bottles of lotions, also in various stages of empty-ness.  I left my almost empty tube of Malibu heat, to show you my progress (also to show the ridiculous names).  It doesn't smell like the beach, or like any sort of temperature, it smells like straight up sugary goodness, so it's real name should say "Don't eat this".
 Just when you thought to yourself, ah, that's not so bad, there is more.  Thankfully this is all kids lotions, but chances are I'm still going to have to use it (hopefully on the kids, not me, can't stand the smell of that pink Johnson and Johnson stuff).  Not to mention there are 2 more tubes of Aveeno kicking around in the kids room.  Thankfully, there is 1 bottle left of baby wash, and that little red bottle in the bottom of the picture is the last of the body wash.
While I'm not particularily "shamed" by this pictures, I feel like it is a shame.  It's a shame that I have all these lotions and bodywashes and fantastic smelling smelly things when I don't need them.  It seems really wasteful to have such a huge quantity of stuff for 1 person.  I am hoping in 6 months time to take a new picture of near-empty cabinets, with only a few products kicking around.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Eshakti and Pic Monkey

Now before I go on with this blog post, I will say this, the opinions I am giving are my own, because frankly, this blog doesnt get a lot of traffic, and therefore no one wants me to "try out their stuff".  *sigh* Maybe someday I'll get free stuff like all the cool kids out there....

Anyway, I believe I heard about Eshakti via (love that site, seriously great site for crafty people of all domains).  I clicked on the link, but I am always weary of these "buy clothes from a site you have never heard of".  Then again, they directed me towards Modcloth, and they are a legit website.
I stalked this website for close to a year, and in particular I started stalking a shirt.  I liked it for so many reasons, well one in particular
That neckline, ugh I LOVE IT!

 I checked out the results on google, and for the most part it gets great reviews (although about 2-3 years ago it did get some not so great reviews, it seems to have pulled itself around.) A bonus was most of the sewing blogs I follow raved about it, had ordered from it (or gotten some samples for their input), and some of those lovely ladies even had discount codes for money off.  I finally decided to take the plunge before it was too late and the top was gone.  Here is the top on me;
Voila, a top.

It might not look as great as it does on the mannequin (the arms are a little tight), but I did get a compliment on the day I wore it (success!!).  I'm not sure why I'm so excited to post about it, but if you are my friend Karen, you know that I have been bugging you about dresses from this website (sorry).  I want you to know that this website is legit, so if you order yourself something pretty from there, it will come to you.  The quality of the top was better than expected, it was quite a thick, sturdy cotton material.  I want to order a ton more stuff, but I will need to wait until another discount code comes up (they are a bit pricey for me). 
I didn't use the customisable options that they have, but that's another great feature people love.  You can shorter or lengthen dresses, or you can change sleeves as well for a few extra dollars.  So, there you go my friends (or hey, even a random blogger who may have stumbled on this site by accident).  This is not a paid endorsement, just a girl who likes to shop online, and stalk shirts.

Lastly- I was playing around on Pic Monkey, which is why my picture is on filter overload.  Once I get the hang of it, I will probably adjust a lot of my photos for both of my blogs on Pic Monkey (it's mostly free).  I'm always jealous of others blogs and the gorgeous photos they post.  I have no photography skills, and am usually the one who has to take my own photos for either blog so I need all the help I can get.

Monday, March 11, 2013

"Ditch the goop" my future strategy to declutter my life

If I ever find the blog post about "ditching the goop" I shall post it here.  What the whole premise of it was, is to rid yourself of all the lotions and gels and all of the numerous bottled smells we keep around the house in favour of 1 universal lotion.  As we were packing up at our old house for the move I found about 10+ different bottles, tubes and jars of different lotions of all scents and sizes and then I was mad.  I was mad at myself for having to pack all this crap and then lug all this crap, and then eventually unpack all the same crap at the new house. I was also mad that i had bought more lotions than i would need to use in a year. The biggest offender was bath and body works Lotions, and not only did I have tons of different scents (some of which I didn't buy, and they weren't scents I go crazy for, but they still smell nice) I also had a crap ton of shower gel.  Don't get me wrong, I love the smell of their stuff, but why do they give them such weird names "coconut lime breeze" (WTH does that even mean? I'm pretty sure that's not a real thing and if it is, I am scared to think what the storm that follows it might pelt us with).  Not only do I use my lotions infrequently but because of the uber girly smells, Andy won't use them, and I don't want to use them on the kids because they have such sensitive skin.  So I have promised myself that I am going to stop buying these lotions and have given my mom the notice as well, that from this point on I will no longer need them. I will be trying within the next year to get through all of this goop, pairing down, and eventually lead a relatively goop free life (with the exception of Aveeno lotion, Andy, the kids and I  will use that stuff no problem). On my next move I want to be able to open my cabinets and smile because I have barely anything to pack.  I will be doing a goop round-up and will go from there.  On a side note, I will say that after C was born I received so much baby wash that  3 years later I am  FINALLY getting to the last bottle!  First stop - goop round up, next stop - Kids toy round up.  This should get interesting....

Friday, March 8, 2013

Aaannnd we've moved.

It's been a week since we moved into the new house.  The great news is the kids seem to enjoy sharing a room. The good news is, we have started unpacking, the bad news is, we aren't even close to unpacking.  My sewing stuff is being held hostage is tons of different boxes and I've been going all week and taking the kids places that I haven't even bothered trying to unpack stuff.  The kitchen is coming together slowly, but the big problem is Andy works during the day and I have one non napper on my hands. If I even think about unpacking a box C starts pulling in the fridge looking for food.  No break there. The last thing Andy (and I) want to do is unpack after a long day of work/toddler wrangling. Plus I'm trying to make sure we both keep our workout routines.  I'm hoping this weekend involves unpacking and organizing. Maybe a trip out of the house to buy storage bins (hah, in my dreams, Andy hates bins).  I also hope to find out if there really truly is a cat living in our garage.  I commented to Andy that it smelled like cat urine in the garage (having had a kitty for many years I KNOW that smell).  Today the smell was horrid and there was a puddle under the car.  I think the cat (if it was truly a cat) must have been trapped in the garage but escaped when we opened the garage door.  I went around the garage kicking boxes and shaking loose items to see if there was a scared cat anywhere but so far so good.  We locked the cat door to make sure we don't get an unexpected visitor.  Don't get me wrong, I love cats but not when they are showing up to a house I'm not allowed to keep pets in.  So if I get any stuff done this weekend, I guess I will update the life blog.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Ugh, moving....

So, before all my Canadian friends and family get too excited, no I am not moving back home (I still have to get my citizenship here first before we can even think of moving up there).  I am also not leaving Texas, or even the town we live in for that matter.  We are moving about 5-10 minutes away from the house we currently live in, and I have to say this, MOVING SUCKS.  If it were up to us, we wouldn't leave at all, but our landlord needs her house back since she cannot find an apartment complex that will rent to her and 5 dogs.  She has given us plenty of notice, and since our lease isn't up in June, we still have lots of time, but we ended up finding a place in Mid- February that allowed us to move in March 1st.  So that means, I SHOULD be packing, but I am not.  The house is just as nice as the one we currently live in, but the thought of packing up all of our stuff and then unpacking it just makes me crazy.

We are also losing our "play room" (which was really just a converted garage), but we are gaining a garage (which means we can store our crap that we don't need).  We have decided that C and G can share a room since they seem so fond of each other and G seems to light up in the morning when C comes to get her.  The house is 3 bedrooms so the third room will become the Sewing/Home office, and possibly the spare room when guests come visit.
There are things that I love about the house we currently live in, but then again there are things about the new house that I am looking forward too, like say - having a pantry and a linen closet!  So, if I seem a little quiet for a while on this blog, and my sewing blog, now you know.
For now, I am just slowly packing and purging all of the stuff we have accumulated since we moved in together and had kids.


Friday, January 4, 2013

"The Haircut"

This post was long long overdue, and I posted the pictures on facebook the same day I was *supposed to* post this blog post, but then I lost track of time and then just didn't post.

This post is all about the 9th of October 2012, aka - The big mop chop.

I have to say, I had absolutely no anxiety about cutting my hair, however, now I am nervous as to whether or not they recieved it.  I sent it off on the 13th of October, and they did say that it can take up to 60 days to acknowledge that they have it.  It has been much longer than that and I'm not even sure if I want to know or not.  My fear is I spent all that time growing my hair and now it's lost forever in the postal system, it will never know it's destiny as a future wig.

Back to the story, I went into the hairdressers, fearful that my hair wouldn't be long enough, thankfully it was, but the next time I donate it I will make sure that there will be more than enough, she stretched it out and put elastics down the entire pony-tail.  This was for measurement as well as keeping it all together.
After she snipped it all off, it felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders (or head, or whatev).
She spent the next hour and a half cutting and styling my hair, because as she pointed out - This wasn't a normal haircut, it was completely restructuring my hair.
It's still pretty short, but I've been lazy and wearing it curly rather than straightening it. I like it short, so does Andy, but I told him that I am going to grow it out, so he'd better not get to used to it.

How have my resolutions been going?

In a word "Not well".  Thankfully it's only 4 days in, so I'm not a failure.  I have been having a rough Christmas.  Actually from October to December, weightloss has been a disaster for me.  From Thanksgiving to Halloween, to another Thanksgiving to Christmas dinner, I have been a slacker.  I've seen a bit of weight put back on, nothing too crazy, but if I weren't paying attention week to week then it might be a lot worse than it actually is.  I've had too many "write off" weeks, in the past month so I finally decided to watch what I'm eating, but also realize that not everything is in my grasp (travelling and eating on the road SUCK!!!).  I have been to 1 jazzercise class since the new year began, and I bought a groupon for a kickboxing class, but I need something MORE.  I need structure and a gym, I need someone to guide me and coach me.  I am a slacker and I feel much better if I have a teacher who can tell me what to do, because frankly I don't know what to do when I am on my own.
I am really hoping to get the hubby on board to enrolling in a gym that includes childcare (for free), I know they are a bit more of a drive, but if I drop him off at work, and then go to a gym that takes care of my workout for the day, leaving him free to run after his day is finished.  I still haven't found a nutritionist, and I keep telling myself that I will, but only time will tell if I keep that promise.  Still going to keep up with the weightwatchers, as I have been successful in part because of them.
I'm looking forward to what this New Year will hold, and hopefully in the next few months I will be able to blog that I am keeping all the promises I made to myself.