About Me

Monday, December 27, 2010

2010 Goals

First off, I was unable to track my spending for December in Excel because my Excel says I am using a trial version. I reset my computer several weeks ago to try and rid it of issues it was having and it removed Microsoft Office. I thought this was fine because I purchased Microsoft Office and even paid the extra money to have a back up disc version mailed to me. I put this in but no where on the disk can I find the product number. I also had the e-mail sent to my university account and I no longer have access to that. So it seems like I am out of luck with Excel. Are there any online Excel type of programs that you use??

Anyway, back to the goals. I did well with the financial ones and not so well with the personal goals.

Pay off the $5000 I owe to my family (This is my priority right now) PASS!! I finished this goal in JULY!

Contribute $4000 to TFSA (which will also serve as my E-fund) PASS!! I actually have a little more than $6350 in there now! AND I created a separate E-fund (my regular bank account) where I keep a minumum of $1500 in there at all times :)

Save at least $500 for Christmas PASS!! Went over this one as well, had $800 in there for Christmas 2010.

Start and contribute $1000 to Retirement PASS!! I did a regular RSP of $500 and a 3 year RSP GIC of $500.

Make an additional $2010 in ways other than teaching (tutoring, babysitting, summer and holiday part-time job, etc)  PASS!! I babysat, and worked at the rec centre doing a child drop off centre and a day camp. I didn't do a great job at tracking this exactly, but it is around $3000.

Save $300 for a shopping/travelling trip PASS!! Going to say pass to this one. I didn't end up doing the shopping trip, but am travelling in a couple of days and had $500 saved in a Travel Fund.

Purchase my parents something nice PASS....half-way pass. I didn't actually buy them what I wanted to which was a new couch set because my brother talked me out of it. But I saved up $400 for their Christmas presents and they were quite appreciative so I will still say I get a half-way pass on this one.

Stretch everyday SOMEWHAT....I didn't stretch everyday but I did a lot more than in 2009. Still working on flexibility, so this will likely be a 2011 goal as well.

Complete a 5k run (hmmm since I hate running this will likely be the hardest goal on my list) FAIL...yah this definitely didn't happen. I still have dreams of doing a 5k, so maybe one day.

Complete TWO American Sign Language courses (already signed up for one in Jan) FAIL...I only completed one. The second one I wanted to take was cancelled. I hope to get a couple in for 2011.

Read at least 12 novels (average of one per month, this can be done) FAIL...definitely not. I think I read 7. Awww, this is such a doable goal though.

Complete a full-size quilt (completed a baby's quilt this year, next is full size, I think I want to try to do a rag quilt) FAIL...but sooo close. I made it, and sewed MOST of it (95% done), D even helped do some of the cutting for the rag effect.

Volunteer twice at a new place (I already volunteer at a Girl Guides group, and at teen dances) PASS...I volunteered throughout the year with Girl Guides, teen dances, the OSPCA. Although I definitely don't do as much as I used to. Something to strive toward in 2011.

Learn how to crochet (maybe make a cute baby's blanket, or at least a dish cloth) FAIL...I self-taught myself how to crochet a little bit. But not enough to actually make anything. I still have the hooks and yarn though so maybe another 2011 goal.

Hmmm, so financial goals rocked. Personal goals failed pretty bad. I will think about my 2011 goals and hopefully have a post up about them before the years end!

What did I spend my money on. I tracked my money this year (minus December!)

So from January to the end of November I spent:

$2854 on my car (gas, repairs, tires, etc)
$380 on food (grocery store)
$642 on restaurants (eeek, gotta get this down in 2011)
$1184 on clothing (how is that possible? I did buy boots, and a winter jacket, and a few dresses, but still! This NEEDS to be lower next year)
$853 on gifts (weddings, birthdays, paying for others at restaurants, most Christmas gifts were bought in December and therefore not included in this amount)
$1216 on personal (makeup, hair, and prescription, this is expensive but will likely be similar again next year, WISH I had benefits at work!)
$203 on education (sign language class, applying for jobs, some books for school)
$554 on my cell phone (once I had to pay for my parents landline too because I racked up a lot of long-distance, oops!)
$1868 on miscellaneous this includes entertainment and things for myself (GPS, external hard-drive, books, alcohol, printer, fabric, etc)

Next year I hope to do better in these categories, and up my savings as well. Next year I won't have debt to worry about which will make it easier :)

37 hours till take-off!

Wow the trip sure came fast. I suppose that's what happens when you book last minute vacations lol.

Anyway yesterday my friend called and said she was too sick to hang out. My dad bought me an external hard-drive for my computer without realizing I already had one so he exchanged it for an instore credit at Staples. I went there and bought an I-pod touch with the gift card and Christmas money I received. It's 32GB which is huge and holds all my music and I've already downloaded about 10 apps. Angry Birds is my favourite so far lol.

A friend stopped by to visit as well while he was in town so it was nice to catch up with him. I spent most of the afternoon playing with different apps. Last night I went to D's parents house to play board games with his sister and her husband. I stayed over and we played some more this morning with his dad too. It was a nice time, his family is really sweet.

Today I was supposed to go to my dad's family's house in Oshawa for Christmas. It's about 2 hours from where I live and my parents had left. We planned on taking separate cars because they are sleeping over in the city tonight. But neither of my brothers wanted to go. I tried hard to convince my one brother. I decided that I would go myself, but then after about 40 minutes of driving I decided I really don't want to go. I know I'm a bad cousin, but honestly, several members of this family has made me upset on numerous occasions because they are arrogant and self-centred. My grandpa wasn't going anyway. I called my mom and she said she totally understood. I felt really bad, but just didn't want to be there without a brother.

Tonight D, his friend and I are going to play some board games. I need to do some laundry and pack for tomorrow night! My brother is driving us to the airport, hopefully everything works out and we don't forget anything! I'm getting excited but still doesn't seem like it's so soon!

I am hoping the resort we have will have wi-fi and I can check in on some blogger lives while we are there on the Ipod. But we will see.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Blogger Secret Santa

Serendipity organized a Secret Santa gift exchange among blog friends about a month ago. Last week I went to get the mail and received my gift from Jenn at Paying Myself. Yay, how exciting!!

In it I received a children's book "The Hockey Sweater." I actually don't have it but remembered it well because my French teacher in elementary school used to read it to us. She also gave me a $5 Tim's card with a little hockey player on it (there was a theme!). Annnd she made a Christmas CD. It's awesome!

Definitely made my day!! Thank you soo much Jenn!

PS Did you know that the quote on the $5 Canadian bill is a quote from "The Hockey Sweater." The winters of my childhood were long, long seasons. We lived in three places - the school, the church and the skating rink - but our real life was on the skating rink.

Christmas Aftermath :)

I hope you all had an amazing Christmas! I had a great time.

On Christmas Eve, D and I hung out. His sister's husband's family rented the arena in their town and we went up. I hung out with his sister and other girls skating while all the boys played hockey. It was nice to see D play hockey, he's really good!

We decided we weren't going to do Christmas gifts for each other. We left it too late and the trip was good enough. I'm happy with that decision. I picked up his family some wine and scratch tickets.

D went to church with his family and then I hung out with my cousin and D's friend. We just chatted and ate too much Christmas baking. Then I went to midnight mass with my family. Love the Christmas carols!

Christmas day was yesterday! It was a good time! I received a lot of things for my trip (scrapbook stickers, passport pouch, ID tags, travel toothbrush, etc), gift certificates to a local clothing store, a local restaurant, Walmart and Staples, shampoo, FIVE scarves, a computer mouse, $100, and candy. My brothers and parents were happy with what they received, felt nice to give them things they wanted too. My one brother got me an "I.O.U. one gift" hmmm I'll have to think about that one lol.

We had some snacks and took the traditional family picture. Then I headed to D's. We had a nice brunch there. His parents also bought me a gift. They got me a scarf, $50 and a beautiful red sweater. I tried it on there and kept it on for the rest of the day! D got a game called Who's Who for Christmas so we played that together. His parents have mistletoe up at their house too and I received a kiss from D under it which was cute!

I came back home for supper with my family. My brother actually made the turkey and everything this year. It was good. Then my brothers and I had a bit too much to drink before bed. It was a nice time with family. Such a happy day!

Today I was debating on going Boxing Day shopping but I really want to avoid the crowds. I was thinking I would go to the city to buy a luggage bag I liked the last time I was there that is on sale, but again, it will be too busy. I think I will see what my cousin and D's friend are up to today. D has a family Christmas to attend at his grandma's. I have my dad's family Christmas to go to tomorrow. That one is always "interesting..."

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Season!

2 shopping days left. I STILL have not got D anything. We talked about it yesterday and I suggested that we set a limit because we are going on a trip. Probably around $150-$200 which is still quite a bit for a Christmas gift I think, so that is good.

The other day I made candycane bark. It's the EASIEST thing you can make. You need, white chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips, and candycanes. Melt the milk chocolate ones in a microwave and spread over parchment or wax paper. Let it cool (I just put mine outside on a cookie sheet). Then melt the white chocolate chips and spread over the cooled milk chocolate. Then top with crushed up candycane. Put it outside or in the fridge to harden a little more and then break into pieces. I cut mine into strips first and then broke into pieces so they were a bit more even. Mmm

I've learned that the average person gains 7lbs from now until New Years Day. I believe it with all the Christmas baking and celebrating!

I am having Christmas with my family and my mom is cooking a turkey. D's parents invited me over for Christmas brunch or dinner at their house on Christmas day too. I said I'd come in the afternoon for a short visit. I'm thinking about bringing them some Christmas flowers and a card. Although I may have to buy the flowers tomorrow or Friday since they won't be open Christmas day.

My mom's birthday falls over our trip as well. So I am thinking I will go to the florist soon and order her some flowers to be delivered to her work or our house. Her b-day falls on a Sunday so not sure whether I should send the flowers here or to her work on the Friday before her b-day.

Will The Trip Even Happen?!

I am so frustrated with Expedia right now. We booked our trip through them since they were the cheapest on the day we booked.

D filled in the forms, we triple checked the CC number, the names, e-mails, etc. All good. Then we talked about it before he pressed "next." Obviously our session timed out. And instead of pressing start over he pressed back and refilled out the form. We double and triple checked everything again and pressed next right away but since he didn't start over it didn't work. So he presses start over and fills in everything for the third time and decides to not double check (mistake!) and presses "next" and it all went through. The next day I receive a confirmation e-mail and notice my first name is spelled wrong.

He added an extra letter in the middle, grrrr. It also says at the top of this e-mail that the names must match what it says on the passport identically. So I call expedia thinking this is going to be a quick call to get the name changed.

For so long they said I am not in the system. I was on hold a lot for this process too. They asked me if I was sure I booked with them! Yes, first line of the e-mail says "Thank you for booking with Expedia." So they had me forward the e-mail and said they would get back to me within 5 hours. Well 6 hours roll by and nothing.

So I call again. This time they were much better and actually found D and I in the system. They said yep sure easy enough to do, they changed my name and I would receive it within 72 hours. Nice.

72 hours pass and still nothing. So I call AGAIN. I tell them the problem again and ask them to send the e-tickets with the right name. Apparently I called after 4:30 and the documents department was closed so I would have to call again the next day. So I do, at 9am, they said sure and I will receive it shortly. I came home yesterday and saw that I received new e-tickets. I open the document and see that my name is STILL spelled wrong!!!

So I call AGAIN (how many times now?) and the girl was very nice and somewhat sympathetic. She said that she would be able to fix the problem and that I would receive the new e-tickets with the correct name within 24 hours. 24 hours will be around 6pm. I think I'm going to call by 4 today if I still have not received them though.

Grrr, the flight is at 6am in one week. I hope all of this gets sorted out quickly! I am beginning to get very frustrated. I don't think I would book with them again.

Monday, December 20, 2010

5 Days 'Til Christmas! 9 Days 'Til DR!

Cannot wait for either. I still haven't bought D anything. Orrrr sent my roommates their Christmas gifts. I know...they aren't going to get them in time for Christmas, but they know I procrastinate. They both said they aren't done their shopping either so it's okay. Lol....

I had a great weekend. D and went to town on Saturday for a hot chocolate. We talked about our trip and things we want to do while there. I would really like to see the town, and hopefully a school. He would really like to do some scuba diving and waterfall jumping. Eeek, but I'm super excited about those things too!

I am going to tell D that I don't want to do big-ticket items for Christmas just because we are going on a trip. He doesn't have a camera or luggage. I wanted to get him those but cameras are hard to pick for people. He is a picky type too with things like that. I was thinking maybe I would get him a gift card so he can put it toward a camera or computer stuff he wants. Maybe tigerdirect or futureshop. Ah decisions!

Saturday his friend came home too. He lives at his friend's dad's place. So we all hung out on Saturday evening talking and then we watched The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. They actually both liked it! I did too, I am reading The Girl Who Played With Fire now and it's already a much faster read. As soon as I finish we are going to watch that movie too.

Yesterday D, his friend and I made some banana pancakes, then went public skating. It was a lot of fun! Afterward we were going to play a board game but ended up just chatting. I practiced juggling haha. Then we watched Slumdog Millionnaire. I've seen it already but he hadn't and he enjoyed it too. We didn't do much this weekend but it was a ton of fun. Made me so happy :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

It's Official....

We're going on a trip! To the Dominican!

The price was right at $700, plus $331 in taxes. FOR TWO WEEKS. We leave on Dec 29th and come back on Jan 12th. Includes flight, all-inclusive 4-star resort, pick-up and drop-off at airport, a bunch of water activities, 2 a-la-carte dinners per week, and a special new years gala dinner.

I am super excited!! For some reason a little nervous as well, maybe that's just excitement? LOL. 12 more days to pass through! Including Christmas in there.

I now need to figure out where to draw a little extra money for spending.

Also D does not have a camera OR luggage. So I was thinking maybe I'll get him one or the other for Christmas. We'll see though, it's a big spend month. SO glad I saved up for Christmas this year lol!

Today is the last day of school for the kiddies, and I'm working the morning. I'm off to school now, they are going to be super excited...will be an interesting morning!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Life Lessons...


1. Drink plenty of water.

2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.

3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.

4. Live with the 3 E’s - Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy

5. Play more games.

6. Read more books than you did in 2009.

7. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.

8. Sleep for 7 hours.

9. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.


10. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

11. Don’t have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

12. Don’t over do. Keep your limits.

13. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

14. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip.

15. Dream more while you are awake.

16. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

17. Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind your partner with his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.

18. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don’t hate others.

19. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.

20. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

21. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.

22. Smile and laugh more.

23. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.


24. Call your family often.

25. Each day give something good to others.

26. Forgive everyone for everything.

27. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.

28. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.


31. Do the right thing!

32. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

33. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

34. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

35. The best is yet to come.

36. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Shopping is NEARLY DONE!!! Potential Vacation??

I had two days off last week because one was a snow day, and the other job was just cancelled without me knowing the reason. Instead of wallowing about cancelled jobs (which I did do for a bit) I decided to go Christmas shopping. I spent a lot of money but am pretty much done.

I had a few things saved up too so that lessened the blow. I also transferred the $800 I had saved up into my bank account and have already paid off my credit card for this month!!

For my family, I made them all STOCKINGS!! We haven't done stockings the past couple of years and they are a fun part so I decided to bring them back. I won't receive one, but that's okay.

Anyway what did I get? I got my cousin (best friend) a new board game, and some puzzle glue. I got my brothers each razors, Christmas beer, deoderant, candy, soap and a $20 beer store GC. For my dad I got him soap, Christmas beer, a bingo dauber, mouthwash, $50 to Canadian Tire, $100 to Home Depot. For my mom I got her Olay lotions, a bingo dauber, hairspray and $50 to her hair salon, brown socks, $50 to Walmart, kitchen tongs, $50 for Mark's Work Wearhouse. I'm probably forgetting things. I also want to get them each a scratch lottery ticket because those are fun too.

I got my roommates each a book, some candy, and am going to make them a Christmas/Holiday pillowcase. I got the one a kitchen tool, and the other one lotions from a country she recently visited. I have not bought D anything. However we were talking tonight and he asked me if I had any money saved up to go on a vacation. I told him I did and he said maybe we could do that over this Christmas break.

I think that would be pretty cool! We looked into some places. Some look awesome but just far too expensive, like Asia and Europe. So we focused a little more on the Caribbean islands. We may or may not actually do anything but I'll let you know! I think it would be fun and neither of us has been on a vacation in a while. It also just snowed here another foot so it would be nice to not have to wear winter boots everywhere for a change!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

New Boots! Christmas Baking?

We had a pretty good weekend. Saturday we went out for hot chocolates. Have you tried the Tim Horton's candycane hot chocolate?!? It's delicious!!

Sunday we went to the parade with my mom too. It was fun to see. After the parade I stopped by D's house for about 20 minutes to pick him up to go skating. In those 20 minutes, the german shepherd he lives with ATE my boot. He actually ATE the side of my right boot. And of course it had to be the side that people see. BAH! Skating was fun at least, and I'm getting much better.

So yesterday after work D became my fashion consultant and we went to Mark's Work Wearhouse to get some new boots. I need boots for school, that look nice but can keep me warm on yard duty days too. So I tried on a couple of pairs. I liked the flat ones that looked warm, he thought they were nice but liked the boots with a heel. I tried them on but the leather just looked like it was going to get wrecked too fast because it wasnt tight to my leg and would crease easily. So I went with the warm flat ones. They were on sale too, so total was $101 after taxes.

These are them, except black and the "fur" is black too.

Today I was supposed to work a full day but the job was cancelled due to snow! Darn. But I still have tomorrow and Friday booked as well. Hopefully no more cancelled jobs. I can't afford it! However I did receive a call this morning from my boss at the rec centre and she asked me to come in to do the child drop-off centre for 4 hours today. So at least I will have that, although it's definitely not my favourite job to do. I'm thinking about doing some Christmas baking after work this afternoon.

What are your favourite things to bake at Christmastime?

Oh yah...interesting fact of the day (somewhat relates to the question posed). Yesterday on the radio I learned of the scent that turns men on the most. It's pumpkin pie! Well they always say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. And a few weeks ago I learned of the scent that turns women on the most from the same radio station. They said gasoline! I agree it can be a nice smell on work clothes of a guy, but definitely not my favourite smell. I think I prefer cologne, or baking bread or something lol.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Weekend Coming Up!

I love this time of the year. We have so much snow now too. I drove D home yesterday after supper and a giant tree branch had fallen on his jeep. Luckily no damage!!! But the weight of the snow on the trees is causing branches to fall and power to go out.

Anyway the snow is beautiful!! Tonight is the festival of lights in town. I may go if D will join me, otherwise I might just go myself to do some Christmas shopping. They are having a tax-free event so it will be nice and I'll buy a gift for the toy drive too.

Sunday is our Santa Claus parade which I'll go to and afterward they have free public skate which will be fun! I also noticed today that our town has free skate for 12 days over the Christmas break. Cannot wait!

After the parade we usually put up our Christmas tree too. It will start to look a little more festive indoors like it does outdoors.

Oh yes, kind of a cute story from work today. I was teaching Grade Four and their assignment was to summarize the Nativity story from the story their teacher read to them yesterday. They started working and one of the students comes up to me and says, "I forget, was Mary a vegan or vegetarian?" It was cute...she obviously meant virgin.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Books, Movies, Spending, and Weekend Recap

On the weekend D and I went skating. I am one of the few Canadians that cannot skate. D has skated for as long as he has been able to walk. He played hockey. So we went on Saturday and he helped me out. I did not let go of him the entire time. On Sunday we went again and only held one hand. I actually made it around the rink once all by myself. Yep I'm 25 and there are 3 year olds at the public skate that were wayyyy better! It was so much fun though, I only fell 3 times, and he caught me everytime :) Thankfully!!! We got a 10 pass which ended up being $38 and we split it.

Saturday I also got my snowtires put on. It came to $90!!! I wish I knew how to change a tire. Apparently it's way easier if you have rims so maybe I will invest in those for my next car.

Monday and today I worked. Woohoo. I got gas after work today and also had to go to the dentist. Cha-ching! $32 to fill my car up...holy gas is high right now. It was $180 at the dentist. Just a cleaning, no x-rays. Sheesh!

D and I also made a supper last night and I bought the sides. Things to make a spinach salad, and broccoli. It was a good meal. He made game sausages, and I made the salad with a hard boiled egg, cucumber, red peppers, and this greek and feta dressing. I also steamed the broccoli. Delicious! We made jalepeno poppers at the same time but were too full to eat them by the time they were ready.

We watched The Hurt Locker last night. It was good. Opens your eyes to the war in the middle east. It was hard to watch some parts but overall a very well done movie. Tonight we are either going to watch Get Him to the Greek, or Slumdog Millionaire.

I also finished The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I really liked it. It took about 200 pages to get into it, but it was a good read and I am looking forward to reading the next one. Has anyone seen the movie? I have started to read Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk. It's strange so far. He is also the author of Choke and Fight Club. Has anyone read any of his books? I think it's a weird book but I really like it as well.