About Me

Sunday, January 31, 2010

I'm Going on Vacation!!!

This Saturday my BF's family invited me to HOLLAND!!!! For THREE WEEKS in July!!

Of course I couldn't pass up an opportunity like this. It will truly be amazing. There are 8 people going. Flights are paid for by airmiles WOW (taxes are not). I'm not sure what exactly I will need to cover. Insurance, some food expenses, etc. BF's brother's girlfriend is also coming, so it will be nice to not be the only "outsider."

What does all this mean financially? I need to start saving up majorly. I have started a small travel fund that was going to be used for a long weekend vacation to the states in the fall, but if we are going to Holland I think I can forget about that mini-vacation. This also means that I will have three weeks that I cannot work. This somewhat stresses me out. It will all work out I'm sure, I'm going on vacation!!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Life Sure is Expensive!

Yesterday Asian Pear talked about how working is expensive. Today SS4BC discussed how dating is expensive. Life in general is so expensive!!

My two university roommates are coming up this weekend. I have not seen them since the summer so it will be nice to catch up. However, I already know it's going to be a costly weekend. I went to the grocery store to get the basics (some snacks and pizza) and it was over $40. I know we will end up going out for supper, and tubing. Hopefully we can stay in as well to play some board games and hang out. Friends sure are expensive. Anything social can be expensive!

Once in a while it's worth it though, worth the extra splurge on a weekend to have some fun.

I am working tomorrow, just for a morning, so that makes 2.5 days this week, not too bad. I only have 2 days available to work next week as I am working at the rec centre on Wednesday and then I am driving my parents to the airport to go to Florida then going to see the BF and staying for the weekend since it's on the way.

We are going to see a concert on Thursday night, Friday we are having a party with some of his high school and university friends, then Saturday we are going to see a play that he got me tickets for back in November. It will be a busy weekend, but good. He has also promised to take me out for dinner and a lunch. YAY!

In other news, J.D. Salinger, the author of "The Catcher in the Rye" passed away today at the age of 91. That is my favourite "real" novel! Real means something other than chick-lits. He was a very reclusive man, and I read that he continued to write a lot but did not have them published because it was writing for pleasure. He locked up these books in a safe in his house. I wonder now that he has passed away if they will ever be published and if they will be as good as "The Catcher in the Rye."

Also in other real news, did you hear that they found another person buried in the rubble in Haiti yesterday? A 16 year old girl, Darlene Etienne. 15 days after the intial earthquake. How amazing is that!! They said it was unlikely she would have survived even a few more hours. Really puts things in perspective doesn't it? I hope she and all the other survivors are doing well and getting aid.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

This and That

Yesterday I got a new book from the library. I hope to finish it before the end of February and be on my way with my 12 books new years resolution. 1 down so far.

Yesterday I also needed to get oil for my car. I was browsing the winter coat section again at Canadian Tire and saw that the one I liked was still there. I received a $25 gift card for Christmas and decided to get it. It was $99.99. It is a very quality coat which will be good for playing in. I have not had a new winter coat (other than one professional one) since 2001! So it was time, and I think it's a good deal for a quality coat.

My roommates from university are coming up to visit me this weekend and we plan on going tubing so I will get a chance to test it out. It will be nice to see them, I haven't seen them since the summer, so I'm excited!

Today I also attempted to make sushi for the first time. MOST of them turned out. There were a few that were hard to pick up because I did not roll them tight enough. I think I might take a few in my lunch tomorrow.

I completed Day 8 of the Shred today, and I am feeling so much better doing it now. No pain the next day, and it's much easier during the process too. Loving it!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Teaching Frustration

Gail's post today hit home for me and as it turns out a lot of other people. Especially teachers. Gail talked about how working after retirement can help the person end up with fewer diseases and function better on a day-to-day basis.

How does this relate to teachers? Well, these days it seems that a lot of teachers are retiring and then coming back to supply. If I was a retired teacher this seems like a pretty good deal. Retire, collect pension, get extra income, teach without having to plan or mark, see your old colleagues and students. Why would you not continue working after retiring?!

However, for us new teachers it sucks. REALLY  SUCKS. It means less jobs for us new teachers. Less jobs = less incomme.I have applied to about 8 school boards and followed up on my applications. I was told repeatedly that unless I have done a placement within their board that they are not looking to hire. Why aren't they looking to hire for the supply list? Well there are several reasons, major ones being declining enrollment and too many people already on the supply list. Many people on those supply lists are retired teachers.

I have gone into schools and have seen the timesheets of retired supply teachers who have full weeks on theirs, where I have a sad one of two days. There is a lot of internal workings to have the retired teacher in that already knows the students, or have a teacher call their retired friends to come in for them. In a lot of ways THAT sort of thing does not seem fair.

Almost no other company offers this return to employment part-time once you retire deal. Teaching is an exception. I have taken many courses, volunteered for months in schools, many optional PD opportunities, paid for expensive AQ courses, volunteered and worked in other programs relating to children and still am having no luck. I'm not sure what else I could be doing, other than going back and learning French, or applying outside of Ontario. I am very thankful that I have a supply position where I am. There are many in my teacher's college year that still do not have that.

I am thankful that I have supportive friends and family and a job even if I would not be able to survive on the income living alone. It's a tough situation for new teachers. I can continue to supply for a few more years though. I LOVE my job and will be persistent...and try to be patient.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Got Me Thinking

My BF told me something that happened to him that had me in tears on the weekend (from laughter).

Background: he is living at home right now about 4 hours away, we have been dating for just over 6 years. We have talked many times about me trying to find a job there when he is finished school. But I keep telling him I am not going to move unless I have a teaching job, supply work at least. We have also discussed marriage, and both think it's not time for us since we are not living in the same town, and he is still in school (until June), we cannot afford it right now and we don't want a super long engagement.

He is planning on moving out and working at the clinic his mom owns, his mom and her business partner have offered him a job when he graduates from his masters program. LUCKY GUY!!! They have recently expanded their business to a new location, and this new place has an apartment above it which they have also offered to BF. He plans to move there after he graduates.

This weekend he was doing some homework in his room and his mom comes in. She asks him if I an planning to move to their city this summer. He told her that we were talking and I would move there for the summer but then back to my town if I didn't have a teaching position lined up there for the fall. Then she asks if we plan on getting married (this kind of threw BF for a loop). He said not while we are long-distance. Then she said "maybe she is waiting for you to make it official before she moves here." He was surprised by this comment and said "I don't know." She says to him, "You need to figure these things out" and then she turns and leaves.

He called me after and tells me this and I was just as surprised as he was. Of course we have talked about these things before. He was just so surprised by her questions and comments that he wasn't able to tell his mom this. I was laughing so hard after I heard this, especially because he said she was serious when she was asking these things and it got BF all worried thinking about these things.

I do eventually want to marry BF but not until things are in place. I'm not ready yet, especially financially-wise. Sure 6 years is a long time to date, but I need to find a teaching position first, we need to pay off debt, start saving for a wedding, house, car, furniture, etc. I can put a wedding on hold until we are ready. I wonder why his mom was asking these things?? He has an older brother and not questioning him (dating his girlfriend for 6 months). Is it bad for me to stay in my town until I find a teaching job where he is? Is that being selfish?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Interesting Weekend

I've had a great weekend so far! I hope you have too!

I went to my course with my mom on Friday. We stopped for supper and then she dropped me off. She then checked into the hotel and checked out her old boarding school (glad I was never sent to a boarding school). I had a fantastic course. She picked me up when it was over and we went back to the hotel. We wanted to go to the gym they have there but it was "under construction for the next two weeks." That doesn't help us.

Luckily I was prepared and I brought my own hand weights and the 30 Day Shred. My mom is also doing this program but not in consecutive days but she decided she wanted to do it with me that night. Problem: only one set of weights.

Solution: fill up a purse with water bottles and use an iron.

I think we spent the first 5 minutes working our abs due to laughter. We traded back in forth throughout the 20 minutes using the real weights and the iron/purse. Little did we know, that this iron was one that could hold water and it leaked! So I lay down to do some crunches and I end up in a puddle, I scream and my mom says it's probably just sweat. Uhhh no, I do not sweat puddles. Was "refreshing" I guess.

We then watched the final episode of Conan and went to sleep. Today we woke up, went for breakfast and then I went to class and she did some shopping at the mall. I love learning ASL. It's such a passion. The only complaint I have about this class is that he ends too early. He always lets us out at least an hour early, and gives us an hour lunch break. I would much rather stay and learn for an extra hour. However during lunch those of us that stayed in the class were able to converse with each other and the teacher which was a great learning experience.

We drove home today which was nice, chatting about things going on for two hours. I have been spending the better part of my night watching ASL music videos on youtube. Some are just incredible and I've watched them at least 10 times and am still loving them. Tomorrow is my last class for this course. I am glad the driving will be over and feel like I have already learned a lot. I look forward to my next course in February.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Spending Money to Save Time

I worked today yay! I love teaching Kindergarten! It was only a half morning because I am going to my ASL course this evening. That means I worked everyday this week (although 4 days were half days). It seems to be picking up, I hope it continues!

My mom and I were talking last night about how I have to travel to my ASL course again this weekend, it takes me just over 2 hours to get to the school where it is held. My mom mentioned to me that she would like to come with me sometime to go shopping in this city while I go to class (they have a mall in this city!). Which would be great, we could split gas. Then last night she suggested we stay overnight.

We looked up hotels in the area, and found one for $99 including taxes. It has a gym and serves a continental breakfast. Good deal if you ask me! This will cost me approximately $50 if we split evenly, and save me over four hours of driving (instead of 12 hours of driving this weekend, it will only be 8). Which will be espcially nice on Saturday morning, won't have to leave my house at 6:45am!

It's kind of a nice treat to be able to stay at a hotel so I'm looking forward to it, even though it's a bit pricey. I will be coming back Saturday night and then driving back to the school on Sunday. Only going to stay one night, a bit of a luxury!

I finished day 3 of the Shred, still in pain but it's getting better. My mom has done two of the workouts so far too. I plan on bringing my laptop to the hotel along with the DVD to do in the room. Maybe even get in a quick workout at the gym they have there.

I have also been teaching myself how to crochet. I can do the chain stitch, the double and the single crochet stitch, but I am having trouble with the sides. It just looks weird, the middle looks good but the sides look kind of bumpy. I think I dropped a stitch too. I think I get confused as to where to put the hook into, it's really hard to tell with the last stitch, maybe that's just me? It's hard to learn from a video and a book.

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

New Fund, Shred Dred, Etc.

Today is day three. I am already experiencing Shred Dred. I hurt. But I'm going to do it anyway. Suffering from DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness), anyone else with me?? I should try to find lighter weights. But it will only get easier from here, it really can't get much worse! I did measurements and weight before I did my second workout last night so I will see at the end if there is any difference.

Tomorrow is payday yay! It will be a very small paycheque because it does not include any teaching. But I will be able to add to the extra $2010 in 2010 progress bar. It will go toward paying for my next ASL course and my mastercard for all the extra gas I used this month.

I have been having major issues with my computer lately. Ever since the day I got it a year ago I had "issues" with it. It's a Toshiba. I had a laptop Toshiba as my last computer and it was amazing, until the battery started to die and it was slowed down. That's why I got this one, I really do like the brand. I paid $550, it was brand new from The Source. Now every so often it will just shut down completely. I'll restart and it will shut down as it's trying to load. Sometimes the screen will just freeze and go a lighter colour telling me it's working but it takes forever. It makes me want to throw it! I think that I am going to start a new fund, "Computer Fund". Extra money I have can go toward it. Like snowflakes!

I think I want to go with a Mac next. They have some neat programs, and it's what my school board uses in their classrooms, so it would be good to become more familiar with one. Macs are more expensive though. I think as a teacher I will get a $100 discount which will help. I would get a laptop again which again unfortunately means more expensive. I do not have a deadline for this goal, although within one year would be nice. Priorities are still my other funds, so it will only grow with snowflakes right now.

Off to do day 3...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Day After...

Owww. Last night I did the first day of the Shred. It was pretty fun! I only have 5 lbs weights so a few of the exercises were pure torture for my weak arms. I actually got my mom to do it after me. She enjoyed it too.

Today it hurts to extend my arms fully, and I can feel pain in my calves as I walk haha. It's a good pain though. I told my BF about it too and said I would like to keep up the program if I can stay motivated and he told me to bring it when I go to visit him next. He even said he would do it with me! I am going there in 2 weekends so hopefully I'll be more fit then!

Teaching has been picking up! I worked three full days last week, and this week a I have worked one full day and two half days so far, and I am pretty sure I am working a half day afternoon tomorrow. However on my way home from school today I stopped at the local grocery store and picked up two packs of sushi (it comes fresh from the Japanese restaurant in town everyday). I ate all 15 rolls all by myself, I'm stuffed but satisfied. It was $15 yikes! I need to learn how to make it myself.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hopped on the Bandwagon

I worked this afternoon and then went to Walmart afterwards to get some stuffing for the pillows I am making. I was about to walk out when I walked by this display of fitness DVDs. I looked to see if the 30 Day Shred (Well-Heeled is encouraging everyone to partake in this challenge) was there, and yes it was. I looked at the price and it was $7.49. I decided to get it. I bought it with a gift card I got for Christmas so technically "free" right? I had planned on saving up enough Swagbucks to get it on Amazon.ca, but found it is actually cheaper at Walmart!

I will open it tonight and do day one level one. I am already excited for it, but also very nervous. Did anyone take before pictures or do measurements before starting this program? I don't think I'll be able to do it in 30 days but I'll work toward that goal. Here we go!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Weekends Fly By!

I had a great weekend, wish they were longer. BF came up on Friday right after work. We hung out with family, he taught me a little bit about driving a standard car (I only stalled three times, that's good right?), and we watched a movie on TV.

On Saturday we were going to go tubing but I wasn't feeling well so we stayed home during the day. I made brunch and we played some board games. We went out for supper at Boston Pizza and I paid for our meals with a gift card I received for Christmas. That night we went to see The Lovely Bones. He had a gift card to see a movie. It was a bit disappointing I thought, but that is typical after you've read the book the movie was based on.

I thought there were too many special effects, and not enough emotional connection to the characters. Some parts really did creep me out and I thought the acting was great but parts were lacking in getting to know the characters better. Compared to the book, a lot of parts were missing which was somewhat disappointing but again, to be expected. I am still glad I saw the movie, it was interesting to see the characters and setting compared to the way I pictured them while reading the story. BF thought it was "pretty good" (he has not read the book). Did anyone else go to see this movie, what did you think??

Today I made brunch again and then we made a puzzle which was really neat. It was a puzzle that had a mystery and no picture. So we had to read this short story background to the murder mystery and then put the puzzle together to see if we could solve it based on the crime scene. We played some Wii and had supper and he left a few hours ago. Was a good weekend, I like low cost weekends!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My pillows

I made my BF two pillows as my first project with pillows. His favourite NFL team is the Vikings so I made him a vikings coloured pillow, and with what was remaining another one the same size.

To make them a little more sportsy and not just purple and yellow I added a sports pattern to the back.

What I sewed yesterday was two regular sized pillows for my cousin. They are red and white with a red back.

If she doesn't like the window pane style she can just turn them around and have plain red pillows.

These are super easy to make! The smaller pillows were my second sewing project EVER! I think they look kinda neat, and are oh so soft!! Next pillow I make will have a different pattern haha.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

This and That

Last night I finished my first novel of the year. 11 more to go to meet my goal. I read The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold and enjoyed it. It was a tough read at some points (the murder), but overall it was a good story and neat concept. BF is coming up this weekend and we are going to see the movie The Lovely Bones on Saturday. I wonder if it will be anything like the book.

Today I did not get a call to work, so instead I made two pillows. They are called window-pane pillows. They look pretty good, I just need to stuff them and sew them shut. Maybe I will take a picture once they are complete. They are for my cousin and will go well with her room.

I also colour-coded the excel sheet I'm going to use to track expenses this year. It looks pretty :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

From Famine to Feast

Last night while volunteering, I received FOUR phone calls to work. I have not had any the rest of this year and then all of a sudden got so many at once! Yayy! So I'm working 2.5 days worth so far this week. Hoping for a full day tomorrow as well.

I paid my mastercard and phone bill today. Glad to get those out of the way. Do you pay your bills as soon as you get them or wait?

I did a bunch of cutting to prepare for sewing. I'm making my cousin a couple of red and white pillows. I hope they turn out! I will spend the day tomorrow sewing them together and hopefully get them stuffed and sewed up this week. I also deposited my GST cheque and sent off the registration form for my ASL weekend in February. I actually got my roommate and my boyfriend to sign up for it as well! My cousin is seriously thinking about it as well. Will be a good time.

I watched The Biggest Loser tonight and they briefly talked about the cost of health. They have done this before and I made a post about it. Always a good episode! I still don't have a favourite team yet. Will have to learn a bit more about them first. Any other fans?? I really like the 24 year old who was sent home the first week as well, just because her and her dad had a nice relationship and we are the same age.

Monday, January 11, 2010

My Weekend!

I had a very busy weekend. I drove 2 hours to my course on Friday evening and loved it! All people my age within a couple of years. The Friday was a lot of review and then I made the long trip back home. I finished up my mom's b-day card.

Saturday morning I was off at 7am to get back to my ASL course. We learned a lot more because it was a longer period we were in class. Was very good, the teacher is funny and makes the learning pretty easy. Then the trip back, I had to pick up my parents and a bunch of their friends and we went out for supper. 13 people we there, my dad paid for everyone's meals and drinks. I don't even want to know how much that was! Then back to our house, I gave my mom her gift and giant card which she really liked, as did everyone else that was there.

Sunday morning it was back to class where I think I learned the most of this weekend. At the end of class everyone was standing and mingled with each other and we all just started signing to each other, no talking (could only hear a few claps and laughter), it was pretty amazing to see how far we have come already that we were able to carry out full conversations with each other. It will only get better too! I do this all over again in two weeks, and I'm already looking forward to it. Unfortunately I have gone wayyy over my gas budget of this month, and it will likely be doubled (at least) before the month is over, so I hope I get a lot of work this month!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Did you get your GST cheque yet?

I got mine today woohoo. $74! I was counting on it this month!! I have big plans for it, I am going to put it toward an ASL winter retreat. It's a weekend in February and they lodge you and feed you AND teach you ASL all for the low low price of $150. So I thought it was a pretty good deal to brush up and learn some more ASL.

I am going to sign up for it on Monday since all weekend and tomorrow evening I will be at a different ASL course. Once the end of February hits I'll be done that new years goal of completing TWO ASL courses! At the end of Feb, I think if some more come up and they are reasonably priced that I'll likely do more than just the two I had as my goal.

Oh yes, also going to update status bars now, I like that some are no longer going to be at 0!!

What are you going to do with your GST cheque if you get one?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Christmas Gift Card Decisions

One of the things BF got me for Christmas was a gift card to Futureshop. It's $100. I looked on the site last night and decided I most likely want to spend this money on a GPS. Since I travel a lot with work, and I also have a tendency to get lost. I found two that I liked that were pretty much identical, one a Tomtom and one a Garmin. Does anyone have any experience with either of these?

Currently the Tomtom is $179.99 after $100 discount. The Garmin is $199.99 after $20 discount. I think I might even wait a little longer to buy one, see if there are newer models that come out soon. I am in no rush, and not entirely sure that this is what I want to spend the gift card on.

My brother got an iTouch last night and was showing me some of the applications and it is very cool. I want one of those too. They have an ASL app called iSign and you can type in any word and it will show you the sign for it. Actions and all, it's quite amazing for the size of it. So he also got me thinking about that....hmmm GPS or iTouch. I don't really NEED either!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Lack of Motivation

Today I went to the gym and following Jolie's idea I am going to add a fun happy face sticker to my calendar. I find it so hard to motivate myself to go to the gym. Any tips??

Also, I find that once I'm at the gym I tend to avoid the equipment unless I go with my brother because there are often some scary jacked up guys on them. I think I will try and make it to a fitness class tomorrow if I don't get a call to work. Those are more fun.

I woke up with....

...my calculator.

Yep. I was crunching some numbers last night and apparently fell asleep snuggling my calculator, while visions of balanced budgets danced in my head.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Good Day

So far I've had a really good day! I was somewhat productive today. I renewed my library book,stretched, made supper for my family, and chatted with my cousin.

Tonight has been good too. Someone used my ING Orange Key and we both got $25 free! Thank you!! In case anyone else would like to use it, my referral code is 34362383S1. It means $25 for each of us if you start with a minimum of $100 deposit.

Also tonight is the premier of The Biggest Loser. There is a girl named Sunshine who I like because we are the same age. Although she has already been sent home she has a chance to come back with her dad, so I'm cheering for them along with all the rest! Canadian World Juniors are also playing their final game in hockey against the States tonight. States are winning currently but it's been a close game....Go Canada Go!! No offense to American readers ;)

Happy Belated New Years

Wow I was MIA for a while there. I left Thursday after work to visit BF and celebrate new years. We had a fun time at his friend's house. Lots of good company and good food! We also exchanged our Christmas gifts where he totally spoiled me! Chocolates and gift cards, and a willow tree figurine. It's the one called "sign for love" and it's the girl doing the sign for love in ASL. It was pretty much perfect! His parents gave me some nice educational DVDs that could be used in the classroom.

Teacher's haven't been sick yet this week so no work so far. Hopefully I will get at least ONE day this week. My plan today is to catch up on some blogs, and clean my desk area. It's quite disasterous. Also go to the library to renew my book, and to the storage unit to drop off some summer things (can we say procrastination?).

I have already broken my stretch everyday resolution. I knew this would happen, resolutions are like that. I am not disappointed, it's mainly just a goal to stretch as often as I can, maybe twice somedays, maybe only once others, maybe not at all other days. I basically just want to gain some flexibility by next year.

I have a busy month which I love. I have my ASL classes this weekend and in two weeks, BF is coming the weekend in between, my roommates are coming the weekend after ASL, and I am going to visit BF the weekend after that.