Friday, May 30, 2008

Hello Lover

Date Night

My BF and I are having a date night together. We are having dinner at a friends restaurant and then going to see the Sex and the City Movie together.

I am so freaking excited and though he would never admit to anyone but me I know he's excited too, lol. Don't deny men! You love Sex and the City just as much as we do! ;-)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Heaven on Earth



Yesterday when my BF and I stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few extra things for Fajitas I scooped my favorite frozen treat on sale!!

Usually $5.99 on sale for $3.99. It just so happened that we were in line when I noticed the guy in front of us had some. Talk about impulse shopping I immediately turned around, without saying a word to the BF and went to find them. When I located them I was thrilled at the price so I grabbed one right away.

BF laughed as a I walked back to where he was in line. Our groceries were half rung through already so I made it just in time.

Mmmmm. I love these bars sooooooooo much! I can't imagine ever disliking them, even if I ate thousands and thousands. They even have real chunks of strawberry in them. YUM!

This is NOT a sponsored post! ;-)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

What's Cooking Wednesdays - Fellow Bloggers Tips and Tricks

I promised you all a super "What's Cooking Wednesday" as I slacked on last weeks due to being a little under the weather. R you ready?

First off lets give a big shout out to one amazing blog "A Year of Crock Potting" by a great blogger named Stephanie. She claims to have an unnatural obsession with her crock pot but is totally okay with it and so am I because her recipes look great! I really thought the idea of a "Crock Pot Party" was fabulous! What a great way to have everyone contribute with no stress for hours beforehand. Amazing and a must do for Dolly!

I found this blog by checking out Canadian Saver's blog roll who also updates her blog weekly with her organized meal plans. I really need to start mapping out my meals ahead of time too so I can save time, energy AND money!

Now... on to business...

Here is a handy little tool that is used often in my household.
Its an orange peeler! I've had this one for ages.
I know you can get them smaller and more compact
but I love mine and what's the sense in replacing something that works so well.

On to the recipe of the week....


Check out Krystal's

Chocolate peanut butter cup cookie recipe


I haven't had a chance to make these just yet but just looking at them made me drool and I'm not usually into sweets that much!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

New Blog

There seems to be a growing interest in what is happening in my garden so at the request of some who don't like digging through my posts to find updates I started a second blog.

All new garden updates will be featured here.


I hope this helps! I love my garden and I think it will work better to have a different place to write about it as its growing so fast and there are so many updates I want to post.

Cheers to my readers!

Don't Play Games when it comes to Dolly's Money!!

For the last few weeks I have not talked about my job much because I've been having some very serious issues there. I haven't had any more coworker issues. In fact the person I did have issues with is now a great person to work with. No, this is something far worse.

I have a manager who likes to play head games with people. He likes to control the staff with fear. Fear for their jobs. How pathetic!

When I first started my boss really liked me. He would come talk to me all the time and he was a really fun guy to be around. My supervisor and my boss are like best friends. Well actually my boss married my supervisors best friend or something to that effect. They would both tell me what a great worker I was all the time. It made me feel really good because they never say that to anyone.

Then I noticed the other staff treating me differently. The started making jokes about how I was going to be the boss's and sup's new sidekick. I quickly learned that I had to distance myself a little bit from my boss or else the rest of the staff would snub me. Harsh right?

So when my boss would come and tell me I did a good job I would suggest he tell everyone how great we were being. He told me he didn't like to tell them things like that because then they weren't as productive. In his mind you are never good enough. He would tell me, in what I thought was a jokingly manner, that I should plant thoughts into the newer girls minds to make them afraid of him. I guess he wasn't joking after all.

Soon after I started trying to distance myself from him a little bit the coworkers accepted me again. Then a new girl came and she became the "golden one". She likes it though. She gets to do all the cushy jobs and gets more hours than people that have been there longer.

When I first started and they were short hours my boss pulled us all in a room and told us that hours go by who has been here the longest. There is a list on the wall (we are union) and everyone is in order of hire date. The hours go to those on top first. I was okay with this because I knew others would be hired after me and soon I would be high enough on the list not to worry about not getting hours. I was just paying my dues, biding my time.

Well for the last three weeks the "golden one" has been getting hours before me and some of the other woman above her on the list. I talked to the union rep about this and she said there's nothing I can do while I'm still on probation. Probation is 60 days (worked). Currently I'm somewhere around 35. At this rate the "golden one" will pass me in days worked eventually and then what? Also, my boss never speaks to me or looks me in the eye anymore.

So last week I had my mid-probation review. Everything was very positive with the union rep sitting by my side. Then he asked me if I like my job. I told him I liked the work and I like my coworkers so if anything the only thing that would make me leave is not getting enough hours. I reminded him of my 2 yr plan to go to Australia and that I need as many hours as possible. I told him from the start that this job makes me too tired to hold two jobs so if I am going to work there I need whatever I can get. He just nodded.

So then I said.. I don't understand why people who have been here less time than me get more shifts because.... Then I was rudely cut off and he told me that he never said he could guarantee me 40hr/wk and that right now he's moving hours around.

What does that mean? Then he told me I need to work faster. I asked him to clarify what that meant and he just responded with "overall". That's funny.. before I was an excellent worker, now that I know more and do more how can I be worse? I guess I hit a wrong button somewhere on his ego meter.

So I didn't work Thursday because I've been sick. Friday I wasn't scheduled. I went in to pick up my cheque and my boss told me there was no work for me Monday. Today they called me at some early hour to get me to come in. I told them not to do that. I can't get a ride when they do that and its too unorganized. It means I have to be ready at 5 each morning just in case they call.
So I called and my boss is out all week. So I talked to my supervisor and she told me that they need me tomorrow. I'm really sick today but I need the cash so I agreed. I totally forgot that I schedule an interview tomorrow at 2:30 and I get off work at that exact time.

Yes! That's right! Yesterday I got pissed off and so I sent my resume out to a few places. Today I got to responses. Because I'm sick I fogged and booked the wrong time. I also didn't know I was going to have to work tomorrow so now I'm in a pickle.

If I can get through probation I don't have to worry about this anymore. He will HAVE to schedule me if there are hours. The thing is I really enjoy the job and my coworkers. The problem is I don't like people playing games with me and my paycheck.

I decided I will go to work tomorrow and just tell my supervisor first thing that I have an appointment tomorrow and will have to leave a half hour early. This shouldn't be a problem because at the end of the day things are winding down anyway and they shouldn't need me. Then I'll slip into my interview clothes and run down to the interview which is super close to my work.

I'm not looking forward to an interview right now because I'm still very sick guys! I know I don't look that healthy right now and so it might leave a bad impression on the interviewer. I don't even know if I want a new job but I have to do something! The other job offer was a part time job 1-2 a week gardening. Something I might be able to do on weekends if I decide to contact them back.

The interview is for a job I'm not sure if I will like so thats another part of why I'm hesitating. It's hard to make these decisions when your head is fogged up.

I just want to be not stressed at work. That's all I want. I'm just biding my time here while I pay off my debt and save for this trip. I just want to go to work, do my job and then come home to not have to think about it. Is that so much to ask?

Monday, May 26, 2008

My Cobalt Blue Baby


Today Canadian Saver wrote about how her "bubble' up and died on her suddenly. I know how devastating it can be for a lady to lose her near and dear friend... a hair dryer.

Many, many moons ago when I was in high school I purchased a beautiful cobalt blue hair dryer. I loved my hair dryer and so did my naturally, weirdly wavy hair. Once I got that sucker I had perfectly straight hair all the time. We all remember when it was the "in thing" to have Rachel from Friends layered hair blown all straight and sexy, right ladies? Mmhmm, I had that hair. Oh, and it looked GOOD thanks to my new found lover... the hair dryer.

Every where that Dolly went her hair dryer surely followed. All over two provinces that dryer was snuggly packed in with my most valued possessions.

Have Dryer Will Travel

For one horrid week about 3 years back the dryer took a turn for the worse. After two minutes of use it emitted a horrible smell and would start to blow out cold air. I was heart broken and lost without it. I tried shopping with my best friend who was a hair dresser to no avail. I wasn't ready to put so much faith into a new dryer so suddenly after the passing of my dear companion. I went home after letting it sit a few days and turned it on in desperately searching for some sign of life.

Hallelujah, it worked! My baby was back in business.

We carried on like nothing had ever happened. We were in sync again and that was all that mattered. Once I cheated and brought a discounted beauty home but the grass was no greener. I returned that sucker and kept on with old faithful.

Last weekend I was blissfully blow drying my hair humming away when it happened again.

Strange Smell..... Cold Air

***Gasp***

I panicked. BF tried to tell me that it was just a trigger response to overheating when it goes to cold but I'd know that smell anywhere.

Can my baby pull through this again? I sure hope so.




*****
Above picture is the actual dryer featured in this post. That is her home, parked in my towel rack for quick access.

Finding Money Mondays



Frugal Fun for Couples!


Here are list of 10 things you can do frugally to share some one on one time together and reconnect.

1)Work on a project together - This can be many things. For me and my BF we chose the garden as a frugal activity to do together. We schemed on how to save as much as possible building the garden and its a project that needs continuous effort, just like our relationship.

2)Complete your Honey-Do list - All long term couples have a small list in mind of things that the other person has been asking you to do for ages. Just do it already. It's very relieving and extremely sexy to have your partner take those pressures off your mind. Once the tasks are completed it leaves a lot more time for "other" activities. ;)

3)Check online and in the local newspaper for some free activities happening in your area - Even if you think they are going to be kind of lame you never know what will happen. Every year we attend the Francophone festival in our town because my BF is French Canadian. Its really hokey pokey and lame but we always have a laugh and the poutine is worth the effort.

4)Cook A Romantic Dinner - You may cook dinner every night in your relationship or maybe you rotate cooking. This is NOT what I am referring too. I'm talking about distracting your GF/BF while you cook up something delicious. A few lit candles, dim the lights, pick some flowers from the yard and put them in a vase. Turn off the damn TV and put on some music that you both like that is softer and romantic.

5)Pick an outdoor physical activity - Get those endorphins going and those bodies moving! Pick an activity where you both get outside and get some fresh air. Check out a new trail you haven't explored yet. Dust off your roller blades or your bathing suit or whatever!

6)Volunteer together - Volunteering your time can really give you a spiritual lift. Share that with your partner. Locally we have a place where you can volunteer your time going to people's homes who do not wish to eat the fruit their trees produce and pick it for local food banks. Since my BF and I met picking fruit this is a totally romantic thing for us. Maybe you and yours would be more interested in a local nonprofit book store or a soup kitchen.

7)Enjoy a Night in Alone - Unplug the phone, turn off the TV and dim the lights. Get rid of all external distractions! Prepare some yummy finger foods and some delicious drinks. Try to be adventurous with what you have in your cupboards to save costs. Curl up together and catch up on what's been happening in the other persons life. Be patient, listen to their thoughts. This will definitely make you both more aware of how the other person is feeling and help you reconnect.

8)Have a Potluck with other Couples - Sometimes what you need is a relaxing time letting loose with other couples. It helps you laugh off some of the annoying qualities you find in each other when you hear other couples griping about the same things. A potluck allows everyone to participate without to much cost. Usually I ask people to bring a shared snack and some type of alcoholic beverage to share as well. That way we have a variety of foods and drinks for a good night of conversation and laughs.

9)Reminisce together - Break out all those old photos and spend some time reminiscing about all the amazing times you've had together. Relax and have a good laugh. This will also allow you to see how much you've accomplished together and may inspire you to look towards future goals.

10)Tell your significant other why you love them and what you see in your future together - This can be very challenging for some couples. Putting yourself out there can be very intimidating but hopefully once one person breaks the ice the results will be the glue that holds your relationship together. These talks are important to let you both know that you are in the right place with the right person. Once you feel secure in your relationship you may feel better about taking charge of other areas of your life too.



So that's this weeks installment of "Finding Money Mondays". I hope you were able to find at least one activity that would be interesting for you and yours. Some are easier said then done and others just take a little bit of extra effort but trust me... that extra effort will be rewarded.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Debt Reduction Envy



It seems to me reading around and observing my own behavior there's a new type of envy out there. It used to be we were all trying to keep up with the "Jones" with our spending and extending habits but now there's a new envy out there.

I notice a lot of bloggers who are a little green towards others becoming debt free or having bigger EFunds. Now I'm not saying this in an bad way because I know we all support each other in the blogosphere. I never see any bad comments (except from trolls). What I'm noticing is a trend of posts where people feel like they are not keeping up with everyone else in the debt reduction area.

When will we stop comparing ourselves to others? Everyone has different means to pay towards their goals and everyone needs be comfortable going at their own pace. If you don't understand this eventually you may get discouraged and that's never good. You need to realize that this is your journey and you are doing this for your own personal peace of mind and bit of security.

I realize that some people have the income to wipe out the remainder of my debt in the blink of an eye, but I don't and thats okay with me. I may have a tiny EFund but its better than no EFund at all. I try to focus on the fact that I am already very fortunate in the fact that I have realized my mistakes and prepared myself to make better decisions in the future. Not only that but I put a plan into action to repair my mistakes and its working.

One day I will have everything I need, a little on the side for emergencies and a whole lot of happiness. Oh wait... I have that now...


***********************************************************************************

The moral of the post is be confident in where you are right now and the changes that you are making to better yourself. If you really aren't happy at all there may be something for you to look at in your life that may need a change...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Walmart and the Stimulus Cheque

Now remember.. I am Canadian but I was disgusted the other night when I saw a Walmart commercial directed towards American's receiving a stimulus cheque.

Do you know what I'm talking about? Have you seen it? I can't find it anywhere online but Walmart has a new commercial out trying to entice people to cash their cheque's through them and offering incentives for it.

I found this article regarding their attempt to get a grab on the money.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Corinne Bailey Rae - Like A Star

Do you love this song as much as I do?

A Birthday Gift to Myself

I was thinking today about how nice it would be to be debt free by my birthday, mid October. This means I would have to find about $500 a month to put onto my debt. It may be a little bit of a squeeze because of the recent lag in shifts at work so I'm going to brainstorm about how to make this into a reality. It's been many moons since I was completely debt free and I am really anxious to get there!

I have noticed a trend from other PF bloggers where they transfer their savings to pay off the last bit of their debts instead of just following through with their payment schedule. It's their prerogative to do so but I like the idea of finishing my debt with a head start on my savings. It is true that I make less in interest on my savings than I pay out on my loan but for me its a mental thing. I may put the EFund on hold once I reach $1000 but I don't really want to lose the whole balance. Who knows? Maybe I'll be itching so bad once its within reach that I'll change my mind.

May 2008 TCOB Update - Part 2

1)Pay Student Loan Under $2500

2)Set Up Automatic Savings Plan with ING Direct. - Set to $100 automatic at the end of each month.

3)Beef EFund up to $750

4)Plant Garden


Check it out ladies and gentlemen! All of my May Tcob goals have been completed with a week to spare. My, how good it feels!! : D

Blog Roll Update

It's time to add a few more blogs to my roll. Today I am featuring:

Chicky Finance - I've been reading this blog on and off for a few months now. I find her writing style very similar to mine in a lot of ways. Lots of great money saving tips, personal kicks in the ass and some pretty scrumptious looking recipes. If you haven't checked her blog out before I suggest you do!


Budgets Are Sexy - Yes they are! I only started reading this blog a few weeks ago but its always upbeat and inspiring.
He is also the founder of the "Million Dollar Club". I look forward to reading more of this blog and watching him achieve his million dollar goal.

Enjoy!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I'm a Sicko



Ugh... I am so sick today that I had to take the day off and I slept the whole day! My head is pounding. I think its a really bad sinus infection. I seem to get one to two every year now. I don't think I'm scheduled for work tomorrow which sucks but is relieving at the same time. I haven't even ate yet today cuz I'm not hungry at all. It's bad to do that I know so I'm off to make some soup that will hopefully clear me up a little.

I did get to catch up on some of your blogs today though :)

Sorry there was no What's Cooking Wednesday this week. I'll make sure next weeks is extra good!!

** My grandparents used to have the kleenex box pic above .. before the house burnt down, isn't it cute?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

May 2008 TCOB Update

1)Pay Student Loan Under $2500

2)Set Up Automatic Savings Plan with ING Direct. - I will set this up before the end of the month

3)Beef EFund up to $750 - this will be completed next payday

4)Plant Garden

After completing the garden I am halfway through my goals for the month and things are looking very promising for completing and even surpassing my goals for May!!!

Detail Obsessed Bridezilla's Now Get Even More Control!!



I always thought the term Bridezilla was pretty funny when I would watch reality TV, but now I've learned that its definitely no laughing matter!

My friend and her long term BF decided this year that they were going to get married. Since then its been a fiesta of confirmation emails, facebook groups and even her own site dedicated to her wedding. She wants everything every tiny detail scrutinized personally by her before it is approved to be at her wedding. Eek!

The wedding is in August but her demand for perfection is putting her behind on some major factors. Even though we are all aware of the event to come, she still hasn't sent out invites. The problem being she doesn't like any of the ones she's seen locally and she didn't trust to order them online because you can never tell what they're really going to look like.... or can you?

1st Class Wedding Invitations has the first ever zoom feature on their site so detail obsessed brides can check out every tiny detail on any invite on the site! I started to look through different invites but there were just too many! There was definitely something for everybody. I think I even found one the bride would like as it matches her wedding colors!

I am so relieved to find this site and can't wait to pass this one on to my "bridezilla" friend. Hopefully it puts me in her good graces! It's always safe practice to be on the good side of the bride. ;-)

Garden Planted - Another May TCOB Goal Completed










So here was our garden during the first stage. We had to dig up the area that we wanted to plant in. We shook all the soil from the grass to reuse in the garden. We found it easiest to dig up the grass clumps, flip them over, let them dry out a bit and then shake them out. We did this over a few days. We then picked out all the rocks from the soil. We were pleased to find many worms.












Apparently this robin was also pleased that the amount of worms! ;)










The we built a frame. We drove down logging roads to find an area where they leave scraps that people can dig through and my BF managed to fashion some into this lovely frame. We did have to buy nails but no wood. We then drove out and dug up some soil which we mixed into or existing soil along with 2 bags of mushroom manure and one bag of cow manure. Stir it all up and you've got yourself some nice soil. Then we planted corn, cucumbers, radishes, carrots, and our already started bell peppers and tomato plants.











In the morning we woke up to find the neighbourhood cats also liked the garden but for other reasons. So we cleaned out that area, replanted and built this fence out of gardening net and bamboo (a very cheap solution). I still want to dig up another small patch for things we didn't have the room for such as zucchini and peas. I have also toyed with the idea of a small strawberry patch in another part of the yard. Oh and a few raspberry bushes....mmm.

I wish this was our home..wait I take that back because I would never buy this house. I wish we were at the stage of owning our own home so that we could invest more into our yard. We'll get to harvest this summer and next but then we'll be off on another adventure. It's hard to hold myself back because I love gardening so much even though it drives my allergies crazy.

Anyway, thats my garden update. I showed you mine, now show me yours!

Dolly's Yard Updates



So do you think the birds like the new feed I bought? We seem to have attracted a lot of birds to it which is so nice. There have been a few different types which is what I had hoped for when I bought this type of feeder and feed. I love going outside and watching them sit on it and munch away.

The other picture is of the front garden area. I don't touch it ever and every few weeks some new type of flowers bloom there. It's really lovely!

Silk - The perfect solution

As allergy season comes into full swing here I start to remember how much I hate itchy eyes and plugged sinuses. I love being outdoors and gardening but it kills me! Sometimes my allergies are so bad that I have to lie down with a cold cloth on my eyes for a source of relief. I know a girl who is so allergic to flowers she can't even have them in her house. Can you imagine having no plants or flowers in your home ever?

Luckily for her there are silk plants that look amazing real. Gone are the days of the tacky plastic shiny plants. These ones will have people second guessing you when you tell them they are silk. At Artificialplantsandtrees.com you can choose from an amazing assortment of lifelike flowers, trees and plants.

I know a lot of moms who would love these plants. My friend has a child who always wants to dig around in the soil of her potted plants. Even worse is when the plant gets knocked over and dumped out. Its hard to keep plants happy with kids poking and pulling them every which way. Plus, they always get pushed low on the priority list and so not having to remember to water them is always a plus! :)

I'm really impressed with the quality and likeness that these silk plants have. For somebody that needs low maintenance like a traveler they would be perfect. Check them out and see for yourself!

Sponsored by Silk Fair

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Gail's Book is Ready for Purchase!!



A Woman of Independent Means has been released again for those of us who missed out the first time and its been edited and updated! As soon as I saw that when I went to her blog today I snatched it up. I have already ordered it and am drooling at the thought of receiving it!

Weekend Plans

Well it looks as though our camping plans have been temporarily put on hold :(

We decided it was going to be too hectic for our liking trying to camp on May long weekend and that we really shouldn't neglect the responsibility we have to getting our garden planted. We managed to get all of our wood for free and we made sure to shake all the soil off the grass patches we dug up so its been a free project so far. No dirt, no wood. Well.. we did spend money on the Jiffy Starter Kit and we will spend more on seeds and nails. Not to shabby!

Anyway, last night we hung up a bird feeder I bought this week with my mom. There are so many birds in my yard! They are crazy everywhere and LOUD, lol. Sometimes as I sit and write my posts a bird will land on the balcony outside the window to my right and cause a ruckus which will scare the daylights out of me! I swear I've had nearly a dozen small heart attacks since the weather warmed up again.

I had decided that I needed to feed these birds because they are here all the time and I actually really do enjoy having them around. I went to a specialty bird store and purchased a feeder for $12.99. It was a good size and can feed a variety of birds. There were many beautiful and fun expensive feeders but I tried to think with my wallet in mind. I like the one I got. We had to fashion a little tray to hang under it so that the bird seed doesn't fall on the ground when the birds get rowdy. She told me the seeds can give the birds salmonella poisoning after they've been sitting in the dirt and how if they ate it, they would curl up into a ball and die.

**GASP**

Ok, so I'll be sure to keep on eye on that! Good lord, this is more of a responsibility than I thought. It took us 10 minutes to put it together but two days to hang on the Cherry tree. I told you guys I have a problem with procrastination. I hope the birds like the feeder. I also bought some special feed that the type of birds in my yard like that was $8. They reuse the containers that you buy it in if you return it. I like that!

Back to the garden... its our priority this weekend. We need to build a frame. Make sure the soil is ready to go and most importantly we need to get the seeds in the ground!

I promise to post pics later on today and maybe tomorrow of our progress.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Two More Weeks !!!!

I AM SO FREAKING EXCITED !!! What am I talking about? Check it out!

Friday is here.. Finally




Oh Friday how I love thee :)

I injured myself at work today. I reported it to first aid and made sure everything was documented properly just in case. I split open the top of my hand about an inch wide, right above the vein on my wrist. It hurts like HELL! If it bothers me over the weekend I'll go to the walk in clinic.

I don't know whats happening this weekend. We were supposed to be going camping but there is so much happening in town this weekend for the long weekend! There is a parade, fireworks and a ton more festivities. Plus the weather is great for planting. Hmm, I was so looking forward to camping though.

We'll see when BF gets home what we decide to do. He suggested over MSN that we could camp in the yard together instead but I'm not to keen on the effort to just camp in the backyard, lol. I want to go somewhere new!

*pic from our trip to Cali last year

Thursday, May 15, 2008

TCOB MAY 2008 - Mid Month Review

1)Pay Student Loan Under $2500 (happy dance happening right now)

2)Set Up Automatic Savings Plan with ING Direct. - I will set this up before the end of the month

3)Beef EFund up to $750 - this will be completed next payday

4)Plant Garden - this will probably be happening two weeks from now

So one down and three to go! I have a good feeling I'm going to complete all my goals this month :)

Have you voted yet?

The poll ends in 23 hours to determine which tally bars I keep. Right now the old ones are pushing ahead towards a win. I must say that I am pretty surprised by it!

Dog Tired

I am so tired today but the weather is nice. Sorry guys but I'm off to lounge in my freshly groomed yard.

Ahhhhh

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Got Bananas?


Yesterday I stopped by the grocery store with my mother and I noticed there were no bananas. Instead some watermellon occupied the space along with a sad sign. The sign stated that there was an indefinite stop on banana shipments because of a strike happening with the packers. WTF?!

Good thing I don't like bananas but my BF does. I feel bad for my best friend who's baby adores a squished banana every morning. :(

What's Cooking Wednesdays - Brie Cheese Lovers Unite!

Brie Cheese with Sundried Tomato and Green Onion

1 Brie Round
5 Sun Dried Tomato (in oil)
5 Green Onions
1 Fresh Baguette

Preheat Oven to 375*

Slice Brie round in half diagonally and open like a sandwich.

Place one half of the Brie cut side up into a small baking dish. ( I have a small glass circular one that fits perfectly :))

Chop up sun dried tomatoes and sprinkle evenly onto the Brie.

Chop up green onion and sprinkle evenly onto Brie as well.

Place top half of Brie back on top of tomatoes and green onions cut side facing down.

Let Bake for 15 minutes.

While cheese is baking in the oven slice baguette on an angle to create small discs.

Serve cheese in baking dish to company with sliced bread and butter knifes. Use knives to scoop and spread the melted cheesey goodness on to the bread and then pop it in your mouth and Enjoy!!



TO DIE FOR - Next time I make this I will be sure to take a photo for you all!

This is SOOO easy to do when you have guests over and they will LOVE it, I promise! You can get different sized Brie rounds and don't be shy to add more or less tomato or onion!

Thanks to my guy for teaching me this one! XOXOX


Monday, May 12, 2008

Darn You Government!

Don't you love how the government likes to grab every penny they can from you? UGH!!

This year when I received my interest relief form for 2007 from my Federal loan there was another letter attached with an amendment for 2006. So when I filed my taxes last month I filed them both.

A few weeks later I find out that because of the amendment I had been over paid and now they wanted their money back and they'd already tacked on a year's interest ($5) on the overdue amount!

How rude! First of all, it was their error not mine. Second of all I filed it as soon as I received the amendment. Then you charge me interest!! How is any of this my fault at all?

On top of everything I had to pay my own postage too! Grrr

Finding Money Mondays - 8

Last weekend I found money in the strangest place. Digging rocks out of the garden bed I stumbled across a small circle that looked interesting but was caked in dirt. I brought it inside and asked my BF to clean it up. He did and it turned out to be a 1903 Canadian nickel. This coin is smaller than a dime and doesn't have the queen on it. We looked it up online and discovered we could get $10 for it and depending on the markings coins like this could be worth over $110.

The town I live in is an old mining town. I am very pleased to have found this coin and have decided to keep it as a memento. It just goes to show that you never know what you can find if you keep your eyes open and take a look around!

I started to wonder how much a nickel would have gotten somebody back on the day it was lost and how sorry the person may have felt to misplace it. You never know when a piece of history will show up.

*** Edit*** I can't seem to add pictures today so if you would like to see the coin I am referring to please click here.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Goal Met!!

I met one of my May TCOB goals!!!

I just initiated a payment to my Federal Student loan in the amount of $280 dollars. This brings me below my goal of paying my debt down to $2500 this month. I had alloted more money towards this but some expected things came up. No worries though because there is another pay day this month and I plan to put some more on my loan as well as meet my savings goal this month!

Happy MoM Day Everyone

Well its our Mother's favorite time of the year! LoL. I don't have any kids but there are an increasing number of my friends and family having them. Today we have a BBQ planned. Only some of my family will be able to attend but thats just fine by me. Once some people dropped out I bumped us up to steaks all around at a great price so I'm more than happy! Stress less is one of my goals this year so I'm trying to turn every negative into a positive.

Whether you are a mom or celebrating with a great mom in your life have a great day everyone!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Becoming Debt Free

Over the past few weeks many people have been clearing out the last of their debt. As I near the end of my marathon of debt pay down I start to think about what it would be like to be debt free.

I wonder if it will be as fun to save as it is to pay down debt. While watching your money grow is fun it's not quite as satisfying as beating down the debt. Who knows? Maybe my feelings on this will change when I finally get there. After all its been quite awhile since I haven't been in the red. There are so many things I want to do with money.

1)Australia Fund. I put $5000 on the tally bar but its not an exact figure. Its my starter goal for that fund. BF and I haven't really broken down the costs yet. Since we plan to work while we are there he thinks about $5000 would be good but I would like to have more so that I can be flexible when I'm there with what I want to do.

2)EFund goal. I think I will do it in portions. I don't like to set huge goals for myself because then I feel discouraged. Once I hit the $2000 mark I will probably reset it for something like $5000.

3)Entrepreneurial Fund. One day I would like to have my own business. My mind is always racing with ideas and I want to have the money to put one of them into action one day.

4)Wedding Fund. I would like to get married in the next 5 years. I have some ideas on what I want to do but the groom has other ideas for our wedding day so we'll see.

5)House Fund. The market on Vancouver Island is the pits right now. Its so high that nobody who grew up here can afford a home. I have no idea how the upcoming Olympics will affect us. :(

Then there are all the other things to consider as well such as retirement savings and I will probably learn how to drive one day and want a car. There is always a place to spend money and with that comes the need to increase my income.. so does that mean I need an education fund as well?

Yeesh! Well, I'm just going to focus on my current goals right now and be happy that I am financially aware of all the things coming my way.


Big shout out to Canadian Saver and Debt Hater to paying off their debt! I can't wait to join you ladies!!!

Friday, May 9, 2008

CUTE ALERT!!

I was checking in on my girl at So Sick of Debt and she has added these cute little tickers to her blog that are so adorable. I think I'm going to switch mine over too. Props to her for finding them!

I've set up a poll on the side for you guys to let me know which you prefer but I'm pretty sure you're gonna like these guys!

Phone Gremlins




Gail recently had a post regarding telemarketers and this is a topic that can get me going! I don't know why but recently I have been getting more and more of these calls. A lot of the time they ask for somebody I've never heard of (its always different too) and when I say they have the wrong number they sudden want to speak to me. Worse, I get a lot of the auto dialed calls where you pick up and there is a delayed response and then somebody comes on suddenly and tries to sell you something. I even find some on my answering machine.

It's very aggravating! Once when I was a teenager I took a note from Jerry Seinfeld and called the telemarketer back with the number from our call display! Needless to say the woman was shocked and didn't find it nearly amusing as my family did. That company had been calling us every day for weeks on end before I did that. After my little returned call we never heard from them again.

The point is that I hate being solicited to all the freaking time. My PO Box has a no junk mail sticker on it so I never worry about it there but at home (where I receive no personal mail at all) is always stuff with old tenant mail and flyers galore. I am the type of person who will leave a store if the salesperson is too annoying and aggressive. These high pressure sales tactics turn me off.

I guess this is a good quality to have, so that I don't pushed into buying things often.Well, there is one local shop where the owner can always up sell me but its opened me up to so many new types of ingredients and delicious treats! I thought it was just me, but after talking to others I found out they always noticed it too but didn't mind it. Good salesman!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

HEHEHE



Operation disconnect all phones - check

Had a great night out drinking and eating chicken wings - check

Went back to my old friends place and hung out with her parents (that i adore) - check

Ordered BF to bring back a greasy cheeseburger when he returns from his time out - check

Well it appears my work here is done. I'm off to put on my comfy pajamas and hop into bed to watch tv until my cheeseburger arrives. :)

A Day Off

So today I noticed I wasn't on the schedule for tomorrow. There wasn't a lot to do at the end of the day today and by the time the day was over my manager wasn't around to let me know if that was accurate or not. So what do I do?...Take the money and run... literally!

I asked the payroll office if they had my cheque made up so I wouldn't have to come in the next day for it and they did. Then I decided that if my manager doesn't call me some time tonight to let me know I'm working then I'm shutting off the phones before bed (evil grin). Who wants to be called at 5 am to be told you're coming to work. I can't call my ride that early at her home because it will disturb everyone there. Plus, my BF was quite annoyed last time they tried to call me in because they called 5 times and I just ignored it, lol.

I'm going to use the day off to spend some time with my best friend whom I haven't been able to see in awhile. Then I'm going to clean up the house for mothers day.

Um.... I have a budget challenge question. This weekend as my gift to my sister and mom I am throwing a BBQ for all my siblings and family. I'm making a cake and also giving them both a plant or something. The main gift is a nice BBQ where we call all relax together Sunday afternoon. Since its a gift do I include it in my grocery tally when I go pick up provisions for it?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Food Challenge Update

This month I am taking part in Krystal's Grocery Budget Challenge. My goal that I set forth was $200. Last weekend I know I did some serious damage but weekends is the only time I shop for things like that so I hope I'll be alright. Dang, I had to spend just after the month started!

So this is what I spent:

Buns Master ~ 12.01
Man Lee Oriental Food and Grocery ~ 24.29
Save On More ~ 89.27

Oh ... wait a minute... good thing I just double checked this receipt because it appears the teller never swiped my card at the Save On! Grrr! That cost me an extra $9.42!! Oh well, I know when I go next time if I bring the receipt I will get my money back but still...

Thats a total of $116.15 (including the refund)

Wow... I have a lot of month ahead of me too.

Oh! My guy just said he will take the receipt on his way to rock climbing after dinner and get my money back. Woohoo!

So there you have it folks..7 days in and already over half my budget is gone. I knew I spent a lot on food but this challenge is making me think it must be a lot worse than I think. Eek!

What's Cooking Wednesday!!! - Butter Bean, Sundried Tomato and Pesto Soup

For this installment of What's Cooking Wednesday I'm going to feature a recipe I haven't actually tried yet but think it looks good and super easy!

Butter Bean, Sun-dried Tomato and Pesto Soup

3 1/4 Cup Chicken or Vegetable Stock
2 - 14 Oz Can Butter (Lima) Beans - drained and rinsed
4 Tbsp Sun-dried tomato paste
5 Tbsp Pesto

Pour stock and butter beans into a pan and bring just to a boil.

Reduce heat and stir in sun-dried tomato paste and pesto.

Cook gently for 5 minutes.

Transfer soup to a blender/processor and blend until smooth.

Return puree to pan and gently heat again for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Ladle into bowls and serve it up with with some tasty bread!

Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Hard Day at Work

Something happened today at work that rarely happens to me and I was quite embarrassed. .... I cried.

Note to coworker: Just because your job is stressful it does not give you the right to yell at your fellow coworkers. You are no better than I am and I deserve to spoken to the same way you want to be spoken to. Nobody will come near your station because you are a Witch to work with. I've tried my best to be overly pleasant to you and to help you out but not anymore. I didn't want to report you today but you left me no choice after the scene you caused. The union representative made me spill the beans and thats why you got talked to today. It's not my fault that after the other workers caught wind of what was happening that they also decided to report you. I held my tears until break but I will never let you put me in that position again!

Anyways... in the words of Jay Z... I'm dusting that dirt off my shoulders.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Finding Money Mondays - 7



Note to self:

Dear Dolly,

If you know you are going to want a soda every day at lunch to give you that extra bit of pep for the second half of the work day... plan ahead. Spending $1 a day on a can of soda is ridiculous! From now own if you don't buy a case ahead of time and bring one from home then you will just have to do without. Spending 2.99 on a case of 12 is a lot better than the $12 dollars you would have spent daily in the machine.

You could be doing so much more with your money if you watched all the "small things" just as much as you do the "big ticket" items. So please try to be more aware of your casual spending here and there because it all adds up.

Have a good day,

A Kick in the A$$

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Todays Events

I had a good sleep and woke up at 9am this morning. Oh how I love to sleep in seeing as I usually am up between 430-5am. I watched a little bit of television and relaxed on the couch for a bit. Then I woke BF up with breakfast in bed (bacon, egg and cheese omelet paired with a homemade strawberry/raspberry smoothie).

I may venture to the store later on to get some baking supplies and something yummy for dinner. Besides that I'm hoping to get into the garden as the rain has let up but the wind is not making it look inviting out there. The agenda to is... not much. Gotta love it!

Friday, May 2, 2008

TGIF

All I can say is I am exhausted today! Thank god its Friday... bring on the weekend!!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

TCOB MAY 2008

1)Pay Student Loan Under $2500

2)Set Up Automatic Savings Plan with ING Direct.

3)Beef EFund up to $750

4)Plant Garden

This month there are only 4 goals. Anything else I pull off will just have to be a bonus! :-P