Category Archives: Projects

Budget: Friend or Foe?

I like to think that I am pretty smart with money. I pay all my bills on time, I get a little crazy if our “cushion” falls below what I think it should be and if at all possible, and like everyone else, I try and save a little for the future.

Sure this sounds all well and good on paper but there are a couple of slight negatives. First, I stalk our bank account. I like to account for every penny that comes in and leaves that account. I know, that can’t be healthy….but the first step is admitting you have a problem. 😉

You can also tell my mood by the balance in the account…..Pay day = HAPPY!!!! Paying bills (money go bye bye) = Sad!

Last but not least, I always get buyer’s remorse when it comes to spending money on makeup, clothes, etc. Now some may think a good way around this would be not to buy make-up, but let’s not get all crazy!! 😉

So, this new chapter in our lives = new attitude = new way of looking at things. And that means getting a budget (ON PAPER) so that we can track our finances, put aside money for planned and unplanned expenses, AND give ourselves a little allowance (if you will) so that we can buy what we want without adding guilt to the price tag.

Step one, get a budget sheet. Done and done! I found the worksheet below in excel and it looks like it may work for us.

Step two – plug in your finances and off you go.

What budget tricks do you have so that you keep more in your account while also allowing you to enjoy your hard earned money?

Healthy Snack Machine

Earlier this week, a co-worker brought in an old Jelly Bean machine and asked if it would be something I would use. Since, we have been trying to wean ourselves off of the junk food and onto more healthy snacks my first instinct was to say no thank you…..BE GONE TEMPTATION!!! And then I was struck with a stroke of inspiration.

Now I must say that we are pretty lucky that our little JBear absolutely loves apples, bananas, etc. but occasionally he does like a to munch on chips and other non-fruit related items (as do we all). So rather than deprive him completely of differently types of snacks, I thought why not transform this Jelly Bean Machine into a Healthy Snack Machine.

First I dismantled it and gave each piece a good scrub down in scalding water. Then I laid it out to dry overnight.

Putting it back together wasn’t as easy as taking it apart but I finally figured it. 😉 Last step, adding the healthy snack…peanuts. I bought honey coated peanuts to give it that sweet snacky feel. It now sits perched up on the counter where JBear can easily reach it.

I was contemplating spray painting it a different colour but since this will be holding food, I wasn’t quite sure how safe that would be.

What do you think? Any healthy snack ideas you want to share?

Play Hard. Work Hard.

This weekend was all about spending time with family, sharing more than a few good laughs and making memories. But as the saying goes: work hard, play hard (we just did it in reverse 😉 ).

The “To Do” list continues to grow, so it is time to get back to work. Our second floor bathroom got put on hold as Jason began renovations at the Sew Pieceful Quilt Shop. However the mid-night runs with JBear to the bathroom downstairs is getting tiresome so I believe finishing off the second floor bathroom will be working its way back to the top of the list. The tub and flooring is installed now all we have to do is:

· Paint

· Install the toilet

· Install the vanity

· Install the mirror

· And decorate (which means a family feet photo shoot)

As I walked up the steps to the front porch, I found this box waiting for me.

It would seem that Jay and I are on the same page. Remember our mood board:

Vanity? Check! Shower curtains? Check! A finished bathroom….we are on our way.

Next on the agenda….tipsy top planters.

I have been dying to make one of these. Since the village block party is fast approaching, I have additional motivation to get going on this project so we can work on our yard and pretty it up a little. I have had the pots for a while and the rebar, only thing missing was the flowers. After buying the paint for the second floor renovations, I mailed in our rebate and got a Home Depot $25.00 gift card. Flowers, here I come!!!

Based on where I was planning on putting my planter, I had to get plants that would grow better in the shade so we settled on Impatiens.

It turned out that buying the hanging baskets were actually cheaper than buying the six pack of flowers. These baskets will be dismantled, divided up and replanted. And I actually have $2 left on my card.

I am planning on putting them in the corner where we had the old porch removed (after I do some much needed weeding).

After summer is over, I want to transplant the butterfly bush below into this spot. I think it will be a pretty burst of colour and will need little maintenance.

So if we didn’t have enough to do, I started to take inventory at 5:30 this morning of items that are just waiting to be hung….the only question is where. We have sconces, pictures, and this mirror, Jason and I just need to find the perfect spot and get these bad boys off the floor and on the wall.

What are your plans for this week? Any weeding or wall hanging?

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