Everything’s Going My Way

Well fingers crossed.

The last time I felt this settled and optimistic was 4 years ago. It feels like a lifetime.

I remember looking around my world and feeling so grateful for everything. I was on track for my ideal life. Within a year it felt like it had all fallen down around me. It took  me nearly three years to even begin to understand what a different type of life could look like.

Why am I feeling elated?

  • We’ve been making good environmental choices
    • Eating less meat, using a programmable thermostat, cutting down on our waste
  • We’re organized
    • Like I get up at 6, have tea with Bunny, make us a healthy breakfast and get to work on time organized! It’s crazy and I’m loving being that woman.
    • In spite of our crazy schedules ML and I have managed to feed ourselves real food vs. foodstuff fairly consistently and keep our house in shape so we’re comfortable if someone wants to pop by
  • We’re doing things we love
    • ML is working on a passion project and I’m sitting on a host of committees that make me feel good. I’m also beginning to realize a childhood dream.
    • I’m also taking part in Nanowrimo which has been a dream for quite some time
  • I’m this fantastic creature that I hoped but never dreamed I could be:
    • a blogger
    • a consistent cook
    • purposely embracing healthy eating (I made my own granola!)
    • have a good relationship with my family
    • in a job I like with people I adore
    • I freeze food and actually use it

Basically I’ve become That Woman or my version of her.

Down side: I’m exhausted. I keep putting pressure on myself to not only keep it up but exceed. Sure my home is tidy but is it clean, can you eat off my floors? Well no but really you shouldn’t be eating off floors to begin with.

So my lessons are:

  • As long as being this person is fun keep doing it
  • Small steps have been the key to my success! I need to keep this in mind and forgive myself if I don’t move as quickly as I want
  • When it gets hard, you know it can get hard sometimes (yep quoting Ed Sheeran), I need to love myself and recognize that I’m always doing the best I can.

What advice would you give yourself for tough times?

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Dreaming

Do you have a crazy dream that you’ve kept in spite of not doing a thing to achieve it?

For me it’s always been being a lead singer.

Image result for selena quintanilla singing
Selena Quintanilla was my inspiration

In my teens I was involved in the school’s choir and my parents paid for lessons until my stage fright had me abandoning it.

In spite of not doing anything about this this little dream has me doing YouTube karaoke, pretending I’m on stage when putting on make up, and dancing around my living room.

Last month I found a school in town that teaches adults in a band setting. For $250/month I get to be in a band!

I’ll even be performing in front of crowds twice a year. Considering all my goals I wondered if this would be the best use of funds. How does joining a band and relearning to sing align with everything?

Remarkably well! I’ll be hitting the first 2 points of the things that I felt would make my life feel meaningful. For us the whole point of saving is to make our dreams come true. Pursuing this may mean that it takes me longer to save my 6 month buffer or we adjust our vacation goals. It does mean that I can get to make 2 dreams come true:

  1. Being a singer
  2. Having the money to pursue my dreams

While honouring myself.

What childhood dream would you revisit if you could?

 

Grocery Budget

I’ve blogged here about the fact that eating healthy doesn’t necessarily take more out of my grocery budget than eating convenience foods. However, when I went to do my budget this month I gave my grocery line some extra padding.

I mean clearly eating no meat is going to cost more as it’ll be harder to get all necessary ingredients on sale. That turned out to be a mistake, a great one.

I turned my usual process around by selecting recipes,  then checking my pantry, and finally the flyers.

I ended up getting this for about half my grocery budget:

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They’re the necessary ingredients for:

I’m pleased with our planning and think we’re off to a fine start.

My zero waste goal, however, isn’t doing as well. Unfortunately most of the items are packaged in plastic. I’m going to keep working away at both of these and see where my grocery life ends up at the end of the month.

Do you have frugal pescatarian recipes you’re willing to share?

Crafty Christmas Cost

This year I decided early what my signature gift would be. While I’m sure it’ll be less expensive, more thoughtful and way more fun to give (and hopefully receive) than a bottle of wine the start up cost of this chocolate goodness wasn’t cheap.

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Here’s how it breaks down:

  • $30 for a dozen jars
  • $10 for the labels to stick on top
  • $9 for milk
  • $16 for chocolate chips
  • $10 for cocoa powder
  • $5 for marshmallows
  • $2 for the sugar
  • $2 for the candy canes

That’s $84 in a week on Christmas gifts.  Making each gift worth $7 if one doesn’t count love and labour. I’m sure my unit price is lower if you take into account that the only materials I ran out of are the jars.

This post is a friendly reminder to myself that the start up costs of frugal gifts can be expensive. I’m hoping that by noting this I’ll be less likely to feel cheap when I go to a party and bring one of these beauties.

Also for someone who likes easy crafts I created the covers by cutting circles out of scrapbook paper and gluing them to sticker labels I found at Staples. Having the paper and glue on hand also served to lower my cost.Before giving these I’ll put on other labels that I have on hand with ingredients and instructions.

Here’s to me honouring my creativity and sharing chocolate joy at Christmas!

What are your favourite treats to receive?

November Goals

My posting has been a bit lax lately and I’m not entirely sure that it’s going to improve in  November. I’m absolutely physically, mentally and emotionally drained from October so this may be a very slow month.

I do have a host of goals for November! I’m hoping to refuel the three tanks that are running on fumes.

Physically

Mentally

Emotionally

  • Take a mini vacation (3 days)
  • Purposely do one thing that makes me happy every day

image from here

How’s your month coming?

Debriefing October 2016

October

TRACKING

  •  # Buy nothing days :16 days
  • # times used S’mores Maker (aiming for 8 uses in 2016): 2+0=2
  • # times used champagne saucers (aiming for 7 uses in 2016): 4+0=4
  • # times ate out:7
  • # activities with friends/family: 5
  • % over or under budget:0.21%
  • % of goal put toward ML’s debt: 100%

CELEBRATE:

  • This was quite similar is stress to June yet I stuck to my budget!
  • I paid for my Christmas gift with ‘excess’ money so I
  • Took on a zero waste challenge and started composting again

DIP INTO SAVINGS/CREDIT

  • We dipped into savings to fix the stove, purchase Christmas gifts and support a friend’s Norwex business

KEEP IN MIND

  • Christmas shopping and planning needs to be done in November
  • We don’t have a lot of plans in November so hopefully this helps me put a bit extra into the gift line
  • No is a complete sentence! I need to learn how to say it nicely to people when their suggested events do not fit into our budget.

OVERALL

I’m so happy with us! I’m a bit concerned as I have less than $200 for gifts at the moment as this means I’ll have to really tighten up November and December to give what I had wanted.

Image courtesy arztasumia via freedigitalphotos.net