Tag Archives: family

Works of Me: Hobbies

Okay we all have our evil pleasures right? Well mine arent that evil at all , they are just time consuming and that is so ok with me. What is your favorite thing to do?

I have two: reading and scrapbooking!

First I love finding a good read. Recently one of things that has worked wonderfully for me in this arena is a group on Facebookowned by the publishing house Haprper Collins..They give away free books each month. Last Month I read “Why bad things Happen to Good People” by Debbie Ford. It was a good read that helped me to understand some of my own thinking some of the time. There is nothing better then curling up with a good book, especially in the park on a warm sunny afternoon.

My other addiction is scrap-booking. I love it! For me it is a great way to journal through pictures our lives. One of my favorite websites to go for scrap-booking freebies is one that finds all the free scrap-booking stuff that is out there each week.Digifree is a great resource blog for all your free scrapping needs. For me it gives me great supplies that I can download each and every week.

Well this is what works for me, addictions that I can love! Now I am off to read another addiction What Works for Me over at Rocks in my Dryer.

The Cheap Summer Experiment

Well here we are again at that time of year, when you want to have some summer fun yet do it on the cheap! How am I going to do it? Well after a certain meeting two weeks ago my income level is uncertain as of August 1st so I plan on doing an experiment. First I took radical steps to cut my costs: got rid of the land line because we are never home especially during the summer. So we now have one cell on a decent plan…$45and all the minutes this mom needs.I got rid of the Internet as well and will be blogging for free from cafes and the library. So after rent and bills it leaves me with $450 to go everything with. So what are my plans?  How am I going to cut costs in Toronto this summer and even have money to go away with?

The Cheap Summer Experiment

1. Take advantage of the FREE stuff to do here in the city. From public pools, libraries, and free events there is plenty to do here in town.

 We will only TTC to one event per week, the others we  can walk or bike too. The first event we will hit is Luminato.It was so worth going to last year and we had a blast! It starts June 6thand is a great way to start off your summer with a bang.

2. Use the money jar approach to spending.

Our jars are $4o for groceries per week, $7.50 for laundry, and $12.50 for other–all clothes are bought so there is no need for new stuff.

3.When shopping utilize coupons, points collection(ie SDM), and flyer shopping to get the best prices you can find.

 UsuallyI can spend $40 on meat for a month ( we eat meals that include meat about 4 times a week). Usually2 big bags of chicken pieces and a big club size of lean ground beef that I can stretch with TVP does us.

4. Have a garage sale of all that stuff you don’t need- use this money as summer fun money or use it for something you need. Other great ways are to utilize Craigslist or Kijiji to make a sale.

We are doing this and Roo especially is clearing out stuff as she becomes a preteen on a mission of a new room design which is one of our other summer projects.

By doing this well will have enough money to do what we really want late in the summer and that is take our first family vacation ever. We are headed to Nova Scotia and PEI for a couple of weeks. Roo will get to spend time with her cousins and grandma. For our trip we are using  the train to get there, and have FREE places to stay so we should be okay going with $500.  We can’t wait and are getting excited about our first real chance to travel.

Menu Monday- Using Food Storage-

Well I am where it is right before check day at the beginning of the week so you will see some menus that have me digging into my food storage pantry. I think digging into food storage should be part of our routine. So what ingredients are from the pantry: TVP, oatmeal, Kraft dinner, peanut butter, tuna,dried mango, pasta, pasta sauce and Kool Aid. These are all things that do get used on a regular basis here in this house so it was important to have them as part of my food storage.

The oatmeal will be used for breakfasts along with the Rice Krispies and Cheerios that are already in the cupboard. So will the PB for toast.

Kool Aid will be for an afterschool drink with Roo taking water for her lunches. Her lunches this week are a pizza lunch that the class won, chicken noodle soup, mini ravoli, ham and cheese sandwich and a grilled cheese. These will have some fresh fruit or dried mango added to them.

For dinner

Monday : Tuna Bake and salad

Tuesday: Mashed Potato Tacos

  • 2 cups TVP 
  • left over mashed potatoes
  • 1 package Taco Seasoning mix
  • 1 package  Taco Shells, warmed
  • Toppings: shredded lettuce, chopped tomato,   Shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese,  Thick & Smooth Salsa

BROWN beef; drain. Add mashed potatoes and seasoning mix; mix well.

FILL taco shells with beef mixture. Top with lettuce, tomato, green onions, cheese and taco sauce.

Wednesday-Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce, brocolli and dip

Thursday-Chicken Nuggets, French fries, carrots

Friday- Honey Mustard Curry Chicken, rice, salad, apple crumble and icecream

Saturday-leftovers

Sunday- we have been invited out

 

Well I am off now to read what is cooking for everyone else over at Laura’s!

 

 

Mother’s Day — Lets think of FREE Ways to Show We Care

Well Mom’s Day is around the corner and well Im cheap and a mom who has a mom so of course I want to show my mom I care but I want to be frugal about it!

So what are some options for me?

1. Write your mom a poem perhaps a haiku about what she means to you.

2. Make a card( or ecard ) There are lots of sites for help with this one.

3. Get a canvas and paint her a picture

4.Decorate a small glass vase or perhaps a cup..you can fill it with flowers you pick.

5. Clean the house

6. Invite her to do one of her favorite activities whether it is a game of Scrabble, doing a puzzle, playing a card game, going for a walk.

7. Give your mom a manicure (great for tween girls to do).

Now what am I really doing well…. for my mom she is getting  a framed pic of me and Roo and the frame was decorated by Roo.

I wonder what Roo is going to do? Well I hope you all have a great day on Sunday and dont forget your Mom’s.

Summer Vacation Planning on the Cheap

Roo and I are busy planning our summer and it looks like it may be a busy one..So far I have registered her for 1 week of sleep away ( got this for $50 because I applied early). I will be registering for one week of day camp as well and that will cost me another $50. Besides these two weeks of camp for Roo we will hopefully taking advantage of Via’s Great Summer Rates….kids go FREE! So for me and Roo to travel to Nova Scotia will cost us $349.26! It will be our very first family vacation. Roo has never been away for more then a weekend of camping.

We will stay with family so no accomodation expenses, things that are must do’s on our list:

-jaunt over to Prince Edward Island on the ferry and head to the National Park to the land of Anne of Green Gables. In grade 4 this year Roo has written about L M Montgomery and the island for 2 different projects.( Cost $70 ferry & $21 park entrance).

-Pier 21($13.50 for us 2) where Roo can learn about Canadian immigration and Citadel Hill both in Halifax (Family$30)

-The Bay of Fundy is another must hit.(free)

So we are looking at about $500 plus our train and we get our first family vacation in 10 years…

How are we going to afford it?  GST ($150), First ontario childtax credit($50), garage sale ($75?), saving $20 a check between now and then ($240), which should get us there…. so come late July we should be there, and be there for Natal Day(a Nova Scotia Holiday)….

Now thinking of summer there are lots of great Canadian spots to see. In my days before Roo I had travelling feet so what are my favorite Canadian spots or events?

  • Peggy’s Cove in Nova Scotia—a great spot to see the Atlantic from.
  • The Saint Lawrence Seaway–take a trip down the locks, this is a family history site as family land was taken to create these.
  • Algonquin National Park–I love to canoe the lakes here.
  • Stanley Park in Vancouver BC–you can get lost in here forever…It was here I first looked to the west and beyond.
  • Banff and Jasper are equal in great places to see in Alberta.

As for events:

  • The Busker Fest in Halifax–I volunteered at this event in its founding days and it still is a great festival.
  • The Canadian National Ex in Toronto-a family favorite!
  • Luminatio in Toronto-a new event in Toronto that celebrates the arts and its FREE for lots of great family fun.

There are lots of great ways to vacation here in Canada on the cheap. So get and enjoy this great place.

Works for Me Wednesday- Losing the Landline

Have you ever had one of those days? Mine started off like that today. I was writing this post when down goes the computer and I lost everything. It was a frustrating moment.But I took a deep breath and thought maybe I need a computer break so since it is a beautiful day here in Toronto I decided to take a short walk.

Now that I am home I can write about what is working for our family at this point in time-that is losing or better put getting rid of the landline. For our tiny family that is on the go it makes more sense to have a cell phone. So while I was at Lifefest we visited the Rogers booth we got great deals on phones ( they were FREE) and a good family plan. Roo has her own phone. This is used for her walking back and forth to school and for when I am out of the house (I really like her having her own phone with her for safety reasons here in Toronto). I have my phone-went with the Blackberry Pearl and it is a great deal and phone for me since it too was FREE. We went with a family plan so we share minutes and have FREE local calling after 6pm. We (meaning ME) have 1000 Canadian long distance minutes a month as well. With my mom in hospital and me job hunting it simply made more sense go goodbye landline and hello Family Plan.

Well I off to go and read over at what is working for everyone else over at Rocks in My Dryer. If you want read what is working for a hundred or more bloggers go here.

Lifefest 2008

earth-hour-015.jpgWOW! what a haul of freebies! Attended this years fest with my daughter Roo and we came home loaded with stuff. If you are going may I suggest going to www.lifefest.ca and doing the survey as it gets you great freebies that cant be found otherwise! It really was a fun day out for the two of us. Roo loved the Garnier dome and getting her hair done (we got some good  ideas about adding volume. Dr Scholls is giving free foot massages and they are good! Lots of food samples to keep you nourished as you go on your way. We really did have a good time and it was a cheap day out as Roo was free to get in the door as she is under 12.