52 Week Money Challenge

Ever say to yourself “I’m going to start saving some money for a rainy day”? I have. Many times. Have I ever? A few times. Did it work? Yes… it did… until I stopped. And used the money.

Having a mortgage (and a Vancouver, BC mortgage at that!), 2 kids and an unending list of bills to pay, we’re usually left with very little to put aside. Especially now that we’re also putting aside money every month for 2 college funds.

I’ve had some “money saving” tips pinned for awhile and thought I’d finally give them a try. It’s not a lot of money we’re talking about, just a few dollars here and there but it’s supposed to add up to $1378 by the end of the year.

saving

It looks easy enough and the amounts are small enough that it won’t leave me crying every month. I’m actually going to try 2 different ways to save a little money; the top one for 52 weeks is for our “rainy day” fund and the one beneath it is for Christmas presents for the kids.
I normally try and start shopping around August for xmas gifts, just so it’s not a huge expense all in one month. The original dates for the second list is from June till the end of November, so for me I’m going to start saving in April till September. I’ll likely continue putting money away instead of stopping… so I’ll see how much I actually end up with lol.

For the planners peeps out there, you will notice that I have made it so I can insert the charts into my planner and I also laminated it because I know it’s something I will continually use.

What are you ways of saving money?

Till next time!

New year, New Planner

The last time I used a planner was when I was in high school waaaaaaaay back when. Since the days of smartphones (ie. my blackberry) I have been using the calendar on them to record and remind myself of important days and events and it has served me well. But sometimes it’s just easier to have everything written down and able to see all at once vs opening the scheduled event on the phone.

Meet my new planner, The Happy Planner, from Me and My Big Ideas (MAMBI for short in the planner world).

planner

The Happy Planner

I’ve been eyeballing this planner for months but never saw a reason or justification in getting one when I have my trusty smartphone. I also may or may not have scoffed at the thought of people still using these paper forms of organization. Boy was I wrong!
Did you guys know that there is a whole different universe of “planner people”?! I mean, it’s really insane! There’s even a whole aisle now at Michaels dedicated to planners and accessories for them.
This particular planner was given to me as a Christmas gift from my sister-in-law. You should have seen my eyeballs when I opened it lol. I knew about the planner but I didn’t KNOW about the planner… you know? Lol. Anyways, I looked around on Pinterest and instagram to see how people were using these things and WOW. It really opened up a whole new world for me. I am a scrapbooker. Well, I guess I was a scrapbooker. That’s how I started out in paper crafting. Then I moved onto cards. And then I had babies. And then everything just sat there.. collecting dust. Until now.

This new planner phenomenon (it probably isn’t but I’m going to say it is because I’ve only noticed it now lol)combines everything into one. You can personalize your planner based on your personality and what you want to use it for. For me, and a lot of other people, a love of paper crafting and staying organized. And with hubs travelling for work more and the two terrors getting older and attending preschool and other activities, I need it more than ever!

This is what the next 2 weeks of my planner look like:

page-1

page-2

Don’t mind the crappy pictures and lighting. This is what happens when you try to quickly snap some picks of something before little hands tear it away from you and rip it to shreds.

I’m still new to this whole planning thing and trying to figure out my planning “style”.
Are you guys planners as well? If so, what planner are you using and let’s check out those layouts!

Till next time!

DIY: Shower Curtain

I’m not a really great crafty DIY-er. Everything I want to make always looks better in my head than it does when it’s finished. But one of the things that I am pretty proud of is the shower curtain that I made for Hub’s bathroom downstairs. The entire downstairs area (excluding the crawl space and laundry room) is actually “his area” lol. He laid claim to it when we decided to buy the house.
The idea was that because the lower floor is a cold zone, hubs would be using that bathroom in the summer for showers etc to refrain from waking the baby. That never actually happened. In fact the only time that shower was used was when I was giving the dog a bath. Somewhere along the way that bathroom had turned into a home brewery. Don’t ask.

To shield our guests from the unsightly mess down there (and with the intention that SOMEONE would at some point be using the shower, I wanted to put up a shower curtain. I decided on the colour navy blue and wanted a blue and white stripped curtain. Finding it proved a little harder. It was either the width of the stripes wasn’t what I wanted or when I did find what I like, it was too expensive. Hubs had bought me a sewing machine for Christmas a couple years back so I decided to put it to use.

Navy and white stripped shower curtain

Navy and white stripped shower curtain

This project was actually pretty easy. The inspiration for it actually came from Pinterest. This was EXACTLY what I wanted. I bought the fabric from Fabric.com and it’s the Bekko home decor line from Michael Miller. The tutorial I used to make it can be found here.

I didn’t punch holes in the fabric and used grommets, instead I just bought regular curtain clips to hang it.

The whole project cost me about $45 because I also bought the fabric when it was on sale.

Cost
Fabric: $35
Thread: $2
Curtain Clips: $7

Creative Wedding Favors

We’re almost there… just one more day before the weekend folks!
I wanted to share the wedding favors that my sister and her husband were giving their guests at their wedding. They’re little bottles of Rosemary Infused Olive Oil and Vanilla Infused Balsamic Vinegar.

 

Homemade Rosemary Infused Olive Oil & Vanilla Infused Balsamic Vinegar

Homemade Rosemary Infused Olive Oil & Vanilla Infused Balsamic Vinegar

 

Everything except the bottle and label on the bottle were homemade. My sister commissioned me to make the tags for them which were quite simple to make using just MS Word and a regular printer. The tag itself, I bought the cardstock paper from Michaels and used my trusty Slice Crafts machine along with the Noel cartridge to cut the shape of the tag.

What are some of the most useful and useless favors that you recieved at weddings?

I’ve Been Framed!

Pictured Framed! I love taking pictures and looking at them but I’ve never really been into putting pictures into frames and hanging them up anywhere. Possibly because the condo we lived in before was so small and wall space was very precious. But now we have more wall space than we know what to do with!

I’m a huge fan of Pinterest. HUGE. I have seen so many DIY projects with frames and other things that I have always wanted to try and I figured now is as good a time as any right? I mean, what else am I going to do with all my empty bare walls? Plus we’re also on a pretty tight budget until my mat leave is over and I go back to work… Which is in exactly 3 months and 2 weeks. So, armed with the Homesense/Winners gift card my sister gave me for Christmas Riley and I made our way to the store. That and he was also on a napping strike so getting him out of the house was a good way to tire him out.

I picked up these 3 picture frames on clearance for $3 each! The “DAD” one is my fav and is going to be part of hubby’s bday present from Riley next month.
I have plans for the other 2 frames so stay tuned!