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!

16 Month Update

Working

It’s been a while since I last did an update on the munchkin. He is now 16 months old, walking circles around us and is the complete apple of his daddy’s eye.

Riley is what I like to call a “late bloomer” lol. He cut his first tooth at 13 months (not that I was complaining about it!), didn’t actually start rolling till he was 8 months old but I knew he had the ability to do it because he had rolled over a few times before, and didn’t walk till he was 14 months old. And it wasn’t just a few steps here and there he basically just woke up one day and decided he was going to start walking everywhere lol.
He’s a shy little man but has been getting braver by the day. When we go out now, he no longer wants to hold anyone’s hand when he walks and very much prefers to walk around alone… but not too far away.

When I knew it was nap time.

When I knew it was nap time.

White sleeveless onesie: H&M

Denim shorts: Old Navy

Shoes: Native Shoes, Miller

I tested out the CIO (Cry It Out) method for sleep training when Riley was about 8 months old because I wanted him to learn to put himself to sleep… but it didn’t work out well for both of us. Somewhere along the way Riley picked up the skill himself but decided at 13 months old (along with some teething) that he no longer wanted to fall alseep alone. After some exhaustive nights, he was also waking multiple times throughout the night now, hubs and I decided it was time to try CIO it again. Being of Chinese ethnicity, I’m made a bit harder than hubby. Hubs couldn’t stand the crying so ended up in the backyard to do some work and keep himself occupied till Riley fell asleep. It was 6 long nights but so worth it. The longest Riley cried was 45 mins. On night 2 he did end up puking a little bit but that was about it.
Now before I get hate mail, we did try some other no-cry methods before using CIO. We tried the pick-up/put-down which didn’t work for us at all and we tried sitting in the room with him till he fell asleep… but that just made him angrier.
With CIO I did go in to check on him every 5, 10, 15 minutes etc just to let him know that we’re still there to comfort him. Riley now gets put into his crib at night fully awake with his Puppy (a lovey that my sister bought him) and puts himself to sleep. I think all 3 of us are happier now; he gets a full nights sleep… and so do we! Nap time, however, is a whole different story.

Riley was the Ring Bearer at my sister's wedding

Riley was the Ring Bearer at my sister’s wedding

Outfit and Accessories (except shoes): The Children’s Place

Shoes: Native Shoes, Miller

Riley spends Monday-Friday with his Grandma (my mom) while I’m at work. This also exposes him to my Chinese heritage and learn to be bilingual; he now can understand English and Cantonese but really only says Mama still. He’s not a very vocal boy… unless he’s screaming or growling lol. While I love and miss my boy when he’s not with me, I am also not made to me a SAHM. I just don’t have it in me to stay home everyday with my little man. Towards the end of my 1 year maternity leave hubs and I were literally arguing every other day over the littlest things and I was seriously contemplating a seperation. Yes it was that bad and no it wasn’t Postpartum Depression… okay maybe a little bit but mostly because I was feeling claustrophobic and missed my old freedom.

Shopping and dressing little girls are much more fun, in my opinion. There’s just so much more options, colours and acessories! But little boys clothing has definitely come a really long way. There’s more style options now but still not as fun as girls. I can drop my whole paycheque (and then some) for kids clothing at H&M and Zara alone! And don’t even get me started on Gap Kids >.< For the most part I give my bank account a break by purchasing Riley’s clothes when they go on sale. Gap and The Children’s Place has some pretty awesome sales throughout the year and I definitely take advantage of those. I usually also pick up a few clothing items in the next size up, and sometimes even bigger, so I won’t have to buy a completely whole new wardrobe when he outgrows his current size.

Riley Hat

It looks to be that Riley has inherited not only my temper, but that of his daddy as well… and that’s not all! He’s also got both our stubborn side (well mainly mine) and is already showing signs of his increasing independant nature. But every so-often his supreme lazy side will come out to play lol. Hopefully he will have also inherited his dad’s height (I’m a shrimpy 5’2″ and hubs is 6’3″).

Until next time!
Rita

My Favorite Things: Bodum Coffee Mug

Happy Monday everyone!

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. I want to start this Monday off with one of my favorite things; coffee. And of course to drink this coffee, you need a coffee mug! Hubs and I have a cup of joe EVERY morning whether it’s the weekday or weekend; we MUST have coffee. I generally only have the one cup a day but sometimes Ryan likes to have 2. His second cup is generally some time in the afternoon when he needs another kick to get himself going.
On weekdays when we have work I like to drink my coffee at home cause let’s face it, work coffee sucks the big one! So at work I drink hot water with lemon… yes, even in the summer months. Just like I’m doing right now lol.

A few years ago I burned my lips quite a few times on the hot water (admit it, you’ve all done it too!) and I saw the Bodum Double Wall coffee mugs at Starbucks and decided to give it a try. I had seen the mugs at department stores before but were only sold in sets of 2 and quite costly. Coincedentally Starbucks had them on clearance so I nabbed one for $11. Sadly I dropped it in the sink one morning when I was washing it and the outter wall and the rim of the glass cracked thus rendering it too dangerous to use. I knew Starbucks was no longer selling those particular mugs so I went to my local Home Outfitters to pick up a new set. As I mentioned, these Bodum Double Walled Mugs come only in sets of two and are expensive. This set of two set me back $50 after taxes.

I am happy to report that I am still using the mug to this day without incident!… until my husband got his hands on the other one at home. He immediately claimed it as his and refused to reliquish it. So being the dutiful wife that I am (and not liking to share anything that belongs to me) I went out and bought him a new set of mugs as his gift for Father’s Day.

Bodum Double Wall Glass Mug

Bodum Double Wall Glass Mug

The bigger one on the left was purchased about 4 years ago and the smaller one on the right (300ml) was purchased this year back in May. Other than the size difference, there is also a price difference. I originally paid $45.99 + tax for my first set of two, and then bought Ryan’s set for $49.99 + tax. Fortunately I had a gift card that I was able to use for them but nonetheless, these things were not cheap! Obviously hubs was quite happy that he got a another two coffee mugs because now he has 3 *groan*. What can I say… I love the man that much lol.

Happy coffee drinking!

MOH Dress From Aritzia

Okay, so remember in yesterday’s post when I said that I will give details today about my MOH dress? Well, I may or may have not been lying lol. Apparently I do not have a copy (or anyone else but the photographer for that matter) of a full body shot of the dress I was wearing. Odd I know. However, I do have in my possession a very unflattering full body picture of me during the ceremony taken by my photographically handicapped husband.

Totally unflattering picture of me

Totally unflattering picture of me

The wedding colours are dark purple and fuschia and my sister gave me the option of choosing whatever colour dress I wanted to wear. Originally I was going to wear purple and had a dress in mind from Artizia. My sister actually owns the exact dress I wanted to wear and we were waiting for it to hit the store. Unfortuantely Aritzia decided that this was the year that they were not going to be bringing the dress back so we had to look for something different. By now we only had 2 months to find something. Nothing we looked at was either the right colour or the style I that liked. If we did find a dress, then inevitably my size was not available.

I happen to look on the Aritzia site again since they were having their “Private VIP” sale, which is essentially their pre-summer sale. First of all if you’re on the email list for the “VIP” pre-sale, you might want to wait a couple weeks until their sale goes public and here’s why: my pre-sale discount was $110 from the original price of $125. I decided to try my luck and wait it out till the sale went public because I actually wanted to try the dress on first being that it would be an exchange only item. Well the public sale price was $95. Good thing I waited and saved myself $15.

I dont remember what the name of the dress is and it’s now sold out on the website.

Eyelash Curler Pads

I never even knew you could replace them! And of course I never put too much thought into it before until I dropped $20 for a Shiseido Eyelash Curler about 10 years go. Don’t ask me why I did that… I’m still asking myself that question!

The curler came with 2 replacement pads and I used the crap outta those. And being the resourceful (cheap) person that am, I would flip the pads and use the unused side to get the most out of them before tossing them. And then came the inevitable… I needed to buy more. Eyelash curler pads are amazingly hard to find and when you do find them, they either don’t fit or are expensive. Shiseido wanted $6.99 for one… ONE!!!! Are you kidding me?! So I went on the hunt. Worst case scenario was that I would just have to buy a new curler (sob). Thankfully I didn’t have to.

Tweezerman eyelash curler replacement pads

Tweezerman eyelash curler replacement pads

I made a trip to my local drugstore and went in search. I saw these Tweezerman pads and asked the salesgirl if they fit all eyelash curlers. She said she didn’t know. They were regular $6.99 for the package but was on sale for $4.99 . I figured that if they didn’t fit I would only be out five bucks so I bought them. I went home and put them into my curler.. Woot woot!!! We have a winner!

These pads are made in a way that it prevents you (me) from using both sides but I’m not complaining lol. When I first put them into my curler, they were a bit small but after using it a few times it stretched out and fit perfectly. The purple colour is also a bonus; who doesn’t like a bit of colour?! Lol

New in Blog

Hello fellow readers and bloggers! I’m new to the blogging world.. I mean, I’ve read lots of blogs and I have ideas I’d like to so I thought I’d give it a try.

A bit about myself; I’m happily married for 4.5 years to a very wonderful and loving man and a new mom to an 11 week old baby boy, Riley. I have two dogs, a boxer named Rusty and a bichon x toy poodle Willy. With the new addition to the family we had to upgrade to a bigger home cause let’s face it, a 655sqft condo with 2 adults, 2 dogs and a baby is not my idea of fun! We’ll be moving into our new home in mid-September so there will be more posts to come on that.

image

My little Peanut

I’m a neat freak with a splash of OCD. I enjoy cleaning… Yes, cleaning! Hubby and I have a good arrangement: he cooks, I clean lol. I also enjoy scrapbooking and making my own cards as well as other DIY things for the home. And with the new bigger home, that just means more of my creative juice will be flowing.

Halloween and Christmas are my favourite times of year. I’m hoping that this year Halloween will be more fun… There aren’t much kids in my area so we’ve had a pretty dry Halloween season for the last 4 years. And when I say dry, I mean REALLY dry… As in no kids trick or treating for candy. Like none. Not even one. Zero. Yes, sadly I was also one of those people that dressed up my dogs lol. Poor pups!

I love to shop (who doesn’t!) and I love fashion. Unfortunately I don’t have an unlimited bank account so my shopping trips consists of high and low shopping (More to come on that as well!)

I hope you enjoy my blog and stay tuned for more posts!