time to work on that grocery bill y'all

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Now that I'm not going back to work, we're on a quest to save a bit of cash here and there. As I'm sure I've mentioned before, our biggest bill after our mortgage is our grocery bill and I'm determined to get it under control. Mark and I sat down on the weekend to look at our budget and I told him I don't want to spend any more than $200 a week. This still may seem like a lot for some, but our current grocery bill is way more than that I'm telling you! Small steps at a time people!

So, every week I get a veggie box delivered to my house which is about $50, but I wanted to take a trip to the Liberty Village Farmer's Market to see what I could get for the $20 I had in my wallet. I LOVE farmers' markets, however many of them in the city don't offer organic fruits and veggies. Liberty Village does. In fact, the majority of the vendors on site this past Sunday were offering pesticide-free and organic food. Bliss!

The pic above shows what I got for $20.50: kale, beets, peppers, carrots, cherry tomatoes, and zucchini. I really wanted some of the fries they were making on site - they were peeling the potatoes right there! - but I didn't have any money left. Oh well.

So the haul I brought home is about the same amount of veggies I get in my box. Mind you, the box also comes with fruit and eggs however I pretty sure I can get those at the store for less than $30!

Here are a few snaps of the market. I'll definitely be making a weekly trip for the rest of the summer.

So tell me: How do you save a buck?

chair colour?

Monday, July 29, 2013

I have probably mentioned finding these chairs by the side of the road several years ago on the blog, but I can't find the post anywhere. I'm finally getting around to getting them painted hopefully with the gift certificate I won from Rambling Renovators & Paint it Like New last July.

So my question is: What colour should I paint them? I was thinking some sort of navy blue.

Here are some poor pictures I just took of my messy dining room (As Christine always says Just keepin' it real).

Keep in mind the following:

  • I will be moving the plant and the easel and I don't store the vacuum there (although it does add a nice shade of yellow to the room complementing my potted mum)
  • I'd like to flank the chairs on either side of the side table (which I want to eventually redo as well). 
  • My dining chairs are creamy white and I have a bit of red in the room
  • I want to get rid of the ikea shelf on the other side but I have to figure out where to put all of my glasses
  • I don't want black or white!
What do you think? I need this to be good guys - Mark thinks these chairs are a lost cause and I believe in their possibilities!!! Help me out! :)

mini mioche

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

There's a sweet store in Toronto (actually there are two locations!) called Mini Mioche. I haven't actually been to the physical store, but I'm constantly visiting the site looking at all the clothes I'd love to dress my kids in. They're having a little summer sale this week and I decided to get a few things I've been eyeing for some time.* The dress is my favourite. Have I mentioned I love having a girl? ;).

*I should mention that the store is about a 15 min drive max from me but I haven't been able to get there so I ordered everything online. Yes I know I'm lazy.

miss mila at 11 months + a word on going back to work

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Mila turned 11 months on Sunday and I feel like she's changed so much in the past month. She's eating what we're eating for the most part, she's climbing up the stairs (so far just the stairs on the deck), she seems to be communicating more with us and she's losing all of her baby fat!

She looks like a little toddler to me in these photos! Eleven months has gone by so fast. It's incredible just how fast it seems to go with your second. You've got two to watch, not one to focus on and all of his or her milestones. I was getting emotional because I thought about going back to work and that my maternity leave was coming to an end.

But then a funny thing happened.

I decided not to go back to work.

You may recall I had mentioned in an earlier post that I had decided to go back to work, and at the time I was 99.9% sure I was going to do so (at least that's what I was telling myself). But then I started thinking about my job and if I really loved it enough to go back this time. Was it what I really wanted to do? The answer was no. On top of that, my boss passed away, a few friends I had there left and slowly but surely the signs were piling up telling me to stay home.

The thing is that I still want to do something else to keep my brain busy. I have a background in freelance corporate writing/public relations so starting in September I'll be working on that as my part-time gig.

So that's it! Let the new adventures begin.

a great loss

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Yesterday my grandmother passed away. We found out she had ovarian cancer about five weeks ago and apparently she's had it for years. It was one of those things that just snuck up. My grandmother was 86 but she wasn't your typical 86-year-old. She walked twice a day. She barely took any medication. She ate really well for the most part (she used to boast about her cereal with ground flax and seeds). She was healthier than many middle-aged people I know. That's why this was such a shock to everyone around her.

We'll celebrate her life this coming weekend. It's what she wanted. No black. No tears (right). Just a celebration of all she was and everyone she brought into this world. Je t'aime Mama. xo

bringing the outside in

Friday, July 12, 2013

Happy Friday! Like many people, I love having flowers around the house in the summer but a) I'm too cheap to buy them every week, and b) I like the challenge of finding something around the garden to bring into the house to add a bit of colour. 

Yesterday when I was getting the hose from the side of the house to fill up the kiddie pool, I noticed that our side garden (aka overgrown death trap) was growing out of control. But there was something kind of pretty about it.

I love how fluffy the green bush is right now and thought it would look nice cut tall in a vase for the washroom. I added a few sprigs of the purple -- which I'm pretty sure is a weed (anyone know if this is the case?) -- to add a bit of colour. I love how it turned out. Something so simple, inexpensive and right from the yard.

 I also took a few flowers from our light purple clematis and a few sprigs of the lavender (below the clematis) to make a tiny arrangement for the dining room.

And just for fun, I thought I'd show you our little garden. I'm growing zucchini and peppers and I planted one of the hydro cilantros from my veggie box. I thought it was a goner after all the rain we had this week but it seems to be ok so far. Yum!

What are you growing and snipping these days?

park essentials.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Protect: Green Beaver spray on sunscreen for adults and kids/Aveeno Baby sunscreen stick
Swim: Distinctly Home beach towel/Banz swim suits
Sit: Skip Hop Central Park Blanket
Snack: Nature's Path Organic Kamut Puffs/foogo sippy cups/Kleen Kanteen/mixed nuts (I get mine from Healthy Planet)

Well we're right into park season here in these parts and I always have a bag ready by the door with all of the essentials. I finally found some sunscreen I love that's environmently-friendly, in a spray bottle and not greasy. If you've never tried the face stick, check it out. Leo loves putting it on his face as well as the patio door and for some reason the kids don't squirm as much when I'm applying it.

Most of the parks in our area have splash pads now (yay!) so swimming gear is a must. Both Leo and Mila have Banz bathing suits, which I love because of the protection factor and of course beach towels are a must. I also bring a waterproof park blanket with me so we can sit to have snacks or a picnic lunch.

And speaking of eating, both of the kids are obsessed with these kamut puffs. They are baby crack and contain no sugar - like zero - so I don't mind if they eat them all day. I also always have a little container of mixed nuts either in the bag or the stroller so I don't get famished (Leo loves these as a snack too) and all of us drink from these stainless steel containers (well Mila is still getting the hang of it - mostly she throws it on the ground).

That's it! What are your park essentials?

ps - these are all things I own and are my opinions only.

could you imagine....

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

this as your view when you wake up every morning? Wow.

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