From the monthly archives: "April 2012"

So if you know me you know I love coffee. The no caffeine at all while prego regiment that my OB had me on killed me!!! KILLED me. And I will admit that before I was pregnant a certain Mr Horton supplied me coffee on an almost daily basis. Once I couldn’t have coffee anymore, at least not any worth having. Decaf?!?! What’s the point?
Well after I decided that those $2.00 a day was more than just $2.00 when you add it up, I did a lot more math on this.
$2.00 a day is $10.00 a week – not that much right? But $520.00 a year is an extra mortgage payment for the average homeowner(if you do bi weekly payments)! Hello – coffee or being out of debt faster.
Now let’s face it, most people have more than one coffee a day – $20.00 a week
– $1040.00 a year. Hmm. That’s a month closer to owning your own home.
I emailed a friend of mine who’s a Mortgage guy. Here’s what he said to me! (all numbers are illustrations and for this purpose only.)
If the home value is $500k, I’m using a loan to value amount of 80% so the mortgage amount is $400k
Also, the amortization I raised to 25 years as this is a standard for most.
So the payment per month using todays average “best rate” is $1953/month.
Let’s assume the average cost of a coffee is $2, and the average consumer buys two a day.
At $4 per day for 5 days a week, using an average of 4 weeks a month, that money put towards the principle balance of the mortgage every month can reduce the total interest charged to you over the 25 years by roughly $37,000 and will reduce the time from 25 years to 20 years.
Did you see that – $37,000.00 over the lifetime of your house, your half million dollar house. All for a few coffee’s a day. OMG!! I stared in shock at that number for a minute. Emailed Brian that number and then started in shock some more. 5 years closer to owning a home, and saving $37,000.00. OMG!!! And I say it again OMG!!!
So if you’re buying 2 $2.00 coffees a day, what about going to Starbucks for a latte every day, or twice a day. Can you imagine how much money you could be saving?!?!
I will admit I went to an expensive coffee place on the weekend for a latte. However I made myself 2 other latte’s at home this week. Not an excuse to go and buy one, I just wanted one yesterday.
I’m not telling you to give up your lattes or coffee. I just thought I would share a small something you can do to help save a bit of money – or some big money if you look at it over 25 years.
Let me know your thoughts? Are you a coffee addict? Did the numbers shock you as much as they did me?  

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Brian says on a daily basis, if not more often, that Gray needs a haircut. The problem is I really don’t want to cut his hair.
I love his little whispies.
Thoughts? Should I cut his hair? We are going south for a week to celebrate Brian’s 30th birthday(! He’s getting old). Should I cut just a bit off? Or make it shorter for summer?
Let me know what you think.

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Oh budget – how I love thee. No really. I LOVE my budget. Like a lot.

We’ve done a lot of work on our budget the last bit; bedrest, maternity leave, working again, not working. There are also lots of little things we do to help the budget and stay on track. I thought I would share with you some of the little things we do.
·         When Brian’s out of the office he doesn’t usually have free coffee like he does at the office, so We have a thermos and I make him coffee every morning. It saves us about $3.00 a day, so about $15.00 a week. Not to say that he doesn’t buy coffee if he needs and extra pick me up, but its one little thing that makes a difference.
·         Manu planning: HUGE for the budget. I know what I need and what I have, and if I need to I can make some substitutions for something less expensive or something I already have at home.
·         Along with menu planning we cook for 4 every night. Leftovers are great for lunch! It means that Brian has a good filling lunch every day for lunch and I have something healthy to pull out for lunch and share with Gray if need be. It Brian from running out to get something quick, which doesn’t always mean budget friendly. We on average spend about $3.00 a portion for our meals, sometimes more, but I can guarantee that you won’t find something fast that’s that inexpensive for such great food.
·         Cloth diapers! Enough said. Yes it’s more work, but not too much more than just throwing a load of laundry in the washer. And if you don’t go crazy on buying cute covers, and if you find a system that works for you right away, they pay for themselves in the first year. We researched detergents that are great for diapers and then environment, and the budget too.
·         Solar Drying System, as Brian calls it. Most people call it a clothes line. We put it up mainly for cloth diapers, but we’ve also started drying most of our things on the line. Being home is great for getting things done during the week, however we now have time of use hydro here and it’s more expensive to use the washer and dryer during the day. So to adjust I try and get the laundry through the washer by 7am (when hydro goes up) and on the line, weather permitting of course.
·         Buy off brand products. Okay Okay Oreo’s are Oreo’s and nothing compares. However no name fizzy water with lime, no big difference. If you’re willing to give it a try you can find something that’s a bit cheaper that’s just as good as the name brand.
·         Revaluate Cable. Do you watch 500 channels of TV? Do you even have time to watch tv? Did you know that almost all major sporting events are available for live streaming online? And that you can watch most TV shows online now? So $40.00 a month for something you really don’t use isn’t a good deal. Brian and I got rid of cable for 18 months, and just recently got it back. But when we did get cable back, we got the basic bundle, 30 or so channels, for $10.00 a month. That’s cheaper than a coffee date. I can’t say if I would ever pay for full cable again. It’s almost too much money for that when we don’t watch much live TV anymore.
What do you do to save a bit of money? Any ideas for me?

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It’s Sunday! And I’m finally feeling like myself again. We’ve been battling something for a while over here and finally we’re all feeling better! Thank Goodness, I was getting a little frustrated with all of us being sick.
Well here are some girlst that I would love you to pop by and show some love too. 


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Abby and her boys are patiently waiting to see if they get to welcome another baby into their family soon. They’re on another adoption journey and would be supremely blessed by your prayers. Please pop over and read their post and add them to your prayer list.

One of my good friends Amber is 6 months pregnant today! She has been on such a rollercoaster and I’m so excited for her to be just 16 short weeks from meeting her baby girl!!
You all know how much Jessi inspires me. And if you don’t you must be new here. She celebrated the first anniversary of her first print this week! And added some new prints to the shop, like this one. Be sure to stay tuned!! My annual birthday giveaway is coming up soon! And I have a feeling one of her prints might be on the list.

My BFF in real life and then blogging world is celebrating the first anniversary of her and her now hubby getting engaged. I love seeing her so in love!

Oh and I’m over on Jennifer’s blog today for Keep It SimpleSundays. Love this series – little ways to simplify life. Check it out.
Have a super blessed week!
I’ll be back tomorrow with another budget post. Gotta keep The Accountant Hat on.

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It has been a rough week here. As I mentioned last week, Brian brought something home with him from work and shared it.
I have now lost my voice and I’m trying oh so hard to find some energy after looking after Gray each day. I think I’m finally on the upswing. Other than this nasty cough. 
Sipping hot water with lemon and lime, and  abit of honey.
My dad’s disease is a genetic one and because of how it is passed down, I carry one gene. I’m what they would call an affected carrier. I have some lung issues, but I don’t have the disease. However it seems every time I get sick I get this nasty nasty cough for a few weeks to a few months after. I HATE it. I think I could write a review on every cough syrup out there because I have tried them all.
I hope that I’ll be back to regular posts later this week. I’m sorry the blog has been a bit lonely these past few days. I have a cute video of Gray to upload and I’m hoping that I can get that done today.
I’m also working on some design work this week. Working on some buttons for a few different projects. Here’s one for the budget series I’ve been working on (and will get posts up as soon as I’m feeling better). 

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I have to say I’m so excited for My Italian Vacation. It’s 30 years away but I’m saving for it alreaday. Well actually I already have the money saved.
Brian and I decided to focus a large portion of our savings on our retirement. To be honest, it’s not easy. We see friends who go on vacation after vacation or buying big ticket items all the time and instead we save. We don’t eat out much, but instead save enough money to eat out a few times over at our favourite gourmet restaurants.
Having worked in finance and with retirement advisors I know what you realistically need to retire with to live the same lifestyle that you do now. And to start saving later in life is a lot harder. Brian has money come off his pay ever time to go to his pension so we don’t even count that in our budget, and who knows how his pension will look in 30 years so we have to save above and beyond that.
The other side of the planning coin is life insurance. No one wants to think about the possibly of them not being here anymore, or worse, their spouse not being there anymore. But I need to know that Brian is taken care of, and goodness if we both pass away that Grayson is taken care of. It’s also a lot less expensive to get when you’re young.
The amount of money we save between RESP’s RRSP’s and the premiums for life insurance is more money than we save in a year for vacation. And the amount of money we put into our RRSP’s in a year will more than pay for my Italian vacation when it comes around in 30 years. As much as I would love to vacation a few times a year now, I love the idea that because we’re able to save now I can have some fabulous dream vacations when we retire.

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We have been a bit under the weather this week. Brian started with a little cold, and then G got something a bit nasty (well it put him in a nasty mood), and now I seem to be fighting the same thing.

But this little man is cheering me up today. I love my little man, snotty nose and all!

Happy Friday the 13th! Hope you get a bit of sunshine like we have here. 

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So if you know me at all you know I’m ADDICTED to Glee!
ADDICTED!!! Like crazy addicted.
However I’m way to zonked at night to pay attention to the show, and usually having coffee dates with my Texan bff Jennifer. So I catch it the next day.
Well often I find a little inspiration from the show, even just the music (and yes Gray and I listen to Glee all day when we’re playing or when we’re out running!! Yes ADDICTED!)
Well last night Blaine sang an amazing version of Fighter by Christina A. I have to say I had totally forgotten about that song. Well it totally hit home this morning.
The person they’re singing about in the song, that how I feel about my PPD. PPD made me a fighter, made me fight for every good day, fight every horrible thought I had about myself, and still do some days.
I hated my PPD when I was in the midst of it, and I tried not to dwel on it because I didn’t want to give it a place in  my life to make a stronghold. I just wanted to work through it and get over it and move on.
But now that I’m having more good days then bad, and I’m feeling back to normal me again I realized that I’m thankful for my PPD. Although I feel like I missed the first year of G’s life because of the fog of PPD, I’m thankful that I  now know that I’m stronger for what I went through.

Cause if it wasn’t for all that you tried to do, I wouldn’t know
Just how capable I am to pull through
So I wanna say thank you
‘Cause it

Makes me that much stronger
Makes me work a little bit harder
It makes me that much wiser
So thanks for making me a fighter
Made me learn a little bit faster
Made my skin a little bit thicker
Makes me that much smarter
So thanks for making me a fighter
So if you’re going through PPD Hell as a friend of mine put it, know that one day you’ll look back and be okay with it, and maybe, possibly be thankful for how much stronger it made you.
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This is the first time I’m linking up with The Paper Mama for her weekly photo contest.

I’m still learning a few things about photography and editing but I’ve been working hard at editing my photos. So here goes. Any comments welcome. Let me know where I could improve if you see something that’s obvious.

This week’s theme is Favourite Photo from March. All photo challenges should be based around your children (pets are always welcome). 

Here’s mine. 

We had a huge heat wave in March so while Brian was cleaning up the lawn and the gardens, Gray and I spent some time on the front porch soaking up the short lived sun.

Be sure to go over to Chelsey’s blog and check out all the other photos from this week.

The Paper Mama Photo Challenge

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Notice anything new?

(if you’re reading this in Google Reader or something else you need to head over to the blog!)

After some hard work and some amazing inspiration the makeover is almost done! Just a few more things to complete this week.

let me know what you think? what’s your favourite thing? Notice something I missed?

**Sunday links will resume again next week – sorry for missing a few weeks**

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