Monday, July 30, 2012

money counseling and meal planning

we met with a financial planner a couple months back and it was a very good experience.  much needed money therapy.  one of the things that came to light was that i have no idea how much i spend on groceries per month.  the guy said to me, "you must have a ballpark number?"  nope.  now, i know that this is budgeting 101 but i'm not a big fan of budgeting...umm...or of being responsible with money.  haha.  so when i figured out how much i'd been spending a month - the figure was much, much more than i'd imagined.

i typed "meal planning" into the search engine on my blog to see if i've ever talked about this before and i found this post, which makes me laugh because apparently one year ago, i was rocking the meal planning/budgeting...according to that post.  i'm pretty sure that only lasted one week because i can't even remember it.  but, like i apparently knew one year ago, i figured meal planning would be my ticket to a lower grocery budget.  so a couple weeks ago, i tried it out.  made the plan for the week.  didn't follow it.  augh.  it's like, i get to the day that says, "baked spaghetti" for example, and think, "yuck.  i don't want to eat that for dinner." so i choose something else from the week.  unfortunately, i don't think i like a lot of my go to recipes.

since it occurred to me that i don't like my recipes, i'm going to try some new ones.  crock pot ones as often as possible because i like the idea of making dinner when i have time during the day and not have to worry about it at dinnertime.  so tonight, i'm trying a crockpot lasagna.  i always like lasagna though i DID forget the mozzarella cheese when i bought groceries today so hopefully the cheese that i substituted won't taste too strange.  haha.  here's the recipe.  check in tomorrow for results and see my next recipe.

Friday, July 27, 2012

first family "hike"

while we were in duncan, we went for a hike (and i can't remember the name of the park).  it was not a long hike and it was easy enough that i could wear flipflops (though it was a mistake to have worn them...) but it was a beautiful, beautiful walk through the forest and the first one we've done since having avery.  
not too sure about this backpack...

you can't quite tell but ben and sophia were holding hands - too cute.
ben complained quite a bit at the end of the hike about having to walk  which was totally frustrating but he has a pretty nice daddy who carried him for a little ways.  
the tinsley fam
the shulba fam

oh camera, my camera...

when i was in oregon, there were some fantastic sand dunes that led down to the beach from our house.  on a walk to the beach one evening, my camera was in my pocket and fell out.  i didn't notice until we were at the bottom of the sand hill so i ran back up it and found my poor, poor camera half buried in the sand.  yay for finding it - boo for having dropped it.  everything still worked but sounded crunchy.  ack.

so, like i mentioned in my re-cap post, now it won't open.  it stopped working while we were in duncan.  i took it to a camera store and they said i'd have to send it to canon.  canon's flat fee for fixing a camera is $178 but if there's moisture, sand, etc. inside, the cost goes up.  well, we know there's sand in there.  i paid $340 for my camera (on amazon - it's about $400 in canada) and the $178+ doesn't seem worth it.

now what?  buy a cheap camera for less than $178?  that seems lame since the reason i bought that camera was because i was tired of my cheap camera - especially since i'm taking photos daily for project life.  what i'd like to do is upgrade!  haha.  the next step up is the Canon S100...i have to wait to discuss with tim (since he's been gone since monday) but don't you think that's the better option?  ;) sure, i can drop another $350 right now...

Canon PowerShot S100 12.1 MP Digital Camera with 5x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom

Saturday, July 21, 2012

cones have changed my life

ice cream cones...that is.  who ever buys ice cream cones from the store?  i know my mom had some for ben at her place but it never occurred to buy them for ourselves.  then we had them at our friends' place on the island and really, cones are awesome.  they make the ice cream seem like so much more.  so this past week when i went to the store, i picked up a box of cones and checked out the nutritional values.  they are 15 calories.  15!!!  no significant source of sugar and no fat.  they're 0 WW points!  are you kidding me?  now, i can put my sad 1/4 of vanilla frozen yogurt in a 15 calorie cone and that 1/4 cup seems like so much more!  yet the whole dessert is just 1 point.  see?  life changing.  ;)

Friday, July 20, 2012

catching up

i want you to know that i have 5 drafts of blog posts sitting in my list of posts, waiting to be finished and published...i haven't forgotten the blog.  however, i have felt stuck at june 16th, feeling the pressure to blog about ben's birthday yet not been able to muster the effort to do so.  having had my first report cards with my new job due at the exact same time as i was planning ben's party AND then going off to oregon for a 30th birthday girls getaway the following weekend - blogging felt like too much work.  and everytime i sat down to blog, i thought of my poor project life that is slowly getting left behind in the dust that is life!

so june was a great but busy month and july has been too full of sunshine to sit down at the computer!  gotta love that.  so instead of trying to back track blog, let's just move forward from this slump and think about the highlights of the last month:

>ben is 3!
> avery is crawling!  around 9.5mo, she started moving very slowly and as of today (having just turned 10mo), she's is a speedy girl when she knows where she wants to go!
> oregon was amazing - i had a lot of laughs, tears, food, and walks with my favourite girls.  i loved oregon and am most definitely going to go back next time with tim and the kids.
> age 3 has brought on more tantrums than we've had in total in the last 2 years so that's been an interesting development.  i'm learning how to spot one coming and how to sometimes avoid them.
> avery's dropped one of her three naps so having her on two naps a day has had it's pros and cons but overall, she's a very happy little girl.
> tim got to go on a fishing trip with a buddy (the weekend after i was in oregon) which was the first in years!
> attended the abby canada day parade and festivities with the kids by myself!  a feat of strength but we had fun.
> a trip to duncan on vancouver island to visit our camping friends - this time we skipped the camping and just stayed at their place doing day trips.  ben all loved playing with each of their three kids and there was always someone to hold avery.
>construction on the shulba's new addition started which meant that ben got to try out the digger AND see a cement truck pouring cement in the backyard.  very exciting!
>managed to break my camera while on the island...though i think it was a result of having dropped it in the sand in oregon.  "lens error"...i'm hoping to take it into a camera place and see if they can clean it and hopefully that fixes it.
> have i missed anything?  probably.
the state of my dining room table - trying to catch up on project life. augh!

oh yes - and ben went fishing with Pop and caught two!
the typical scene in our backyard in the sunshine