Sunday, January 13, 2019

White Stuff - It Snowed and Left Edition

Hubby left for a five day business trip on Monday.  On Tuesday morning we got our first snow of the winter, all 3/4 of a foot of it!  These were taken about 5 hours after it started.  Many people don't shovel snow here thinking it will just melt but after last winter when our snow stayed for weeks and those who didn't shovel had it set up like cement that was unshovelable we made a commitment that every time it snows we are shoveling.  Of course, it would have been a lot easier with two of us but I can manage.  If we still lived in Alberta it would have taken about half an hour to shovel our wsidewalks and driveway.  The snow there is way lighter as has less water content as the climate is so much drier in winter.  The snow here weighs a ton.  It took me an hour and a half. By the time I finished there were two more inches on the driveway which I shoveled off quickly again.  Two snow plows came by in that time - both leaving big piles at the end of the driveway which I then had to shovel out. I appreciate their hard work but seriously, once would have been enough.  

Sunday, January 6, 2019

12 More Sleeps!

Zihuatanejo Mexico (borrowed pic)
Only 12 more sleeps until we jet off to sunny warm Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo Mexico!  This time of year is windy, rainy and dreary here on Vancouver Island so this is a perfect time to take off for 8 nights of rest and relaxation. I've checked the weather and it is supposed to be a low at night of 23 and high of 32 degrees celcius the entire time we are gone.   I have started gathering items to pack so that I don't forget anything.  We pack much lighter than we used to but it still requires some planning.  We will check 1 piece of luggage between the two of us this trip for $30 each direction as have too many lotions/liquids to go carry on only.  We have decided however to not do advance seat selection.  Odds are the computer will assign us seats together (Westjet automatically assigns your seats 24 hours out if you have not paid for seat selection).  Absolute worst case scenario we will not be sitting together but since we both travel a lot and can occupy ourselves this is not the end of the world.  We are saving $120 by doing this - money much better spent on meals out in Mexico in my opinion.  I usually only ever pay for seat selection on those airlines that might overbook the aircraft (Air Canada is our least favorite airline for doing this).  Westjet does not overbook, has never done so since they started 20 years ago - that is one of their policies I love and count on. 

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Cheap Thrills

Cheap post-Christmas grocery shopping.  A 3 lb bag of clementine oranges $1.44.  They were blowing them out of my favorite grocery store yesterday because some of them were going off.  In my bag there was one partially squished one and one that was obviously overdue - so I brought them home, picked out the rest of the good ones and washed the rest off.   I ended up with 16 clementines for .9 cents a piece - excellent year end bargain!  I've eaten two since yesterday already and they are not rotten - very tasty.  I also bought a perfectly ripe pineapple  for .94 cents!  I chopped that up already before this picture so it would be easier to consume.  Usually when you buy a pineapple in Canada you pay $4-6 and have to wait a month for it to be ripe enough to eat.

Friday, December 21, 2018

YOLO - Eat the Cookie!

I made sugar cookies for myself yesterday - no one else in the family seems to love them like I do and I was seriously considering not making them this year.  Then I saw this posted by my friend Lorraine (of blog CLAMCO - borrowed from her):

So - I made myself the sugar cookies and even made some tiny quarter size ones so that when I feel guilty about eating them I can have a small one and not feel any guilt at all.  Life is short - we should all live each day to maximum!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Freebie Roundup 2018

2018 turned out to be the best year yet for cashing in on points plans, freebies and coupons.  Freebie Management is what I call it - I used to save some freebies for December to reduce spending that month but this year decided to maximize savings on a month by month basis.  This is one of the reasons that I will come very close to staying on my grocery budget this year.

Keep in mind, we own our own company.  Hubby has 2 ccs, one for personal and one for the company and both are RBC Avion cards.  I do think that is the very best travel credit card in Canada in my opinion.  So much freedom when it comes to booking travel.  I have an BMO Air Miles Mastercard that I've had for 30 years.  Not as good but allows us to charge things at places like Costco which don't take Visa in Canada.  I always pay for our home, car and even health insurance on cc.  Hubby travels a fair amount with our business, is usually gone around 5 days a month with 90% of those travel expenses being reimbursed by clients.  We both try and charge as much as possible to our credit cards and then immediately transfer funds over.  In this way we pay zero interest and the only cost to us is the credit card fees.  This year those credit card fees cost $85 for the visa (we only pay one one as they waive the fee on the second visa as we do our business banking at RBC) and $99 for the Mastercard so a grand total of $184 a year.  For some those credit card fees would be too much.  For us, we charge so much (likely around 70% of our income) we end up earning 1-2 flights to Europe plus several domestic flights a year.  Later in life when the love of travel is less perhaps we will look at a different cc, maybe one that gives us grocery points instead but for now these work best for us.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

December Doings

The Rockies
We are back from Alberta and another family visit is done for the year.  Alberta took it pretty easy on us pansy islanders, it was only minus 15 degrees celcius when we got there and by the time we left temperatures were hovering around zero.  Still, I don't do well in cold climates and will never live in one again, I couldn't get warm the whole time we were there.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The Vintage Christmas Stuff Post

So I am finally posting the vintage Christmas goodies found this year.  It seems like every year it gets a little bit harder to find the good stuff and I am in stiff competition with some professional pickers but I have a good eye and know where to find it. Here are my finds this month:
One of my favorite finds this year is the 1951 Whitman Night Before Christmas.  It is almost 2 feet high and likely that is why few of these survived.  This one has no writing and is in excellent shape.  I used to collect all kids antique books but now am limiting myself to vintage and antique Christmas books.  This one is very resaleable condition as they go for good money on Ebay but it shall be tucked away with the rest of my collection.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Bits and Bobs

Buddy age 6 weeks January 2015

February 3, 2015 The day he moved in with us
February 24, 2015 - Still my favorite picture of Buddy

September 2018 - Come on Mom, play with me!

November 2018

-Buddy celebrated his 4th Birthday on Monday with a snuggly bed day as the weather was cold and dreary.  He has turned into the nicest dog, we are so completely in love with him.  He makes our lives better every single day.

Monday, November 19, 2018

The House Wine

Our wine has been bottled (and a couple bottles drunk) - it tastes much better than I remember homemade wine to taste, perhaps because the wine kits have come a long way from 20 years ago when I last made wine and the fact that I didn't actually make it, I paid a store to do all the work and just added yeast and bottled it.  I shared this wine kit with my best friend, she took 10 and I took 20 bottles.  Including having to purchase the bottles but having the makers fee waived as was our first time the bottles come to just less than $4 a piece - all that AND IT TASTES GOOD!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

The Fishing Fund

This is not a blog about Christmas decorations - I will have one of those the end of November.  This post is about reselling things to help with our fishing fund.  Back in May Mom and I went to a sale that a local club was having.  All purchases were by donation.  I gathered up a box of goodies and donated $20.  This resin truck with light up Christmas tree was in that box.  Not surprisingly due to being Spring, most of their Christmas items were barely looked at by others but since I am constantly on the lookout for vintage Christmas for my personal collection I always check out the Christmas section.  When I got home I realized that these are pretty popular and kind of difficult and expensive to find.