Sunday, 20 September 2015


"If you make a habit of buying things you do not need, you will soon be selling things you do"

I seen this quote on Reddit tonight. It really speaks to me, especially after all the decluttering I have done this year.

- M

Saturday, 19 September 2015

A Raise, Overtime and a Healthy Pet!

This has been an excellent week for us.

Tuesday, I left for the city with a co-worker for a work training session. It was a two-day course in Regina; meals, hotel, etc were completely paid for so a night in the city cost me absolutely nothing. It was an extremely helpful course and I came back with a ton of knowledge that will help me. Not only with my current job but this course is something I can add to my resume as all Credit Unions have this same training. I was able to meet up with a friend of mine who goes to University there, so we had a nice catch up over dinner.

Also on Tuesday G left for Saskatoon to bring Mocha in for a check up. We also wanted to get her eyes looked at again as one was become inflamed and the pupil was changing colour. I’ll explain more about this later.

Wednesday I had course all day and G was supposed to have the day off but got called into work – this triggered double time automatically. 13.5hours later he was done his shift. He could have been done a lot sooner but they asked him to do a prisoner transport and at double time he said hell yes. He made a few cents under $1000 in a single day. Talk about a hustler!

Wednesday was also his pay day at there was a good chunk of overtime payout. Payroll has recently switched systems so the payouts have been coming a little bit quicker. With that said the total owed in overtime is a little over $4800. It would be extremely nice to see that before our Vegas trip but I’m not getting my hopes up, lol.

I did a bit of calculating to see where we are at for taxes and even if G was just paid his regular salary for the remainder of the year, without any payouts, he will be hitting over 100k. Last year he was just a few thousand off so it’s definitely cool to see a number like that this year. Online calculators are giving him a refund at the end of the year thanks to my RRSP, the Saskatchewan Retention program and all the tax that gets taking off during big payouts.

Speaking of income. Everyone at work had a mid(ish)-year review on Thursday and mine went extremely well. My manager said she is really glad she hired me and I’m really showing everyone that I was the best person for this job. She sees a lot of leadership quality in me, even a lot of my other coworkers (some of which have been there for 20+ years) have said to her that I’ve been teaching them new and better ways of doing things and they always feel like they can approach me if they have questions. After about 20 mins of her talking and my head about as big as the room she said that I deserved a raise. Ummmmmmmm what! This is actually embarrassing but I started to tear up. I have never just randomly gotten a raise, only at year-end reviews has that happened for me. She kept repeating that I deserve this raise and I kept thanking her over and over again. LOL She was laughing and said she’s never had anyone so grateful for a raise before. My salary is now at $37,000/yr (rounded up just a few hundred but not including any bonuses). Woohoo!

Thursday we had more really good news. All the test results came back from Mocha’s appointment in the city. She is 100% cancer free!!! Everything, except her eyes, is healthy. The eyes have completely detached retinas so there is no hope of regaining sight ever again. They suggested the best thing for her is to completely remove her eyes. I know for some this sounds a bit extreme and why I would consider this good news, you may not understand. Mocha has been completely blind since the spring, but has never let that stop her. She’s never been depressed, acted any differently and still gets into the garbage no matter where we hide it (that’s how we really knew she was going to be okay, lol). Even though she couldn’t see thru them, her eyes were still causing a lot of health issues. We were giving her drops 5 times a day trying to keep the swelling down and discomfort at bay and the vets were getting nervous about future problems they may cause. This is the best option for her to continue living a healthy life. Seriously, this dog makes me more and more proud every single day.

Okay, that was the end of our epic week. I’m enjoying this string of goodluck now because I know something is bound to happen that I won’t like so much :P

- M

Monday, 14 September 2015


The decluttering has continued this weekend: over 250 items gone. I know in my last post I said my closet was 100% but I went thru my accessories and got rid of a ton of necklaces and rings I haven’t worn or just aren’t my style anymore. I was able to sell many of them on the local buy and sell group so that’s a small win. I also got rid of a giant wicker basket that held flats and scarves. I didn’t get rid of any of that stuff since it’s all good, by just rearranging I was able to condense.

So, why the sudden declutter bug? Well, it’s been one of my goals all year but this past little while was because my parents were coming to visit so I wanted everything to look nice. But my parents have come and gone and I’m even more ramped up! That’s because my best friend is moving from an entire house to a one-bedroom apartment this week. She’s been really getting rid of anything that doesn’t add value. Seeing her progress (okay not seeing it but hearing about it) and being able to talk to someone about this kind of stuff has really made me excited to push myself a bit further.

But guess where her and her husband are moving too?

That’s right! They are moving to Saskatchewan!!!!!!!!!!!! Yayyyyyyyyy

I’m so excited! First thing I said was “We get to spend Christmas together!” which then followed “…. Are you prepared for the winter?” haha Her husband had been looking and applying to EMS jobs all across Ontario without any luck. They were getting really frustrated because he had great grades but no one was biting. They started looking at different provinces and I told them they should seriously think about Saskatchewan. It’s a growing province with a TON of jobs available (especially EMS), great place to raise a family (something really important to them) and I’m here (joking but kinda serious lol). Sure enough a couple of weeks after applying he had 5 call backs from cities and towns interested – this is after an entire summer applying in Ontario. One quick visit up and a few interviews later he choose the place he liked the 'feel of' the best and they will be about an hour and a half away from me!  I’m going to try to visit them either this weekend or next, depending on when they get here and get settled. G & I got them a $50 gift card for a grocery store in their town (figuring they are going to need to restock when they get here) and my parents got them a nice bottle of Saskatchewan wine to help welcome them.

(Back on track) Okay, so like I was saying, they are moving this week and driving all the way from Ontario to Saskatchewan. One trip and one trailer towed – she is in major declutter mode because of this. Her moving not only has gotten me in the mood to clean but also got me thinking about our next move. G has been discussing a transfer to a more specialized unit and I am 100% supportive. He has been talking to different sergeants and updating his HRMIS (our wish list of postings). The next transfer season isn’t until later this fall but it doesn’t hurt preparing for a move even if one isn’t on the table yet. Trying to keep any future stresses at a minimum when the transfer happens.

All this discussion between G and I has also lit the fire to getting a lot of project done around the house. I did the master-bath facelift just before my parents came, we painted the stairs and banister so they look fresh, and did some outdoor stuff (pruned trees, cut down a tree, fixed some of the siding, landscaping), did the living room remodel a while back. All little small project that really only needed our time and energy but we kept putting off. My house is looking really nice if I do say so myself, and more importantly it’s stayed that way for over a month now. Have I mentioned how much easier it is to clean without so much junk in the way? :P

- M

Friday, 11 September 2015

Donating Stuff

The decluttering has continued and this week we had a Canadian Diabetes pick up. 19 boxes full of stuff! I’m so happy to get all those boxes out of my garage and all the stuff out of my house. I’m sure G is happy to have his workspace back aswell lol. I love the fact that everything left has a ‘home’, it makes cleaning and tidying up so much easier and not overwhelming. Although this was a big donation I’m going to continue this trend of questioning if things really are being used or not. I have a box upstairs marked for donation and I already have 4 items in there (all candle holder I’ve never used, why I had so many - I really couldn't tell you). Anytime it gets full I’ll call CD and see if they will be in the area and schedule a pick up. J

The day before the pick up I got rid of 50+ more items and added another box of stuff to my donate pile. It was a lot of items I was on the fence about and when it came time to do my final sweep I just didn’t care anymore. I can honestly say everything in my closet is something I wear – which is a huge accomplishment for me. I got rid of 2/3 of my wardrobe and it really opened my eyes to all the money I have wasted over the years on clothes... many items still with tags on.

One of my ‘rules’ going forward is I am not going to purchase any clothes online. It’s so difficult to get things to fit, even when I take my measurements and compare them with those listed online for the garment. The last time I ordered online it was a dress from ModCloth that was on the more expensive side and even though I triple checked my measurements the dress was still huge on me! And the kicker was I needed to pay about $25 in duty when it arrived on top of paying to get it tailored. That was back in June so I’ve been good all summer not purchasing or even looking online at clothes. I’ve unsubscribed to a lot of emails because I didn’t even find myself looking at them but deleting a ton of unread ones all at once.

Okay, so no online shopping: big deal can’t I just go to the mall? If you are new to my blog you may not know but I live in an extremely rural community Saskatchewan. Okay maybe not extremely – but for this big city girl from Ontario it was a big adjustment (there’s not a single stop light in town & we are finally getting a proper garbage and recycling program later this year, haha). Anyways, the nearest mall is a 6 hour round trip from my house and most times when we go into the city we don’t always have time to stop and browse. But guess what? This is exactly what I needed, no temptation!

I’m not nervous about going to Vegas next month either. We are there long enough that I know I can take my time shopping and be mindful of everything I buy/make sure I actually like the items and they fit well. I have a few pieces on my list such as new jeans, basic tanks from H&M (seriously the best and cheap), pencil skirts for work (grey and black), another pair of work pants (to wear during winter), new bras and a trench coat. I have been savings up all summer plus my birthday money, which I will exchange so it’s actual CASH I’m handing over instead of swiping a credit card. I’m interested to see if I’m a little tighter with my money that way. :P

- M

            PS: Another nice perk of living out in the middle of nowhere: being able to see the Northern Lights from my bedroom window. Here are so shots taking from my husbands cell phone from our backyard the other night.

Photos don't do them justice <3

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Parents Visit & Vacation Talk

Sorry I haven’t been writing these last few weeks. Things were kind of busy around here while preparing for my parents visits. I haven’t seen them in over two years so I’m sure you understand me wanting to spend some quality time with them, lol. They were here for a week, and since they drove all the way from Southern Ontario we didn’t really do much except relax and play cards. G and I cooked a homemade meal plus desert every single night. My mom doesn’t really cook all that much at home so I wanted to spoil them/show off (i.e. make them proud: which btw my mom commented saying these were some of the best meals she's had -- score!). That being said – our food budget is about 3x more this month, lol. I’m going to be happy if it we keep under $800. This is one of those moments I really don’t care though – I’m glad to feed my family good food and have nice memories & we can afford it. We ended up only spending $260 on groceries last month so we are sort of balancing out.

One nice thing my parents did was let us purchase USD at par! We bought $300 US for $300 CAD. I just did a quick calculation in Google and that would have cost us $400 CAD!! Ouch… Also the day they left G found a note from my mom that said, “Enjoy a nice dinner in Vegas” with a $100 bill tucked under. They had to hide it because they know we wouldn’t have taken it if they handed it to us, lol. Our vacation account is a little over $800, not that much considering our vacation is a month away but we are still owed the expenses from G’s La Ronge trip ($1366) which was approved a month ago – I’m hoping that comes in soon. Also this is all our ‘fun’ money, the hotel has been paid for so its really about how lavish or frugal we want our trip to be. We will be putting away as much as possible this month and next as we would rather have a surplus in our vacation savings account than a balance on our credit cards; but that’s really a no brainer. ;)

- M