Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to my wonderful Father and my lovely husband Scott.
I love you!

I went low key on the gift giving this year due to the budgeting issue!

The "pieces" printable found here.
The card printable found here (Boston was drawing on the inside and drooled on the card if you notice the weird marks on the front).
The best thing on earth (cookie dough truffles) found here.

I love this picture! They really do look alike!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Laundry Room/Storage Room Organization, Part 1

In the last month I was helping my friend get organized. It was a good little motivator for me and a realization that I actually really enjoy this and I have no excuse to not do it in my own home. Remember this post I did a LONG time ago were I said I was going to organizing my house. Well only 4 months later and I am finally half way done. I could go into my many excuses on why I have been slacking, but not every uplifting!

Let's have a refresher on the before...
Disclaimer (the room is tiny with no window, hard/impossible to get any good pictures)

Without any more fuss or delay, here is the finished Product!

Wait that's not it, maybe this is it?

I wish! I love the clean and simple approach with each rooms.. one day when we own our own house will I then design a room like the above, but until that day I am working with an old apartment that I cant change anything too.

ENOUGH dreaming here is how I tackled the room.
First, I got caught up on all the laundry and took all the recycling to the drop off.
Then I sat down and created a list of the areas and items I wanted stored in the room. I realized I had some great hidden storage areas I could use around the house and clear up some of the clutter. I took all the long, thin items (folding chairs, extra christmas wrap, ect) and placed under our bed. I then took all the items that I want to sell and placed ads online.

I next set up a bunch of my bins in the hallway for easy sorting.

I was using a huge clear bin for all my paints and home repairs/improvement items. I decided to split the contents into 3 small containers (paint, paint supplies, misc home repairs/improvement). It just made more sense especially when the huge container was full it was way too heavy.

On my top shelf I had a huge mess of my blankets and pillows. I thought about my biggest complaint about this area, that being if I wanted anything down from this pile, everything would come tumbling down with it. Simple solution was to use boxes and group similar items into the boxes. My husband was shocked that we had enough towels to fit into a big box. I explained to him that we don't have a linen closet and we only have 4 towels in the bathroom at any time. Plus we have two beach towels in the box. 
In the box labeled "Bedding" I used this idea I saw on Pinterest. It worked perfectly.

I love when I have all the same containers but I didn't want to spend much money on this project. I did buy a total of 4 small and 1 large clear bins everything else I already had and of course not ideal but I used boxes from our move to store some items. I personally like to use clear bins... I like to be able to see what is inside even if the bin is clearly labeled.

I am a huge recycler but sadly I was shocked when we moved to Regina how bad the recycling program is here. Thumbs up for the Alberta Government and their excellent recycling program. I don't recycle nearly as much as I did back home but I do recycle pop bottles, milk container and paper. 

On the bottom half of the recycling area I placed my tool box, sander and drill.

I have a bit of obsession for patterns, patterned fabric, patterned paper. Love it all. If you notice in the before pictures, there is a huge pile of fabric. I took all the small pieces and moved to display in my craft area (picture to come later in a different organization post) and everything else I stored in clear bins.

Here is the major problem corner before


This week I am focusing on adding some fun elements in the room. I am going to go through my 2 huge bin of home decor items and see what I can add to make the room more inviting.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Newest Addition

I purchased this on Saturday at a garage sale close to my house. I was looking for something a bit smaller, but I am going to test this out and see if it will work for a "makeup table"! I am having a hard time finding anything cheap enough and small enough in this small town. I have seen a few desk but they have all been over $55. Not worth it, if i am going to be spending money on paint, hardware and sandpaper. Now just to find the time to make it beautiful! 
Best part... if it doesn't work it was only $5!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bring the flowers in tonight

I love my flowers I planted yesterday.
Hopefully they live! I have to bring them in tonight, it has been raining all day and currently only 9C (48F) only to get even colder over night.

The pots originally were cheap cream pots I purchased from JYSK. 
I figured the rundown front porch area of this apartment needed an extra little punch of color. I decided on a bright blue spray paint that matched the bright blue in the pillows.

While going through my picture tonight I found an old one of my table and chairs. They use to be pink!

Hows the weather where you live?? Hopefully a lot more summery than Regina!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Organizing Our Money

Over the last year we have been spending money like we were actually employed. I was getting $900 every two weeks for 1 year on maternity leave from the government but other than that we just few a hundred dollars coming in randomly (bookkeeping job, interest from a loan we lent, income tax return). We never went into debt BUT we used quite a bit of our savings.
Now Scott is employed! Working as an intern for the government. Amazing experience but little pay. I'm currently updating my resume and already have found child care for Boston starting July 4.
I realized we (okay, mostly me) need to get on top of our money and spending! I have always wanted to do money jars just never got around to it. My favourite money show is Till Debt Do Us Part (it aires on a few different channels and a few different versions including Home Edition and Princess Edition). Gail always sets up each couple with money jars. Starting TODAY I have taken away our bank and visa cards and we are a officially a money jar family! Is anyone already doing money jars and have any great tips?

To set up our money jars I first set up a budget worksheet a lot like Gail's found here. I will admit that I am kind of a geek when it comes to spreadsheets. I have had an excel spreadsheet budget for many years. I can tell you exactly how much we spend and on what. You think the numbers would have scared me to go to money jars sooner, but at the end of the day we always found the money. Sadly looking back, I cant believe how much money we could/should have saved!

Next I took baby food jars that I was saving. I used WD40 to take off all the glue from the labels. If you haven't tried this before, it works! Just spray onto the glue, wait a minute or two. Scrub off and if glue remains, spray again.

I then spray painted the lids a fun yellow that I had from a pervious project. I thought about creating cute labels with my cricut but for now I just used my label maker to print out my categories.

I have a good friend that is going through some hard money times and she listed on her blog some great points that she is started off with to get out of debt. My favourite ones that got me really thinking are 1. Plan your weekly meals around what is on sale in the flyers. Too bad flyers don't come around lately...  but I can go online. 2. Gives yourself a time limit on the amount of time spent at the grocery store. Love this idea. I am one of those shoppers that stores love. I take my time... going around Superstore and Walmart looking at what is new. 3. Fill up your gas tank on cheap days. Didn't even know there was such thing!

Another friend of mine started a blog a few months ago called Sexy Savvy Saving Mom. Take a look at some of her past post. Amazing tips! She has done post like Eating on a $350 a month budget, Saving with Baby and many more helpful posts.

I feel like if I share my struggles with money, I might be able to stay more committed. I love when Gail on Till Debt Do Us Part makes the couples tell their families how much debt they are in. Most of the time they have hid it from their families and close friends. By coming clean their families/friends are more likely to stop asking them to host big parties, go out for dinner, ect. I am going to make a commitment that every month I will tell everyone how my progress is going. My goal is to save enough money that when we are done with Regina, we will have a nice downpayment for a HOUSE back in Alberta! Oh how I dream of a house!

If you have had any success or failures saving money! I would love to hear about it. Leave me a comment below!
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