Sunday, May 31, 2009

May Spending Recap

May was a fly the seat of your pants month which didn't bode well for my budget. I was still high on coming back from vacation, the bf returning and summer finally arriving and didn't quite curb my spending as I had hoped.
  • Clothes & Beauty: Budgeted: $100, Actual Spend: $138. With the start of summer, I wanted summer gear. I also wanted to paint my nails again & be girly. The good thing is I don't see myself needing to buy any more nail polishes for the summer so I think I can bring this budget down & shift some cash over elsewhere (i.e. eating out!). I also am going to see if I can sell some of my clothes online.
  • Eating out: Budgeted: $110, Actual Spend: $170. I never improve here! I know this is my biggest weakness & I guess I am just not willing to give it up either. I can trace this back to two big meals. One, I treated my family to lunch (~$70) & another was when I treated the bf to a nice dinner (~$60) to celebrate things going well at his work.
  • Entertainment: Budgeted: $50, Actual Spend: $53. Watched some movies & played some bingo. I am happy here.
  • Gas: Budgeted: $100, Actual Spend: $170. I didn't drive any more than usual but gas prices keep going up and as a result I keep spending more on it. I think as the summer goes on, this will become my big budget buster.
  • Groceries: Budgeted: $100, Actual Spend: $135. What put me over here was gardening stuff that I debated throwing into misc. Since the gardening items related to herbs which I plan on using cooking, I decided to put it in here. I really should put the herbs here & the supplies in miscellaneous but I can't be bothered to split the receipt up into multiple categories. This is my first foray into growing herbs and I am excited at the idea of being able to pick & choose herbs on a whim.
  • Misc: Budgeted: $20, Actual Spend: $55. I spent $50 buying some health items. If I had a health category, this would go in there but since I don't Miscellaneous it is.
  • Total Budgeted: $480, Actual Spend: $721.
Over by $241. Not good! I realize that I am not willing to compromise on Eating Out so I am going to increase it by $50 for June. I am also going to up my Gas category up by $50 as well. Clothes & Beauty will be decreased by $50 because I don't see myself needing to spend much here.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Old Navy Graphic T's

I heard that Old Navy was selling its Graphic Ts for $3 today. Well I had to go out in the direction of the mall anyways so I stopped by to have a look. I got there at 9:45 (the mall opened at 9:30) and all the xs sized Ts were already gone! I was able to find 2 smalls with cute prints on them. None of this 'Can't Touch This' print BS. I've progressed to wearing more mature graphic Ts if I wear them at all.

The first one I got was a was a white T with a dandelion in the shoulder area and another was a nice aquamarine blue with a fish applique. I am actually not too crazy about the fish T but I love the color. Maybe I can remove the applique and still use it or give it to a friend.

All in all, $6 for two Ts is great.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Why is it that Hillary duff can wear all these things together & still look hot? I am not a Hillary Duff fan but I saw this pic while I was doing my normal reading of celebrity trash & I love the way she looks in this outfit. Now I would never wear it. Short shorts when you're not on some tropical island isn't something I would rock. Or even knee high boots with cutoff shorts with a tank top with a scarf.

In other news, I went to The Bay today because they were having a one day sale on purses & it was pandemonium I tells ya! So many woman fighting over purses & shoes. The place was almost trashed like it was boxing day. There were some great deals (i.e. purses for $20) but by the time I got there, there was virtually nothing left except for some really unfortunate ugly choices so I left empty handed and my wallet is that much happier.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Nestlé NOIR Mousse Délicate Review

I received two full sized boxes of Nestle Noir Mousse Delicate chocolates last week thanks to Ginger and I have already chowed down through one box! I am trying my best to leave the other one untouched in it's shrink wrap so I won't be tempted to storm through it. I want to give the box away or bring it into work & let somebody else besides me & my stomach enjoy these bad boys.

First impressions. I really like the packaging. I feel like I am eating chocolates made for grown ups as opposed to how I feel when I eat a Butterfinger. Nowadays, I don't normally sit there & just eat a chocolate bar, rather, I incorporate chocolates & chocolate flavorings into my foods. i.e. Chocolate milk, chocolate cheesecake, chocolate chips in get the idea.

Taste. Um, is there any way to screw up chocolate? I am sure there is but I think I'd really like anything that tasted remotely like chocolate. I tried out the Milk Chocolate version and in the box, there are 10 little chocolate squares. It was a pleasant surprise because the last thing I want to do is fight with myself to break off a piece of the chocolate bar. It is a little big to pop into your mouth but for those of you who are up for the challenge, I am sure you can make it happen. With the warm weather, the chocolate shell just melted in my mouth. The center part AKA the mousse was the best part. I loved the texture & the taste. It's hard to describe but it was nice and 'airy'. With all that being said, like I mentioned above, I like almost anything chocolate so for those people that are picky with their chocolates & prefer high end chocolates, I am not sure this is what you are looking for.

I'd imagine you can buy these at your local grocery or shoppers drug mart type store but I don't really go by the candy aisle often & can't say for certain.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Random musings

A bunch of tidbits since I don't have anything coherent to say...
  • My account @ Canadian Tire is all set up. It was easy peasy & customer service was great at helping me login online. The lovely lady even told me about a promo where if you set up an automatic deposit, you get $25. Sweet! Since I'd be moving my money anyways so basically free money for doing what I normally would have done.
  • The weather is lovely! Finally warm enough to show those legs & other limbs that normally don't get any sun.
  • Gas prices are going up! Major bummer. I am sure $1+ is just around the corner
  • With the weather getting better, I am also trying to run outside and be more active. I want my summer bod back!
  • I just received my $10 cheque from Hotspex. Took a while (about 2 months) that I had almost forgotten about it. But it was a pleasant surprise and that's 10 more dollars I didn't have earlier today.
  • I also received some free chocolate thanks to Ginger! Two boxes of Nestlé Noir Mousse Délicate. Delicious! I will write a proper review soon. It also reminded me of other reviews that I have half-written that I should wrap up.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Freebie Fridays

It's not Friday but it's free so I deem today Freebie Friday. My birthday is coming up which means I get to take advantage of lots of birthday related freebies. i.e. free dessert & Sephora goodies.

This year Sephora is giving out mini lip glosses (pictured left) for birthdays. I can't say no as I love lip glosses. My normal lip routine is some Aquaphor w/ a lip gloss on top reapplied throughout the day. I currently have 3 in purse depending on what I am in the mood for. So I might try swapping one of these out for one that's already in my purse.

Last year Sephora was giving out a small container of body wash that smelt like some sort of coconuty dream. My bf loves coconut so it was a winner. I used to not be able to say no to free but now I won't get something even if it's free unless I know I'll use it.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Long weekend to do

It's the long weekend & I have nothing exciting planned unlike the rest of Toronto. No cottage to go to, no road trips to drive on and no partying to be had. It's sad but I love having a long weekend mostly to myself every once in a while.

I have a long list of things I want to do.
  • Sort through my clothes & figure out which I want to try selling/give away for free. I think I'll try & take pics of the more promising items & put them up online somewhere & see if I can sell them. The rest will probably have to go to salvation army.
  • Yoga
  • Help my mom do some gardening.
  • Grocery shopping.
  • Organize my makeup. It's getting frustrating opening up the cupboards under my sink to see my eyeshadows & such lying around didy dadling. I also want to see if I can finish depotting my shadows & transfer them into palettes.
  • Pamper myself --> face masks, foot soaks, bubble bath, groom eyebrows, paint toe name it, I am doing it.
  • Get work presentation done --> I work well with a fire under my ass and I've put this presentation off for as long as I can. It's challenging and I love it. I've been constantly wanting to be challenged and this is definately it. But I also get frustrated because things aren't always right the first time. Some times, I need to throw out some of the work I've done and start from scratch. Working on the material for the presentation definitely isn't clock work so I really need to start on this today and not Monday night.
  • Make lunch to take into work next week
  • So the world doesn't think I completely anti social, I am planning on meeting & talking to other people by help my brother paint along with a few other people and also meet a few friends for drinks hopefully when the weather is nice so I can sit outside in some patio & bask in the sun.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Summer is creeping up...

One thing I definately associate with summer is nice flowy dresses. Even though it looks gorgeous outside, I am still finding it too cold for dresses. I've already seen tons of girls rock their dresses while I am walking around with a spring jacket still on. I guess I need more heat than the avg girl. Seriously some days I still turn the heat on while most other people are driving around with their windows down. Maybe I have some sort of condition?

Anyhoos, I ended up going to the Salvation Army on my way home from work to see if I could score some summer clothing. Among the things I bought were two dresses. A casual Banana Republic jersyish dress and a little black dress from Mexx. Both in pretty much perfect condition. Part of me wants to see if I can sell them because really I already have lots of little black dresses. But I've tried craigslist & I don't really think it's the place to go for selling clothes. I've never done ebay & it actually scares me. Figuring out shipping & setting up paypal seems confusing. I found the website of a consignment store near me but it looks like they take high end designer items & I am not sure the stuff I have would be welcomed there.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Look holes!

I finally got off my lazy butt & did some sewing. Sometimes I see great sales or an item that really catches my eye but it doesn't fit properly or is damaged. Well I buy those items with the intention of sewing it at home. I can do the basics, buttons & sew a line.

I had 2 Zara sweaters purchased a while back, both $3 because they had holes on the side. Absolutely nothing else wrong with them. Well I patched up the hole & it's like new again!

I've always wanted to learn to take my sewing to the next level. i.e. go from making pillow cases to making a dress from scratch.

I remember when I was little, all the dresses I'd wear would be dresses that my mom made. I never appreciated it but I wish she was still a sewin mama. I've asked her to teach me but she hasn't done it in over 20 years that she isn't confident she can do it anymore.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Canadian Tire Financial

OK, so here's the deal. Interest rates keep dropping. No big news there. But I still want the best possible deal I can get when it comes to a savings account and PC Financial just isn't cutting it anymore with even lowered interest rates of 1.2% on balances of $1000 Plus and 0.5% on balances less than $1000 on their Interest Plus savings account which is what I have. Not feeling it.

So there's this helpful little thread over at RedFlagDeals on savings accounts & after reading through it, I went ahead and applied for the Canadian Tire Financial Services Savings account. I already think they're the best game in town when it comes to pumping gas a-la their Candian Tire funny-money received when pumping gas. So now I am ready to give their banking department some of my money too.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Baby shower for baby number 2?

So I just got invited for a friends baby shower by the baby mama herself! Normally I'd be excited but this is her second baby & plus it almost seems like she has a major hand in organizing it as well which seems a little taboo to me. I understand if somebody else was doing all the showering for her. Hey, why turn down a party if when you're the mom to be and go along for the ride. Plus I really don't think there's a need for another baby shower. I mean she already has everything she needs for the baby minus diapers.

Now with all of the above, I actually won't be able to make it as I have a wedding to go to but I have no idea if I still need to get her a gift or let it slide. And if I do get her a gift, what sort of gift should I get? A gift for the baby or perhaps a gift for the mom? Perhaps this is a situation where a gift card is appropriate.

I am at that age where people are just starting to get married so I don't have too much experience with baby showers and don't know what the protocol is. Perhaps I am just over reacting, so folks please enlighten me.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Guess who's bizzack?

No, not Jay-Z. This girl right here.

Vacation was over the top amazing and now I am back to real life. Taking time off work, friends, and just life in general was much needed. I only checked email once during the whole trip & it was for about 10 mins just to make sure nothing too crazy was happening while I was away! You know that saying: Ignorance is bliss. Well it's true.

I also ignored my finances. Before I left, I made sure everything was paid off including any bills that would come in while I was away. I notified my credit cards that I would be travelling & to let purchases go through. The last thing I need is to be half way across the globe with my credit card being denied.

While away, I spent like a mad woman. I lived comfortably and am very happy I didn't nickel & dime my experience. It's a good thing I could spend like a mad woman without actually spending too much money --> While half way across the world, spending $2 Canadian meant a nice meal even though you could survive on half that by fast fooding it up. The conversion rate worked in my favor.

I also didn't buy too much in the way of souvenirs, especially for friends. While I did buy a few because I felt obligated to get something for the folks that always bring me back a souvenir from their trips. For the most part, I am over the whole souvenir phase. Really who needs 200 mugs with some witty quote written on it like, 'What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas'. When cleaning up my room in the past, I almost wished I didn't buy shot glasses from almost every single place I've been too. They are just sitting in my room gathering dust. I could have spent that money towards a nice meal or the entrance fee to an attraction. I remember way back when in Florida, I didn't want to pay the entrance fee for Universal Studios because I thought it was expensive but spent almost the same amount on souvenirs for myself & friends! This time around, if I bought a souvenir, I made sure it was something functional (meaning something I'd actually use i.e. a bowl to be used as a fruit bowl) or something I'd like to display in my place for all to see. Not in some shelf in some room nobody goes to. As an example, I bought a nice painting that was hand painted on some fabric that I am planning on framing & putting up.

So where did most of my money go? On 'experience' a-la those pesky entrance fees, car rental to drive around, hotels, tours, ect.