Thursday, February 28, 2013

March Goals

Wow! I can't believe tomorrow is March. I am excited for spring to get here, and eventually summer, as I'm sick of the cold weather. 

Here's how I did on my February goals:
  • Lose another 5 lbs. PASS! I had a few hurdles this month - I hurt my foot early on in February and couldn't do much work out-wise, and I had a few too many cheat days, so I only lost 1-2 lbs. My foot is slowly getting better though and I'm feeling more motivated now, so I think next month will be better. I'm just happy I didn't gain considering what a crappy month it was.
  • Put $500 towards our foundation savings goal. DONE! Thanks to my overtime at work from last month, we put aside $850.
  • Put real pictures in our standing picture frame. DONE! It looks really nice with photos of Husband and I, some trip pics and a couple of our fur babies! 
  • Complete one freelance interview (and article, depending on when the interview falls). PASS! Unfortunately I wasn't able to get any interviews/articles completed, but not for lack of trying. I called and emailed each person several times, but got nowhere. But, I did get two posters done for a friend's new business and I got another quick freelance project that I completed this week, so I'm considering this a pass as I did complete some freelance.
  • Study French. PASS! I've been studying somewhat - not as much as I would have liked to though. I'm trying to watch some beginning French videos and Husband is helping with my vocab. Slow and steady, right? 
  • Install new light in our master bedroom. DONE! It's so nice to actually have light in our room! 
  • Get taxes done! DONE! I dropped off all my tax stuff a couple weeks ago, but I needed one more document from the university. They finally put it online today (talk about last minute), so I quickly sent that in. They said it should be done this afternoon as they were able to get most of it done before the last document was received. Once my taxes are done, Husband can do his.
All in all, not too bad. I really have to work on the weight loss though.
March Goals:
  • Lose 5 lbs. Any tips for increasing motivation? I'm feeling much more motivated than last month, but I think I still need a kick in the pants!
  • Put $500 towards our foundation savings goal. I'd like to put aside even more, depending on what we get back in income taxes, but this is the minimum.
  • Complete two freelance interviews (and articles, depending on when the interview falls). I have to complete three articles for mid-April, so the harassing phone calls/emails is going to increase until these people get back to me.
  • Buy new runners. My current runners are quite old and while I don't think this caused my foot injury, it's definitely not helping. I'm going to use some of my freelance income to buy new ones. I'd like to keep the cost under $150 (plus tax). 
  • Install new shower head. The one that came with our house has decided to start leaking, so this must be done asap. Luckily our hydro company sent us a "power smart" box of goodies for free, which includes a new, low-flow shower head. We'll be sad to see the old one go, as it's quite nice and looks better, but it has to be done.
  • Complete Husband's taxes. Husband can't do his until mine are complete (I typically use all of our deductions, but every year we get my taxes done first to make sure it actually makes sense for me to claim them and not him. It always does, but just in case...).
  • Buy and install new kitchen faucet. I detest the one that came with the house. It's just ugly and doesn't match the rest of the kitchen, so this change is purely a want and not a need. We found a faucet that we both like already, but the cost is quite high (about $180 after taxes). So the money will come from our planned spending budget ($100), and my freelance income will cover the rest. I'm hoping to dig up a Home Depot coupon though to get the price down!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday Night Chit-Chat

What are you….

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. I'm not quite into it yet though, so we'll see how it goes.

The Oscars and How I Met Your Mother re-runs.

Listening to?
The sounds of Husband's siblings playing games.

Turkey Sausage & Cranberry Quinoa. I didn't put in the turkey sausage, but it's delicious! I also made red velvet cupcakes and I may or may not have had three of them...

Happy you accomplished this last week?
Cleaning out our pantry and baking cupboard. I'll post an update on our Pantry Challenge this week.

Looking forward to this week?
Picking up our new-to-us apartment-sized chest freezer! Someone posted it on freecycle and we were the lucky recipients. Husband has been wanting one for as long as I can remember and it'll be nice for us to be able to keep ice cubes in the freezer! We haven't seen it yet, but she said it's 12 years old and still going strong, so that's all that we care about!

Thankful for today?
My sister-in-law who hooked us up with the American version of Netflix. It has soooooo much more than the Canadian Netflix.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Avocado Quesadillas


It's no surprise to anyone who knows me even remotely that I don't cook. I think it's a combination of my fear of being injured (from cutting or burning myself) and the fact that I love to multi-task, so I can't just cook... I also have to be cleaning, paying bills and doing laundry at the same time, so something is bound to go wrong. I am the person who will put on a pot of water to boil to make Kraft dinner and then get sidetracked until the water has boiled away!

But, I've been trying to learn how to make a few meals so I at least have a few back-ups if I’m forced to make dinner (rather than go to my stockpile of frozen meals). Here is one recipe I tried recently that I’ve fallen in love with: avocado quesadillas.

Not only are these super easy to make (hey, if I can do it...), but they only require a few ingredients most people have on hand and they are super tasty! Plus, you can easily make it for just one, two or more, depending on how many mouths you have to feed! Here’s the recipe, plus notes on what I changed.

Avocado Quesadillas
Makes 1

1/2 avocado
1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice (I didn't measure - I just squeezed half a lemon and it came out very well, although I love lemon!)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon butter (I used Pam spray)
1 tortilla
1/4 cup grated white cheddar (we didn’t have white cheddar, so I used marble. I think you can pretty well substitute any ol’ cheese).

Mash the avocado with the lemon or lime juice and salt. (Easy how-to for cutting an avocado).

Melt the butter in a small frying pan over medium heat (or spray with Pam). Lay the tortilla down and sprinkle the cheese across the surface. Cook until the cheese is melted and the bottom of the tortilla is golden. Spread the avocado mixture across one side of the tortilla. Remove from heat and fold the tortilla in half and press until the melted cheese glues the tortilla together. Cut into wedges and enjoy!

I found that my cheese would melt faster than the tortilla browned, so I kept mine cooking and some flipping action had to happen after the tortilla was folded. But this only warmed up the avocado and made it (I think) more tasty. You can add salsa on the side for dipping too. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

February Goals - Update

  • Lose another 5 lbs. - My motivation has decreased a bit as I don't have diet bets going on and I've had more cheat days than I care to admit (thank you PMS). But I am still losing, so I'm just happy the scale is going in the right direction! Not sure if I can do the 5 lbs. this month though based on how short the month is and how poorly I've been doing so far!
  • Put $500 towards our foundation savings goal. DONE! I had a plan to put $250 away each pay cheque, but thanks to my overtime from last month, I was able to put $600 away already. I'll still be putting in the other $250 when I get paid again too, for $850 total! 
  • Put real pictures in our standing picture frame. Almost done! I sorted through our pictures and got Husband's input on which ones he preferred. I then had to measure the various frames and figure out which pictures should go in which slots and re-size them accordingly. And I sent them to be printed via Shopper's Print Centre online a few days ago. I'm hoping to have them early next week so I can actually put the pictures in the frame before the end of the month. The pictures are various ones from our trips, our wedding, engagement photos and of course, our fur babies!
  • Complete one freelance interview (and article, depending on when the interview falls). No luck so far! BUT, I did get another freelance project (writing and designing two posters) and those are in the works. If I can get those done for the end of the month I'll consider this a pass.
  • Study French. I've been doing a little bit here and there. Husband is good about answering all my French questions that probably seem to come out of nowhere sometimes, so I'm slowly improving my vocab. 
  • Install new light in our master bedroom. DONE! My mom came to install it and she had some difficulties (long story short, but the hole in the ceiling where the wires come out was cut too big), so my friend's dad who is in construction (and who has been amazing since we bought the house) came the next day and got it installed. It's so nice to have a light in our bedroom that is brighter than a candle! 
  • Get taxes done! I'm still waiting for my T4 and a few other documents from the bank. Hopefully will have those soon!

Friday, February 1, 2013

February Goals

I thought I did pretty well on my January goals until I saw how many fails I had. I still think I did well on what I could control though.
  • Stick to my diet. DONE! I wanted to lose 5 lbs this month and I did that, plus some!
  • Put $500 towards our foundation savings goal. DONE!
  • Set up interview for my third freelance article. FAIL! I tried to get that interview set up, but I was never able to get a hold of the guy despite repeated emails and phone calls. I'll try again in February. 
  • Install new light in our master bedroom. FAIL! My mom was set to come over to install this a couple weeks ago, but she cancelled and we haven't been able to re-book yet.
  • Organize files and receipts. DONE!
  • Paint one room. FAIL! We found out there are a few other projects that need to be completed before we can do this, so it's off the list for now.
  • Start walking home from work again. DONE! The only times I didn't walk home were when I had a work car or there was a wind chill warning in effect. But I got to walk most days!

Here are my goals for February:
  • Lose another 5 lbs. 
  • Put $500 towards our foundation savings goal.
  • Put real pictures in our standing picture frame. We have a large standing picture frame that I've had for over 10 years now. I never bothered to print my own pictures back when I got it, and instead printed cute photos off the internet that I liked and stuck them in. I'd now like to finally print our own photos and put them in the frame. 
  • Complete one freelance interview (and article, depending on when the interview falls).
  • Study French. I'd like to avoid taking an intro French class as it would be too easy for me, but there are so many basic things I've forgotten. I'm hoping that reviewing my old French textbooks will help me get my basic skills back and then I can start classes from there. 
  • Install new light in our master bedroom.
  • Get taxes done! I like to do our taxes early as normally we get a rebate and why would I want the government to keep it for any longer than necessary?