Thursday, November 29, 2012

Busy, busy

At work this week we moved over the last division (the industrial/labour temp staffing) to our new payroll software, which was 200+ employees at once. And by we I mean me, at least for the processing part so I was at work until 1:30am yesterday and 8:00pm today ensuring everyone got paid.

Needless to say I don't have much to contribute via blogging tonight. Sorry I've been pretty boring lately.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Annual Vacation

I love to travel, and although D is more of a home body when ever I convince him to take a trip with me he has truly enjoyed himself.

In the past few years we have been able to save money on our trips because we accumulate air mile and aeroplan points to pay for our flights. I also research a lot ahead of time for activities, food and accommodations.

Now I've been thinking of investing into a TimeShare property and then subscribe to RCI or something similar which allows you to trade your timeshare week in for points that can be used to stay at other locations. I know of a few people that have timeshare properties, one of them being a coworker. Her and her sister purchased a timeshare five years ago in Florida, close to Disney World, for $13,000 + $350/annually for maintenance fees and than signed up for RCI's point program. They get 37400 points a year and since then select their vacations 'last minute' they are able to get amazing locations for a fraction of the cost/points it would normally cost. (She gave me her log in and she has over 100k points accumulated right now and yet they travel every year).

I like the idea of being able to stay in nice locations when we travel but not having to pay the sticker price but I've also read terrible online reviews of people that weren't happy when they exchanged their weeks for points to redeem at other locations.

Due to the economy a lot of people have been forced to sell their timeshares because they can either not afford the finance charges for the property because they didn't pay for it in full during purchase or the annual maintenance fees are too much for their tight budgets. Because they don't want to keep paying the annual fees they are selling the properties for a fraction of the original cost.

Obviously I would rather pick up a property for below cost but I don't want to get one that I wouldn't want to stay at if I decide not to use RCI.

Long story short I feel like I haven't researched even close to enough right now and wish I could wrap my head around everything.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Adding to my Christmas wishlist

 I was driving back to the office from my lunch break and the CBC radio noon host was interviewing one of the writers from Best of Bridges, as they have just launched their newest cookbook - Best of Bridges Slow Cooker Cookbook.

As I mentioned previously I want to do the weekly meal planning and my Mondays and Tuesdays need to be premade or in a crockpot as I don't get home until after 8pm due to Girl Guides and CMA Group work. I really want some healthy and tasty ideas for crockpot recipes and this cookbook sounds good. If I don't get something like it for Christmas I will definitely be purchasing it by the New Year.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Wrapping up

Feet are starting to hurt and I getting tired.

Another great day though, breakfast at Norma's, walk through Central Park, more bus tours, Rockefeller Centre and now we are waiting for our pizza delivery.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Just got back

Today include boat & bus tours, a quick stop in SOHO, TimeSquare, a musical on Broadway and dinner.

I'll update with more detail when I'm back.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Hello NYC

We ave made it to New York and are staying in Queens. With the help of Yelp we found a local pizza joint that was approximately 15 blocks away, after an over priced cab ride to get there we decided to walk back...unfortunately it was raining and I forgot my umbrella back in the hotel room. Luckily the weather is pretty mild and the rain not that hard.

All and all a good start so far....

Oops again!

With packing and cleaning last night to get ready for our trip I was too exhausted to write anything.

We are about to board our flight so I won't be writing anything more yet!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

One of those days

I apparently have a love hate relationship with technology, specifically my computer at work, and today is one of the days that I want to pick it up and throw it across the room.

Considering the advancements that have been made in the last few years you would think that my system would be capable of running 2-3 database software at once and usually I don't have issues but of course since its payroll today and I didn't want to work late my computer has to insist on freezing constantly.

Needless to say I don't have much more to write today since the sooner I can stop being in front of a computer today the better.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Being pregnant doesn't equal fat

I am currently having the hardest time trying to find a decent winter coat to last me through my pregnancy this year. Unfortunately my oh-so-comfortable NorthFace jacket I bought last year will probably only last another month, and being due in March I will be at my largest during the coldest part of the year.

I have been looking for a jacket but have found that if I want to fit it around my stomach it is huge in my arms and chest or I looking like I'm wearing a potato sack. Apparently finding a maternity flattering winter jacket in Winnipeg is asking a lot.

Here's hoping I miraculously find something in NYC because otherwise I will be wearing layers this year to keep warm.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Making our itinerary

Friday we fly to NYC for the weekend and so far the reports are positive for accessing the different areas of Manhattan.

Saturday, if things aren't closed off we are going to explore lower Manhattan including shopping in SOHO, possibly take a boat tour around the island and stop to see the statue of liberty, then make our way up to the theater district (time square area) for dinner and a musical (we decided on Scandalous).

Sunday we are going to explore upper Manhattan or at least as north as Central Park, for the morning, then make our way to Time Square and Macy's (I'm look forward to the window displays). If we are feeling up to it we also plan to taking Radio City's Christmas Spectacular.

One thing left is to do is figure out where we should eat. Any suggestions?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Gifts and time

One gift that I still need to get, as I forgot about it while I was out yesterday at the mall, is for D's Nan. Last year, since we had gotten married in June I had taken large 8x10 photos and mod podged them on to canvases as gifts for all three of our grandmothers and both of our parents. Next year I will be able to start giving photo memories, either framed pictures or photo albums, of our daughter to our grandmothers but this year I feel stuck in limbo.

One of the biggest issues when deciding on what to get for D's Nan is that she has Alzheimer's, and is in the middle stage so can't do a lot of things as they are too challenging for her. I hate the idea of her just sitting around doing very little as my in-laws can't seem to find things to engage her. She will wrap wreaths for my mother-in-law, who takes them home unwraps them and brings them back for her to do again; watches her game shows and well I don't know what else.

So I started googling gifts for people with Alzheimer's and have found adult puzzles that are only 36 pieces, which are easier to see and less frustrating, as well as suggestions to purchase things that trigger memories like music. I am going to see if I can find somewhere local to purchase these puzzles as I don't feel like paying $15 in shipping for two $15 puzzles.

While trying to think of what to get her I am yet again reminded of how little time D and I spend with our three grandmothers that are still with us. Especially D's Nan who lives in the same city as us. I tell myself that once I'm on Mat leave I'll have more time to schedule a visit with them, as currently I never can find time for things like this, but really its a matter of priorities and if we put them above other things we would be able to visit more often. I suppose I feel awkward as I didn't spend a lot of time with them before and now that D's nan has Alzheimer's and one of my grandmothers has dementia I don't know what to talk to them about. I think I need to get over myself and know that that isn't whats important. That conversation will develop naturally and I need to start making them a priority. None of us are getting younger.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

I decided to get a head of the game this year. With the exceptions of some stocking stuffers, D's Nan and aunt's gifts, and secret Santa gifts I'm done my Christmas shopping. Just have to wait for my order from chapters online to come in to finish my wrapping. I also put up our tree and wrapped the presents I have so far.

Still on the to do list is to get our pictures done (appointment for this Thursday), write and mail Christmas cards, and figure out what I'm going to do for Christmas baking and craft(s) as gifts.

We have a lot of commitments on the weekends left before Christmas so I figured I should get as much done now as possible. Have you started Christmas 2012 yet?

Friday, November 16, 2012

A new option

When I was at the spa yesterday my massage therapist turned out to be pregnant as well so rather then falling asleep during massage, which is my usual MO, I ended up talking about pregnancy, nurseries and baby names the entire time.

She decided to go with a midwife after meeting her OB GYN and not connecting at all, the unfortunately thing on hearing this is that it her doctor work at the same practice as mine and I might end up with her as my delivering doctor depending on who is on call that day, although I've decided to stop worrying about other people's opinions of my doctors practice and just enjoy the relationship I have with my doctor.

As well as using a midwife she wants to do a natural birth. While I completely support woman that want to go the natural route I have long given up my romanticized idea of being able to it myself with out drugs. That being said when she mentioned that she is taking a HypnoBirthinig prenatal course through Birth Roots which focuses on techniques of deep relaxation and how to manage the pain during labour, I was intrigued. Even if I do end up taking the drugs, being able to manage the pain naturally leading up to it is definitely a selling point.

The biggest challenge is going to be convincing D that we should take this course as he tends to stay away from anything that seems "hippie" or "new age".

Anyone hear of HypnoBirthing before? Thoughts?

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Today I had my monthly "Pinnacle" day, which is a personal day on top of vacation and sick days that my employers give us with the idea that we take a day for 'ourselves' to catch up on personal stuff or just relax. Since I have been in the middle of launching a huge project in the last few months that involves moving our external employees over to a new time sheet system and integrating with a new accounting software, I have been pretty tightly wound. The new system be came active last week and so far so go, so I decided that this month I would treat myself to a day at the spa.

I opted for the Ten Spa which is a high end spa at the Hotel Fort Garry in Winnipeg. I've been before (that's where we celebrated Melissa and my 30th birthdays this year) and love it. Since I was going there to relax and de-stress I decided to go all out and spend the entire day. Being pregnant I couldn't do any treatments involving heat but I was still able to book a body scrub, full body massage, facial, pedicure & leg treatment, and a manicure. It was wonderful, if not a little pricey. Something I can't do every week or even every month but definitely worth the investment once or twice a year.

My dream is to one day go to a luxury spa resort for a week in the States like the Mii Amo resort in Arizona that one of my friends went to and said was amazing. Perhaps I should start saving now because it is definitely not cheap!

Do you love the spa as much as me or are you one of those people that finds others touching them completely uncomfortable?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Prenatal activities

I am now at 23 weeks (5 months) and figuring I really need to start getting active now that my energy level has been back for the last month and I don't feel nauseous 24/7 but with my busy schedule at work, school & volunteering I keep putting it off.

I don't want to put it off much longer as I ONLY have 4 months left and I'm sure once the new year hits it will fly by, so I looked into different places that offered prenatal yoga online today, two places that I've heard good things about which also offer prenatal courses (Blue Moon & Birth Roots) and the third was a yoga studio I've gone to for hot yoga (Moksha Yoga). For some reason they love Mondays and Wednesdays for scheduling, although Birth Roots is offering a Sunday course but the session started at the beginning of November and is 6-8 weeks. One of my coworkers is due a few weeks after me and is also interested in doing it so I plan to call Blue Moon tomorrow and see if we can get into the Wednesday night sessions even though the first class was tonight, as well as see when their next prenatal course is after November as they have only posted that one. Although Wednesdays are pretty risky for me...maybe I need to do more research for other studios. Anyone have one to recommend?

I'm also wanting to start attending Aquafit at the YMCA again but their schedule doesn't seem to want to mesh with my availability! Basically Monday and Tuesday nights are out for me as I have Girl Guides on Mondays & my CMA group does case work on Tuesday nights. Wednesdays are always up in the air for me, once a month I have a district Girl Guide meeting and as commissioner I can't miss it, plus I'm currently back in charge of payroll (which we run weekly since we are a staffing company) and that runs Wednesdays so I tend to work late. Thursdays to Sundays are my ideal days but with the holiday season ramping up I'm losing my weekends as well.

Too many things!! Can you see why I'm always able to find a great excuse not to exercise? But excuses are all they are and I need to start committing, even if it means going during lunch.

Any other thoughts of activities I can take part in to get me back in 'shape' and not out of breath as I walk up the stairs to work every day? Not to mention help me not put on to much extra weight during my pregnancy.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Revisiting favorite characters

 For those that know me, know that I am an avid reader of romance and urban fantasy novels....seriously avid. In high school I was never with out a book, in university I would miss classes if my novel had sucked me and now that adulthood and responsibilities continue to get in the way I don't read as much BUT when I decide to read one of my all time favorite series or get sucked into a new amazing story line I don't put the book down until I'm done.

This week I decided to reread the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning to prep for her newest release ICED, which is the first in a trilogy that takes place in the same 'fever' world (a side character from the Fever series is the main character in this trilogy). I stayed up until 2:00am last night to finish the fifth book (that's right I read 5 books in 3 days), Shadowfever. I already knew the ending but that didn't stop the need to not put it down. I can't begin to explain how much I'm addicted to male protagonist (Barrons) in this series, it also helps that the female protagonist (Mac) is great too. This series is more of the urban fantasy genre then romance but there is something to be said about the chemistry between these characters. Not to mention I would seriously consider running off with Barrons if he existed, or at the very least convincing D that we should adopt polygamy.

If you enjoy UF or are willing to give it a try I strongly suggest the Fever series. KMM also rights a romance series based on travel and the fae called the Highlander series which crosses over into the fever world. I read them before Fever. They are good too but this series is in my top ten, heck at the moment I can't even think of what other 9 come close to it as all I can think about it is I have to wait another 2-3 years before she finishes the ICED trilogy so that she can write more Fever novels.

Do you have any favorite characters that you could read their stories over and over again? A few of Sherrilyn Kenyon's protagonists (Zarek, Ash, etc) are also on my reread forever and ever list.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Letting someone go

So one of the NOT so pleasant aspects of being in a managerial role is having the joy of telling someone they will no longer be employed with your company. On Friday I had one such joy. It went a lot better then I had anticipated but as usual, not a happy experience. The employee has been with the company for more then 7 years and was very loyal, unfortunately the position they were in needed to change and take on new responsibilities which were outside of their skill set. We had offered to move them to another position, the ONLY other position available in the company, a week or so ago and they would retain their same rate of pay, regardless of the fact that the other position was almost $10,000 annually less in salary. They had come back a few days later and said that they would enjoy that job.

I'm still not 100% sure they realized that they basically were giving us no choice but to let them go. In the end we didn't feel we had another option so the option of working notice or a severance pay were given. They notified us this weekend that they would take the pay so we are currently short a person in the accounting division for a few weeks until the new person with the above mentioned skills, can start. And during year end no less! But at least we are moving forward to a more efficient department, especially considering I will be gone for a year in March, I like to know things will run smooth through that period.

But with that all said and done, here's a tip if you ever have to let someone go....check their personnel file and confirm it isn't their birthday! We found out today that the employee we gave notice to on Friday was actually turning 40 that day! 365 days in a year and we pick THAT day? Who would have thought that would happen. Needless to say we feel like jerks but its not like we can say sorry we take it back!

Sunday, November 11, 2012



Today was Remembrance Day and for the first time in 13 years I went to a Remembrance Day service. Apparently D and his brother have NEVER been before. I use to go every year because I was part of the Girl Guides organization from grade one to twelve which took part in the local parade and service every Remembrance Day.

Moving to Winnipeg I seemed to have losted the drive to attend, and when I joined back up with Girl Guides as a leader 2 years ago I figured I would take part again every year but for some reason our district doesn't make a huge deal out of it and only a few units go to local legions to take part in services. I have yet to take my Sparks unit as I wasn't really sure what to do. I wanted to this year but I put the planning off to long and didn't think I had enough time to get anyone to show up but I decided enough was enough and I would go myself (with D and his brother) to check out a service and figure out what I would do with my unit next year.

The service was nice but I wish they could be a little more engaging. I realize its not suppose to be about entertainment. The purpose is to remember and recongnize what other have and are giving up for us as a nation to continue to enjoy the freedoms we do. I just feel that if the timing of different readings, marchs and laying of wreaths were smoother and at least ONE of the speechs wasn't monotone people would be more drawn into. I hate to think of people saying 'well that was boring' or 'why do we go to this again'. You want to know that they are walking away going 'wow, I can't believe the sacrifices some have given over the years'.

I was also disappointed in the appearances of the Girl Guides and Scouts. I remember when I was younger having our uniforms be a specific way, clean and sharply presented and wearing apropriate footwear. Now the uniforms are t-shirts which isn't bad on its own but there is not structure inforced for the rest of the girls and boys (and some adult leaders) apperances. Girls wearing Uggs and boys wearing huge winter boots indoors (we can't bring a change of footwear?!), clothing and hair sloppy. It looks worse when the are marching behind the military branchs and cadets that are dressed in full uniform. I just don't understand what has happened to our organization. Its not just now that I've noticed either. Last year during our advancement ceremony the Pathfinders in attendance took multiple tries to complete their opening ceremony (and this is at the end of the year after many meetings of practice) and they thought it was funny!

I understand that we don't want to be so strict that we push members away from the organization but why have we lost the importance of ceremony and structure. Do kids today no longer understand when to be serious or are the adults to affaird to teach them in fear of being labeled too strict?


I can not believe that I missed posting yesterday. It was completely unintentional so I'm cramming two posts in today. I woke up this morning really confused because I swore I had written something yesterday but for the life of me couldn't remember. So if I had written something this would have been it...

Friday morning D must have heard something on the radio before I was fully awake (he gets up at 5:30 and I try not to be fully conscious until 7:30) because before he left work he was asking me if I had checked the bed bug registry before booking our hotel in Queens two weeks prior. I told him no, I had read all the reviews on expedia though and felt that it was a decent place fore the price. I also send we should be more concerned about whether the hurricane's effects had damaged the hotel or if our booking would get bumped if they had people staying there as a shelter of sorts.

Apparently my attempts to convince him that it wasn't worth worrying about failed because he pestered me during work to email him the hotel information. At which point he did a search and found out that, low and behold, someone had posted a 'sighting' in August 2011 at this hotel. Personally over a year ago does not mean there are STILL bugs. You think if it was an issue you would see more current reportings and negative reviews but one is enough for him to think the sky is falling (granted I think bed bugs are as gross as the next person, I guess I just don't freak out like some people).

So he researched hotels until he found one with no reports in the area and that was a good price, cancelled our current reservation and made the new booking.

Technically we still have no idea if this trip will get cancelled in two weeks because of the weather and the current situation (no electricity in parts of NYC still) but at least we can sleep better knowing that little bugs won't be crawling all over us while we sleep or hopping a ride back in our luggage.

What about you? Do you check the bed bus registry and/or online reviews of hotels before booking at a new place now? Do you do the bed bug sweep when you check in before you even unpack?

Friday, November 9, 2012

A short one

Normally a day like this would result in me NOT blogging but I don't want to fail this soon in the month.

I'm currently trying to finish (start!) a 1000 word report on applying the theory of Beyond Budgeting to my organization and how its working in another organization right now....yup, my CMA SLP assignments are riveting. To be fair this would actually be an extremely interesting discussion to have at my next interactive session and even making the attempts to apply to my organization in reality, but writing about it in a third party formal style results in yawns from me. I truly don't understand why we are mandated to complete these assignments even though we pass on our final alone.

Our whole program is based on finding the best performance measurements to drive the best results, and yet the assignments rubrics seem to be hypocritical to this. If we are not rewarded for these assignments why are they mandatory? Could we not find a different way to measure whether we understanding the necessary concepts?

Well this assignment is due by midnight so I'll cut my rant short and check back in tomorrow.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Christmas Traditions - New & Old

I know there are a lot of people out there that love Halloween and go all out with their decorations but I'm not one of them. Halloween is okay and when my future children are old enough to enjoy the holiday I will probably put a little more effort into it.

Now Christmas is a completely different story. I LOVE this holiday and I start my 'season' as soon as I can which means Christmas planning is already on the top of my mind. One of the things my sister and I have been discussing recently is what we want to do now that children are back in our Christmas plans for traditions.

To begin with my family has always spent Christmas together. When my siblings and I moved to Winnipeg to go to university, we either travelled home or our parents came to us, depending on our work schedules. In 2008 when my sister and her husband moved back to our hometown, we decided to do Christmas in Winnipeg (where D & I live, as well as my brother-in-law's family) one year and The Pas (where my sister, brother-in-law, and parents live) the other year, and we have flipped back and forth every year since.

Technically my brother moved to a third city and recently having his Christmas schedule mesh with ours hasn't been as easy, this year may be the first year that we don't see him until after the holiday due to schedule conflicts but hopefully this works itself out in the future.

Since we are together every Christmas, agreeing on what traditions we want to keep from our childhood and what we want to add is important. Having cousins get completely different experiences wouldn't be fun for them, when both of our children are old enough to understand whats going on.

Also I'll be honest...a lot of these traditions are for our benefit. I love doing the things that we do and have put up fights when its discussed that we might stop any of them.

Currently our Christmas Traditions include:
  1. Opening one gift on Christmas Eve which is always a new pair of pajamas (this way we look 'nice' for Christmas morning photos...not that this does anything for my messy hair and lack of makeup in the morning)
  2. Stockings - now that we are all adults we decided that it wasn't fair that our parents front the cost of this alone, especially since we are the ones that didn't want to stop, so we all are responsible for getting stocking stuffers at $10/person. We each pick a theme to purchase so we have some variation in our stockings (kitchen gadgets, bathroom toiletry, books, games, candy, etc)
  3. Reading a Christmas story on Christmas Eve - our father usually does this.
  4. Christmas Eve dinner includes traditional Norwegian dishes. (Lutefisk & Lefse - one is delicious and one not so much...can you guess which is which? My grandma reminded us once that at least we don't still prepare blood pudding which was another dish her parents always prepared - good point! the idea of eating thick, congealed blood stuffed into a sausage liner sounds less then appetizing)
My sister and I have been thinking of new traditions we want to introduce at Christmas, including:
  • Elf on the Shelf - I picked up a boy elf & book this year for my nephew (it doesn't look like the Elf on the Shelf website ships to Canada but luckily Chapters bookstores stock them). Pinterest as great ideas of ways to stage your Elf on the Shelf each day.
What type of Christmas traditions do you continue to participate? Favorites?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Planning the nursesry

Knowing that we will be having a girl allows me to start planning the design of the nursery. I'm leaning towards a vintage decor in neutral colors, which I'll keep you update on as I find details but two item that I am leaning towards are from Ikea.

Luckily November means that our local Ikea will be opening, I'm not sure I'm prepared to enter it until at least January due to the craziness that will probably surround the place but when I do, I want to buy the Hemnes Daybed and Sundivk Crib. They are ridiculously inexpensive together compared to the cribs, alone, I would purchase at Babies 'R Us or eChildren (a local high end baby store). I like the idea of have a daybed that has a trundle bed in it so it can convert into a back up spare bed for company and be moved into my office once our daughter grows out of her nursery and needs her own twin bed.

My only issue right now with them is that there isn't a lot of color options for them. I'll either go white for the daybed and white or the grey-brown for the crib but I was considering painting them as an option, just not sure if there is a baby friendly way to do that. Maybe if I paint I'd only do it to the daybed?


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The jury is in...

Two weeks ago today I went for my first ultra sound and we asked to know the gender but I didn't want to announce it until I had my doctor confirm that she agreed with the ultra sound technician, which happened this afternoon.

Its official....we are having a GIRL!

Conveniently for this post our ultra sound pictures were also ready for pick up at the hospital (we opted not to go to a private clinic as our hospital and doctor would confirm gender but it meant we had to wait for the pictures for a few weeks).

Above is a profile of our girl, its pretty much the only picture that doesn't look like a blob to me hence why its the one you get to see. Didn't think you needed to see the picture determining can take my word for it. ;)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Preparing my 1st Weekly Meal Plan

One of the biggest 'unexpected' I want to avoid is living on a reduced household salary during Mat Leave and going into debt because I'm not managing my food budget, as I talked about previously. So I've decided that with 4 1/2 months left before I'm slicing my wage in less then half, I'm going to start living like I have less to spend on food already.

Currently I have our food budget set at $550/month (this includes restaurants, take out, coffees from Starbucks & Tims, as well as our groceries). I went over this 'budget' by $200 last month but I want to cut it down to $350/month in April, for a year. Obviously I'm doing something wrong right now and this future budget is unrealistic based on our current purchasing habits.

The biggest problem is I don't plan and prepare grocery lists and meals a head of time. I'm constantly reacting to my stomach's cries for food at the last minute and never feel 'in the mood' to make dinner for D, so I'm resorting to takeout, restaurants and packaged frozen dinners (pizzas) from the grocery store.

Yesterday I decided to take charge and break this habit. D was going to the grocery story anyways so I had him pick up a few items I needed to make dinners for the week from stuff I have on hand in my pantry and freezer.

This week's meal plan (Monday to Sunday) looks like this:
  • Monday (I'm home late because I have my Sparks meeting until 8pm)
    • Breakfast: Cereal, Toast, Bagels or Oatmeal
    • Lunch: Leftover Chinese Takeout(D packs his own lunch from stuff we have in the house)
    • Dinner: Crockpot Chili (start it before I left this morning)
  • Tuesday (I'm home late because its our first week running payroll with a new software)
    • Breakfast: Cereal, Toast, Bagels or Oatmeal
    • Lunch: Chili leftover 
    • Dinner: Lasagna & salad (made Monday night, D can put in oven when he gets home)
  • Wednesday (I'm home late because its our first week running payroll with a new software)
    • Breakfast: Cereal, Toast, Bagels or Oatmeal
    • Lunch: Lasagna leftovers
    • Dinner: Bean Enchiladas (made Tuesday night, D can put in oven when he gets home)
  • Thursday
    • Breakfast: Cereal, Toast, Bagels or Oatmeal
    • Lunch: Lasagna leftovers
    • Dinner: Garlic Teryaki Stir Fry
  • Friday
    • Breakfast: Cereal, Toast, Bagels or Oatmeal
    • Lunch: Provided by employers - every Friday is catered
    • Dinner: Tortellini with Alfredo Sauce
  • Saturday
    • Breakfast: Cereal, Toast, Bagels or Oatmeal
    • Lunch: Soup & Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (not home until after 1pm though)
    • Dinner: Veggie Breaded 'Chicken breast' with Vegetables & Potatoes
  • Sunday
    • Breakfast: Cereal, Toast, Bagels or Oatmeal
    • Lunch: Chili leftovers
    • Dinner: D's parents
I want to try a weekly budget of $75 max for the two of us, which means I will start relying a lot on the food we already have on hand and reducing spoilage of the perishable items. I don't want to say that this is a 30 day challenge though, as I think the real test will come after the 30 days once I've used up a lot of my stockpile in the freezer. I'm curious to see if I can stay below $75/week ($300/month) and not leave my cupboards bare or start eating unhealthy.

One of my biggest challenges in meal planning is I need to rely on crock pot and prepared casserole dishes every Monday and Tuesday (aside from this week, this is the day I normally meet to do group assignment work for my CMA program) but with D being a vegetarian I find my choices are limited as veggie meats for the most part don't hold up to slow cooking all day (with the exception of ground round) so I'm stuck rotating only a few options. Any one have recipes they want to share that are meatless for my make a head nights?

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Currently I am in my final year of the Strategic Leadership Program which will end in my attaining my accounting designation as a CMA (Certified Management Accountant). I chose CMA over CGA (Certified General Accountant) and CA (Chartered Accountant) as this program focuses heavily on the managerial aspects of accounting, like cost accounting, rather then financial reporting like auditing and tax preparation...personally the latter doesn't interest me at all, although I tend to have to do a lot of it in my position at work as a means to an end.

The SLP consists of 3 interactive weekends (one in October, December and March) as well as independent and group work through out September to March that is submitted online for marking. I just got my feedback and mark back for my interactive weekend in October and received a very positive review. Not surprisingly the main thing that prevented me for receiving an AE (above expectation; A+) was the quality of my written submissions prior to the weekend. Although the ideas were good, I tend not to present a 'polished' end product, mainly because its my LEAST favorite thing to do.

I prefer to talk through my ideas and provide back up verbally, in discussions, and let someone else write it all up. It doesn't help that a lot of my online submissions are done the day they are due which doesn't leave a lot of time for proof reading and editing.

Somehow I need to change this tendency of mine to start things at the 11th hour. I need to prepare better...see how I tied this back to my unofficial theme for the month?!

Considering this is a bad habit I've had my entire life, at 30 it isn't the easiest thing to break. Any suggestions on how to better manage my time?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Planning our trip to NYC

So back in the spring of 2011 I went to NYC with my mother, sister and some girlfriends, I truly enjoyed my first trip there. What I wasn't prepared for though was how much walking we would do, in fact we calculated that the three days that we walked around Manhattan equalled the distance of two and half full marathons.

Because I wasn't prepared, I didn't pack accordingly. Rather I had at least 3 completely inappropriate but stylish shoes to choose from, all of which left my arches screaming in pain and me hobbling around on our last day there, when I finally walked into a Reebok store and purchasing a pair of walking shoes. Too little, too late.

Later this month my husband and I are traveling back to NYC, along with his brother and sister-in-law, and I've learnt from my mistake. This time I'm packing appropriate footwear regardless of how much I want to look fashionable walking around SOHO and Central Park.

So I went shopping at one of the larger malls in the city today and started browsing for 'comfortable walking shoes', hoping that I didn't have to resort to bulky running shoes. I can't believe how hard it is to find something that is stylish but practical.

I have been searching online tonight and still coming up with little.

One shoe that I found that might work from this article, although not 'fashionable' but maybe I'll have to give up on that idea, is the Reebok DMX Max Reedirect which is recommended for 'Overweight' walkers as the air pockets in the rubber bottom of the shoe reduce impact for more comfort and less chance of injury.

I figure being 24 weeks pregnant while we are there, I should have as much support for my feet as possible.

I think my next step will be to go to a specialty shoe store, Canadian Footwear, where my husband went to get his shoes when he was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis. Although I think I'll avoid the bulky New Balance runners that he opted for!

Any other suggestions?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Preparing to Prepare

Now that I've decided to actually do all the things I've been saying I should do, so that I'm prepared for the unexpected, I am feeling a little overwhelmed with all of the aspects of my life that need to have things 'prepared' for and all the different things that can classify as 'unexpected'.

So today I'm going to just write down the areas in which I need to do something and will write about this month, here they are:
  1. Home
    • Emergency Stockpile for natural disaster (or zombie apocalypse...)
    • Fireproof Safe with important documents stored in it
    • Emergency Kit for vehicles (we have one in mine but not my husband's! probably should fix that and I'm sure we can upgrade them)
  2. Work
    • Exit plan/training process for when I take mat leave (or if I was ever hit by a bus)
    • Handling the 'what if' of job lose
  3. Financial
    • Insurance
      • Life
      • Disability
      • Critical Illness
      • Health & Dental
      • House & Property
      • Vehicle
    • Budget
      • Normal
      • Worse Case
      • Emergency Fund
      • Rainy Day Fund
      • Children's education Fund
    • Retirement
      • Investments
  4. Life
    • Will
    • Appointing a Power of Attorney
    • a binder containing all of the important documents (the will, insurance, warranties, listing of assets, etc) stored in the fireproof safe
  5. Travel
    • Insurance
    • Emergency Contact
    • What to pack
    • Important documents
I feel like I'm missing a ton of areas and I'll probably add to this as I go. Is there anything you see that I'm missing right now??

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Its November

So another November has arrived and I told myself last year that I would participate in NaBloPoMo when it came around again, completely ignoring the fact that my life is rarely relaxed enough to commit to an entire month of blogging everyday but regardless of this fact I still want to give this a shot.

I understand that by registering with NaBloPoMo I can receive daily prompts to give me inspiration for things to write but I have also been meaning to document how I'm trying to organize our home and lives for the unexpected, so what better month to start.

Tomorrows always seem to be in surplus when I tell myself that I really need to finalize our wills (they are in the draft stage with the lawyer...since June!!), get a fire proof safe for all of our important documents or stockpile a home emergency cupboard of none perishable foods, water, first aid kit, etc, especially since I live in central Canada with a major power outage or snowstorm being my biggest nature disasters to worry about (technically our city has suffered major floods in the past but we live far enough away from the water that we would be more affected from power going out or water backing up from the sewers then the actually flood its self) but then you listen to the news this week about the devastating effects that Hurricane Sandy has left in New York and Jersey and remember that you can't predict when a disaster may hit.

Especially now that I've past my 20 week mark in my pregnancy and life with a child is approaching closer and closer, I want to know that I've made efforts to be prepared for what life will throw our way.

So here's to a busy month in which I will make an effort to set aside time daily to blog, for the sake of blogging. and perhaps motivate myself to get other things done that I've been putting off for to long.

....and who knows when the zombie apocalypse will show up...