Monday, April 26, 2010

A New Blog Coming & Canadian Home 10 Things About Me

Hi! Yes, I am still alive here, I'm just busily working on a new blog that will be set to launch in the next month or 2. I am still checking out/commenting on my favourite blogs daily in the meantime. That being said, today I will take a break from working on my new blog and participate in the "Ten Things About Me" posted over at Canadian Home. I will keep with the childhood theme so here we go!

1) My parents are both from New Brunswick and came to live in Ontario after they got married (apparently they moved for work). I was born and raised in Ontario and don't know my extended family very well. We have taken a few trips out East when I was younger (some visits were for funerals) and my parents have cut off most contacts with my Dad's side of the family after his mother died. This summer we (myself, kids and husband) are going to visit my mother's side for a week. I am looking forward to connecting with the extended family I longed for as a child and hopefully learn about them and my family's history.

2) Both my parents worked full-time and I was shuffled from babysitter to babysitter as a kid and eventually was left to watch over my brother (who is 7 years younger than I). It was pounded in my head that I would grow up and be a working woman too and do the same thing to my children. I hated all my babysitters and hated the responsibility of being a mother-type to my brother. I did work for many years climbing the corporate ladder faster than most and shocked everyone when I quit to stay home with my youngest child (I was up for a management promotion). Initially, I quit because it would have cost more for childcare, gas, etc. if I continued to work but I soon remembered the feelings I had as a child with working parents and now I'm proud to be a stay-at-home mother and raise my kids.

3) I learned what sex was when I was 4. I had a friend who was a few years older than me and she demonstrated with her Barbie Dolls. I asked her how she knew that and she told me she asked her mom where babies come from. Later that day her mom was driving us somewhere and my friend asked her mom about sex in my presence. Her mom asked me if I knew what sex was and I said yes (I thought I knew because of the Barbies) and her mother was very explicit about the body parts and where they go. I was quite shocked and confused. I came home and asked my mom where babies come from and she told me that God put babies in mommy's tummies and then quickly changed the subject. I knew at the time she lied to me (or withheld the whole truth) and I remember feeling very hurt by that. To this day my mom or dad has never had the "Sex" talk with me.

4) Even though we never had the "Sex" talk my mother scared the crap out of me by telling me what periods were when I was 9. She rambled on for which seemed like an hour but all I got from it was I was going to see blood "down there". For 3 years I was petrified of getting my period until it finally happened at age 12. Thanks Mom.

5) I got grounded for a week once for saying the word "Bastard" which I really had no idea that it was a swear word. My dad and I were playing Nintendo and every time he died he would say "Bastard". I happened to be playing, died and yelled "Bastard" when my mom was putting away laundry in the same room and she immediately freaked out and grounded me. I told her I didn't know it was a swear word but she didn't believe me. Thanks Dad.

6) The person I most idolized growing up was my next door neighbour. She was a great mother of 2 who treated me like a person not just another "teenager". I felt more comfortable talking to her than my own mother. I was always super skinny growing up and a late bloomer and as a young teenage girl this was hard. She told me that by the time I was a senior in high school all the other girls would be fat and I would look great. She was pretty dead on about that.

7) I smoked cigarettes from ages 12-22. I quit when I was pregnant with my son and picked it up again shortly after my daughter was born. I've been in the cycle of quitting and starting ever since. Right now I am down to 4/day (from a once 1/2 pack/day) and don't plan on quitting completely again until September. Summer brings around more gatherings and other smokers so a relapse is almost guaranteed. I am never pegged as a smoker, most people are shocked if they find out (I guess I look too innocent?). Besides I hide it well, usually only smoking in my garage.

8) When I was 5 I pulled out a sausage from the freezer that had got buried loose from a package for some time. My dad rinsed it off and cooked it for me and later I puked everywhere. I've never eaten a sausage since.

9) I played softball as a kid and for the most part hated it. My parents forced me to go and after much whining I did. I ended up late to one practice and had to be paired up with the coach to throw balls back and forth. The coach was too busy paying attention to all the others that he chucked one at me and nailed me square in the nose. Luckily, it didn't break but it was a huge bloody mess.

10) Overall, I had to grow up fast & teach myself most life lessons. It was a difficult childhood feeling alone although I had lots of friends. I longed to have my family around well into my 20s. I know now that I will never get that childhood experience and I need to let it go. The best thing I can do is be a caring mother for my own children and make their childhood full of loving memories. I believe that being a stay-at-home mom I can achieve that and look forward to all the adventures!
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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

West Jet Sale!

West Jet is having an awesome seat sale with many flights as low as $72! We just booked our trip to New Brunswick for the summer and I'm super excited!!! Check out the seat sale here but hurray the sale ends April 14th!
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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Peanut Butter Chocolate Easter Cookies

I love Cadbury Mini Eggs, they are so delicious! Here's my favourite cookie recipe with Mini Eggs substituted for chocolate chips:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Easter Cookies


1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup Cadbury Mini Eggs


Preheat oven to 350F. Mix flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; reserve. In another bowl, mix sugars. With a spoon stir in butter until blended. Stir in peanut butter until blended, then egg and vanilla. Mix in flour mixture until combined. Roll tablespoons into balls and place 3" apart on ungreased baking sheets. With a fork flatten each ball in a crisscross pattern. Press 2-3 Mini Eggs into each cookie. Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are set. Cool on pan 5 minutes. Enjoy!

*This recipe is very easy to substitute ingredients. If you do not have cocoa add 3/4 cup of flour instead. Try substituting Mini Eggs with 1 cup chocolate chips, smarties or peanut butter cups cut into small pieces!
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Thursday, March 25, 2010

I Heart IKEA (until they discontinue furniture)...

IKEA furniture is my crack. Good thing the closest IKEA is 2 1/2 hours away from me or I would probably spend all my money there or worse yet get a job there and allow them to pay me in furniture.

My whole house is IKEA right down to my utensils. Two reasons why I love IKEA is the style and the price. My stuff is modern and nice to look at and if one of my kids wreak something it's not the end of the world because it didn't cost all that much. Well after potty training 2 kids (and continuing to do so) we have washed our IKEA couch slipcovers almost weekly. They are still holding up however they are looking a bit dingy.

I decided to price out new slipcovers online and too my dismay IKEA no longer carries my couches :( I found an alternative website called that wants nearly $700 for replacements!!! I was lucky enough to find some new ones on Ebay which should cost about $230.00 with shipping and exchange. At times like this I wish I knew how to sew!

So I tell Blake about my fabulous discovery and of course he could care less about the slipcovers. He just wants a new couch - not gonna happen. I need to fund this want myself - coming up with the cash is the hard part. So I have a cheque coming from Futura Rewards for approximately $120.00 however it is taking them FOREVER to cash out even after complaining that I've been waiting over 6 MONTHS! I also have $100.00 saved myself but that's all my money. I really don't want to spend all my $100.00 as I hate being completely broke. can I make extra money? Any suggestions? Or anyone know how to sew slipcovers???
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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dear Monica

I've decided to participate in writing a letter to myself to read 10 years from now, an idea posted on Punch Debt In the Face blog you can check out here.

Dear Monica,

You are now 38 years old. At 28 now, you are commonly mistaken for 19 or 20 so I hope that you are still blessed with youthful looks as it will REALLY benefit you now! Your 3 kids are 16, 15 & 13 so I hope you can still stay sane through all the raging hormones...

At this point on your life you should be well past debt free - including your mortgage - and have experienced many fun family adventures including a trip to Disney. You and Blake should have great retirement savings built up and also have saved for your children's education.

I hope you've taken the time to discuss and teach each child about money so they have a great understanding as they inch towards adulthood. Always remember that you are the best teacher in this area. Reflect on the times when you started out in the "real world" and how uneducated and naive you were about money. Remember all the horrible feelings that debt brings as well as the stress on your marriage. You want better for your kids so show them the way.

Always remember that Blake is your best friend as well as your husband. I hope now that your kids are older you both take time for each other and have fun. In fact go plan a mini vacation for you guys RIGHT NOW - I'm sure you were proactive in saving for vacations. Since this year marks your 15 wedding anniversary you both deserve it.

Keep up the great work!


Monica (the younger version)
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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Wrapping Up Home Renos

My apologies for the lack of posting lately. First of all we had a great March Break and enjoyed every second of beautiful weather outside. Too bad it didn't last.

So we *thought* we would be able to wrap up the home renovations soon and we could call for our second audit. We met up with Blake's friend who is a contractor this weekend and paid him for the basement windows. Hopefully they will be in soon (3 weeks approximately) and the guys can install them quite easily.

I was curious as to how much of a rebate we would receive on the windows I pulled out the rebate guide provided to us by the auditor. After I started reading it closer I realized that we had completely forgot about insulating the basement walls! We insulated the headers in the basement and the complete attic but not the basement walls! Argh, how could we miss that?!?! So off Blake went to buy more insulation ($800 worth) and the fun begins. Hopefully we can get this project finished before the windows come in and we can be done. Unfortunately, we had to take the funds from our credit line but I pinky swear it will be paid back when the rebate comes in!

Have you participated in the Energy Audit program?
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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

TV Series I Love

So I am very happy that now many of the shows I watch are back on however I hate it that they seem to conflict with each other. Blake and I are huge LOST fans and he's gonna be mad that I forgot to record last night's episode! I hate that The Biggest Loser is on at the same time because I like watching that show too. I usually watch The Biggest Loser and then record LOST at a later time to watch on Wednesday night with Blake but last night I forgot and went to sleep. This week Avelyn has been difficult at night time (I think she may be coming down with an ear infection) so sleep has been not so good. Luckily, I found I website awhile back to watch previous episodes online. Around Christmas time I watched all 3 seasons of Gossip Girl online (isn't Ed Westwick (Chuck) hot?!?!?).

So if you ever miss an episode of your favourite show or want to start watching a new series check out Watch Series.
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