Monthly Archives: May 2012

and the $ for the disney pot is…


so…how ’bout those toronto blue jays??

have you made plans for the weekend, yet?

what’s going to be the blockbuster movie of the summer??

haha, i’m just being a tease and prolonging the announcement of the may grocery bill total.

care to make your guess??

ok, here we go…

after calculating and rechecking my work, the may grocery bill total is….


wow. by yesterday, i did suspect that i was under my $400 target, but i am honestly surprised at this low figure.

a few points of explanation:

~ let’s say that i stole *borrowed*/was granted $100 worth of free food from my various sources since may 1st [and i do think i am being overly generous with this guesstimate]. that means that i still came in well under my usual monthly average for grocery spending.

~ my cupboards are BARE right now. like, i rival old mother hubbard. my first post-may grocery shopping weekend is going to be H-U-G-E and expensive!

~ just for fun, i tallied how much money i spent on carbonated water and coffee this month. the total? $54.81. that amount represents almost 20% of my total grocery bill.

what i am going to do with my excess money:

$120 seems like a lot to put into my disney fund. so, i am going to do r.a.o.k. #4 [i will share what #3 was in the june 9th monthly recap post] and buy 42 jars of baby food and donate them to the food bank [i like to take action and buy things rather than write cheques, that is just my style, and children’s nutrition holds a soft spot in my ♥] then whatever $ is left over will be set aside for the disney trip.

two realizations:

~ salad ingredients are non-negotiable items! lettuce must be a household staple!

~ you need to be observant when paging through the weekly store flyers – not every featured item is on sale! let’s take last week’s valumart flyer to pick on as an example:

these products ARE on sale! note that the sale price and the savings amount are highlighted.

these items are NOT on sale – they are simply new items that valumart wants to bring to your attention!

final thoughts:

~ you CAN shop on a budget, eat healthy, and avoid a diet of chef boyardee and kraft dinner; however, you must be flexible in what you are willing to purchase. for example: with vegetables, you may need to sub in frozen for fresh, or change brand names, or switch up the fresh veggies that you choose to put in your shopping basket.

~ you also need to be willing to travel from store to store to hit major bargains. how valuable is your time vs the amount of money you will save?

~ stock up on non-perishables like cereal and peanut butter when you see a super price – as long as you have the storage space!


over the past few weeks, i have been composing a mental list of groceries that i am chomping at the bit to buy!

  • maranatha peanut butter and/or maranatha almond butter
  • protein powder [will pick up at work on saturday]
  • tofu and tempeh
  • veggie burgers [fran, this one is all thanks to you!]
  • all three flavours of puffins that are available in canada – that would be original, cinnamon and peanut butter [ooo, this purchase has a question mark after it because how can i justify $4.79 per box for puffins – and they are very small boxes, at that – with all the major cereal sales going on?? i may have to think on this one]
  • a new shampoo that does not make me look like the “before” photo in a hair-care advert [i am thinking a grapfruit scent from body shop would be oh-so-nice for the summer].


tomorrow, i work until 6 pm at theOTHERstore, then here is the evening’s entertainment plan for after that (about which i am entirely gleeful!!):

~ go to sears and take advantage of the lancôme special offer of goodies if you spend $45 or more [ok, this has absolutely nothing to do with groceries, but it is the #1 stop on my agenda].

~ go to food basics and buy many things.

~ go home, then head out to the health food store and valumart and shoppers and buy many things.

i do not think i will make it to friday night knitting club!

i have a feeling that by the time i add up the receipts from all of these stops, we could be close to matching may’s grocery total!!

**for the record, every grocery item i bought this month was on sale – i did not cheat!

any grocery shopping lessons that YOU have learned that you can add to the list, above?? as dad would say, all things in moderation. that is the biggest lesson i am taking away from my great may grocery challenge!!

a decadent drink + a marvelous movie

sunday was a fun day!

part i:

in the afternoon, i met up with mom and dad at starbucks. this was a momentous occasion because i had my first-ever iced beverage!!


it’s true! i’ve never had a frappa-cappa-latta-mochi, ever, and sunday was the day to try one of s’bux specialty iced drinks. since it was 3 p.m., i did not want anything with coffee in it, so i ordered (after receiving info and clarification from the barista) a double chocolatey chip (don’t quote me, but i think that was the name). i loved it! this beverage becomes entry #2 in the wildly decadent and delicious desserts category for the 12 days of kiki project. here’s a fact: any time you add whipped cream and/or chocolate sauce to anything, said item automatically gets bumped into “decadent” status. [i’m calling it now: the remaining three desserts of the project are going to be ice-y cold, in some way, shape or form]. anyway, that chocolate drink gets a **** rating, and i highly recommend it.

the main reason for our get-together was to celebrate mom’s upcoming birthday!

a photo to mark the occasion!

as part of her gift, i made mom a pair of socks…

how many socks do you see???!…

…except due to technical difficulties, i only had one sock completed! so, mom received one sock on sunday and an IOU card for its partner. hopefully, by this weekend, mom will have TWO socks in her possession!

we had a lovely time visiting and raising a glass an iced drink in mom’s honour!

part ii:

sunday eve, we headed back over to the princess in order to attempt, once again, to catch the film the best exotic marigold hotel.

would we have better luck getting in on an overcast and humid sunday eve of a non-long weekend?


yes!…but barely! we got seats mid-theatre -> would not have wanted to be any closer to the screen!

we’ll go with inside-the-theatre photos, this week!


we all loved the movie. i give it a rock-solid ***+ star rating.

the storyline is captivating and quick-paced and filled with unexpected twists. my favourite characters were played by bill nighy and maggie smith, but the movie is chalk full of stellar performances. the dialogue is LOL funny in parts, but the film is also full of gentle life lessons such as:

everything will be all right in the end…if it’s not alright, then it’s not the end.

that is brilliant!

if you get a chance to view this movie, go for it – you won’t be disappointed!

whose birthday will you next celebrate among your immediate family/close friends? we enter a drought period after mom’s birthday – nothing until cutie c turns three in august!

do you have any desire to travel to india (the setting for the best exotic marigold hotel)? i do not, i must admit. call me unadventurous, but i do think india is a little too exotic for me…although i would find my beloved hot weather!

may grocery challenge: update #4

greetings, friends!

well, here we are – this is the last entry for our regular tuesday updates in the great may grocery challenge series.

week #1!

week #2!

week #3!

reminder: on thursday, i will share the month’s final grocery bill. [my last may grocery store outing will happen today so that i have time to review my receipts and think about what i want to say about this project!].

here are the thoughts from this past week, may 22-28:

~ stupendous: i managed to go three whole days (monday, tuesday, wednesday, last week) without setting foot in a grocery store – that has gotta be close to a personal record.

~ silly: there is enough cereal in my cupboard to sink a ship. and the cereal sales are still going strong this week at all area food stores. it’s irksome that i do not need any more cereal because i would love to take advantage of deals such as this one at food basics:

love the “buy more, pay less” incentive!

~ clueless: i honestly have no clue if i have spent $200 or $600 on groceries, this month. i am going to be just as surprised as you when i tally up how much money has been spent. i am really excited to see the total!

~ craving: here is the eclectic request list that i gave emailed dad-the-scout for his trip on thursday to the market:

  • a choco chip muffin
  • skim milk cheese
  • white button mushrooms
  • a head of lettuce (**this last one was simply for the laughs: dad as lettuce supplier has become the joke of this project!*)

~ focussed: this week’s vehicular voyage saw me head up to beechwood zehrs:

i so very rarely shop at zehrs these days!

guess what SALE item i was searching out?!…

not as good a price as at central’s sale!

i stocked up with enough lettuce to see me through the end of the month. next time i buy rabbit food, it will be anywhere at any price (likely food basics: even at regular prices, they are still the cheapest).

~ sweet!: nicole (unknowingly) contributed to the cause!

yum! a cupcake made by nicole for her sister’s bday!

~ icky: i bought a tin of water chestnuts and a tin of baby corn as accoutrements for salads. well, one serving of each, then my taste buds turned themselves off. let me tell you, you get a lot of water chestnuts and baby corn in those little tins…

any thoughts from your own may grocery purchases? i never resorted to kraft dinner!


today is a special day – it is dearest mom‘s birthday! we marked this celebration date on sunday with two fun outings – recap tomorrow!

file photo, may 2012, pre-shopping outing, of course!

mom and her newest bff, celebrity restauranteur chuck hughes, in montreal, april 2012!

mom: you are one of the sweetest, kindest, gentlest ladies (yet you still possess spunk and gumption) on this earth. you are my favourite shopping partner, confidante, and i love you to pieces. enjoy a most wonderful day today (perfect timing that you are in TO to see little e and cutie c!) and all the best in the coming year. xoxo!

going once, going twice…

last year, we nearly froze to death…

file photo: quilt auction preview, may 27.2012

…and this year, it was practically hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk a tractor!

with the catalogue of quilt offerings for 2012!

i’ll take this heat, thank you very much!

what a perfect evening:

here we are!

[i love and adore having a chronicle on this blog of social events! this is the third annual blog post about quilt auction preview night. here is the 2010 report, and here is the 2011 account!].

in looking back, i noticed that i followed the same format in my recap posts for each of the last two years. let’s stick with tradition – after all, that is what quilt auction preview eve is all about!

tradition #1: dad’s parking spot

what the what?? in other years, dad has chosen to manoeuvre his lexus into the most obscure and puny of parking *spots* imaginable. this year, we drove in, right away at least three empty spaces beckoned us over, and we had tons of room to fling open our doors!

look at all that s-p-a-c-e!!!

as we walked along, we were all laughing pretty hard as we played “eye spy” for spots that dad could have chosen:

this green triangle was my suggestion – dad could have nosed the lexus right alongside that blue bucket…

ah – we missed out! we would have been twenty paces closer had we only held out for this spot!

tradition #2: meat ‘n’ pie

dad made a beeline straight towards the burgers:

uh oh, check out the size of the line-up!

much too long of a wait for erv-man! second choice? french fries!

THIS is the way to enjoy fries: hot from the fryer, with ketchup and salt!

very, very tasty! good choice, dad. but fries are not made from meat…

dad later found a shorter burger line, so don’t worry that the poor man missed out on getting his protein. then, just before we went home…

cherry pie and ice cream! for $2.50, only!

after the french fry munching, mom and i took off in search of…

tradition #3: mom buys apple butter and jams


the prices are SO reasonable: mom got a huge jar of (straight from wellesley) apple butter for only $5!

jam, jam, where is the jam lady?


mom does make jam herself, but it’s fun to pick up some types that are rather unusual:

i think mom bypassed the dandelion variety, though!

tradition #4: the viewing of the quilts

next, mom and i ventured over to the quilt display. we had 206 works of art to view!

follow the arrows!

this year, instead of trying to capture an entire blanket, i have only smidgeons of quilts to share with you:

my favourite of the entire evening…

…it’s shown in its entirety on the front of the auction program. spectacular!

this quilt featured flowers, each block unique from the rest. i loved the detailing!

we noticed a definite return to traditional quilting techniques this year

classic. i love symmetry and bright colours in a quilt.

and finally…

i know that blanket! (sorry for the blur – dad must have had salt jitters from the fries??!)

tradition #5: catching up

i swear we don’t walk ten feet without meeting someone we know, or seeing someone we recognize. this year, we connected with the usual mix of family (mom’s cousin bob, specifically, and joan and sandy), church friends, old neighbours, ex-classmates…and new this year, my friend vy from the store!

fun, fun, and more fun.

i know this is jumping the gun, but i am excited for next year’s outing, already!

what is one social outing that you attend every single year, if at all possible? the next written-in-stone event on the calendar is the september knitter’s fair!


update: my fb friend successfully completed his first 100 miler in 22:xx which is a fantastic time for a race of that distance (sub-24 is kind of the “gold standard” for non-elites). congrats to everyone who raced this weekend!

sulphur springs saturday!

there’s going to be a lotta big mileage numbers recorded into some runners’ logbooks after this weekend at the sulphur springs trail races! today, over near ancaster, you will find ultrarunners participating in 50k, 50 mile and 100 mile distances [there are also 10k and 25 k events, and while still worthy distances, those are not ultras!]. i will be eagerly awaiting the results: one of my fb friends, s.p., is in the 100 miler. this has got to be s.p.’s eighth or ninth attempt at completing this distance, and i soooo hope he gets his finisher’s belt buckle this weekend. s.p. has run amazing mileage thus far in 2012, and it’d be great to see all his dedication rewarded. i think some other fb friends are running, too, so i wish them all the best! you planned the work, now work the plan (and drink up – it’s going to be hot!).

sulphur springs is no walk in the park for a 100 mile race. the course is very hilly, and the trails can be quite technical, at times. i ran the 25k distance a couple of years, and still have the scar on my left elbow from a spill i took after catching my toe on a tree root as a souvenir (well, that and the race tshirt, of course!). one of these years, i would love to volunteer at an aid station at sulphur – it’d be super cool to observe the will and might of these runners!

have you ever stayed up all night to participate in a sporting event? i know fran recently did when she walked in the relay for life! and when i was five, i remember dad being a part of a 24 hour relay running team, back in the 70’s – i clearly recall sitting in the back seat of the car as we picked him up at seagram stadium!


on wednesay, i was chauffering little e and all of a sudden on z103.5 a song came on that i have not heard in ages – well, since i used to teach aerobics back in the 90’s. i am sure little e thought that aunti had flipped her lid because i squealed excitedly as i animatedly explained to her that this was one of my favourite songs EVER! i had completely forgotten what a kick-ass song it is! [i did not use that term when chatting with little e!].

google is such a beautiful thing. i am really bad with song titles, so i came home wednesday eve and simply googled, “i’m knock knock knocking, knocking on the back of your door” and within two seconds double vision’s “knockin‘” was blasting out of my laptop. man, playing this song is so ENERGIZING!!! it makes me very HYPER (not the best emotion at 10 pm!) and brings a huge smile to my face, both because of the fantastic beat and the happy memories of aerobics-teaching days. immediately after my google search, i bought the song on itunes – best $0.99 purchase in eons!

so watch out: i am seriously contemplating having knockin‘ and ONLY knockin’ on dad’s my ipod on endless repeat for my next running event. the combo of knockin’ + compression socks could bring about quite the race experience!

what is a song that revs you up? my favourites all have a strong and quick bass beat, i’ve noticed.


remember the super cute card that gina sent me?

andrea’s work of art

well, gina let me know that andrea has a website where she features her cards, and you can order them from this site, as well. i’m passing along the link simply because andrea’s creations are so imaginative and so beautiful – and you may need some cards?!

are you familiar with etsy? i have poked about once, but that was it. i really like going to craft shows (like stitch n kitsch!) where you can see products *for real* and purchase directly from independent artists/creators!

have a sensational (sunsational?!) saturday!

five for (an american long weekend) friday

happy friday, everyone! happy long weekend, southoftheborder friends! and happy quilt-auction-preview evening for mom and dad and me! i am so excited – i love this annual friday evening social very much, and i hope today flies by (i am at theOTHERstore) so we can head on out to new hamburg!

1. i am still waiting for my free reebok tshirt to arrive. in the meantime, remember how valumart had 1,001 types of cereal on sale this past week? when i saw that some of the sale cereals had the free tshirt coupon offer on the box, i got greedy i had to snap up two so that i could order another tshirt (the one i already chose is black, and i wanted #2 to be the white one).

tshirt offer! tshirt offer! i know i need two coupon codes!

i used to buy alpha bits all the time, but have not for a very long while, now. i brought them back into the casa just to aid me in the tshirt chase!

i had to hack up the boxes massively in order to retrieve the necessary codes:

not pretty, no patience

well, the joke is on me:


so, consider this a public service announcement – leave those specially marked boxes on the shelf if you are hoping for a reebok shirt. and if you want some (slightly destroyed) alpha bits, drop me a line.

2. while i will forever be loyal to my tommy…


…and my george…


…a new and rather unexpected hunka-hunka is on my radar:


i cannot explain the appeal, but i have decided that chef michael smith has ♥ *it.* ♥


of course, seeing as how aunti doesn’t cook, i personally would have no clue as to whether or not his recipes are any good.


but mom has two of his cookbooks, “the best of chef at home” and “chef michael smith’s kitchen,” and can attest to the fact that he has some great ideas. for example, mom picked up his strategy of freezing lard, butter, or shortening then grating it into your flour when you make baked goods, and swears that chef smith’s idea works perfectly every time.


me, i am content to simply gaze from afar.

3. for whatever reason, the other day at theOTHERstore our regular radio station (CHYM) was all static-y and the only station that came through loud and clear was the local country music station. listening to six hours of country was a thoroughly enjoyable experience! [uh oh, i fear the desire to purchase a pair of cowboy boots may be looming on the horizon]…oh! and good thing the uptown country festival is coming up on june 16th!!

4. the bay had a full page ad in the globe and mail last week, advertising their HBC summer collection. i would very much like the bikini and the flipflops. and the k-way jacket. and the tshirt. (and the traditional blanket although that iconic item is not part of the summer set). **family, you could buy an item now, and put it away for xmas!** just sayin’!


5. this weekend is OTTAWA RACE WEEKEND. our half and full marathon clinics have been training since january for these running events. these two clinics are held on tuesday evenings at the store, and go for 18 weeks. i bet i have worked 16/18 evenings, and as a result, i have really grown fond of the clinic members, and their instructors, derek and donna. i am going to miss seeing these folks on tuesday eves! i hope everyone has a super great time in ottawa this weekend (the ottawa marathon is one of canada’s premier marathons) and i want to hear stories upon your return!

one of the clinic members with whom i have gotten chummy is sandy (the same sandy who inspired me to purchase aviator sunglasses). sandy just returned from peru on victoria day, and she presented me with a giftie this past tuesday eve:

a genuine peruvian knit toque!

back in the winter, i had rhapsodized enthusiastically over sandy’s own hat (identical to the one, above) that she had bought on a previous trip – it’s so cute and colourful.

what a sweet r.a.o.k.!!

now, what do you think of this summer 2012 fashion idea: the toque + compression socks + aviator sunglasses + peacock feather earrings??


tell me something random and fun! seven months today is christmas day!


wiggles no more

my neighbours were away over the long weekend, and as a result, i got to inherit their saturday edition of the toronto globe and mail. so, what news reports do you think i read the most avidly?

it was not the coverage of charles and camilla’s visit to canada.

it was not hockey play-off final scores.

it was not even the scoop about madonna’s new perfume.

nope, what grabbed my attention was this article by marsha lederman:

why i love the wiggles (and will be sorry to see the original cast go).

first of all, i was gobsmacked because i had not heard the news that jeff, murray and greg are leaving the group.


then, my thoughts turned nostalgic.

ever since little e was a baby, i have brought down wiggles cd’s to toronto as part of my aunti visiting routine. for over five years, we have listened to every cd that the wiggles have ever made – numerous times. out of all of the children’s cd’s that we have tried, the wiggles are far and away my favourite. their tunes are catchy, their banter is energetic, and who does not enjoy hearing an australian accent? little e has been a loyal fan, too – many an hour we sat curled up on the couch, listening to music and looking at the cd covers. [sidenote: we’ve talked about the wiggles on the blog before, most noticeably here and here!]. in fact, little e’s very first sticker book featured the wiggles at the beach!

now, the globe and mail article does state that the wiggles are going to carry on – three new members will join the group. well, imho, if you replace 3/4 of a group…they might as well be a new band (esp when, as is the case here, one of the new cast members is female! do we call her a wigglette, then?!).

the original wiggles foursome is going to do a final farewell tour (cha-ching, why would you not?!) and will play TO this fall. then, it will be the end of the jeff/murray/greg/anthony wiggles era.

i guess i also feel a bit melancholy because little e is already over 5.5 years old, and it won’t be all that much longer until she outgrows the wiggles altogether. [as is to be expected, little e and cutie c have different personalities, and c has just never gotten into the wiggles – at least in my vicinity – quite like little e did. in fact, cutie c will be quite relieved that “wake up, jeff!” will be no more!].

to be optimistic, i am sure there are more fun musical discoveries that lie ahead as little e and cutie c get older. while it would be a real thrill to take the girls to the wiggles final appearance in TO, should that not prove to be possible, that is all right. cuz aunti will be more than ok with volunteering to take the girls to go see whoever is the next miley cyrus or justin bieber. in fact, i can’t wait!

foiled at the movie theatre!

i am not doing very well with my attempts to be nice, lately.

as you have seen, mom and dad have been so very good about letting me steal food from their fridge and cupboards during the great may grocery challenge this month (an apple and a cheese slice here, a baggie of cereal there…it all adds up). yes, i have felt more than a weeee bit guilty over taking, taking, taking (i think the tipping point was having dad get that lettuce for me at the market!).

as a gesture of thanks, i invited mom and dad to join me as my guests for a night out at the movies this past sunday. we could walk over to the princess twin for the 6:30 pm showing of the best exotic marigold hotel.


i had seen the trailer for this movie [i forget exactly what i was at the theatre to see when i saw it], and it looked like an inoffensive, engaging story – one that you are not uncomfortable to see with your parents [or your daughter, for that matter, i imagine!].plus, we are all great fans of judi dench and maggie smith.

what a gorgeous evening for a quick walk up to the cinema!

we arrived before 6:25 pm…only to be greeted by patrons exiting the theatre – the movie was sold out!


[apart from giving me free groceries, i also owe mom and dad for letting me boss them around about how to pose for photos for the blog – such good sports, always!].

what a shame! all three of us were genuinely surprised that the movie would be sold out on such a lovely evening of a long weekend (isn’t everyone supposed to be camping or at the cottage??). ah, well. not meant to be, obviously.

at least we enjoyed a short stroll in the evening sunshine!

mom and dad, we will reschedule!

plan b was quickly devised: we settled in for a knitting party (ok, not dad) at mom and dad’s condo, and watched the latest (pvr’d) episode of top chef canada -> highly entertaining!

and – will wonders never cease – i went home without stealing a thing!

what is the last movie you saw, and please give it a rating out of **** stars. i would like to go see the five-year engagement and/or what to expect when you’re expecting. i have no desire to see the avengers.

may grocery challenge: update #3

i had an a-ha realization during this, the third week of the great may grocery challenge, and i am interested to know whether you have ever found this phenomenon to be true, too: whatever the event, be it your work day, a marathon (ok, any distance of running race, actually), a plane ride, a crafty project…it is the 1/2 to 3/4 span of time that is the slog zone. if you are going to lose momentum, interest and steam, it is going to be during this 50-75% completion mark. agree? disagree? thoughts???

while i wouldn’t say i became disheartened from may 15-21, i will admit the project was not quite as *!fun!* as it was for the first two weeks. i did not want to give up or drop out, it didn’t reach that extent at all [i tell you blogging is the best way to stay accountable] but i just wanted to buy a da*n apple in 30 seconds, without thinking and planning, already!

here are assorted randoms from week #3 (may 1-7 is recapped here! may may 8-14, here!):

~ a drought no more: i was paging through last saturday’s paper when an ad for central’s grocery deals caught my eye – lettuce, $0.99 each. i shook my head and rolled my eyes and refocused on the page just to make sure it was not a too-good-to-be-true moment. yippee!! no need to beseech dad to get me lettuce this week! last tuesday, i hopped in the rav and excitedly drove over to central [luckily, it is nearly in the ‘hood. you can read about my visit to this indy local grocery institution during last year’s grocery challenge here!].

the best sight of the whole week!

…and then i spotted a delightful surprise!

can you believe that?!! ORGANIC broc, TWO for a dollar??!

frankly, i don’t make a point of buying organic, but i welcomed the sight of “organic” + “special” on the same sign – sweeeeet!!!!

~ a lucky find: i ran out of glucosamine this past week. to be honest, i stocked up on vitamins in april, knowing that supplement purchases would spike my may grocery bill. but, i obviously overlooked the nearly-empty glucosamine bottle. guess what? shoppers had glucosamine on 40% off! plus, the bottle was bonus size -> 360 tablets for the price of 300! thank you, jamieson brand and shoppers drug mart!!

~ a yesno~yesno~yesno raging debate: i also ran out of protein powder this week:

what, you don’t keep saran wrap, AA batteries, empty plastic bags and protein powder all on the same shelf??!

i dislike drinking protein shakes. but i love, ♥ love ♥, LOVE mixing protein powder with just enough water so that it is of icing or pudding consistency and then eating it with a spoon or spreading it on an apple. yum! now, i could have replaced my pro powder while staying within the rules of the grocery challenge because i can get the powerbar brand at the store, thereby making use my employee discount, thereby saving $$. but even with my discount, that tub is still over $20, ie not that cheap. the unfeeling rational side of my brain argued that when breaking down the cost per serving, other quality protein sources are a lot cheaper (hello, $1 tuna). but chocolate protein tastes so goooood!, whined the emotional half of my head. at present, that tub is still on the store shelf. but, that could change…today! or later this week! i am wavering…

~ a worthwhile splurge: i am blaming manager paul entirely for causing me to make this unnecessary purchase:

chocolate flavoured almonds!!

paul casually mentioned last week how much he was enjoying cocoa roasted almonds. well, once he said that, i could not get the thought out of my mind! must find! must try! and wouldn’t you know it, in valumart, i spotted said almonds…on sale! now, even on sale,they were still $5.69 for that container (and i could have gotten regular ol’ plain almonds on sale for about $2.99 at shoppers), but paul was not kidding – these are absolutely knock-out delicious! [this happy find cancels out the crappy date squares bust from week #2].

~ a mooched meal: saturday brunch over at mom and dad’s before i went to work!

a mixed-berry medley; a slice of leftover pizza; a few potato chips; homemade rhubarb crisp. thanks, ‘rents!

~ a veritable bonanza: valumart has the best cereal sale going on this week that i have seen in years. there’s gotta be at least ten different varieties that i like (plus others i don’t like) marked down. some are  2/$5 others are $2.99 or $3.99 per box – it’s a joy to behold the shelves. hmmm, still ten days left in may…i think it is worth the investment to stock up!

~ a new water: president’s choice has introduced a collection of carbonated waters:

$0.79 per bottle – on sale!

that flavour is fantastic! but what is that red fruit on the bottle, with the blueberries? i dunno, but the water is extremely refreshing!

~ a close call: sunday morning, 5:45 a.m., all of a sudden the power went out. this is not a rare occurence – our building frequently gets a blip where we lose electricity (just long enough so you have to reset all the clocks) but on sunday, the power was STILL out when i left for work at 8 a.m.! i was getting pretty concerned about my fridge and freezer goods – what if the power is out for hours upon hours, and i have to ditch everything??, i despaired. thankfully, the power returned at 8:04 a.m., i was told, so i didn’t end up losing approx $25 of groceries. whew!


and that’s it for week #3! we’ll review week #4 next tuesday, then do a final monetary tally and analysis [the plan is to buy the last of may’s groceries on may 30th so that we can find out if i came in under budget ON the last day of may].

i think we’re over the psychological hump – the end is nearly in sight!

five for (a long weekend) friday

it’s friday, it’s friday! (said in a sing-song voice of joy!). hope you have some fun plans for this weekend!

random bits of chatter:

1. a friend bestowed a r.a.o.k. upon ME this week! when i lamented on the blog about how i lost one of my brand new peacock feather earrings…

at least i have a picture to remember them by!

…the very first time i wore them, gina took it upon herself to make sure that sure that such a sorry situation would not be repeated in the future. earlier this week, i opened my mail to find the cutest card ever…

gina’s friend andrea MAKES cards as a sideline business/hobby, and this is one of her fantastic creations…

…and the card colour is even my favourite ORANGE!

thank you, g!! now i can confidently wear any hook-type earrings without the fear of ending up lopsided by the end of the day. and your card is on display in the kitchen!

[tangent: canada post forgot to stamp the postage stamp on gina’s envelope:

no markings!

so i cut it off and will re-use it. please tell me you do this, too?!].

2. dad has pretty much completed the choco bathroom transformation!

ta da!

remember the before?

the view towards the whirlpool tub…

…now looks like this!

i am absolutely thrilled with the final result. i had a vision in my head of the shade of chocolate i wanted, and this is it exactly. dad has a few spots he wants to touch up, but the main work is done. i have purchased a new white, textured bathmat and the next step is to get some new towels. the chocolate shade is going to be super easy to work with – pretty much any colour will co-ordinate (red and green at xmas, pastels in spring, earth tones in fall…).

3. late last week, my friend ken from the store (you met him here) found out that he was accepted into this november’s jfk 50 mile race. this is special because it’s the 50th anniversary of the jfk so the demand to get in is pretty fierce. what’s even more exciting is that ken is sixty-nine years old young! i am so happy for ken because he has worked really hard at his running over the last few years (his retirement project), has qualified for next year’s boston, has run more marathons this year than i can keep track of (he’s off to vermont, next), plus he is such a nice man. keep up the good work, ken! you’re an inspiration!

4. i don’t care what the calendar says about when summer starts, in my rule book, we kick off the summer season this weekend! may 2-4 welcomes summer, that is the way it is. and i will call it now: the time will FLY between now and the labour day weekend. it always does!

5. i ♥ love ♥ my pink compression socks so much, and have been wearing them with such frequency, that i invested in another pair of compression running socks this week:

this pair is by CW-X – a very respected brand for compression wear.

worn with my nike vomero 4 shoes, on this day!

mini-review: this pair of socks feels great, too! the material is super-silky. they do feel less compression-y (compressive?) than the pink CEPs, but on the flip-side they are a heck of a lot easier to get on and off. this was a good purchase! [as always, opinions are my own, i bought the CW-X socks myself – although i did use my staff discount – and CW-X (sadly) did not ask me to review these socks!].

so, the pink socks will be my fun and giggle-inducing pair, and the black socks will be for when the hammer is going down and i need to look fierce!

i’ll be taking the may 2-4 weekend OFF from this space. see you on tuesday may 22nd for the great may grocery challenge update #3! enjoy a safe and relaxing long weekend!