Saturday, March 29, 2014

Made it to the Weekend

That was a tiring week but I made it and I'm happy to see the end of March coming up soon. "April" just sounds so much better than "March" - I hope, really really hope, to see temps rise up above 0c and to see the end of snow - both "new snow" and the old dirty mountain ranges still lurking in parking lots everywhere.

This weekend marks the end of Carla's "Take 3 Challenge" which saw some of us complete a personal, financial and decluttering challenge. I say "some of us" because I kind of got off track for awhile. BUT I'm happy to report that I managed to get back on the wagon to close out the month.

My personal goal was to juice at least once a day and to get back on my stationary bike. Although I haven't updated my cycling kilometers in the sidebar I have been cycling over the past week or so...first for 30 min. at a time and then I upped it to 40 min. which roughly works out to 8-10km each time. I got off track because of my very sore knees - the result of kneeling on hardwood floors while painting walls and trim. They are somewhat better - still painful and creaky but not agonizingly so.

In the area of finance March seems to have lasted FOREVER!! My last paycheque was on the 14th of March which meant THREE weekends before my next pay on Monday, March 31st. So last weekend and this weekend I've been laying pretty low as I can't really afford to go out to dinner or to the movies. I tried to save my usual amount but then have had to transfer a bit out of savings TWICE to cover bills. The reason being I bought TWO new area rugs to protect and decorate my newly painted dining and living rooms. I also went shopping at Talize to buy some "neutral" decor pieces. I did really well spending only $75.00 for a number of "personality-free" wall hangings and pillows etc. Here's a sampling of what I purchased:

 There were 3 of these REAL WOOD frames holding small mirrors - I know just the wall for these in order to reflect some light into a windowless spot. $3.00 each.
 This is a handmade ceramic tile mounted on a REAL piece of wood - it's hard to tell from this photo but the leaf is a gorgeous chocolate brown on a lovely pale green background . $2.00
 I LOVE this pillow which is a good match for the love seat in the living room. $3.00
 A plaque with a nice wood frame...hanging "words" on walls is all the rage these days...
 and I felt I might need this encouragement once ensconced at Crofters Lane!!
 A real steal! Marlboro silver plated dish for the powder room. I was on the lookout for cobalt blue items I could use in this room in order to add that all important "punch of colour!" $2.00!!
 Another angle - pretty isn't it? I also was able to purchase a set of SIX dark blue hand towels for the powder room @ $2.00 each - that seems a bit pricey for Talize but they were in great shape.
 A box of items I haven't dealt with yet. A nice blue pot ($1.00) and many wire candelabra that I plan to spray paint for use on the patio and inside too. (Small ones were $2.00 and the larger ones were $3.00) I had tried to order a candelabra to replace the one that Michael took with him when he left but they wouldn't ship it to Canada. It was in the $80.00 range so I've saved a bit of money there! Also in the box is a gorgeous lotus flower candle holder - I've always wanted one. ($2.00- they sell for about $30.00 each at 10,000 Villages)
Two gorgeous big plump pillows for the futon in the basement rec room. That's where I watch TV so I'm very happy with these pillows - so comfy! ($4.00 each)

I also bought a bracelet with a similar spiral design as on the pillows and a pair of earrings with dangling seed pearls for myself and 3 movies for a student at school. I may have forgotten an item or two but that's mostly it. Great deals eh? I really like what I bought and can see keeping everything once the condo is sold.

Then I also had a trip to the Home Depot because I needed to replace the glass portion of my kitchen overhead light that I accidentally broke :(  ($10.00) and 5 white china knobs to replace the plastic ones on the closet doors. I'll take photos of those items today after I've finished painting the closet doors :) Yes, I'm going to get back into the painting but not a marathon, just a bit at a time as my right shoulder still isn't back to its normal level of soreness!

Oh and I mustn't forget I splurged and bought a Lucinda Williams album on iTunes for $7.99!! Yikes, I'm out of control people!! Somebody stop me!!

So I did have some unplanned spending but the money taken out of savings will be replaced once I finish my taxes and get my refund. I finally have all of Kazi's T4 slips - now just waiting for her tuition amount. Ho hum...

I am getting rid of a box of Kazi's old shoes to help with the decluttering efforts. However I am also adding some things into the house as I have begun to bring home stuff I have at school. Some stuff I will keep while most will be added to the yard sale pile. Can't be helped - don't want to leave it all to the last day. There's a lot of ME in that classroom and office and I'd rather dismantle a bit at a time than have to spend a whole day on it.

So that sums up my March Take 3 Challenge. I wouldn't give myself an A in any category as all of them had their ups and downs so I'll give myself a B+ - I can live with that!

Are you closing up your March budget?


livingrichonthecheap said...

Great finds at the thrift store, so inexpensive even if they don't work in your new home you could always resell them at a garage sale. Cheers - one less work week to go!

Kim said...

How about an April 3 School Challenge? Bring home, gift, or recycle 3 school items each day. I am giddy with excitement about your retirement because I'm living vicariously. I'm not sure what I'll do with all my school supplies, books, decorations in 5 years.

Marjorie Stintzi said...

You did very well with your shopping to neutralize/brighten your home.

judy said...

I love the cobalt blue. I have a dish that was my grandmothers that sits on my dining room table and when the light hits it..its beautiful. It is one thing I will never get rid of. I love the pieces you picked up but I am very partial to the blue...

Cindy Masterson-Roth said...

An awesome B+ Jane, give yourself a very large pat on the back. Enjoy your Sunday.

Sonya Ann said...

I think that you got some amazing deals! I hate to part with money but it isn't so bad when you got some awesome deals!