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Thread: April 2012 Budget Challenge

  1. #1
    Smart Canuck Valiant's Avatar
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    April 2012 Budget Challenge: $ $ $ $


    It's a brand new month to work on our goals!
    All participants, please post below, thanks!



    SPRING IS HERE AGAIN !!!


    My April 2012 Budget:

    Expenses:
    Rent (+ utilities): PAID(as per rate)
    Phone & Internet: $74.29 (catching up on the last internet bill)
    Water: $ 7.92 (reverse osmosis: cooking/drinking)
    Food & Stockpile: $9.98 (milk; milk)
    Other: $1.20 (library photocopies...EEEK, I pressed the print button twice, and it printed my free pattern on 4 unnecessary pages each time, instead of condensing it...groan)

    Total April 2012 Expenses to date: $93.39 (plus Rent)

    Coupons Used: $0.00
    Money Found: $0.25; GST Rebate = $63.25

    SPEND Days to date: 9/30

    NO SPEND Days to date: 21/30


    Goals:
    - maximize work
    - essential expenses: rent/utilities, basic phone, R.O. water
    - spending cuts on everything else
    - exceptions: stockpile additions, emergencies
    - stay within budget this month
    - add to Emergency Fund

    To-Do List:
    - work
    - utilize all my resources: you just bet I am!
    - spend spare time on crafting for gift-giving: getting all my pattern binders organized, 3/5 completed; crafted 4 more bath puffs for gifts (now working on #5), crocheted 10 powder puffs and case, started a doily for displaying an ornament; hauled out the supplies and binders & planning to start slippers & dish scrubbies. Finished #5 bath puffs; crocheted 4 ornament doilies, started crochet on a corn-broom cover to protect the bristles so they don't shed.
    Finished corn-broom cover + decorative wool embroidery; crocheted 1 large dish-scrubber.
    - OAMC&B (Once-A-Month-Cooking & Baking): ad hoc; made a BIG chili & pasta casserole; prepped & froze cookie dough; cooked a huge stockpot of 'sprouting' potatoes; lots of cooking & baking at end of month (see below).
    - get a fishing license this spring: waiting...waiting...
    - garden and yard work: picked up the tree branches and trash so far; raked front yard, cleared and hoed front borders; swept leaves away from planters on patio; got a lovely rain the last 2 days to bring down the dust from the prolonged drought; the grass is growing, and I plan to work on the backyard in leisurely fashion...one thing at a time, and just enjoying the time out there. Finished raking the backyard (7 garbage bags full of leaves & tree twigs (saved 2 for composting and growing my potatoes); finished putting the backyard in order; thinned the raspberry patch; cleared out the pebble pond; raked all the flower borders; tidied & renewed the front entrance yard ornaments.
    Patio table fell to pieces when I tried to lift it in order to clear up the leaves behind it, so I propped it together, and have to fix it with some spare lumber that I've saved.
    - plant lettuce seeds; transplant tomatoes, herbs, flowers, etc.: my indoor seedlings need transplanting soon and some are getting a bit leggy, but still ok. Planting the lettuce into the backyard planters is on the To-Do List, but the weather got very cold again last night (Apr.26; down to -9 degrees)....brrrrr, so I'm holding off on planting more seeds; cress is growing in my last year's planters, pansy seedlings have sprouted, crocus, tulip and daffodil are up, mini-rose is shooting out; everything else is leafing out, and the Nanking Cherries are starting to bloom. Found some lovely violet plants in full-bloom already. Rhubarb's up!
    - wardrobe organization, tailoring and alterations: repaired a couple of too-large buttonholes
    - some long visits with Mother Nature: these are happening during errands and yard-work; I've been attempting to walk with just my walking-cane lately, and have made it downtown 3 times this way; also trying to walk without setting the cane-point down on the ground, and am making wobbly progress; feels so good to swing my arms again, and this is helping to reduce my shoulder/arm pain too. The Canada geese are back at the park, and it won't be long till fishing season (whooopie!)

    Living within my Budget: (updates)


    - Apr.4/12: Well, with a surplus of $151.08 from March, due to my Income Tax Refund, I will be keeping that money in my emergency fund for my Household Contents Insurance, due in July. Hope to make this a belt-tightening month. Actually, being without home internet has resulted in the loss of 7 lbs. already just from moving around more often, so that was a nice bonus. I've also been getting many things done around home that have been put off for ages. Almost every day I get more things sorted, organized and purged, and this makes for more space and less clutter, and a chance to take mental inventory of my posessions, so I know what I have on hand which can be resourced.
    - Apr.12/12: I've been getting so many things done lately...yard work, crafting, de-cluttering, organizing. It's been fun... Another student is finished with music lessons for the year due to sports, so that's less monthly income for me...again. But I'm in pretty good shape to weather the loss, due to my Emergency Fund. Crafting-wise, I'm trying to finish up projects that have accumulated through the years, and it's a good feeling to get to work on them and see results. I've made a list of gift-giving projects to work on this year during spare time, so hope to have a drawer-ful of hand-crafted gifts ready-to-go when needed. I'm really trying hard to keep spending way down this month; so far I've only been to the library and out to buy drinking water. Have also been re-connecting with my favourite musical selectins, playing CD's, radio and practising my musical instruments a bit. It's all good.
    Apr.14/12: Getting more handcrafts done; more housework done too. Must get down to some more cooking and baking...made homemade Nutella a couple of days ago...it's so good, and if thickened, can also suffice for a quick homemade peanut-butter chocolate fudge.

    Homemade Nutella Recipe: 1 big spoon of peanut butter, 1 big spoon icing sugar, 1 big spoon of cocoa, 1 tsp. boiled water and/or vanilla to make it easier to stir. Stir and enjoy on toast. If wanting fudge, omit the water and make balls, rolling them in icing sugar.

    Apr.19/12: Very busy crafting on crochet projects, cleaning and cooking lately; getting quite a bit done and saving a lot of money by keeping out of the stores.
    Apr.26/12: So far, I've spent less than
    20 dollars this month, plus rent and phone/internet. Hope I can make it to end of month without spending any more than that. This past week, I organized all my music in my studio, binders and books too many to count, and started a thorough dusting of my studio equipment and furnishings (so far, 1/3 completed). Have been playing my CD's a lot, and over-hauling my mind with some inspirational music in order to fight discouragement from all the changes I've had lately; it's always an adjustment, and I have to do the right things in order to win the battle over the negative emotions. So far, so good, though I've had some real downers lately. And that's nothing new...it's just the life of a music teacher...a full range of human experiences and emotions.
    To-Do: finish dusting and cleaning studio, cook & bake, continue work on crafting, start digging backyard borders & apply leaf compost; practise some new music pieces.

    Last Update:
    During the past few days, I've been cooking and baking constantly, plus doing huge piles of dishes, and my fridge and fridge-freezer compartment are again filled to capacity; plus, I've added some baked goods to my freezer. Accomplished as follows: stockpot of vegetable soup, boiled eggs, rice pudding, biscuits, buns, cinnamon buns, apple pie, cooked carrots, potato wedges, mashed potatoes, fried ground beef and gravy, prepped salad fixings, chocolate cake. Have also used up bits and pieces of food basics in order to cook and bake, so my fridge is in order again, with no waste. Must also mention: cookies...peanut butter & choc. chip, oatmeal, pressed cookies.

    I am pleasantly surprised to have a budget surplus this month!! Cutting back on the spending really paid off, and my GST Rebate topped up my own deficit. I will be using the surplus of $40.29 towards my Pharmacare medication deductible. In spite of spending very little money, I really lacked nothing. I did neglect regular eating habits for the first couple of weeks in April, but that was due to being preoccupied and focused on other things. Once I got back on track, I just used the foods in my stockpile basics, and when I had a few days to spend on OAMC&B (Once A Month Cooking & Baking), I topped up my fridge again, and am eating as well as usual.
    It's been a good month! Next month, I should see a decrease in my MTS bill, and with no Internet it should be only $31.21. I'm looking forward to that!

    April 2012 Budget Balance & Update:
    Expenses = $93.39 + RENT
    Budget Balance =+ $40.29 (surplus)

    April Budget surplus allotted to Emergency Fund: $40.29 (!!!!)

    This thread is currently associated with: Spring Shoes, Apple, Cake Beauty, Food Basics
    Last edited by Valiant; Thu, May 3rd, 2012 at 04:31 PM.
    ( Valiant, the valley-ant )


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    CaNewbie sotsuguyou's Avatar
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    April...I just hope that I won't be a fool this month. Here's the budget! I'm embarking on a new journey in life and will be officially leaving for Fredericton, NB in September.

    Expenses:

    Tuition & other school fees: / $802.10
    RRSP contribution: $25 / $50 (Automatic)
    Everyday Savings: / $200
    Entertainment: / $30 (1 birthday this month)
    Groceries: $60.36 /$65.14 (A box of ice cream, sushi, pancake house, chocolate fest)
    Clothing: $95.19 / $0 (Merrell sandals...I couldn't pass on them)

    Total budgeted expenses:
    $180.55 / $1147.24 (+63.25 from GST)

    Extra:

    Everyday Savings: ???/???

    No-spend days: 4 / 30

    Goals:

    1) Figure out and stock up on things that I will need for the move.

    2) Figure out how to get my stuff to Fredericton OR how to fit everything I want to take with me into 1 checked suitcase and 1 carry-on suitcase.

    3) Figure out what I'm not taking with me and do something about it.

    5 months to go...the clock is ticking. Chop! Chop!

    April 13: Well 13 days into April and I cracked. I bought a pair of sandals yesterday that definitely wasn't in the budget but I found that I needed something that wasn't runners to run around in. In my defense, they were on sale. I also cracked and went out for sushi. Guess I couldn't go more than 3.5 months without it. I'm totally getting an F on this month's budget. I'm doubting my ability to put anything into savings this month.
    Last edited by sotsuguyou; Sat, Apr 14th, 2012 at 01:59 AM.
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    Smart Canuck Valiant's Avatar
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    Now that certainly sounds like some big changes happening for you! Do tell us more...
    ( Valiant, the valley-ant )

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    March/April 2012 Budget

    Mortgage and Fixed Expenses:
    PAID

    Variable Expenses:
    Hydro: $95.19/$90 -$5.19
    TV/Internet: $136.17/$124.22 -$11.95 (changed internet plans)
    Cell Phones: $62.84/$61.81 -$1.03
    Home Phone: $22.59/$22.59
    Visa: $84/$84
    Line of Credit: $466/$466
    Emergency Fund: $0/$0
    Groceries: $601.72/$600 (Mar 13- Apr 12 CC statement) -$1.72
    Gas: $305.99/$300 (Mar 13 - Apr 12 CC statement) - $5.99

    Miscellaneous: $2459.63/$1000 -$1459.63
    Misc Cash purchases: $439.67
    Used Freezer: $150.00
    Income Tax: $528.95
    Vet Bill: $169.50 (mar/apr cc stmt)
    Vet Bill #2: $297.98 (mar/apr cc stmt)
    Camping Deposit: $140.12 (mar/apr cc stmt)
    Utility Trailer parts: $55.08 (mar/apr cc stmt)
    Plates for Utility Trailer: $54.50 (mar/apr cc stmt)
    Electronics: $191.21 (mar/apr cc stmt)
    Take out and Restaurants: $83.18(mar/apr cc stmt)
    Truck Plate Renewal: $74 (mar/apr cc stmt)
    Car Maintenance: $115.44 (mar/apr cc stmt)
    Camping Trailer Insurance: $160.00


    My Extra Income this month: $0
    DH's Carpool income: $85
    MIR from Airwick: $5.64
    B-Day Gift $: $250


    Coupons Used: $170.38
    PC Points Used: $20.00
    SDM Optimum Points Earned: 22200
    SDM Optimum Points Used: 50,000 = $100

    Total Grocery Savings: $190.38!!!!!!!


    Spend Days: 21
    No Spend Days: 9


    Actual Budget Results: -$1400.00

    Goals for this month:
    - continue advertising so I can build my home daycare business (I would like to make an additional $800 per month) I got 4 calls this week so things are looking up. Hopefully I will have at least I interview next week.
    - file income tax Done but bad news is that we owe over $500
    - aim to have at least 15 no spend days Didn't quite do it this month. Going to try and do better next month and have at least 10 no spend days ...
    - work towards being debt free in 4 years (must pay at least $550 on visa + line of credit per month to achieve this) working at it
    - keep within grocery budget
    - bake and cook more from scratch Ate out a few times this month but did a lot of cooking at home. Also made a double batch of cereal cookies using up rest of box of multigrain cheerios
    - eat healthier and be more active not much change but will keep working at it...
    - start selling, donating and throwing stuff out. Have way too much stuff that is never used that is just cluttering up the basement and closets hopefully I will have more time for this next month now that my income tax is done.

    Apr 30 update - We ended up being short $1400 this month between overspending, unexpected expenses and income tax. $1400 will be coming out of our emergency fund. Have to get back on track and stick to our budget because our emergency fund needs to be saved for emergencies not overspending. Now we have a real emergency that we need money for. We're going to have to get our roof fixed again (because it wasn't done right the first time) which may end up costing $1000 I really need more daycare money coming in just to afford this money pit house...
    Last edited by bobbiegirl2010; Mon, Apr 30th, 2012 at 11:46 PM.
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    Spring IS here!

    April 2012 Budget:

    Fixed Expenses:

    Rent (+ utilities): 0/ $ 720
    Phone/Internet/Cable: $158/ $ 158
    Cell Phone: 0/$ 16.95 (prepaid last month)
    Transportation: $ 117/ $ 110 (I just had to take advantage of the promotion!)
    OSAP: 0/$153

    Variable Expenses:

    Groceries and Stockpile: $129.17/$ 100 (bought a family member groceries)
    Credit Card Payment: $98/$ 50
    Savings: 0/$ 1 800
    Laundry: $ 20/$ 20



    1. Save $1000 in personal savings. ($1001/$1000) DONE!
    2. Pay school course fees.
    3. Read 4 books.
    4. Go for more walks
    5. Switch from Rogers to a cheaper company.
    6. Cook more.
    7. Visit my family members and announce engagement
    8. Complete outline of business plan.
    9. Drink 8 glasses of water a day.
    10.Eat a fruit daily (baby steps to eating 10 servings per day)

    SPEND Days to date: 2/31

    NO SPEND Days to date: 10/31
    Last edited by brwonsugal; Thu, Apr 12th, 2012 at 11:57 PM.
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    Junior Canuck carebearhamm's Avatar
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    April Budget:

    Expenses:

    CellPhone: $70
    Plates: $70
    Food: $600 - $300 every 2 weeks
    Saving:$50 auto
    Extra Saving: $
    Visa: $400 - $200 every 2 weeks
    Spending:
    $200 - $100 every 2 Weeks
    Daycare: $90 so far

    Coupons Used:
    Money Found: $0.25

    SPEND Days to date: 3/31

    NO SPEND Days to date: 2/31


    Goals:
    - maximize work - i have the opption of working 40 hours a week
    - stay within budget this month
    - Get the house organized - get stuff on Kijiji and make extra $$$
    - Keep with household chores
    - pay for weight loss surgery with out a loan


    To-Do List:
    - work more hours
    - Work on one room a week till the house is in order
    - OAMC&B (Once-A-Month-Cooking & Baking) - love this idea
    - make garden boxs and start prep on the yard

    Living within my Budget: (updates)
    -
    -
    -
    Last edited by carebearhamm; Thu, Apr 5th, 2012 at 02:33 PM.

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    Junior Canuck carebearhamm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbiegirl2010 View Post

    Goals for this month:
    - aim to have at least 15 no spend days
    - work towards being debt free in 4 years (must pay at least $550 on visa + line of credit per month to achieve this)
    - keep within grocery budget
    - bake and cook more from scratch
    - eat healthier and be more active
    - start selling, donating and throwing stuff out. Have way too much stuff that is never used that is just cluttering up the basement and closets
    I love your goals I'm there with you!!!

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    CaNewbie sotsuguyou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valiant View Post
    Now that certainly sounds like some big changes happening for you! Do tell us more...
    Well, job prospects as everyone knows, isn't very good at the moment for post-secondary grads. My degree is no different so I thought a career redirection was in order but I also didn't want to do another zillion years of university so I found and eventually got accepted into a 2 year program out in Fredericton. This jobs prospects for this program are decent and 2 years isn't terribly long so I thought I would give it a go. It'll also give me a chance to see the maritimes (I've always wanted to go there). =D
    Last edited by sotsuguyou; Mon, Apr 2nd, 2012 at 02:35 AM.

  9. #9
    It's time to win lekate's Avatar
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    My April 2012 Budget:

    Expenses:
    Rent (+ utilities): Live with Mommy, no rent!
    Phone: 20/35$ (Contract finishes this month, need to decided whether to stay or leave)
    Transit: 50/94$
    Prescription: 10/21$ (I now have benefits, so this one should disappear soon!)
    Food & Stockpile: 146.78/300$
    Eating Out/Entertainment: 211.33/150$
    Cats: 33.44/100$
    Other: 199.04/100$
    MC Debt: 100/230$
    Savings: /250$
    OSAP: /70$

    Expected Income: 1450$
    Total Income: 881.53$

    Total April 2012 Spent:
    Total April 2012 Saved:

    Coupons Used:
    Money Found:

    SPEND Days to date: 0/31

    NO SPEND Days to date: 0/31


    Goals:
    - Continue writing for my blog (http://penniesandnarwhals.wordpress.com/)
    - Figure out what I'm doing with my life, I've been thinking of teaching English abroad, experience to live abroad and gain experiences in a different field than I currently work in
    - Actually stick to a budget


    To-Do List:

    - Let Petra (my cat) sit on me for her purrfest after work instead of pushing her off to 'do things'.
    - Go through all my books and determine which ones can go. I very rarely read books twice and feel as though I'm just 'hoarding' these books from others being able to read! I'll probably keep special ones like Harry Potter and the Dark Tower series'...
    - Pin quilt pieces together, decide whether I should retire punk shirts still in wearing rotation, if not leave blank spaces to sew them on at a later date

    April 2012 Budget Balance & Update: ?


    April Budget surplus allotted to Emergency Fund:
    I have two Savings accounts, 'short term' and 'long term'. Short term will be more of an Emergency Fund for me and for funds to be able to buy things without having to resort to credit (gifts, things that need to be replaced, etc).
    Last edited by lekate; Tue, Apr 17th, 2012 at 12:23 PM.
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    Did you see the pool? They flipped the B!tch!

    I'm going to South Korea!

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    Smart Canuck Valiant's Avatar
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    Well, so far I've spent only $0.99 this month, not counting rent. (heehee)
    And today I made it to the library without my walker, just using my walking cane. The reason is: my shoulders and arms are in so much agonizing pain from not moving them enough that I have to walk without my walker, though my balance is poor and my leg muscles weak. However, I hope to do this more often, and hopefully have less pain in my shoulders as a result.

    I've been organizing my file cabinets and bookcases, putting papers in binders, hole-punching print-outs, and last night and today I crocheted 4 powder puffs (want to make a dozen, plus a little caddy-basket to hold them). Washed the floors this morning, so I'm really getting more done around the house without my home internet.
    Came across a 'just in case' article this morning, which reminded me to prepare a current list of all my important facts/numbers, etc. for my executor.

    And my seedlings are growing...a lot...my beans want to climb now, so I'll have to wind them around some sticks, after I transplant them to larger pots. I know they're early, but the scarlet runner beans don't flower till late, and I want beans this year, not just leaves and flowers.

    I like my new non-internet home. I have time again...freedom...and it suits my budget better. This morning, I was listening to some of my old fave musical selections...and thinking I'd like to clear off the stereo and listen to my favourite LP's again; I still have scads of old records in my studio.
    I see a few tulips and daffodils poking their noses out of the ground in my garden borders, and I plan to do a little at a time this year, just a couple of things every day or so, and get the work done that way.
    "Inch by inch, life's a cinch...yard by yard, life is hard."

    Have a good day, friends!
    ( Valiant, the valley-ant )

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    Junior Canuck carebearhamm's Avatar
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    Good going - electroics can really steal time, i need o do that with the tv - but i think the family would revolt.
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    It's time to win lekate's Avatar
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    An article I wrote on the importance of an emergency fund!

    Today I have to go to Guess and exchange a pair of jeans, although I don't have my receipt I did call the store a few days ago asking if it would be okay. On the SAME day the button fell off and the zipper pull came off, luckily I was wearing a belt or else my pants would have fallen down at work!

    Other than that I think the apex of my day already came when I spilled coffee down my shirt. Elch.
    Did you see the pool? They flipped the B!tch!

    I'm going to South Korea!

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    Junior Canuck carebearhamm's Avatar
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    Our taxs were behind and i just got a big child tax crdit cheque $1,500.00 so what i have done with it - I put $1,000.00 in our ING direct account for our family vacation and i have left out $500.00 to spend on the kids - they have enough cloths and toys right now so what i'm thinking of getting is a trampoline they have wanted one for a couple of years and we never seem to have the extra cash on hand at the time. The one i have found is at Canadian Tire total cost is $370 plus tax it's a 14x14 with enclosure the rest on the money will go toward our garden (seeds and decorations). I wasn't counting on this money acctually didn't even know i still was eleiable for it. It's not in budget at all but i think the kids will love it.
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  14. #14
    putting the kettle on.. sweetproserpina's Avatar
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    I've been a bit slow to add my overview this month- better late than never!

    April Budget

    Rent: Paid per rate
    Propane:
    Water: 63$, (price going up May 1, so must remember to get last load end of April)
    Elec:
    Phone/Internet:
    Cable: 29$ paid
    Visa: 0/320$ (huge 650$ dentist bill from DH from last month, ergh!)
    Student Loan: 104$ paid

    Coupons used:
    "Other" Money:
    SDM points earned:

    Food: 0/400$
    Other Expenses:

    Goals:
    Start Couch to 5k program w/ DH. I hate being so weak and tired all the time- time to get in shape
    Have a sugar-free week after mini-break, see how it affects the family. Possibly continue??
    Work on DD's bedtime routine- help her sleep through the night! Mamma needs sleep too..

    To Do:
    Make wreaths, wall art, and flowers for craft sale at end of month!
    Make menu for week away next week, and take dry goods from home, as well as snacks (granola bars, cookies, banana bread..)
    Roll all misc. coins around house and take to bank
    Pull out prickly dandelions, and dig out front bed. Make a garden plan for this year.
    Listen to more classical/vintage radio
    Make grape jelly
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    It's time to win lekate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetproserpina View Post
    Goals:
    Start Couch to 5k program w/ DH. I hate being so weak and tired all the time- time to get in shape
    Have a sugar-free week after mini-break, see how it affects the family. Possibly continue??
    Work on DD's bedtime routine- help her sleep through the night! Mamma needs sleep too..
    Good luck on the running program! I've been meaning to get into it, either that or get my bike out!
    And for the sugar-free week have you seen the No Junk Food challenge? http://forum.smartcanucks.ca/265422-...llenge-canada/, the only one I'd revise is the peanut butter one, only avoid one's with anything added, get an all natural 'just peanuts'. I'm pretty good since I honestly don't eat any of those on a daily basis, some chocolate(esp. dark) is good for you though! Also switching to drinking mostly water really helps with both the waist/health and your budget. Other than coffee I don't spend much on drinks, it's great
    Did you see the pool? They flipped the B!tch!

    I'm going to South Korea!

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