About Me

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I am a cloth diapering, breastfeeding, cosleeping, baby led weaning, extended rear facing, eco conscious, married mommy to two beautiful children. They have changed my view on the world we live in. It is now my number 1 goal to make it the best I can for them to grow up in. I find myself always rethinking how I want to live my life and often feel like sharing my findings and thoughts with others. So I guess here's my chance :o) I will talk about topics that interest me. If you dont like them or dont agree, well... there's nothing much I can do!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

20 chore Tuesday - "Yet another snow storm" edition

We have yet another winter storm arriving. Some are saying that it is the biggest one we've had in a  couple years. There is even lots of comparison to White Juan, a storm that rocked our province in 2004. With hurricane force winds and the possibility of close to 2 feet of snow, a little preparation is needed. Not so much as to what we'll do while we are stuck home for the day but in the event we lose power, our main focus will be to stay warm since electric baseboards are our only source of heat.

So here he is everything I need to do today to prepare for tomorrow

  1. Diaper laundry.
  2. Clothes laundry.
  3. Dig out warm blankets.
  4. Put flannel bedding on our bed.
  5. Close all curtains to help keep heat in.
  6. Keep the heat on over night throughout the whole house.
  7. Fill up the car.
  8. Ask one of the neighbour kids to take care of our driveway.
  9. Candles.
  10. Find a flashlight
  11. Charge all electronics (if we lose power and Abigail becomes restless at bedtime, the iPad will come in handy!)
  12. Make sure deep freeze is full.
  13. Take out any food that we'll eat that doesn't need to stay in the fridge.
  14. Dig out shovel from the shed.
  15. Put garbage cans under deck.
  16. Plan non cooking meals.
  17. Plan some new "no electricity needed" activities.
  18. Groceries
  19. Dig out winter jackets and boots.
  20. Read some SoDamnDomestic decluttering articles.
  21. Run the dishwasher
So hopefully it will just be like any other day at home. If we do lose power, well we'll just make an adventure out of it with lots of cuddles to stay warm!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Half marathon training through a deployment with 2 kids

More than 2 months ago, I got registered to run my very first half marathon. We watched Keegan run it last year. I'm pretty excited. Here we are now, less than 57 sleeps until race day and I haven't quite been able to train as much as I'd like. But I have figured out some things that will definitely help me from here on out.

As I discussed in my Energy Reduction Challenge update, the weather here this winter has been consistently cold, windy and snowy. Not stormy enough to prevent an experienced runner from hitting the roads but it was definitely enough to keep me away. Now that Spring has officially arrived and the temperatures are steady around the freezing mark, weather can no longer be an excuse!

When Keegan is home, it is easy for me to just get ready and head out. There is still another 26 sleeps until he comes home so until then, I need to take full advantage of all my childcare options. A deployment service at our local Military Family Resource Centre is Respite Care. I have 72 hours of child care at my disposal for when Keegan is away. I simply drop them off and can go running around town for 2 hours and NOT have to pay the 20$ charge. They love it there! Lots of new toys.

Citadel Hill - Hill training. Ran up this baby 14 times!

There are also my Inlaws. They live on the outskirts of town so this afternoon, when we meet them for our regular weekend dinner, instead of heading out to run errands, I will go for a run instead. It is a simple, relatively straight, 5km route into town. So we'll see how that 10K run will be today!

So as much as I'm not getting out nearly as much as I'd like, I'm making it work as best as I can. It's all about forming a habit. The more I use my time wisely and get out there, the easier it will be.

Are you a runner? Do you workout regularly?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Energy reduction challenge - 1st real update... with real numbers!

So we are 2 months into 2014 and I have received a power bill for the first part of the year.  December and January were particularly cold this year thanks to the Polar Vortex. When checking out  www.wunderground.com, you can see that over December and January, this winter was colder than the same 2 month span a year ago. Now lets see how much it affected our energy consumption.

I was absolutely shocked when I received my January power bill to see that my monthly payment had jumped from 156$ to 195$! I knew that our power rates had gone up a little but that jump really surprised me! I guess I shouldn't be all that surprised since 4 out of 6 billing cycles, our usage was higher than the previous years. But I guess I can't quite dwell on that since I can't change anything. I can just change what we do from now on. So keeping in mind that our winter has been colder than last year's, I am happy to say that our average kWh per day so far this year has been 74.6. That is only up slightly from 74.3 last year.

Since our home is already very efficient, there really isn't very much for us to do. It may take a bit more time to do laundry since only 1 load can be hung on our drying racks at at time. Luckily, with Keegan gone, I don't have to do laundry daily. I also went around and dropped all my programmable thermostats to 20*C instead of 21 like Jen and Joey Go Green.  I am also making a conscious effort to turn off lights when I leave a room. I am much better than I used to be!

The Efficiency Nova Scotia site is great since it takes care of all the numbers itself. With winter slowly coming to an end, our main energy hog (electric heat) will be limited so I am pretty confident that we will meet our goal by the end of the month (using 5% less energy than last year). 

Have you set yourself an official energy saving goal? 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

My financial challenge

I'm about to be honest. REAL honest.
Back in January, So Damn Domestic asked us to set ourselves some goals for the year. Here are mine.

I am slowly working on the "Live clutter free" and "Develop a task routine" but one that I have yet to put any real effort into is "aggressively pay off debt". Within a couple years, Keegan and I got an apartment together, finished 3 university degrees, bought a car, got married, then bought a house. Just one of these events is enough to cause some people financial difficulties, let alone all 5. I believe that at our worse, between loans, lines of credit, credit cards and car financing, we owed around 70 000$. Now we owe less than 20 000$. We have come a super long way in couple years of paying it off but I always feel like we could be doing better.

Although I won't be going into total details with all the numbers since we are just months away (finally!) from paying off our car and we constantly use our low balance credit card to earn free groceries (100$ since the holidays!) but I will share our progress on our only other debt. In 2012, we took out a consolidation loan so that we could clean everything up. Much easier to keep track of one loan than several different ones in different financial institutions.

Loan - 14,344$ - Automatic payments of 205$ comes out twice a month. If we stay as is, it will be paid off in 3 more years. Too many years for me. I would love to have this loan gone by the time we have a third child (No! I'm not pregnant! Lol). That is giving us about a year to work at it. I would LOVE to have it gone but December 31st 2014. We have, on average, a little over 1000$ of free money to play around so if I can keep our grocery bills to a minimum, we should easily be able to add quite a bit to our loan payment. Ultimately, the month of March will be a great indicator as to what we'll be able to do.

Do you have a financial challenge? Are you open about your financial situation or are you incredibly private about it?