Monday, January 30, 2012

My Easy Go-To Dinner

I love my crock-pot.  I love that I can put the ingredients in, turn it on and walk away.  My families favourite crock-pot recipe is Pulled Pork and the way I make it is SO EASY and SO YUMMY!  Here's the recipe:
Step 1. Throw about 2.5lbs of pork into the crock-pot.
Step 2. Chop up onion and put it on top of pork.
Step 3. Grab your bbq sauce of choice and pour over pork.

Step 4. Put the lid back on and put on Low.  Here's the best part...Walk Away!

I usually let mine cook for 7 - 9 hours.  When it's done I drain out any excess juice, add more bbq sauce and use a knife and fork to shred into little pieces.  

Serve on fresh buns with a salad on the side and you have a yummy dinner, with very little effort.


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Friday, January 27, 2012

Monthly Budget - Easy Worksheet

Happy Friday Everybody!

This morning I was paying bills online and updating my monthly budget spreadsheet when it occurred to me that this may be something that others find helpful.  It's a super easy system that I use and is really helpful in knowing where you're at financially on a monthly basis.

I've done the hard part and created the spreadsheet in excel for you.  I have filled it with examples, all you have to do is change the numbers to reflect your own finances.  I am more than happy to email you the excel spreadsheet, just email your request to me at

You don't have to do any adding or subtracting, just type in your own income & expenses...all the calculating is done automatically for you.  See!  Easy!

I look at this spreadsheet all the time and update it regularly.  I also use a more in depth one based on each paycheque and what we'll be paying with each one but I will share that with you at a later time.

The fixed expenses are in the order of the monthly due date.  That way it's easy for me to keep track of what is due when.  Fixed expenses are items that will not change from month to month.  We've all heard the saying 'pay yourself first'...ideally you should be putting away at least 10% of your monthly income into some form of savings each month.  Most of my fixed expenses are set up with an automatic payment online through my bank account, a couple I have sent post dated cheques for and a few I pay manually online.

Variable expenses change every month.  It's good to project what you expect to spend each month so that you can have an idea of how much money you actually have.  A recommended system to spend your variable expenses is to pay for them with cash only, you can even make envelopes for each category.  This will give you some perspective on how much you actually spend each month.  Then you can come back to this spreadsheet and adjust accordingly.  

Toni, over at 'A Bowl Full of Lemons' has a great Cash Envelope System on her blog if you're interested, and of course, it's done in a very fashionable way (think pretty envelope wallets!).

So are you wondering what i do with all the paper?  Those dreaded bills that come in the mail!  I have a household bills binder with dividers for each bill that I  keep them all in.  The binder idea was inspired by a post I read over at the blog Echoes of Laughter.  Hint: No filing involved!  (just hole punching!)  Check it out! 

I hope you find this helpful.  I would love to hear your feedback on it!

Big Hug! Cath

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sick Day...Ugh

First you may want to read a little background of why I started this blog, it will help you understand why even on a good day, I'm feeling pretty lousy right now and why having this cold on top of it sucks big time!...You can read it Here.

Yesterday and Today I have been sick with a really bad cold and sinus infection (just what I needed!). But as many of you know, mom's don't get a day off (well not really).  Here's a day in the life of a sicky mom:

6:50am - Force myself out of bed and head downstairs to make the kids school lunches.  Gag on oil of oregano.

7:15am - Grab my favourite mug and pour myself a coffee.  (Yes I really do feel as bad as I look!)

7:30am - Feed kids breakfast...make sure they have on clean underwear and brush their teeth!  (they try to be sneaky...but don't they know that I know all the fact I may have invented some of them!)

8:00am - Grab crock-pot for Go-To Easiest Dinner pulled pork.  For the easy recipe go HERE.

8:15am - Boot kids out the door for school.  Breathe. sigh. of. relief.
He's not really crying, he's being "funny" for the photo op!

8:30am - Eat some breakfast....take vitamin C, multi-V, iron and bcomplex....drink lots of water.

9:00am - Crawl back to bed.  Work on blog on laptop...try to snooze but with no success (kind of hard when I can't breath).

11:00am - Give up trying to next best book that I'm loving (Jodi Picoult's "Handle with Care).

11:45am - Steam myself in bathroom to try and relieve some pressure in my luck.  Pop more tylenol.

12:15pm - Throw in a load of laundry.  Fold and put away the clean stuff.

12:45pm - Heat up some yummy, homemade, yellow pea soup and make some toast for lunch.  (I will post the recipe in a future's REALLY good!)

While the soup is heating, stare blankly at the hole above the fireplace and wonder for the thousandth time...why did the builders put that square hole there?  Why didn't I insist they fill it in with drywall?  How should I decorate it?  OH!  Microwave is beeping!

1:00pm - Feel totally ripped off because I can't taste my yummy soup.  This would be a good time to eat brussell sprouts (yuck!).

1:30pm - Work on blog.

2:00pm - Shower and get dressed (yes I was in my pj's this whole time!)

2:30pm - Leave to go pick up kids from school.

2:45pm - Hit the grocery store to pick up fresh buns and salad to go with dinner (bribe kids with gum)

3:30pm - Get home and unload groceries.  Remember that I promised Matthew we would make homemade playdough together.  (I had already bailed on him yesterday cause I was feeling so sick).

4:00pm - Make a big mess playdough with Matthew (this is for a whole other post) but here's a sneak peak:

Isn't he cute?!
4:45pm - Clean up big mess.  Start vacuuming everywhere, cause, hey, it's in my hand anyway!  Stop vacuuming when hit with a cold sweat.

5:00pm - Laundry into dryer.  

5:30pm - Shred up the pork for dinner, prepare salad and buns.

5:45pm - Hubby home...not looking too good, seems to be sick too :(

6:00pm - Eat dinner with family.

6:30pm - Hubby heads to bed (2 parents down!)

6:45pm - Clean up dinner dishes with kids (not too many with this meal...yay!)

7:00pm - Homework brain is fuzzy, I'm starting to hit a wall.  Oh Dear.

8:00pm - Michael usually gets the kids ready for bed...but not tonight.  I would so like to head back to bed...and try to sleep!  Soon...soon.  Oh please let me sleep and wake up without this headache!

8:10pm - Watch clock and wait for 8:30pm so I can tuck Matthew in. 

8:20pm - Almost cry because HTML is giving me grief.  Oh well....Publish this blog post anyways.

Any miracle cures out there for sinus colds?  Please share!

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My Very First Blog Award!!

Well this has totally made my day!  Hilary over at The Richards Family Est. 2011 blog has presented me with my first blog award!  Please swing by and visit her blog (and say hi from me!), she has some DIY tutorials that you will LOVE.

The word "Liebster" is German and means "dearest" or "beloved" but it can also mean "favourite".  The idea of the Liebster award is to bring attention to blogs with less than 200 followers.  So, in the spirit of good fun I am passing this award on to five other bloggers.  Please stop by and visit them.

The Rules are:

1. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
2. Reveal your five picks for the award and let them know.
3. Post the award on your blog.
4. Bask in the love from the most supportive people on the blogshare-other bloggers.
5. Finally and the best rule of all..........have fun and spread the love!

My five picks for the Liebster award are:

2. Chessa @ Antsi-Pants
5. Liz @ A Little Peace of Home

These blogs are amazing, with lots of design and DIY tips, so head on over and check them out!!


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