Saturday, May 31, 2008

Just love Shopper's Drug Mart bonus redemption days....

Today (May 31st), you could cash 40,000 points in for $100 worth of product, instead of the normal $75. Also you could cash in 75,000 points for $200 worth of product instead of the normal $150.

As luck would have it I have 115,000 points. So off to Shopper's I went!!

I went to the first store as they have an ATM that spits out bonus points coupons.......it wasn't working today :( However at that store I wanted to get stamps. So I bought $110.29 worth of stamps, cashed in 40,000 points and ended up paying $10.29..........why do I need all those stamps, well I do coupon trains and I trade stamps for Free Product Coupons, so they will come in handy, plus I need stamps for all my regular mailing.

I then went to the other store to cash in my 75,000 worth of points.

In the toiletry department I got this:



In the cleaning department I got this:



In the food department I got this:





I stocked up on a number of things. Dh will not need shaving gel, or deodorant for the rest of the year!!! Or mouth wash for a while!!!

I used $45.78 in coupons and I paid out of my pocket $29.81 for all of that!!! So for all of you who know me, it is worth while shopping at Shopper's Drug Mart. I cashed in $900 worth of points last year. This is the first time I have cashed in my points this year. I now only have 8,970 points, but I will slowly build them up.

Overall I am happy with what I got today. It did take a bit of planning, as I went over the flyer last night, pulled out all my coupons and took a calculator with me to the store to keep a running total. Then I had the best cashier in the world, Gloria, she is the best, as she knows how to process the coupons etc.

Only we could honeymoon in one of the "World's Controversial Destinations" as listed

in Conceierge.com

We went to Tunisia for our honeymoon, and from what I remember the most contriversial thing that happened was that you either got food poisoning or heat stroke. I of course got heat stroke, but when you go to a bazzar and you HAVE to bargain for everything, of course you forget about everything else, including sunscreen!!! Dh would say taking a kamikaze taxi ride trying to find a pharmacy to get me something for the heat stroke!!

The other destinations on the list are:

China

Syria

Zimbabwe

North Korea

Tunisia

Cuba

Myanmar (Burma)

Russia

Israel & the Occupied Territories

Ethiopia

Sudan

Iran

Venezuela

When I was reading through the article I learned a few things I wasn't aware of. I must admit other than Russia and maybe Venesuela, the other places on the list are not places I would think about going in the first place.

Now here is a list of the Top 10 Most Dangerous Places on Earth

Russia

Brazil

South Africa

Burundi

Antartica

Afghanistan

Somalia

Sudan

Columbia

Iraq

I was surprised about South Africa being on the list, its somewhere I would love to visit. I guess if you visit the safer areas you would be fine.

Friday, May 30, 2008

FOF for May 30th.

Had to run a couple of errands, so as coffee was on sale at A & P, figured I may as well pop in there, as we needed coffee this week. Plus they had those baby watermelons on sale, and as I am the only one that likes watermelon, buying a big one is overkill. The baby ones are a perfect size for me.

Anyhow, as I was picking up the coffee I figured I may as well check out the rest of the Maxwell House Coffee, as it all has expiration dates on them, and there it was a can of coffee that had expired. In fact there were a few cans expired, but all of the same flavour, so you can only take one at a time. Also as I have fallen in love with the Tropicana Pur juice, figured I would see if there was any more expired, and sure enough there was another one. So got two things for free that I really wanted.

So all in all I spent $8.97, and brought home another $8.48 worth of things for free. Gotta love A & P!!!



I will pop in again tomorrow when I am out at Shopper's Drug Mart (big points redemption day tomorrow, I will post about that tomorrow) and hopefully get some more coffee!!!

Veggie Garden and some photo's of some flowers in our garden

Here is a photo of my veggie garden.



It has the usual in it. Peas, carrots, onions, lettuce, zucchini, garlic, tomatoes and rhubarb.




Other than the rhubarb, the only thing that is ready was a lone radish.



Here are some of the flowers that are blooming in our garden at the moment.

This is an iris, that smells like grape koolaid, a co-worker gave it to me:




A Martha Washington Geranium:



Lilac Bush:



White Columbine:




Bleeding Hearts:



Vinca:



My favourite flower is in bud, poppies, so I hope to have photo's of them next week.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Free Magazine Subscription...

for the Living Green Magazine. This offer is good for both the US and Canada.

Also, you can win an Eco Adventure in Panama.

This magazine has all sorts of environmental options on a variety of topics.

Chocolate Cola Cake

I can't remember where I got this recipe from. I do remember reading a book that was set in either the Blue Ridge Mountains or the Smokies, and although it was a fiction book there were recipes in the book also and one was for this type of cake. So that maybe where I got it from, I'm not sure though.

Cake:

2 cups plain flour
2 cups sugar
2 sticks butter (8oz)
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 cup Cola
1/2 cup buttermilk, I use regular milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows



Combine sugar and flour in a mixing bowl.



Heat butter, cola and cocoa to boiling.



Pour over flour and sugar mixture, mixing thoroughly.



Mix eggs, milk, and vanilla together, sprinkle soda on top of cake mix, and then add the wet ingredients to cake mix, mixing thoroughly.



Add marchmallows to the mixture. The mixture will be a thin batter with the marshmallows floating on the top. Bake in a greased and parchment lined 9" x 13" pan at 350 oF for 35 to 45 minutes.



For some reason I don't have a photo of the cake just out of the oven??? You need to ice the cake while it is hot.

Icing for Cola Chocolate Cake:

1 stick butter (4oz)
3 tablespoon cocoa
6 tablespoon cola
1 box powdered sugar (I used just over three cups, as that is all I had on hand)
1 teaspoon vanilla




Combine butter, cola and cocoa, and heat until boiling. Pour over sugar and beat mixture until smooth.



Spread over the hot cake, and let it cool.

It makes a very moist cake, and its pretty rich...............but goood!!!!




Lets see if the boys at work enjoy it, as they have been whining (yes, you were using whining tones) for me to bake!!!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sticker Shock and FOF for May 28th..

Now I realize the price of food is going up, but I got another shock when I popped into the grocery store today. I normally buy the no name margarine for baking. I buy the 3.18kg size and it lasts me a while. It normally costs between $5 to $6 a tub, today's price..........$10.49 This is crazy. I bought flour today just the small bag and that cost $4.49, I normally buy the 10kg size, but its so expensive now. Luckily we are not that big on rice, but I hear that has gone up in price. The ladies at the store were saying bread is also getting more and more expensive. I bought a couple of no name loaves today and had to pay $2.49 a loaf. Luckily I FOF so at least I am getting other things for free when I shop.

Here is a look at today's haul, only the four things on the left were the FREE items, the rest I paid for.



If I had bought those items they would have cost me $16.36. I spent $16.47 at the store, and I needed the bread, the lunch meat and the bacon. The flour was an extra, but something I need and I use.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Quiche, Strawberry & Rhubarb Pie, Jam Tarts

Decided to make some pastry today and make a quiche and, strawberry and rhubarb pie. With the leftover scraps of pastry made some jam tarts.

I made 1 1/2lbs of pastry, using 1 1/2 lbs flour, 6oz margarine, 6 oz lard, salt and cold water. Nothing exciting about that. Just rub the fats into the flour and salt until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add enough water to make a stiff dough. I divided my dough into thirds, placed each third in cling wrap and put it in the fridge to rest for a couple of hours. 30 minutes is long enough to let the pastry rest. Letting it rest, helps to prevent shrinkage when cooking.

I rolled out the dough. I broke my quiche dish the other week, so I have been using a pie plate for making quiches in. I used an oval dish to make the strawberry rhubarb pie in.




When making a quiche you have to blind bake the pastry. Which means you partially bake the pastry case before adding the ingredients. I prick the case all over, then line it with parchment paper and add some ceramic baking beans to weigh down the pastry.





I bake the pastry case for 15 minutes at 425oF with the baking beans in it. After 15 minutes I remove the baking beans and parchment paper and cook for another 5 minutes.



Turn down the oven to 375 oF. Add the ingredients for the quiche to the partially cooked pastry case. I added shredded cheese. Partially cooked red and yellow onion, and chopped up bacon. For the liquid I use 3 eggs and enough milk or cream to make around 1 1/2 cups of liquid or 400ml. Add salt and pepper to the liquid and any other seasoning that you like. I sliced up a tomato and put that on top.



For the strawberry and rhubarb pie, I had some frozen strawberries that I thawed and sliced. I had rhubarb in the garden that I peeled and sliced. I tossed the fruit in a couple large spoonfuls of sugar and cornstarch. I wanted to thicken the juices that is why I used cornstarch. After I put the top on the pie, I cut a couple of holes in the pie lid and brushed it with some of the unseasoned egg mixture, and sprinkled some sugar on it. That makes the pastry top a nice golden colour and slightly crispy.




I had some pastry scraps left so I made jam tarts with the scraps.

They all went into the oven at the same time.




The jam tarts took about 30 minutes to cook.



The quiche nearly an hour.



The pie was probably an hour and 15 minutes, only because it was such a deep pie.



The results, yummy!!!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Another way of saving.......

One thing I have is a daily savings pot. Its a simple thing I do. I split the year into three, four month blocks. Every day for the first month I put 25 cents per day in the pot. In the second month I put 50 cents per day in the pot. In the third month I put 75 cents per day in the pot. In the fourth month I put $1 per day in the month.

I then start over again, for the next four months, and then again for the next four months. If you do that you will save the following:

January: $7.75
February: $14.50
March: $23.25
April: $30.00
May: $7.75
June: $15.00
July: $23.25
August: $30.00
September: $7.50
October: $15.50
November: $22.50
December: $31.00

For a total of $228.00, all by following that simple plan.

Another thing you could do is the following:

January 31 x 25 cents = $7.75
February 29 x 50 cents = $14.50
March 31 x 75 cents = $23.25
April 30 x $1.00 = $30.00
May 31 x $1.25 = $38.75
June 30 x $1.50 = $45.00
July 31 x $1.75 = $54.25
August 31 x $2.00 = $62.00
September 30 x $2.25 = $67.50
October 31 x $2.50 = $77.50
November 30 x $2.75 = $82.50
December 31 x $3.00 = $93.00

for a total: $596.00, that's pretty good by just putting your change away.

Of course at the end of each month you could put that money into your high interest savings account and make even more money!!!!

The goal here is to get you used to saving money everyday.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Menu Planning..........

I have just added a menu plan for the week list on my blog.

Planning a menu for the week, not only saves time, it also saves money and helps you not waste food.

Ideally you will plan your weeks menu before you go and do your grocery shop, as that way you can incorporate any food items that need to be used up first. Also having a menu plan means that when you get in from work, you look at the plan and know what you are making. Also make sure to check the plan before you go to bed so you can double check what you need to pull out of the freezer, and it can defrost overnight in the fridge, and remember that saves you money on hydro as it keeps your fridge cooler.

There is nothing worse than having to throw out food that has gone bad. Infact there was an article in today's Toronto Star that highlighted how much food is wasted and thrown out each day. They also quoted journalist Jonathan Bloom who is writing a book on food waste. His blog has some interesting things on it, that is well worth checking out.

Our menu this week, is high on the dairy side of things, as I have two cartons of Egg Beaters that expire later in the week, so that is why we are having the omelet and quiche. I will also have scrambled eggs for my lunch a couple of days this week. Also I want to use up some skim milk, as we're not keen on using it in our tea, cooking with it is the best way to use it.

You will find over the weeks that we generally have a vegetarian meal at least a couple of times a week. We're not big meat eaters, especially me. I don't mind eating meat, I just don't feel I have to eat meat every day of the week.

I know last week we had Mac and cheese one night, carrot soup another night and I made the Crockpot Falafel from the Year of Crockpotting Blog. So we ate three vegetarian meals last week. The Crockpot Falafel meal was pretty good by the way.

So try and plan a menu for a week and see if you can stick with it. It will save you time and money in the long run. I have tried menu planning for two weeks and I have had success with that, but have not tried menu planning for longer than that.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A very tired British Woman......

Today we had a garage sale. I remembered to take a before photo, but forgot to take an after photo....sorry. Anyhow, it was a successful day, but very tiring.

We have had yard sales at this house before but it hasn't been a great success, as we are a side street. However today we were pretty busy and got rid of a pile of stuff. I always find it funny that the things you would expect to sell quickly never go, we had a sofa set and kitchen table and chairs we thought would sell, no one bought them. I put out three old style suitcases and they all went, as did the cheap plastic outside lights that the builder put up.

So I will call the Salvation Army on Monday and see if they will come and pick up the sofa set, and kitchen table and chairs. They may as well sell them at their store and make some money for the Salvation Army.

We made just under $200, and me and dd split it between us. I used some of my money to go to Shopper's Drug Mart to take advantage of the 20 x the points event today. We also got fish and chips with some of the money for supper as well. I will fill the car with gas with the rest of the money. Plus of course we have space now in our basement.....YEAH!!!!!!

Now a funny thing happened this afternoon...........well you will all find it funny I didn't!!!!! We have a swing outside with a canopy over it. I was sitting outside and thought I'd lie down on it for a few minutes. I fell asleep. It was sunny out and needless to say, what with being outside all morning in the sun, and sleeping in the sun, my poor face, especially my nose is bright red. I can see my poor nose peeling in the future!!!

Then the real stinger dd says to dh, shouldn't we wake mom up? Dh didn't answer dd, and they carried on playing Wii...........oh to have such a caring family!!

Friday, May 23, 2008

May 23rd FOF.......

Had to run a couple of errands, so decided to call into my favourite store to see what I could get for free. We were running short of yogurts so that was a priority.

Here is what I got:




That little lot should have cost me $31.22, but I got it all for free. I did spend $27.05 on my other groceries in there, but I only used one measly 50 cent coupon today!!!!

Summer is nearly here, so here are some ways to cut that hydro bill.......

I have to admit this week we had frost on the rooftops, but I am pretty sure with the weather starting to get warmer Summer will be with us before we know what we're doing.

Now last year we were offered a rebate by our local hydro company if we cut back our hydro usage by 10% during the months of July and August. We were able to reduce ours by the 10% and we got a $40 discount on our October bill. I have to say I was surprised that we qualified for the rebate as there is one thing I really dislike that is heat and humidity. When its humid I get grumpy and my hair goes all frizzy, I know we're back to the hair thing again!!!! So I will not skimp on the a/c, and have it running a lot.

Anyhow, here are some of the things I do to reduce our hydro costs.

1. I rarely use the dryer. I hang the clothes outside to dry. I have one of those rotary dryers outside, so if some of you are concerned about your neighbours seeing your undies flapping on the line, I put all our underwear on one of the middle lines so no one can see them. I also wash on an evening and hang the clothes up on a clothes horse and the back of the kitchen chairs to dry overnight in the house. Not using that dryer saves you a lot of money.

Can you see my "smalls?"



By the way I made my peg bag, from an old childs coathanger and some spare material I had leftover from making the pelmets in the kitchen/family room.

2. I use the cold water cycle to do the laundry. I have found no difference what so ever in the way it cleans our clothes, and with doing this it saves money on heating the water.

3. We bought a front loader washing machine and that saves energy, uses less water and spins the clothes at a faster rate therefore they come out of the washer a lot dryer.

4. I try and plan my meals and get the meat out of the freezer the night before and defrost the meat in the fridge, which in turn keeps the fridge cooler, which in turn means the fridge isn't working as hard to keep cool.

5. We have a toaster oven and use it a lot instead of the main stove oven, again saving money.

6. Crockpot, this appliance not only saves money but time as well. There is nothing better than popping your meal in the crockpot in the morning and having a fully cooked meal when you walk in the door after work.

7. Cooking with the microwave is also a time and an energy saver. That's how the carrot soup was made.

8. When it is hot and sunny out, close all the drapes and blinds in the house to keep the house cool through the day. I also like to open the windows first thing in the morning and late at night to let the cooler breezes flow through the house, if there is a breeze.

9. We are in the process of changing over our light bulbs to more energy efficient lighting. Being as cheap as I am so far I haven't had to buy any as we have been given them, however I think I will have to start buying some as I haven't seen any freebies or coupons for them recently.

10. Also teaching/telling everyone to turn off the lights when they leave a room is a help. Getting them to listen and actually do it is another task, that unfortunately I can't help you out with. Teenagers are the worst for not listening, though they learn soon enough when they have to start and pay their own utility bills, I know this from experience ; ) Teenagers also have a habit of leaving the tv's on constantly in their bedrooms. I kept telling our two that their tv's were yelling at them to switch them off, but somehow they didn't believe me????

11. In the summer use the barbeque to cook your meals also keeps the house cool, along with making salads. If you need to cook inside try and do it in the morning when its cooler.

Those are some of the things we do. I would love it if you would add some of your tips, as everyone has their own way of saving money. Of course, the internet is a great resource for getting tips on saving hydro.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

One way of Saving Money....

Christmas stresses me out to the limit. One reason is money, I always worry we won't be able to afford everything for Christmas. So I came up with a solution that takes all the worry of not having enough money to cover everything at Christmas. I call it my savings pots.




C got a set of boxes given one year and never used them. So I took them and labeled then. I have one for Christmas, which I put $20 a week in there. So that means I put $1,040 a year in there to spend on Christmas. I take money out of there whenever I buy something for Christmas. It also helps that I shop year round for Christmas.




I then set up a Birthday pot. Again I put $20 a week in there. Now this pot takes a lot longer to work, as we have certain months of the year that have more birthdays in it than others. So for the first little while, I had to keep adding to the pot to cover the months when there were more birthdays then others. However two years later, I am finding that I always have money in that pot to cover every birthday.




I also have a special occasion pot where I put $10 a week into that. We have had a few special birthdays over the past couple of years, so this money was used for that.




I also put money into our ING account each week for our vacation fund.




Now this works for me, and its the first thing I do when I withdraw money from the bank each week, is put money into these pots. If you find those figures too high, why not start with $5 a week? To my mind even saving $100 towards Christmas is worthwhile.






Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Carrot Soup...............

The other day me and dh called in at Tim Horton's for lunch, and had one of their soup deals, with the broccoli soup. Dh commented on how I hadn't made broccoli soup, or carrot soup in a while. As it is so cold up here at the moment, I figured now would be as good a time as any to make it and share the recipe with you. The original recipe comes from a Mark's & Spencer's cookbook that I brought over with us from Britain, it is now out of print. I have modified the original recipe over the years to suit us. Its so easy to make.

Ingredients:

1lb carrots chopped (I weigh these after I have peeled them)
1 large onion chopped (you could also add celery, but I can't stand the stuff)
4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon of marg or butter
1 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper to suit



Put marg in dish and microwave on high for 30 seconds



Add chopped onion, sugar, salt and pepper. Now I only add a little of the salt and pepper as I use boullion packets for the chicken stock and they tend to be salty. Cook on high for two minutes, stirring once.



Add the carrots and chicken stock and cook for 20 minutes on high. Stirring a couple of times.



Now while this is cooking, it would be a good time to take out the garbage, wash the breakfast pots up and wash down the worktops, and maybe try and take an artistic photo of the geranium you are trying to get to root on the kitchen wondow sill!!! I think I have just had a flylady moment!!!!



Now back to the soup. Place soup in the blender and blend it to the consitency that you like. I have to blend mine in batches, as I have a silly blender, and I blend the living daylights out of mine, as I prefer not to have chunky bits in it. I also add half a cup of milk at the end to the blender to "wash" out any remaining carrot soup. You could add light or heavy cream or just milk. It makes the soup more creamy and it stretches it out a bit more. Also if you don't like a thick soup this is a good way of thinning it out.




So here you are a pot of carrot soup.



We will be having this soup on Thursday evening as I have to work on Thursday. I will put the breadmaker on, so when I get in from work, I'll pop the soup in the microwave, take out the loaf of bread from the breadmaker and be sat at the table in all of 10 minutes after I walk in the door..........once again being the perfect wife and mother..............I'm joking!!!!!!!

The original recipes calls for adding a couple rashers of bacon chopped, and added the same time as the onion, I prefer the recipe without it. I didn't have any chicken stock in the freezer, otherwise I would have used homemade stock.

I hope you'll try the recipe and enjoy it.

Oh and here is a photo of my clean kitchen!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Aging & FOF-ing........

Okay I admit it I am aging. Not that aging really bothers me (by the end of this rant, that phase is a lie!!), what is getting on my nerves though is the cost of aging. I am closer to the age of 40 than 50, and never wear makeup, but have noticed things about me have changed.

My dear friend, P pointed out to me how I have an age spot on my face, thank you P!!!



Now prior to her pointing this out I had thought it was an over sized freckle. Mind looking at that photo I figure I have a major skin problem. Those who know me, know I have a red face generally, but there is red and there is redder, today seems to have been one of my redder days!!!

I work with a super lady, L who is the complete opposite to me. Although she is older than I am, is always wearing makeup, works out regularly and watches what she eats. She just had her age spot erased, I just couldn't justify the cost of doing that,even though it will only cost her $100.

She gets her hair cut and dyed at a salon, where I generally go to one of the price cutting chain salons. Anyhow, I decided at the end of March on a whim to go into a regular salon and have my hair cut, dyed and streaks put into it. $160 (incl $20 tip)later I walk out of the salon looking years younger, I loved the look, dh loved it, and everyone else had positive comments about it.

Fast forward six weeks and its time to get my hair trimmed. So off I trot back to the salon and it cost me another $41.75 (incl. $5 tip). Its after she has cut my hair she says you need to have your roots touched up as the grey is showing. So today I go in to have my roots touched up and I am charged $35 for the touch up and $15 to blow dry my hair, so today's bill was $57.25 (incl. $5 tip)

Okay, so now I am not a happy camper as since the end of March I have spent nearly $260 on my hair. That is crazy, especially for someone who isn't that bothered about her hair. All I really want is all the grey covered up, and as the over the counter boxes of hair dye that you purchase at the drug stores, don't cover the grey I am not sure what I am supposed to do??? All I know is that I cannot afford to continue forking out this money continually.

Here is a before picture of the grey hair:



Here is an after photo of the colour of my hair:



By the way my hair is not as red as the photo, I think the flash went off!!

Now I am noticing the skin on my hands is looking more translucent, it reminds me of my Nana's hands??? Then my neck is looking more wrinkly..........and please don't start me on about the rest of my body which has suddenly decided it all wants to go south............I don't know, I am beginning to think aging sucks!!!! With that feeling I am more tempted to buy firming cream, get rid of the dark circles under your eyes cream, age defying this and that. For someone who is not supposed to be bothered about aging, I seem to be bothered.........

On a more brighter note, one thing that I will continually blog about is Fresh or Its Free-ing. So for those of you who are not familiar with FOF-ing, here is what it is all about. If you shop at A & P, Dominion, Ultra Food & Drug or The Barn and if you find any spoiled item in our store, just bring it to the Customer Service Desk and we'll give you a fresh replacement free of charge. For the guarantee to be valid, a purchase is required of equal or greater dollar value than the ‘fresh or free’ replacements in a single shopping transaction, excluding the ‘fresh or free’ replacements. For example, if the total shopping purchase (excluding the ‘fresh or free’ replacements) in a single transaction is $10.00, you may receive up to $10.00 of ‘fresh or free’ replacements.

So of course in my quest to try and save money I try to take advantage of this and FOF whenever I can. Now A & P are a bit more pricier than the discount stores, but with a combination of coupons, sale items and bonus airmiles I can get some pretty good deals there.

Here is what I got today:



The milk, juice, two Pillsbury items and the Lipton tea, were all FOF items. The cereal was buy three health check items, get one item free. So with coupons I ended up paying just over $1.70 per box of cereal. Those four boxes along with another two boxes (I got for free prior), means I have enough cereal until the end of June. I needed bananas and tomatoes, and didn't have coupons for those.

The other four items were items I bought to take advantage of a bonus airmile deal. You get 50 bonus airmiles when you purchase four different items. Again I used coupons with all of those items.

My bill for that shopping trip was $19.93 (incl $1.72 in taxes). I had $18.35 in FOF items, and $10.79 in coupons. Now I know that isn't the best deal especially for you ladies in the States, but up here its not bad.

One of my goals is to post my monthly grocery totals and savings. I am part of the monthly grocery challenge over at Prairie Homemaker I find it a help, as it keeps me on track with what I spend. I also have an excel spreadsheet where I track what I spend on groceries, toiletries and cleaning products each month.

Monday, May 19, 2008

My first ever post........

It's funny, I have been thinking about creating my very own blog for ages now, but have been putting it off, and putting it off. I am not sure why, maybe it has something to do with that reserved British side of me, do I want everyone knowing everything about me. Well the solution to that I suppose, is only post what I am comfortable with everyone in the world knowing about. Pretty simple solution when you think about it, don't know why I took so long to figure that one out.

Then there is the technical side of things, how do I post photos, how do I set a blog up, and how do I set it out so that people can read it. Then of course, do I actually have anything interesting to say to people? What may interest one person, may bore the living daylights out of another?

Anyhow I have decided what the heck, I am going to give it a go. I don't think I will stick to one subject, I will post about all sorts. I have a number of interests. One thing I have a great interest in is saving money. I have read so many blogs and visited so many sites and gained so much information that I would love to spread the word on saving money.

Another of my loves is cooking, I have a lot of great recipes that I have collected and modified over the years that would be a great for other people to try.

Gardening is something I really enjoy, and hope to share photos with you all of my garden, the success's, which I hope there are a lot, and my failures, which I would love to think will be none, but that is wishful thinking.

I started to quilt just over a year ago and that has been fun, I'll never be a master quilter, but I do love what I have done so far. I am also starting to scrapbook, but honestly the whole thing is scaring me to death, as I have tons and tons of photos with no dates on them in a big pile. I can see there will be plenty of posts on my progress, or even lack of progress in that department.

So there you go, my first ever post, fingers crossed I'll figure all the technical stuff out!!!