Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February Found Money

Last month the Raz Man and I decided to challenge ourselves to find an extra $2012.00 in 2012 to invest in our Retirement Savings Plan at the end of the year.  We certainly could have sliced our grocery budget, travel budget, and judging from all the wine bottles I returned this month, we could certainly cut the wine budget. The purpose, however, was not to find it within our pay cheques, but from other sources,  In our case, this should be called Lazy Ass Money because we have many ways where could save and/or make money, but we lack the time and motivation . We're just too plain lazy a lot of the time to make the effort to make money.

Last month I signed up for Ad Sense with Google because if you blog a lot, I figured you may as well make money on it. We also sold a washer and dryer, that previously we would have let the delivery company take away for free when they brought the new ones. 2 little things make us $121.15.

This month, The Raz Man raised the most $$ by listing and selling his Kayak on Craigslist. We should have shipped this to Florida when we had a chance, but it was sitting in storage unused and likely never to be used now the cottage is sold. He got full asking price of $350.00. My Ad Sense revenue went down a bit this month and I only make $10.21. I used to leave my wine bottles out on recycle day and a gentleman would come and take them.I never thought much of it, but assumed he was homeless or in need of cash. I later saw him outside his quite large house in a great neighborhood, and I realized he was smarter than me. He was out FINDING MONEY. So I took an embarrassingly large number of bottle to the Bottle Return and got $15.10.

So February ends with a whopping $375.31 in FOUND MONEY. Total so far in 2012 $496.46.

For March, I am looking at ways to up my Blog revenue, as well as selling some furnishings and mistakes that have been sitting around. I have an appointment with a consignment store tomorrow.

It would be great if you linked up to any Found Money ideas you have BELOW

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fashion Item of the Week

I have a thing for short boots and spend pretty well all of Fall and Winter in them in lieu of casual shoes. I'll spend good money on shoes and boots because I have good feet and want to keep them that way, plus my feet are complainers....and I have found that no matter what the make, style or construction, I have never had luck with cheap shoes. Plus shoe size is consistent so they don't succumb to my diet woes.

These cognac studded boots are my newest favorite boots. They are made by Frye, super comfy, fit true to size,and are fully lined in lovely soft leather. The buckles and studs make me feel like going roping this weekend in them . 

Buckles, shiny studs, stacked low heel....what's not to love.

OUT TAKE....Foster dog curiosity....

Monday, February 27, 2012

An Old Fashioned Birthday Cake

For my big brothers birthday, I baked him a good old fashioned chocolate cake. Made with cocoa, buttermilk and espresso (you can use regular coffee), This cake recipe is my go-to cake for chocolate lovers and comes from The Barefoot Contessa's cookbook. It's called Beatty's Chocolate cake and is by far the most tasty chocolate cake in my recipe repertoire.  It's also a very easy cake to make so you should give it a try. After you add the coffee, the batter is very thin, but don't fret, it rises like a dream and will be absolute perfection. You can find the recipe HERE and impress your own crowd.

I'm a big fan of the simple old fashioned birthday cake. Just a thick spread of chocolate butter cream icing, and my favourite decorations....Hundreds and Thousands.

Flowers In The House

I hadn't seen the sun in a week, so when I spotted these petite daffodils at the grocery store on Friday, I snapped them up. I thought a splash of yellow would bring some sunny rays into the house. Plus, I knew it was the week for Jane's FLOWERS IN THE HOUSE gathering on Monday. At $1.49 for each little pot, I bought 3 pots and re-planted them all into my # 3 Burleigh bowl.   

This morning, the sun crept out and graced the living room with it's beautiful gentle Spring rays, highlighting the beauty of these simple little daffs.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Foster Dog Update.

A friendship/acceptance is starting for form between Hunter and Hannah Cat.
Girl Child told me to stop writing about the dog....but I just can't. He's just too full of adventures and sweetness not to take his picture and rattle on like a proud Mamma.  The first rule of Fostering is not to get too attached,  but let me tell you.  Girl Child has failed miserably on that front.  She spent a good part of reading week at the house and this boy followed her everywhere and she him. Well behaved boy that he is, he refused all offers to sleep on her bed.

He no longer escapes from the laundry room when we go out. The door is firmly locked and we pick the lock to get him out. He will eat the cat food if he thinks I've gone out and left him alone, and he has forged a quasi friendship with Hannah Cat. He really is such a lovely, well trained and lovable dog. I'd keep him if we were planning another dog. 

You may notice his bandage on his foot. He had a brief stint at another foster home right after he was surrendered (horrible term for it) and the alpha dog in that house didn't take to him and gave him a few sharp bites, one cutting his eyelid, which I noticed and bathed and it has healed, and the other that I failed to notice on his foot. A bite can be nasty on the skin, and this has festered and he is left with an infection and sore foot. He's twice been to the vet and is now on antibiotics. He's twice removed the dressings the vet applies. Last night I gave it a warm salty water compress, then pulled out my tool box of bandages and found an extra tough stretchy, sort of sticky, tensor bandage and have wrapped it snugly so he can't chew it and hope now he's on the mend. He may not be mine, but he's making an impact, snuggling his way into our lives and hearts. I do hope he finds a loving home soon.  For more info on Fostering a Labrador or Adoption, see

Finally a bandage he can't get off.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Weekend Plans

Mystery cake..likely going to be chocolate served on my pretty Tiffany Blue cake plate.
We had a short week this week here in Canada due to the Family Day Holiday. They are calling for snow, but since we've only had a handful of snow this year, I'm not buying it. It's raining right now so let's hope the temperature doesn't plunge.  This weekend will be a fairly quiet one. I am going away next Wednesday so I will be busy getting my suitcase ready and work completed so no one notices I'm gone. Foster dog if not adopted by then will be spending his days at the Raz Man's office. He's been a few times and left his calling card both times.

One of my man gifts complete with homemade wrapping and Celtic cross clay tag.

For the most part, I keep track of birthdays and always throw a party, buy a decent gift, and bake a huge cake, but this year for my eldest brother, I basically skipped it. It was 10 days ago, and other than a "hey happy birthday" call, I did So guilt crept up and I am hosting a family dinner in his honor on Sunday.

Masculine dining table....this was his last years supper.

I think I may barbecue something, that is if we don't get the foot of snow predicted. Other than that, all I know is the cake will be chocolate. Last year I bought him a candle.  A really good one, in a nice tin with a manly aroma of cigars and leather and bacon. The rest of the family thought it was a ridiculous gift for a man. Which sparked a discussion on whether men like to be given candles. Bro had to admit it was a great gift since he was sitting at my dinner table. He's a hip dude. He cooks, has a nice apartment with lots of art and bits from his travels.  I thought it was a good gift. I guess I should ask the male readers what they think. Tom, John, a candle a decent gift for a fella?

Birthday cake clay tags I made.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

445 Square Feet

Today I am taking the day off to help Girl Child move some bits into her new apartment.  She's a girly girl, loving pink and pretty like I do.  I've been sorting through my bits to find things for her new place.  I sold the cups above unfortunately.  But I do still have the silverware below and I have been waiting for a happy home for it. Her whole place is only 445 sq ft.  Teeny Tiny.  I will take a few photos today to mark the progress. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Shutter Project

This post is recycled in more ways than one.  I showed this once before and have had several emails about the paint colours and method. Not sure why the sudden interest.  Perhaps it is floating around Pinterest.  Anyway, the shutter was a $10.00 find from The Lofty Lion in Lion's Head Ontario. It was pretty dusty when I bought it, and at the time, I had no idea what I was going to do with it.  I gave it a good hosing off and a soap and water wash, followed by a light sanding. I decided to make it a peg board for the bathroom at our now sold cottage.  It had pretty ugly wall tile and no hanging space.

I applied several layers of paint starting with Arsenic from Farrow and Ball. I gave it a quick and pathetic coat letting the brown paint show through.

Next, I added Farrow and Ball Light Blue, followed by a coat of Blackened.  I used only sample pots to keep the cost down.

As you can see the painting can be loose and carefree because you are going to sand most of it off.

Above and below you can see that I sanded the paint off leaving layers of the other colours to show through.

Then I added very simple chrome hooks from the local hardware store.  I left on the original shutter closure.

I then hung it horizontally on the wall securing it well with wall plugs and suitable sized screws.

It covered the miserable tiles somewhat and provided the perfect spot for hanging beach towels and nighties.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The King's Chair

The ice is flowing already because of the mild Winter.
Foster Dog gets me out of the house on cold days, which is why I love having a dog in the house. Honestly, is there anyone more excited than a dog to get outside?. Yesterday we walked up and down the 12 Mile Creek near our house. Up the creek to the North Bridge, over, then down and over the South Bridge...a perfect loop and 1 hour walk. Half the walk is on the quiet paths in the woods, the other half down a fairly busy road. I am beginning to think that Foster Boy is a country dog at heart as he seems to despise the traffic as much as I do. Our Destination was the mysterious King's Chair.

From the top of the bridge there is a lovely view of the creek that flows down into Lake Ontario.

On the busier side of the creek, they are building an 8 story retirement home. Lovely for the seniors, not so nice for the neighborhood. They are moving the original farmhouse and have already got it on pillars to move.

We heard a commotion from the geese squatting on the ice.  Suddenly a fox went running by..trouble.

Along the foot path in the forest is a large chair carved into a massive tree stump (6 feet tall) For a year this stump was left after the City took down a threatening tree. One day, according to legend, 2 burly men arrived in the woods with saws and carved a magnificent chair "the King's Chair" along the path. Children from all over the neigborhood like to walk to the King's Chair. It's become a destination for walkers.

There was a lot of chat around the park about the mystery of the chair.The local paper even featured an article about the strange appearance of it. Copy cat chairs have started to spring up along paths in nearby neighborhoods. But none with the mystery of the "King's Chair". I know who carved it, but I like the Folklore attached to it. No further comment.

A little worn now, but you can see the crown at the top.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Found Gift

My Sister is the family Deer Spotter. We live in the suburbs but she still manages to spot deer. She goes to get gas, she spots deer. She drives to the nursing home to visit Sweet Mama.....she catches 3 deer crossing the road. She tells me where to look but I never see them.  My daughter even saw one running along the sidewalk a block or so away from our house. But me, I am never lucky is spotting the stealth like suburban deer.

I've been looking for a stag horn lately....not outside, but in flea markets. I spotted 2 in Florida, but didn't want to even attempt fate by trying to bring them back to Ontario. Having no luck, I asked Big Sister to find me one on her walks. She walks daily in a big Provincial Park near her house. She's walked there for 16 years and never seen one.  Last week she spotted one in a field.

It's has 4 points so likely comes from a youngish deer. Since removing plants or any material from a Provincial Park is forbidden, she had to be stealth like in leaving the Park with it. So she stuck it under her sweater. According to my sister, this was most uncomfortable. In her words "not a recommended thing to try, unless you want a free piercing !" She then gave it a soapy bleach bath, boxed it up and dropped by for coffee with it.

It was such an unexpected surprise and welcome gift. Now I've requested she combs the 1600 remaining acres and finds me it's mate. Both Foster Dog and Girl Child have been eyeing it. Girl Child is looking for accessories for her new pad, and Foster Dog views it as a 4 point bone. I am not parting with it.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

This Weekend I.....

Inventory...... clearing out inventory from my online shop, like the Dash & Albert carpet samples above
had a fantastic dinner out with hubby and friends and had too much wine.....
had a good catch up with a neighbor I haven't seen in months.
agreed to lend my daughter a couple of my chairs for her apartment.
visited the Dollar Shop to buy her things like cutlery trays and ice cube trays, tea towels etc.
packed a car load and dropped it off at her new place.
had a wonderful breakfast at a little cafe on Dovercourt in Toronto...pancakes with pears, bananas and maple syrup
watched 2 hours of taped American Idol...
went grocery shopping with girl child...she wouldn't allow any carbs..she's staying for 3 days during Reading Week.
missed the Boy Child and DIL who I haven;t seen in weeks....
will eat the cake the neighbor dropped off to me this morning while watching The Kennedy's/

Did you get up to anything interesting this weekend?

excess inventory

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday wrap up

Butter wouldn't melt in my mouth.

My week has flown by with nothing really blogworthy. I still have my foster dog Hunter whose name seems apt because he seems to like to hunt the cat down.  Not his fault at all as the cat seems to be provoking him. Yesterday there was a squabble and the cat was covered with dog slobber.  He knows now when he tussles with the cat he is a NAUGHTY BOY and heads straight for the TIME OUT MAT (front door mat). Other than cat issues, he's a good boy.  This weekend I am helping Girl Child move a few bits into her new apartment. It is 445 sq ft.! 1 bedroom, 1 bath, living room/kitchen/dining combined. 

To amuse you all today I offer this hilarious video of 2 dogs dining out. Take a look CLICK HERE.

He's picking on me!

Friday, February 10, 2012

She Can't Bear to Watch The Destruction

If you are ever short of blogging material, go out and get yourself a Foster Dog. A 6 year old boy with a shady past and no fixed address. Believe me, it's like having a baby...all the dinner time conversation is about the newcomer.  Friends drop by to see him. Neighbors ooh and aah as you pass them on the street. And you, the proud new mama, your'e so proud of your angel. RIGHT?

Wrong!  After yesterdays disaster where Hunter ate the box of biscuits, 1/2 loaf of bread and was just tucking into the Bailley's Chocolates, I decided for his sake, the cats safety and the safety of my house, I would put him in the laundry room when I went out. 1st try he was great.  2nd try this afternoon, I opened the front door really quietly and peeked  in to see if I heard howling or crying. I barely got my foot in the door and I was stunned to see Hunter in the Hallway. PRISON BREAK.  My first fear was for the cat. I ran room to room calling her.In the office, her food bowl that was high on a cabinet was on the floor. Toppled and empty. Books, papers, phone..All on the floor. I ran downstairs.Garbage can overturned in laundry. Laundry soap container on the floor, upstairs in my office it looked like I had been burgled. Papers on the floor. Staples, coffee mug overturned...Finally found the cat..she's fine and went to the kitchen where all the food had been hidden away before I left.  Except the one thing a dog would never eat. Bananas. Yep, about 2 lbs (3 medium bananas in a pound). all gone include 3 peels.

I couldn't yell at him. I just looked at him. He knew he was a Bad Ass. He was creeping and shaky and worried. He's troubled. And I did what I would do with a troubled kid. I hugged him, then the cat and thanked God they're OK.Then I cleaned up the mess and gave him the new pull toy I had gone out to buy him. 

Hunter only had a light supper tonight. He's resting comfortably on the kitchen floor right now.  The cat...she just can't bear to watch the destruction anymore.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Like any visitor in your house, it takes a while to discover their habits and true nature.  When you arrive home from a 10 minute trip to the corner store and your house guest won't even look at you, you know that they broke something, spilled wine on something or ate something they shouldn't have, or drank your booze.  Such was the case with my Foster Boy Hunter today.  He had a little scuffle with the cat last night.  There was a lot of hissing, barking, yelping and screaming.....most of that coming from me.  No injuries.  Just bruised egos.

So today I locked the cat in the office and popped out to buy bread. Leaving BAD BOY alone in the rest of the house. I arrived home to him creeping across the floor commando style, unable to look me in the face. I got out the camera and he would not look at it.  Shameful he was.

A quick survey of the damage led me to the realization that my boy is a COUNTER SURFER.  Yep that's a term the Lab Rescue people use.  My teenagers were counter surfers too....but at least I could leave them alone for a bit.  He ate an entire box of dog treats. And a good thing I went to buy bread because he also ate the last of the loaf. Ace Bakery, Multi grain with pine nuts.

 I couldn't photograph the bread as it was gone. photo
I scolded him. Gave him a time out, but he kept trying to run upstairs where I discovered he had been about to have dessert. I had two boxes of Bailey's chocolates upstairs on the top of a dresser. Both were on the floor, one ripped open and the chocolates all over the floor. This worried me as chocolate can be very harmful to dogs. I quickly opened the new box, counted the chocolates then counted the left overs from the opened box. He seemed to have only eaten one.

I think the cat quite enjoyed watching the scolding. He couldn't look at me for half an hour.

He's now had belly rubs, a good walk and he's only getting half his dinner this evening.