Sunday, March 14, 2010

Back to Work Recap

     Well, it's been a while but I'm back. My last post was just prior to our family ski vacation, which was immediately followed by my return to work from maternity leave. Since then, despite the crazy, hectic pace, I've managed to continue exploring the world of living on a beer budget but enjoying champagne tastes.
     I'd originally thought I would splash out and buy some new items for my work wardrobe but to date, I haven't. I've found that despite being a couple years old, my suits, blouses, etc. are feeling new-ish to me because I didn't wear them at all last year when I was pregnant. Also, things are fitting me differently due to weight-loss and the mysterious shape-shifting that occurs with women's bodies, post-pregnancy, leaving us with totally different skinny spots and trouble zones than before. Plus, with a bit more weight-loss as a motivator, I am holding out on buying anything new so as not to wind up with brand new clothes that are too big and unwearable. Now that I am through the having babies phase, I've vowed not to have multiple clothing sizes in my wardrobe any more.
     I can't even begin to describe how exciting it was to get that first paycheque after my return to work. I could have hugged our Payroll Administrator and I had such a warm moment, checking my bank balance online. However, despite the feeling of having won the jackpot, I have not gone crazy living the life of someone who earns a decent living. Rather, I've continued to make and take my lunch to work pretty much every day. Weeknight dinners are simpler and cheaper, with my crockpot working overtime for Cam, Auz, and I, and the blender continuing to churn out homemade baby food for Lauren. Weekend meals have been a bit fancier, but as I always say, I'd rather blow the budget on a home-made meal than spend that same money on an okay meal at a restaurant. That lesson was reinforced last weekend during a slow-service, mediocre dinner at Casey's while juggling a crabby, tired baby.
     Not to say I haven't been spending money. My Visa bill came in last week with an "ulp!" factor of $8,000, but it was primarily for all the items bought at Lowe's, Home Depot, and Rona for our basement renos. I am talking truckloads of stuff. I was lucky enough to have my friend Jenna do a pre-purchase scout out with me, to get me focused on all that I would need to choose and her fabulous taste and know-how really helped me make smart and organized choices. The actual purchasing visits had the joyous feel of a spending spree without the scare of buyer's regret afterwards. What was funny, though, was that Visa flagged a fraud-alert on my account, with the first big purchase going through like an elephant through a python. I guess that big spend was so out of character for me that the folks at Visa were being cautious, which I appreciated, as I also appreciated the validation of not being a regular big spender. At any rate, the renos are nearly there, and I am so looking forward to having a finished basement with a dead-sexy bathroom, real soon. Point to note: I had saved and budgeted for the reno, with the money already put aside to cover the Visa bill (I charged it to get the Visa rebate dollars) so please don't think for a moment I am advocating spending sprees on credit.
     I must confess, however, that my old frivolous habit at work has cropped up again, and what I am referring to is my Starbucks addiction. Right now it's about a weekly skinny vanilla latte habit, but as any little addiction problem evolves, it's a slippery slope. However, if a latte warms the cockles of my heart on a stressful day at work, it's a far more responsible option than say, drinking at lunch or tearing a strip off the resident office bully. All in moderation, my friend.
     So that about brings us up to speed. I promise more regular posts now that I am back into somewhat of a groove. Cheers!

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