on the subject of… my purple sweatpants

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Perhaps this is married life. Perhaps this is what its like to get a little too comfortable with your spouse. Perhaps this is what happens the older you get and the longer you live together. But when I come home from work on a dark cold night, my after 5pm routine usually involves changing out of my work clothes and into the comfiest ensemble ever: my purple sweatpants.  Continue reading

on the subject of… vacation budgeting

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Oh, how a week can fly by… It’s funny how a simple vacation can mess up your daily routine and before you know it, a whole week goes by and you realize you didn’t publish a single blog post.

Last weekend we went to Seattle for two nights with friends (I’ll write more about that later). Before most vacations Andrew and I sit down to decide what we’re going to spend–what’s our budget going to be so we don’t go overboard and overspend. We discuss what we plan to do while on vacation; like how many times we’ll go out to eat, or what attractions we plan to go see and do and then factor in how much it will all cost.

While we don’t budget every single thing down to the exact dollar we often give ourselves a daily spending allowance that we try to stay within. For example, our goal for this trip was to spend no more than $100 a day. While I can’t say we always stayed within the daily budget it helped us to really think about what we were going to do before we did it. Like since we knew we would eat out for lunch and dinner, we figured we should probably go to the grocery store to grab breakfast items to eat in the hotel room, instead of going out for brunch.

It’s little tricks like this that usually work pretty well to keep us mindful of our spending. But when we get home I am still amazed at how much we spent. I seem to remember our vacations used to be much cheaper when we were university students.

And then Andrew reminds me, “That’s because during weekend getaways with friends we would often sleep 8 to one hotel room and eat dollar-a-slice pizza to save costs.”

Man, oh man. Vacationing as an adult is expensive. And by the way, we never did buy breakfast items from a grocery store… we ate out for brunch two days in a row. It just tastes too good!

Do you set a budget when you go on vacation?

on the subject of… calling the parents

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We go see a movie and afterwards Andrew calls his parents to tell them how it was. Andrew coaches a junior rugby team every Sunday and that afternoon his parents call him to ask how it went. We play on our co-ed flag football team on Tuesday nights and later that night Andrew is on the phone telling them play-by-play how our game went.

Andrew talks to his parents just about everyday. I, on other hand, talk to my parents about once a week. Sometimes once every two weeks if we forget. It doesn’t mean I love my parents any less. We just don’t feel the need to talk to each other all the time.

Andrew insists that’s not normal. Continue reading

on the subject of… halloween

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So my Medusa costume turned out alright after all… and I did get a second chance to wear my bridesmaid dress from my friend Sara’s wedding last Spring.

While I spent a couple weeks thinking long and hard about my costume, Andrew tends to think of a Halloween costume about an hour before we head out to a Halloween party. In fact he found his “traffic cop” costume at the Dollar Store next to his work just last week.

Our friends Phil and Emily came over from Victoria to visit us for Halloween and although they were reluctant at first to party hard or watch any scary movies… we made them do both! Good thing they love us, because that doesn’t make us sound like very friendly hosts.

They admitted later the only reason they were hesitant to go to a Halloween party (they originally wanted to spend the evening at home watching non-scary movies) was because they didn’t have a good costume to wear. But they stepped up to the plate when Emily came out in a fantastic bumble bee costume and Phil dressed as a Frenchman! Don’t worry, he’s actually French so its not culturally insensitive… I think…

So as we were all getting dressed in our costumes and taking photos, Andrew looks around and says sadly… “Everyone’s costume is better than mine!”

“Well maybe if you took more than an hour to think about your costume you would have a cooler one,” I reply.

“Ya, next year I will spend a lot more time on my costume– its going to be awesome!” He says.

He says that every year…

on the subject of… buying dishes

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photo courtesy of crate and barrel

You know that shopping rule to curb impulse spending that says if you really want something you should wait several days before buying it to see if you really want it? While I have to admit I don’t follow that rule enough… Andrew lives by it.

Before Andrew buys anything he must really feel like he’s considered all his options. Even if he already knows what he’s going to buy. This is a process, that while frustrating, no longer surprises me. I simply know I have to go through the motions in order for him to feel ready to make a big purchase. And folks, a big purchase is anything above $100… so as you can imagine we go through this process together a lot. Continue reading

on the subject of… food management

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Photo courtesy of stephversusworld.wordpress.com 

Despite our best efforts to ignore gender stereotypes when it comes to the division of household labor and chores in our marriage, there are certain roles Andrew and I have just fallen into. For example, he always deals with car maintenance. And I always deal with grocery shopping and meal planning–which is funny because I don’t even love to cook.

Last week was a busy one for the both of us, leaving us stressed, our apartment dirty, laundry undone and the fridge empty. So while thinking about what we could do for dinner one night Andrew went to the fridge only to ask: “We don’t have any food! Why didn’t you go grocery shopping?”

Mad as hell, I turn around and say, “Because I am the only one who plans meals and thinks about the food in this house!”

“That is not true,” Andrew says defensively. “I think about eating it.”

I hate it how he makes me laugh when I am really mad at him. 

on the subject of… a PVR

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The way we watch TV has changed… 

“I really want a PVR.” I declare one day after passing the Shaw store in the mall.

Andrew gives me a confusing look. “It’s only $350,” I try to explain. Andrew’s eyes widen.

“Ok I know that’s a lot, but I think it would be worth it. We could record all our favorite shows and watch them whenever we want.” I say, and realize I am sounding like a commercial.

“That’s a lot of money, why don’t we each take money out of our personal savings accounts to pay for it?” Andrew suggests. Which isn’t the answer I wanted to hear since I consider this a joint expense and therefore would prefer to take it out of our joint account not out our personal ones. But I decide to play along.

“Fine,” I agree. “Good,” Andrew says. “Now where’s the Gap, I want to check out their shirts.”

“It’s to the left up ahead.” I say. Andrew disagrees and says, “Are you sure, I think it’s behind us.”

“Want to bet?” I ask. He takes the bait. “How about $20 bucks?”

He laughs, but agrees. He forgets I frequent this mall more often than he does. So we walk ahead and as you would expect, find the Gap exactly where I said it would be.

“I win!” I say with a smile. “You can put that $20 towards my half of the PVR.”

I’ll pay for my half of the PVR in no time…