Juno Recap

Last night the 2009 Juno awards were on tv and I must say it was a fairly decent night for Canadian music. One of my favourite artists put on an amazing performance (as usual) and walked away with the best artist award. Congratulations Sam Roberts and your band! :) Dallas Green also put on an incredible, flawless performance with special guest Gord Downie and walked away with the well-deserved best songwrite award.
Now I only say that the show was a 'fairly' decent night due to the fact that the openers and ones that walked away with most awards was the band Nickelback. Seriously?! Rant beginning right about..... now. I really do not understand how and why Nickelback is still selling out shows and winning awards. Come on! This band has been around for what, 10 years or so? They have what, roughly 5-6 albums? They keep winning awards, yet EVERY SINGLE SONG sounds the SAME! I don't get it!
At least the organization who is responsible for the nominations and appointments of the awards were smart enough to recognize and include real musicians like those mentioned above.

Something Cute for Friday :)

In one of the forums I frequent, everyone is posting pictures of their horses as they have grown up. I just posted many of my horse, Chelsea from 4 days old up until today, almost 13 years old. Just thought I'd share this one with anyone reading this, because it's so cute! :) This is my horse when she was only 4 months old. One of my favourite pictures.

SwagBucks Update!

Search & Win
I have just cashed in for my second $5 gift card for amazon.ca just for using swagbucks instead of google to search. Want free gift cards for searching the web? Click the banner to the left to sign up! I now have a total of 3 swagbucks in my acct...42 away from my 3rd gift card! :)

Taking a Chance

Well, I couldn't wait any longer! My beloved Mazda 3 has gone into the dealership this morning for service incl. oil change and all that jazz. I have also given them the go-ahead to remove my snow tires and put my summer ones back on. Oh my fingers are crossed that it doesn't snow again until November!!! Here's hoping that I didn't jinx it!

SwagBucks Update!

Search & Win
Current total of swagbucks in my acct = 37! :) I have been searching using swagbucks instead of google for just over 3 weeks and I am now only 8 away from winning my second $5 gift card for amazon! Want free $ for searching?? Click the pick to the left to sign up! This is NOT a hoax everyone! I've already redeemed my first giftcard and used it to help buy my bf's birthday gift! :)

New OLP Press Shot

How WICKED is this shot?!? Can you tell that I can hardly contain my excitement!? This new press photo of Our Lady Peace has just been released. It will be used to promote their upcoming album 'Burn, Burn'. This is the most recent piece of the puzzle that has been released on their website. I have been a fan of OLP since I was 11 years old people!! This is going to be THE album of the year for me!!! Can't wait for them to announce the release date. :)

Free Pledge!!

So, about 2 weeks ago, I clicked and got my coupon to try Pledge's new Multi-Surface cleaner for free!! The coupon came 2 days after I clicked, and I redeemed for my FREE full size bottle of pledge at the Real Canadian Superstore on the weekend. (retailed for $5.93 and I got for FREE!!!) I tried it out on all of my tables and book cases this weekend while doing my house work, and not only did it smell great, it did a fantastic job!! I think the offer is still valid, so I definitely recommend you click and give it a try! (a special thanks to my friends at Smart Canucks for this heads up!)

The Most Addicting Game Ever - Part II

I think I beat it!!! I had only 1 bubble left to get rid of then "Game Over" popped up and my score totalled 129020! woo hoo!!! Now maybe I can actually get some work done!!

Most Addicting Online Game EVER!

And this game is called - Bubble Shooter!! I send my thanks to my dear friend for sending me this game. lol This is one of the most addicting online games I have come across simply because I can't for the life of me beat it! Since I am quite the competitive person, I just keep finding myself trying over and over again!

It's a pretty plain and simple game, where all you have to do is eliminate the bubbles by shooting them with a bubble of the same colour. It's difficult because every time I have gotten close to eliminating them all, more suddenly appear!

If there is anyone reading this, please try out this game and let me know if you can beat it! :) Good luck!


It's Like Spring!

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, it's supposed to be a high of 14 degrees today - it's spring out there! ....And I am stuck here in my cubicle under this lovely fluorescent lighting. If only they made some sort of law stating that we didn't have to work on gorgeous days like this. It seems to be wasted away sitting inside the office. Maybe my snow banks will finally be melted by the weekend!

Laura's Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

This is one of my favourite muffin recipes! :)

3 large (or 4 small) ripe bananas
1/2 C sugar
1 egg (slightly beaten)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 C whole wheat flour
1/3 C melted butter
1/3 C mini chocolate chips

In a large bowl, mash the bananas.
Add the suger and slightly beaten egg - stir until combined
Stir in the melted butter.

In a seperate bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients together.
Add dry mix to the banana mixture.
Stir in chocolate chips.

DO NOT over mix.

Spoon into a 12-up greased muffin tin.

Bake at 350 deg. for 15-18 min, or until golden brown.

Enjoy! :)

Swagbucks Update

Search & Win
swagbucks update!: Today marks 2 weeks since I signed up for swagbucks and I have just officially cashed in for my first $5 gift card for Amazon.ca! :D This is not a hoax folks!

I'm Still Here!

Wow, it has been some time since I posted last. I don't even know where this last week went. I had to deal with some personal issues over the weekend (a death in the family), but am now working on getting back into the swing of things. I haven't watched any tv, so I am a week behind in my Biggest Loser update, but as mentioned, things will get back to normal now.
Work actually seems to be picking up a little bit, which is fantastic. Things have been VERY slow around here so far for 2009. It's scary when we're all sitting here and the phone isn't ringing. But, like I said, it seems as though things are slowly picking up, so we just might be ok!
My horse is also doing very well. She's still shedding like crazy and is starting to get her shiny sleek coat back. Spring is definitely on it's way! :) I'm still collecting swagbucks, freebies are coming in slowly, and despite how hard the last week has been, I have a fantastic other half and things couldn't be better. Now back to blogging!

SwagBucks Update:

Search & Win Currently at 32 SwagBucks, 8 days in! :)

Yes, I'm Going to Talk About Britney Spears

I can't believe I am about to write this. Especially because even since I was a pre-teen, I have always been anti-pop. I was always into rock, alternative, indie music... my favourite bands range from Our Lady Peace, to Sam Roberts, to Cuff The Duke, to Metric, to Broken Social Scene..the list could go on and on. So why the hell am I about to talk about Britney Spears?!! Oh my.. I don't know what has happened to me. I am almost embarrassed to say this, but her new album actually isn't all that bad! (to any of my friends that may be reading this: I know, I know.. I seriously don't know what's happened to me lol)
When the single "Womanizer" was released, I'd hear it here and there without ever really paying attention. But it was everywhere. One day I noticed myself actually singing along to it probably when I was in a store or something and the song came on the loud speaker. I quickly stopped myself and gasped "OMG! Do I actually like a Britney Spears song?" I accepted it, but chose to only enjoy the song in private. Until one day I was talking to a friend and she mentioned to me how she was embarrassed that she really liked Britney's second single from her new album, "Circus". It was at that moment, when I set myself free and told her that I secretly loved the song "Womanizer". It just so happened, this friend and I were setting out on a day-long road trip the following weekend. As soon as we get in the car, she pulls out a cd and proclaims "I've got a surprise for you!". She puts the cd in and she tells me to switch it to track 3 -- "Womanizer" comes on! My friend got me the new Britney cd. It took me long enough to admit that I liked that song, and now I had her cd! In my car!
Well, I've been listening to this cd in my car for about a month now. (I'm known to immerse myself in a new album when I get it to really get a feel for the music.) And, although this is very hard for me, I admit that it's not all that bad. Out of the 17 tracks, I can actually say that I like about 85% of them. GASP! It's just fun-loving, and completely different to anything I own music wise. So now on to my thoughts about Britney herself. Yes she screwed up in the past, but you know what? I am completely behind her 100% now. She has finally seemed to grow up and accept responsibility for things and I really hope that this new Circus tour is a big success for her. She definitely has the new tunes to back herself up and I wish her all the best.
Britney Spears, you now have my respect.

The Biggest Loser - My Thoughts Of The Day

I just have to say, that The Biggest Loser is surprisingly one of my favourite shows and I never miss an episode. Why would a weight loss show affect me so much? I am not overweight, not do I need to lose any. However, there is just something about this show that is so inspiring. Watching it just pulls my emotional strings. Within the first episode of the season, producers do such a good job and portraying each individual contestant making you emotionally attached to them from the start. It is this emotional attachment that makes me want to keep watching week after week, just to see these people succeed in bettering their lives physically and emotionally. Since I know I never miss an episode of this show, I have decided that I would like to add my 2 cents after each week's episode. So, on to my first review:

OK. To those who watched, what was with the ending?! I can't believe that the biggest loser left us with such a cliff-hanger! Although Mike said he did not believe that he lost enough weight to keep everyone on campus, I still have faith in that kid. He's done such an amazing job so far for a young kid and I don't see him slowing down any time soon. While speaking of Mike, that boy had me in tears last night! RON - KUDOS TO YOU for raising an incredible guy. I was so pleasantly surprised when Mike gave up his prize of one year's worth of free groceries to Aubrey, mother of 5. What a beautiful, selfless act that was. Like I said, it brought a tear to my eye.

Now on to Laura. SERIOUSLY, why is that girl still there? I totally and completely agree with what Jillian did last night calling her out. This girl just doesn't seem like she wants to be on the ranch. Not like everyone else. It's 9 weeks in now and you see every single person bust their butts week in and week out and then there's Laura. Like Jillian said, she's always crying victim and never tries. Everyone on her team sees it and everyone in the audience sees it. I wondered why she was doing this right from the start even when she came back after 30 days due to her partner Tara busting her butt, and she only lost a mere 6lbs! In 30 DAYS! Her partner Tara (who I am rooting for to win this thing) was loosing double digits each WEEK! and Laura only lost 5lbs in a MONTH! I don't know about her. She better start wanting to be there REALLY soon, or else the next time she is below the yellow line, I think she's gone. (and I wouldn't mind). Looking forward for next week!

HUGE Music News!

I have just heard that my most favourite band of all time, Our Lady Peace, are just making the finishing touches on their brand spankin' new album - rumoured to be titled "Burn, Burn". This is such exciting news!!! My fingers are crossed that the album is released before 2009 is over. This album will most definitely be my music highlight of the year. :)

SB Update:

Search & Win My swagbucks update: 6 days in, and my total is now at 19 SB! :) the 45 mark for a $5 amazon.ca gift card doesn't seem so far off now!

Some $ Saving Tips! :)

While on the topic of homeownership today, and due to the current economic crisis here and in the US, I thought that I would include a post with a list of things that I have done to change my spending habits in order to be able to afford my house, my horse, and my car all on my own. So, if you are in need of some money saving tips, or are just curious as to what I have done to help, read away. :)

To be completely honest, it's all about priorities and what is most important to you. I can honestly say that I do NOT by any means have a high paying job - I make enough to get by, but learned at a young age how to manage my money and what was most important to me. The three most important things to me at this point in my life are my house, my car and my horse. I will do whatever necessary to ensure that I can keep all three.

Things I had to sacrifice to make this possible:

- no more buying my Timmies coffee in the mornings on my way to work -- I buy coffee at the grocery store and make it at home to bring in a travel mug. Or, I make a tea at home, and bring in my travel mug -- this can save a LOT of $

- no eating out -- My boyfriend and I only eat out once and a while as a treat. It makes the whole idea of going out for supper a little more enjoyable too since we don't get to do it often

- no more booze/partying -- luckily when I included this rule into my regime, I was already SO OVER the partying phase in my life. I also in turn wanted to lose some weight, so I've benefited all around here saving money by not going out or buying alcohol, and by losing 10 lbs!!

- no more weekly shopping trips -- when I first started working full time after graduating university, I needed to start building upon my office wardrobe. I got to the point where I was buying something every pay cheque! This has since stopped. Even though I have those mornings where I look in my closet and think 'I have NOTHING to wear!', I know deep down that I really do, and just suck it up and make myself wear what I have. Maybe once every few months I will buy myself one new article of clothing, but that's it.

- in terms of groceries --- no pre-made foods. Thankfully I was blessed with a mother who was a great cook and she taught me everything she knows. When I go to the grocery store I rarely actually go down the aisles! I buy my fresh fruits and veggies (will opt for frozen ONLY when on sale) and will also try to buy just what's on sale. In terms of meat, I ONLY buy meat when it's on sale for a really good deal, then i will buy a few packs and put it in the freezer. Ie. this past weekend at the Superstore, I bought 6 lovely pork tenderloins for $8! You can make some incredible meals from scratch that really are quick, cheap and incredibly healthy! (I will try to post recipes on here as I go) With this method for shopping/cooking, I have managed to almost spend $30 or less/week on groceries. Maybe every three-four weeks, I spend arond $50 when I need to re-stock my shelves with staples.

- coupons, coupons, coupons!!! they are so easy to get, so find them and USE them!! People complain about things being so expensive sometimes, but there are also so many coupons that are never used!! I try to use coupons as often as I can. And also try to base what I buy on the weekly flyer.

It's a lot of work to be extra careful with my spending, BUT it's working for me!

HGTV - I Love Thee

Since becoming a homeowner almost 2 years ago, I've found myself becoming very drawn to HGTV and it's great programming. I am proud to say that HGTV is now one of my favourite channels to watch on tv. Some of my favourite shows range from Property Virgins, to Rent Me, to Income Property, to House Hunters, etc.. Although I know I could probably never afford to do what people accomplish on those shows, they help get me excited with different thoughs and ideas in regards to how I can make my own home more enjoyable. On top of it all, HGTV also has a great website with even more tips and ideas for viewers like me. :) I am all about plugging things that I like, and I definitely love HGTV. If you are a homeowner and haven't ventured over yet, I recommend you do one day.

Monday, Monday..

Well, another weekend has flown by and it is Monday, my least favourite day of the week. I always seem to find myself dreading Monday's simply because it is the beginning of the work week ahead, and I'd much rather it be the weekend all over again. Today is even worse since I really did not have much of a weekend. The weekend did not start at 5pm Friday as I was ever so lucky as to get to count inventory here at work. After counting all of our stock, and then re-counting, I was finally able to start my weekend at about noon Saturday - leaving me not too much of a weekend to enjoy. But alas, that time is behind me and no sense dreading on it now.

A big plus of this past weekend however was that we recieved a bonus at work friday. :) It wasn't much, but I am most definitely not complaining. It came at a perfect time and was enough to allow me to pay my horse's vet bill in full (Chelsea was very sick at New Years and the vet had to come out for an emergency procedure) - now that he is paid in full, it is like one of the many weights on my shoulders have been listed and it feels great. :) Here's hoping that it was the start of a nice stress free week, hopefully with a freebie or two thrown in! ;)