A Money Coach in Canada

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My kitchen is in the midst of renovations. SQUEEEEE – it’s going to be sexy when it’s done! Natural wood and cork and lots of stainless steel and a polished concrete table and and and!

Apart from the fun of it, it’s also a challenge for an eco-friendly, budget-loving money coach. So far I’m doing well. Don’t freak out at this: I gave my contractor full permission to, errrrr, freegan stuff from the Yellowknife dump. WITHIN REASON! And you have to know, Yellowknife truly has an illustrious history about its dump as this Cdn Living article will attest and the political implications of tampering with it made The Walrus back in ’03. I digress.

I am not going to get my dishwasher nor my stove from the dump (and what I do get, I’ll never say).

I need an 18″ dishwasher and a full size electric (alas, no natural gas avail to me) stove. Stainless steel.

This is the first time in my life I’ve bought these items. I don’t want high end, but I do want durable and good value for money. Oh, and at least some style to them too! Any tips for me? For example, a co-worker declared it’s worth every extra penny for a quieter dishwasher. What else should I look for?

photo credit: Jonas Design & Photography

Friends, It’s been quite a week. Still renewing my mortgage. Renovations well underway. Keeping a close eye as my beta testers proceed testing my new online money coaching program. And trying to pull together a blogcamp up here in Yellowknife. #tiredjustthinkingaboutit

But never fear. Others are doing the heavy lifting on how to live luxuriously yet frugally.

You should check them out…

Karen posted a super-simple way to make floating candles. Don’t worry! You don’t have to actually make the candles! You just … adapt them.

Learn to make your own pizza dough, just like an Italian. Does this not look seriously therapeutic?

Keep an eye on the iTunes 99¢ movies. Know what’s available right now? Twilight, that’s what. Oh, c’mon. Don’t be so snobby. Punch Drunk Love then, maybe? Or The September Issue?

Or then again, skip silly Hollywood movies. They’ve got nothin’, nothin’! on a top drawer radio show out of Chicago called This American Life. It’ll make you want to gather the family ’round, call in the dog, light the fire and then lean back in a leather easy-chair, guaranteed.

Readers: are you doing anything wonderful this weekend that’s also still frugal?

Photo credit: Dale Chumbley

MY! What a quarter I’ve had! 2 months without a tenant followed by Christmas and travel, plus purchasing a new fridge and a new macbook plus a $700 vet bill plus $600 in semi-annual property taxes due plus helping out someone who needed a serious chunk of change plus the deposit on some renos LEAVES A GIRL BROKE for a bit, even if she is a money coach who sets aside funds for these sorts of things.
So my desperately-needed winter holiday was doomed.

Or so I thought.

A colleague is moving from Yellowknife back to Halifax and because her car didn’t sell is making the drive down to Edmonton. “Anyone care to accompany me? I’ll pay for the gas!” she said. “Pick me! Pick me!” I cried.

And then despair: no good deals to fly home to be found! I mourned piteously to a brilliant and fabulous friend who brilliantly and fabulously pointed out, “don’t you have any airmiles?” I leapt up immediately to check and SQUEEE by buying a few more for $25 I had enough, just enough, to fly home from Calgary!

Joy and Rapture!

It gets better. I have some wonderful friends (ever heard of Netchick? Oh yes, I bet you have!) in Calgary to visit and who have also kindly agreed to host me!

Mostly, it’s a working holiday to work on this blog (hoping to jazz up its look) but man oh man, I’m looking forward to seeing good friends from my Vancouver days plus being in a city. A city! I love Yellowknife but there’s nothin’ wrong with a few sirens in the background. And six-lane traffic (or at least four). And Starbucks wherever your eye can see (don’t sneer til you’ve gone without one for weeks on end). And London Drugs. AND AN APPLE STORE.

I do plan to splurge a bit — a spa treatment, a dinner out, a brunch out, maybe a 3-D movie? (any recos?)

But still, this fell together in a glorious and frugal manner and to all those who made it possible (you know who you are) a big thank-you.

Readers, how ’bout you? Have you ever had an unexpected holiday or getaway that was amazingly inexpensive? (in a good way, I mean! Not like, say, losing your wallet so sleeping in your car instead.)

It sounded easy enough.
And the result was passable. But who wants passable? I wanted Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups in a jar! I wanted over-the-top indulgence! I wanted heavenly breakfasts! And frugal, too!

Any ideas what I need to do differently?

Here are the ingredients. I just used the oil from the organic peanut butter. I suspect the peanuts were too old (I’ve had them in a sealed bag for a couple years. That’s too old, right?)

The next thing that went wrong was that my food processor kept overheating. I was supposed to liquify the peanuts. This took 5 minutes of steady blending (or whatever it’s called). Is it possible I burned the peanuts as they were liquifying?

I ended up getting a jar of the stuff. It looks nice, for whatever that’s worth.

And the next morning on my eggos it sufficed, but only sufficed. As you can see, it’s kind of grainy. Not silky smooth like I was hoping for.

And for our ongoing Frugal Friday posts, just in time for Valentine’s Day, a Guest post by beauty expert: Jessica Krznaric!

The holiday we either love, or love to hate is just around the corner – the big V day. Whether you’re spending Valentine’s Day to celebrate the love of a relationship or the love for a friendship, don’t forget to show appreciation to the most important person – yourself! These six beauty steals are not just inexpensive but great for the ego. Plus, the entire loot racks in under fifty bucks. I think I’ll love myself every month…

Six Feel Good Beauty Steals

1. Sebastian Whipped Crème – I recently discovered this one thanks to my hairdresser. It truly is magic in a bottle for a great price. Used as a conditioner, volumizer and heat protectant (you’re already saving!), Sebastian’s Whipped Crème is packed with protein and shine removing the brittle from hair and replacing it with a boost. Ranges around fifteen dollars or even less if you order online!

2. Ponds Cleansing Towelettes – My skin is ultra sensitive (wonder who gave me that gene, thanks mom), and finding the right facial products sometimes seem next to impossible. But there is a great product that works with you, not against you. Ponds Cleaning Towelettes, cushioned with Vitamin E, offer a deep clean without breaking out or drying up your skin. Known for their makeup removal superpowers, Ponds Cleansing Towelettes adhere 100% to their lifelong motto: beauty without a hefty price tag. Ranges around six bucks.

3. & 4. Cover Girl Lash Blast Mascara and Perfect Blend Eyeliner– I’ve tried all different price points of liners and mascaras and always seem to resort back to long-lasting favorites. Cover Girl’s Last Blast Mascara and Perfect Blend Liner make eyes fuller, darker and bolder. Layer the lid and lashes until it’s thick for the perfect result. Just over ten dollars for both.

5. Jergens Skin Firming Daily Total Moisturizer – If you want to feel sexy in your skin, Jergen’s is a lifesaver. You can’t help but smile every time you put it on. Maybe that’s because with every application you are toning and tightening your legs. I see it as a month’s worth of spa treatment for under eight dollars.

6. Carmex Cherry Lip Balm – You can kiss your chapped, cracked, burned and abused lips good-bye for as little as two bucks. Carmex Lip Balm’s legendary formula works fast to restore moisture and its SPF 15 protects lips from sunburn. Not only a great product all year round, Carmex has been restoring lips for 74 years. I’m sold!
Jessica Krznaric is the beauty editor of www.mysocialbeauty.com, the social networking site for the cosmetology and beauty industry, and works closely with the cosmetology educational sites, www.beautyschool.com and www.beautyschoolsdirectory.com.

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