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Monday, March 28, 2016

My World Is Turning to Spring


A few days ago the fresh snow was still falling on the mountain tops.


But now the signs of Spring are here. It's even warm enough for windows to be opened to the fresh air.


I don't remember planting these flowers last year. I'm not even sure what they are :-)


The sakura (cherry) blossoms are gone from my neighbourhood. I think they are still in bloom elsewhere in the city.
In my area those pretty blossoms are being replaced by these new buds.

It's all good.

How is your world?

Joining in with Our World Tuesday today and our lovely host, Lady Fi.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Seeing Double

Seeing Double

Hey wait a minute! Now there's only one.

And he's off like the wind for his run while his mama gets her exercise on the bike.
Joining Saturday's Critters with our host, Eileen.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

A Few Brave Souls



This was the sky around dinner time in Vancouver on Thursday evening.
I noticed that there were only a few birds on the wire. Usually the wire is full of birds but today only a few "brave souls" were there.
As of 10:10 p.m. it still wasn't raining. 
According to the weather forecast we are supposed to get mixed sun and cloud over the Easter weekend except for  Sunday when rain is expected.
Next week glorious sunshine and warmer temperatures are expected.

Are there any Downtown Abby fans reading my blog?
I never did watch it until the very last season and I enjoyed the last season a lot.

Are any of you now watching Mr. Selfridge? I was on a television marathon catching up on Seasons 1 & 2. I still have 4 episodes to watch of Season 3 before I'm completely caught up. I'm enjoying it a lot and would like to hear your views in the comments section.

Joining in with Skywatch Friday

Thank you for visiting.
May you have a wonderful Easter weekend with family and loved ones ♥

Friday, March 18, 2016

Saturday Fun & a Catch Up

The dog photos in this post were meant for Saturday and Eileen's Saturday's Critters.  Somehow I saved the post to draft rather than as a "Scheduled" post so I'm sharing them a bit late.





I enjoyed watching this dog try to get in on the throw ball action between the two friends.



We've continued to have a fair bit of rain since the weekend but life goes on.

On Friday night I attended a new to me restaurant in town called "Nuba's", a Lebanese restaurant. The food is fantastic and I can see why there was a line up out the door that night. There are actually 3 restaurants by this name in town and I went to the one on Hastings and Carrell.  The group ordered sharing plates filled with tabbouleh salad, humous, baba ganoush, olives, houlami cheese and shredded beets as well as plates of pita bread. Then we ordered side dishes of chicken, lamb etc. All of the food was delicious but my favourite one is called "Najib's Special".  It is a deep fried cauliflower dish with a wonderful array of spices. Yum!

Photo Credit: Ashley from Yelp.  This is Najib's Special

Friday's gathering was a group of men and women saying "farewell" to a a member of the group. It was my first time meeting some of them.  They not only were a beautifully dressed group of people but a very diverse and interesting social set who immediately made me feel at ease.  Sadly two of the women I spoke with that night are leaving the city shortly. It seems that their work prospects did not pan out as hoped and they are moving on.  This city is a very expensive place to live and one can only sustain a life here if there is enough money to pay the bills and have some recreational money.  I know that is true in many places but this city is known for having a very high cost of housing, both rentals and purchases.  That is what makes the difference.

Since last week was such a busy week, I took Sunday to recuperate as well as catch up on house work and chores. There was and is still a lot to do on the home front.  One of the tasks I did was to sort through a lot of packaging from parcels received over the last few months.  In February I ordered some colouring books and some pencil crayons as well as felt markers.  Some of these are gifts and some are for me to colour and relax. It seems to be all the rage at the moment. I've seen these types of colouring books at my local pharmacy and also at the craft store. I've ordered 3 colouring books so far. One for me, one for my niece (for Christmas or Birthday) and another so I can send pages to my sponsored boys in Africa.

I spent Monday tutoring my friend in Mathematics. Right now we are doing a lot of work on multiplication, division, addition and subtraction. I've also touched a bit on fractions and decimals. Today though I walked my friend through a very practical lesson, that is drafting a monthly income and expense sheet.

For the past two years or so I've been constantly encouraging him to do certain things like pay himself first (investment into Registered Retirement Savings Plan), start a savings account, arrange overdraft protection for his Chequing Account, file annual taxes on time and watch his spending on the little things. He has done most of these things but not all of them.

Today's exercise opened his eyes to how much he was frittering away on coffee and snacks each month and how much his impulse purchases and recreational activities were costing him on a monthly basis. It also taught him that he is spending far too much on groceries each month for one person and that he can afford to cut back there and increase his budgetted amount for certain other expenses. I think it also opened his mind to the idea that if he spends carefully and saves every month he could actually take a vacation rather than believe he can't afford it.
I sent him home with homework to determine if all the line items were correct as one must have a real handle on one's spending each month before one can determine real income and expense amounts. I know many people recommend recording expenses every day for a period of time but I didn't ask him to do this because he is a very busy person and that would just never get done. Once we are done basic mathematical operations we will continue on to learn about basic geometry and algebra.

The other project we did today was to identify monthly savings requirements for variable expenses that may only occur once or a few times in a year rather than every month.
It was an opportunity for him to realize that he has been overpaying his medical premiums and he now needs to contact the provincial government and get this sorted out. He also needs to contact the Canada Revenue Agency to ascertain some other information related to deductions.  I could do this for him but I want him to do it himself. After all it is his money and he should have the responsibility of looking for the information even if he is very busy.

It took us a few hours to go through the exercise even though I kept him on track rather than get into side discussions about each aspect of the monthly expenses.

After our discussion he promptly went to the local supermarket to buy food so that he wouldn't have to buy meals tomorrow for breakfast and dinner.
~~~
I went to a different supermarket (my local supermarket) on Saturday and discovered there is next to nothing remaining to buy in the store. I was hoping to pick up some meat and produce. I couldn't even buy bananas.
Whatever I did buy was 40% off but I noticed that first the store increased the "regular" price before they started the sales so in the end you were paying almost the original regular price. You really have to know your prices before you buy things these days.

As I mentioned in a post a few days ago I was looking for a new glucometer.  I met with my pharmacist on Saturday to look at some of the options and decided on the One Touch Verio Flex. Boy I really wish I would have had something like this a few years ago to better track everything without having to log it all into a chart by hand or manually.


 Just in case any of you are looking for one here is an image (albeit blurry). The coloured panel tell you when you have low blood sugar, normal blood sugar or high blood sugar. If you turn on the Blue Tooth option and download an app to your phone it will record all the results and chart them for you. You can also add notes about food and exercise though I'm still working on how best to note the foods. I am only 2 days into setting it all up but so far so good. It needs enough data (at least 2 weeks) before the charting of results can be more useful to you. Over time I think this will be a very useful tool.

Weather today was pouring rain. I didn't check the weather report for Tuesday yet but I do have some errands.
If the weather cooperates I might go downtown to see a foreign film. It is only playing one time on one day so it is either see it now or see it never, lol.

A photo from my archives. So far I haven't had much time to take photos of tree blossoms  this Spring.

Thank you for stopping by.
Joining in with Our World Tuesday today.
I hope you all have a fabulous week ahead

Spring Sky

Corporate Headquarters of the provincial BC Hydro (provincial Crown corporation mandated to deal with issues relating to provincial electricity matters.
 
I'm not sure what kind of tree this is but the blossoms are lovely. I think it is a variety of cherry tree with very light blossoms.

 The sky in my city was lovely today. The temperature was also lot warmer than it has been all week.

I'd forgotten that it was St. Patrick's Day today. But if you look closely there are some green items in my first photos (see logo at top of building and the markings on the street).

Thank you for your visit. 
I'm joining in with Skywatch Friday today.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

This n That

From my archives


Hi friends,

I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the transition to new season where ever you are in the world. I know my friends in South Africa are enjoying the warmer temperatures and green grasses after experiencing a time of drought.

In my corner of the world we've been having an amazingly wet week. I don't carry an umbrella any more because I usually have a shopping cart when I go out and do my errands. If I don't have a shopping cart with me, my hands are otherwise occupied with walking poles to help mobility. It means I don't have an extra hand for an umbrella. I compensate by wearing a rain hat.  Sometimes I just go out and get wet and take breaks when the rain is coming down too hard. Or, I wear a jacket with a hood. The temperature outside dictates what I wear.

Things have been rather hectic in my world at the moment.  I continue to read when I can. I do enjoy it so much but find I really don't sit and read for hours and hours or it happens very rarely so I must grab the moments where I can.   Right now I've got so many books on the go, including:

Novels:

  •  The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan - In progress and enjoying.
  •  Americanah by Chimanandah Ngozi Adichie - In progress and enjoying
  • Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi - This book started the way I like my books to start. Very dramatically.  I'm enjoying it so far. 

Non-Fiction:

  • Apartment Gardening by Amy Pennington. Enjoyed this easy to read gardening book. It is inspirational for those who have never gardened. It doesn't quite meet my needs for my urban patio but I enjoyed it anyway.
  • Living with Less: How to downsize to 100 personal possessions by Mary Lambert. I enjoyed this easy to read book as well. The reality is I will never whittle down my personal possessions to the small number of 100 because it includes clothes, accessories, shoes and all personal items. But it is still motivating to read about and consider what your things mean to you and how to approach downsizing each room or area of "stuff". I've been on a quest to down size now for awhile now.  I've found that downsizing is a journey unto itself  and can take forever if you are not moving toward a  firm deadline of moving.  But I press on as some of what I'm organizing is stuff I really want to get rid of (books, papers, documents, photos, etc.). The other stuff like clothing, personal products, etc. are all much easier for me to pare down. The real problem is not buying more stuff. I know I am not the only one who has that problem. Some of us really get tempted by a deal but I'm trying to learn not to buy something just to have it but to really need it. That is the only way to downsize. Also, one must be ruthless about getting rid of 1-2 things for every new thing you bring inside. That rule doesn't quite suit me because I'm usually too buy to do that on the spot. I end up doing this way after the fact. Perhaps some of you can relate.
  • How to Get Dressed by Alison Freer. Started and enjoying. 
  • Inside the Revolution by Joel C. Rosenberg I haven't started this book yet. The description on the cover says "How the Followers of Jihad, Jefferson and Jesus are Battling to Dominate the Middle East and Transform the World" (Why so many capital letters???) I am not familiar with this author but have heard good things about his books so thought I would try one out. There is a documentary based on this book if you are interested.  Click here to view the trailer.
  • Indigo, Dye It, Make It by Nicola Gouldsmith. I skimmed through this book but intend to have a good read of it. I have a love affair with indigo and I know where to buy the supplies in my city to make some. I have no firm plans to make any soon though.  I just have too many other projects that I need to tackle first whenever I have a few spare moments.

  • Countless books (okay 6 but it seems like countless) on basic math and algebra. I've scoured the library catalogue for appropriate books and exercises to tutor an adult who has never been through formalized education. He has to begin apprenticeship training in the Fall and wants a head start in Mathematics to ensure his success.

In addition to scouring library catalogs, making trips to the library and reading, I've been busy with doctor appointments and pharmacy visits. I'm looking for a new glucometer as I've been having problems with the one I currently own. It is too sensitive I guess and keeps giving me error messages that relate to the test strips. I'm sure the real problem is me but I don't feel like fiddling with it and will find something that suits my needs a bit better.

I have an appointment on Saturday with the pharmacist to go over several options.  I'm eyeing one that will not only track blood sugar but download results to my computer (rather than a phone app) and chart my progress. I like visual tools.  I also see there is one that keeps track of patterns (highs and lows of blood sugars throughout the day) and that one is appealing also and I think it would really help me a lot.  I've been keeping exceptionally busy on the diabetes management front and have been having some concerns but nothing I want to write about here. Suffice to say I have a lot of work to do and changes to the medication regime. Just when I think I'm on the right track and might possibly get off medications altogether, I seem to regress. It's always a challenge but one must keep on trucking and stay positive.

This is one option



Earlier in this post, I mentioned that I've been looking at books to help someone with Math skills. This has been a rather time consuming exercise and taken far more time than I really wanted to devote to it.  But once I get started, I carry on and get the job done.  My friend isn't in school at the moment and hasn't had much formal education.  But he is smart and motivated and has learned a lot through practical experience in numbers.  He relies on a calculating things in his head a lot which is a great skill.  We don't have a curriculum to follow and I don't know exactly what his knowledge base is but I have some broad idea what his future course will require of him.  It has taken me awhile to try and figure out how to proceed since I don't have a firm starting point.  There are many options on where to start and some of what I need to teach I will have to relearn so it will be a good project for me too.

I've scoured the internet for free materials too and purchased a lot of aids (dry erase board, cards, etc.). We had our first session last night and it went well. Part way through he said he was having fun and admitted that he hadn't really been looking forward to it because not only was he tired but he had to rush from work to shower and eat and he was racing to beat the clock.  I could relate to that because I'd spent countless hours in preparations myself not to mention time looking for appropriate materials and time shopping near and far for helpful aids at a cost effective price.  So it was nice to hear my friend say he was having fun and had gotten over his fatigue.  I seem to have hit on the right things to cover because afterward I had a good sense of what he can already do and where he needs help. It is a good starting point.  We hope to meet twice a week though this may change along the way.



My week is already busy as I've got errands today (Tuesday), tutoring (Wednesday), Ballet (Thursday), a Farewell Dinner (Friday) and a medical appointment (Saturday).

In between I have fabric shopping (more slips for mom), household shopping, library visits and all the usual things one does to try and keep a household clean.  My local supermarket will be closing for good in one and a half weeks.  When it reopens after a month it will be an entirely new store (new name, new design, new owners, new company, new products).  I can buy fruit and vegetables at one or two other local shops but I purchase most meat from the supermarket. In a real pinch I can also get meat at the meat market about 15 blocks from my home or go to another supermarket located a bit farther.

This week I took the plunge and purchased a new kitchen cookware set of stainless steel.  For years I've had nothing but a hodge podge of kitchen cookware. In fact I still have things I purchased when I was a university student though I purged a lot of it over the years and added other pieces along the way.  I purchased 2 frying pans (by Chef Curtis Stone) about 6-8 months ago for a hefty (to me) sum.  The plan was they were to last me a lifetime. Prior to that I was contemplating getting a traditional stainless steel set of cookware or an enamel set.  These new fry pans are dream to cook in but they are not going to last anywhere near a lifetime.

I've noticed that the coating in the pans darkens if the heat if any higher than a low medium. Also the coating on one frying pan looks like it has been shredded with a knife.  It's a huge disappointment because when I purchased the pans I was excited because one didn't need to use oil in the pans and they were not Teflon coated. I listened to the sales pitch which said you don't have to worry about what kind of utensils you use because the coating will not wear (unlike Teflon). That did not prove to be true and already one pan is quite marked up on the bottom surface. I looked up the problem on line and discovered that many other customers are experiencing the same issues or worse and that they have been unable to get the company to honour the warranty.

I'm sure the new set will work out better just because it is traditional stainless steel 18/20 cookware and there is a long history with how it responds to longer term use.  It was also a great price reduced from $600 (before taxes) to $200 (before taxes). It seems to be a good quality set from Chef Wolfgang Puck.  However, I would never purchase another expensive appliance (or anything needing replacement parts) from Chef Wolfgang Puck. The reason is that  I've discovered there is no customer service when problems arise and the customer is just ignored even after repeated attempts at trying to get assistance.  But as far as traditional stainless steel cookware sets go,  I can't imagine there will be any major problems.Not one piece of the set has any kind of coating inside and I like that.  It is all stainless steel and the covers are either partially glass or all glass  so you can see inside the pans when they are covered. I'd even be happy with a smaller cookware set (this one is 13 pieces) but they usually come with far more pieces.  I've been looking at stainless steel cookware for a long time so I know the prices and configurations.  I'm pretty happy with my selection and am just waiting for it to arrive in the post.




Finally, I also purchased this cute little rice cooker. It is a small, portable ricer cooker.  Again it is from Chef Wolfgang Puck and though it is an appliance it isn't a very expensive one.  Rice cookers usually last for some time too.  I already have a small rice cooker at home.  It was used when I bought it is on it's last legs so time for a replacement. I thought this new little cooker can go with me when I travel to see mom.
You might wonder why I would take a rice cooker with me? On my last visit to see mom there was a small fridge and microwave in the standard hotel room.  If I had this little cooker with me I could have made an egg dish for breakfast and soup for dinner without getting overly complicated or needing a whole lot of groceries and tools with me.  I get so tired of eating out and eating fast food when I travel. It isn't good for my health.  This little unit is a perfect size for small portions of food.  If I made soup, mom could have some too. She misses that kind of cooking and so we would both get a benefit. At the same time it is the right size to make a small side dish at home of quinoa, brown rice or other. One can even make meat balls, pasta, rice pudding or cake and so on in the little cooker.

Well that is it for now folks. I have to get out and do an errand since I will be busy tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of your week and thank you for stopping by. I leave you with a few waterfront scenes taken in early February 2016.


 

It was a perfect day on the waterfront. Sunny and quite warm. It's been colder since then but the weather will soon change.

Checking in with Our World Tuesday this week.

Friday, March 11, 2016

A Fly By - March 12, 2016

Earlier this week I spotted this flock of birds. I was on my patio taking shots of the sky when the birds came flying by.  My small canon digital camera doesn't shoot fast enough but I  was lucky enough to get one photo. I can't quite tell the type of birds in flight.  Pigeons perhaps? Maybe crows but some of them look at little too light in colour. Perhaps it is the light falling on them that makes the feathers look lighter than black.


Anyway they passed about 3 times and it was wonderful to see how they swoop in flight.

Joining in with Eileen at Saturday's Critters
and Anni at
I'D Rather-B-Birdin'
Have a wonderful weekend and thank you for visiting.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Sunset

These are a variety of sunset shots taken over the past month in diverse places. 







And this last photo is from my archives. It was taken on the highway heading south to Edmonton, Alberta in late summer 2011.
Alberta and the northern parts of Canada get fantastic sunsets.


 Joining in with Skywatch Friday.


Monday, March 7, 2016

Frugal Actions Add Up

Hi everyone,

I hope you are all well and that you had a lovely weekend. I have been quite busy running a lot of errands that had accumulated during my time of convalescence with a cold and just generally trying to catch up to everything I fell behind in.  I am not completely well and haven't caught up yet but I have made very good progress and I've almost gotten rid of my cough.

Photo from my archives. I need colour to counterbalance a gray day :-)


It has been awhile since I did a frugal post and I wanted to review and share with you some of my recent frugal finds because it astonishes me just how much savings can be had if one is diligent.

As always it gives me great pleasure when I can spend less money on something and stretch my dollars as far as they will go.  It not only gives me a sense of accomplishment but it provides me with a little breathing room to help me meet my many obligations. Two friends in Kenya have been so ill and require lots of medical help.  Kenyan university students need help with school activity fees and my sponsored children and their families need gifts to help offset food and other costs.  Things can get a little tight especially when things like medical and school costs are not always predictable.  I just have to do the best I can as the people truly do need the help.  Anyway, without further ado, the following is a detailed account of some of the larger savings I've realized recently.

First up with savings this week was saving money at the grocery market. In Canada we do not get the deeply discounted groceries that our American neighbours to the south and our friends in Great Britain and even in Africa can get.  I read with a bit of envy the prices one can get for food elsewhere. I've shopped at my local IGA for many years.  However it has been sold to Save-On Foods.  When I went shopping on Friday the store shelves were getting rather bare. I didn't need a lot of things because I had done some shopping the previous week.  But one of my neighbours stopped me on the street on Thursday night and and told me there were 25% off bargains to be had.  So the next day I went to the store where I discovered that the discounted items were not as many as I expected.  But I did pick up some items I need and saved $31.81.The store will make the transition to the new ownership in about another week or so.


Earlier in the week I also saved money at the local pharmacy where I have built up significant points (about $270 worth). I built these points over a few months through careful shopping on sales and during points promotions.  I wanted some books and magazines this week but I don't normally purchase them outright anymore.  I decided to use points since I had so many of them.

I purchased 2 health books and 3 magazines (two decor and DIY magazines and one financial magazine).  The total cost was $60 and I still have a balance of $210 in points.. I generally use these points to purchase things I may not otherwise buy.  Things like health supplements, electric toothbrushes or replacement brushes or other more expensive items. Whatever I do purchase I try to get it when it is on sale and stretch my points further. For example, the two health books I purchased were discounted at 25% each.  Here is a snapshot of the current rewards balance after buying the books and magazines.
 

 
Long ago I made a decision not to purchase books and magazines due to the high cost and the resulting clutter. However from  time to time I do break down and buy new books and magazines though it is a rare occasion.  Mainly I borrow books from the library so they can be returned and not added to my shelves.  When I do buy books it is usually from the thrift store and sometimes the used book store. My preference is the thrift store as the books are cheaper. Once I'm done with the books I give them back to the thrift store for resale or to someone who wants them.

This week was an exception to the rule as I purchased two books on Friday during on line sales. I debated about whether to purchase the electronic books or the paper versions.  In the end I opted for the electronic books so I could have instant access to them.  Also, one of the books is rather heavy and difficult to carry around. If I have the electronic book it is more likely to go with me when I leave the house.

The first book entitled  How to Get Dressed  ($10.49 on sale, regular Kindle price $14.99, paperback price $19.99) appealed to me partly because of all the positive reviews it received.  I was also interested in it because it is supposed to have a lot of tips about clothing and dressing. As you will read later in this post, I've been putting together a new wardrobe and doing so at clearance prices and so this book might help with a few issues in terms of pulling the wardrobe together. I haven't started reading it yet.



The next book is by Amy Tan, one of my favourite authors.  If you'd like to read a summary of her book you can find it here.   I borrowed the audio CDs for this book from the library last year but I simply couldn't sit and listen that long and I never got too far into the story.  The kindle edition is $4.99 while the hardcover price is $34.99. I purchased the electronic book and it is working very well for me. I've already gotten well into the story.  In general  I do prefer reading from a paper book but from time to time I like having electronic access to a book.


It seems to be my week for buying books because the very next day I purchased another 5 of them from the thrift store.  These are the titles.

  • Comfort Me With Apples by Ruth Reichl  $1.00 ($10.50 new) 
  • Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner  $1.00 ($4.99 new)
  • The Ivory Trail by T. V. Bulpin  $1.00 (This is a rare book that costs $78 on Amazon Canada)
  • Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda $1.00 ($19.99 new) , and
  • A Guide to Navajo Weavings (Reference) $5.00 ($36.34 new)
One these books are read they will go back to the thrift store for resale with the exception of the rare book and the reference book on Navajo rugs.

When I am out and about and doing errand, I sometimes have to stop and have a snack or a meal.  Sometimes I stop at McDonald's fast food restaurant.  I've often noticed that there is a survey notice on the back of the receipt but I've never completed one until now. After I completed the survey I was given access to the coupon in the photo below.  It amounts to an approximate value of $5.50  value and is a time limited offer which must be used by March 22, 2016. I may get a chance to use it and I may not but it is free so I've printed it and put it in my wallet just in case. I very seldom drink their soft drinks so I hope they will substitute a coffee or a water.



I mentioned earlier that I've been putting together a new wardrobe and a lot of it is for warmer weather though not exclusively. The Clark's sandals in the photo were discounted from $130 down to to $34 and came in a multitude of colours. I found them on another site for $10 less at the regular price but the marked down price was only $66.

The colour I selected was pewter (or shimmery silver). I wanted to buy the sandals in red but pewter will go with more of the clothing and is a little more interesting than black or navy.

Amongst the new items of clothing I've bought recently are maxi dresses (all the rage) and some light cardigans.  I'm afraid I don't have any photos but the key thing is that they were all heavily discounted.  The dresses were originally priced at $89.99 and discounted to 29.99.  The sweaters were discounted from $49.99 each to $19.99. I actually got an additional 30% off of the discounted prices because I mainly shop flash sales where additional discounts are offered for a short period of time.

Right now my biggest issue is not the cost of the clothes because I've been getting rock bottom prices.  The difficulty is knowing what size or sizes to buy since I'm purchasing on line and sizing is not always consistent which can be frustrating. I've been losing inches (not weight) and some of the clothing I bought last Winter and Spring are already ill fitting in some areas.  Now I'm ordering smaller sizes most of which fit.  But anything so heavily discounted cannot be returned so I have to be very careful what to purchase so funds are not wasted on non-returnable items.

Last but not least, I purchased a bracelet and a black onyx pendant in the thrift store. The bracelet was only $1. and the pendant was $5. I've seen comparable pendants on line for at least $50 or more. I don't like to spend much on jewellery except for a few quality pieces.  The rest I spend little on because I don't change my jewellery too often so it would be a waste of money.

When I'm out and about running errands I do try to eat healthy and don't  just stop at McDonald's. 
On Saturday I stopped for Japanese food.  I had another dish of deep fried shrimp (breaded in panko crumbs) not pictured here, but I didn't like those so much.
I thoroughly enjoyed the snacks you see in the  photo below.  
Even my snacks were 40%  during happy hour though I would eat at this place even without the discounted prices.

Snacks from left to right.
Miso soup, Sushi (tamago, salmon, tuna), Seaweed salad


In summary I think you can see that with diligence many bargains can be had when shopping for food, clothing, books.  One can also find sales on many other things or good deals at thrift stores or even things for free on sites like Freecycle or Craigslist.  It really depends what you are looking for but it pays to spend time to find the deals.
I know my efforts are not the very best and lowest prices around. I know people who will spend far less than I do and only purchase second hand clothing or get them free through clothing swaps and that kind of thing.

However I am pleased with my results.  Personally I prefer to purchase new clothes that haven't been worn by anyone else except me. That is just my quirk. That means I have to find them at sale prices. The same goes for shoes. I don't mind buying 2nd hand when it comes to kitchen items, certain linens, furnishings or books. I always find it fun to shop around and see what kind of deal I can get.


 I'm leaving you with some beautiful scenes of the waterfront taken last month.


Thanks for stopping by. 
Enjoy your week!
HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY
(March 8, 2016)
Joining in with Lady Fi at Our World Tuesday


Friday, March 4, 2016

Urban Bird


It's back to rain in my fair city. I had to go out to do errands and not only was it raining but it was rather windy too. These urban birds (pigeons) were taken yesterday with my camera phone.






This pigeon was happily picking crumbs or seeds off the pavement.

Joining with Saturday's Critters today.
Thanks Eileen for hosting this fun  meme.
I'm also joining in with Anni at I'd Rather B Birdin' 
Thank you Anni for inviting me ;-)

Beautiful Blues and Blossoms

We had a wonderful break in the weather today. After two days of heavy rainfall the sun came out unexpectedly. The sky was a beautiful blue. The icing on the cake was the beautiful blossoms which I mentioned in this post as being several weeks too early. But I can certainly enjoy them now.

We are expecting more heavy rain throughout the next week. I imagine that will destroy a lot of the beautiful blossoms depicted in these photos. Hopefully there are still many trees in other parts of the city that haven't blossomed yet and I can enjoy another week.


 

 

 
{All photos taken with my Android phone camera}

 I've got a lot of catch up to do after being sidelined by a bad cold for the past two weeks. I'm not 100% over it but close enough. I'm relieved! I hope you have all a wonderful weekend full of fun things.

If you missed my post for Our World Tuesday you can catch it here.
The sky was definitely different.

I'm linking up with Skywatch Friday today.

African Music & Happenings