Spending Updates 18 – 24 Apr 2014

Beg. Balance End Balance
Clothing 8.5 8.5
Entertainment 22 1
Dine Out 34 7
Misc. -178.25 -290.25

Friday
Starbucks – $5
Momo Sushi – $15.5
Walmart – $68
Saturday
Walmart – $15
Sunday
Starbucks – $5
Monday
Starbucks – $5
Movie – $6
Tuesday
Lunch – $5.50
Dentist – $29
Wednesday – No Spend Day
Thursday
Lunch – $4.50
Snacks – $1.50

Yes, It was quite an expensive long weekend. A lot of other places only have Friday off, but not Easter Monday, but I had both days off. I studied in the morning and watch Capt. America with bf. We have the ‘cheap’ movie ticket thingy that cost us $9, but since it’s a 3D shows, we had to top up $3 each ticket.

Did another trip to my dentist for a cavity filling. Again, covered by insurance so I paid like $30 for the visit. I will have to schedule another appointment though, to remove my wisdom teeth. Apparently their location made it difficult for me or even for the dental hygienist to clean. Hence, make more sense to remove them. I need to find time where I have enough ‘budget’ for this…. >.<

As you can see, I went to Walmart like twice in a row. A lot of items are cheaper than other places, for example, bf deodorant cost like $2 cheaper than when he got it from Safeway or London Drugs. So I went to get several items, among other items, one of them is Olay ProX microdermabrasion set. I will be giving review about it probably in the next couple of days. Then things such as cotton pads, Aveeno facial wash for Calming effects, and then I went back again to get some kind of plastic drawer to arrange my bathroom, which looks fantabulous right now, I should add.. Like I mentioned, I will have to setup a new budget allocation for this personal care and stuff.

My coffee budget will stay the same or will increase at least within the next month since I will be staying out at coffee shop to prepare for my CFA, but I am hoping it will be offset by reduction in other category. i.e I won’t be going out as much entertainment-wise or shopping for clothing-wise….

 

 

 

Book 6- 2014 – The Fault In Our Star – John Green

the-fault-in-our-star

I have a mixed feeling about this book. On the one hand it’s a sweet story, but on the other hands it’s also depressing to an extend since it all began in a Cancer Kid Support Group. What I do know though, is that I smiled and shed tears while reading the book. At times I find the sentences a tad confusing. More philosophical and poetry-like, but overall I understand the story just fine, and they are definitely a good story.

Spending Updates 11 – 17 Apr 2014

Beg. Balance End Balance
Clothing 8.5 8.5
Entertainment 50 22
Dine Out 50 34
Misc. 50 -178.28

Friday
Translink – $2.75Coffee – $3
Liquor – $22
Pizza – $16
Saturday
Translink – $2.75
Sunday – No Spend Day
Monday
Translink – $2.75
CFA Mock – $100
Tuesday
Coffee – 3
Wednesday
Dentist – $35
Thursday
The Bay – $85

You know one of those times when you just want to spend money. Some form of retail therapy.  Well last week was one of those days for me. I spent quite a fair bit over the budget. Especially in the misc. section, which prompt me to re-think my budget allocation. Personal care like make-up, beauty products (from lotion to skin care) and personal hygiene (women-specific product). Yes, these items do not occur on a regular basis, but when they do, they cost a lot.

Another category that I have in mind is personal development. Which should cover the courses and certification that I intend to take. Be it professional courses such as CSC or CFA, or leisurely courses like sketching/drawing, etc.

Besides the slightly extra transit and coffee, and Friday night pigging out session with one of my girlfriend, the rest of the items are basically what I mentioned above. Spent $100 for 2 mock exam session for my CFA prep. It is an optional item, but I though I need it. Either to ‘scare’ me into studying, or just to experience what the actual exam will be like, since the structure will follow the actual ones.

I also went to my dentist for the regular yearly or semi-annual checkout (I missed the last one). I have 80% coverage for that. So the remaining balance is only about $35, but at the same time I have an appointment for my mini cavity, so another money money out.

The biggest chunk of the spending would be from my new skin care. Several of my beauty product is low and I have been feeling slightly frustrated with my dry/dehydrated/sensitive skin. I am not 100% sure, but it varies between these 3 throughout the year. I am sure, however, that I do not deal with acne problem. Anyway, what’s shown here, from The Bay is just part 1 of the skin care expenditure. I got a Lancome Bienfait Gift Set ; which supposed to be more hydrating. The set has a tube of facial wash, serum, day cream and night cream. Lancome was also having a promotion when I purchased this set. I received 7 pcs gift with a pouch; similar product were in the freebies, which I could bring to gym.

So that’s that for the week, I feel good and feel bad at the same time about my spending… >.<

 

 

Book 5- 2014 : The Time Keeper – Mitch Albom

 

thetimekeeper_3dI just LOVE this book. The story line is short and sweet. It involves the life of 3 very different people. And different lifetime I should say. Just like ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’, this Mitch Albom book is full of life lesson that teach you amongst all, the importance of time.

“Man alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out.”
Mitch Albom, The Time Keeper

Unplugged

Recently I have read a bunch of articles with regards to unplugging. It is very ironical how not too long ago we dream of being connected with everything and everyone, and now that we do, we try to unplug. It is definitely not an easy task. And at this time and age, it is not possible to go completely cold turkey.

Staying connected every minute has its own pros and cons, obviously. Since we’re looking at reducing the online time, I am going to focus more on the negative side of it. The few articles I read touched on these few subjects.

  1. The blue light from the screen of ipad/laptop/phone is disrupting to your sleep cycle.

This is quite a big deal for me, because as it is, I have slight ‘issue’ of falling asleep. So I try to limit gadget usage by 8pm and if we’re watching TV, at the latest by 9pm. Then continued by reading books prior to falling asleep. Yes mine is e-reader, but it’s the one without the backlight (Sony E-reader). And I can’t use it if my surrounding is dark, exactly like a book.
In addition, now I will be able to catch up with my reading and be more on track with my goal of 30 book for 2014.

Related : Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card

2.  ‘Do Not Disturb Mode’

Kinda related to no. 1. I leave my phone atso the phone will not vibrate if there’s any phone call or messages or whatsapp or whatnot. And the screen won’t even light up. I’m a light sleeper and vibrations annoy the hell out of me when I’m just thisss close to falling asleep. Cuz I’ll be alert after that and will take me another 15 minutes or so to fall asleep.

3. Saturday Unplugged

I’ve been waking up early on Saturday mornings and go to Starbucks to study. I intend to keep this up, even after my exam. Not to study, of course, but just to go out, read, people-watch, or ‘eavesdrop’ here and there (hey, it’s Starbucks, if you’re not whispering, everyone can hear you). Or you know, just go out and about, and unplug in general. I might even pick up a notebook just to doodle some stuff in. And I figured I could update my Unplug Experiences of the day….

Spending Updates 4 – 10 Apr 2014

Beg. Balance End Balance
Clothing -84.5 -91.5
Entertainment 41 0
Dine Out 31 0
Misc. 40 0

Friday
Coffee – $2
Wine – $16
Snacks – $3
Saturday
Coffee – $2
Sunday
Coffee – $7
Translink – $2.75
Gelato – $4.50
Monday
Lunch – $5
Amazon – podiatrist stuff – $20
Tuesday – No Spend Day
Wednesday
Dinner at HalongBay – $18
Thursday
Duty for ModCloth – $38.75

So for this week, the 2 ‘unusual item’ are my foot stuff and the bloody tax for my online purchase.
I have super flat feet, so my podiatrist recommended me to get this feet contraption of some sort, to be worn at home or at night to adjust my misshapen bone. This is on top of the custom-made orthothics that cost a dubloon. I know I sound grumpy about it, but I do realized that whatever he said might be the cause of my discomfort while I’m walking in my ‘tight’ shoes… The shoes might feel tight, because my feet is crooked, or something like that. Anyhow, so I ordered online to get it… It was slightly cheaper than if I got it from like London Drugs or something. For the exact same thing.
The other one is tax tax tax…. 2 things that’s unavoidable in life are death and taxes… So, there you go. My first experience with ModCloth was that no shipping and no additional tax. Basically what I have to account for is the exchange rate. That was during Christmas, so I guess to encourage holiday spending, ModCloth was having a free shipping event, even for International Purchase. Understandable. Then, I was already prepared to pay for the shipping, BUT definitely not the additional tax payment. I mean, I understand if I have to pay tax, but it caught me off guard, and I didn’t budget for it… So I’m out $40. Sooo not happy about this….
I decided to sort of spread the $40 across multiple categories. Essentially to zero them out. Except of course the clothing budget. But I will have it in the positive soon enough…
Anyway, now I know, and I will think twice or thrice before purchasing anything from Modcloth again… or you know, purchase below $200 to ‘avoid’ taxes.

Overall, though I’m really glad about the purchase. Will update again for the outfit I got!!

 

Fillings for Spring Roll Could Double as a Dish

Fillings for Spring Roll Could Double as a Dish

Yes, that’s right. The way I made it, you can. Let’s start with the ingredient.
I did 2 mung bean noodle, half of russet potato, carrot, green bean, oyster sauce, onion, garlic, ground beef, sesame oil.

Start of soaking the mung bean noodle in hot water. Until the noodle soften a little bit, cut them up into shorter pieces; with scissors are fine.

Then start up the pan with sesame oil, onion and garlic until some kind of nice smell lingers in the air. Then add in the potato and carrot, cut into small cube and then the ground beef. Topped up with a generous amount of oyster sauce. Oyster sauce is very flavourful and salty. There is nothing much you need to add. You could add a dash black pepper and pinch of sugar to bring out the flavours. Then add in the green bean cut into small cylinder. Everything need to be small since you need to wrap them in the spring roll skin.

You can get spring roll wrapping paper from T&T. The one you want to get is usually in the frozen food section or some kind of refrigerated one and slightly yellowish. Made of flour. NOT the rice wrap. Probably less ‘healthy’ but taste more delicious, and easier to make it crispy. Recently we found out that bf can have it, despite it containing wheat (bf is sensitive to gluten)

I think there is about 30-40 pcs of skin in a pack of those wrappers. When I’m not lazy, I actually wrap the filling the way spring roll supposed to be, but the last one what I did was basically put the filling diagonally in the centre and take one end of the skin to the other end, making a triangle. Then fry them (in butter for extra flavouring). Easy peasy…. voila… You don’t have to do a deep fry, I mean it’s better if you have a deep-fry thingy, but otherwise, pan is fine too.

Leftover for the filling is a dish to be served on top of the rice. et voila… Lazy cook at work!