How we spent more

How we spent more

It’s been absolutely dreary and cold the past week but today is a beautiful day to be outside in the backyard. Since I have shifted my mindset from “all the travel!” to “stay home!” I have made it my goal to think of the three great pool months of summer as our true vacation. Truth be told we could probably order in a nice meal every evening and sit poolside all day with drinks and still spend ¼ of what we did going to that awful resort this winter.

Behold, our wee Puddle

Mr. Tucker and I love sitting outside in the morning sun, drinking coffee, getting fresh air and just chatting about our plans for the day. We are rising early these days to log a couple of hours of hanging out together before Mr. Tucker has to go inside and start work. Of course, he will also be taking a couple of weeks of vacation this summer for maximum relaxation but why not also craft relaxing days as much as you can?

As previously mentioned, now that we have reached our investment goals, we’ve now started to add that money back into our budget to do a variety of things. There are three places where we focused, and they are: reducing friction, food, and entertainment.

Housecleaning, again: whomp, whomp – the experiment to try and get the kids to clean the house has been a miserable failure. Not because they can’t clean – they can – but because it was eating up too much of their free time on top of school and extracurricular activities. It became a hassle to figure out a time to get them to clean with our wonky schedules, so in the end I threw in the towel. I hired a cleaner again and she starts Friday. Let’s hope she does well!

Lawn care: again, the kids either have a full-time job or full time camps this summer and so we just didn’t want to argue. Also, my elderly neighbour kept asking the kids to mow his lawn at the times where we were the busiest & it sucked to have to say no. Then we found a couple of university students who do it on the weekends. They do an incredible job, they even trim the edges and you can pay them also to weed when they are done school. Also, while I knew how much Mr. Tucker hated mowing the lawn, I don’t think I parsed just HOW MUCH he hated it. Given that, it would be a steal at twice the cost.

(It goes without saying that we will be getting a snow removal service again this year. When we moved in this house came with a snowblower so it made sense to just use it. But when it died after the first snowfall of last year, Mr. Tucker was more than happy to kick it to the curb and let someone else do it. Yeah, we didn’t really get our money’s worth if you look at it from a snowfall point-of-view but from a piece-of-mind POV it was worth every cent)

CSA baskets + flower subscription: we always get a veggie CSA but I also decided to get one for eggs, cheese, fresh flowers and a sourdough bread (grown, milled AND baked locally). To be honest, it makes me happy that we can spend money on all these wonderful things. We have made our own sourdough for years (before the pandemic made it cool!) but this sourdough is out of this world and usually lasts until Sunday, so that’s nice.

We bought extra-lovely plants for the backyard: Mr. Tucker and I headed out to a local greenhouse last month and bought some really gorgeous planters for the backyard & the house. We had bought some gardening stuff from regular stores but we were unhappy with the quality of the flowers compared to their price point. So we made a day of heading to a fantastic nursery thus combining a fun date day with getting some gorgeous plants. Honestly, the prices were reasonable considering the value.

We got PWHL and Broadway Across Canada tickets: I had planned to renew our PWHL seats for the full season already but the BAC tickets were kind of a split-second addition last month. We had tickets in 2022-23 but the 2023-24 season seemed MEH to us so we didn’t get them last year. But the lineup for next year looked good so we hopped on the chance to buy some. We didn’t manage to score a box but we got some good seats.

We took a leather tote-bag making class (plan to take more classes): Mr. Tucker and I signed up for this awesome workshop at the Ottawa Tool Library. It was amazing! We still aren’t finished the bag and will head back at the end of the month for one more attempt at finishing it (we brought some sewing home). It was the inaugural class so there are a few growing pains. Honestly, it was really nice to just do something together.

We also took an absolutely EPIC trip to Costco: I usually send Mr. Tucker because he goes with a list and only gets what is on that list. The Eldest and I went with him last time and the bill essentially doubled. HAH. So while that was fun, it looks like I won’t be riding the motorized shopping cart again anytime soon! To be fair, it was super busy AND we also stressed him out and messed with the order in which he is used to doing things.

I am pretty happy with the things we have added back into our lives. We have basically set ourselves up for 1 to 5 family events a month until next summer. It’s a pretty busy schedule because we have other things that the kids do (band, sailing camp, skiing/snowboarding, jobs, and driver’s ed!) so I figure we will have enough of a schedule that we will barely notice the lack of a winter vacation. I can see us taking the odd weekend trip and maybe we will rent a cottage for Thanksgiving again but overall, I am happy to stay home. I think with two kids in high school travelling off-season will be a non-starter for a couple of years.

Until then, you can find me in The Puddle!

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