Grocery Spending Update 2020 - Spoiler, Pandemics raise spending.

Back in January 2019 I stated one spending goal was to reduce our grocery spending. For 2019 we did fairly good and reduced our average monthly spend from $741/month in 2018 to $717/month in 2019. 

I'll call that a decent win given the constant talk of the price of groceries increasing and the fact that we are a family of 5 with growing kids and increasing appetites. We don't scrimp and eat well. I do try to prepare a balance of vegetarian and meat meals and cook from scratch most nights. Now 6 months into the covid19 pandemic and our food (and take out and alcohol) budget has increased greatly. As of August we are averaging $891 per month. We have almost reached the total spending for last year this month. 
It's interesting to analyze it, but I'm not going to be that hard on myself. The first weeks when everyone was stocking up on goods back in March I did a bit, but mostly our regulars and nothing extravagant. The stress of the lockdown after a week and I was craving …

Covid Life Crisis

I feel like I'm at the start of a Covid Life Crisis. It's likely just the anxiety around feeling like I've made the worst bet in sending my kids back to school. Have I risked their long term health with unknown future complications so I can continue to work? Our provincial government is doing very little to ensure the safety of kids in the schools. To date they have only provided 2 masks and hand sanitizer. Both of which have yet to arrive as the first week of school finishes. We are fortunate in that the school my kids go to is small, both kids have classes around 20. Many classes here are facing 30-40 students which is greatly above the capacity allowed for 2 m distancing. Today I have my first day off with no one home. I initially felt bliss to have a quiet house. Excitement to get some things done. Now it's anxiety or guilt, or some combo of the two. I don't know. I'm starting to question aspects of life that before seemed certain. Is this what I want to do…

Covid 19: Comfort Shopping

What purchases did you make during Covid 19 lockdowns and beyond to deal with this crazy new reality?I definitely realize, despite my devotion to the FIRE movement, I can get carried away with anxiety during a weird pandemic and look to buying a few things to distract me. Back in March a woman was giving her away a piano. I've always wanted one, so despite not seeing it in person before organizing the movers I went for it. Yeah it's a little bigger than anticipated. PapaBird is not a big fan but is putting up with it. We are now the proud owners of a 19th century Player Piano, minus the player mechanism. Extra big so it could fit inside. Total cost for this freebie: $200 to move it here, $130 to tune it, and $150 for the Simply Piano app to teach myself to play. 
PapaBird got to buy the Hogworts Castle after that one. It was on backorder when purchased in April and finally showed up in July. We definitely weren't the only ones after this one. $525.  Bought a bunch of fabric…

The Hardest Choice To Date...

To send the kids back to school or not given covid19 still running our lives. Our active case counts are now the highest per-capita in Canada yet the Alberta Government plan consists of opening up the schools with no extra funding, no class caps or any other public health regulation we have been bombarded with to date. So basically as parents we are left with the "choice" to send them or keep them home and attempt to pandemic learn* again. We keep hearing rumors that the school boards will provide assistance for this, but nothing is confirmed yet.
Reality is work wants me back in the office because school is going back. PapaBird has already been back since Phase II started. Our employers are not flexible enough to give us that choice. And even if they were I'm not sure PapaBird would be on board with Pandemic* Schooling again. That was hard. He did it all. I didn't have the mental energy to tackle that and keep up with my job. 
So my choice comes down to: do I quit my …

Love at first sight - Jalie Zoé

I've been waiting impatiently for the new Jalie pattern's to be released. I sewed this Zoé version back in September and have been anxiously waiting to share it. I really should have used some of the wait time to sew a version for myself. I even have enough fabric left to make an identical one. Do wonder if the rainbows are a bit juvenile, but I'm getting to the age where I'd rather fun over boring and starting to just embrace what I like. Note these photos were taken beginning of March before swimming lessons were cancelled and our world shut down due to Covid19.

I love the long sleeves and the fact that this suit provides such good sun protection. Any thing that saves me having to slather on sunscreen on kids and then worry if it is wearing off is a win in my books. I also think it keeps her warmer in colder pools having a bit of extra coverage. 

As always with Jalie patterns the fit is spot on. I did a size G with 3 extra inches in length. My kids measure 2 sizes be…

Best PJs Ever - Jalie Jeanne

This was the last pattern that I tested in this pattern release and I think it will become one of my most used! The perfect knit PJs? Um yes! I have three kids so at some point I'll likely be making all the sizes!   
How gorgeous are all the versions on cover ?!? I want to make them all for me!
Yes they only have girls on the cover, but this also works well for boys. This time round I made a pair for my eldest, who if you haven't noticed yet, is a big Harry Potter fan. I had bought this maurader's map fabric last year and had already made him a Nico with for school, but was kind of at a loss of what to use the other 1.5 m I had for. I had intially wanted to make a pair of leggings for me, but this fabric matches my skin colour a bit too closely and would likely look like I was naked. I also worried about one of those burgundy patches hitting me in the most inopportune place. So this fabric has sat in cupboard waiting. 

The maurader's map fabric was fairly expensive at…

Yeah new pants - Jalie Renée

Yes, I'll always be gushing about Jalie... I just love their patterns. They just fit so beautifully. I especially love it for my skinny kids. RTW clothing is just so big width wise to get the length they need. When I make them anything I'm usually making things two sizes smaller than RTW and adding about 2 inches to the length.
These pants are no exception but the fit is perfect. 
I added a doubled hem so that they would last for awhile and so far don't need to let it down.  

The back just fits her perfectly! They are such cute pants! I want some for me!!

After she put them on Sunday morning to grab these shots she started parading in front of my mirror going "I love these pants, I look so sporty" I can't help be proud when she gushes over something I made for her. Six year olds can be harsh critics.
I made these is some sort of stretch ponte I found at fabric land on their clearance shelf. I had bought it to muslin up the Jalie City Coat I made last year an…