The Saturday Weekend Review #25: Watch our garden grow

The-Saturday-Weekend-Review-25

There Is So Much Beauty In This World

A little of this and that is how I describe this post today as so much has been going on in our lives now that the hot weather is here. Starting today, Saturday and through the weekend it’s going to be hot, humid and sticky in Ontario.

Even though I still have to run the electrical for my outdoor lights for the landscaping I might just put that on hold. I still need to get on the roof to wash all the windows again inside and out. When I was cutting the concrete for the new path there was so much dust it has made a mess of them again.

I managed to clean off the garage door the other day which made a huge difference. Sometimes just the smallest jobs like taking a bucket of water and washing down a door helps the curb appeal of a home. I also want to remove all the window caulking and put  in new caulking that is clean and not cheap builder grade junk. I replaced the garage door track and seal last week so that’s done.

The more I tear this house apart the more I realize how crappy some builders are when it comes to accessories. Don’t expect anything posh unless you have your home custom-built and you pick out everything you want. That means spending some money on quality fixtures for the home. They also did me a huge favour by parking in the garage from the time the house was built which helped keep the driveway in mint condition and it hasn’t sunk at all.

Many driveways we see around the neighbourhood you can see the drop from the bottom of the garage door. The other favour, they didn’t finish the basement nor touch anything else in this home. The more homes that we looked at when we went to open houses with our real estate agent that had supposed “renovations” done to it made me want to pull my hair out.

I’m not a contractor but I’m also not an idiot and try to do things that the professionals should be doing if I don’t have a clue how to do it. It’s so obvious the mess some people create, what a waste of money. I would never buy a home like that. I don’t care how nice they say the renovations are or look. The one house we looked at had all new hardwood flooring. Sure it looked good but I’d have to rip it all out because some moron had no idea how to measure and there were gaps all over the place. It was sad really, the thousands they spent on it.

I was thinking I might start tearing one of our bathrooms apart as I plan to do a full gut and renovate. I’m hoping to put in heated floors, new vanity, mirror, tub, toilet, accessories, lighting and floor to ceiling tile. I’m going to make the bathroom an oasis for anyone who uses it but the best part is I won’t slap up crap for the next homeowner to deal with.

What renovations are you doing this summer?

Gardening and Landscaping

I’m pretty much done with the front of the house for this year except I need to get that sealing done on the front steps which is another job on my list. The back of the house has gone very well and our plants are starting to come to life. Our mallow is growing at a fast rate and when the blooms come out later this summer I’ll show you how beautiful they are. Our fig tree has recovered from the wind burn and is back in action and has many figs on the tree.

Easy-Compost-Screening-At-home-wm

I made my way to the compost heap again this week as it was overflowing. I think adding more of the kitchen scraps has really helped it along this year as well as last years rotted leaves that I keep. I found a simple way to screen all the non-essentials out of the compost which is black and rich in nutrients.

I use a flower tray from the garden centre that has small holes at the bottom. I rest that on top of a bucket. I fill the screen with compost and shake it over the plastic bucket. It sends all the beautiful soil to the bottom and keeps the ugly bits on the top. Try it, who would have thought it was that easy!

Watch-Our-Garden-Grow

We re-potted the lime tree into the mini wine barrel which will be its new home until it grows bigger. The small money tree that we picked up at a garage sale last month is growing at lightening speeds as is our older money tree. Its since been re-potted in a pot that was found free on the side of the road.

The free lettuce bowl that we were given didn’t survive as the lettuce was all weedy. We tossed it and transferred our chive plant into that bowl and it’s looking mighty happy in there right now.

Our basil is going crazy as well and we couldn’t be happier. Last year we made basil garlic cubes in our muffin tins and we plan to do the same this year. We also plan to make mint cubes since the mint is growing like mad in the post. Just look at how huge one of our mint plants is. If you don’t want mint to overtake your garden, put it in a pot like we have.

Watch-Our-Garden-Grow-2

Our parsley is coming up slowly although it wasn’t long planted. The swiss chard and chives in the planter box are doing well as is the spring mix lettuce which we’ve already started to eat. You can just see the fennel coming up from the ground now and we’re looking forward to how it will turn out for us since it’s the first year we’ve grown it.

Our many flower baskets that we made are all blooming with amazing colours. The cover photo on this post is from one of our baskets. Just look at how vibrant the flowers are. If you take good care of your plants they will take good care of you even if it’s only smiles.

That’s all for a garden update this week… check back next Saturday to see what magic is happening in our garden.

Free stuff

free-greenworks-hedge-trimmer

While we were out for our evening walk the wife and I stumbled up some free stuff in front of a home where the owners are getting ready to move. Sometimes the best finds are from local homes in your neighbourhood who are packing up to move house. I found a practically brand new electric hedge trimmer from Greenworks. It retails at Canadian Tire for $89.99 plus tax. I plugged it in as soon as I got home not knowing if it worked or not.

Even if it didn’t I’m sure it wasn’t too hard to fix up. It worked like a charm and the next day I went out and cut some branches off one of our small trees with no issues. A big thanks to our neighbour for this beauty. They also left us about 10 plastic planters many of which were good hanging baskets and the other a set of two matching planters.

Weekly blog post review

As you know if you use Google Reader to follow my blog posts it will be no longer available very soon. You can now follow Canadian Budget Binder via Bloglovin and continue to get my daily post in your new reader. If you are a regular reader you would have already received these awesome posts  in your email or reader but just in case you missed reading one I’ve put them all together here just for you.

Garage sale finds

For the summer I will feature garage sale finds from Jen and the fans. Since Jen has started budgeting and saving money she tends to find her best deals at garage sales. Join in the fun! I’ll pick one fan each week along with Jen’s finds if you send in your photo and write-up no later than noon on Saturdays. If I don’t get any submissions I’ll just skip the post for that week.

Jen’s garage sale finds

Garage-Sale-Finds- June-22-2013

Jen scored some great deals this week with the Sesame Street Potty Time With Elmo for $0.25 and the Sesame Street Elmo Loves You book for $0.10 for a grand total of $0.35 for the week at garage sales. Well done Jen!!

What do you think.. deal or no deal?

Making a difference

plunged-in-debt-blog

Starting a blog is not an easy task and for those who leave the corporate world to start their own online business it is serious stuff for them. You can find many blogs for free around the web but I hope you enjoy reading the blogs that I recommend for you each week at Canadian Budget Binder.

If you are making a difference with your blog and we connect as bloggers email me today so we can get your blog featured in an upcoming edition of The Saturday Weekend Review.

Today a shout out to my dear friend Catherine at Plunged in Debt who has helped me on many occasions with tips for the blog. She is a wonderful woman who takes pride in her family and her career. When she writes she always tells a story which for many is why they read blogs in the first place. Please head over and subscribe to her blog, you won’t be disappointed.

Take it away Catherine……

Hi everyone!

Thanks to Mr. CBB for highlighting by blog today. My name is Catherine, I’m a fellow Canadian blogger and I write over at Plunged in Debt. I decided to start a blog because I made a lot of innocent financial mistakes in my life and learned from them the hard way. I borrowed too much money for school under the assumption that everyone had school debt and it was ”good debt”. I like to relay stories and personal experiences on my blog in hopes of relating to even one reader.

When my husband and I found out we were expecting our first child I knew we had to get serious about paying our massive debt load off or we’d never have the opportunity. We now had a child to consider, it was no longer about just us. Though I consider us to be mature people it took having a baby to force us to get our finances in order. We needed her to put things into perspective for us.

With me going on maternity leave for a year and forcing us to live on substantially less money (I lost over 55% of my income on maternity leave) was the best thing that ever happened to us. I’m happy to say that we’re now, after 11 years together on the same page in terms of our finances.

The year of my maternity leave had many challenges but showed me who I can really be when I put my mind to it. Blogging has opened more doors than I could have ever imagined. Freelancing is also something I’ve gotten into to help with our debt pay-off efforts.

Thanks so much Mr CBB for having me here today. Please stop on by to say ”Hi”or find me on Twitter. I love hearing from my readers!

Here are some posts for those who are interested about Maternity Leave in Canada.

Blog share 

It’s always a great feeling when other blogs take the time to share your blog with their readers. I really appreciate when other blog owners recognize my hard work here at CanadianBudgetBinder.com and share my posts with their fans. My way of saying thanks is blog sharing your page with my fans.

Carnival glory

What is a blog carnival?

Some fans have asked me just what a blog carnival is so a little explanation is due here for anyone reading for the first time or for my long-time fans. A blog carnival is where a blog or website hosts what we call a carnival of blog posts from around the web. Most blog carnivals have a theme and certain rules for submitting which must be followed. If you are a blogger and would like to learn what blog carnival directories I submit to each week you can find the information in a previous Saturday Weekend Review post that I wrote.

A big thanks to these pages for accepting my posts and sharing them in the following carnivals

Google search terms

web search terms

What are Google keyword search terms?

Keywords for search engines help me to understand what people are looking for at CanadianBudgetBinder.com. Any typos below are simply how the person who searched Google and typed it in search incorrectly, or me ;-) Although I get thousands of  keywords that are searched on Google come in each week I pick out a few that catch my eye and make me smile. It’s great what you get to see behind the scenes so I want to share some laughs with all of you.

Top Pick-Renting Cons– ha ha, name your con. What do you need? A sales con, a banker con, a house robbing con. I’m in the wrong business ain’t I?

  • The wrong guy will want to change everything about you but the right one will only want to change one thing your last name- That’s certainly interesting
  • Stop feeling sorry about your safe and do something about it quotes- I can’t figure out if this is about money or if it’s supposed to read, ‘self’ not safe.
  • Canadian macaroni salad with tuna and miracle whip– This just screams Canadian doesn’t it… lol Maybe they make it different in other places around the world.
  • Martha Stewart Budget Binder– Why does that NOT surprise me since she has created almost everything else DIY for around the house.
  • Is it safe to shop at Value Village? No make sure you need to bring body guards with you, one on each arm but if it makes you feel comfortable have one in front and behind. It’s better to have all your bases covered. It’s a bloody used clothing store and no different from going to garage sales or buying from Kijiji. I’m pretty sure if you just wash the clothes or dust off your new find that you will survive. I would guess that any unsafe items that come in will not be put out for sale.
  • Skype To Heaven- I’m afraid there is no number for heaven mate.. you’ll just have to wait.

Money-quote

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Mr. CBB
Mr. CBB was born and raised in the United Kingdom who then moved to Canada where he is a permanent resident. He recently became a father to a very busy toddler who allows him to be a kid at heart. He bought his first house at the age of 21 after University and his second at the age of 24. Both Mr.CBB and his wife are Debt and Mortgage Free and they did it all in under 5 years using a Budget. Canadian Budget Binder is a place where he shares their financial experiences with his readers and hopes to learn about theirs. Welcome to CBB!
Mr. CBB
Mr. CBB

Comments

  1. You got me browsing hedge trimmers, I have to get one urgently 🙂 Great week and an awesome post, Mr. CBB!

  2. Debt Gone says:

    You got me browsing hedge trimmers, Mr. CBB 🙂 I need one badly.

    A great week and an awesome post!

  3. LOL, you sound just like Rick about the home reno stuff. The guy we bought our farm from did sloppy/cheap fix work all over the place and it’s driving Rick crazy! One by one, he’s undoing the damage. Our garden is FINALLY starting to thrive. I had all but given up on most of it – only the peas were really kicking tail. But went out today and figured I should start weeding what measly plants were there, and my baby is doing wonderfully! The green beans and carrots have finally sprouted, and the tomatoes and peppers are thriving along with the peas – yea! I guess my dream of supplying our veggies for several months isn’t such a pipe dream after all 🙂

    • Yes, Rick sounds just like me. I hope you share some photos of your garden all summer long. I’m trying to keep up with everything but it’s getting crazy busy. I might need to sleep at some point. Thanks for dropping in Laurie.

  4. Christine Weadick says:

    Sounds like your garden is growing gangbusters!!!! Ours is doing well as well. the weeds are really doing well!!! I need to get out there and rip the little beggers out by the roots and I will get there. There are weeds out there I have been fighting for 21 years now…..the weeds are winning… We have to keep an eye on the planters as the local squirrel population likes digging in the pots. The grouch next door feeds them peanuts which they bury in our pots and the garden.
    Renovations are an ongoing detail if the house you own is more than a year or two old…..We had to completely re-wire this house when we bought it. I did not sleep the first year the old wiring was so bad. Hubby was working a midnight shift and the kids were still young. If anything had happened at night I would have been by myself trying to get 3 kids out!!!! I don’t know what the previous people did but every single outlet was cracked and broken. Every single one……..Hubby did the re-wiring but we had a permit and the job was inspected by Ontario Hydro. Most people don’t bother with the permit…… not a good thing.
    I’ll be checking out Catherine’s blog as soon as I have the time.The boys and I went berry picking this morning and now I make the jam….. pictures to follow when I get done. I’m taking a break right now as the kitchen needs to cool down…even with the ceiling fan running it’s the same temperature inside as outside. Two batches of jam so far and I’m ready to melt. I’ll go back to it tomorrow morning when the kitchen is cooler

    • Hi Christine,
      You sound like a busy woman today making all that jam. I’ve been fighting with the weeds only for a few years now and so far so good. We have a chipmunk who keeps burying food in my planter boxes. It’s the funniest thing ever. Poor little chipmunk is storing up food all over the yard. I’m sure Catherine would appreciate a visit. She’s a good friend in my personal finance world and always willing to help someone out when they need it.
      Have a good weekend, stay cool and enjoy!
      Cheers Christine

  5. Thanks again MR CBB 🙂

    The plant you’re calling a money tree- what is it actually? I have one from a clipping someone else gave me but didn’t know the proper name…

    • Thank-you for taking the time to share today as I know how busy you are with the family, your full-time job and your blog. Keep up the good work Catherine.

      I was thinking succulent but there are many other names that it could be. I found this on Wikipedia, maybe it’s one of these names you are thinking of? “Crassula ovata, commonly known as jade plant, friendship tree, lucky plant, or money tree is a succulent plant with small pink or white flowers.”

  6. Nice job with the garden! Mint and chives are great to grow – very productive and low maintenance. We just found out that one of our community gardens is closing, so we’ll have one less garden next year. 🙁

    • Oh no that’s not good news. We have a couple in our city and it’s great for those that don’t have the space. We even have it back home in the UK because many of us didn’t have big gardens so we went to a community land to grow. It’s a nice thing to have in a community for the people who want to grow vegetables.

  7. Wow your garden looks beautiful! I love the money trees, they looks super cute. If you want to try tropical gardening, my garden is in desperate need of a green thumb haha. thank you for the spotlight Mr CBB!

    • Thanks mate, we work hard at the garden to keep it looking good. It’s lots of work and requires time which I’ve been dedicating more to around here lately than other things. I might not have any thumbs left by the time I’m done with our garden but I can send you a scan if you like. 🙂

  8. Holy moly you’ve got a lot growing in that garden! And nice find on the side of the road! We lovingly call it “scavenging” and do it along with our neighbors every time someone moves out. Haha.

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