Holiday gas price increase hits the wallet: PF Weekly grab a brew #68

grab-a-brew-gas-price-increaseDON’T WAIT TO FILL UP

 

With every holiday in Canada we see a gas price increase at the pumps but that’s only the beginning of what to expect.

Although the gas price increase seem to be a tradition here in Canada there are no real Easter traditions for myself but the Mrs. likes to spend time with the family around Good Friday and Easter.

This year is no exception and we have enjoyed a couple of days away and will eat lots of fish for our Good Friday meal today.

 

Gas price increase

 

While we have been off from work we noticed a sharp gas price increase, in fact where we are it shot up 10 cents per litre overnight. I was quite lucky because we had just filled up the day before the gas price increase which is fine for now but what about continuing on?

Apparently the gas price increase is supposed to be hitting the $1.47 per litre mark sometime soon and people will have no other choice than to pay it. The other option is to get rid of the vehicle and ride a bike, take the bus, walk or car pool.

This increase combined with the new electricity time of use increases happening as of May 1st 2014 people will have even more to pay out on bills.

Of course if you didn’t already know about the forthcoming electricity price increases, it will just put another downer on your weekend. Peak rate prices will rise to 13.5 cents per Kw/H with increases in the mid-peak and off-peak rates too.

Just when you thought that was enough there has also been requests from more than one residential gas company for gas prices increases. As Union Gas price increases could be as high as 28% and at Enbridge Gas as high as 40%.

That’s quite a bitter pill to swallow especially if you aren’t getting a raise at work. There are many places that do not regularly increase your wages in line with inflation.

I’m sure we will consciously cut down on certain habits around the house and how we utilize the car. Combining trips out so chores all get done on one day while out shopping will have to become more of a normal thing instead of multiple trips out.

I can see holiday gasoline prices just the start of an expensive year ahead.

How will you combat these price increases?

 

Top recipe

 

Fudgy Pie

 

If you don’t already know I have a second Facebook page online called The Free Recipe Depot where I share recipes from other Foodie Bloggers from around the world.

Once a week I pick one recipe that has been submitted as my Top Recipe of the week. Trust me when I say this is no easy task as some of these foodies can cook up a storm.

This week that recipe goes to a food blog called “Baking in a Tornado” for her Fudgy Pie recipe. I hope you enjoy it. Doesn’t it look delicious?

 

Weekly CBB posts

 

If you missed any CBB posts from the week here is the list of posts you can catch up on reading!

 

Weekly reads

 

Every week I share a few of the best personal finance blog posts that I read online over the past week with all of you so please enjoy my top picks.

 

Well, that’s a wrap for this PF Friday’s Grab a brew #68. Happy budgeting and I’ll see you here again next week when I do it all over again.

-Mr.CBB

 

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Creamy Rice Pudding

Creamy Rice PuddingCREAMY DREAMY EASY DESSERT

 

I know many of you have asked for a few of my “What’s for Dinner” recipes from our nightly chit-chat at the Canadian Budget Binder Facebook page so here is the creamy rice pudding recipe that we had the other week.

How to make rice pudding?

It’s so easy you will wonder why you never tried it sooner. Don’t worry though because we all have to start somewhere when it comes to creating new dishes for our families.

Trial and error is always important although getting it right the first time helps. I can easily say I’ve learned from my mistakes over the years but that has made me a better cook for my family.

 

Rice pudding

 

This is an ideal rice pudding that you can make any time of year as this can be eaten hot or cold and perfect to bring to parties, pot-luck or even a family BBQ in the summer.

I know I always have my friends asking me for recipes that they can whip up in a flash that are unique so they can bring them to gatherings and rice pudding is a dessert my family loves.

One good thing about rice pudding is that it is an inexpensive dessert to make and doesn’t take much effort at all as long as you have all your ingredients in the pantry.

If you think rice pudding is boring on its own you can easily jazz it up with a multitude of flavour toppings. My kids enjoy putting a dollop of jam or compote into their rice or even chocolate chips are a hit to add a bit more sweetness to the rice pudding.

This rice pudding recipe will fill you up and hit the spot especially if you are craving something creamy with a bit of sweetness, I promise! Not only is this rice pudding easy to make it’s light, fluffy and creamy and even though it’s made with Arborio rice it doesn’t give you that heavy feeling after you eat it like some puddings can.

What is Arborio rice?

Arborio rice is a short-grain Italian rice which is used in many rice pudding recipes. You can find Arborio rice in just about any grocery store in the international section or Italian section. You can also easily find it at any bulk food store in your area.

There are many kinds of rice from Basmati rice, brown rice, black or red rice, white to Arborio rice and sweet jasmine rice. They all make wonderful dishes but the ideal rice for this recipe is arborio rice.

It’s mostly used in risotto as it soaks up the liquid that you put into the dish. This is why it’s an ideal candidate for rice pudding and what gives it a really creamy texture.

You will definitely be going back for seconds or even thirds of this creamy rice pudding so make sure you make a double batch.

Creamy Rice Pudding steps

4.0 from 1 reviews

Creamy Rice Pudding
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
If you love rice pudding then you will love this easy, inexpensive rice pudding recipe.
Author:
Recipe type: Rice Pudding
Cuisine: Dessert
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • ½ cup of Arborio rice per person
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 nob butter
  • 1 egg white
  • 5 cups milk
  • 250ml whipping cream
Instructions
  1. Place milk, rice, sugar and butter into the pan and slowly bring it up to a boil.
  2. Once boiling turn it right down to low. Stir frequently as to not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  3. If you see that the rice has soaked up the milk and the rice is still hard just keep adding a little milk at a time until rice has fully cooked.
  4. Once cooked take off heat and cool.
  5. Whisk up your egg white until stiff. Do the same with the cream.
  6. Now fold in egg white then your cream this must be done whilst the rice is cool.
  7. You can now eat it cold or heat it up gently in the pan.

 

You can now eat it cold or heat it up gently in the pan.If you are looking for an easy rice pudding recipe that tastes delicious look no further. Trust me when I say I make it often and that I don’t have leftovers.

Enjoy

-Nicky x

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Are tattoos the next advertising phenomenon? : PF Weekly grab a brew #65

grab-a-brew-online-reviewGET INKED TO SPREAD THE WORD

 

You are either someone who loves tattoos or hates tattoos because they tag along with you everywhere you go.

Are you looking for a cool tattoo idea? I think I’ve just found one! At least I think I have although I may be behind with the times.

Some people don’t worry about what others think of tattoos and others have felt the wrath of discrimination just because they are “different from others when they really aren’t. We are all human with a heart after all.

I find that many people who love tattoos have them as a way to express themselves or their creative side just as a photographer might with his/her portfolio or an artist with his/her paintings etc.

The only difference is tattoos are for the most part permanent unless you want to have tattoo removal. I’ve heard it’s not only as time-consuming as getting a tattoo or worse it’s costly and painful.

Why would you want to get it removed after spending all that money to get it put on? Some people do because they make split second decisions and down the line change their mind.

A relationship might end and you have your names tattooed on your body and you want them gone, that’s understandable and probably why I’d never bother getting that done.

Tattoos have been around for years and years now and some of the best and brightest men and women in our country sport some of the most creative tattoos.

I’ve seen some pretty outrageous tattoos in my time and although I don’t have any tattoos I won’t say I’ve never thought about it. I have never really had the urge to get one done though.

Some of my friends have tattoos all over their body or tattoo sleeves on their arms and some of the ladies have tattoos. Tattoos appeal to both sexes and with a tattoo comes a potential high price tag and some pain, so I’ve heard.

I’m pretty tolerant of pain but some of the stories I’ve heard make me wonder just how “not so bad” it is.  Tattoos can range in price from something reasonable under $100 to thousands of dollars especially depending on who your artist is and of course the tattoo you want done.

 

Tattoo advertising

 

I’m not talking about your everyday type of advertising here for a tattoo company. Tattoo advertising goes deeper than this but potentially something that might take off, if it hasn’t already.

There are people in this world that would do just about anything for money or a freebie and with that opportunity advertisers might come knocking.

Advertising is big business and there’s not many places we go today where we don’t see .com plastered on billboards, street signs, magazines, newspapers, cups and just about everything out there.

What about the human body?

I was having my morning coffee today and reading Yahoo as always (You know I say this every weekend) when I came across this post that caught my eye. It’s not something I normally read but it was talking about tattoos, teens and McDonald’s so I just had to click on the post to read it.

I’m actually glad I did because I realized that teenagers are still making those split-second decisions and in some cases not thinking too hard about them but this one might be a golden ticket idea.

This Norwegian teen had the choice of either getting a Barbie tattooed on his butt or his McDonald’s receipt on his forearm. He of course chose the McDonald’s receipt likely because he didn’t want to be seen with a Barbie doll on his rear-end.

Who tattoos a receipt on their forearm? Someone who is willing to tattoo another on his other forearm that’s who… read on!

The tattoo establishment called Sabelink Tattoo was likely not shocked but shocked at the same time with this request, then it must have hit them.

If this teen is willing to tattoo a McDonald’s receipt on his arm would he have us tattoo our receipt to his other forearm free of cost? See, this is a business who is thinking smart and went from turning a free small tattoo idea into a marketing idea.

As long as he is old enough to consent to getting a tattoo and he accepts his free tattoo this business has a walking human advertising their business everywhere he goes.

Same goes for McDonald’s although they don’t need much in the way of advertising because even babies that can’t talk get excited when you say McDonald’s, it’s like a household name. Besides he got the McDonald’s tattoo on his own without any influence from the restaurant.

 

Free tattoos

 

tattoos receipt teen McDonaldsThat is a photo I found on Sabelinks Facebook page that I linked to above of the actual tattoo. The fans had lots to say about this and I’m not surprised.

So that left me to wonder if other businesses out there would follow suit with this idea and start paying humans to do permanent tattoo advertising for them if they paid the cost of the tattoo.

I’m sure there are loads of people out there that would love to get a free tattoo and support the tattoo advertising movement. If there was some other perks involved even better or a small cash payment.

I could see this is being one of the best forms of advertising especially for those who live in warm climates and don’t have to bundle up and hide tattoos in the winter.

I mean, why not get in there and pay off some debt or get a free tattoo if they offer you cash or opportunity. I know I’m being a bit sarcastic here but the reality is there are people who will take this seriously. So if you are in the market for a free tattoo you might just get your wish but just not your choice of tattoo.

Would you consider free tattoo images with perks advertising a business on your body?

What would it take or cost them for you to take this on or consider it

 

Top recipe

 

confetti cookie bars

If you don’t already know I have a second Facebook page online called The Free Recipe Depot where I share recipes from other Foodie Bloggers from around the world.

Once a week I pick one recipe that has been submitted as my Top Recipe of the week. Trust me when I say this is no easy task as some of these foodies can cook up a storm.

This week that recipe goes to a food blog called “Baking In A Tornado” with their Confetti Cookie Bars. When I saw it this morning I actually wished I had a big slice with my cuppa tea.

 

Weekly CBB posts

 

If you missed any CBB posts from the week here is the list of posts you can catch up on reading!

 

Weekly reads

 

Every week I share a few of the best personal finance blog posts that I read online over the past week with all of you so please enjoy my top picks.

Well, that’s a wrap for this PF Friday’s Grab a brew #65. Happy budgeting and I’ll see you here again next week when I do it all over again.

-Mr.CBB

 

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Orange & Carrot Breakfast Muffin

Orange marmalade breakfast muffinsHOT FROM THE OVEN MUFFIN

 

I love muffins of any kind even at breakfast and they are so easy to make that if you have kids you can get them involved with the process.  

If you are one of those people who makes their morning stop off at Tim Horton’s for a coffee and a muffin, you don’t need to.

It’s not only lighter on the wallet if you make your coffee at home but any of the muffins they offer are so easy to make in your own kitchen.

With a few ingredients you can make a mountain of muffins that just tumble into you mouth at any time of day or night.

Today I am going to share with you the basic muffin mix that I always use for making the various muffins that come out of this kitchen.

After I have the basic muffin mix ready all I do is add in my delicious ingredients. You can add blueberries, chocolate chips, raisins, oats, coconut, cranberries, whatever you fancy.

You guys all know me well enough by now and know that I always mix things up a little and experiment a lot. I also like to bake with what’s in season so freshness and taste is superior.

There’s no fun in making the same old muffins in the kitchen so stirring the pot a bit by trying new ingredients is fun for me and my family loves to test out these new muffins that I create.

If you are a fan of carrot cake or a carrot muffin I’m pretty sure you’ll like this muffin with a twist today.

This orange and carrot breakfast muffin is great for freezing too and with a microwave it’s so easy to warm up just a couple up for the kids to have at breakfast time.

Earlier this year if you recall I made and shared my recipe for Carrot & Orange Marmalade which is so simple to make.

If you haven’t made orange marmalade before it yet it’s a must especially now that a lot of oranges on sale in the supermarket this time of year.

Just the other day I got a bag for 50% off on the reduced rack but if you shop around or look for flyer deals you can pick oranges up for a great price.

The orange marmalade taste is tangy and great for this orange and carrot breakfast muffin recipe but any orange marmalade will do.

orange and carrot breakfast muffin wm 2

Orange & Carrot Breakfast Muffins
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
If you love muffins then this basic muffin recipe is something you want to tuck away in your recipe box. Once you master the basics the sky is the limit with the different varieties of muffins you can create.
Author:
Recipe type: Muffin
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 2½ Cups (375g) self-raising (all-purpose) flour
  • 90g butter
  • 1 cup (220g) caster (granulated) sugar
  • 11/4 cups (310ml) buttermilk
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • Grated peel of 1 orange plus ½ of juice
  • ½ Jar Orange Carrot Marmalade (see recipe link in post)
Instructions
  1. Grease 12 hole muffin pan.
  2. Sift flour into large bowl and rub in butter
  3. Stir in sugar, orange juice, orange peel, buttermilk and egg. Do not over-mix, batter should be lumpy
  4. Now gently stir in marmalade
  5. Spoon mixture into prepared pans.
  6. Bake in a moderately hot oven at 190oC/375oF for about 20 minutes.

 orange and carrot breakfast muffin wm 4

Now for extra zing I sometimes put a little sprinkle of lemon-sugar on the top of the orange carrot breakfast muffin.

When the fruit goes on sale that’s a good indication of exactly what type of muffin I am going to make. This is just another of my go-to muffin recipes that I have on hand all the time for my family. I hope you enjoy this muffin as much as we do.

Enjoy Nicky xx

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Not everything online is free for the taking: PF Weekly Grab a brew #59

grab-a-brew-online-reviewASK BEFORE YOU TAKE

 

Be careful what you post online because someone might just think they can use it for free.

In fact, it’s true many people do share information online but fail to credit the original owner.

Granted, mistakes happen.

Could you imagine pouring your heart and soul into a work of art or a hobby of yours online only to have someone take it and use it to make a profit?

They are making money… yes dollars off of your skill. I read somewhere once that if you have a skill and are good at it don’t do it for free.

What happens if someone just takes it though? You go after them, that’s what you do. Is it worth it to you though? That’s your decision.

So why is it ok that someone thinks they can take something that a skilled person created and posted online and use it to make money for themselves? Greed? Maybe.

 

Protect your stuff

 

It happens all the time and it’s why I always suggest to try to protect any work that you put online so you have proof that you are the original owner of that work. The same goes for recording artists or people who write and sing their own songs but aren’t famous. Protect your work.

Many photographers for example post photos online and for the most part people don’t know and take photos and use them for their own purpose. Especially on Facebook if the photographer is an amateur or isn’t a professional photographer and does it as a hobby.

That means they didn’t plan to make any money from their photos but someone else might have the bright idea to take that photo and do just that, because they think they can.

Sometimes they even say that they took the photos themselves and take the credit for the work, that is wrong.  You don’t need me to tell you that but what I do suggest is to try to protect what you own online so no one knicks it, in other words steals it.

 

Making others rich

 

When reading Yahoo Finance news like I do every Friday morning I was intrigued by an article that spoke of a an artist Kal Barteski from Winnipeg who runs an online website where she shares her art work.

Online marketing of your work is a great way to network and make a name for yourself. Eventually someone may want to pay for your work and that is essentially the name of the game for many artists online.

A friend of hers who was shopping and clearly knew all of her work spotted a handbag at a J.C Penny shop in Florida with a photo on it that was identical to her friends art work.

She took a photo and sent it off to her friend who hoped it was a copy but discovered it was not. This happens all the time and most times artists don’t know their work is stolen and used to make a profit.

How do you protect yourself and your online work from being used to make money? You should be making the money or least a profit in the deal shouldn’t you?

Not everyone is smart enough to know the ins and outs of what you can and can’t use from the internet but generally speaking if it’s not yours ask if you can use it and at least share who the owner of the photo is and or link back to them.

You can watermark your online work for free at PicMarkr and many programs can watermark but even that can get snipped off.

It’s best to slam the watermark right in the centre of your photo if you can without compromising the look of the photo. Normally I just use the bottom left or right but lately have seen others putting it right in the centre of the photo.

Personally, I don’t like to see the watermark in the middle but if you can hide it well it might not be that bad. Always having the original of your work helps so keep a copy of everything you own.

The artist tracked down the company in Montreal, The Aldo Group which many know of the Aldo store in many malls among other names offered her a payout for using the artwork without her permission.

I agree though that many people who are active online have no idea when they take things for their own use that it’s wrong.

Many people might laugh at that and say it’s common sense but we all know what’s common to one person isn’t to another.

What I was told when I started blogging was to add a copyright/disclaimer to my blog telling people they can’t take my personal photos or my work to use without my permission although not everyone reads the fine print.

How many times have we talked about the fine print here at CBB on a number of issues and it’s reality that many people don’t spend the time to learn about what they can and can’t do especially when they sign on the dotted line.

In the end Kal got her point across and it made some waves online and hopefully it sends the message to people to ask before you take because not everything online is free.

If you do make an error, correct that error immediately and credit the person before you end up in a lawsuit that you might struggle to win.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

-Mr.CBB

 

Top recipe

 

red velvet cupcakes with oreo cream cheese frosting

If you don’t already know I have a second Facebook page online called The Free Recipe Depot where I share recipes from other Foodie Bloggers from around the world. Once a week I pick one recipe that has been submitted as my Top Recipe of the week

This week that recipe goes to Jamie Sherman who runs the online foodie blog called “Love Bakes Good Cakes” where she shared these beautiful Red Velvet Cupcakes with an Oreo Cream cheese Frosting for Valentine’s Day. Enjoy!

 

Weekly CBB posts

 

If you missed any CBB posts from the week here is the list of posts you can catch up on reading!

 

Weekly reads

 

Every week I share a few of the best personal finance blog posts that I read online over the past week with all of you so please enjoy my top picks.

Plcanadian-finance-blogs-2014ease VOTE!- Canadian Budget Binder… it takes a second!

It’s that time of year again where Jeremy over at Modest Money is holding his Top Canadian Finance Blogger 2014 Poll again. Please if you are a fan head over and VOTE Canadian Budget Binder~

All the rules are in his post. It’s a simple vote though. Thank-you in advance to all of you that do vote for this small personal finance blog that brings Canadians together like family to talk about issues that are near and dear.

Well, that’s a wrap for this Friday’s grab a brew #59 so happy budgeting and I’ll see you here again next week when I do it all over again.

-Mr.CBB

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