Tag Archives: new year

New Years Eve on the Cheap

29 Dec

New Years is one of the few things celebrated by all cultures, ages, places. The way it is celebrated is as varied as the human species but it is definitely one of those celebrations that can easily add up. Between the dress and the shoes, the drinks and the transportation you can shell out well over a few pennies for what is essentially a night out.

I have a few suggestions being someone who both loves to have a good time AND save my money.

1) Let Sparks Fly

As we know, many places set off fireworks on NYE and depending on how close you are you can enjoy the light show for free. Find a great look out spot for fireworks e.g a beach, a park, a friend’s backyard.

Put on a jacket, round up your squad and pack a bottle of wine and bag of chips. Get there a couple hours before the light show and have a chill nighttime picnic that ends with fireworks.

2) Hotel Hoopla

A beautiful luxurious hotel room with a balcony with a view and a Jacuzzi can rob you of a significant portion of your paycheck…IF you book it by yourself and IF you book for many nights. 

However, IF you and your crew put together and pay for one night it suddenly becomes a lot more affordable. Be sure to get a room where the amount in your party are allowed to be at one time and ensure the noise level rules are complied with. Everyone brings a bottle and the fun can begin.

3) Burger Queen

Another great NYE activity is to go out for dinner. Usually, you have to book well ahead of time, contend with a crowd and pay through your nose. You can still have a nice dinner in your best dress just as someplace with a few less frills.

The clan and you decide on a clean, safe and extremely affordable spot and agree to meet up wearing something nice.  Being dressed up in a casual setting will definitely make it feel more special.

4) Lucky Lady

Casinos can be a place of indulgence and decadence and financial ruin, but it need not be. Find a casino without a cover charge and grab your gals and guys and go . Decide on a low spending limit e.g $20 and spend it slowly. Order a drink or two and your night is made.

5) Night In

Have a proper night in. Decide whose home will be host to your group. Everyone brings their pjs and a snack. Binge watch a series and play monopoly. Then in the morning everyone helps cook up a casual brunch. So little money spent, so much fun had.

If you’re looking for good clean cheap fun, hopefully something here has given you am idea or two. Have an awesome day and an awesome NYE!

Happy 2017

1 Jan

Hello and welcome to 2017! Wishing everyone who reads this a year of achievement and contentment and success.

 I don’t make traditional New Year’s resolutions but I do often write out my goals (which is kind of the same thing I guess) . I have personal goals, career goals, reading goals and of course blogging goals. I will share a few blogging goals I have.

1) To continue to consistently post on my blog- though I started my blog in 2012, I only began consistent posting in mid 2016, and I love it. It gives me something to look forward to and hopefully does the same for those who read the blog.

2) To expand my posting range- I primarily do recipes and tips with some travel and beauty stuff splashed in between. This year I want to do DIYs ,more exciting recipes  and more travel and beauty related posts.

3) To improve my photography skills- While I quite like taking photos and I do think I have improved over time, I know there is so much more to learn and do to create beautiful shots. I intend to invest more energy in that.

4) To engage more with fellow bloggers- I learnt in the latter half of 2016 that there are A LOT of blogs out there. Some very similar to me, some completely different but exciting and some just totally out of the box. Before, I never really considered finding blogs on WordPress,  I only used it to actually write my posts. It opened up a whole new world for me and I’m excited to see more.

This are my main blogging goals that I hope to achieve this year. What are your blogging goals?

Have an awesome day!

Hard Candy Christmas

31 Dec

Hey! Hope everyone is having a great holiday!

Despite my having lived away from home on numerous occasions over many years I have always made it home for Christmas. ALWAYS!

Not this year… this year I was away from my home and my family, friends, pets and all things familiar. I didn’t think it would be so bad to be honest. I’ve missed New Years and birthdays a bunch of times. I figured I had it covered. I mean I’m a fully grown adult with a job and responsibilities. Also I’ve made some good friends since I moved so it isn’t as if I would be completely alone. I decided that I’d decorate my apartment, buy some ingredients for a nice Christmas dinner and share with my friends.

Well,that was the plan. Approximately 3 weeks or so before Christmas my entire mood plummeted. I don’t know why specifically. Perhaps it was being away from home that finally got me or maybe I’d had a particularly stressful week at work or a combination. Whatever it was I felt down and decided to cancel Christmas this year. If I couldn’t have it the way I liked I didn’t want it at all! (I know, really mature right?)

I stayed in this foul mood for days and I swear my spirit slowly began to die until one morning about 9 days before Christmas I decided if I didn’t do at least SOMETHING¬† “Christmassey” I really might just melt into a pool of despair.

I set out that day with one goal. Bring home Christmas! I may have mentioned in my Halloween post that my new place of abode is not only limited in its variety but what there is can tend to be mighty pricey. This does not bode well for someone on a budget but I accepted the challenge.

I made my way into the town square area and to the store with the most bargins. It’s a dollar store in concept in terms of the quality and variety of things it sells but nothing in there costs $1. Try $1.99 and up, most of it being up. That said they still have some of the best prices in all the seven kimgdoms! (Sorry I just started reading Game of Thrones)

Like any good party or wedding, holiday decor needs a theme. Whether literal or abstract it gives a basis, an idea of what direction you’re going. My theme was:

Way back when I thought I’d be home for the holidays and was filled with hope and excitement I decided I wanted to try a Candyland Christmas theme. I even started a pinterest board about it.
For anyone who knows me well, it’s no secret that for a few years I have yearned for a pink Christmas tree. Now our family always gets a real tree but we also usually have 2 or 3 other trees, one in the verandah, a small one in the kitchen and more if we feel it necessary.

This year I felt inspired to take it further. I love the idea of a pink tree. I imagine it to be cotton candy. Candy! What if everything on the tree was a candy ornament or a candy colored ornament!
I immediately knew the colours I wanted: pink, purple, blue and green. My accent colour would be silver.
I pinned pictures of some beautiful and creative stuff : donut ornements made of salt clay,pastel globe ornaments wrapped to look like sweeties, old outdoor bulbs covered in candy coloured glitter. I was excited!

But alas,  here I was with limited time, options and money. This was going to be hard.

I decided I would stick with my concept for candy inspired choosing round, unbreakable(the only type they had) ornaments in my original colour scheme of blue,pink,purple,green and silver. To me these colours were the most candy like. I went for variety and got 2 packs of small ornaments(purple and blue) and the other 3 colours larger balls. These were the types that came with multiple finishes in the same package so 2 were shiny, 2 were frosted and 2 were glittered.

What tree? By the time I decided Christmas was back on all the real trees and most of the artificial ones were sold out. Also it would be too expensive.
I bought a string of artificial 9 foot garland and an artificial wreath.

One string of plain white lights were all I could manage at the prices this store had.

I also ponied up for a roll of green ribbon, a large shiny pink bow and of course hooks.


The stuff


I spent some time placing things here and there to figure out what order to place things in. I recommend this. When you make your final decision then start attaching.

I used the hooks to attach the balls by their tops onto the wreath and garland.




I laid out the garland on the floor and switched decorations back and forth until I got the design I wanted.




I used the ribbon to wrap around the wreath and I used the extra for a small bow to accent the garland.


I pinned the garland around the breakfast bar area and the wreath just adjacent


The Wreath


The Garland



I draped the lights around my small 11th floor balcony.



And there it is. Christmas decor on a time and money budget.

The title for this post was inspired by that old Dolly Parton song “Hard Candy Christmas”¬† on the Christmas album she did with Kenny Rogers all those years ago. I thought of this song because I chose candy as my theme and I’ve met some really nice people in the past few months and that’s all very sweet. However I am away from home for the holidays and having some challenges becoming settled and that’s hard.

That being said, I am thankful for all that I do have and all I managed to accomplish this year: I purchased (and sold) my first vehicle, I did an important exam, I was able to truly eliminate a very negative influence in my life and of course I met my awesome kitten (who I miss) Cali! 2014 was definitely better than 2013!

So enjoy the rest of the season and have an awesome 2015!


Cali (the kitten)

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