Weekend Update: My Dog Ate My Inhaler

Someone in my household has a substance abuse problem and it's not me or Roger. First Scotch, then an Epi-Pen, and now an asthma inhaler; Tundra sure is positioning himself for a possible intervention. How many times can a puppy trip out on drugs and alcohol before rehab is prescribed? All joking aside, Tundra gave us quite a fright last night. Roger and I came home late from visiting friends and found him in a weird state. He usually greets us at the door, but the poor guy couldn't stand up. He was panting heavily and his heart was beating a mile a minute. His eyes were bloodshot and his pupils dilated. The empty Ventolin canister on the floor told us that he was high as a kite. He must have found my purse, rummaged through it and punctured the canister with his tooth, inhaling the remaining doses. We called a 24 veterinary line and they recommended we call poison control or bring him in for diagnosis. After consulting Google search results, we decided to stay up with him throughout the night and take him to the vet if his condition got worse. My puffer was only half-full at best and he would have needed to inhale multiple canisters for the effects to be lethal. We tried to coax him upstairs to sleep near us, but he didn't have the strength to climb the stairs. Roger instead laid a blanket down in the front entrance and kept him company until his hypertension subsided and he finally closed his eyes around 5am. Tundra is just starting to come off his high now about 18 hours later. He's drinking water and he managed to eat some dog food mixed with an egg yolk. He peed in the house--something he hasn't done in over a year--but other than that he's almost back to normal, thank goodness. It's so heartbreaking to look at him because he's clearly so exhausted from panting and his one pupil is dilated more than the other so he looks like a goofball. Lesson learned: Do not leave prescription drugs anywhere within dog reach. We are getting a taste of what it's like to be parents--worrying constantly, staying up all night, feeling guilty about whether or not we did the right thing--and I suppose it's a good thing that we're practicing with a 100lb dog who loves us unconditionally. This was him last night--such a saddycakes. 20140427-173855.jpg If you've read my other blog posts, you'll know that this inhaler incident is strike three for Tunders. Someone is most definitely an adrenaline junkie and too curious for his own good. I still can't believe this happened last night. I really hope none of you ever have to experience such a scare with your pets!
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Easter Weekend at Home

Happy Easter everyone! I hope you all had a lovely and safe holiday filled with loved ones, turkey and lots of chocolate. Roger and I ventured up to the country this weekend and spent some quality time with my family. As per usual, we indulged in way too much home cooking and red wine. We exhausted ourselves running after Tundra, who insisted on embracing our newfound lakefront property. My parents' front lawn consists of a valley and it tends to fill up with water every spring, hence creating a large pond. Weather-wise, Good Friday was dreary and dismal. On a productivity front, it was wonderful. Roger and I crossed some important items off our wedding checklist! Step # 1: Get engaged. Step # 2: Set a date for the wedding. Step # 3: Choose a venue. We are officially passengers on the wedding planning train! We checked out the venue and started thinking about the guest-list and what we want to do for the ceremony. I imagine I'll have lots to blog about as we get closer and closer to the date! I'm so fortunate to have my family, Roger's family, and my girls on board to celebrate in and help out with the planning of our special day. April 20 - Planning Speaking of my girls, I asked my bestest bosom friend and childhood neighbour, Lindsay, to be among my bridesmaids. I brought to her an offer she couldn't refuse--a banana with my sentiments. We're extra weird; it's our little tradition to write on household fruits instead of notepads when we miss each other. Our friendship motto has always been "Don't ever become cool" and so far we're sticking with it to a T. She said yes to my banana question and cried like a wee tot. April 20 - Banana Saturday morning I went out for a tea with my friends Charlie and Naaz. We're spoiling each other lately with visits--birthday weekends in the city, lattes at home--April was a good month for long-distance friendships! I rushed home afterwards to help my mom with Easter preparations. She had a 24-lb turkey in the oven for our guests--both sides of my extended family--and needed me in the kitchen to make my famous cranberry sauce and gluten-free stuffing. April 20 - Happy Easter I also made eggs. I'm not sure what came first--the tray or the eggs, but eggs of the devilled variety have become an Easter tradition for my family. When we were little, we used to decorate boiled eggs and roll them down the hill outside my Granddad's house. Now we just eat them. April 20 - Eggs You can never have too many Easter flowers at the table! Or candy for that matter. April 20 - Flowers We had a new edition to our family this year! Jackson slept for most of the day and woke up just in time to say hello in the evening. It's amazing how the family dynamic changes when a baby is born; we all spent a good portion of the day either rocking him in the stroller or watching him sleep. The little cutie is almost two months old now! April 20 - Jackson We took advantage of the beautiful weather and played "Washers" while waiting for dinner to be ready. You pretty much take turns throwing washers with one hand and drinking beer with the other. April 20 - Washerss The dogs had a fun time playing around the yard (for Tunders maybe a tad too much fun.) He desperately needed the exercise; Roger took him to the vet and he weighed 104-lbs... just a big fat fat. Now he is on a diet and upset to be back at home after a super active weekend in the country. April 20 - Dog I tried to snap as many pictures as I could between socializing, cooking, and drinking wine. Surprisingly, climbing roofs is not an uncommon occurrence at my house and neither is boating in the pond in my front yard. Every family has its quirks; mine keeps me coming back for more without hesitation. April 20 - On top
April 20 - Bye Boat
I'm excited for the next holiday and for more wedding planning weekends!
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How to Become a Millionaire by 65

I stumbled across an eye-opening article on Business Insider the other day. It outlined the importance of investing and how much you need to put away in savings to become a millionaire by the time you’re 65. Take a moment to think about the lifestyle you’d like to have when you’re out of the workforce just north of the 60 mark (or if you play your cards right, much before then!) and chances are there’s a hefty price tag associated with these dreams. Factor in inflation and the fact that you won’t be making a steady income and a million dollars isn’t all that inconceivable. April 15 - Bahamas You know what they say–it’s never too early to start saving! I don’t just mean tucking away money for a rainy day; I mean actually investing for the future by creating a customized financial plan. Becoming a millionaire isn’t just for game show contestants and high-income earners; the average person can build up their net worth without extreme penny-pinching. "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now." If you didn't start putting away money when you were young, start now. April 14 - How much do you need to save? April 14 - Savings Chat According to these charts, it is entirely doable to become a millionaire; however, it takes a lot of discipline and smart investing choices during your working years. Earning a 6% return, a twenty-year old should be saving at least $200/month. A forty-year old would have to save five times that amount to be in the same financial situation by retirement age. Compounding interest is a powerful thing. Doesn't it make you wish you put that Beanie Babie money into bonds, paid for your education in full, and didn't have student loans following you around for forever? Hindsight is always 20/20. But like I said, it's never too late to start. So HOW do you save $200, $400, $600, etc. per month? Here are a few tips to get your started: Increase your income: Make some extra cash by picking up odd jobs on the side. For example, try selling your crafts on Esty, start a snow-shovelling/lawn-cutting business on weekends, or pick up some bartending shifts if you have the talent and the time. Save passively: Take advantage of employer-sponsored saving plans, employee stock ownership plans and pension plans as best you can. That $25 that comes off your paycheque every two weeks may not seem like a big difference at first, but it certainly adds up after forty years. Invest in stocks: Be sure to do your homework first or speak to an advisor to address the following questions: How would you describe your risk tolerance? How often do you want to keep tabs on your portfolio? How would you like your funds allocated across industry sectors? It's amazing how many *free* education tools you can find online or through your brokerage firm. Online stock trading is something I've been doing for just over three years now and I wish I started sooner. Invest in dividend stocks: Oh, how I love dividends; I love them even more when they are re-invested. Instead of having your stock dividends paid out in cash, you may consider enrolling in DRIP, which uses dollar cost averaging to purchase more shares in a company at higher and lower prices throughout the lifecycle of your investment with that company. It's a great way to avoid paying commission for more shares. Open a Canadian TSFA: A lovely thing. You can contribute $5000/year and enjoy tax-free growth in your account. Contribute to your RRSP: Contributions are deductible from taxable income and growth in your account is tax-deferred until withdrawn. Whether you're saving for retirement or for your first home, RRSPs help you get there. Contribute to RESPs for your kids: I already told my parents that when I have children, they will get one toy for Christmas, birthdays, etc., but the bulk of their presents will be cash contributions to a education savings account. They'll thank me later when their education is paid for. Budget accordingly: If you're on salary, chances are you know exactly how much money you make each month. Because I earn travel points, I like to use my VISA card for everyday expenses such as groceries, gas, and incidentals. I only use my checking account to receive paycheques, set up automatic payments and pay online bills. I find it is easier to keep track of my debits and credits this way; I know exactly how much I put on my VISA and I try my best to leave enough money in my checking account to pay it off the balance at the end of each month. Be thrifty: I do my grocery shopping at three different grocery stores--one for meat, milk, dog food, and bulk products, another for fresh produce and specialty foods, and the last one for canned goods and cheese. I often check the online flyers ahead of time to see what deals I can expect when I go. Don't be frivolous: If you don't love it or need it, don't buy it. I know I'm guilty of throwing odds and ends in my shopping cart when I'm out and about and I'm trying to stop making these impulse purchases. I'd LIKE pretty fake flowers for my bathroom and I WANT a banana rack for my kitchen, but they are by no means a necessity. Ask yourself on a scale of 1 to 5 how badly you need/want something and if it's a 1, 2, or 3, put it back immediately. Think about that 4 for a moment: if you can qualify it as a 5, don't feel guilty swiping your payment card. And for the obvious answer... Become a millionaire now and please share your secrets with the rest of us! 😉 Retirement is supposed to be a time of relaxation and reward, a time to enjoy family life and reap the financial benefits of your working years. It might be a bit premature to pick up the knitting needles and start planning exotic cruises around the world, but at least when the time comes you'll have built yourself a nice nest-egg!      
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Welcome to my Closet: Crop Tops & Floral!

Happy Sunday everyone! For me, it is a happy Sunday indeed. Roger came home from New York yesterday (finally! finally! finally!) and technically today is our Saturday because we both have the day off tomorrow! 🙂 Hurray for staying home and enjoying each other's company! I think we're going to drink tea, do our taxes and make life planning spreadsheets--you know, things that soon-to-be married people do. Today is even better because it was sunny and beautiful outside. It's starting to warm up in Canada and to celebrate the sunshine I tried on all the clothes that I spent the winter dreaming about wearing. Between New York visits and online shopping, I officially have enough crop tops and floral to last me the entire summer season. I stumbled across the Charlotte Russe website during one of their "Happy Hour" sales and went a little crazy. I then found myself browsing the Victoria's Secret website and treated myself to a pair of new shoes. I fancy my purchases so much that I can't help but share. I'm a big fan of anything and everything with a bold floral pattern. I considered wearing this Charlotte Russe skirt for birthday celebrations with a white crop top, but I'm saving the ensemble for warmer weather. These strappy black heels were a steal--I got them for $26! March 23 - Birthday Outfit Can you mix chevron with stripes? I say yes. The look is a bit beachy for everyday wear, but I'd definitely rock it on vacation. The crop top is from Charlotte Russe and the maxi skirt is from Forever 21. March 23 - Summer clothes You know that item that you put in your online shopping cart on a whim and then neglect to take it out before entering your credit card number? These Charlotte Russe pants are the perfect example. I was misled by how form-fitting they were on the model; one me they are super baggy and pyjama-esque. I wish I bought them in a size smaller. If I wear them more than once this summer I will be a happy girl. March 23 - Fancy Pants Surprise, surprise... another flowery piece of clothing from Charlotte Russe. I couldn't resist adding this number to my shopping cart--it reminds me of a bathing suit with daisies on it that I used to wear in the 90s. March 23 - Daisy Crop Top White cotton crop top from Charlotte Russe, distressed high-waisted jean shorts from Urban Outfitters and Espadrilles from Victoria's Secret--love, love, love! Can someone take me to a music festival in California, please? April 6 - New Outfit
I'm so happy that I bought these Espadrilles. I have been searching in stores for a reasonably priced pair for quite some time, but I didn't find the perfect ones until I started looking online.
April 6 - VS Shoes
So there you have it--a sneak peek of my newly purchased summer essentials. Now all I need to do is wait for the temperature to rise and I'm set to wear these outfits out of the house!
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