Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Our Anniversary - Celebrating on a Budget!

When my Mr. and I chose a long time ago to be a “one income family”.  It was not an easy decision for us to make at all but we wanted to try it on for size.  See what was possible.  It was really hard to wrap my head around this idea those first married years.  I’d worked most of my life.  But it seemed to make sense, to at least try - mostly in the way of being able to spend much more time together than if we both worked. 

Over the years its become a huge blessing in our marriage and in our life.  The long and the short of it is - its possible! 

One book that became a good friend and I would highly recommend is Shattering the Two Income Myth by Andy Dappen.  It explores the idea that living on one income is as much a mind set as a monetary reality.  It is chock full of down to earth instructions and ideas to equip you if you choose this lifestyle. 

So this leads me up to our anniversary celebration.  Both my husband and I ♥ to entertain and so we have to be very clever to do this on a low budget.  At this time of our lives its especially critical we are “salting” away funds for our retirement as its not so far off.  We have learned to create many of our gifts and live lavishly on mere pennies (those are history now here in Canada) nickles. 

Here’s a take on our magical night!

love-card

One of my hobbies is making custom greeting cards.  I use my Silhouette Cameo to design and create my own FREE cuts - which I then in turn give to YOU!  I made this card for my husband.  (check under the FREE cuts tab at the top of this blog to find a wealth of FREE cuts - donations most welcome to augment our retirement fund Winking smile)

DECOR:

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Aren't these just the SWEETEST?  Our friend Mel O gave us several items which I used to decorate, most from the local Dollarama Store, like these ♥ crackers.  The cloth napkins and silver napkin rings were purchased at the local Osoyoos thrift store. I tied a bit of “celebration” black ribbon onto them.   The black ribbon was clearance from Paper Nation in Abbotsford.

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The beautiful heart patterned sheers, which I used both to swath our amaryllis plant were also included in Mel’s gift, from Dollarama.  Candles always look lovely - wine goblets and candlesticks thrift store, tray with gravel from a Christmas gift from our brother and sister in law. 

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Lovely handmade greeting card from my sister Nina, so pretty it earned a place of honour on our table!

FOOD:

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With my husband’s Italian heritage what could say “amore” better than a slow simmered all day pasta sauce?  Our father in law’s is hard to top but my Mr. has been working at perfecting his for several years now.  My secret ingredients are using a combination of our home-preserved tomatoes along with fresh tomatoes, and I also add in a teaspoon of well aged balsamic vinegar as it simmers!  The heart shaped noodles were under $5!

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I lucked out on these ‘designer’ chocolates for $4!

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I was so grateful my husband whimpered indicated he would love it if I could ever make some biscotti so I included this in my dinner plans.  I find biscotti is inexpensive and easy to make but is decadent in taste.  I like recipes which use Olive Oil rather than butter, for the texture and taste and these had hints of pepper, ginger and a three citrus zest of lemon, orange and lime. 

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A celebration would not be complete without some “bubbly” of some sort.  We actually enjoyed a bottle of non-alcoholic red wine (many of our local wineries carry a selection of non-alcoholic beverages though we sure wish there were MORE!)  We are saving this Pink Lemonade for our next date-night which we have once a week.

GIFTS:

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I was a good girl and kept to our budget in the area of gifts… (its SO hard to do this when you want to just spoil your spouse rotten - got to keep in mind its the thought as much as the item)  I gave my Mr. a sci-fi book I knew he’d enjoy (Salvation Army) and a gift basket of assorted spices and gourmet mustard and a jar of Ebesse Zozo Coconut Milk Marinade Sauce.  All this for $20! 

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AHEM!  Now when it comes for my Mr. buying for me he sometimes does not know restraint but as long as its not BOTH of us going wild with the chequebook its all good Winking smile

He picked up this gorgeous Tiger Eye Pendant from Bones and Stones Decor in Kelowna on a recent trip to the city. I wish I could have shopped with him there, but in retrospect its probably good I couldn’t - that will be another date day in itself.

We finished off our evening watching a movie on Netflix - Netflix saves us time and money for sure.

All in all, I think our “grand evening” (without my Mr’s gift to me) probably cost less than $40 and you must admit it was pretty extravagant. 

Do YOU live on a budget?  Have any great ideas you’d like to share with me?

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9 comments:

  1. Happy Anniversary - how many years?

    Love all your gifts, so thoughtful and special!

    Snow here today, but heading to sunny Florida at the end of the week - so we will be a few thousand miles closer!

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  2. Looks like you had a wonderful evening Sis, love all your decorations and the pasta looks nummy. Hope the chocolates were to die for, I know you were drooling over the biscotti.

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  3. Great ideas! We like to celebrate simply too, and I am so thankful that I can stay home full time. It's worth the sacrifices!
    We like non-alc drinks too and I just noticed today that Shoppers Drug Mart has a new selection of "virgin" drinks by MADD. I think we'll have to try a few!

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  4. Sounds like a wonderful time ...lots of love ..you two are so sweet ...thank you for sharing your time.

    Hugs

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  5. Sounds like a wonderful time ...lots of love ..you two are so sweet ...thank you for sharing your time.

    Hugs

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  6. Happy Anniversary!!! I LOVE the card you made for Mr and the freebie ♥

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  7. Nothing says love like hand made cards, gifts, and a wonderful spouse who budgets well. It's all simply wonderful and filled with love. Thank you for inspiring others to "keep it real". It always blows my mind the way some think, to make something special it has to be expensive. What a great job you did showing this is a myth. :) xxx- Debbie

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  8. Good morning Barb:)
    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!:) SO sorry I am late.:( Got lots and lots going on this week and next.:) I KNOW you understand.:)Mwah!
    Your Card is ADORABLE!! I bet Miles said you don't "bug" him.LOL
    I LOVE your table decorations. How CUTE and SO SWEET! How ROMANTIC! :) You ALWAYS go that extra mile and we ALL benefit from your generosity.Thank you so MUCH my DEAR friend!:)
    I LOVE Nina's card too. So SWEET of her not to forget you and Miles and your celebration of LOVE.:) I am ALWAYS impressed with yours and her cards.You and she are such an inspiration to all of us who LOVE card making.:)
    Your pasta sauce sure looks YUMMY!! Nothing like home made simmer on the stove!!:)
    I also LOVE your gifts to each other!So sweet!


    Have a FANTASTIC weekend my friend!!

    Love,
    Valinda

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  9. Happy Anniversary!!! Mr. & Mrs. Miles
    DIANA L.
    http://dianamlarson.blogspot.com

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