Thursday, March 20, 2014

Dinner home versus out

Last Friday, we decided that we were going to have a very nice dinner at home instead of going out.  The dinner was Chicken Parmesan, which I really like.  It was nice to have something like this at home and have to admit it was very reasonable to make for the two of us.

While we were eating it, we were discussing the cost of making it at home versus the cost of having the same meal out.  So here is the comparison that we did.

  Chicken schnitzel - 2 pieces                  $3.98
  Pasta (only used part of bag)                 $1.00
  Tomato sauce (used half a jar)              $2.48
  Grated cheese                                        $1.00
  Cost of food                                            $8.56

And the time to make it, but it meant that we were together, and it didn't take even half an hour for the dinner to be made.

The two of us having the same meal out at a restaurant   $37.70 before taxes and tip.

So the savings was $29.14 which really shows that when you have meals at home it is so much cheaper than paying for the same meal at home.

OK, we didn't have someone prepare, cook and bring the meal to the table for us, but we were able to have a nice evening at home without listening to screaming kids in a restaurant.  We also didn't have to drive to and from the restaurant. 

We have been eating more meals at home lately and have been enjoying them.  Of course, it doesn't mean that we won't eat out, but it is nice to see that with a little planning we can have a similar meal to what we have out for a fraction of the cost.  Now to see what we have for dinner tonight.  After writing this entry up I think we may have this meal again very soon.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

New desk for home office

new desk
This last week I have been trying to get organized in a new work area or at least a new work setup.

I have been working in an area that wasn't comfortable for me for a while and last week we decided that it was time to get me a new desk, so off we went and got it.  Getting the new desk did mean some major changes in the area that I call my home office.

The first thing was getting the old desk out of the area and figuring out how I was going to set up the new area.  The desk was easy because it attaches to a book case, so it meant I got spots where I can file things easily.  The arrangement is actually 8 squares where things can be filed, which makes it a lot easier. 

My desk faces out a window, which is nice because it means that I can see what is going on a little bit.  I do live 10 floors up, so I don't get to see a lot of people, but at least I can see up the street.

Thank goodness my DH and business partner understood what I really wanted in my work area because it did mean two trips to Ikea in three days.  We got the desk on one trip and then once I could start thinking about the organization of the area, I realized that I needed boxes and some drawers to put all the stuff that I had into. 

It has taken me a week to feel like I am finally getting settled.  There are still areas that I need to finish organizing, like the filing system behind my computer, but that won't take too long.  The 8 squares are now organized and have changed since the picture a little bit.

I now have a place that is my own, and it is set up the way that I want.  Well, it's set up the way I want it right now, and who knows what it will be like after I use the area for a month or so.  This area is where I do my writing as well as where I do my work, so it is a place where I can hide. 

Now it's time to get some work done.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Delegating or Attempting to Delegate

Over the last while, I have been dealing with a challenge and running in to issue every time, I attempt this. 

I have an individual that keeps asking for more work because she wants to help me get some of my tasks completed, as she knows that I have lots of things on a rather full plate/platter.  At the end of February, I decided that I was going to sit down with her and start giving her some tasks so that she could help me get these projects moved ahead.  I wasn't planning on giving her major tasks, but at least things that would help me out.

I had my plan all in place, so we met, and I said let's sit down and start working on these projects together.  Well, the meeting sure didn't go as I planned because of course every time I tried to talk about something she interrupted with something she thought was more important.  I would then restart what I was saying so to make sure she was listening.  Then the biggest thing happened, the phone rang, and she answered that which it is part of her job.  The phone call resulted in an hour of her running around and going to other things relating to the phone call, even though I continued to ask her to get back to our meeting.  After she got everything done for the phone call, she put the chair back that she was sitting in for our meeting and went back to her desk.  I asked her to come back, and she said she would as soon as she sent a quick email.  Well as you can probably guess the meeting was over, and I never did get to give her any of the tasks that I had wanted to give her.

One big issue that I am seeing is when she takes notes, she writes them on scrapes of paper instead of in a notebook.  Of course, these pieces of paper have lots of very short notes and when she thinks she has everything done on it, she recycles the piece of paper. 

This week, I think I hit a total frustration point when I got an email from her asking me about an attachment.  The attachment was a note saying what a cheque was for.  She then in her email asked me what the cheque was for.  All of this was talked about last time I tried to talk to her because I told her I was expecting a cheque and where the cheque was to be deposited.  There may have been a note made about this cheque, but on a piece of paper that has since been recycled.

I am dealing with this challenge of someone wanting to help me but not listening to what I have to say, so I am now going to be writing the tasks down for her in email so that she can see what she has to do for me.  Maybe delegation through email will work better than delegation through discussion.  I will still attempt to have the discussion, but will reinforce it with an email.

Delegating is a challenge at the best of times, but when someone doesn't listen, it sure makes delegating a bigger challenge.

Monday, March 3, 2014


I posted at the beginning of the year that I wanted to write on average 500 words a day for the entire year. Of course, people laughed when I said that, I asked me why I would want to track my word count for an entire year.

For me, I have had challenges writing and not knowing what words to put on a blank page, so decided that just writing might help me. So I worked on this goal last year and just managed to write the 500 words a day for the year with some difficulty. The end of the year was a lot better than the beginning of the year for word count. Of course, this means that a lot of my writing is just for me, but at least I am finding that I can write blogs and other required writing a lot easier now.

There are people that call themselves writers and say that they are going to write, but you never see anything that they write, so do they write. For me, making myself accountable even just to me has helped me improve my writing habit. Now, if I don't write during the day, I get upset because I find that even just putting words in my journal helps me feel better about things.

We are face different challenges and for me, it was writing. I have a friend that said in her first blog that she was going to write twice a week on her blog, and that was almost two years ago. Yes, she has posted blog entries, but in these two years there has been 9 blogs instead of the two a week as she stated that she was going to do. Last year we were at an event, and I told her that I tracked my word count each day, not including emails, and she kind of laughed at that idea. She keeps saying that she is a writer, and I haven't seen anything that she has written. Maybe she is a want to be writer and hopes that the more she talks about writing, the better chance she has in starting to write.

So writing is something that I enjoy doing and yes, I do some writing for work as it is part of my job, but the other part I enjoy is working on my blog entries and just writing in general.

Off to do a bit more writing.