Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Mighty Mighty Costco

I had never been.

Wow did we ever clean up! We hit each aisle twice and stocked our cart so full that former Supermarket Sweep winners would've been jealous. We took care of all of our "dry items" (cleaners, papers, tea, appliances etc etc) and made an even bigger list for our next visit when we get all our "fresh" items. All the purchases made everything so much more real. $400 dollars of year long supplies will do that to ya! We even picked up the "Northern Musts" like a humidifier and extra tin-foil for the windows. Reading all the other Northern Blogs has been incredibly helpful. "Townie Bastard" "Newbie" . . .you all know who you are. If our paths are to cross someday, I can't wait to shake your hand. You've made this journey so much easier on us.

If this information cycle goes around again and someone else reads through this blog, I must stress the paramount importance of GOING TO COSTCO. I've gone through some of the "Food Price" blogs from the true northerners and if my math is correct, we've almost saved $2, 847 . . .JUST by shopping in Ontario first and buying bulk (that doesn't include our food, juices and Laundry detergent either).

See this Logo:

Live by it!

I'd also like to thank my best friend Chris Pell for lending us his COSTCO EXECUTIVE card. He has earned $7.62 towards his year end credit. Thanks Pellbo!

Monday, June 29, 2009

"...there's so much sacred in the month of June..."

Thanks John...

We found out that we are moving AUGUST 17th! We got our relocation package and we’re just waiting on Stephs flight details so we can move forward with getting to Iqaluit. Getting the package made everything very real. Stress is sinking in, especially for Steph. Making lists helps but, it doesn’t take the weight off our shoulders at the pace we’d like. We’ve planned and saved diligently but, we’re now left with planning out all our days off in order to get everything we need, if you’ve read the last post/Essay/Novel/ridiculously long blog .. . you get it. We’ve added to it too . . .

I can’t get over how much “counting down” we’ve been doing. We’re counting down the days, work days, days off, dollars and cents; life on a timeline. Yesterday I felt genuine guilt when I splurged for a Chai Latte from Starbucks ($5.09) as opposed to my usual Steeped Tea from Timmy’s ($1.65) . . . and it was MY BIRTHDAY! Poor Steph, hurt her ankle saving a school bus full of kindergarten students from evil doom . . . sober! She’s been off work and I’ve been adding gigs like crazy just to stick to our plan financially.

I’ve said it before but, I can’t stress the importance of being communicative. If you want to make it there happily, make it there together. Admit your spending habits, admit your debts, admit your faults, your fears, and your every anxiety to the person going with you. They can help share the load. You’ll find that your partner possesses traits and characteristics that you lack and that means they can help you in ways you didn’t know you needed help. For example, Steph is a ruthlessly articulate person. She’s also incredibly resourceful and has most of our trip mapped, planned and detailed. But some details we’ve had to wait for and some lines on our “To-Do List” have been pushed back. This has stressed her right out. I can recognise that and know that she needs words of comfort or something to help her know it’ll work out. That’s where I can come in. We’ll sit down, make a call, or just text and work through it. When I reciprocate my own anxieties and stresses, she doesn’t feel so alone. Together, we sort the ridiculous from realities while staying focused and staying on the same page.

Tomorrow we’re making our first Costco visit. We realise that every day counts from here on in and that we haven’t done much other than save money.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Date

AUGUST 17th 2009

On that day we will officially be moving to Nunavut. We’ve made the blog public and we’ve told all our family and friends. We’re so excited.

Iqaluit . . . HERE . . . WE . . . COME.

As you can also see, Steph has re-decorated our blog here. She won’t believe that I actually like it so, what better way to prove it than online exhibition?

This is really going to be great.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

4:33 am

I've never loved anything as much as I love you Steph.

That's all.

You and I are forever. I don't have a rooftop to shout it out from so I hope this suffices.

And yes, I made up my own word . ."suffices" ......it's a huge spelling and grammar error. Who cares . .. . I love your guts!


P.S. It turns out that SUFFICES is a word because I just spell checked it and I got a pass. Nonetheless . .. I suffices love your whole life.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

DAY ONE: Planning.

PETS: We have 3 cats!

We've taken the advice of a few blogs and have decided to bring at least 6 months (or close to) worth of food and litter. Needless to say it's a bit pricey but, it's worth it. The two younger cats don't travel well at all. We have a great vet ('Bakers' in Whitby) and they have great all-natural sedatives for the cats. We've used them before so, that's going on the final shopping list. Admittedly, we are very sensitive when it comes to our cats and we may take extra measures to ensure their well-being. We've read that some vets don't recommend the Arctic journey and/or living conditions for young/small cats. We've asked the advice of our own vet and they have a lot of available information on safe traveling for pets. Conveniently enough, we are able to bring a cat each on board during our flight as a "carry-on"; Steph is elated. Parker (our oldest of the 3) travels really well so, he'll be fine as cargo I'm hoping. We've also decided to get all 3 cats a quick tune-up. . . one last pre-trip vet visit to update any shots or vaccinations they might need.

FOOD: Prices, changes, stocking!

As entertaining as it is to read about the crazy prices of food. . . . (http://newnavut.blogspot.com/2006/08/more-food-prices.html) or (http://www.nunatsiaq.com/archives/51007/news/nunavut/51007_07.html). We're set to shop like crazy for the non-perishable items that we'll need. I (Jordan) personally feel like spending $100,000 on toilet paper and chocolate milk because it's impossible to NOT need them. Thankfully, my better half . . . who IS the better half on this one . . . is moderating where the focus is going a little more productively than I am!

Surprisingly, most of the food prices didn't make our jaws drop like we thought. Obviously shipping is more of a venture up to the North, not to mention, the supply and demand is completely different from that of Ontario so, we were prepared for a change in pricing (as anyone should be). We noticed something really great however. . . The healthier the food, the lesser the price jump. So, the better you eat, the more you'll save. There are some items that are sort of "on the fence": Chocolate Milk, Fruit Juices, Bread etc. But the prices really start to soar when it comes to Frozen Dinners, Cheeze Whiz etc etc. So, we're excited to have that push to eat better. We can't lie . . . we love to eat out and we love to splurge on fatty meals when we're lazy! It's safe to say that this was a welcome observation.

CLOTHES: Canada Goose, we hope you're warm.

Just like our blogging predecessors, we've become fans of the CANADA GOOSE (http://www.canada-goose.com/) catalogue and have picked out our coats.

Steph is picking up the MYSTIQUE.

Designed specifically for Rebecca Romijn while shooting X-MEN II.

Jordan is all about the EXPEDITE

Designed specifically to keep me as warm as humanly possible while I fight off Polar Bears, Make walkways, take out Garbage and build inappropriate Snowman Dioramas!

I wonder if everyone will have the same or similar jackets. . . What was a revelation of sorts to us was that you need -100 degree boots ON TOP of your new parka/jacket. More over, the jacket alone is between 600 and 700 dollars. There is definitely a price for warmth here but, then again, what is your health worth?

SAVING: Steph...Less Grazie. Jordan...Less MoviesWingsBeerTimmy'sLateNightDriveThrus

Together, we are the worst money savers. We love . . .(and when I say "love" I don't mean a small developing crush, I mean "only in the movies-nothing can stop it- moves mountains- lift's us up where we belong - The Time Travelers Wife - Til' death do us part LOVE) . . . going out for dinner. Not so much for the sake of eating but, we just love that time together. We've had the most important conversations over a well cooked meal . . . and a glass or two of wine. We love to cook as well but, we like having dinner cooked for us better. This will be the hardest thing to cut back on, no doubt about it. We've decided to ration out our final "Out For Dinners" to 4 before we go. For those of you who have been to GRAZIE (in Toronto www.grazie.ca), then you know how hard it is to have a clean break up from the restaurant of your life!

It's so important for us to save money before we go because the cost of getting there and the cost of all the essential things you need before you get there is costly. We're going to go to lengths we've never dabbled in before to have a nice lump sum before our departure.

Lastly . . .We're finding that it's becoming more and more important to seek out Offline information. Although we credit many different resources and sites/blogs to get information from. We strongly recommend that you find your own, more personal resource for information. If you read a blog . . . ask the author a question. If you're going to see a Vet . . . ask their professional opinion. If you find yourself worried about anything, keep in mind that little bumps can sometimes snowball and become huge issues. It's unnecessary and preventable stress on an already stressful situation. We've found such comfort in other peoples accounts and the experienced opinions of friends, professionals and people who have been through the experience we're about to take on. You can never know enough. I just want to thank everybody who has gone out of there way to lend us their advice and guidance. It's incredible how warm people are even over an e-mail or blog comment. We see everyones comments on other peoples sites and it makes us that much more excited to join the community of converted Canadian Southerners!

We're officially going public today with this blog . . . Oh boy!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

It's Official . . .

We're going.

There's always some doubt at first as to whether or not things will come together and work out the way you want them too. Personally, we were both worried that I may not find work, or should I say, the kind of work that seems fitting for such a large relocation. Today was a great day. One of the top three jobs we'd hoped I'd secure was locked down this afternoon at 4:30pm. After a few e-mails and a lengthy conversation on the phone with my new boss, the worry about work is over. I think I can speak for the both of us when I say . . . this move is "Official".

So here we go . . . As we make each turn, we'll write about the trails and tribulations of this journey, and it all starts today.

I'm so excited I think I could die. The idea of such a big adventure thrills me everywhere; I'm bursting at all seams. The first thing I did was tell Steph about the great news . . .then my Dad . . . My mom and brother still aren't home yet but, they'll get the news immediately. Steph and I aren't really spilling the news to any friends yet since we're still in the primary stages of planning and there's still a lot of scheduling to do. One thing in particular is a wedding . . . My best friend Chris is getting married August 8th but, my potential start date is the 1st. My new boss seems like a really easy going guy, so when I e-mail him back later (after this) I'll be explaining my situation with hopes that something can be worked out. I feel almost bad delaying the start date or even being picky at all, considering this time last week I was worried that I wouldn't find a job at all. Chris' wedding is really important to me and I wouldn't miss it for anything. He's been one of my best friends for 10 years now and I promised to be there. Fingers crossed . . .

Over the next few weeks we'll be sitting down and going over all the details of the move. The finances, the shopping, the timing, the flights . . .you name it. From experience we know that the lack of planning can cause added anxiety and insecurity on an already stressful move. It's not a mistake we're making again. Next post I'll put up our to do list . . . it'll be quite something, I'm sure!

Well, that's all for now . . . Nunavut: Here We Come!