Parenting/Life · Uncategorized

Why I almost quit blogging.

I was on vacation last week and it almost pushed me to quit blogging.  It’s not even the blogging portion that I didn’t want to do anymore, in fact I actually enjoy the writing portion of blogging.  I find it almost therapeutic at times.  It allows me to get things off my chest in a manner that I normally wouldn’t.

What I really wanted to quit was the whole social media part.  Posting to Instagram, liking and commenting on the photos, posting and sharing things on Facebook, tweeting and retweeting.  I have said to others before, that keeping up my social media portion sometimes feels like another full time job.  We’ve all read articles about how important it is to be engaged with your followers to gain momentum with your blog.  But this week, I just wanted to enjoy my time off with my son.

He is why I would quit
He is the reason I would ever quit.

I am not going to lie, the few days leading up to my holidays I truly stressed about it.  I wondered how I was going to fit in checking Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and yet not take time away from enjoying every minute with my son.  The only option I could think of was quit.  Give it all up, walk away, I quit.   Yes, I sound a little bit dramatic about the whole situation but it seems like it is constantly drilled into our heads that in order to keep our social presence relevant, we need to be active every single day and sometimes multiple times a day.

After a few days, and some pondering and considerations, I realized that the world was not going to end if I didn’t keep up with posting.  If I lost some followers, life will go on.  As much as I enjoy blogging and definitely want to grow my blog, I am pretty sure isn’t something that will allow me to leave my full time job.  And truth be told, I don’t know if I would want it to be.  Last summer when I was very, very new to blogging, I took a social media break and lived to tell the tale so there was no reason I couldn’t do it again.

I have to say it was quite liberating.  Sure, I still looked at Instagram and Facebook from time to time but as a general user, not as a blogger keeping up.  But I didn’t feel any pressure to post anything blog related.  Even now that I am back to work and “blogging”, I am still not keeping up like I used to.  Is this going to hurt me going forward, I don’t know.  But what I do know is that my time with my son is much more important to me.

I have seen other bloggers recently talking about the same thing.  And I wonder, is it because it is summer and everyone just wanting to take advantage of the warm weather and not stuck to their phones?  Or have bloggers in general just decided it’s too much all the time?  For me, I think it is a combination of both.  So for now, if I am not as active on my social media,  I will deal with the ramifications of it when the time comes.

Getting Fit · Uncategorized

Paddle boarding with East of Six SUP.

Disclosure:  Although I was provided items in this post, all comments and opinions are strictly mine.

 

Paddle Boarding we're both up
Photo Cred: @eastofsixsup

When the summer weather is upon us, there is nothing more that I want to do than get outside, have some fun and try new things.  This past weekend due to last minute change in scheduling, my son and I got the opportunity to do some stand up paddle boarding thanks to East of SIX SUP.  I had tried paddle boarding once before but never actually had a lesson and was thrilled to have the opportunity to get my son out on the water as well.

East of Six operates out of  Pickering, Whitby, Port Perry and Toronto which is great for those of us out in the Durham region.  We aren’t having to go all the way into the city  and are able to enjoy the water we have right at our doorsteps.  They have group lessons and paddles available but will also do all sorts of private events on request.  They have morning paddles as well as Sunset paddles, which I am hoping to do later on this summer

From the minute we got to the lake I was impressed with the company.  The instructor was so incredibly nice and had so much patience with us.  I loved the fact that he let my son right in on the action when he was inflating the paddle boards and getting things ready.  It was interesting to see that they used blow up paddle boards.  Until then, I didn’t even know they existed.  I just assumed they were hard plastic like a surfboard.  That is what I had used previously.

And our safety was a number 1 priority with them.  He made sure my son had his life jacket on properly and I had mine in place as well.  They also made sure we were tethered to the board with an ankle strap.  Which now that I think back to it, we didn’t have those when I had gone previously.  It made me feel a lot better about it in case we were to fall off.  We wouldn’t be stuck out in the lake with the board floating away from us.

After a few on land instructions and safety in check, we were ready to hit the water.  I appreciated that they showed us on land first a few concepts in theory instead of on the water first so we had an idea and weren’t falling off all the time.  It was a bit windy and wavy that day, so we paddled out to a cove area to try and avoid the bulk of the waves.  My son struggled a little bit at the beginning just getting the hang of maneuvering the board, so the instructor tethered himself to his board and helped get him on track.  This allowed my son to get used to paddling and going in the right direction with less chance for him floating off away from us.  (I think this calmed my anxiety more than anything.)

Paddle Boarding one up one down
Photo Cred: @eastofsixsup

Once we got to the cove area, it was only a few minutes and my son was up on the board and loving it.   And before long, I was up as well.  I found the wind and waves definitely made it more of a challenge to get up and stay up, but I did it.  Truth be told, I did get dumped into the lake once.  My biggest fear about getting dumped in was not being able to get back up on the board.  With a little effort I got back up, can’t say that it was graceful, but I got back on.

Paddle Boarding and he's up
Photo Cred: @eastofsixsup

Once we got our sea legs, we were able to enjoy paddling around and enjoying the lake.  We were out for probably close to 2 hours and I know that by the end I knew we would both sleep well that night with all that fresh air and paddling effort.  I couldn’t have asked for a friendlier, patient and kind instructor for our day.  On the way home, into the evening and even the next day, my son kept going on about how much fun he had that day and how much he wanted to be able to go again.

Paddle Boarding we're both up
Photo Cred: @eastofsixsup

I know several friends have asked me about paddle boarding and expressed interest in doing so.  I have to say, it does take some effort but it was definitely a lot easier than I had originally anticipated and so much fun.  We are planning to go again this summer and I highly suggest you book your time with East of SIX SUP soon as I know they will book up quickly.

You can learn more about East of SIX SUP on their website and Instagram account.

Parenting/Life · Uncategorized

How To Get Rid Of Wrinkles Under The Eyes Even At Home?

I am happy to introduce Barbara Davis as a guest blogger to A Boy and His Mom:

About the author:

Barbara Davis spends most of her time writing about all significant aspects of motherhood and pregnancy. She relates both her personal and professional experiences to the kind of useful content she creates on a daily basis. Her passion towards providing practical information has encouraged her to expand her knowledge about these topics. And it’s this particular element that readers love to connect with.

How To Get Rid Of Wrinkles Under The Eyes Even At Home?

Photo credit: dailyhealthandbeautytips.com

Worrying about getting old is something that we all do. So when it comes to wrinkles, the anxiety increases further. And it’s the lines that develop under the eyes that we’re so scared of, aren’t we? So in this article, I’m going to discuss how to get rid of wrinkles under the eyes.

Now you should know that aging is a natural process. Some people get wrinkles in their 20s and the others in their 30s or even later. It depends on several factors like nutritional habits, sun exposure, skin care, etc. So first, let’s find out what the causes are before we get into the best under eye wrinkle treatment methods.

Causes of wrinkles under the eyes

  • Sun Exposure
Photo credit: reliantmedicalgroup.org

There’s a reason why you see people wearing sunglasses and large hats. When walking out in the sun without a hat or sunglasses, we tend to squint a little too much, don’t we?

Combine this facial movement with the sun’s harmful UV rays, and you have a recipe for developing under eye fine lines and wrinkles. So the next time you step out for a walk in the day, carry the essentials and avoid squinting. Even a sunscreen goes a long way in providing sun protection.

[YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSJITdsTze0]

  • Smoking

If you want to know how to get rid of wrinkles under the eyes, then you’ve got to stop smoking. What smoking does is constrict the blood vessels present in the skin’s outer layer. And this tends to reduce blood circulation. So your skin doesn’t receive enough nutrients and moisture.

This constitutes as another reason to stop smoking!

  • Aging
Photo credit: myawesomebeauty.com

As I’ve stated earlier, aging is a natural process. And eye wrinkling is a part of that. As you age, your skin becomes thinner and dryer. This makes the surface of the skin less elastic, thus encouraging the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.

  • Poor Skin Care

Keeping the skin moisturized is not only important but also necessary. When wrinkles are surrounded by dry skin, every movement and emotion make the skin look older whenever it shifts. This is how fine lines and wrinkles seem darker and deeper.

  • Nutritional Habits
Photo credit: vkool.com

Chocolate and ice cream do sound like tasty treats, but they don’t contain vitamin E, vitamin C, and antioxidants. They also don’t have Omega-3 fatty acids. Such healthy elements are only present in hearty foods like fish, vegetables, and fruits.

So your nutritional habits play a significant role in the development of wrinkles under the eyes.

  • Genetic Factors

Take a close look at your grandmother and mother. If they have wrinkles, then you might get them too. Maternal side DNA passes down these kinds of aging signs. But there’s nothing to worry about here as getting wrinkles is as normal a part of life as getting old. And sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you cannot slow down the process.

Now that we know why you get wrinkles under eyes when smiling, it’s time to learn how to get rid of them.

How to Get Rid of Wrinkles under the Eyes?

Fine line and wrinkles may be a natural occurrence, but you can control the process. This does not mean opting for medical or surgical procedures. Under eye wrinkle treatment is something that you can do even at home and that too with natural ingredients. So let’s find out what these methods are.

  1. Maintain a healthy diet
Photo credit: rd.com

A proper diet is essential for a healthy body, isn’t it? This includes skin and hair. You should know that the absence of collagen in the system gives rise to wrinkles under the eyes. Collagen is responsible for filling our facial area in such a way that it makes the skin look youthful and tight.

So a hearty diet includes foods like fish, leafy vegetables, and fruits. These contain sufficient amounts of minerals, proteins, and antioxidants to keep the skin looking fresh and healthy.

  1. Sleep well

Do you get up at night more often? Do you get enough sleep every night? These are some questions that you need to ask yourself if you’re worried about under eye wrinkles. If you want to know how to get rid of wrinkles under the eyes, then you should get at least eight hours of sleep every night.

But this might be difficult to come by if you’re a new mom. You might have to change your baby’s nighttime diaper at 2 or 4 a.m. And this can mess with your sleeping schedule. So it’s important that you make up for these hours by sleeping for a while in the day.

In fact, not just the skin, a good night’s sleep also keeps the body and mental state of mind in good condition.

[YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gedoSfZvBgE]

  1. Keep yourself hydrated
Photo credit: onedio.com

Everybody know this, am I right? Our skin needs water to remain radiant-looking and healthy. So it’s important to consume plenty of water, as much as your body needs per day.

You can also make it a habit of splashing water into your eyes every morning as you wake up. This is considered to be one of the most effective treatments for dark circles and wrinkles under the eyes.

  1. Place cucumber slices on your eyes
Photo credit: beautyglimpse.com

Cucumber does help when you put it directly on the eyes. Leave it like that for 15 minutes daily, and you’ll see a significant reduction in fine lines.

Another excellent remedy is applying cucumber juice around the eyes. Again, you can wash it off after 10-15 minutes.

  1. Apply pineapple juice

Pineapple contains bromelain, which does a great job at reducing inflammation. The delicious yellow fruit also has alpha hydroxyl. This is an acid responsible for eliminating skin aging signs such as wrinkles. And wait, that’s not it!

There’s an astringent found in pineapple that contributes to getting rid of sensitive skin cells present under your eyes. So what you need to do is apply the juice on the entire face and leave it for not more than 20 minutes.

Don’t forget to use a thick layer under the eyes. This makes the skin soft and more elastic, thus preventing the formation of wrinkles.

  1. Hydrate the under eye region with olive oil
Photo credit: naturalskincarejunkie.com

How to get rid of wrinkles under the eyes using olive oil? Here’s how you should make the most of olive oil for eliminating fine lines and wrinkles. Just apply some oil on the affected or sensitive zones under the eyes. Such a practice helps the skin retain its original moisture.

[YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAMBlM6XESs]

You can add lemon juice as well. But this part might be tricky as lemon tends to burn when it comes in contact with the eyes.

  1. Use honey and papaya mixture

The formation of fine lines under eyes in 20s is becoming a common occurrence due to unhealthy and stressful lifestyles. So how to prevent these wrinkles and fine lines?

The answer is quite simple. You can apply papaya juice mixed with honey on your face. The paste has excellent moisturizing properties. But make it a point to concentrate more on the under eye region.

The Final Note

Everybody wants to know how to get rid of wrinkles under the eyes in the most natural manner. So if you’re getting worried about this, then you should incorporate healthy habits and a proper diet.

The goal is to provide nourishment to the skin from within as much as the outside. This means eating fresh veggies and fruits along with drinking lots of water. You can also apply fresh juices extracted from cucumber, pineapple, and papaya in the under eye region.

And if you smoke, then now is the time to quit. Because smoking tends to speed up the aging process.

Are you planning on improving the quality of your skin and life by adopting these methods? Are there any other effective remedies to treat under eye wrinkles and fine lines?

Once you see the difference in your eyes, you will not want to stop just there. One thing always leads to another. Soon you’ll be posting pictures and writing articles yourself about how to stay fit and look fresh and healthy.

So let’s make that the ultimate goal of our life!

Thank you for reading. I hope to see you again soon.

 

Sources:

  1. https://myawesomebeauty.com/remove-under-eye-wrinkles/#Sun_Exposure
  2. http://www.findhomeremedy.com/home-remedies-for-wrinkles-under-eyes/
  3. https://beautyhealthtips.in/how-to-remove-eye-wrinkles-natural-remedies-to-treat-wrinkles-under-eyes/

 

Parenting/Life · Uncategorized

The Greatest List of Summer – Must Reads

Summer is here and I have teamed up with some other great bloggers to bring you your one stop list of great summer ideas.  We have recipes and fun activities to do at home and visit.

RECIPES

Easy Peasy Pinwheels | A Boy and His Mom

Link: https://aboyandhismom.com/recipe/pinwheels/

With summer parties and BBQs in full swing, here’s an easy recipe that the other guests will not only enjoy but ask you to bring again.

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Quick and Easy Freezer Pops | Happily Ever Hauser

Link: http://www.happilyeverhauser.com/2017/06/10/freezer-pop-party-favors/

Summer is here!! This means celebrations, birthday parties, BBQs and more! Here’s a quick and easy party favor idea to add to your next summer gathering!

 

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Summer Italian Treat: Affogato | Viva la Dolce

Link: http://www.vivaladolce.com/2017/06/summer-italian-treat-affogato.html?m=1

The summer is here and that means sunshine and lots of gelato (ice cream)! Check out this delicious recipe for an Italian twist on the classic summer treat!

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Summer Crab Salad Recipe | Ordinary Stephanie

Link: http://ordinarystephanie.com/summer-crab-salad-recipe/

Summer is here and the temperatures are already rising!! If you are looking for a yummy and fresh salad recipe check out this one out! After all, who wants to turn on the oven or stove on these hot summer days? Enjoy!

 

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Summer Activities

Disneyland Time-Saving Tips from a Local Mom | Mom and Carrot

Link: https://momandcarrot.com/disneyland-time-saving-secrets-from-a-local-mom/

Are you heading to the Disneyland resort this summer? Here are great tips from a local mom for seeing the resort when you are short on time, including how to beat food lines and how to go through security check-points quicker. This post will help you see more and do more on your next trip!

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Minimalistic Beach Days | Live Love Learn Gracefully

Link: http://livelovelearngracefully.com/minimalistic-beach-days/

Whether you live at the beach or visit one throughout the summer, beach days are a blast on hot summer days! If you add kids to the mix, you’ll more than likely be taking everything but the kitchen sink with you! Here are some tips and my top 5 favorite things to take to the beach!

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Disney Summer Play Days | New Adventures in Mommyhood

Link https://newadventuresinmommyhood.wordpress.com/

The summer is a great time to take on new adventures and try some new activities; specially as the kiddos start to get restless.

Did you know that the Disney Store offers a free annual summer long weekly event?

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5 Things to Research Before You Head Out This Summer | A Life with a Little

Link: http://www.alifewithalittle.com/2017/06/19/5_things_research_summer_activities/

This summer means fun in the sun, barbecues and hot dogs, cool drinks, exploring with the kids, and enjoying some much needed relaxation. But before you get out in the sun, check out this list of 5 things you should research BEFORE you head out on your summer plans! Here are 5 things you might not think to research about the places you’ll go, so give it a look and see what you need to think about before the kids drag you out of the house!

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Fun Activities At Home

#PayFunForward Summer Fun – Surprise Packs | Travels With Tots

Link: https://travelswithtotsblog.com/2017/06/12/payfunforward-summer-fun-surprise-packs/

Summer is finally here and it’s a great time to spread some cheer around your neighborhood! Here’s how we did it and how you can, too!

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Summer Activities for Kids at Home | Jesus and Wine

Link: http://jesusandwine.com/summer-activities-to-do-at-home/

Summer is officially here, and we’re celebrating by listing 10 different summer activities you can do with your kids at home this summer! The best part? They’re inexpensive, involve little prep work, and they’re great for kids of any age! Keep your kids entertained and enjoying summer with these fun activities!

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Top 5 Best Water & Sensory Tables of 2017 | Little Bit of Learning

Link: http://www.littlebitoflearning.com/top-5-best-water-sensory-tables-2017/

It’s hard to stay cool during the summer and keep your kids actively engaged in play. That’s why I love these water tables! Your porch will be the hit this summer with these engaging water tables plus some ideas for great sensory add-ons!

Recipes · Uncategorized

Meals made easy with Hello Fresh

Disclosure:  Although items is this post were provided to me, all comments, opinions and photos are my own.  This post may also contain affiliate links.

Most parents will agree that making healthy meals after a long day at work can sometimes feel like more work than the 8 hour day they just put in.  Some meals may be easier than others to pull together but let’s be honest, we can’t rely on grilled cheese and soup every night now can we?  Once in a while having everything pulled together for me so all I have to do is assemble and cook makes meal time a real pleasure.

I have seen advertisements for several different meal delivery services and the concept to me was something I knew I wanted to try.  Luckily, Hello Fresh is now available in Canada and I couldn’t wait to give it a go.   Having meals delivered to my door with all the ingredients in their own little box ready for me to prepare sounded amazing after a hard day at work.

Meals delivered in a box

Hello Fresh has several different plans available based on your family size and dietary needs.  And each week there are different menus for you to try.  That is one of the key features that I loved about them.  I love trying new recipes to add to our rotation but hate buying all the different ingredients that we don’t normally use unless I know it’s going to be a winner.  This way you can try new meal ideas without a ton of leftovers that you will never use again sitting in your cupboards.  And you’re not locked into having deliveries every week, you can put your account on hold whenever you need/want to.

Meals in box

Because it is just my son and I, we got the Pronto Box and each box made the perfect size meals to feed the both of us.  I really liked the portion size as it was just enough to make us both feel full but not overstuffed. I have a bad habit of making too much food and it going to waste.  The produce and meat were as fresh as if I had picked up from the grocery store myself that day.

The 3 meals that we enjoyed were the BBQ Sausage Skewers, Dukkah Steak and  Honey Sesame Chicken.  I can’t even say which one was my favorite because I loved each one of them.  My son tried the sausage skewers and the sesame chicken and he says the chicken was his favorite.

The one thing that I really liked is that each of the meals came with a detailed recipe card so that I can recreate these meals again using our own ingredients.  meals recipes

This service was everything I had hoped it would be.  I plan to order again in the coming weeks and especially come the fall when we’re back to school and dinner time can be a little more hectic.

If you want to try this service, use the code ABOYANDHISMOM at checkout and for $30 off the first and second box ($60 total) that you order.

Parenting/Life · Uncategorized

Preventing Brain Drain with #LevelUpKids

This post is part of the YummyMummyClub.ca and #LevelUpKids sponsored program. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. This post reflects my personal opinion about the information provided by the sponsors.

Your kids have worked hard all year learning and the last thing you want is for your kids to lose all the learning over the summer.  Sure we want them to get outside and enjoy the warm weather but enrolling them in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) based camp this summer not only prevents the dreaded brain drain but also teaches them new and exciting technology based skills.   Level Up Kids is that perfect camp.

Level Up Kids offers summer camps for kids ages 7-14 with locations across Canada that give kids a jump start in learning coding technology that will be needed a vast array of jobs in the future and not just programming a computer.  With camps such as Minecraft Adventure,  Game Design and Development with Scratch and Adventures in Programming, there is a wide variety of camps to suit your child’s interest.  Do you have a daughter that loves all things computers but not sure if she wants to be in a camp with a bunch of boys? Coding Girls is all about entrepreneurship, leadership and empowerment while learning to code with only girls.

 Kids at the summer camps will also learn:

  1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. Students learn to understand the problem, find a way to attack it, and work until it is done and they can pass to the next level.

  2.   Reason abstractly and  quantitatively. Students learn that it helps to break down complex problems into simpler ones. Designing algorithms requires using logic and abstract thinking.

  3.   Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. Students will work together, exchange ideas, and discuss various strategies to solve the problems.

  4.  Model with Mathematics While working through different programs, students will use X and Y coordinates, spatial directions, find shortest paths, measure distances, calculate areas, work with random numbers and more.

  5. Use appropriate tools strategically. Most programming tasks can be solved in several different ways. Students learn that selecting the appropriate tool can save them time and effort.

  6. Attend to precision. For a computer program to work, the logic of the underlying algorithm must be precise, and moreover the program needs to be written and formatted very carefully.

  7. Look for and make use of structure. Looking for patterns and making use of structure is a fundamental component of computer programming. Students learn that finding a pattern simplifies the logic, and makes the solution of the problem easier.

  8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning. Computer programming teaches students to generalize their thinking. They learn to use solutions to previously solved problems to attack more complicated ones.

If your child is anything like mine, they are obsessed with their tablets and computers,  why not have them learning the technology behind them and how they can use that knowledge to create things?  In a camp setting where kids are making new friends and in an exciting environment, learning is fun.  Not only are they learning about technology but they are learning about problem solving, creativity, team work and more.  And kids learn more when they actually enjoy it.

The camps are set up with a school like environment with personalized instruction but also includes frequent breaks for exciting outdoor activities to help the kids burn off some energy.

My son is fairly tech savvy even at his young age so and has used several of the programs taught at the camps, so I was a little concerned about how much he would actually learn at the camps and didn’t want him to be bored.  We were recently invited to an event by Level Up Kids to learn more about what they had to offer.

I was so glad that we attended this event.  From the moment we got there. my son was right in on the action and excited to see all the different types of technology they would learn at camp.  He was thrilled with the thought of attending the camp prior to event and now he is counting down until he gets to attend camp this summer.

Not only will my son be learning and enjoying a Level Up Kids camp this summer, but your child could too.  Level Up Kids is giving away 1 Week of Camp at any of their locations across Canada this summer, a value of $399.  (**Subject to availability**)  This offer is only available for the Summer 2017 programs and expires September 1, 2017.

Here’s how you can enter to win your child a week of Level Up Kids camp.  Contest open to residents of Canada, 18 years of age or older.  (Void in Quebec).  Contest ends June 3, 2017 12:00am.
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Parenting/Life · Uncategorized

How to Save Money as a Single Parent

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post, however, all opinions are strictly mine.

Raising a child alone is not an easy thing. Often, even as a couple, parents can feel overwhelmed by the day-to-day. Adding financial stress will only make this feeling worse, and make you short tempered, and stressed. Not the example we ever want to set for our kids! Here are a few tips that I’ve developed to help me save money over the years.

  1. Pay cash!

Debit and credit cards can make life easier, but they also make it a lot harder to keep track of what you’ve spent. When you use cash, you are sure to never sure to go over your budget. If you don’t have it, you can’t spend it! Right? It also helps your kids to understand the concept of money, and that a bank account doesn’t have an infinite supply.

  1. Make an appointment with your bank

No one likes going to the bank, however you can get a lot accomplished in one visit. By opening a savings account (TFSA, RRSP or RESP), you are sure that your money isn’t going to unnecessary items (more on how to avoid impulse shopping).

Even a small amount every month will make a difference in the long run. The earlier you start, the more your money will grow.

  1. Renegotiate your contracts

Both cable and cellphone companies understand the value of a customer. Calling and simply expressing an interest in changing suppliers can lead to discounts. While you’re at it, look at cancelling a few of those extra TV channels. Your time is better spent doing anything other than flipping through looking for something to watch. And if you’re really brave, cut the cord! For around $30 you can get a good quality antenna that will give you access to over a dozen HD channels.

  1. Make a budget, and stick to it and save.

First things first, make a plan. There are plenty of tools available to help organize your finances. The Government of Canada has a handy tool that helps you track your spending and identify opportunities to save.

Next is the sticking to it. That’s the hard part, in my humble opinion. These tips help me stay on track:

  • Daily monitoring: review your spending every day. It takes 2-3 minutes to review and can help keep you on track for the week.
  • Make a meal plan and only buy the groceries that you need for the week.  (And don’t go hungry to the store.)
  • Keep your bills. At the end of the week, review your purchases, and see if anything falls on the “did I really need this”
  • Pay cash: as I mentioned before, it’s a great way to make sure you don’t go over budget.

With these practical tips, you can learn to run your finances, and not let them run you. If only I could make that happen with my kid too!

Parenting/Life · Uncategorized

Don’t Put Your Eggs in One Basket

Egg in basket

Recently, I was at a blogging event and felt like something was wrong with one of my social media accounts.  I made a comment about it to a fellow blogger and her comment back to me was “this is why you don’t but all your eggs in one basket”.   Of course, I stewed about the account for a while but what she said really resonated with me.  We’ve all heard the “eggs in one basket” metaphor before, but now more than ever in my life, they are truly words to live by.

For the social media/blogging portion of my life, relying on one platform to support me is ridiculous.  For times like this, when you feel like something is wrong with an account, all your hard work could come to a grinding halt.  I know there are a lot of people out there that think that blogging is just getting free stuff and going to fun events.  I wish that was the case.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining about the work it takes to blog, I am actually quite proud of the work I do, but I wish people outside the blogging realm understood the time it takes to actually maintain a blog.

In life, you can never put all your eggs in that one basket, for many reasons.

  1. Doing the same things over and over again gets boring.  Try something never, you never know where it will take you.  Maybe you will discover that you are really good at something that you never imagined yourself doing.
  2. Life will not always go as planned.  There will be curves and bumps in the road.  Remember that detailed birth plan you worked so hard on, only to end up with an emergency c-section and all those plans going right out the window?
  3. Always counting on something will never allow you to see what else is out there.  Sure, the grass is not always greener on the other side, but you won’t know until you try.
  4. You always want to be growing as a person, not one of those eggs just sitting in that basket.

So no matter how pretty that basket is that you have, never settle….always be wanting for more.  You never know what could be out there.

Parenting/Life · Uncategorized

Ten Years Ago……….

Ten years ago today I put on the dress, I took my Daddy’s arm to walk down that aisle, I said “I do”.  My head swirled with a future of white picket fences and happy endings.

Ten Years Later from above

Now ten years later, I didn’t get the happy ending that I envisioned that day, I have a different happy ending.  Sure, divorce is probably the farthest thing from the white picket fence life that I had wanted, but it doesn’t mean I still can’t have a life full of amazing memories and smiles.

Divorce doesn’t mean that I look back on my wedding day with bitterness and regret.  I still look back on my wedding day with fond memories and happiness.  Even pulling out my wedding album to get a few photos for this post did not bring any bad feelings.  Looking at those photos, I remember a day surrounded by friends and family, and nothing but pure joy.  At the moment, I could not have foretold the future that was ahead of me.

I look at those photos and I think…..Damn, I looked good.  And even through the worst of times, I never looked back on that day with an ounce of regret.

Ten Years Later Wedding Day

Because of that day, just over a  year later, I was able to see my greatest accomplishment.  The love of my life, my baby boy was born.  I didn’t know that kind of love existed until I held him in my arms.  And at that point I thought I had the perfect life…..until it all fell apart.

I am not going to dwell on how it all  came to and end, nor do I care to share it.  But the life that I thought that was all I ever wanted came to an end.  I was now a single Mom and didn’t know how I would ever get through it.

But I surprised myself, in fact, I think I have surprise a few people in my persistence to move forward and move onward with my life.  Sure, for the first few years, I let life get the best of me.  I allowed my sorrow and pain define me.  But one day I decided to stand up, and be the person I needed to be.  Not only for me, but for my son.

He needed a mother that was a role model, that made the best of what life was handed to her and not to dwell on the past.  Hardships make you stronger, not weaker. And moving forward was the best thing that could ever happen to me.  I was able to realize that was handed to me in life, was there for a reason.

And now ten years later, I have a family that supports me and loves me through thick of thin.  I have friends, some old and now some new that love me unconditionally and although I know I sometimes sound like a broken record, they still listen and tell me everything I am doing is okay.  Some of these friends, I would never had known had my life had taken that curve in the road.

My relationship with my son is more than I could have ever hoped for.  I look forward to every minute I am able to spend with him instead of looking for “me time”.  I get enough of that when he is not with me.  We make the best of the time we spend together instead of just allow each day to pass by without it having a reason. There are things we have done, places we have gone, that I don’t think we would have ever done if life hadn’t taken the path that it did.

Divorce does not have to be the end of the perfect life you pictured on the day you said your I do’s.  It just paints a different picture.  A picture that can mean bigger and better things.  A life that means a greater appreciation and stronger relationship with your children, your family, your friends.

Ten Years Later Flowers

Wedding Day Photos credit:  Danielle Wilson Photography – the most amazing wedding photographer a girl could ever ask for.  Thank you for capturing that day.

Recipes · Uncategorized

Meal planning and why it’s so important

I don’t know about you, but there is nothing worse than needing to start dinner and either not having a clue what to make or opening the refrigerator door and not having half of the ingredients for what you want to make.  That is why meal planning is so important to me.

Meal planning - what to make
I have no idea what to make here!

It basically comes down to 4 reasons why meal planning it a must in my home:

  1.  Saves Money

    In my case, I am a single parent on a single income, so the last thing I want to do is waste money on food that is  going to sit in the cupboard or refrigerator uneaten.  Having a list of only the items that I need for the upcoming meals means there is less temptation to buy those chocolate cookies that I don’t need or those extra items that I really don’t need just because they are on sale.  Using an app like Flipp is also great so that you can price match the items that are on your list instead of driving around store to store to get the best deals.

  2. Less Waste

    There is nothing worse than cleaning out my refrigerator each week and tossing out dollar after dollar of food that went to waste because it didn’t get used.  I have to admit, I was really slack about meal planning the past few weeks.  My refrigerator always had food in it, but never exactly what I needed when it came down to it at meal time.  This week with a meal plan ready to go, I started to clean out what was now inedible to make room for the new groceries that I needed to buy.  I was completely annoyed with myself at the amount of waste and the dollars that I could have used elsewhere that was going into the compost bin.

    Less waste with meal planning
    This isn’t even the half of it. So much waste
  3. Healthier Meals

    I don’t know about you, but without a meal plan in place, it is WAY to easy jump in the car and head out for a meal.  With meal planning, you can ensure you have vegetables or salad as a side dish for your meal and that the meal itself is made with healthier ingredients.  Don’t get me wrong, we love a good mac & cheese dinner or hot dogs on occasion but I need to make sure there is a healthy side to go along with it.  I am firm believer of everything in moderation but if you don’t have things readily available, it is way to easy to go to the quick and easy meals that aren’t always the healthiest.

  4. Less Stress

    When you’ve gotten home from work and the kids are now home from school and you have an evening full of homework, extra-curricular activities, getting ready for the next day and you then add trying to get a nutritious meal on the table that the whole family will eat, the stress levels can go thru the roof.  If you at least have a game plan in place for dinner and all the items you need to pull it all together, hopefully you can reduce the stress that comes along with dinner time.  Having a list means that crockpot stew that needs to cook all day can easily be on the menu if you have the ingredients ahead of time and can get it going the morning you want to have it.

So each week, I sit down and make a list of the meals we will eat and make my grocery list accordingly.  Depending on our schedule for the upcoming week, I either assign a specific meal to each day of the week or plan on a certain number of meals and pick one of said meals each day.  The latter, only works well if we don’t have a lot going on and the meals don’t have a huge prep time.

If meal planning isn’t something you have done in the past, I highly suggest you give it a try.  It could make a world of difference.