WHAT'S ON OUR SPRING CLEANING CHECKLIST

WHAT'S ON OUR SPRING CLEANING CHECKLIST

You guys...SPRING IS ALMOST HERE!!!! We've had a late-ish winter for us up here as our daffodils are just starting to bloom (they usually start blooming in early February!) 

With Spring just around the corner, I started to make a Spring Bucket List (which I'll share in a couple weeks) and believe it, or not, SPRING CLEANING is on that list.

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5 TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL DAY ROAD TRIP WITH A BABY


Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CanadianTire #QuakerState #CollectiveBias

Tips for a summer road trip with a baby!

We happen to live in the most beautiful part of the world (ok, I may be a little bit biased!) But for reals, the West Coast of Canada is crazy beautiful and we're lucky to live a few hours drive from some amazing summer destinations. 

Before we had Luca, we road tripped all the time. We've driven to California a couple times and always loved escaping north to Tofino. A five hour drive was nothing to us. Having a baby complicated things. Especially when you're an A-type/schedule based mama like myself, ha!

But sometimes you need to go off your baby's schedule and create some family memories...am I right!!! The other week we did just that...I suggested to my hubby that we load up our SUV and hit a cute beach town a few hours north of us and he was so game.

Even though everything didn't go as planned (locked keys in the car, baby lost his hat, multiple blowouts, etc, etc) it turned out to be SUCH a fun day and a successful road trip!

Here are 5 tips to plan that successful day road trip with a baby:

1. Be prepared to go off schedule.

Take a deep breath and remind yourself that you probably won't stick to your baby's schedule. If baby doesn't have amazing naps, it's going to be okay. This was a hard one for me as I'm so OCD but honestly, just mentally preparing myself that naps weren't going to be regular, totally chilled me out and made me enjoy the day!

2. Change your car oil with Quaker State® Ultimate Durability™ Full Synthetic Motor Oil.

Having a current oil change is SO important. Quaker State® Ultimate Durability™ Full Synthetic Motor Oil is available at Canadian Tire for such a great price too!

Planning a road trip with a baby
5 Tips for a successful roadtrip with a baby!

It is so important to make sure your vehicle is good to go...seriously no one wants to waste precious adventure time broken down on the side of the row. Ensure that you buy the correct oil for your vehicle. You can always ask an employee at Canadian Tire to help you out!

3. Load your vehicle with healthy snacks.

A wise mama once told me to always have snacks on hand. And honestly I took her advice to heart. Snacks were given numerous times to avoid meltdowns. Make sure they're healthy and you're good to go!

4. Pack more equipment than you need...because you'll probably need it.

We were heading to the beach so we made sure we packed our shade tent for Luca. Sadly we forgot to pack beach chairs for ourselves! Speaking of beach chairs, Canadian Tire has some seriously cute and practical beach equipment. They totally live up to their tagline: Made for Life in Canada.

Also remember to pack changes of clothes for (baby AND you), more diapers and wipes than you think you'll need, and lots of water. I'm so thankful we had a flat of water bottles in the back because we may have had to use some to wash our hands after changing a blow out in the trunk, ha.

5. Break up the drive with stops.

Little Luca was getting pretty fussy after about an hour on the road. Instead of driving onward with a cranky baby, we stopped at a train museum that was on the way. It turned out to be such a good idea. He was able to run off some energy, ride a choo choo train and then quickly fell asleep as soon as we got back on the road.  

Road Tripping with a baby

Hope you can use these tips to make some family memories! Happy road trip adventures! You got this mamas!!!

XO,
laura

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BUDGETING AS A MARRIED COUPLE


Setting a budget as a married couple

So remember when we talked about budgeting a couple of months ago? I shared why I started budgeting and how I got out of debt and today I'm sharing all about budgeting as a married couple. I'd love to say that budgeting is simply a THRILLING topic to talk about in your marriage but you all would know that I'd be straight up LYING. It can be fun at times, but at other times it can be just dreadful...because no one wants to be the one crushing the dreams and talking about money (or lack of) all the time. Money is a funny thing that can be used to make people distracted/angry/greedy/etc or it can be something that is used to glorify God. We try to make it the latter.

As I wrote before, it is very important to me to be accountable to every dollar I make. This was very easy for me as a single person with one debit card BUT add another person and another debit card and this can get a little bit tricky. This is where something like MINT sets you up for a win.

Budgeting as a married couple

Before we got married, we sat down on mint and created a budget that we thought would work for us. With mint, you connect all your accounts and credit cards and then all your transactions start appearing. You can then organize those onto different budgets. Mint shows you where all your money is going.

I'd love to say every month, we're under or on budget but nope we're still learning. Some weeks I'm so busy I barely go on Mint and then all of a sudden I check and I'm all like OH MY GOSH WE HAVE $20 IN THE GROCERY BUDGET TO LAST US UNTIL THE END OF THE MONTH. Food is the #1 budget we go over in...ha.

We're not experts but here's the advice I have for you on budgeting as a married couple.

1. SET YOUR BUDGET ACCORDING TO YOUR PRIORITIES/GOALS

It's good to get on the same page as a married couple on where you want to spend your money. Is saving up for a house a priority? Do you tithe? And how much? (Ps. I'll be talking about tithing next week!) For us, tithing is a HUGE priority so we make sure it's clearly in our budget. Do you have a clothing allowance? Set the budget and be willing to compromise.

2. LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS

Be wise. Budgeting is all about living with in (and under) your means. But as a married couple sometimes you can get carried away with things (travelling, new cars, buying expensive clothes, house renovations). For us it's real hard to not dive into renos...our bathroom doesn't even have baseboards BUT we know right now we're not financially set up for that so we make do with what we have. 

3. DON'T LET MONEY COME BETWEEN YOU

It's real easy to fight about money. Those fights are never worth it. Money comes and goes. Your relationship happiness should not depend on what is in the bank. Stressed about money? Make a plan, set a budget and stick to it. Determine to not let money come between your relationship.

above image taken by Amy Gary Photography

I'd love to hear your tips for budgeting as a married couple! Please share them in the comments :)

xo,

s.s.♥︎.

 

WHY I STARTED BUDGETING AND HOW IT GOT ME OUTTA DEBT


image via teen vogue

So I'm going to be all real talk with ya. It's time we talk about money on this blog. Money is an awkward subject but it doesn't have to be awkward. When I sent out my reader surveys one of you said they would love to see me talk about money/budgeting on here and I was like boooyah!

See I haven't always been good with money. There were times in my life when I was really, really bad with money.

I got a job at a young age (hello times colonist paper route!) and learned what it was to be making money. As soon as I was 16, I got a day job and soon after that I got another. I loved working and making money...what I didn't love was saving money. When I had money, I spent it because, duh, that's what money is for...right? (that's my 17 year old self speaking!)

I got my first credit card when I was 19....at first I was very good with it. But then I wanted to go to Europe and then Europe again and then New York and then many, many concerts and then many, many shopping trips to Vancouver...oh and I got a car loan somewhere in there. 

Let's just say I went on a five year shopping spree....it was bad, very bad. In those times I didn't like to think of my financial situation. It was just something that I would sweep under the rug and hope that one day in the distant future, I'd get my stuff together.

And then one day, I had a conversation. Don't you love it when conversations can change your life??? And I don't want to hype this at all...I didn't go to some seminar to learn how to get out of debt...and no offence to people who go to those seminars, but you really don't need to go to those seminars....actually you probably shouldn't pay for a course to get out of debt...you should just GET OUTTA DEBT...ok rant over....

Back to the conversation....

I had a friend over for dinner and she told me about budgeting. She shared with me how she wanted to get out of debt and how she needed to make some changes to her spending. She gave me the name of this Christian finance dude (Dave Ramsey). I looked at his site online and figured out his budgeting system (you don't need to pay for a program, it's pretty self explanatory).

And then I started budgeting (and working my butt off!!) and 10 months later I was OUT OF DEBT. Now that was a good feeling.

So I wanted to encourage you....if you are in debt, there is a way out!! But it's not some quick and easy solution. If you're serious about getting out, let me tell you, it's going to be hard BUT you got this. You so got this.

 In the next few posts I'm going to be talking about budgeting, breaking it down, showing you how to make a budget, and how James and I make a budget as a married couple. Yeeeehaw.

Happy Monday friends!

s.s.♥︎.