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Kitchen Reno On A Budget: Part 1

Kitchen Reno on a Budget. My plan to find the money I need to give my kitchen a makeover!

I am very grateful for the beautiful and comfortable home that we are lucky enough to have.  But the kitchen is TINY.  Only one person will fit in it at a time.  People offer to help me cook or clean up and I have to decline because they won’t fit and they’d just be in my way!  (I’m still grateful, I promise.)  So I’ve started this series to document our journey of doing a kitchen reno on a budget.

We’ve dreamed and schemed up ways to improve the kitchen, but short of a major gut job (which we need to win the lottery to afford), there’s not much we can do.  The layout of the main floor is such that there’s really no where to expand to.

So we’ve decided we’re going to make the small improvements that are realistic plus pretty it up as much as possible.

There’s just one problem.

We have a $0 budget.

My plan to find the money I need to give my kitchen a makeover!

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How to Easily Save Money on Groceries

I don’t shop at multiple stores.  I don’t spend hours searching for the best deal.  I don’t spend time price-matching.  I’m a busy mom, I don’t have time for all that.  It takes me less than 1 hour a week to save 28% on my groceries.  You can totally start using my system today!  It’s easy peasy.

Frugal Mom: Learn my simple system for saving 28% on your grocery bill!

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My husband just finished his university degree.  Which is AMAZING because it’s been a really hard 3 years for all of us.  But now we are facing the mountain of student debt and it’s threatening to crush us.  Yikes.

We’ve developed a strict budget and one of my main contributions is making sure we stay on budget for groceries.  It’s no easy task.  Food is expensive!  It breaks my heart that it would be way cheaper for me to feed my family junk food than real food.  But that’s a rant for another day.

I’ve accepted the challenges and developed a system that is working really well to keep us under budget every week by saving an average of 28% on our weekly grocery bill.  I mean, it’s no ‘Extreme Couponing’ type of savings, but it’s realistic & maintainable and takes me less than 1 hour of prep to accomplish.

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The Best Resources to Help Simplify Life with Little Ones

Are you a mom? Are you busy? Then you need this list!

Mom life is busy, hard & tiring.  But also wonderful, precious & magical.  We’re exhausted, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.  The little people in our lives challenge us every day, but the kisses and cuddles are the sweet little joys of motherhood.

Mom life is so busy! Thankfully technology has given us so many tools and resources to help simplify things a bit!

Our modern culture doesn’t seem to foster the ‘village’ attitude that once existed.  In the past, we would have had our mothers, friends, sisters living nearby to help out and we’d meet other like-minded moms in our neighbourhoods.  We seem so much more isolated these days.  Getting an afternoon of help requires planning weeks in advance and it’s almost not worth it in the end.

But thankfully technology has evolved in such a way that it helps us stay at least virtually connected.  And there are in fact a ton of tools and resources available to help simplify family life!

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Bad Housekeeping: A Mom’s Guide to Surviving the Chaos

Motherhood is messy.  In all the ways, motherhood is messy.  It makes a mess of our emotions, our expectations and our home.  These tiny humans enter our lives and hearts and they challenge us every day to grow and give and bend.  And although we’re totally exhausted, we wouldn’t have it any other way.  Except maybe it would be nice to not have so much laundry.  Seriously, where does it all come from?!

And we are busy.  Modern moms are so busy.  Many of us work outside the home, we often don’t have help in the form of nearby relatives and our communities are so spread out that we are constantly driving long distances to activities.  At the end of the day, something’s gotta give and my vote’s on the housework.  After all, life’s too short to fold fitted sheets.

Motherhood can get messy. Here are some tips for managing your home when it seems out of control!

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The Essential Guide to Preparing for a Cake Smash

If you’ve been planning to schedule a Cake Smash photo shoot for your little one’s first birthday, then you’ve come to the right place.  You MUST read this guide and print out the checklist to ensure a stress-free session and adorable pictures!

A Parent's Essential Guide to Preparing for a Cake Smash Photo Shoot. With a free printable checklist so you don't forget anything!

A first birthday is an emotional milestone for mama and babe and it’s a time you’ll want to remember!  There are so many great ideas out there for insanely cute cake smash themes, props and styles.  But have you taken the time to think about the logistics of planning a potentially complex photo session when the main character may decide to be uncooperative?

Here are some tips to consider that will help enormously with scoring a successful shoot.

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The ONE thing I use that keeps my kids calm in the car

Are you looking for an EASY way to maintain peace between your children while in the car? Try my trick!

Picture this: You’ve been working hard all day, you’re hungry and it’s time to pick up the kids.  You’ve got 2+ kids in the car, everyone is irritable and tired and one of them dares to inch his little finger across the imaginary line of division between their carseats.  The screaming begins.  The older one grabs the little one’s blankie and tosses it on the (filthy) car floor.  Little one starts bawling.  Older one won’t apologize or cooperate.  You’ve got your arm painfully twisted behind your seat grasping desperately for a blankie you can’t reach while tossing goldfish crackers at the both of them in an attempt to quiet the hollering.  Also you’re trying to navigate rush hour traffic and there’s no way you can pull over and count to 10.  You start losing your (fragile) cool.  Does this sound familiar?

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How to Avoid Getting Overwhelmed by Housework

Managing a home, family and personal pursuits can be totally overwhelming. Here's how to deal.

We are a unique generation of Moms. We are often isolated from family and wrestling with our desire to be both amazing homemakers and fulfilled either creatively or professionally.

We were constantly told as children that we can be and do anything we want.  Yet we are not so far from the generation of our mothers and grandmothers who stayed home and created a beautiful family life often with the help of relatives who lived nearby.

We are conflicted.

At the very centre of that conflict is our home.  It’s where we do daily battle.  It’s where life catches up with us and we give ourselves a hard time for not ‘having it all together’.

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Moms Don’t Get Sick Days. Eight Tips for Surviving Illness + Children

It's no secret that life doesn't stop just because Mom's got a cold. So here are 8 tips to help manage family life + sickness.

Surprise!  When you’re a mom you can’t call in sick!  There’s no one to call because you are the boss. (In theory, the kids might not know that part).  If you’re a stay at home mom or a work from home mom then you know all about this.  The workload doesn’t change but your ability to get off the couch is drastically reduced.  It’s one of those ‘joys’ of parenthood.

As with any other major disaster, the key to survival is to be prepared.  Here are 8 tips to help you get through the day when you feel like you’ve been run over by a bus.

1. Keep a stash of paper plates and plastic cups on hand for emergency use.  You don’t want to be doing dishes, but chances are if you don’t wash them then they pile up and up on your counters until the stack is blocking access to the Cheerios box.  Forget that.  Do yourself a favour and use the disposable dinnerware.

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My 4 Part Strategy for Gaining Confidence in Motherhood

Motherhood is so tough. You need all the confidence you can get! Check out the 4 steps I use to help me feel like a stronger more capable mother.

My journey into Motherhood began with a barrage of unsolicited advice and horror stories as soon as the strip turned pink.  My online world was overflowing with links to parenting blogs, articles and news stories, some were helpful while others were terrifying.  Mommy wars and the vicious judgements we pile on each other were surprising and disheartening.  Can you relate to my experience!?

When my first son arrived, I was totally overwhelmed.  Not just with the realities of day to day life with a tiny human, but also with the onslaught of information and conflicting opinions that were thrown at me.  I was so worried that I was doing it all wrong that I neglected to trust my mama instincts.

After my second boy was born I had a better idea of what I could and couldn’t control.  I had zero control over when and where a diaper blowout would occur, mama instincts don’t cover that.  But I could take these steps to make sure ‘parenting information overwhelm’ didn’t strike again.

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Top 10 Tips for Work at Home Moms

My best tips for gaining structure and success as a work at home mom.

I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit and I’m crafty, so naturally I’ve wanted to be a creative business owner since before I knew what that really meant.  It took me a while to find my ‘thing’ (wool felt!), I first tried several other crafty ideas.  I’ve also always wanted to be a stay at home mom, so I had to find a way to make those two dreams work together.

It’s hard work to be self-employed and work from home with kiddos running around, but it’s possible if you’re determined!  I want the flexibility of being self-employed so that I can be here when the kids get home from school, or if they need to be picked up.  There’s no need to miss a meeting or a soccer practice because I set my own hours.  I have systems in place that help me stay on track and succeed as a small business owner.  Here are my top 10 tips and a free printable to help you out with tip #3!

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