How to pack for an unexpected last minute Trip

how to pack, last minute, impromptu, trip, luggage, quick, checklist, guide, vacation, trip, tips

I recently had to take a last minute road trip to Ottawa for a family emergency. I got the call from work, rushed home and had to pack as quickly as possible for both myself and Link. Flustered as I was, I managed to pack everything I needed without forgetting too many items. Having to pack for a trip is cumbersome enough, but packing for an unexpected last minute trip with less than an hour to spare….that’s just crazy! I came up with a few tips that can help anyone pack for an impromptu trip.

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Challenge #1 – Clean and Organize your Entryway/Foyer

clean,organize, challenge, home, house, foyer, front, entryway, after, de-clutter

The thought of doing a major overhaul of my life is a daunting thought. I figure the best place to start is to organize my home. Okay, that’s a huge task in itself, let’s break it down even more. So I started at our entryway/foyer, the first place you see when you enter our home. By only concentrating on organizing one area at a time, the task doesn’t seem so overwhelming and I actually was getting stuff done. Here’s how it went down

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Embrace Minimalism

embrace a minimalist lifestyle and enjoy true freedom

As I go down this financial makeover I’ve come to terms with the fact that I am going to have to really pare down around here. I’ve spent the last month refraining from any unnecessary shopping and spending because I’ve been on maternity leave which has forced me to live on 60% of my income. Having done this I know it’s doable. I can continue to do this even though I am back to work now. Take a look around your home and ask yourself “Do I really need all this stuff? What does all this stuff mean to me? What does it do for me?”. The answers may surprise you.

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How to save money on your utility Bills

how to save money on your utility bills

By making a few simple changes in your everyday routine and investing a little money in tweaking your home now, you can end up saving big bucks on your utility bills in the long run. These are some great tips that are beyond the obvious and anyone can do without compromising your quality of life, or as I like to call it: without going full ghetto

1.Get a programmable Thermostat

  • set it to a lower temperature when you’re at work during the day when energy costs are the highest, and turn it up about half an hour before you get home so it’s nice and warm for you
  • receive a $25 credit on your Union Gas bill when you purchase any programmable thermostat
  • save up to $100/yr in energy costs

2. Install a rainfall shower Head

  • save up to $100/year in water-heating costs
  • delivers lots of pressure but uses only half the water
  • plus it looks and feels luxurious

3. Weather strip and caulk your windows and door Cracks

  • stop warm air from escaping and cold air from coming into your house
  • wasting 40% of home’s heating dollars

4. Make your curtains work for You

  • during the day open your curtains to warm your home up and close them to keep out the chill at night

5. Change your filters every 3 months

  • a clean furnace works more efficiently

6. Do the laundry and run the dishwasher during off-peak hours

  • 7 pm to 7 am, and weekends

7. Switch out your light bulbs to energy star bulbs (aka. the coiled ones)

  • uses 75% less energy than the regular ones

Do you have any money-saving tips when it comes to your utility bills? Please share in the comments below, I’d love to read them!

Main Photo Credit: Brendan Wood via

How to make your New Year’s Resolutions Stick – Finances

Make your new year's resolutions stick

Happy New Years everyone! Now that we are well into 2016 let’s revisit those resolutions you made at the beginning of the year. You made them with good intentions to fully follow through and you jumped eagerly into making them happen. January is a good month for gyms and a bad month for retail stores as we attempt to recover from the excesses of the holidays. But what happens in February? After the thrill of “making a change”, some of us all too often slump back into old habits and abandon our resolutions. Some of us, but not you, right? With the help of a few easy tools and hacks, we are going to make 2016 the year we stick to our resolutions. Let’s start with our financial resolutions – because you know how fun those are.

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6 Things to do all day with your baby to stay sane and Entertained

Having a baby is magical but nobody tells you how boring and lonely it can get. Here's a few suggestions on what to do with your 0-12 month old baby all day to keep both of you happy, entertained and sane!

When I found out I was pregnant I was super excited for maternity leave. It meant an entire year of freed up weekdays. Since joining the 8-5 work grind I had really missed my free weekdays. Of course this was pre-children days when I thought I would be super woman and get a whole bunch of things done. Little did I know how much time this little guy would take up.

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