3 Budget Friendly Valentine’s Day Date Ideas

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Since Valentine’s Day is a few weeks away, I figured I would write about celebrating Valentine’s Day on a budget. I am aware some of us would want to elaborately go on dates but the truth is sometimes we simply can’t afford it. However, there are things we can do to celebrate without breaking the bank.

  • Netflix and chill. Literally Netflix and chill. Netflix offers a variety of films to choose from when you want to watch a movie but don’t feel like going out and spending the extra money. This is one of the best time to catch up on your favorite TV shows, watch (somewhat) new films / documentaries, or to simply cuddle up with your significant other while you have a Nicholas Sparks movie on. If anything, you might need to spend money on snacks but there is a big chance those would be readily available at home. It doesn’t even have to be Netflix. It can be Youtube, the sports channel, or your PVR and chill.
  • Celebrate on a different day. I find celebrating on Valentine’s Day itself a bit overwhelming. There’s this pressure of making sure the day / evening / date goes perfect. But see, you don’t need to celebrate on the 14th and here’s why:
    • It takes the pressure off. It allows you to just enjoy the time spent with your partner focusing more on each other.
    • Something is always happening on a different day. Take Tuesdays for example. Take advantage of Toonie Tuesday events. Some cinemas offers either $2.00 or half price on movies on Tuesdays. You still get to go and watch a movie without it costing too much.
  • Stay at home. Bake a cake or cupcakes. Have some wine. Sit on the porch and catch up with each other. Raid your DVD / Blu-Ray collection for old favourites. Cuddle. Have a bath together. Play a board game. Go for a walk even if it’s only around the block. Make supper together. There are a lot of things you can do at home to make the day special.

So there you have it. A few ideas to celebrate Valentine’s Day without breaking the bank. Remember though, Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be the only time we make our partners feel special. Also, what’s more important on this day is how we are able to set aside the time to simply enjoy each other’s company.

What about  you? What are your ideas for budget friendly Valentine’s Day activities?

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2018 GOALS: Life, Reading, Blogging and Project Life

2018 GOALS | Life, Reading, Blogging and Project Life
Photo by Warren Wong on Unsplash

The beginning of the year marks the time where everyone is writing about their goals and/or resolutions for the year. I lot of the blogs I follow have blog updates regarding their goals for 2018 and here I am doing the same thing. I used to give myself a definite number of resolutions to fulfil but have come to realize that method simply doesn’t work for me at all. This time around, I would be giving myself goals to work on this year to better in certain aspects of my life/self. Here are my goals for 2018:

 

ON LIFE

  • Be a better parent. I want to work on being calmer, more patient, more present and more understanding. I want to be able to look at what my kids will do and be able to tell when to not make a big deal out of it.
  • Be a better wife. I need to learn what my mom does. SHe’s so good at keeping her distance when my dad is upset about something. She knows how not to take it personally and I greatly admire her for that. I seem to get upset when my husband accidentally blows up at me because he’s mad at a video game. I would end up thinking our day is ruined when truthfully he probably just needs to cool off a bit. I also need to learn how to keep my cool when the situation calls for it to keep both of us from turning on each other.

 

ON READING

My reading goal last year was to re-read books I fell in love with to re-kindle my love for reading. I did ok in the first month. All of a sudden I didn’t have the time and a whole lot of books are being turned into movies. And well, my TBR just kept growing.

This year my goal is to simply read. I’m not going to worry about how many books I get to read. Reading challenges will serve as inspiration for when I get in a rut instead of an actual challenge to fulfil.

So yes, this year, all I’m aiming for it to be able to read.

 

ON BLOGGING

I learned two things last month when I participated in Blogmas.

  1. It pays to plan out your posts. I did 12 posts for Blogmas and thank goodness I decided to plan my posts ahead of time. I was able to complete it without struggling to come up with ideas every morning before I go to work. Plus having a list of what I wanted to blog about allowed me to schedule a few at a time so I didn’t need to work on my blog as much during the holidays; and,
  2.  It IS a lot of work. As much I’m not exactly new to blogging, I’m still learning about the ways you can get traffic and exposure to your blog / posts. This means I do things manually. I am aware about services which will do social media sharing for you but I’m not in that place yet where I can afford to spend extra money for it.

This year, I’m hoping I stay on track with scheduling posts. I started using a blogging notebook to get all my ideas in one place, so hopefully that helps.

 

ON PROJECT LIFE

If you haven’t heard of project life, it’s pretty much a much simpler form of scrapbooking as it features pocket pages. That is the main reason I get into it because a blank canvas intimidates me. I can never get a proper page layout on my own so having pockets to insert pictures in are a lifesaver.

My main goal about documenting this year is to give digital scrapbooking a try. Becky Higgins offers an app where in you can make digital scrapbook pages right in your device. I’m still on the fence about it because I know I can pretty much do the same thing using photoshop. All I’m paying for is the convenience of being able to create pages on the go. I’m hoping to make up my mind soon enough.

 

So there it is. These are all of the things I would like to work on in 2018. What about you? What are your goals/resolutions for this year?

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BLOGMAS | I Made A Christmas Baking Notebook

 

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What is Blogmas? Blogmas or Vlogmas is when bloggers / vloggers upload a post or video everyday counting down to Christmas. I’m participating in Blogmas this year. However, instead of posting everyday until Christmas I will be posting for 12 days which will be spread out in 24 days counting up to Christmas. 

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One of my favourite things about the holidays is knowing that for a few days before Christmas, the house is going to smell amazing. My mother-in-law and I would bake lots of treats not only to serve on Christmas Eve and/or Day, but also to give out as presents for our friends and family. It always gets a bit hectic especially when you have a long list to bake and with only two people to make them. Top that with trying to finish, cool, and store them before they get eaten. We started a little late this year so were taking advantage of every spare time we can. It also doesn’t help that  were pretty much running out of freezer space.

What I noticed this year is there are certain treats we make every year. It’s not even a question of if we’re making them, it’s more of when. My mother-in-law have her recipes written out on index cards, while I don’t have anything. Some of the holiday treats I make is online so I just look it up whenever I needed to make them. This, I found out, is a terrible idea. I had to skim through at least 6 Food For The Gods recipes before I found the right one. So I decided this year, I will make myself a baking notebook containing treats we usually always make during the holidays to spare us the time of going through all the cookbooks, magazines, and online recipes. I have a spare traveller’s notebook insert so why not, right?

So far, I only have four recipes in it: my mother-in-law’s Sugar Cookies and Shortbread Refrigerator Cookies; and a Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie and Food For The Gods which I found online. I can already tell it will be a growing list.

As I’m writing this we still have about 4 or 5 treats to make. If you’re also doing some holiday baking this time of the year, good luck and have fun. 🙂

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BLOGMAS | 3 Tips To Survive Boxing Day

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What is Blogmas? Blogmas or Vlogmas is when bloggers / vloggers upload a post or video everyday counting down to Christmas. I’m participating in Blogmas this year. However, instead of posting everyday until Christmas I will be posting for 12 days which will be spread out in 24 days counting up to Christmas. 

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Have you ever tried shopping on Boxing Day? Have you ever walked out of the store exhausted with 10 extra things in your cart that you didn’t necessarily need but bought anyways because they were on sale? Yeah, Boxing Day does that and sometimes the outcome is not pretty. Today, I have 3 tips for you to hopefully help you survive Boxing Day.

  • Know what you need or want. Boxing Day is one of those days where you’ll definitely need a list of what you need or want to get. Frantically walking around the store trying to figure out what you need to purchase can lead to overspending and forgetting things. Plus, on busy days like this one, some people prefer to be in and out of a store and having a list will help with that.
  • Take advantage of boxing week. Stores these days extend their Boxing Day deals to a week. Store flyers will have their opening hours and product information on wether or not certain items will be of limited quantities. This means you don’t have to stand in line waiting for your favourite store to open unless you absolutely have to.
  • Shop online. Some online shops will also have boxing day / week  deals. Great thing about shopping online is you don’t have to deal with the crowd of people, long check-out lines, and you can all do it in the comfort of your Christmas pyjamas.

There you have it. Hopefully this helps you out this coming boxing day / week. Do you go out shopping on Dec. 26 itself? What do you do to make the trip less stressful?

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BLOGMAS | How To Save Money This Holiday Season

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What is Blogmas? Blogmas or Vlogmas is when bloggers / vloggers upload a post or video everyday counting down to Christmas. I’m participating in Blogmas this year. However, instead of posting everyday until Christmas I will be posting for 12 days which will be spread out in 24 days counting up to Christmas. 

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Have you ever looked at your bank account after the holidays and said to yourself, “Holy crap! I spent how much???” I said that to myself last year. Although to be fair, I had to buy myself a new computer because my old one was broken beyond repair.

This year, I came up with a list of ideas on how to save money during the holiday season and they are helping me quite a bit on my holiday shopping.

  • Set a budget early on in the year. Having a budget early in the year will make it easier to save up for it for when the holidays come. It will also help prevent overspending.
  • Have a list. Believe me when I say it’s easy to get carried away when it comes to buying presents for your loved ones. You always want to make sure they get just the right present and this can sometimes lead to spending too much. Having a list allows you to brainstorm present ideas which are within our budget. Add to that the added convenience of taking something off of the list when you know someone else is already  buying the same present you are.
  • Let them make their own list. There is no harm in plainly asking them what they would like for Christmas. However, be honest and tell them about your budget as well so they won’t include something in their list that’ll make your wallet or bank account cry.
  • Use Ebates.ca. This is not sponsored. I just happen to love Ebates. Ebates helps you generate cash back when you shop online as long as the store is listed on their website. You won’t always get a lot of money back, but it’s still money back.
  • Start shopping early. You don’t always have to start your holiday shopping at the beginning of the season. Once in a while you’ll find the perfect present way ahead into the year, and that’s ok.
  • Give out homemade / DIY presents. It is cliche, but sometimes it’s the thought that counts. Yes it’s going to cost a bit at first but when you think about it, buying materials in bulk then turning it into a homemade present will still be cheaper. You will not only have saved money in the process, but you’ll also have leftover materials to use for other projects thus eliminating the need to spend more money.

What about you? What do you do to spend money during the holidays?

 

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