Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Cozy Evenings In

There's nothing like curling up with a warm drink on a chilly evening, is there?

Even though our beautiful leaves have started to fall, I feel like cozy nights in are just beginning. I've begun planning two events for some of my local gal pals, both of which will occur in the evening. Hosting an event in the fall seems the most festive and fun to me! Tidy up your space, light a few fragrant candles, prepare a yummy snack and a warm drink, and let the guests start rolling in. Once I get further along in the planning stages, I'll share some ideas with you. I can't wait to design the invitations! Casual get-togethers often seem like they only require a text or phone call for an invite, but getting a paper product in your hands with the event details is so much more fun!

How about you? Any fun events in your not-so-distant future? Do share!

Monday, October 20, 2014

How to Give Gifts on a Budget

budget gifts and ways to save on giving

My friend Rachel and I were discussing recently how expensive gift giving can be if you are on a budget. Over the years, I have learned a few tricks that have saved me a dollar or two while still being able to provide fun, unique gifts for friends and family. Giving is one of my "love languages" so it's important to me, even when times are tough. Sometimes, it's necessary to drop a pretty penny for a special occasion, but often times, you can give a thoughtful present that doesn't break the bank.

Here are my nuggets of knowledge to help you get started with giving while sticking to your budget:

Have a gift box
I would be a hopeless case if I didn’t have my gift basket. Anytime I spy the perfect gift for a particular someone, or even a generalized little goody at a great price, I purchase it and stick it in my gift basket until an event arises.  Use any good-sized basket or sturdy box to stockpile small items in advance.

Support local
I love purchasing small items from my local farmers markets to give to special people in my life. Purchasing knitted dishcloths or a jar of gourmet jam or hot sauce supports local makers and pairs beautifully with another little gem for a just-right sized gift for a friend. Christmas fairs and local shops are terrific as well, but keep your budget in mind.

Don’t forget the Big Box
A few of my favourite big-box stores, like Chapters and Winners, have terrific clearance sections. Chapters is one of my favourite sources for deliciously scented candles and honestly, I can really only afford them when they are on sale. Winners is a great place to find smaller items, like paper straws and stationary. When you find a bargain, stock up! Chances are, you have family friends in different circles that won’t realize that they are receiving the same set of cloth napkins or lovely mug as another friend.

Support charities or causes
Often, you’re asked or inclined to purchase items in support of a charity or cause. It’s the perfect opportunity to pick up a gift or two. Recently, I’ve purchased gifts for new babies in my life and my niece’s birthday from an Instagram auction in support of a baby girl and her mama that needed the extra funds. I get to donate money that I had set aside for gift-giving to support a terrific cause and still get the gifts that I needed. Double whammy!

Make it yourself
A handmade gift is my favourite gift to give or receive. I don’t often have the extra time to make something with my own hands. Once in a while, when I have a spare moment or two, I love to create a few handmade items or cards to add to my gift-giving stash.

Always be on the lookout
When I travel, I love to keep my eyes open in local stores and markets for small souvenirs that would make a great gift. By purchasing items while traveling, it satisfies my urge to shop while keeping it practical.  Another bonus: it’s an awesome way to support the local economy in the locale that you are visiting.

I hope that these tips and suggestions can help even one of you to feel less daunted by gift giving. Giving and receiving gifts is often our way of showing that we love someone, so it's important that we don't feel drained by the process. Let me know if you have any tricks that you would like to share in the comments!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Multitude Monday : Thanksgiving 2014

Is there any better time to write a Multitude Monday post than on Thanksgiving? I think not!

What is Multitude Monday, you may wonder? Well, starting out, each week I would write a list of ten things that I was currently thankful for. Now, it's not quite as regular but the idea is still the same. Compiling a list of positive things in my life is a great way to take a look at my daily blessings and to take the focus away from the less than great elements. For example - I'm thankful for naps… as opposed to being woken up several times during the night ;) I'd love for you to chime in! Feel free to use the idea and come up with a list on your own blog, in a notebook, on your fridge, or even in the comments in this post. Try it! You'll feel better instantly.

Since it's Thanksgiving, here are the top ten things that I am thankful for.

791 - my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who's constantly getting me out of jams and binds
792 - my amazing husband, kind and sweet, with whom I'm celebrating ten years together today
793 - my biggest blessing, my five month old darling daughter, who continuously amazes me
794 - my gracious parents 
795 - my precious brothers
796 - my fun-loving friends, near and far
797 - my church community
798 - an incredible island to call home 
799 - a warm and comfortable place to lay my head at night
800 - my health, which i grow to appreciate more each year of my life 

What about you, dear friend? What are you thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Autumn in Cape Breton

beautiful leaves during autumn in cape breton

Over the weekend, Violet and I decided to take a stroll. There's an old wood road that loops up the slope of the mountain behind our home and is a little over a kilometre in length. I used to hike it frequently last summer as a bit of exercise. The trip around the loop over the weekend was my first time taking V with me, outside of my belly. Sage came along with us and loved every minute of being outdoors! 

Autumn in Cape Breton is absolutely breathtaking. The wood road is a little breathtaking, too ;) Since it was my first time pushing the stroller up the hill, I took my time and snapped some photos during our hike. Once in a while, I love taking a photo walk and capturing the experience. It's so handy to have your phone with you to take photos on the fly! The leaves are changing in colour so quickly now. Before it gets too cold, I hope to spend as much time as possible in the fresh air!

autumn in cape breton

autumn in cape breton


I hope you enjoyed the little peek into my corner of Cape Breton! The colours and textures are incredible - our natural world is an amazing place. Have you been on any outdoor adventures lately? I'd love to hear about them!

Happy Tuesday!

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