Feb 20, 2017

Preparing for baby • what we have so far

Hey girls! Today I wanted to go through everything that we have for baby boy so far. Let me just start by saying that we don't have much.

My husband and I took the approach of buying all of the big items first. So we have all the big necessities but we don't have any little things like clothes, bottles, blankets, etc. The main reason we did this was so that we could budget for the big, expensive items and buy them over a longer time period. We didn't want to end up with a huge bill at the end of my pregnancy. So we split our purchases throughout my pregnancy. We bought the stroller and car seat combo first. Then we bought the crib, a dresser and nursing chair. My parents were kind enough to buy the crib mattress for us. And that about covers everything that we have so far for baby.

I know it might sound crazy. I've watched tons of YouTube videos about "necessities for babies" and seriously some of those babies have more clothes by the 20 week pregnancy mark than I have in my own closet. So for us, this just worked. We got all the big necessities that we'll need. And now we just have to make sure we have all the small things that we'll need.

Other than financial reasons for buying the big things first, we also did it this way because we figured that we would get lots of cute baby clothes, toys, blankets, etc at our baby shower (which is coming up soon so stay tuned for my update). Don't get me wrong, it's been really hard not to buy all the cute onesies I always see in the stores. But I think this will work out great for us in the end. I don't want to end up with so much stuff that we don't end up using it.

What did you buy first when preparing for baby? Did you start shopping really early? Stay tuned for my baby shower update coming soon. I'll also be doing a post about preparing for a baby in a one bedroom condo.

xo

Feb 9, 2017

I stopped using conditioner and here's what I learned

Hey guys! It's true, I did it. I gave up conditioner. In the middle of a Canadian winter! You might think I'm nuts since it's already so dry during the cold winters here, but I've been loving my hair without conditioner! Here's what I learned:

1. My hair feels so much lighter and softer. The conditioner really weighed down my hair. Whenever I straightened it, it would lose all its volume and look dead straight which I didn't love. Now when I straighten my hair, it looks light, soft and more voluminous. Love!
2. My hair feels so much cleaner in between shampoos. I was never one to wash my hair too often. I always washed my hair once or twice a week (usually twice - every 3-4 days). Now that I've given up conditioner I find that even by the third or fourth day my hair still feels really clean and not at all oily!
3. I love the fact that I'm using fewer chemicals. Of course I still use my regular shampoo which is probably full of all kinds of things. And I'm not sure I'll ever be one to join the "no poo" movement (we'll see where this no conditioner experiment takes me). But for now I'm happy knowing that I'm using fewer chemicals on my hair!

Along with giving up shampoo, I also cleared out my bathroom of all my dry shampoo. I was never a big fan of dry shampoo because I always felt like it made my scalp feel gross within a few hours. So for me it was really more of a just in case for emergencies only type of solution. But I've gotten rid of all of it and I'm committed to no longer needing it just in case. Shouldn't be a problem considering I can't even remember the last time I used dry shampoo!

Do you think you'd ever be able to give up conditioner? What about dry shampoo?

xo

Jan 31, 2017

Pregnancy update • second trimester

Hey girls! I'm officially into my third trimester (crazy!) so I thought I'd do an update all about my second trimester. They say the second trimester is the best one. I'm not too sure since I've been lucky enough to have a really good first trimester as well. I never thought I'd be one of those girls who truly enjoys being pregnant. I had read so much about all the symptoms and how miserable most people are during the first trimester and sometimes even throughout their whole pregnancy. So that's what I was expecting. I'm really happy that it hasn't been that way for me and I wanted to share my experience with you guys so that you know that it won't necessarily be like that for you either. Throughout all my pregnancy browsing I never came across any blogs from someone's point of view who loved being pregnant. So I thought it's even more important for me to share because you never know you might love being pregnant too!

My second trimester was full of lots of baby kicks and movement which is seriously so amazing and never gets old! Every time baby boy kicks I get super excited! It's been my absolute favourite thing about pregnancy so far. Plus when he kicks, my hubby will gently poke back and baby boy always responds with another kick. So sweet to see them bonding already!

My main symptom this trimester has been a stuffy nose at night time which usually makes it hard to fall asleep. But I've found a combination of things that solve my problem. We've been using a humidifier which has helped a ton since its winter and really dry where we are. The second thing that's helped is using a saline water spray. My doctor recommended not to use any medicinal nasal sprays like Otrivin, but saline water is safe and has been amazing for my nose!

The other thing I've noticed more recently has been aches and pains due to my growing belly and the extra weight that I'm carrying. If I sleep for too long on one side, my hips get really stiff and achy.

The next one is a bit TMI so you've been warned. I've noticed that my boobs have been leaking! Which I've heard is normal and a sign that my body is getting ready for breastfeeding and producing colostrum. So I'm not complaining, but it's definitely something I'm not used to.

I think that's about it. I still haven't had any cravings and haven't really been emotional at all. Also my face has cleared up pretty nicely and I'm not breaking out nearly as much as I was during my first trimester.

What symptoms have you had during your second trimester?

xo

Jan 24, 2017

Budgeting tips & tricks

Hey guys! Today I'll be talking about some of the tips and tricks that I've learned over the years related to budgeting. I studied accounting and financial management in university so I'm all about the numbers. And now that my husband and I are expecting our first baby, budgeting will be even more important for us as I embark on my maternity leave and will be taking a significant pay cut for one year (which I'm so excited for and definitely not complaining about since I'm well aware that I'm very lucky to get to spend a whole year with our baby boy)!

1. First things first, my biggest rule for myself is not to spend more than I'm making. This is sooo important because the minute you start spending more than the income you're bringing in, you'll end up with expensive (read: high interest) credit card or other debt to pay off.

2. Rule #1 is simple enough, but how can you make sure you're not spending more than you're making. It's important to write things down so that you can visually see what's left over in your bank account each month after your necessities are paid for. I use an excel tracking spreadsheet that I created for myself in order to keep track. Basically, it shows how much money comes in and deducts all my necessary expenses each month (mortgage, phone bill, car insurance etc). What I'm left with will pay for any extras that month (maybe a couple dinners out or a fun purchase), but most of the left over amount goes straight into savings.

3. Which brings me to my next point: save save save! If you've got $500 left after paying your necessary expenses for the month, you have a tough decision to make. Is that new purse/wallet/dress/shoes/etc worth it or would you be better off saving the money? Most of the time my answer is that it's not worth it and the money is better put into savings. Having a savings fund will reduce so much stress from your life and your marriage because you'll know that you have a cushion to fall back on should you ever need it. So I highly recommend starting to save today! Even if it doesn't seem like a lot at first (maybe you'll start by saving $10 or $20 each month), but trust me it'll add up and you'll be so happy to have started.

4. Plan for big purchases like vacations or a new laptop well in advance. For my husband and I this meant planning for our big baby purchases (more on what we've purchased so far in another post). We started buying the bigger and more expensive items well before my due date. At first people thought we were nuts for starting so early. But it worked for us because we were able to spread out our big purchases over several months so that we could still save money each month. Plus we won't be stressed out right at the end of my pregnancy/when baby comes with a huge credit card bill!

5. Last but not least, learn to live/have fun with less. I look around these days in shopping malls and on the streets and I always see tons of people carrying tons of shopping bags. The malls are full on Saturdays and Sundays (and honestly even throughout the week). And I just think, isn't there something better that all these people would want to do with their time? I used to shop, a lot (just ask my husband). But I've made a conscious and intentional decision to significantly minimize my shopping because it was taking up my valuable time and wasting my valuable money. So now, I never go to the mall on weekends. And I'm happier than ever. You can find all sorts of fun activities to do that are free especially if you live in a bigger city. My husband and I go for lots of walks and explore all the different neighbourhoods. In the winter, we go snowshoeing on beautiful trails around our area. Skating is another fun and free activity you can do in the winter time. Summer for us means a lot of days spent on the beach with our friends. All of these things make me so much happier than spending time and money at the mall. So give it a try - spend a few weekends away from the stores and get outside and do something fun and free!

What are some of your budgeting tips and tricks? I've got quite a few more so let me know if you're interested and I'll make this a regular series on my blog!

xo

Jan 18, 2017

Maternity Fashion

Hey girls! Today's post is all about maternity fashion and the clothes I bought (and those I decided against) for my growing bump.

If you've read my previous posts you'll know that I've been on a minimalism journey for the past few months. I'm by no means a minimalist but I'm trying to simplify my life which, for me, means more intentional shopping and making sure I'm only keeping things I need and love in my closets (and home in general). Sooo when it came time to buy maternity clothes, I wanted to keep up with the same lifestyle change that I've chosen. I watch tons of YouTube videos and see how so many girls buy soooo many new clothes for their growing bumps (and for their new babies but we'll get to that in a different post). For me personally, it was important to make intentional purchases of things I knew I'd really need. Here's what I bought:

* Maternity tank tops (I got 3 grey and 3 black) - these are great, I love them! I wear them pretty much every day!

* Maternity leggings - I bought one pair of black maternity leggings which are amazing and I'm so glad to have them!

* Maternity jeans (well kind of) - I bought a pair of full panel maternity jeans thinking that I'd be living in them, but truthfully I've hardly worn them. That's because I bought two pairs of jeggings (non-maternity from Old Navy) and they're amazing. Super comfy and stretchy. I bought them a few sizes up so that the elastic isn't too tight on my waist and they fit my growing bump perfectly. I initially wanted to buy a pair of black and a pair of blue jeans. But I bought all of them in black. In hindsight I do wish I bought a pair of blue jeans but I didn't love the Old Navy jeggings in the blue jean colours they came in soo all black it is. But as you may also know if you've been around here before, I loooove black denim so I'm not complaining!

* Winter jacket - this was something I really didn't want to purchase. Jackets are usually pretty expensive and I figured it would be a waste for just a few months. My plan was to wear one of my hubby's jackets (which would've worked out just fine but I'm really glad I ended up buying a new jacket). The new jacket I got is a long, black, down jacket from Old Navy. It was on sale for only $75 which is a great price for a warm winter jacket. And I've worn it every day since. I'm so glad I ended up getting it because it's allowed me to get outdoors and enjoy this winter instead of staying cooped up inside just because I didn't have a warm jacket to wear. Totally worth it! Also just thought I'd mention I didn't buy a maternity jacket. I got a regular one just a few sizes up from my normal size and I'm hoping it will fit me all the way through my pregnancy.

* Bras - I bought two new bras. One regular bra from Victoria's Secret in a (much) bigger size and one bralette. I prefer the bralette since it's super comfy and it's what I wear most days.

I didn't buy any maternity sweaters. I did receive one for Christmas and I do love it but it wasn't worth it for me to buy any others because a lot of my sweaters still fit me. I also didn't buy other things like sweatpants or PJs because those still fit me as well.

So that's it! All in all I think I spent around $300 on new maternity clothes which isn't too bad considering a big chunk of that is for the winter jacket. What did you buy for your maternity wardrobe? What did you find the most useful?

xo

Jan 10, 2017

Pregnancy update • first trimester

Hey girls! Today's post is all about my first trimester. I'm hoping I'll be able to remember all the details since I'm already almost in my third trimester! This pregnancy has flown by so far and I'm so excited for April to get here already.

I've been very lucky and I've loved every minute of my pregnancy so far. Honest. I was preparing myself for the worst through what I had read online and in the pregnancy bible (aka What to Expect When You're Expecting). Think nausea and morning sickness. But none of those symptoms ever came. Well I shouldn't say none. I definitely had symptoms but for me they were amazing compared to what I was expecting and allowed me to enjoy my pregnancy even in the first trimester.

Here are the symptoms I experienced during my first trimester:

1. Smell aversions - it wasn't anything specific but every once in a while I would catch a whiff of something that just didn't appeal to me. Luckily, it wasn't enough to make me nauseous.
2. Breaking out - and lots of it. I was breaking out lots on my face, shoulders and back and also had a lot of redness and splotchiness on my face.
3. Having to pee allllllll the time - not much more to say about that
4. Shortness of breath - generally when I talked too much

I think that's about it... I also had a bit of lower back pain but nothing too crazy. Oh and according to the hubby, so far I've been happier then I've ever been! And it's true, I have been. I'm loving it and I can't wait to meet our little man! Stay tuned for my second trimester update coming soon.

xo

Jan 5, 2017

Big news! I'm pregnant!

It's been a looooong time since my last post. But I promise I have a good reason for being MIA for so long. I'm so excited to finally share that I'm pregnant!!! Hubby and I can't wait to meet our baby boy in April! We've been busy enjoying the pregnancy so far, spending time with family and friends over the holidays and getting ready for our babe's arrival! But I'm back and I've got tons of things to share all about my pregnancy experience and getting ready for baby. Hope you all had a great holiday season and I wish you a very happy 2017!!!

PS. Let me know what types of posts you'd be interested in seeing pregnancy or otherwise!