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Food, lifestyle, Parenting

What I learned from being sober

August 1, 2018

On 1 July I pledged to give up alcohol, and I signed up for Dry July to raise funds for people affected by cancer.  A month later and I’ve reached my goal, I’ve abstained from alcohol and I’ve raised $249.75 for Look Good Feel Better, to help people living with cancer.  And I’ve been surprised with what I’ve learned along the way.

Why I gave up alcohol

I had a number of reasons for giving up alcohol and signing up for Dry July.   Firstly, I was looking forward to the health benefits of not drinking for a month.  Secondly, I’ve also lost too many people I love to the hideous illness.

I lost my father to cancer over 15 years ago.  Despite his fight, he didn’t make it to my graduation.  He wasn’t there to walk me down the aisle at my wedding.  And he never got to meet his beautiful grandchildren.

Recently we also lost one of my daughter’s school friends, at eight years old.  A little girl who loved cats and princesses.  A little girl who didn’t make it to her 9th birthday.

Dry July felt like something I needed to do this year.  Something positive.

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Budgeting, Food, lifestyle, Parenting

A Working Mother’s Guide to Healthy Living on a Shoestring

July 8, 2018

Welcome to Better Budgeting, part of a new section in our blog – a Working Mother’s Guide to healthy living on a shoestring.

With my background as an Accountant, it makes sense for me to share some of the tips and tricks I have learned in the industry, and my experience applying them to the family budget.  This page will be covering ideas for feeding the troops and frugal family fun.  We will also look at the ‘Golden Rules’, saving for a big occasion, entertaining the family and staying fit.  We will look at ways to track your hard earned dollar, and of course – how to keep more of it!

Frugal Family Food

This page will cover frugal family food ideas.  But with a twist.  One of my passions is good quality food on a budget.

To me, the affordability of food is not measured in its cost, but in terms of its value for money in a nutritional sense.  That bulk bag of yesterday’s baked muffins for $2 may seem cheap when you have lunch boxes to full, but the reality is they are unlikely to have significant nutritional value.  Yesterday’s muffins will fill the tummies for a short period of time, and then the kiddies (and husband!) will be asking for more.  In the meantime, they have consumed excess sugar and refined carbohydrates that they probably didn’t need.

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Food, lifestyle, Parenting, Travel

Vancouver with two children, walking shoes … and the man flu – an Amazing Journey series part 3

May 22, 2018

Vancouver is a city of beauty and culture.  A city of depth.  With two days to spend, it’s a matter of fitting in everything you can – and having comfortable shoes.

We travel as a family to learn and to connect with each other, and the city had plenty of opportunities for this, our favourite being Science World with a load of interactive exhibits for the girls to try on their own or for us to do together as a family.

My own personal favs had to be the beauty and calmness of the waterfront, and eating local delicacies – everywhere!

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Food, lifestyle, Travel

It all starts now – an Amazing Journey series – part 2

May 12, 2018

Five years ago we re-evaluated our lives and our goals after the sudden loss of my mother in law.  We vowed to slow down and to enjoy life with our small children.  We got outside and explored.  And we travelled.  This Amazing Journey series documents our journey through Canada and the US, provides an insight on travelling with children, local destination tips and tricks, and, of course, gives an Accountant’s perspective on making the most of your holiday dollar.

The day we left New Zealand was crazy! We had been cramming everything into a short period before our departure – I’d been on the road most of the month, my mother was leaving for three months, we worked right up to the last day to maximize our annual leave – and we had to get our house ready to rent out on AirBNB while we were away. By the time we reached the airport that evening, I collapsed with the shakes. I hadn’t eaten all day and have a habit of fainting – so my husband promptly left me there to find food and something to drink. Give me half an hour, and a bit of sugar – and it’s time for the adventure to begin!

A year in the planning – it all starts now. Continue Reading…

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