Share the Love

Every once in a while, I like to round up a bunch of things we’re enjoying around here to share with all of you! (And affiliate links are included for your convenience!) I love it when other people share lists like this, so I’m passing on the favour.:) Here’s my list of things we’re currently enjoying:

Swiffer sheets for dusting.

I learned this tip from one of my very favourite podcasts, “The Lazy Genius” – she’s funny, smart, practical, and her name is Kendra, so you can’t go wrong! Every single episode has some awesome tip for cleaning or grocery shopping or something practical, and she lives up to her slogan: “Helping you be a genius about the things that matter, and lazy about the things that don’t.” She is so smart and intentional!

Anyway, she shared in an episode that Swiffer sheets normally used for mops actually make incredible dusting cloths – better than microfiber cloths or, whatever else you use.

I had bought a box of those sheets from Costco for our little Swiffer vacuum, but we don’t use it that often, so the box was lasting forever. I decided to give her tip a try, and could not believe how well it worked!! Kendra was right. Even if you don’t have any other Swiffer products, get those sheets! They actually make me WANT to dust, and I have never liked dusting. But suddenly I’m dusting EVERYTHING, and it is so satisfying.

*Another tip from Kendra – dust the toilet before you clean it – it’s so much easier to clean if you don’t have to keep wiping around all the soggy dust particles. Why have I not thought of this before??!!

She has podcast episodes on a ton of great topics – right now I’ve downloaded episodes about keeping the car clean, spring cleaning, and dealing with sickness, on my podcast app. I’ve also enjoyed her episode on cleaning out the fridge, making lunch, creating your own marinades…. So many good ones to enjoy! Check her out here!

FREE video series: Grocery Savings Made Simple

So by now, probably everyone who has ever read my blog knows how much I love the online course “Grocery Budget Bootcamp”. Tiffany from the blog “Don’t Waste the Crumbs” will be offering it again this year in a couple of weeks, but she’s also sharing a FREE three-part video series, starting this week, called “Grocery Savings Made Simple”. I always find her budget and grocery tips super helpful and practical, so I’m a fan of any series she puts out!

Head over here to sign up for her free course, or over here for Grocery Budget Bootcamp!

The Final Table

While we’re talking about food, I have to share that Ben and I got hooked on a cooking show on Netflix this winter, much to our surprise!! I would never have thought that possible, but this was such a good one! We’d watch it when our kids were in bed, but they’d always ask about it in the morning, and got so interested, they started watching it on their own!

Amazing chefs from all over the world teamed up against each other, and whoever made the “worst” dish was eliminated (but seriously, even the worst dishes looked amazing!). Each episode featured food from a different country, which was really interesting, and things got very intense as the chefs had to make dishes they’d never tasted before, during a tight time limit. It was fascinating to watch them perform under pressure, and inspiring to see the dedication to their craft. It made us want to learn how to cook really well!







I haven’t finished reading this book yet, but I’m really enjoying it! It’s about doing less, so that you can do things better. It’s making me examine what I’m saying yes or no to, and given me the courage to cut some things from my life that were taking up energy I really wanted to spend elsewhere.


He writes about how most people choose to keep many things going at the same time, but nothing moves along very quickly, because all things have to be kept moving. Instead, we can choose what is most important, and go really, really far with that one thing instead of a little way with many things.

I’m inspired to be much more intentional, fully present, and committed to the few things I choose to spend my time on. It’s very freeing, and I love the picture he paints of intentional living.

Blue Light Blocking Glasses

I heard about blue light blocking glasses years ago, and always thought they sounded like a good idea, but never got around to buying any until this winter.

My naturopath discovered that I’m getting far too much blue light, which surprised me, because I don’t spend a lot of time in front of computer or TV screens. But what he explained was that a lack of sunshine during the winter, along with too much artificial light of any kind, can lead to an imbalance.

He asked me to pick up a pair of blue light blocking glasses, so we ordered a couple of pairs from Amazon, and for $20, it’s a quick fix. Immediately, we noticed a big improvement in our sleep (and I had thought I was sleeping well before already!)



Because we were so impressed with the difference they make, we ordered enough for the whole family! Kaylia has always taken a very long time to fall asleep, but when she wears her glasses in the evenings, she falls asleep about an hour earlier.

Apparently the health benefits go far beyond good sleep – hormones, circulation, even weight gain can be affected by what kind of light is hitting your eyes, so getting outside more, plus protecting your eyes from artificial light can impact your health in significant ways. Getting healthier from wearing a cheap pair of glasses sounds like an easy win to me! I’m in.

These are the glasses Anika and I ordered, and here are the adorable kids glasses we got for Kaylia and Everett.

To read more about why blue light blocking glasses are good to wear, head over here.

Life Church Series on Habits

I listened to this message series recently, and it was really good. I love anything that has to do with habits, and I especially liked hearing a church address the topic.

Craig Groeschel does such an amazing job of sharing practical ways to build habits in our lives, and addressing how much we as Christians need strong habits to grow in our relationship with God.

I read somewhere recently that teaching our kids spiritual disciplines and strong Christian habits will carry them through the times when they don’t feel very spiritual. Habits can be what ties us to Jesus even during times when he feels far away, and takes the focus off of emotions so our actions can be deeply rooted in our spiritual practices.

I love that idea, so this series seems like an important one to me.

That’s it for today! But I’d love to hear about anything you’re enjoying right now! Any good books or podcasts or recipes or clothes or ANYTHING you’re loving that you’d like to pass on? Share the love!:)

Around Here Right Now

Every so often, I love to round up some of the things we’re enjoying in our home, and pass the good stuff on to you! Here’s what we’ve been loving lately:

The Next Right Thing

This may be my all-time favourite podcast. I love podcasts, so it’s hard to choose, but this is definitely the one I’m loving most right now. It’s beautiful, calming, full of wisdom, and all about making decisions, which I struggle with. It’s such a thoughtful, gentle podcast about exploring how to decide your next step. The episodes are only 15 minutes, which is such a great length for getting a little dose of something beautiful and life-giving. I love everything Emily P. Freeman has to say, but this podcast is just especially lovely.

Gluten-Free Pancake Recipe

We still love the Applesauce Pancake/Waffle recipe we use all the time, but when we don’t have applesauce on hand, we’ve been trying to find a good back-up recipe. Everyone is loving these pancakes, and Anika claims they’re as good as pancakes from a mix (which is better than homemade??).

This Quote:


It’s on my fridge at the moment, and I’m making myself read it regularly when my stress is going up over stuff that is just not my problem!

When Your Kids Push Your Buttons

I just finished reading this book, and it was fairly life-changing. I really loved it, and kind of wish there was a version that wasn’t just about kids pushing parents’ buttons – the topics covered can relate to all people in general! I’ve never read a parenting book quite like this one. It walks you through discovering why you do what you do, and why things make you angry or hurt. It helped me unearth some deep roots of hurt and guilt that have been affecting my parenting (and other relationships!) in pretty significant ways, and although it’s sometimes hard to come face-to-face with our hidden ugly sides, it’s been very healing. I’m looking forward to seeing how this will play out in my parenting.

This is worth a post all on it’s own, which I’ll get to sometime soon! In the meantime, you should definitely check this book out if you’re a parent!

 Grocery Budget Bootcamp


Remember when I took this online course? It’s being offered again! I loved it so much, I became an affiliate, and I’m always happy to let you know when the course opens registration for another round, because this course is truly helpful. I took it this last January, and the habits I started forming then are still affecting the way I shop, meal plan, and cook. Just the other day, I was going through some online flyers and making my weekly shopping list, thinking about how differently I make my list because of the Grocery Budget Bootcamp. When I was finished my list, I rewarded myself with a little blog reading, and there in my blog reader was the announcement that the course is running again! Such ironic timing, it seems like I made it up, but it’s true.;)  Registration closes on Tuesday, September 19, which doesn’t give you much time! Head here to enroll, and here if you want to read more about my experience taking the course.

What are you enjoying right now?



Feed Me

This post is part of a series, sharing my favourite products and discoveries from this last year. (You can find the first post here.) If you have any favourite ideas to contribute, please feel free to comment. Anyone who comments during this series over the next two weeks will have their name entered in a draw for an Amazon gift card. Let us know what you’re loving!

Other years, I’ve always included new foods in my list of favourites, but I don’t know if I tried a lot of new things this year. My food favourites this time around have more to do with how I get the food on the table, instead of what the food actually is!

Have a Plan

As I shared in January, I took an online course called “Grocery Budget Bootcamp“, which I loved, and it was super useful for getting me to be more intentional about what we were buying, as well as planning our meals. Taking the course made me realize how much stress can flair up in our home when I don’t have a plan for what we’re eating. I was consistent with planning suppers, but breakfast and lunch were more up in the air, and every single morning, around 11am, Anika (who LOVES to know what the plan is) would ask, “What’s for lunch?” And every day at 11:01am, I would get really grumpy. That may seem ridiculous, but she asked the same (legitimate) question every single day, always in the middle of our homeschooling morning, when I didn’t want to be thinking about food, and it stressed me out. Then she’d get stressed out, because there was no plan, and then everybody was grumpy. By the time we were finished with school for the morning and I had the head space to think about lunch, it was late, and everybody was even more grumpy because they were also hungry at that point. It was a disaster every time, until I finally figured out that all our problems were solved by simply coming up with a weekly menu which included breakfast and lunch. Our mornings went smoother, everyone was happier and less stressed, and we are eating better meals with more variety.

Prep Ahead

The other wonderful thing that happened this last year was that I started making smoothie packs to stick in the freezer. I usually have two green smoothies a day, so every morning and every afternoon, I was cutting and peeling vegetables. It was time consuming, and our cutting boards, knives, and peelers were always dirty. I’d seen the idea of smoothie packs on Pinterest, but I didn’t think it would work for my smoothies, because of the type of vegetables I was using – I’d never heard of freezing cucumbers! Well, it turns out you can! And freezing spinach is SUPER easy – we just buy the huge bags at Costco and put them straight in the freezer. Freezing avocados also works really well, so I was set.

A few major benefits have come out of this – my smoothie can be prepared so much faster now that my freezer is full of smoothie packs, the kitchen doesn’t get as messy, and we can buy all those vegetables at the lowest price. The Grocery Budget Bootcamp taught me the importance of grocery sale patterns – fresh produce doesn’t go on sale super often, but every few months, there will be a sale on cucumbers, peppers, or avocados. When one of those things is on sale, we buy enough to last for one or two months’ worth of smoothies. It’s ended up saving us a ton of money to do it this way, and all it took was a little bit of research to find out which vegetables work well to freeze.

I’ve never explored freezer meals, but this makes me think it’s something I need to look into…

Alright, I want to hear all your tips – what are your best tricks for getting fed in the easiest, fastest way possible? Do you like to have a plan? Prep ahead of time? Give me all the food advice!!




Grocery Budget Bootcamp Update

Back in January, I shared here that I was taking a grocery budget course (affiliate link). I finished up the course a few weeks ago, and I’m back to say I loved it!! It was a lot of work, but it was totally worth it.

The course includes 13 lessons, covering topics like meal planning, creating a price book, comparing grocery stores, avoiding food waste, and a number of other helpful topics which you can check out here.

In our home, Ben has always done the grocery shopping, partly because he can do it after work and save me an extra trip into the city, and partly because he is so much better at it! He can remember prices, knows when stuff is on sale, and can figure out the best deal much quicker than I can. Also, I am allergic to Superstore – for real. I walk in there, and immediately, my nose runs, my eyes water, and my head gets so fuzzy I can’t even think straight. I don’t make wise decisions under those conditions, so it works out great to have Ben be the designated shopper.

This made a grocery budget course interesting, because I was the one taking it, but he’s the one shopping! So we ended up talking about stuff a lot, and we also started doing a lot of our grocery shopping online, which is absolutely wonderful! Superstore has a “Click and Collect” site so you can place your order the night before, and pick it up the next day. It’s very convenient, and it’s also allowed us to spend more time talking about what are the best purchases – Ben shares all his shopping secrets with me, and I share everything I’ve learned from the Grocery Budget Bootcamp.

The first month, we saved $50 on groceries, and the second month, we saved $70. I was secretly hoping for more dramatic savings, but the interesting thing I learned was that we were already doing pretty good before taking the course. Part of the course includes calculating what would be a reasonable budget, taking into consideration where you live, what stores are available to you, how many people are in your family, and what kinds of food allergies you’re dealing with. According the the USDA Thrifty Food Plan, our family “should” be spending $1140 on groceries per month! We were averaging $720, so our savings didn’t end up being as extreme as some of the other people I was doing the course with, because we’re already saving a lot. Also, shopping in the states sounds crazy!! We just do not get the same kind of deals.

But Ben and I worked really hard, and it was great to get our budget down a little. I’m also pretty confident that as we get better at the shopping strategies we learned, our budget will go down even further.

The biggest game changer for us was tracking prices for food items in different stores. It doesn’t seem like a huge deal that butter is a dollar more expensive at Superstore than Costco, but multiply that by four for the month, and by 12 for the year, and suddenly you’re looking at saving $48 over the year. I would love it if somebody handed me $48. So we’re making sure to only buy butter at Costco. We have our list of what’s better to buy at Costco, and what is cheaper at Superstore, and are trying to do one big shopping trip at the beginning of the month so that Ben only needs to grab a bit of fresh produce each week. We are tracking prices on Google Docs so both of us can access the list from our phones while shopping.

Ben made an interesting observation – I asked him why he thought the course was worth taking, and he said it made us much more intentional about our choices, which flowed over into other areas of our budget as well. This speaks to how versatile the course is – I was worried it wouldn’t be applicable to our specific situation with food allergies, but the Grocery Budget Bootcamp is all about studying the way you shop, and doing it more intentionally, no matter what you’re buying. I’ve read countless resources on grocery budget tips, and often they involve the hassle of coupons, and buying cheap, convenience foods that we can’t eat at our house. I didn’t want another course telling me to stockpile granola bars and canned soup. We buy our food in it’s original form, which makes it expensive, because how often does fresh produce go on sale?? Well, more often than I thought, it turns out! My favorite day of the week is now Thursday, because all the new grocery flyers come out, and it’s a treasure hunt to find the items we buy regularly at the best price possible. This course is all about shopping smarter, avoiding waste, and being a good steward of your money and your food.

It’s a lot of work to save money on groceries, but I keep thinking about my two favorite pieces of wise financial advice I’ve heard over the years. The first came from Ben’s dad – he said, “If you are having trouble living within your means, you have two choices: make more money, or spend less.” It’s pretty straight forward, but it was something we needed to hear when we were first married. It’s related to the second piece of advice: “It’s better to put your energy into spending what you make wisely, than to use your energy trying to make more money.” One leads to greater contentment, self-discipline, and intention, while the other leads to a constant desire for more. I think about this often as I try to change my mindset about what it means to manage our home wisely and within our budget. I never want to take it for granted that Ben can earn a good pay cheque, and I get to stay home with our sweet kids. That privilege comes with the responsibility of being smart with our money.

I’m so looking forward to improving my ability to budget and shop better, and make wise choices which will benefit us for many years to come.

If you’re interested in learning more about Grocery Budget Bootcamp, you can check it out right here. The deadline for registering is tomorrow, so jump on it while you can! And then email me to tell me what you’re learning – discussing grocery shopping strategies has become one of my favorite things!:)