Stop and reflect: October

One day you’re waiting for the sky to fall. The next you’re dazzled by the beauty of it all.  – Bruce Cockburn

The start of October 2017 was full of tragedy. The world felt very dark. As the month went on, more cracks of light started shining through. Here’s some short reflections from the month:

Music: Switchfoot was my go-to (in particular, their Beautiful Letdown Album was my anthem for the month).

Reading: Rob Bell’s “What Is the Bible?”, Steven Curtis Chapman’s Autobiography & Brene Brown’s “The Gifts of Imperfection.”

Writing: examples of some of my thoughts shared on Instagram & Facebook that received meaningful feedback:

October 5th – on loneliness being the worst type of poverty
October 8th – a confession and encouragement
October 12th – on getting to know our literal neighbours
October 13th – on allowing people to change
October 19th – forgetting about numbers and helping one person at a time
October 29th – what the heart knows by heart, heals the heart

Travel: we took advantage of good weather days and did a couple day trips. The picture above was from visiting Brockville for the first time.

Theme: Today will soon be GONE (Switchfoot) & am I living scared or brave? The latter has been a new thought that arrived at the end of the month. Going to chew on that some more.

Tip: If you’re hungry for community, be willing to put yourself out there. Example: ask someone new to go out for coffee.  You just never know when it will be the start of something beautiful.

What was October like for you? Would love to hear your reflections. Ready or not, November is here. Together, we can face it and maybe even have some fun.

Tips for saving money when preparing for a baby

baby stock photo. doesn't he look so cheeky? ;)
baby stock photo. doesn’t he look so cheeky? 😉

It has been said that having a baby isn’t cheap. I’m finding this to be true already. But there are ways that you can save money as you prepare for your newborn’s arrival. Here are 5 tips:

1. If you expect to have a baby shower, don’t buy any clothes. You just don’t know how much clothing (any what types) you’ll be receiving at your shower. Wait. And when you do purchase clothing, try not to be sucked in by all the cuteness. Look at the price tag. And make sure to check out items on-sale and second hand.

2. Create a baby registry (even if you don’t have a shower) early on. I’d say by 20 weeks at the latest. This way you have a list of the items that you need to buy before baby arrives. When you register early, you’ll be able to notice certain items go on-sale and snag them at a good price.

3. Check out maternity wear at 2nd hand stores first. I picked up a really nice pair of Thyme maternity pants for $5!

4. Everything in the nursery doesn’t need to match perfectly. For example, you can buy your crib at one place (when there’s a good sale) and a dresser somewhere else. When dealing with white, it’s almost always bound to match up well. With brown wood stains, there may be some variances but you should be able to get something close. Or be daring and pick a bold color for the dresser that obviously doesn’t match the crib. Not buying all of your nursery furniture from the same “set” often saves you a lot of money.

5. Don’t reveal the sex of your baby. This is said to help aid in receiving practical gifts at your baby shower instead of receiving more pink OR blue newborn clothing than you know what to do with.

What helped you to save money as you prepared for having a baby? Or if you are currently expecting to add a baby to your family, what do you plan to do to help cut down on costs?