Always On The Go This Summer

As most of you may know we just finished our road trip across Canada from Toronto, Ontario to Calgary, Alberta. It may not have been across the entire country, but we did DSC03436drive through four provinces, with four kids and that is a big adventure! Now that we are here, we are so excited and we have so much planned over the next three weeks.
I have been planning all of the different places we can go and activities we can do, plus my sister has been finding and creating her own list of places for us to visit as well. It’s going to be a very fun trip here in Alberta, but as you can imagine very busy! Three weeks may seem like a long time, but when we have so much planned, I know we will be non-stop every day.

Some of our plans include visiting Banff National Park, Lake Louise, The Canadian Badlands and of course the Dinosaur Discovery Park. Emily and the triplets have been fascinated with dinosaurs lately, so I know they will be in awe when they see the fossils at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology.

We will be spending a lot of time outside and in the sun, whether it’s hiking, swimming or even a picnic, so it’s important that I make sure everyone is protected from the sun. Along with light weight and loose clothing, plus a hat and sunglasses, I use the Banana Boat® Simply Protect™ Kids Sunscreen Lotion for Emily and the triplets. I have been loving the new Simply Protect formula and how easily it is to apply to your skin. When I have four kids that need sunscreen, I want one that goes on quickly and doesn’t leave an oily feel. The Banana Boat® Simply Protect™ Kids Sunscreen Lotion does just that while also being water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.

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While I have my focus on making sure Emily, Jackson, Olivia and Levi have their sunscreen on and are well protect, I often times forget about myself. After the kids have their sunscreen lotion on, they are ready to go and are not always willing to sit and wait DSC03528Bfor me. That’s when the Banana Boat® Simply Protect™ Sport Sunscreen Spray comes in handy! Just like the Simply Protect Kids Sunscreen, the Simply Protect Sport Sunscreen Spray uses the same Simply Protect formula that is made with 25% fewer ingredient, no oxybenzone and no added oils and fragrances. It also provides Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB protection, is light weight and water and sweat resistant. When I am running after four kids or even just running around unpacking everything and everyone from the van, a sweat resistant sunscreen is what I need.

Having a spray sunscreen is so useful, especially when you have kids to get ready. It is so convenient and a time saver when you need to apply sunscreen quickly. With the Banana Boat® Simply Protect™ Sport Sunscreen Spray I can apply sunscreen myself once everyone else is ready and they are not left sitting around waiting because it only takes a couple of minutes to spray the sunscreen on and quickly rub it in.

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As parents we know how important it is to be protected from the sun and it can sometimes be difficult to have our kids understand the importance. We are always on top of our kids sun protection and it’s important not to forget about ourselves. The Banana Boat® Simply Protect™ Sport Sunscreen Spray is so simple to apply and perfect for keeping up with our busy families. I know we will be doing lots of driving from place to place and after sitting for a while in the van, the kids are going to want to get up and go. Using the Simply Protect™ Sport Sunscreen Spray, will save me a lot of time and allow us to start our adventures that much sooner!

We would love to hear some of the fun places you have visited throughout Canada, especially those ones in Alberta that we should check out!

To learn more about Banana Boats new Simply Protect Product line you can visit http://www.bananaboat.ca/products/simply-protect-sport-sunscreen-spray

Thank you to Banana Boat for sponsoring this blog post! We only work with companies who we love and have used prior to being contacted.

 

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I didn’t know there was a food crisis in Canada | #FeedTheHope

The truth is, there is a food crisis in Canada and NOBODY is talking about it!

I didn’t know there was a food crisis in Canada | #FeedTheHope

As a relatively new parent, one of my biggest fears is not being able to provide for my family. A roof over their head, clothes on their back and food for every meal of the day. I am constantly striving to work hard and better myself with my wife and kids top of mind. However, some people aren’t as fortunate as our family.

The truth is, there is a food crisis in Canada and NOBODY is talking about it!

Thank you to Catelli Pasta for partnering with me on this post, to bring to life their FEED THE HOPE campaign, a mission they have set out in partnership with multiple food banks across Canada to donate 1 million portions of pasta to those in need. While Catelli Pasta has sponsored this post, I will be sharing my own personal experience with you and would like to mention that all opinions and thoughts are my own.

Over the past 2 months, I have been made aware of some incredibly very eye opening realizations when it comes to our Canadian food crisis. There are more than 850,000 people who turn to food banks in Canada each month, with 1 in 5 Canadians having used a food bank and 1 in 3 Canadians knowing someone who has used a food bank. According to a recent study commissioned by Catelli,  42% of Canadians don’t believe there is even a food crisis at all within Canada – which is pretty crazy to think about!

If I am being honest, up until I had my kids, I was one of the 42% thinking this food crisis didn’t really exist within our country. We are very fortunate as a nation, to have second-to-none resources available, so  I personally never thought there was any major crisis. The reason being, we are not aware because no one talks about it, due to the stigma attached to using food banks. If we continue to ignore this food crisis, how will things change? Something needs to be done and I will share with you the difference you can make within your community to make a large impact on the many lives of those who struggle to put food on the table or lunch in their kid’s backpack.

I had the recent opportunity to learn more about all of the great things happening to really impact the lives of many. Catelli hosted an event along with North York Harvest Food Bank for a hands-on cooking experience. I met so many inspiring people who volunteer their time on a regular basis, as well as many individuals who have actually had to use or still use the food bank services because of their personal circumstances and we got to learn a little bit about each other. The stories I have heard and the reasons as to why people dedicate their time to such self-less acts really hit home for me.  I have never had to use a food bank, but I have had my fair share of struggles and adversity as a child growing up in foster care and utilizing programs like nutrition for learning. As a parent, it really put things in perspective for me and made me question – what if these were my kids? I often reflect on my struggles as a child and it really makes me think about the activities I can do to inspire my kids. To add to my experience with the hands-on cooking event, we made some delicious, inexpensive and NUTRITIOUS food! My time there gave me such a great appreciation and I was happy to attend, meeting so many wonderful people.

For the last 10 years, Catelli has donated millions of portions of pasta to families in need. However, our Canadian food crisis continues and they need your help to really impact the lives of many who need it. Here is how:

Donate Healthy Food!
So many people have participated in food drives, but are we educated on what foods to donate? Follow Catelli’s link to learn more about the healthy and nutritious non-perishable items you can donate.

https://www.catelli.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Food_Bank_Shopping_List.pdf

Volunteer Your Time!

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Volunteering at our local food bank

Your time is a huge asset in helping those in need and can be equally or more important than just providing financial compensation. Food banks across Canada need your help! Make it a commitment to set aside a few hours throughout the year for you and your family to either sort or pack donated items or serve a hot meal to families in need. My family and I recently had the opportunity to volunteer at our local food bank. It was a very heartwarming experience and such an eye opener. We learned so much about their day to day operations, had a tour of the facility which was incredible and also learned about the impact they make to help so many families that struggle. It was crazy to think that this was happening in our own community, something you never really hear people talk about. Thousands and thousands of people rely on the food bank and we took away so much from our visit. While we were there, we along with 16 other volunteers had the opportunity to sort and package food. It was a great day of fun work and positive energy. It was nice to know that what we were doing was creating such a positive impact within our community. We even got the kids involved and they had so much fun feeling included and were declared as the youngest volunteers from the KW Food Bank. You can check out our live video during our visit here  – To share some incredible stats we sorted over 4230 lbs of food in just over 2 hours which will provide over 3300 meals to families in need. Had us amazed!

Create Awareness!
Social media is a powerful tool  – you can make a huge difference by using the social tools you have to create awareness or virtually anything.  Use the hashtag #FeedTheHope and share with us how you will help fight child hunger in Canada. You never know who you will inspire!

For more information on the #FeedTheHope campaign and to learn more about Catelli Pasta and the Catelli Brand, visit https://www.catelli.ca/en/feed-the-hope/ Together with your help we can help feed the hope and end child hunger in Canada.

Let’s start with a conversation.

Dan.

 

ADVICE TO PARENTS FROM PARENTS

You will receive so much overwhelming advice and information that it may be hard to find what works best for your family.

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If you were to ask us three years ago if we were ever going to partner with a brand like Pampers, we would never imagine! However, Pampers has always been our go to diaper choice ever since we found out we were expecting Emily as first time parents and adding that to our baby registry. We have loved Pampers since the very beginning and it has always been such a recognizable brand even before having kids; they were just so relevant all of the time.

When things were taking off on The Baby Gang channel back in 2016, we truly wanted to find an opportunity on how we can work with brands we love and be a go to resource for those who are new to parenting, existing parents or have multiple children like us and our parents. That being said, Pampers was the first company we had ever reached out to as a brand that came top of mind. Just like magic, and something that still blows our minds to this day is the exciting opportunity to partner with Pampers!

After two years we have worked on some very unique and inspiring initiatives with Pampers and one thing we have learned is they are a very innovative brand who always keeps moms, babies and parents top of mind. They do so much for so many communities on a local and global scale and even partnering with The Baby Gang, they have really allowed us to give back to our communities and help those in need when expecting their newborn. They offer such quality and it really shows the effort they put in to making their product, they just care!

You may recall earlier this year one of our previous blog posts on ways that you can save time and money (hyper link to be added to previous Subscribe and Save post). Pampers offers an innovative way for you to stay organized and stocked up on all of your diaper/wipes needs, which is super ideal for those busy parents on the go or those who just can’t seem to get it together…. really any parent. Amazon’s Subscribe and Save service is not only for diapers, but wipes as well. We often forget that we use our baby wipes just as much as the diapers. I know we want to admit that it is just for cleaning a dirty bum, but I think it is safe to say we have all used our wipes for various other purposes. Cleaning our little one’s hands, wiping their faces and hey, maybe washing some crayon marks off the way….guilty! They are just so versatile.

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The Amazon’s Subscribe and Save really offers great value and convenience for your family. The way it works is very simple. Through Amazon you start by selecting the product you want: Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes, Pampers Natural Clean Baby Wipes, Pampers Baby Dry, Pampers Swaddlers, Pampers Cruisers, Pampers Easy Ups, Pampers UnderJams, and Pampers Splashers (we use size 4 Baby Dry diapers), then you select the quantity you want, then to finish you choose the frequency of that product. That’s it! On the same day every month, you get a special delivery. Not to mention, shipping is always free, amazing! If you are receiving or storing too many diapers and wipes or maybe not enough you can skip the month, you can always adjust it You are in total control. As moms, as dads, as parents we really like to think we have it all together, but really, we don’t. The Subscribe and Save service through Amazon is a beautiful and convenient service that really makes us feel like we got this!

We have always had such a genuine love for the Pampers brand and want to share that with you. They have been a huge part of our family since the very beginning and have been a key feature in some very special moments, while also becoming a contributing factor in the growth of The Baby Gang. We hope in reading this and sharing our genuine love for Pampers that their quality product and amazing services will help you on your parenting journey.. #1stchoiceofmoms.

I’ve been using Pampers since day one and only partner with brands I truly love, prior to being contacted. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Find a Brand You Love & Never Let Them Go

Throughout our lives, we make purchases from many brands and companies almost daily. As parents what makes you go back and continuously buy from the same brand?

As consumers, we want to know that what we are purchasing is affordable, good quality and to know that the item is going to provide us with what we need. We also look for a brand that we know we can trust and rely on to provide us that product.

When you become a parent, finding a brand that you can trust and rely on becomes so important. Your days will be filled with many jobs, your nights will be long and the last thing you want on your mind is questioning whether the product you have for your baby is good or not. A brand that understands the needs and wants of parents and also the needs and wants of babies and children is so important because you know they will have products to meet everyone’s needs.

Dan and I have tried and used many baby products from the beginning with Emily and then with the triplets and it’s safe to say we have a list of our go to brands for each product.

Pampers has been one of our favourite and go to brands from the beginning and we are so lucky to now have the chance to work with them through our partnership with The Baby Gang. Pampers was our first choice in diapers when we had Emily and I even remember registering for Pampers diapers and wipes on our baby registry.

There are many reasons why we are devoted Pampers users and we wanted to share those reasons with you today! We have partnered with Pampers for this blog post, but all the thoughts and opinions are our own.

Before I talk about why we love the products, I wanted to talk about Pampers as a brand. Pampers has worked hard to meet the needs of both parents and baby. From the continuous development of their diapers and even the development of the Pampers flat diaper for babies in the NICU, they are looking at what is needed for babies of all ages and sizes. When Pampers develops their diapers, they keep both parents and baby in mind and what is important. For example, they understand how important sleep is not only to a baby’s growth and development, but also to parents, which is what they thought about when they developed the Baby Dry Diaper. As I mentioned earlier, understanding the needs and wants of consumers is important for a brand to create loyal customers, which is what Pampers has done with Dan and I.

This brings us to their products. Diapers become a huge part of your life when you become parents and finding ones that meet your baby’s needs throughout their diaper wearing days is a must! We love that Pampers offers diapers for every stage of your baby’s life. From newborn or even premature in the NICU to toddlers who are always on the run, there is a diaper for their needs every step of the way.

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A feature that we think is so great, especially for new parents, is the wetness indicator on the Pampers Swaddlers diapers. Dan and I were almost paranoid to let Emily sit in a wet diaper, but at the same time, we didn’t want to change a diaper that was dry. It may sound silly that we couldn’t tell, but as first time parents it was a big deal! The wetness indicator took the guess-work out of knowing if her diaper was wet and it helped us a lot!

Flash forward to now with the triplets, who are nonstop and always on the go, so we need a diaper that can keep up with their continuous movements. We love that the Pampers Cruisers are designed for moving toddlers and they offer more protection around a toddler’s legs with the flexible leg cuffs. There have been times I thought for sure, we would have a spill out from a diaper, but they have held up, even with the craziest jumps and turns the triplets could make.

As parents to four kids, we are so happy to have found a brand that understands both parents and children and focuses their product development on both. Knowing that we can rely on and trust Pampers to offer both quality and affordable products, makes our lives so much easier and it’s one less thing to worry about.

As I was changing the triplets’ diapers today, I thought to myself that it was such a good feeling knowing I could pick up the diaper and not question whether this diaper would do the job it needed to do. To using Pampers from the very beginning, to now being able to partner with them, this has been such a great experience and we are excited to continue working with them!

If you would like to learn more about Pampers products and more about the brand you can visit their website at !

We hope you have found this information informative and see why we love Pampers and have continued to collaborate with them since the beginning!

-Corrie

Taking On A New Challenge & Starting My Own Business

I have been a stay at home mom for about a year and a half now and I still can’t believe that I am sometimes. I always pictured myself working and the idea and thought of being a stay at home mom was something that would cross my mind, but never knew was possible. I want to share a little back story, so you see where I am coming from!

When we had Emily, it was so nice to be home with her for the year and I knew it was going to be a challenge going back to work. Over the course of my maternity leave, it dawned on me that I would have to leave Emily and it was then I realized I wanted to me a stay at home mom, but understood that it wouldn’t be possible.

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Where would she go? What daycare would she go to? What would my work schedule be like? How could I make things work?

Those were all questions I asked myself and through out the year I had to prepare myself to go back. I was working full-time at the Courtyard by Marriott in St. Jacobs, Ontario and also part-time at Zehrs markets (local grocery store). Before having kids it was easy to work both jobs and the days where I wold have to work both, I was working 13 hour days, not including the commuting to both jobs.

I started working at Zehrs in highschool and it was a good job and very flexible while in highschool and University. I started working full-time at the Courtyard after I finished University and I loved it! I went to the University of Guelph for Hotel and Food Administration and I dreamed of working in the Hospitality industry. I was so happy to have gotten the job and I knew I was finally on the way to starting my career.

After having Emily and being off for the year, I wasn’t sure how it would work going back to work and working various shifts. The shifts at the hotel were either 7am-3pm, 3pm-11pm or 11pm-7am and your schedule would change each week. I knew those were the shifts I would be working when I went back, but I didn’t know how it would work with daycare and how Dan and I would make it work. Knowing that it would be hard, I started looking for other jobs with more of a set schedule and hours, which would work better with daycare hours and scheduling daycare for Emily.

Before my maternity leave was over, I found out I was pregnant again. I knew I would be off on maternity leave again in a few months, so I had to go back to work. My sister mentioned the idea of joining Loblaw’s store development, which is what she did. I would be working nights and commuting from Cambridge to just outside of Toronto, Sunday to Thursday. I thought about it and ultimately decided to go for the job. I was sad to leave the hotel, but this job was going to work out well because I would work nights and be at home with Emily during the day. It wasn’t going to be forever, it was going to be for the next few months before the new baby arrived and I would make a little more money and save money on daycare.

When we found out we were expecting triplets and they arrived, it threw us a curve ball. The cost of daycare for all four kids would be so much and I would ultimately be working just to pay for them to be in daycare. Dan and I both knew that I wouldn’t be able to go back to work and together we decided that I would be a stay at home mom with Emily, Jackson, Olivia and Levi until they were in school.

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Flash forward to now and here we are. I am a stay at home mom, Emily is in school and the triplets will be in school September 2019. We have been so lucky with how things have gone over the last year and a half to give us the opportunity for me to stay home. It hasn’t been easy and we have had some tight situations, but we have made it work and because of all of you, The Baby Gang has grown to what we could have only imagined!

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I love being a stay at home mom, but it can become lonely sometimes and you kind of fall into the routine of just going through the motions of the day. I wanted to break that feeling and try something new. I wanted to do something for myself and find a way to give myself a little more freedom, so I started my own business! I had actually been thinking about it for a couple of months and going back and forth with my decision. I decided to just go for it and see where I can take it and I became a Scentsy Independent Consultant!

I have been using Scentsy products for a few months now and I love them. I neverPhoto 2018-02-15, 5 46 04 PM thought about signing up to be a consultant because I just enjoyed using them, but after a few months, I thought that it would be something fun to do and if I could make a little bit of my own money it would be great!

This is the thing, when you are a stay at home parent you can cut down your spending, use coupons and find discounts and deals, which is what I have been doing over the last year and a half, but you still have expenses. I have thought about and looked into finding a part-time job, but it never ends up being worth it. I have looked into night shift jobs, but I know I would never be able to function because the triplets are still at home, so I would ultimately be up 24 hours a day. Part time jobs during the day would be better, but I would still be paying to send 3 kids to daycare and I would be back to various shifts and trying to plan daycare around them.

After the idea of becoming a Scentsy Consultant went through my head, it seemed like the perfect thing for me. I love the product and know it is something everyone would love and I could do it all from home. I am excited to see where I can take this and continue to add to my Scentsy collection!

If this has ever been something you thought of, it’s never to late to join! You could even join my team and we can do this together!

If you don’t know what Scentsy is, it’s an US based company that sells warmers and scented wax bars, essentially wickless candles. You can choose from a wide range of warmers, all with different designs and each warmer has a dish where you place the scented wax pieces, which melt and release fragrances into the air. There are over 80 different fragrances to choose from and what’s great, is that they are always coming out with new ones!

Scentsy is not just limited to warmers and scent bars. They also have diffusers with natural and essential oils, an entire line of kids products, including the Scentsy Buddies, a laundry line, body line and a cleaning line.There is even a Scentsy Go, so you can pretty much have your favourite fragrances everywhere you go and with everything you do!
I don’t want to make this blog post any longer than it already is, so if you wanted to find out more about Scentsy and the products offered you can check it all out on my site corrie.scentsy.ca.

I also created a Facebook page Corrie – Scentsy Independent Consultant, where you can find out the latest deals from Scentsy, the new products and join in on some fun games and hear about my favourite products! I would love it if you could head over and leave a LIKE and follow my business page.

If you have any questions or are interested in joining me, I would love to hear from you! You can send me a message on my Facebook page, or email me at corrie_3004@hotmail.com!

Thank you for all of your support and I hope you find something you like!

*Just a FYI, if you are looking to purchase any products, my site is currently set up for Canada, US and Mexico only, but I can add more countries if there is interested and if Scentsy is sold there!

Shop My Site – corrie.scentsy.ca
Join My Team – https://corrie.scentsy.ca/join (US, Canada, Mexico only, for other countries, send me a message!)
Like My Page – Corrie – Scentsy Independent Consultant
Join My VIP Group – Corrie’s Scentsy-ble Friends

My Easy Tips to Saving Money on Everyday Purchases

If you read my most recent blog post, which I talked about all of my goals for 2018, you know that one of them was to save money. I not only want to save money by putting some away in a separate bank account, but I also want to save money on my everyday purchases. These are the purchases that I know I have to make and I am making frequently – the biggest ones being diapers! With two and a half-year old triplets, you can imagine what the diaper situation is like in our household! We have diapers everywhere! I want to thank Pampers for sponsoring this blog post and helping me share some easy and stress free ways that you can save money for the new year.

There really are so many easy ways to save money with your everyday purchases and of course, the biggest thing to make that happen is to know about the many ways. Sometimes saving money is as simple as clipping a coupon from a flyer or waiting for an item to go on sale and then there are times you have to be a bit more creative. You might think some are common sense or too simple, but those are often the things people skip over or forget about.

My first tip, which Dan thinks I am crazy for doing, is to sign up for emails from the companies and stores you shop at. I can’t tell you how many coupons and discounts or sales I find out about through emails and it is such a simple thing to do. A good thing to note is that most companies offer special discounts or coupons when you first sign up, such as 10%-20% off your purchase and some restaurants even send coupons for free food products. If you are the type of person who hates a clogged up email, I would suggest creating a separate email solely for this purpose. I have done this and it makes life so much easier.

My second tip would be to utilize online shopping options. Shopping from your couch and having products delivered right to your door saves you time, energy and money, when you are not out driving all around. This past holiday season I found myself doing a lot of online shopping and I definitely took advantage of all the deals from Amazon. It was so nice to just sit down, look online, place my order and within 2 days all my purchases were at my door. It was my first big year of doing online shopping and let me tell you, I have never felt more relaxed and calm with my Christmas shopping.

Another fun aspect of Amazon that I recently took advantage of was Subscribe and Save. Amazon’s Subscribe and Save is great because it allows you to save on so many everyday household products that you know you are always buying and then they are delivered right to your door. It is also super simple to set up! Once you select your items, you then select how often you would like them delivered, from monthly to every six months, and then on your delivery date, your items will be shipped right to your home.

I know saving money was on my list of goals for 2018, but another goal was to simplify things in my life. Amazon’s Subscribe and Save fits right into my goal of simplifying, and is a perfect tool for every busy parent. Once your subscriptions are set up, Amazon will continue delivering your items on your selected scheduled day, so you never have to worry or think about it, until they arrive at your door and as an added bonus, shipping is always free with your subscriptions. You can select from a variety of Pampers products, including Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes, Pampers Natural Clean Baby Wipes, Pampers Baby Dry, Pampers Swaddlers, Pampers Cruisers, Pampers Easy Ups, Pampers UnderJams and Pampers Splashers.

Until the triplets are potty trained, which won’t be any time soon, diapers will always be a regular purchase for us. To subscribe and save to Pampers diapers through Amazon and have them delivered right to our door, every month and save money while doing that, it just makes sense! I also like that you have the ability to change your order, if you wanted to add more or less, and you even have the option to skip a delivery if you don’t need that item then. As we continue to use the program, I already have a list of items I see us adding on.

My third tip would be to scroll through the app store on your phone and find all the apps that offer cash back for your purchases or rewards for the purchases you make for a specific product. I have quite a few apps on my phone relating to this and I find myself using them almost daily. It’s such a simple thing to do, uploading your receipts or entering in a reward code and then in return earning money back or points towards products. One of the apps I use all the time is the Pampers Rewards App. Diapers are one of my frequently purchased items and with the Pampers Rewards App, I am turning diapers into rewards. There are so many awesome items you can redeem your rewards for from the rewards catalogue and if you cannot quite choose, you can just continue to save and build up your points like me! 

My fourth and final tip would be to stay cautious when out shopping. Before buying an item, take a few moments to stop and think about if you really need it. Think about how long it will last you and if you are better off spending a little more for a product or item of better quality that will last you a lot longer. This is something that I am working on for 2018. I find myself looking for something cheaper because I don’t want to spend a lot of money, but then I am out looking for the same thing again because it wasn’t good quality and I end up spending more money.

Saving money doesn’t have to be hard and you don’t have to over think it. It’s all about finding the simple and small ways you can save money in your everyday life. I hope my tips will help you when it comes to saving money and also give you a little simplicity in your life with your everyday shopping!

We would love to hear some of your money saving tips! Please share below!

I’ve been using Pampers since day one and only partner with brands I truly love, prior to being contacted. The opinions on this blog are my own.

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My Goals for 2018!

1. Focus on Me

My first goal is a big goal and I don’t think it’s something that I can complete within one year, but I know I can make a lot of progress. For the past 4 years I have focused on being a mom and neglected myself. I don’t regret making that decision, but I regret not trying to find more of a balance between both and realizing it’s okay to focus on myself and my kids interchangeably. It has finally caught up to me and sometimes I feel very unhappy with myself. This past year I have really reflected on what putting myself on the back-burner has done, so this year I am determined to make a change. I want to start small and understand that it is okay to focus on me and I will be a better mom because of it!

2. Get in Shape and Be Healthy

At the beginning of 2017, I was determined and focused to get back in shape, but it didn’t last long. I felt like I couldn’t commit every time I attempted to make it work and then I just gave up. Now I am so unhappy with the way I look. I feel like it has stopped me from doing a lot of things that I want to do because I am embarrassed and in simple terms, I hate the way I look and my body. I have so many fun plans I want to do this year with the kids and I don’t want the way I look to hold me back. I know I have to stay committed or I will just regret it by the end of this year.

3. Declutter, Declutter, Declutter!

For the past 6 months or so I have been going through our house and everything we have and trying hard to declutter and get rid of a lot of things we don’t need. This has been a hard task for me at times because I have realized I put a lot of value on items and find myself holding a lot of memories in objects. I try to stop and think about what the item really is and if it is important for me to keep. Some items that cannot be replaced I will keep, but others I have learned to let go. One of the biggest items I have had to declutter is all the clothes for Emily and the triplets. We had so many and we really needed the space, so I made the big decision and parted ways with almost all of the clothes, but I had to keep some of my favorites! If you are looking for any inspiration to start or think it may not be worth it, when I started decluttering, I started selling my stuff and I was able to save up enough money for our trip to Florida last summer. I would take a trip to Florida over all those items still in our house! *The cover picture is from our trip that I was able to pay for with the stuff I sold!

4. Save Money

Who doesn’t want to save money, so of course I had to add this to my list! I think this goal ties into my goal of decluttering because I like to spend money and I end up buying things we don’t need. Now that I am focusing on decluttering, I find myself becoming more aware of what I am buying and really questioning if we need it or not.

Not buying stuff will of course make saving money easier, but I also have to have a plan in place where I am ACTUALLY saving money and putting it into an account or some place I cannot touch it. Dan works for the bank, so he is always up-to-date with the best ways to save and I think the biggest step I can do, pretty much right away, is to open an RRSP. Dan has been bugging me to open one for so long and I’ve just been putting it off, so this year will be the year I do it (hopefully by the end of January!)

I do have to add a third part to this goal because with everyday life we will need to spend money no matter what. I like to think I am pretty good with finding deals and the best prices out there, but this year I want to be better! Whether its using coupons or finding discounts available, I want to save money on our everyday purchases! I think I will share a post with all my money-saving tips too and hopefully share some insight on easy ways you can save too!

5. Simplify My Life Everywhere I Can

At the end of 2017, I was all about taking away the unnecessary stress in my life. I would think about what makes me feel stressed and then think of a way to make it not stressful. I think that all of my goals kind of tie together because a big thing that stressed me out was all the clutter and disorganization, which is why I have been on a big decluttering spree. I just want things to be simple and not complicated and whether that means using a product or service to make my life easier, I am all for it!

6. Re-do & Organize Our House

We have been living in our house for 4.5 years now and I am finally deciding to take the time to organize and set it up the way I would like. I feel like for the past 4.5 years we were in a baby mode and our house was set up for everything baby. I’ll have to write another post to talk about the different set ups we had and hopefully I can find some pictures, because it has changed so much. Now that Emily and the triplets are no longer using high chairs, swings or a playpen, we finally have more room, which is what we need now that they are running everywhere and just want room to play. It will be nice to step a little further out of the baby set up and have a house that’s a little more stylish!

7. Stay More Focused and Not Procrastinate

Procrastination should be my middle name, because I feel like I procrastinate with everything. I am not proud of it and it’s something I really have to work on and this year is going to be it! I really don’t know why I do because those times that I get things done ahead of time, it’s such a good feeling and much less stressful. I also want to stay focused on my goals and not let them drift away. I have some big goals I want to achieve this year and I know I wont be able to complete them if I’m not focused!

8. Work on and Finish My Many Projects

If you know me, you know I have about 100 projects on the go and some have been on going for the past 2 years (our fireplace mantle for example)! This year I am determined to complete some. I know if I tried to get them all done I couldn’t do it, so if I right out a list of all the projects I have, I can pick which ones I know I can complete and which ones are the most important.

9. Reconnect With Friends

Becoming a mom was the biggest job I have ever had and it came with a lot of sacrifices. I wasn’t as free as I once was and I couldn’t just leave for a spur of the moment night out. It was also hard to stay connected with friends as my life and their lives became busier. I thought I would have so much more free time being a stay at home mom, but I feel like it is the complete opposite. Most of my days I spend at home just trying to keep our lives on track and as a result its been hard to find extra time to go out. This year I want to reconnect with my friends and find the time to go out with them.

10. Grow The Baby Gang

And last but not least, I want to grow The Baby Gang. I want us to be able to connect to more people and to share our experiences with a bigger audience. We want to continue to give back to everyone through giveaways and sharing things we love and advice on products that we use through our partnerships. And we want to continue hearing from all of you with your stories and insights you give us! In February it will be 2 years since we posted our video of me changing Emily and the triplets and we cannot believe all of the things we have experienced since then and all of the people we have been able to connect with. Not only have we shared our experiences and hopefully taught you something, but we have truly learned so much from all of you. We are excited to keep going and see where 2018 takes us.

As Emily and the triplets get older, Dan and I can only imagine all of the fun things we will be able to do with them. From making fun videos with the kids or vlogging all of the awesome adventures we hope to take them on, we are excited to share it all with everyone!

We still have our goal to reach 100,000 subscribers on YouTube and now that we finally hit 500K on Facebook, we are setting our next goal to 1 Million. Then for Instagram we would love to reach somewhere between 50 – 100K followers. Of course reaching all three of those will take a lot of work and commitment from both of us, so it is up to us to put in the work to make our goals a reality! We know none of this would be possible without all of you, so we want to share a great big THANK YOU for supporting us and enjoying everything that we do!

I hope you all have an amazing year and can proudly say you achieved all of your goals by the end of 2018! We would love to hear what your goals are, so please SHARE!

-Corrie

Holiday Gift Guide For Him

Holiday shopping can be a little tricky and stressful, especially when you are trying to find that perfect gift for the everyone on your list! I have put together some holiday gift guides, with items I think would make great gifts and hopefully it will help you with some ideas to complete your holiday shopping! Thank you to Schick for sponsoring this post, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I don’t know about you, but buying for the men in my life always proves to be a challenge and they are usually the last ones on my list to buy for! The items on my list for him consist of items I have gifted in the past and some new items I have considered or purchased for this year! Here are my top 10 gift ideas for HIM.

Click the pictures to open up the page where you can found the items and for more information and prices of each!

  1. Tools
    Whether he already has an extensive tool collection or is just starting out, tools are always a good and useful gift to give. There are so many deals and savings on tools this time of year too, so you will be able to save some money, while still getting something you know he will use.

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    I found this set from Home Depot and it would be a great starter kit for simple everyday projects around the house.
  2. Schick Holiday Gift Sets
    Shaving is a part of almost every man’s daily routine, so it just makes sense to gift him shaving products. The Schick Holiday Gift Sets include everything he needs for the perfect shave, all in one convenient package. The gift sets are a great gift to give those hard to buy for men and would be ideal for your work secret Santa gift exchange. Every year I buy Dan a new razor and shaving cream, so this is at the top of my list!
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  3. Funky Socks
    There are so many different socks out there and you can go from super simple to extremely funky! Socks would work perfectly as an add on gift or stocking stuffer and just like the Schick Holiday Gift Sets, as a gift for a work gift exchange or your children’s teachers!

     

    I found these socks from The Bay and they are only a sample of the socks you can choose from from. Click the picture to see all the other options!

  4. Sweaters
    Sweaters are so versatile and can work for both business and casual looks. There are so many great styles and brands available, you are bound to find a look with will work for any man!

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    A dark grey sweater would be suitable for work and also just a casual day at home or out on the go. I found this one at Joe Fresh.

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    This sweater is reversible and the material looks very soft and comfortable. I found this one at Joe Fresh as well.
  5. Drone
    Drones seem to be everywhere these days and I can understand why. Whether he wants to use it for fun or to get that perfect shot for a video, it’s a fun little tech toy that doesn’t have to be too expensive. There are some great deals out there and lots of options, from beginner to expert!

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    I think the features of this drone sound great and it has received great reviews. The price is pretty reasonable at $149.90 and I found this one on Amazon.
  6. Watch
    There are so many cool designs to choose from and a watch is such a great accessory to any outfit. I also find there to be quite a few sales on watches around the holidays, so you can usually pick up a really nice one at an affordable price.

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    I really like the style of Kenneth Cole watches and this watch has a very sleek look. It could easily be worn with any outfit.
  7. Watch Case
    If you buy him a watch, he will need a place to store it, so why not add on a watch case. I bought this for Dan a few years ago and he still uses it today, It’s great to hold his watches and keep them clean, while displaying them.

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    The style is very modern and can be placed right on his dresser. I found this one at The Bombay Company.
  8. Faux Fur Blanket
    To some this may seem strange to have on a gift guide for men, but in reality, even men can use a soft, comfy blanket. We have one similar to this at home and Dan uses it ALL THE TIME!

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    I can feel how cozy this blanket would be just by looking at it. It comes in 3 different colors and I found them at Bed Bath & Beyond.
  9. Gift Cards
    Sometimes when you are really stuck on what to get him, gift cards are just what you are looking for, Whether you purchase one from his favorite store or if you know he is saving up for something specific, like a bigger TV, gift cards let him pick out something for himself and you know it will be exactly what he likes!

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    Many places like to add on additional gift cards or coupons with the purchase of a gift card. For example; purchase $50 gift card and receive an extra $10 gift card. You can keep that for yourself or add it to your gift!
  10. Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
    We have a Bluetooth speaker and it is the greatest thing. With the kids we love to listen to music and have a little dance party and with the speaker we can go anywhere in the house and bring the music with us!

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    This Sony speaker is available in a variety of colors and I found it at Best Buy.

     

I hope you all have a great holiday season and happy shopping!

-Corrie

Holiday Gift Guide For Her

Holiday shopping can be a little tricky and stressful, especially when you are trying to find that perfect gift for the everyone on your list! I have put together some holiday gift guides, with items I think would make great gifts and hopefully it will help you with some ideas to complete your holiday shopping! Thank you to Schick for sponsoring this post, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

A gift guide for her is a pretty easy one to fill because I think there is so much out there every woman would love. I also think it’s easy because it’s almost like writing a wish list and a favorites list all in one! Here are my top 10 gift ideas for HER.

Click the pictures to open up the page where you can found the items and for more information and prices of each!

  1. Long Sweaters
    Maybe it’s just me, but these are my favorite sweaters. The long sweaters cover a little extra, but can easily be matched with jeans or leggings. The material looks so soft, but not too heavy and very comfortable.

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    This sweater is available in 3 different colors and the pockets are handy. I found this one at Old Navy.

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    This sweater is available in 2 colors and it has a fun striped design. I also found this one at Old Navy. 
  2. Schick Holiday Gift Sets
    Every woman loves to have smooth legs and even in the winter she will still want to shave, so why not pick up a Schick gift set. You can choose between the Schick Hydro Silk razor or the Schick Intuition razor and both gift sets come with a pair of cozy winter socks (see item #5 and you have 2 items in 1!). The Schick Holiday Gift Sets would also be great for your work gift exchange, or for simple gifts to give your girlfriends.

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  3. Instant Pot
    Who wouldn’t want a little help in the kitchen and what better way than to save time cooking!

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    This is a little on the higher side for gifts, but you know it would be used so often! I found this one at Amazon.
  4. Faux Fur Blanket
    I have one similar to this and it is the COMFIEST and COZIEST blanket I have! It’s the perfect blanket to cuddle up with during the cold winter! (This is also on the Gift Guide for Him!)

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    You can just tell how comfy and cozy these blankets would be from the picture and they are a pretty reasonable price. I found them at Bed Bath & Beyond.
  5. Slipper Socks
    I have about 5 pairs and I may just have to gift myself a couple more this Christmas. Slipper socks keep your feet warm, but unlike regular slippers they don’t fall of easily. There are also so many fun designs to choose from.

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    A cute pair of winter slipper socks. I found them at Bed Bath & Beyond.
  6. The Cricut Maker
    The ultimate gift for the crafters in your life! This is on my wish list this year and I hope if I talk about it enough to Dan, it will be under the tree 😉

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    The possibilities are endless with the Cricut Maker and you can create your own custom designs and home decor. I found this at Cricut.
  7. Home Decor
    There is always that one final piece that will complete the room and if you have an idea of what it is or the style of the house, gifting a home decor item is a great idea. There is always a place for a fun and new item to be displayed around the house!
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    Perfect new addition to a nightstand. I found this at Hobby Lobby.
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    Fun piece to add to a shelf or office. This was also found at Hobby Lobby.

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    Picture frames would make a beautiful collage on the wall. These are from Bed Bath & Beyond.
  8. Hat, Mittens and Scarf Set
    It’s always fun to change-up a winter look, and a new hat, mittens and scarf set is an easy way to do that. This is an easy and quick gift to pick up and something you know she will be able to use.

     

    This red patterned set would match anyone. I found this set at Joe Fresh.

  9. Bathtub Caddy
    The ultimate way for her to enjoy a bath with the ease of keeping things close and out of the water, with a bathtub caddy. Such a simple idea, but it leads to a relaxing bath and some me time.

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    A very modern look and the sides extend to fit across the bathtub. I found this at Bed Bath & Beyond.
  10. Weekend Getaway
    A surprise weekend getaway would be such a fun and exciting gift. All it takes is to choose a weekend, decide on a place to go and then book a nice hotel to stay at. If you wanted to go above and beyond, a week-long trip is something to consider! (Make sure to pick up #2 as an added bonus!)

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    The weekend getaway doesn’t have to be somewhere far. Just a change of scenery and something different from the every day is all that is needed! (Picture from: http://mblog.macys.com/countdown-to-the-weekend-3-day-getaway)

     

     

     

I hope you all have a great holiday season and happy shopping!!

-Corrie

Can You Really Take 4 Kids on a Road Trip? | #ForBetterBeginnings

As you all know, Emily, Jackson, Olivia, Levi and I went on a road trip to Florida and we left Dan behind. We were gone for a total of 13 days. That included 7 days of driving and 6 full days in Florida and although it was a lot of work, the whole trip was so much fun and definitely a great learning experience. I was hesitant to go at first and thought about whether it was really possible to take 4 kids on a road trip. I did; however, find a way to make a long road trip with 4 toddlers a success. Be sure to continue reading to find out! I do want to say thank you to PlaytexBaby™ for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

This trip was something my sister Jessica (aka Aunty Gaga) and I had been talking about from the time she started her maternity leave last October. It was so tempting to just pack up and drive somewhere, knowing we both had all the time in the world. After months of the idea coming up over and over again, we came to the conclusion that it should actually happen! We booked the resort on a Sunday night and then had to wait a long 3 weeks before the road trip began.

Originally it was just going to be Jessica and I taking on the challenge of a road trip with 5 kids to Florida, but since it was summer break for our sister Taylor (aka Aunty Taytay), we thought it would be fun for her to come along too. Then after spending the day with our Nanny, who is retired, we convinced her to join us as well.

I was so excited to go because who wouldn’t be excited to go on a vacation, but I was also very nervous because this was my first time taking all 4 kids on a trip without Dan. Dan and I had recently experienced a long road trip with the kids when we went to Las Vegas and California back in May. It was a lot of work for the both of us then, so I knew I had to prepare for it to be tough for just myself. Luckily, I did have my sisters and our Nanny there to help as well as the experience from the Las Vegas and California trip. As long as I was prepared and ready for anything, I knew I could do it!

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The biggest thing we found that helped to keep Emily and the triplets occupied for the long car ride was to give them snacks while watching a movie. I set up the portable DVD players with one of their favorite movies and then gave them a piece of banana bread. It was such a big hit on our Las Vegas trip, so this time I made 6 loafs, 5 of which were gone by the time we made it to Florida. I also packed lots of other snacks that included crackers, veggie chips, bear paw cookies and also cut up watermelon, strawberries and cantaloupe. Bringing lots of snacks was also a big help with saving money and eating a little healthier on the drive. I made peanut butter sandwiches for lunch and now looking back, I think I only bought 1 or 2 fast food items during the entire drive down.

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Of course,  giving Emily and the triplets snacks in the van meant we needed little snack cups for them to hold and keep the snacks in. We used the Playtex® Flip Top Snacker on both road trips and they were great. I filled the Playtex® Flip Top Snacker up with their snacks and then they sat there quietly eating away while watching their movie. I do have to say that I love the lid on the Playtex® Flip Top Snacker because Emily and the triplets had to work a little bit to get their snacks out, which made them last a little longer and prevented us from having to stop more often to fill them up.

The Playtex® Flip Top Snacker itself was good at stopping their snacks from spilling all over the place, but once those snacks are out and in their hands they can end up anywhere. This would explain the condition of the van when we got home and the mess of food everywhere in the van. We also used the Playtex® Sipsters® Cups on the drive down and I can honestly say we were 100% spill free on both trips!

Once everyone was settled with their snacks and a movie, it was smooth sailing for a good chunk of time. Most times they would all fall asleep for a little nap afterwards, which then let us drive a little longer before we had to stop.

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If I am being totally honest, I was a little bit scared, worried, excited and everything in between before we left. I was worried about the drive down and how Emily and the triplets would be, what it would be like getting gas, making it to the hotels we booked and driving in general. I was also excited for a vacation, a new experience and the fun we would have. There are just so many things to consider and think about when travelling and with being so far away from home so many unexpected things can happen.

Knowing that we were 4 women with 5 kids driving from Ontario to Florida, was a little worrisome. I had 100% confidence that we could do it, especially since Jessica and I have driven down to Florida so many times and have done a lot of travelling, but there was still the thoughts in the back of my mind that something could happen without Dan there with us.

I do have to say that in a weird way, the trip was an empowering experience. Knowing that we had such a fun, exciting and memorable trip with 4 women and 5 kids, with all the stuff that we did while we were gone, is just such a great feeling.

As a #PlaytexMom I think it is so important to be there to encourage other moms and women to do whatever it is they want to do and to show that you can do it! I think that sometimes as  moms, we think all we should be doing is staying home following a routine, which is good, but sometimes it is fun to break away from the routine a little bit and do something you wouldn’t think of doing. If you have ever thought about going on a trip while on maternity leave and with your baby, I would encourage you to really consider it and just do it! If you are prepared and bring everything that you would need with you, then there is nothing stopping you from going.

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If you have a trip planned or are in the midst of planning your first trip with your little ones, whether it’s a road trip or not, you can always trust PlaytexBaby™ to make your travelling experience enjoyable and simple with products that have been designed with both mom and baby in mind. From the time your first baby is born to the time you head out on your first trip with them PlaytexBaby™ will always be there to help #ForBetterBeginnings!

In the end, even after all the work it took, it was so much fun and I can say you really can take 4 kids on a road trip!

Now it’s time to start planning our next vacation!

-Corrie