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“Picture[s] of the [last few] week[s]” and B&B book club


I haven’t been terribly good at keeping up with my “picture of the week”, so I thought that for this week I would share a whole bunch of pictures with you to make up for it. Here are a few shots of the last few weeks…visiting Peggy’s Cove before it got too cold, baked oatmeal dish, my birthday salad made by my wonderful husband, baking cookies with mom and dad over Christmas in Toronto as well as a couple of others.

Also, since it is January and lots of us are making new year’s resolutions (many of which may have to do with finances), I thought I would tell you about a book I recently read that you might like.  Its called the “Smart Cookies Guide to Making More Dough and Getting out of Debt”.  The idea of the book is premised around these five women called the “Smart Cookies” who got together and formed a “money group” to help keep themselves accountable financially.  The authors suggest that you form your own money group and read the book as you would in a book club.  It discusses all sorts of different money related topics and is written especially for women.  I personally read it on my own and learned a lot and found it really helpful. I imagine you would get even more out of it if you formed a group, but I definitely wouldn’t forego reading it just because you don’t have one.  One more tip: they have a Canadian and an American version of the book, so if you are going to order it, make sure you get the right version.

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Birthday thoughts


Yesterday I turned 29.

More than other years, it seems that there is so much to reflect on since this is the last year of my 20s.

I’m the type of person who reacts to birthday milestones a little prematurely. Turning 24 was a big year for me because I was almost 25 but turning 25 wasn’t such a big event because I had already internalized it the year before. Now, since 29 is proving to be a big year for me, I anticipate that next year will not be too much of a shock.

Though I’m not a huge birthday person, I do feel the need to mark each passing year of my life in some way. This year, I entered my 30th year in a big hug with my husband. As we hugged and the clock turned to midnight, I thanked God for all he has brought me in my life in general, but especially in the past year and the past decade. As I begin a new chapter, I am conscious of all the wonderful things that I am blessed with.

In this past decade I started and finished 3 university degrees; I started and ended a relationship, which was probably one of the biggest journeys into self-discovery that I have ever experienced; I met and married my husband and wonderful life partner, which has been an incredibly intense and rewarding experience; and I held a number of jobs which all contributed both to my personal and professional development and through which I have met some of the people who are today my best friends (you know who you are!). I’ve also been blessed to have traveled and seen so much of the world while also meeting new people and experiencing different perspectives on life. Among the many travel highlights were the time I swam in the bioluminescent bay in Puerto Rico, meeting my sponsored child and going on safari in South Africa, as well as our 1 month honeymoon in a beautiful and remote Italian mountain-top village. Oh, there have been so many memories. I’ve also taken up new hobbies, one of which is writing this blog (thank you for joining me on that one).

Thinking back on all of these experiences makes me realise that what I take from them are not only the memories, but how they have helped me to discover so much about myself and the world around me. This decade has taught me above all to become comfortable with and excited about who I am and where I want to go. I have learned to face my fears and bounce back from pain and heartache. I have learned the importance of having fun while also being wise and intentional.

This morning, J told me that 29 was a wonderful age because I have the knowledge of who I am while still being young and being able to do all of the things that young people do. I think he’s right and I intend on enjoying and taking in every minute of this year (the good and the bad).

20s, you’ve given me a lot and I’ve really enjoyed you; I’m going to miss you when we part ways next year but I’m almost starting to be ready to meet 30s. Here’s to our last year together – I know it will be special.