The Engagement Shoot | Matt and Julie Photography |

What is an engagement without an engagement shoot? One that is just as lovely as one who doesn’t get one done. But being the type of person that is always clicking that flash I knew we had to get one done. I wanted to capture the moment and the beauty of the place we got engaged because to me it was truly a place out of a fairy tale. The old weathered barns, the burnt orange, and yellow trees with the golden grass and the crystal water of Okanagan Lake made Fintry Falls my dream engagement shoot location. And best of all it was the exact place of the proposal too, so it has lots of meaning behind it too. If you want to read all about the sweet juicy proposal details you can check out my “How He Popped The Question Post Here”.  

At first, I thought it would be really easy. Like how difficult can an engagement shoot really be? Quite a bit more difficult than you would think. You have to find the right photographer, plan outfits, hair, and makeup. And not to mention have faith that the October rain won’t drown you out!

Being the person who takes my own photos with my phone I didn’t have a clue where to turn other than to google. And after searching high and low and email about five different photographers I had made a decision. I knew what I wanted, a small photo session about half an hour to forty minutes long with Jeremy, me Lexi and I wanted that to include 12 edits at the end with printing rights and I wanted them to be taken at Fintry Falls. Getting a photographer to travel to Fintry Falls was harder than I expected but I did find one… The perfect one at that… Matt and Julie Photography!

 

| The Engagement Shoot |

Friday, October 6th marked the day of our wonderful Engagement Shoot. The day started off like another other, Jeremy went to work, I stayed home and studied until it was time to get ready. I did my hair in some cute curls and brushed Lexi really well then waited patiently for my love to come home. Everything was going good, for the most part, it was a little cloudy but that just makes for “better light” I told myself and as the grey clouds rolled in and out I prayed it wouldn’t rain.

Jeremy got all fixed but after a long day at work and we were ready to go so I went to put on my tights and as soon as I pull them on ripppppp all the way up my leg from toes to thigh! So we rushed to the closest store and bought another pair trying to beat the clock and still get out of Kelowna at the right time. And even with the rush hour traffic, we did. Next on the list was beating the rain that ever so lightly sprinkled the windshield Jeremy and his parents tried to calm my nerves as the clouds were getting darker and darker. And sure enough, they were right, by the time we pulled in the Fintry parking lot the rain had stopped. Frist spot was the barn, it was odd trying to act all lovey and close with two people around us who we didn’t know. But we made the best of it and Lexi did even better. Well for one shot she did and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. Next, we took some pictures in front of different buildings, trees and the lake finishing with the golden field. Throughout the photoshoot the sun began to show little by little, and by the last photo, it was a beautiful glow setting behind us as we sat hand in hand in the golden field.  Below are a few of my favorites!!

| Matt and Julie Photography |

“Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit.”

– Edward Abbey

I chose to go with Matt and Julie Photography because they had no problem with working with what I was looking and it fell in my budget too. They were wonderful and very accommodating of what I needed, even putting together a little photography package that fit all my needs including Lexi and Fintry Falls. I couldn’t have asked for anyone better. Once it came to the shoot they made it fun, welcoming and they were very patient and friendly with Lexi too. What drew me to Matt and Julie Photography was not only their kind nature but their portfolio as well, it includes a wide variety of outdoors shoots from lakes to fields, heritage houses and more. Seeing this made me know that they would be the perfect fit for my dream Fintry Falls Shoot. I highly recommend them! And if I could I would have them take our wedding photos too! If you want to find about more about Matt and Julie you can go to MattandJulie.ca.

Four Ways To Style Your Blanket Scarf

More and more I find myself walking outside and running back in for that warm and cozy scarf because, well, it is that time of the year again. The leaves are falling in beautiful shades of red, yellow and orange. The air is starting to smell of crisp snow and feel like it too! So that is why today I am going to show you four cute and cozy ways to wear your blanket scarf or shawl, plus I will even tell you about a few of my favorites store and where you can receive 10% off your order. I will be showing you all four of these adorable ways to wear a scarf using my Ella Plaid Wrap from Thriver. It is warm, cozy and the perfect fit.

 

| Style One: Simple Scarf Knot |

This style is a very simple and easy way to wear your shawl or scarf. Simply center the scarf on the back of your neck then tie the two side in a knot like you do when starting to tie your shoes.

 

| Style Two: Cozy Open Shawl |

The cozy shawl style goes with any shirt and pants from long sleeves to cutoffs to ripped jeans or joggers. It will keep you looking warm and cozy all day long.

 

| Style Three: Belted Shawl |

Add a belt to your scarf or shawl and go from simple to stylish, plus it is a great way to accentuate your waist. 

 

| Style Four: Wrap It |

This is a classic way to wear your blanket scarf or shawl, it is simple, fashion-forward, and it will keep you warm all day long. 

There now you know four new ways you can change up your outfit with a simple scarf. So what do you think? What ways do you style your scarf? and Where is your go-to place to buy your scarves?

| Three Places To Buy A Blanket Scarf Today |

  1. Thriver:  This is a small boutique out of Portland, OR it strives to encourage and inspire and it was launched in June 2017 by a mother and daughter. Plus you can get 10% off your order if you use the code “EntirelyTaylor”.
  2. Obviously Chic: Is a proudly Canadian boutique store founded by Jess in 2009, it is a truly beautiful story and the affordable clothing is just as beautiful too.
  3.  Western Bliss: Is another Canadian boutique store located in Alberta and founded by Michelle Higgins. Their focus is western chic clothing at an affordable price and they are really amazing.

 

Family Pumpkin Pie Recipe |Happy Thanksgiving|

Thanksgiving, the time of year where you get together with family share the memories of the year past and the hopes for the year to come. Give thanks to the people you love for being able to celebrate with you and share in a bounty of homemade goodies from stuffing to pies and all the yummy snacks in between. And what says Thanksgiving more than a delicious robust, spiced pumpkin pie made from a locally grown pumpkin? I sure don’t know what does! And that is why I am sharing one of my little Thanksgiving traditions with you. The art of making a pumpkin pie right from a vine grown pumpkin. After one bite you will not be going back to that store pie! This pie will leave your mouth-watering and your family asking for the recipe, for sure! So what are we waiting for, let’s get baking!

So first thing first, is the pie crust, you can use a store-bought one or you can make your own. If you choose to make your own you can use this recipe I have here. It is a basic family recipe and a choose to use butter and shortening because it gives the crust a nice flaky texture. As well you can substitute half the all-purpose for whole wheat if you like the bite on the whole flour, this is how I made mine this year and it turned out amazing. As well you will notice that the recipe has white vinegar in the ingredients, this is a do not miss it will keep the crust flaky, moist, and give it an amazing taste.

 

| Bateson Family Pie Crust |

Makes: 2, 9-inch pies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoons sugar

3/4 cup butter, chilled, cut into 1/4 inch cubes.

1/2 cup of all-vegetable shortening, chilled

6-8 tablespoons ice water

2 teaspoon white vinegar

| Making The Perfect Crust |

First thing first is combining all the dry ingredients, preheating the oven, and for this recipe chilling your butter and pumpkin too. So turn the heat up on your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and allow it to – before you starting baking. You want to make sure that your butter and shortening are COLD and yes I mean very, very cold, this will give the dough a yummy flaky crumble you look for in a pie crust. After you have all flour, salt, and sugar in your mixing bowl add the 1/4 inch cubes of butter and shortening to the flour mix. Then combine the 2 teaspoons and 8 tablespoons of water in a small dish. Now turn your mixer up to medium speed and starting mixing. Slowly add your vinegar-water mixture to your flour mixture one tablespoon at a time until the dough looks like sand and pebbles, you may not use all of your water.      

Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and combine with your hands until it is smooth and you can form a ball without too many cracks. Separate the dough into two balls this will make it easier when you are rolling out the crust. Then wrap it in plastic wrap and set it in the fridge to chill while you prepare the pumpkin pie filling.    

| Bateson Family Pumpkin Pie |

2 large eggs

1/4 cup  granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 cups fresh pumpkin puree

1 cup (175 ml) heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon cardamon

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

| Step One: Pure The Pumpkin |

Because I used a locally grown pumpkin I will tell you how to bake and pure the pumpkin to get the perfect pie. It is very easy, anyone can do it. So – your oven to 425 degrees and let it heat up. While the oven is heating up cut your pumpkin in half remove the seed and insides then slice up each half into about 1-2 inch half circle slices, just like how you slice an orange. Then arrange them on a baking sheet and cover with tin foil and place it in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes until it is soft to the touch. Once it is done, you can remove it from the oven and let cool. Then place it in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Now you have fresh pumpkin puree.     

| Step Two: The Crust |

Take out the chilled dough and begin to roll, make sure you roll it thin enough about 1/2 cm thick so that it fits into pie plate. Now with the oven pre-heated to 350 degrees and your pie crust pressed into the pan you are going to soft bake the dough. This will keep the middle of the pie from getting soggy when you place the filling in it and begin baking. Place tin foil on top of the dough and fill it up with some dry beans or rice works too then place it into the oven to bake for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool while you prepare the filling.

| Step Two: Pumpkin Pie Filling |

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees then start making the filling. Combine all of the wet ingredients in your mixing bowl then mix until combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix again until it is all well incorporated, it will only take a moment so be sure not to over mix. And that was it, wasn’t that easy? I would say so! Now you are ready to pour this delicious mixture into the pie plate and bake at 425 for 15 minutes then turn the oven down to 400 and bake for another 35-40 minutes. The crust should be golden brown and the middle of the pumpkin pie will be a bit wobbly when you take it out. The heat from the pumpkin pie will cook the rest of the way through but be aware that making a pumpkin pie with fresh puree will make a softer pie that the canned pumpkin or a store-bought pie. It will taste amazing though and you will be running back for more.   

Now that you are done and your house smells of wonderful pumpkin pie and robust spice it is time to serve. You can serve it warm or cold and with ice cream or whip cream. You will have the family running back for more!

 

 

 

The Ultimate Guide To Surviving Midterms

Well, well, it is that time of year again, the dreaded time of midterms. That one or two-week period of paper after paper and exam after exam. The time of year that brings long nights of flash cards, coffee refills and the stress of getting that A. It may seem daunting with everything you have to do but in the end it will all get done! I know it will and you do too. So if you need a few little tips and tricks to get you through those midterm days then this is just for you. Here is everything that makes my studying less stressful and even fun. Because even though you may have lots to do, your life can not be just school, school, school! Even the best of students take time for their self. So here is the Ultimate Guide To Surviving Midterms!

| One: Get Enough Sleep |

This is probably one of the most important things when it comes to surviving the midterm week. Sleep will help you de-stress, boost your memory and keep you from being over exhausted. Because there is nothing worse than dozing off in a boring lecture like history or math. So, if you are thinking of pulling an all-nighter to cram all that studying in you may want to think again and consider getting a few extra zzz’s.

 

| Two: Plan Ahead |

Oh for the love of planning, there is nothing I love more and for a very good reason at that. Planning ahead and writing down all of those overlapping due dates will not only help you remember when each paper is due and when each exam will take place but it will also help you to organize what you need to study and when. Try creating a study plan to help you stay on top of what you need to study and when. You will be amazed at how much it can really help.

 

| Three: Learn What Your Learning Style Is |

If you are already in college or even high school you may already know what type of learning style fits your needs the best. And that is wonderful! But if you do no then you can take this little quiz here to find out. Or try to focus on what helps you to remember things next time you are in class and roll with it for studying. Do you remember by seeing, by doing, or by listening? I am a Kinesthetic learner mixed with auditory meaning I best remember things when I do them myself, for example, I write out index flash cards that I can answer out loud and this is the number one way I study by self-testing. Knowing how you learn best will help you devise study plans that fit your needs.

 

| Four: Get Out Of The House |

Get out of your house! No really, I mean it! Leave your house or the school or where ever you usually study and find a new place to try out. You will be surprised at how much it can change your studying. When you study at home there are so many distractions that can lead to you not getting all the work you wanted to get done, done. So try out a new coffee shop you have always wanted to stop by, try getting out into nature and bring your studies with you to the dog park or on a walk, the fresh air does wonders for concentration.

 

 

| Five: Create A Study Group |

Say hello to a few of your fellow classmates that sit around you, make some new friends and plan a study session. There is nothing better than being able to get that little bit of extra help especially when it is with friends. Explaining a subject or a point to a friend will help you to remember it and help you better understand too all while helping a friend out. Make up some creative acronyms, watch a Youtube video on the topic and quiz each other. If you dare you could eve go to a local favorite pub from some wine or a beer and study with some food too!

 

| Six: Eat Healthy |

Okay, get out all those healthy snacks and brain food. Studying on an empty stomach or one packed full of sugary and fatty foods can make it hard to focus, thus making it hard to remember all the important points or hard to just stay awake in class. So get out those antioxidants, fatty acids, omega 3’s and protein, get out your lunch kit and start preparing some yummy lunches and snacks to bring with you to class. And this means breakfast too, make sure you pack or make a good healthy one before you go off to class. Food powers the brain. Plus who doesn’t like snacks?!

 

| Seven: Relax, Take Time For Yourself |

Along with sleep, this is one of the most important things you can do when it comes to surviving your midterms and by far the most fun. Remember to relax, take time for yourself and have a little fun too. I do not just mean take a day to unwind I mean take that 10 to 15 minutes in-between classes or in-between studying different subjects to breathe and just relax. Along with relaxing and take time for yourself, treat yourself too. If you fall in love with that shirt or cozy scarf then buy it! Or treat yourself with an indulgent snack, that is right, eat that cinnamon bun and that pumpkin pie to your heart’s content. There is nothing wrong with treating yourself once in a while!

 

So what are you waiting for? Get out that planner, catch some extra zzz’s, pack up a yummy lunch and get your study group together, then get studying. Stock up on some flash cards and get ready to ace that upcoming midterm. I am in the same boat as all of you and I can not wait for them to be over. And I bet you can’t wait too!

 

How He Popped The Question |Our Engagement Story|

Ahhh! Where do I even start with this one? Do I gush about the one I love and why I love him so much? or Do I jump right in and explain the most wonderful surprise of a lifetime? No, no, no, we will start at the beginning, the very beginning so you can get to know Jeremy and I just a little bit more.

| The Back Story |

So let’s rewind back to the beginning a whole 803 days ago. Back to the day when Jeremy first asked for me to be his girlfriend. Back to July 4th to be exact. I remember it like it was yesterday, then a few months down the road he gave me a key and ask me to move in. I knew our relationship was serious and that was new to me having this be my only really serious relationship but it just felt right. You that feeling in your heart that it is the right thing to do despite what all others might think? Yeah, that kind of right. And so after about two or three days of deciding, I said yes, took that keys, and we made a little home together, just Jeremy, me and our wonderful roommate. Six months later I was looking into schools and we were trying to figure out how it would work. Would we do long distance? Could we even do that? Would we move together? Did he even want to move with me, for me?

Turns out the answer was a simple “yes”. And so after being together for a year, we moved to Kelowna so we could both attend school. It was stressful at times and hard to deal with moving to a new place, going to school and working at the same time. But coming home at the end of each day to the person I knew I loved made it better and easier. Now that leads us to here, with me in my second year of an Arts Degree and Jeremy all done, fully ticketed for carpentry. To say it was easy and breezy would be a lie so I won’t say that, but although it was hard and difficult at times we have made it here and I can not wait to spend the rest of my life with the man I love…. Here is the first picture we ever took together.

 

| My Crazy Proposal Theory |

   Okay now for the moment you have been waiting for, the Engagement and all its juicy details. Before I start gushing and a tear rolls down my cheek I have to tell you my theory. Well, because without it the story just won’t make as much sense. Plus if you know me, you will know I can be quite the Sherlock Homes, so this detective theory will make you laugh for sure! So…. starting at about six months before Jeremy got down on one knee I started to put together this theory of how he was going to ask me and when. I know it’s a little crazy but it seemed to make perfect sense to me!

   It all started with some of the little things he was doing. The first account I remember was one night while sitting on the couch together, Jeremy was on the far side of the couch texting a bunch which isn’t like him. So I looked off towards him and his cell phone, causing him to pull it away quickly, then locked it and put it down. I asked “who are you talking to?” and it was one of his best friends in the next town over. Then I asked, “what are you talking about to make react like that?” He replied trying to hide a smile, “Nothing!”. Then after a little pestering and asking to see he said, “it’s about you and your birthday present!”. Since that was plausible and it was somewhat close to my birthday I just said “okay” and left it. But I still had this feeling it wasn’t totally truthful.

A month or so later we were talking about money and the tools Jeremy had recently bought. And of course he wanted to buy a new one, so I said: ” you could use the money from school, and what you have saved.” Jeremy replied quickly with a silly, I’m not smiling smirk “No I can’t, I don’t have that anymore!”. “Oh,” I said,  “that was quick, what did you spend it on then?” He said “nothing, nevermind. I don’t have much left because of the tools I bought.” Again I agreed a little suspicious because I knew the tools did not cost that much at all! 

Jump forward a few months and we are visiting family in our hometown of Smithers. While on an evening out for dinner and drinks with friends Jeremy’s bother asks “If Jeremy were to ask you to marry him would you say yes?” Jeremy was in the bathroom when he asked and all I did was pause because, well, I was not expecting it at all! Plus, it was completely off topic from what we were talking about and everyone was staring at me. All I could cough up was a giggle and a “yeah most likely, why?” His answer was “just wondering”. I thought the question was odd but coaxed it up to the two empty pitchers of beer on the table. 

Last thing pointing towards a soon proposal was at some friends beautiful wedding we were attending in July. After a while of looking for Jeremy, I found him mid heart-to-heart with another one of his best friends. So I stood and waited for them to finish then, of course, I asked “What were you talking about?” and again got the odd response “Nothing”. Even with all my pestering he still wouldn’t tell me and I gave up, but I knew that smile of his was hiding something. Something that I was not supposed to know. 

 

| September 17, 2017, The Engagement |

Okay now for the moment you have been waiting for, the Engagement and all its juicy details! Septemeber 17, 2017, marks the exact day. It started off just like any other Sunday, we woke up early got the laundry in and Jeremy made me a delicious breakfast while I did a little homework. We had planned to go on a small hike up to Bear Creek Falls that morning so Lexi could run and so we could spend some much needed time together in the outdoors. But when we drove by Bear Creek the parking lot was full and me being me didn’t want to be around everyone. I just wanted it to be us and Lexi. So we looked up the next closet hike. Fintry Falls, a gorgeous hike with some beautiful old barns and a small crystal clean waterfall, it was beautiful and breathtaking. Little did I know that this hike would be one to remember for a lifetime. 

With me clueless and Jeremy shakingly nervous we made our way through the open field, past the rustic barns, and up the mountain of stairs. Around us, the leaves rustled on the verge of changing colour and a little-striped chipmunk ran under and around the steps. At the top platform, we stopped to admire the view of the little waterfall and the scenery around us. All the while Jeremy built up the courage to pop the question. I was in ah of the view and the spot where we were like I usually am on a hike, I was walking all over looking at anything and everything. Then after me convincing Jeremy to take a few pictures of me and Lexi then of me and him, he knew it was the time.

While on my way to give him another hug and kiss and start talking about the view again he stopped me, taking my hands in his. His voice was slightly shaky as he spoke “So… You know you theory you had the one you told me while on our Castlegar trip, I told my mom and she laughed and so did I. Because, well, you got it one hundred percent right, like completely hit the nail on the head with that one.” I giggled with teary eyes in confusion and excitement of where he was going with all this, then I gave him and another hug and kiss starstruck by what could be unfolding. I walked away a little, taking everything in as Lexi ran after a chipmunk causing the moment to pause. Then when I turned around there Jeremy was getting down on one knee, with the ring in hand “So, with that Taylor… Will you marry me?” he said, voice and hand-shaking in the cutest of ways. The first thing I said was “Are you serious?” I was just so surprised and in shock, I couldn’t find the right combination of letters. Still, on one knee he replied “Uh yes I am pretty serious! So, what is it? will you?”. As the tears pooled in my eyes and with excitement and love in my voice I replied “Well, of course, I will! Yes!”

After it took quite awhile for the shock to wear off and even now a few days later, I’m pretty sure I’m still shocked! But it is the best shock in the whole world! I get to call the love of my life, mine, my fiance, and someday soon my husband. Although many say I am very young or too young all I can say is, when you know, you know! Or as my Dad said I am twenty going on twenty-seven. I can not wait to share the rest of my life with the man I love and plan a wonderful dreamy day. The date is still undecided but we do have a few in mind. So, stay tuned for all the wedding details to come and the Engagement photo shoot too!

A Broke Girl’s Guide To Budgeting |with tips, tricks and a budgeting printable|

Today let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and talk about budgeting. I know budgeting sounds scary and may bring back those memories of that grade ten “Planning” course. You know the one that was required, the one that was meant to prepare you for life outside of high school and prepare you for adulthood? Yeah, I am talking about that one! The one that was really just an annoyance and made the outline of budgeting sound like a foreign language. Well, I’m here to tell you if you still can not speak the foreign language of budging, then look no further because I have cracked the code. And it is way easier than it seems! So from one broke girl to another here is my Ultimate Guide to Budgeting and Saving as a Student including some tips, tricks, and free printables!

| What Is Budgeting? |

Before you can understand the budget you will create you must first understand what budgeting really is.
So what is budgeting you may ask?

Budgeting is the process of making a plan to spend your money and the spending is called the budget. Creating a spending plan or budget allows you to know in advance if you can afford the things you want to do or would like to do. It allows you to prioritize your wants and needs, making it easier to go and have a fun day without the worry of how much you can really afford.

| Why Is Budgeting Important? |

Now that you know what budgeting really is you need to understand why budgeting is important. Budgeting, especially as a student ensures you have the right amount of money set aside for the things need, such as a roof over your head (rent), transportation, and food just to mention a few them. Plus, it allows you to be confident that those few extra coffees’ aren’t going to put you on the short end of anything. And let’s be honest I am definitely guilty of an extra coffee or two, here and there.

| How To Make Your Own Budget |

Now that we know all about what budgeting is and why is it so important let’s start crunching some numbers! The first thing you need to do is calculate your monthly or bi-weekly income. This is the number you will be subtracting all your expenses from. Now make a list of all your “expenses” starting with the most important ones such as rent, utilities, food, gas, etc. Now add up all your monthly expenses and subtract it from your income. If you are choosing to budget monthly calculate your monthly income and monthly expenses, then subtract your total monthly expenses from your monthly income. If you are choosing to budget bi-weekly, calculate your bi-weekly income and bi-weekly expenses, then subtract your bi-weekly expenses from your bi-weekly income (this is the way I budget because it works well with my serving job).

Are your expenses less than your income? If so, good job! Congratulations!

Next, make a list of your non-essentials and assign a dollar amount to them, even if it is just an educated guess. The goal here is to almost equal out your expenses and your income. Your non-essentials may include makeup and fun spending money etc. But your non-essentials should always include, savings and miscellaneous because you never know if something unexpected will come up during the month, like needing to get your vehicle fixed (this happened to me a few months ago) or a much-needed date night or girls night.

Now if that sounds little too confusing or complicated lets break down the categories and look at how I arrange my essential expenses and my non-essential expenses, including how I found out what I spend also. Because trying to assign a random number to an expense can be hard and it does take time to perfect the amount you will spend on any given category.


| How I Started My Budget and How I Budget As a Sever |

*some of these numbers are made up to protect myself and my finances* 

Step One ||  Calculate Income & Hours Needed

First thing I did was open up a new word document, this allows me to track want I am setting aside for each expense and what I am saving as well. At the top of the page, I calculated my income on a bi-weekly basis including how many hours a week I need to work to make this amount. Now the way I budget is a little different from the average person because I serve, meaning the majority of the money I make comes from my tips. So not overspending them is crucial. Now, since the money I can make on a bi-weekly basis in tips can fluctuate a lot that means for two weeks (payday to payday) I put all the tips into an envelope and only open that envelope on payday. Doing this makes it seem as though those tips are part of my wage, thus equaling a higher income.

Step Two || Essential Expenses & Non-Essential Expenses

The next thing I did was make a table of the breakdown of my essential and non-essential expenses.

My essentials include:
– Rent (utilities included) …
– Food $160.00
– Gas $120.00
– Vehicle Payment …
– Insurance …
– Phone Bill $90.00

After that, I started by assigning the amount of money I would spend on each essential that I knew would not fluctuate from that number, such as rent, food, my vehicle payment and my insurance. Then I assigned a number to the essential expenses I knew could fluctuate a little starting with how much it should cost then add $10.00. This prepares you for a little bit of extra travel or extra data usage and also allows you to save up for these expenses so that if you don’t have enough tips to put towards your phone bill one week you can wait out till the next week and it won’t shock you. You may wonder why I do not consider food a fluctuating expense and that is because with a budget you sometimes have to set yourself goals and not allow yourself to always spend over. This is what I do with the food expenses since I budget on a bi-weekly basis that means that if I go over a little the one week then the week after grocery shop will have to accommodate that.

Example of How I Found Out How Much I Spend on Food and Gas.

Food:
I found out how much I spend on food on a bi-weekly basis with much trial and correction. My food budget here includes not only my own food but also the break down cost of food for Lexi (my boyfriends dog I’s border collie). I started with a budget of $70.00 per week in food for me and $10.00 per week goes towards Lexi’s food. This food money is also in its own bank account so that I know exactly how much there is for food us and for Lexi.
Gas:
I figured this one out by watching my driving for a few weeks. I realized that a tank of gas usually lasts me about two weeks if I am not casually driving all over and a tank of gas costs about $50-60.00 dollars, so I timed that by two and got $120.00 for my bi-weekly expense. 

My non-essentials include:
– Savings
– Miscellaneous

My non-essentials include savings and miscellaneous. Now for this category I do not assign a number I want to put into it each payday, instead I record the extra money I have after subtracting all my bi-weekly expenses from my income. I do it this way because one, I do not make a ton of money while in school and two, it is less stressful to not feel like I have to be saving. Plus allows me to know how much money I have that can go to a week of lesser income.

Step Three || Put The Budget Into Place

Now it is time to try your budget out, you can use my word document that I have made or you can try using an app or even a printable budget tracker, there are tons and tons on Pinterest. However, I found that making my own has worked the best because I only put exactly what I need to be spending on it. And remember that the budget will not just come together over night, it is something you have to work at! But in the end, you will thank yourself. And who knows maybe you will have saved enough to go on that much needed and wanted trip.

If you would like to use the printable I made you can click Budget Tracking and download it for yourself! Or check you this awesome Pinterest one here!


| Tips & Tricks To Saving |

  1. Use different bank accounts for different experiences. Such as I do for my food expenses.
  2. Don’t spend those coins, put them away into a jar and you would be surprised how much can accumulate in a year or even a month.
  3. Sell some of those extra clothes or items in your house that you do not need or want anymore. Then add that money to your savings.
  4. Set goals, it is incredible how much a little goal can help when you are trying to save.
  5. Stop telling yourself it’s only 1 dollar or 2 dollars or 5 dollars, every coin matters and the small stuff can add up fast because it doesn’t seem like much money.

 

 

 

The Enchanted Forest

With the end of the summer here, and school back in I have been looking back at what I did during my summer vacation and wanted to share one of my favorite trips with you. One of the trips on my bucket list to be exact, going to the Enchanted Forest. It was the one thing I was most excited to complete. I love to travel, road trip especially, even if that means only taking a short one or two-hour drive. To see how everything changes from one location to the next can be breathtaking and that was one of the best parts of this trip, the scenery, the changes.

Growing up in a small town of Northern BC I was used to the fields and forests always being lush and green, but here in the Okanagan, it is defiantly not lush and green during the summer. But along the drive, you get to watch hills grow into gorgeous mountains and the trees and grass stand tall, more and more quenched of thirst with every kilometer.

I most likely found the drive so stunning because the last time I had been down to Sicamous was when my brother and I were way younger. My dad picked us up from the last day of school with the truck packed and ready to take off on an adventure. It was the best surprise a child could receive. And so, we left for the summer traveling around B.C and Alberta, visiting Aunts and Uncles, Cousins and our Grandparents. Still, to this day it is the summer that I will never forget, we had many laughs and many wonderful memories were made, one of them is visiting The Enchanted Forest. And that is how it ended up scribbled onto my summer bucket this year.

Since Jeremy had never been to The Enchanted Forest before the trip was, even more, fun and magical if I do say so myself. It was nice to get to share my childhood memories with the one I love and get to make new memories with each other. We did all that the Enchanted Forest offered from a romantic little boat ride to scenic trail walk through the woods and along the creeks board walk, to sitting in all the figurine houses and we even got our scenic walk diplomas at the end!

This trip was one that I would do again but next time we would bring Lexi our little border collie because you can bring your dog. We never thought of calling to ask but we sure wish we did. This trip washed away all the stresses and we just laughed enjoying where we were and had a great time crawling inside the tiny houses, it truly made me smile. HE made me smile with all the silly thing he did just to get me to laugh.


| About The Enchanted Forest |

Now you are probably asking yourself “Where is the Enchanted Forest?”… “What is the Enchanted Forest?” and “Why is it so great?”…  Well let me tell, and show you. The Enchanted Forest is magical and provides over 350 crafted houses and figurines from The Three Bears, Jack and Jill and even The Wizard of Oz and also BC’s tallest tree house. You take a stroll under the canopy of one of BC’s stunning old growth forests in the Monashee Mountains where adventure awaits around every corner. As well enjoy a walk along their nature paths, take the board walk and stop to see the salmon run in September-October or enjoy a paddle through the wetlands and don’t forget to pick up your Nature Walk Diploma at the end, we didn’t. If you want more information about the enchanted forest and want to go there your self you can click here!


 

The Best Pumpkin Scones

If you are a fan of all things Autumn that must mean you love pumpkin or more importantly what the season brings. Autumn doesn’t just bring crisp weather, beautiful colours and hot drinks, it also brings all the delicious treats of the holidays. And what’s a better way to ring in the new season than with a totally divine seasonal treat? And by that, I mean a seasonal treat that even the most fearful of baking can throw together and still have turn out delectable. These little Pumpkin Scones will have your house smelling like a bakery and the combination of rich pumpkin, and robust spices leave your mouth watering. Plus on a chilly morning, nothing beats a warm pumpkin scone and a freshly pressed cup of piping hot coffee.


| The Recipe: The Best Pumpkin Scones |

Makes: 6-8 depending on how you cut it.
Preheat Oven: 425

| Scones |

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 Tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 Tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 Tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and diced into 1 cm pieces
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp canned pumpkin puree, chilled 
  • 4 1/2 Tbsp buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

| Spiced Glaze|

  • 1 cup powdered sugar (more if needed)
  • 2 Tbsp buttermilk, (more if needed)
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 Tsp ground cinnamon

| Step One: Dry Ingredients |

First thing first is combining all the dry ingredients, preheating the oven and for this recipe chilling your butter and pumpkin too. So turn the heat up on your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and allow it to preheat all the way before you starting baking. This will give the baking a consistency while in the oven and your scones will rise properly. And make sure that your butter and pumpkin puree is in the fridge. Now that the oven is preheated and your ingredients are chilling you are ready to start your baking. Get out a large bowl, I used an average stainless steel bowl, any will work and combine your whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, light brown sugar and white sugar. Once all these are combined mix until well incorporated.  

| Step Two: The Butter |

Start by cutting the COLD butter into little cubes about 1cm by 1cm then add all of it into your dry bowl or place all of it into a food processor. Now now, if you don’t have a food processor that is okay, so don’t go running to the store for you. You can still make this recipe, it will just take a little more time and patience. You can easily cut the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter or by using a fork or two knives. I used a fork and it worked great! You should cut the butter into the flour until it looks sandy with some larger pebbles of butter. Now that you have all the butter cut into your flour mixture place the bowl in the fridge. This just keeps the butter nice and cold while you prepare the wet ingredients.

| Step Three: Wet Ingredients |

In a bowl whisk together the COLD pumpkin puree, egg, vanilla and butter milk, whisk this until it is well combined. Now remove the flour butter mixture out of the fridge and make a well in the center of the flour. This will be where you pour the wet ingredients. What are you waiting for pour away! Then mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until just incorporated, then knead the dough with your hand in the bowl or on a floured surface. Knead a few times until the dough comes all together, it will still be a little sticky and that is okay! 

| Step Four: Shape & Bake |

Now that you have your dough all ready to go, shape it into a big 9-inch circle, the dough will be about 1 thick. Next, cut it into eight pieces and place the slices on a parchment lined baking pan. Then brush the top of each scone with a little butter milk, this will make them brown to that perfect golden brown. And last but not least pop them in the preheated oven for about 13-16 or until they have browned and a toothpick test is clean.  

| Step Five: The Glaze |

Now that your scones are done and smelling amazing it is time to make them look the same with a sweet spiced glaze. Add your icing sugar, pumpkin puree, cinnamon and butter milk in a small bowl and mix until well combined. This mixture should not be runny but if it is, just add more icing sugar until you get a thick consistency. Next, pour it over the top of each scone using all the glaze for a yummy and sticky treat.  


| Tips and Tricks |

  • Leave out the pecans if you have a nut allergy and try cranberries or mini chocolate chips instead.
  • If you are not an admirer of pumpkin substitute mashed banana instead.
  • Substitute the egg for ground flax seed and water to make an egg substitute, use cold coconut oil instead of butter, agave or maple syrup for sugar and coconut or almond milk instead of cream for a vegan alternative.
  • Add some cream cheese to the inside of the middle of the scones before baking for a creamy surprise when you bite into it.
  • Make sure your butter is COLD, warm or room temperature butter is a serious no-no.

 

Arbonne Package | A Beauty Review |

| My Personalized Sample Kit |

I have been looking to find a new line of beauty products to ramp up my makeup collection and my morning and night face wash routine. There is nothing wrong with the one I use now and I do love it dearly but it is an acne face wash by Clinique and I am looking one that combats more than just that. I did lots of research and am still in the process of doing so but for right now I am trying some products from Arbonne thanks to Lindsey Mann an Arbonne consultant. I got in touch with her through Facebook and told her about my wants and needs in the products I was looking for and she sent me a lovely personalized sample package. It was everything I was looking for and more, so if you are thinking of trying some new products but want to be sure you like them before you purchase them give Lindsey a message or email and she will fill all your needs. My new product go to had to be meet my needs and wants, I wanted the product to be free of harsh chemicals and not irritate my sensitive skin, not take a long time to apply or have complicated instructions and most of all make me happy to be using it. And so far Arbonne meets all my needs. So let’s take a look at what I received in my Arbonne Sample Package!

Calm 4-Step Set For Sensitive Skin |

Arbonne’s Calm skincare line is for sensitive it hydrates, reduces discomfort and soothes the skin. It has four steps which make for a little bit longer face wash than I am used to but, it is well worth it. You start with the daily cleanser, it is a clear jell you apply to your face and wash in circular motions. I like that this daily cleanser is not foam because I feel you can get more out of the product that way. After you have washed your face you move onto the Soothing Face Serum applying a pea size amount all over your face. This serum tightens pores and makes your face feel refreshed. After the serum, it is time to moisturize using the Gentle Daily Moisturizer then apply the Soothing Eye Gel. The Daily Moisturizer and Soothing Eyes Gel are wonderful and moisturize so well, they are not greasy and leave your face feeling fresh and ready for the day! I highly recommend this product if you have sensitive skin, after washing and using all four steps I didn’t have any redness or tenderness at all. It left me feeling clean, soothed and happy!

-Meet the Daily Cleanser- 

Energy Fizz Sticks |

 Where do I start with these other than saying I really like them. The Energy Fizz Sticks are a great way to kick-start your morning or afternoon.They are made with a botanical blend of green tea, guarana and ginseng combined with B vitamins and chromium to support energy. As well they have less than 1 gram of sugar and come in two flavours Pomegranate and Citrus. Just add the little package to 8 oz of water and watch as it fizzes and transforms your everyday water into a vitamin energy packed thirst quencher. I tried both flavours and have to say that the Citrus was my favourite, it has a clean fresh lemon-lime taste and is even better if you add some fresh lemons and limes of your own. I found the Pomegranate one to be a little fake tasting and it just didn’t have that fresh Pomegranate taste like I was hoping for and left a bad aftertaste. Maybe it is just my taste buds. Although I do highly recommend Citrus Fizz Stick, it has an energy kick and can get you through your slouching afternoons.

-Meet the Fizz Sticks-

It’s A Long Story Mascara |

Can we take a moment to admire the name, it is perfect and makes me think of a girl and her best friend laughing away about a story one of them told the other about some juicy gossip. It is perfect! After all, Mascara is a girl’s second best- friend and a makeup bag staple. Am I right or am I right? Having a good go-to mascara is a must, and if you need a new go-to Arbonne ‘It’s A Long Story Mascara’ has you covered. This Mascara will add that much-wanted photo shoot length for an ultra-dramatic and eye-accentuating look to any makeover. As well it is water resistant making it stand up to a few happy tears and that summer dewy face not to mention it makes for an easy wash off without having to use special water-proof makeup remover too. I really loved this Mascara, however, I wish it came in more than just black because I like to use a dark drown apposed to black because I just feel it looks better on me but I still love it none-the-less.   

-Meet the Mascara-

Protein Shake Mix – Vanilla |

I tried this vegan Protein Shake Mix in vanilla and overall the taste is good, it is smooth, creamy, and has a great vanilla flavour. I have tried a few different vegan and vegetarian protein shakes before because normal protein shakes give me a stomach ache and I don’t like the taste or texture of them. Right now my go-to protein shake mix is by Vega-one and it is almost time to replace it and Arbonne may take its place. You can drink the Arbonne mix with water or your vegan, vegetarian milk or for an even better taste add it to your smoothies. This is my go-to form of protein shake is smoothied with a banana, blueberries, spinach, ice and almond milk. Delish! I really enjoyed this protein powder and I highly recommend it if you are looking for a vegan, vegetarian option. 

-Meet the Protein Powder-

Overall I am very happy to have received the samples I have and I am excited to be purchasing some new things to add to my makeup and skincare routine. As well every purchase helps out a fellow friend Lindsey. If you want to purchase some of these products or try some out get in touch with Lindsey here and learn a little more about her below so you know just who you are helping. As well take a peek at some of her favourite products and who knows maybe they will become your favourite too!


| Learn About Arbonne |

“We are passionate about what we do. We develop world-class products with potent botanicals and cutting-edge science. And we continually look for ways to make our products better and better.”

– Dr. Peter Matravers | Chief Scientific Officer


Here is just a little about what makes Arbonne such a wonderful brand. Arbonne is a European beauty brand that is pure, safe, healthy and inspired by nature. They combine the best of science and nature to create some of the purest beauty products on the market and being a European Brand means that Arbonne goes by the European Standards. This means they cut out over 1300 cancer-causing chemicals from their products, whereas in the USA the FDA only cuts out about 10-15. Scary I know! Arbonne offers everything from beauty to health and nutrition as well, including a wide variety of skincare lines from cleanser to makeup and even a 30-Day Healthy Living Program.  Arbonne is vegan, gluten free, non-GMO and cruelty-free too. And Every product has

*Arbonne Photo* Click Here for the full ingredient list.
  • NO mineral oil
  • NO Petroleum
  • NO Waxes
  • NO Formaldehyde
  • NO Acetone
  • NO Toluene
  • NO Phthalates
  • NO Dyes
  • NO Parabens
  • NO Animal Products or By-Products
  • NO Harsh Levels of Chemicals
  • NO Chemical Fragrances
  • NO Gluten

 


| A Little Bit About Lindsey |

My name is Lindsay Mann, I am 21 years old and I live in Nevada. I am currently a full-time college student, and happily married to my high school sweetheart, Cody!.I am an Independent Consultant with Arbonne, and I have been with the company since January. Before Arbonne, I was working at a daycare taking care of little kiddos all day until I fell and broke my elbow! I was put on work restrictions and couldn’t lift more than 5 pounds and due to that, I was left unemployed. It was really hard for me to find a job that worked with my school schedule and my physical therapy schedule. Then one day in January my mother in law invited me to an Arbonne party that she was hosting and I fell in LOVE! I loved the company and what it stood for. I loved their ingredients policy, their products, and I loved the people I met. So I decided to start my own Arbonne business later that week and I have been happy and blessed ever since. At the start, my vision was small, just get a job but now I have been lucky enough to be promoted to District Manager. Overall, I encourage everyone to follow what they love and what feels right for them. Arbonne is a job that you can fit it into your current schedule, and still live the life you want! So if you guys have any questions please feel free to connect me, my facebook page is Facebook.com/LindsayMannAIC or email me at lindsay.mann.arbonne@gmail.com.

| Lindsey’s Arbonne Must-Haves |

1. Arbonne Essentials Energy Fizz Sticks

2. It’s a Long Story Mascara

“I love mascara and I am very picky with mascara, so I love this one because it doesn’t irritate my eyes, and makes my lashes look beautiful and long!”

3. RE9 Advanced Intensive Renewal Serum

“I love our RE9 anti-aging skincare line as a whole, but one of my favorite products from this line is the serum. It seriously makes your skin soft and glowing, plus it’s filled with a bunch of good ingredients to help repair your skin and prevent or erase wrinkles!”


 

 

Add A Little Autumn To Summer Fashion

Now that the clock has stuck September that means it is time for the leaves to start falling in all those beautiful Autumn colours from rusty orange to burnt amber to pale greys and pinks and every shade in-between. And it also means that for all of us girls, our fashion will be changing too. But if you are stuck in summer mode and don’t want to admit its end like me, try adding some of those fall colours to your summer favourites. It really isn’t as hard and compilated as it may sound, and who knows maybe you will create a new favourite outfit in the process. Plus who doesn’t like trying to mix and match new pieces and old pieces to create new lovely looks?! No one right!

Now don’t get me wrong I am not some fashion queen, I definitely play it safe when it comes to mixing and matching prints and colours, although I am getting better. I do try to step outside the box a little but not too much! So… here is a peek of what I am wearing today, it’s one hundred percent my style and I love everything about it, from jewelry to colour and just how plain and simply cute it is!! So what are you waiting for let’s see what I am wearing and where you can purchase it for yourself.


| The Skirt |

This is a three-tier lace shirt that I bought about three plus years ago from Garage, it is a slightly off-white colour so it goes with just about anything you wanna pair it with from heels to sandals to bright colours or light colours. I love how delicate it makes an outfit look and how it makes me feel too. The cut is a simple pencil line but with a shorter hem so it sits perfectly on the hips and stops a few inches above the knees. 

 

| The T-Shirt & Blouse |

The T-shirt I am wearing was bought from who knows where last year sometime, I think Winners to be honest (I love that store)! It is a simple lightweight crew neck t-shirt with rolled sleeves. It is perfect for those hot sunny days but still warm enough for the cooler days too. The shade of grey is not too dark or too light either which makes it pair nicely with light wash jeans or a skirt like this!

The Blouse I am wearing is brand new! This is something that I don’t do often, purchase new clothing. Since I am working my way through school new clothing just isn’t really in the budget. But with school starting this week and a little extra cash I had saved, I splurged on this beautiful and adorable new plaid blouse. It is from Dynamite Clothing and only cost a grand total of about $45.00. This shirt fits perfectly in the shoulders, the torso, and arms. As well the fabric is lightweight but warm enough to keep you cozy throughout the fall mornings and evenings. Not to mention the colour! It is everything I love in the colour pink, light, feminine, and girly, but not too much.

| The Shoes |

These sandals have been my go-to all summer long but there is nothing wrong with that right?! Since I have been raving about them enough, you know they must be good. And that is entirely true, these little-strapped sandals allow me to run after children without trouble and still allow me to look cute and fashionable.

| The Jerewlry |

Where do I start with the jewelry? Jeez, all of it has been given to me as a gift for a special occasion from either my dad, grandma or mom. And all I can say is I am so happy to have received such lovely gifts from the people I love. The Pearl bracelet came in a full set including necklace and earrings purchased by my dad for a Christmas gift a few years ago. However, if you love pears like I do you can easily find a set of your own at your nearest jewelry store. The flower and circles bracelet was given to me for a birthday a long time ago from my grandma and I wear it just because it reminds me of family. And last but not least the Hillberg and Berk crystal bracelet, it was given to me by my mom for graduating high school, I love how it sparkles and can dress up any outfit.  

 

 

 

 

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