No Spend January 2021

Hello Friends,
Hope you all had a great holiday season and a wonderful New Year. This 2020 holiday season sure was different and I am sure for most of you too.

This January I decided to make it a no extra spending month, meaning other then groceries, bills, and necessities there will be no other extra spending. I have made one exception to this, which is to our take out Friday’s because after a full week of cooking this mama looks forward to a day where I don’t need to cook dinner.
I thought I would take the savings from no extra spending and put it aside. I didn’t really use my credit card much for the holiday season, so I will be paying that off included as one of my bills this month. I also thought this would be perfect as a reset and to print a bigger picture of how much we can save by doing this.

I thought this was a great idea, since we are home more and have time to browse sales, amazon, etc…. we have been spending on things that are not a need. If 2020 taught me something it was that we have so much and only need a little. I also thought no matter how much or little the extra money turns out to be, I will be putting it aside, even if it’s not much it’s better then none and it may even become a habit. A great habit that I am sure my husband will love, lol.

You could also take the extra money to put towards debit from the holidays, credit cards, savings or which ever applies to your life.

I am totally not saying shopping is bad or that you shouldn’t be, because I love to shop. I am sure I will be back to shopping, but if I can do it for the month of January, I would like to continue it for more months on and off. I already started a new habit of not buying so much clothes for my kids unless it is needed of course & for myself. Since March 2020 until today my younger kids grew out of so many clothes, jackets, that they didn’t even wear because, well we know. The most items that totally wasn’t worn was dress clothes. There is no need for so much extras, so this is already a great habit that I believe will continue. Buying when needed and not just because.

What do you all think of this idea? Let me know but commenting down below if you will be doing the same.

Before starting, I would recommend making a list of your monthly expenses so that you know exactly how much money will be coming out and then you can see about how much money you can save without the extra spending. Having that as a visual will inspire you to stick with it. I am not an expert or a financial adviser just sharing what I plan on doing and how I started. So even though we are a few days into January, don’t worry you can still start or you can plan to do it for another month.

Comment below and let me know if you will be doing the No Extra Spending challenge & if so when are you starting?

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2020, A Year for the Books

What a year 2020 has been, not just for a few of us but the whole world.

We were hit with so much this year, so many changes and learning.

In the beginning and let’s be real I still have hard days, but in the beginning my anxiety and mental health was greatly affected. My sleep changed and became so poorly as well. I was glued to the news and when not watching on TV, I was reading up on Twitter.
2020 has made me appreciate so much more about life.

Holiday celebrations this year has been so bitter sweet. My kids social life (in person) has been put on hold including mine. I have weeks were I have my shit together and emotions are not running thru my head and heart, then I have days where I don’t know how much longer I can take this. I want to be with family and friends, I want my kids to return to in school learning, to playdates, to go on trips, on trips to local attractions, etc…. I know that it has been hard for so many people and much harder for others. I am so lucky to be able to stay at home with my kids and have them do online learning. I have learned on those hard days to just let myself feel all the feels, if I need a good cry, I let myself have it, because when I use to fight them, those sad hard days lasted much longer.

Things that have helped me feel better and getting thru these times;

-Getting ready in the mornings, (some days makeup and all) but everyday out of pjs and get ready for the day.
-A good daily routine (having this makes days feel some what normal)
-Remind myself that it could be much harder, more positive thoughts
-Give myself down time (read, watch Netflix, YouTube, a long shower, or even a simple coffee alone in quite)
-Appreciate the slowness of life (no over packed schedules, no rushing)

-Getting back into an old hobby, trying a new ones
-Once a week (or every other week, depends how long my polish lasts)do my nails (at home)
-FaceTime with family and friends more often (FaceTime dates with friends)

-Going for a walk
-Letting things slide more
-Letting the kids pick out what we will do
-A nice drive with a Tim Hortons coffee and loud music


Do you have any tips to share with us?

Even though I can’t wait for regular life to return there are some things I have learned &/or enjoyed and will continue with once life is back to normal. Some of these things are, enjoy the little things more, no more over booking for all of us, having an off day is ok and to allow myself to feel all the feels, to never take gatherings, social events, even simple trips to the park for granted. The appreciation for the simple things in life, and so much more.
Do you have certain things you want to continue with even when life gets back to normal?
This time has taught me a lot of things, and when you learn from things that is a positive thing so not everything that has happened this year is all bad. 2020 has been the year I really learned we have a lot and really we only need a little. Things have really took the meaning of stuff/extras and a bonus to have but difinitley don’t need, I now realize we don’t really need. My biggest takeaway from 2020 is being thankful for the little things, I have learned that the little things are what means the most and the most important.

I am really loving all the extra slow family time we have together as a family of six and two fur babies. Love creating fun moments with my kids like, pj day during the week, even movie night during the week (we start it earlier in the evening) which never happened unless we were on holiday (ex: Chrismtas Break, summer break), all the time we have for so many extra crafts, how we transformed our backyard to a fun place to be, just a few things/examples to share with you. 2020 will definitely be a year we will never forget. A year for the books, a year our kids will tell their kids about.

When your feeling like you can’t, take a deep breath & remind yourself how far you have come.

Instead of only thinking how hard 2020 is/was, think of the good things that came out of it.
For me I started getting back into baking (which is something I loved, but didn’t always have the time for), For the slow mornings without having to rush out the door, I have made it thru online learning with the kids (which was hard to get into to at first), I also learned a lot about online learning to be able to support the kids, we started a new routine since we are all home now, I got to learn new things, I started new hobbies that who knows might become more then a hobby one day and if not I still learned and enjoyed, I got to try new recipes that I never would have the extra time to spare in the event it didn’t turn out and would have to make something else, more time for selfcare,I got to cuddle more with my babies, and all the times I could actully join in with my kids doing crafts. There is so much that is also positive about this time and when I have my down days I try to remind myself of the positive too. We had some many great bonding moments.

I also wanted to thank my online community for engaging, for sharing, for starting a new friendships, for following along, and all the support. I love sharing, blogging, making new connections, and I am so thankful for my online community.

What has been the best part of 2020 for you?

Before I end this post I would like to reach out to anyone needing a friend, going though a hard time and needing someone to talk to please feel free to contact me at isho.sandy@gmail.com.

This post also marks the last post for 2020, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and just know tho that even though this may continue into 2021 we can cheers to making it thru 2020 and are ready to continue pushing thru in 2021 and hoping for the best. Wishing you all and your families a Happy New Year filled with peace, love, & good health.

Remember be nice to everyone, please don’t judge anyone on their choices. We are all in this together, we are all trying to get through this the best way we know how.

Review: Revlon One Step Hair Dryer & Styler

I ordered the Revlon One Step Hair Dryer from Amazon and it’s changed my hair blow drying game.
I love it.

I went with the square head instead of the round and I am thinking of trying the round one out. I went with the square shape one as I never got the hang of a round brush when dry blowing my hair so I thought I may have a better chance with the square.
Do you have the round brush head? Do you recommend I get it? I can always use a second one as I am a mom of three girls and my oldest daughter (14 years old) loves mine already.

It’s large paddle design dries and smooths hair quickly, it also has multiple heat settings (cool, low, & high) with a 6ft tangle free swivel cord. I can get my hair dry and straight in 5 mins or less. My hair length is just below my shoulders (for reference). I always hated blow drying my hair with a regular blow dryer (long or short) as it would take so long and leave my hair puffy and frizzy. I love how my hair looks right after I am done, so smooth and striaght and lasts for days that way. It is definitely a hair tool that I love and so happy to have, it’s worth every dollar.

If you looking to up your blow drying game look no further, I highly recommend the Revlon One Step Hair Dryer. Even my 17 year old son loves to use it for it’s quick drying time. A great hair tool for everyone.

Have you tried it? Do you know of another hair tool that has changed your life? Comment below and let us know.

This is not a sponsored post, all opinions stated are of my own.

Update: Virtual School

Hope you are all well ❤️.

I thought I would share how our online learning (Remote Learning) is going now that we are one month in. I have two kids in Elementary and two in High School. Let’s begin with the Elementary, Madison grade 3 and Ava grade 5. In all honestly I am very happy with theirs. Their teachers are great and it is much different from online school this past Spring. They are actually learning, the teachers are amazing with helping when need be, the lessons are get and well planned out, there is real interaction with the teachers and students/classmates. The teachers really worked hard in the start to get to know each student and also teach the kids (more for my grade 3) how to work Google Classroom with less help from parents. We do run into tech issues at times, but it is not often and if ever the meet link isn’t allowing kids to get on, the teachers have made other ways to still be able to learn lessons and get work done. We have a great morning routine and are now in full swing of weekday routines with school and around school (breaks,etc..).

Our board (as many others) have announced a change in learning, we had to deicide again what learning way we want for our kids. I was really stressed out about it because they are doing great just the way they are and have settled in, love their teachers and now again another change is to come. For my elementary kids our decision was due this past Sunday, I have made the decision to have them in strictly Remote Learning. I made this decision due to I personally think it would be very hard for online kids in younger grades to be able to do Hybrid learning. This opinion of mine is no hate towards any teachers, just want to put that out there. I believe it will be hard for these online kids to get exactly what they need as they are currently getting. The teacher in class teaching both online and in class is a big task and I give them all the praise for even trying and making it work the best they can. It’s lot to take on, he/she has to give attention to both those online and those in person. I just don’t know how this will work well, I also don’t believe that it will be smooth sailing and that there will be a lot of tech issues due to how many will be on that same server. I do realize that in selecting that choice my kids are not able to return to school if we want to switch. They remain remote for the remaining of the year until June 30th, 2021. Thankfully I am in a position where I can have my kids at home and be at home with them and that is why I am also able to pick these options. I shared our school room at home from the Spring. I did change having the girls together this time around because of how it would be more like a classroom learning this time. Madison, my grade 3 continues in that school room that I shared and Ava, my grade 5 got another area in our home setup with everything she would need.
What have you deicided? Are you kids in school? How do you feel?

Now, let’s get into High School, with my other two I was very stressed out with the continued delays to their start date, not having teachers, unable to start courses at the same time as the first, and still some classes having to be changed due to no teacher. I get it, tough times for all, this is new, etc… What I can’t understand is that the government knew this was going to happen, with all the fear of the second wave put out there long before time, knowing some of the already large numbers from August’s suvery. I also think that August was too late, they should of been planning and getting things ready way before. They were the ones to report of the second wave coming in the Fall way before, they knew and they should of got on it. They delayed getting ready and then made all these choices and threw it at us for us to deicide with so little time as if we weren’t stressed enough from all of it already.
I do believe everyone should have the choice to change to remote, but I don’t believe that in my situation where I submitted my decision in August. It’s not my problem that from one deadline they continued to extend the deadline for more people to join. My problem with this is that they should of already had those families who decided early on in classes with teachers, and when the teachers started being short due to the number of people switching then those should be the ones waiting for a teacher. My daughter has both classes as she was to have, one started way later then the other. Thankfully she has caught up and is doing well. My son who is graduating only had 1 class until last week, I mean come on and to top it off they had to change a course to something that’s not even his pick in order for him to still get a credit. Like what?!? For these issues I just mentioned, this made me think about if I would continue to keep them remote. If we get the option for Highschool (which I think is coming soon) I will select Hybrid for my older kids. One reason, they are much older and can handle to learn that way. Second, there will not be a problem of not being able to get a teacher for the course selected. This way I can still have them do school from home, but have them back into their school with the option of return at any time if this way does not work for us.

2020 sure has been a year, I shared in another post my struggles and emotions. In all honestly I still have my moments, I am not perfect just trying to handle these situations the best I know as so many of us are. There are moments where I am on my game and then all of a sudden back to feeling overwhelmed and unsure. It’s ok to not be ok, and I have learned to accept that. I also, would like to take the time to reach out, if anyone ever needs someone to talk to feel free to email me ishosandy@gmail.com We are all in this together, we will get thru these hard and uncertain times together. You are not alone.

What are your thoughts or/& feeling about all this?

My Top 6 Productivity Tips

  1. Create a morning routine. Example, open blinds, work out, coffee, lists, etc… Creating a morning routine that works for you is such a game plan to get your day started off right.
  2. Wake up 1 hour before the rest of your household. I stand by this really working. Yes it is hard to get use too, but you can start off slow like 1 or 2 days a week, or half hr before. I wake up between 5-5:30am everyday (weekdays) for years now. It has made such a difference in my day. I can actually enjoy a nice hot cup of coffee and get things done. Things to get done, changes here and there depending on what needs to get done. Sometimes it’s work things & sometimes it’s house/family things normally a mix of both. I can really get a lot achieved in this time. My kids start to wake up at 6:30am and by that time I am already making breakfast for them. I really want to work on adding working out to this early morning routine. See for me that’s hard, but I will keep trying to fit it in until I get it in there somewhere. Since Covid-19 started and kept us at home, I bent the rules on bedtimes and kids routines. It was hard on enough with all the changes, online school, and staying home. Now, I am home full time with the kids and they are on summer break, they do wake up later, but I still on most days get up an hour before they do. This will change September 1st and we will return to regular routines.
  3. Limit online time, set a timer. I can get lost on social media sometimes, watching everyones stories, liking posts, etc… I may post a picture in the morning of my coffee but then I will give myself sometime in the mornings once I am done my morning routine/tasks. I also will go on thru out the day, but not for long. As social media is also apart of my job, I do need to keep up with posts, comments, etc.
  4. Plan ahead, planner, calendars. Always check your planner or calendar ahead of time (daily) to insure you don’t miss any appointments, events, dates. This will also help plan the next day much easier. You don’t want to make a huge to do list or even a little one, but have a task that will take so long that your calendar may interfere with. I love. my planner by Happy Planner, I got mine at Michaels . I also use my IPhone calendar, but just for reminders. I review, add, and plan in my planner every night. I also review it in the morning. My planner is such an important item to me and I feel helps me so much to stay on track.
  5. Make a “Daily To Do” List. If you list ends up being long, make a top 3 or 5 number list. Go thru that long list and number your top musts and get on those first and if you have time tackle the next task. I find that when I have a long list, I choose my must do’s and most of the time I can get those done and more. Making a To Do list is so satisfying and even more satisfying to cross that task off once it’s done.
  6. Create a night time routine, this is the key to get your morning tasks done and also to having a peaceful relaxed morning. We are all people with busy lives and their are evenings that I don’t want to do my night routine and when I don’t the next morning when I get up and see the added things to do, I start hating myself as I am rushing trying to get caught up and onto my morning tasks as well. Having a night time routine that works for you will help you in the morning with less to do and being more productive in the things you wanted to do in the morning. Setting a good bedtime and sticking to it will also help in your early morning wake up call.

What do you think of the above list? Do you have a morning and night routine? Do you have any productive tips that you do? Comment below.