Gratitude Lessons From a 3-Year-Old

November 25, 2015


This is my final guest post of the year, written by my good friend Kayla Albert. As my American friends head into Thanksgiving, I knew I wanted to share some thoughts on the topic of gratitude – and Kayla would be the best person to do it. When you’re done reading, I’d love to hear one thing you’re grateful for this year. :)

“It’s time to pray,” she said, a full grin inching up the corners of her mouth, sticky fingers reaching out to grab the hands closest to her. From there, my 3-year-old niece would instruct each of us to close our eyes and listen.

I’m not entirely sure where or when she committed herself to the process of giving thanks, but considering her aversion to most foods and eating in general, it was the only reason she suddenly seemed to enjoy mealtime. We would allow her to take center stage with her list of thanks at the beginning of the meal, and she would eat her broccoli a little less begrudgingly than before.

It was never about religious tradition. She simply learned to say “thank you” and was gently prodded towards recognizing the things in life that made her happy, and she created a gratitude practice of her own.

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I’m Dreaming of a Minimalist Christmas + 15 Posts to Read Instead of Shopping This Week

November 23, 2015


I’ve been struggling to come up with a good idea for a post about how my thoughts on the holiday season have changed since I’ve embraced minimalism. Last year, my entire family adopted the idea of a “Minimalist Christmas” where we could only ask for a few things we really needed and couldn’t ask for more than $100 worth of stuff in total. I’m pleased to say it was a success, and we ended up having one of our best Christmases ever – all because it wasn’t centred around gifts.

This year, I imagine our Christmas will look fairly similar, but there are only 32 days to go and we’ve barely talked about what our plans are yet. For years, one of my holiday rituals was to finish all of my Christmas shopping before December 1st. I would start bugging my family for a list of what they wanted in October, compare sales prices, buy everything and usually even have it wrapped by the end of November. Now? I doubt I’ll have even started shopping by then…

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An Open Letter to High School Students

November 18, 2015


Hi, friends! Today’s post is going to be different from what I usually publish and for a very special reason. A couple weeks ago, Mike – a high school teacher in Steinbach, Manitoba – tweeted that he was going to be sharing my blog and budgeting strategies with his students. Mike teaches a financial literacy class (which is something I wish I could’ve taken in school!) and I’m so honoured that my blog was even mentioned in it.

During that class, Mike encouraged his students to email me and ask for any specific advice I have for high school students. I struggled to write a response, at first, and eventually realized it was because there is just so much to say!  In honour of Financial Literacy Month, I decided to write an entire post for Mike’s students – and high school students everywhere. Please feel free to pass this along to any of the teenagers in your life. :)

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