Do I Need a Purpose?

A common theme I've noticed amongst women my age (nearing in on 40), is that we tend to be seeking to find meaning in our lives. Figure out what we want from life. Where are we going?  What gives us purpose? Those are hard questions. Questions that I think put way too much pressure on us. Pressure to do something amazing with life. To continue to attain high reaching goals. There is nothing wrong with that, unless that pressure is causing you to feel anxiety, guilt or that you are not enough.

Instead, I prefer to focus on what makes my best life. What do I need to feel content? What do I need to keep myself on that path? What do I need to avoid? This has shifted me to focusing on the present rather than the future which I've done for most of my life.

I believe everyone is going to come to these reflections from different places in life. Whether it's because you're coming from a place of privilege where you have reached your main life goals and are now trying to figure …

Fabric Harvesting: Summer PJs

Can't quite say that spring is here, but my eldest son has switched over to only wearing summer PJ's and unfortunately only has one pair.

Time to whip up an extra pair for him. Hunted through the fabric stash and found a shirt I'd picked up at a second hand store to re-fashion and it matched some fabric I had actually transferred to the donation pile.

After re-measuring my son it was time to trace off the size up. I sewed him up a Nico for the top and a pair of Gerald's for the shorts.

The neckband is a bit more stretched than the normal Nico as the fabric did not have as much of recovery. Mental note that cotton lycra really is the best, and to always use it at least for the neck band.

I also did an exposed waistband rather than the covered to give a little extra length to the briefs as the green fabric didn't have the required lengthwise stretch.

Then to get a bit of extra wear out of the shirt over the course of the week and because my son is definitely growing …

Spending re-cap: March 2019

Our spending re-caps for the months will focus only on our variable spending and include the following categories:
Family (includes all the stuff we spend on the kids such as activities anything we buy them and their education savings. Any graphs I may post with include daycare, but the numbers will not)Home Expenses (anything we spend on the house for the maintenance, taxes and insurance. I'm not including mortgage payments or interest as that will not be included in our final FI number so I want to be able to track what life costs without that. Keep in mind graphs will include the mortgage, but not in the numbers)Transportation (all car related expenses such as gas, maintenance, insurance)Utilities (heat, water, electricity, Internet, phone and cell phones)Health Spending (Life insurance, dentist other health related costs. This is pretty low because we live in Canada)Enjoyment (Gifts, Entertainment, Vacations, Hobbies, Restaurants, Alcohol, etc.)Routine Expenses (Groceries, Clot…

Jalie 3461: Éléonore Pull-on Jeans

I'm so excited about Jeans again!! Well mainly because these aren't real jeans, but rather pull-on jeans that I've been jealous that my kids have. I gave up on my pairs when I gave up my maternity jeans. But I finally made the Éleonore jeans pattern which I bought about a year ago. I was scared about how it would fit given my hips and slightly larger tummy (thank you 3 pregnancies). I wasn't sure how to adjust for a full belly so this pattern sat.

I had even bought some fabric to make a test pair, but then I worried it didn't have quite enough stretch and frankly I didn't love it. Back in January I bought some stretch denim to try which at $14 didn't think would be the end of the world if it failed. Just a minor annoyance. 
So having a bit more time on my hands lately, I've decided to focus on filling the whole in my wardrobe and well jeans are what I wear every day given the choice and are currently severely lacking in my closet. 
First pair of test Él…

Upcycling T-shirts with Love Notions Vanguard Kit

Catching up on old projects. Made this one March 2018.

My son loved this Spiderman T-shirt that had gotten too small and had a few holes. Most of his old clothes are passed on to his cousin, but I thought I could upcycle this one using the Vanguard Kit from Love Notions. It is perfect for panels and well, saving too small shirts.

For the second colour I used this larger shirt I'd picked up at a second hand store.

The shirt came together very quickly and easily. I used some better quality cotton lycra for the neckband and salvaged the cuffs from the orange shirt for the cuffs on the new ones. Bonus for using 2nd hand shirts? Didn't need to hem it as I kept the hem off the orange shirt.

I love how the shirt came out, and was able to add some much needed long sleeves to my son's wardrobe. However, mental note for next time... he's refused to wear it because he doesn't like the seaming on the sleeves. Either I'll leave this off next time, or topstitch it down first…

Should I take 12 or 18 months Maternity Leave?

Just after I took maternity leave with my last baby, the government of Canada began to allow families to take up to 18 months of paid leave rather than the 12 previously. Great news right? Definitely for the additional job protection this provides women wanting longer leaves. Financially, I don't think it's worth taking the extended leave option provided by the governement. I'll explain below.

But before we get too far ahead of ourselves lets get some terms down.
Maternity leave: available only for the person giving birth for a total of 18 weeks. 
Parental leave: available for the parent staying home with the baby for a total of 35 for standard parental benefits or 61 weeks for extended parental leave.

So how do the new programs work out financially?

From what I gather from the program, (please do your own research to confirm) is that the maternity benefits portion remains the same and 55% of your salary (to a max earnings of  $53 100) therefore a maximum of $562/week is pr…

What the FI Journey with Kids has Given Me

I recently read a post about how the FIRE journey is easier without kids on the Escape Artist. And while I agree with the author's points that it is easier, I'd argue that children often increase the motivation for the freedom while perhaps changing the trajectory a bit.

As mentioned in my last post, when I first heard about FIRE a light bulb went off, realizing that if we just buckled down for a few years we could hit it. The reality of having kids meant I needed to adjust my goals compared to if we'd started this journey pre-kids. As much as I'd love to hit our number and both of us retire, I realized quickly on the sacrifice required of time with our kids was too great. Fortunately, the knowledge that the FIRE community has provided me with has given so much more freedom than simply reaching our FI number would.  It has taught me that we simply need 25-30 x our annual spending to retire and about the rule of 72. This gave me  an immense sense of freedom realizing th…