This post contains a press sample, but all opinions are my own. Read my full disclosure statement here.
Between work, my side job (blogging, duh!), kids, our home, pets, activities, and everything else, it can get pretty difficult to make time for myself. On a daily basis I don’t do much to my hair, I wear very minimal makeup, and sometimes I get the urge to refresh simply to feel like myself and not just a crazy busy mess of a mom.
|Infographic created with Canva|
Our wedding is long over, so I think I’m well overdue in starting the series of posts surrounding our special day. I want to be very open and honest with these posts, in hopes of sharing the process of planning a real wedding on a budget.
During the planning process, I found it difficult to find any appropriate online resources. Everything I found seemed irrelevant for my life here in Canada, way too expensive/out of reach, or too “Pinteresty”.
Although there are some Canadian resources for wedding planning, nothing spoke to me. Truthfully, everything made me feel like our budget wasn’t big enough and that everything I wanted was completely out of reach.
We started with a budget of $10,000 for 100 people. I’m a very resourceful and crafty person, so I figured that I could cut a ton of costs by doing things myself. As soon as we started booking vendors, it became obvious to me that our budget would never work for the wedding I’d always imagined. I couldn’t do everything myself, and truthfully I didn’t want to overwhelm myself by taking on too much.
My first ah-ha moment happened when we quoted out food and drink. It turned out that food alone would take up over half of the 10k. I was blown away. After factoring in alcohol and the main vendors, our budget was shot. It was time to make an executive decision on how much we were really willing to spend. So, we did.
We were set on a few things – open bar, formal venue and decor, and indoor ceremony.
I did my research, made a giant spreadsheet, got quotes for over 100 vendors, and took my time to decide what we wanted and didn’t need.
In the end, we ended up almost doubling our budget. The final number came in around $18,500. To be completely honest, even staying within our new budget was extremely difficult. I easily could have spent $50,000, but I had to be responsible and remember that this was all for one day.
For a breakdown of how we applied our money, take a look at the infographic above.
I have always been a paranoid parent. From the time Holly was born until she turned 6, I used a traditional baby monitor anytime she was sleeping. When she became old enough to wake us up if anything was wrong, my husband suggested that we finally ditch the monitor (aka not wake up at every little noise). I couldn’t do it. What if she rolled out of bed and I didn’t hear it? What if she started talking in her sleep and I missed it? What if she decided 3 a.m. was an appropriate time to play Barbies and I didn’t notice? There were endless possibilities.
When we had our son CJ in 2014, the frugal mom inside me realized that it was time – instead of buying a new monitor, I could just move the old one. So that’s what we did.
When CJ had just turned one, we went through a rough patch with his health. He woke up multiple times per night and coughed so hard that he would vomit in his crib. There were months of doctor visits, tests, and sleepless nights. I became extremely paranoid thinking that he would need me and I wouldn’t hear him.
During this time, our baby monitor was a large sense of comfort for me. Although I couldn’t see CJ, I knew that if I heard that particular cough coming through the speaker, I’d better run to check on him. If I woke up in the middle of the night worried, I could roll over and be reassured that the monitor lights were on. Over the last year, CJ has moved past these issues – something I’m extremely grateful for. But, to this day, I still wake up thinking I hear him cough.
When I recieved my first video baby monitor, I instantly thought back to last year and realized how much it could have helped our family. There were plenty of middle-of-the-night trips to check on CJ that could have been avoided if I could have seen him on a screen. Beyond that, waking up to a visual of my baby sleeping soundly in his bed would have greatly eased my paranoia.
When I turned on the Philips Avent SCD 630/37 Video Monitor for the first time, I quickly realized how far monitors have come in recent years. Not only can I clearly see CJ in his crib on a 3.5″ digital screen in full colour, I can 2x zoom in on him, talk back to him, see the current temperature in his room, and even play him a lullaby.
This digital baby monitor has won the PTPA Seal of Approval and I can clearly see why. “Always close to your baby” takes on a new meaning when you can see you child’s every move clear as day from up to 150 feet away.
To be honest, having a monitor like this one has not only eased my night-time paranoia, it will allow our family to move forward with a huge change.
My husband and I have spent the last 2 years dreaming of moving our bedroom to the lower level of our home to gain some space and allow our older girls to have their own rooms. I have been postponing the move since CJ was born for the sheer fact that being on a different floor than him scares me to death.
Knowing that I always have a monitor with a secure connection and a parent unit that can be powered or last up to 10 hours wirelessly makes me feel like I’m on the horizon of a bit more freedom and ready to make this transition. I’m beyond excited.
When CJ outgrows needing the monitor in his room (or should I say when I outgrow needing it in his room), we have big plans for it. The camera is sleek, modern, and sits perfectly on the bookcase in our main living area. When we’re doing yard work, in our lower level, or sleeping, we’ll have the convenience of viewing the entire main floor and checking in on what the kids are doing.
Baby monitors have come a long way since the days of hearing your neighbour on the phone through the receiver, and this one is so advanced that it truly blows me away. Ultimately, I feel less paranoid and much happier knowing that I can keep watch over my baby at any time.
Lucky for you, you don’t only have to read about my love for the Philips Avent SCD 630/37 video monitor, you can enter for a chance to win your own! Philips is giving away 2 of these awesome monitors and you can enter to win one via the widget below. Best of luck!
Compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own