October 2016

What My Trip to the Spa Taught Me About Being a Better Mom

The weather was perfect. It was slightly warmer than room temperature with a gentle breeze. The sky was blue with a few fluffy white clouds in it. My mom and I had just spent some time relaxing in an outdoor hot tub.  Snuggled up in our soft spa robes, we walked out to the beautiful grounds behind the spa and lay on padded, reclined chairs to dry in the sun and enjoy the beautiful view.

I could feel stress leaving my body as I felt permitted to take the time to relax, to take in the beauty in the nature around me and to just "be". We surveyed the scene in front of us and noticed a couple of hammocks blowing in the breeze across the field. We quickly agreed that we wanted to go to them. We walked across the gorgeous gardens and got settled in the hammocks.


Do you use Instagram? I have been having a great time over there for a few months now. It is a great place to get to know other people with similar interests and it tends to be more interactive in the comments than blogs are these days. (That said, I would love to see more interaction in the comments of my blog, but it seems that people are more active that way on social media where they are already signed in and ready to go).  If you're on Instagram, please do come and hang out with me in the comments of my Instagram! I love to hear from readers and get to know you better!

If you have an Instagram account you'd like to share, please go ahead and leave your instagram name in the comments of this post, or come say hi on my Instagram!  I'm @raisingmemories over there. :)

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Taking Time to Think About Their Future

During our childhood my siblings and I used to ask our parents to tell us stories from when they were younger. We heard about my father's family who immigrated to Canada when he was just 3 years old and how they adjusted to being in a new country, learning the language, and starting a business. I recall tales about my mother's childhood in the country, and plenty of accounts of the adventures she had when she went away to University. Those stories are the first things that made me want to go to university and I kept that goal as I got older.

I did go to university and received a Bachelor's Degree. My husband also attended university and received a Bachelor's Degree, a Master's Degree, and is coming up on completing his PhD. We know as well as anyone that post secondary education is expensive and we want to help our children to be able to afford it if they choose to attend when the time comes for them.

Ken & I at Graduation for my Bachelor of Arts & his Bachelor or Science

Years ago, we decided that we wanted to start a savings plan for our girls' education. In the U.S. you have 529 Plans that are tax-advantaged savings plans sponsored by states, state agencies, or educational institutions. In Canada, we have RESPs (Registered Education Savings Plans), which are tax-sheltered plans that can help you save for a child's post-secondary education and give access to grants like the CESG (Canada Education Savings Grant); money that the government will add to your child's RESP on top of what you put into the plan.

When we decided we wanted to start RESPs for our girls, we looked into several different providers. We even had interviews in our home with representatives from different companies before deciding on Heritage Education Funds. This is a topic that we think is really important for parents to know about because it can make a huge difference for you and your kids in the future! The cost of education is increasing and the job market is getting more competitive, with many jobs requiring a higher education. The sooner you decide to start an RESP, the more you'll make on your investment, so it's a good idea to start learning about them as early as possible.

Life is busy when you're raising kids and it's easy to push something like this to the bottom of your list of things to do. Over the next several months, I'll be sharing our experience with RESPs, why they're a good financial investment, and some of the products that Heritage offers. Right now, we're on track to nearly quadruple our initial investment and that's not even taking into account the immediate (and future) tax benefits... but more on that in a future post!

In the meantime, you can start learning more about RESPs and Heritage Education Funds' plans by visiting www.heritageresp.com.

Have you had any experience with RESPs or 529 plans?

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Heritage Education Funds. All opinions shared are my own.

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General Conference Topic Summary Wall

Twice a year, our church holds a general conference meeting. We listen to talks given by church leaders that give guidance and inspiration. Like many inspirational events, it's easy to come away from Conference weekend feeling motivated and inspired (but to have that motivation fade with time). I want to teach my children (by both example and experience) that we listen to conference because we want to learn and that once we learn, it is important to apply what we have learned.

I came up with an idea this time that I'm excited about because I think it's working really well for us:

I had the idea to make a General Conference Wall before last conference but it required a bit of preparation; the photos didn't arrive in time and I wasn't as prepared so it didn't come together. I'm so happy with the way it has worked this time that I wanted to share it here in case it inspires someone else to find a way to help their family.

October 2016 Sharing Time

Welcome to the October Link Party!

See below for the Link Party and add your best posts, and check out the ones that are shared!

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