Hello & happy 2019 friends!

First blog post of 2019 and first blog post as a mama of two & family of four.  The holidays are always so busy and adding a newborn to the mix made them both busy and low key.  We are easing into this year at a much slower pace than usual.  We decided we needed to take a step back in order to take a big leap forward this year.  Ko and I quickly realized heading into 2019 that there was a lot of backlog and things that we kept putting off after being so displaced for the majority of 2018 – from being pregnant, living with my parents while we were selling the condo, buying and renovating and then moving in to this home – it was a full and wild year.

Now that we’ve had a little time to regroup, here are 5 things we are doing to kick off our new year!

1. Finances + 2019 Budget

Years ago you would have never heard me utter the “B” word – budget.

Ko and I both run our own business so we’ve always had things pretty separate as a result.  Once Yianni was born we wanted to be even smarter with how we were saving + investing our money.  Now that we have two little ones and I’m working less for the time being, having a good budget set for 2019 was imperative! Last year, we started doing quarterly check-ins together to see where we were at both in our business and personal finances.  We now have a pretty extensive spreadsheet where we track everything so it’s easy to input the numbers each quarter etc.  I was hesitant to do this at first but now it’s something I actually look forward to doing!

For fun we’ve also added a bunch of non-financial items to do during these quarterly meetings as well (more on that another day though).

2. Get Life Insurance

I’ll be totally honest with you guys, I feel a little shocked that we haven’t already made this a priority sooner.  It’s something we talked about doing after Yianni was born and then, as they say, life happened.  Now having two kids, it pushed this item right to the top of our list for 2019.  I know I will sleep easier at night knowing (God forbid) that if something were to happen unexpectedly to either Ko or myself that our family would be taken care of financially. It’s funny isn’t it?  The things that are most important to secure your family’s well-being sometimes get pushed to the backburner.  

We do all our banking with RBC (Fun Fact: I opened my first bank account with RBC when I was 14!) so it was the first place we went to get our life insurance set up.  I was surprised how affordable it was – for example a 35-year old non-smoking woman pays only about $18 / month for $500,000 of coverage. Not sure why in my mind I felt it would be triple that!  Plus, it only took us 15 minutes to fill out the application and get approved. Now I feel lighter going into this year knowing we have this taken care of.

CLICK HERE to learn more and set up your own life insurance plan.

3. Document Memories

I snap photos + videos everyday – and then they just sit there on my phone.  I always intend to make photo books but that never happens.  I’m putting it here because it’s something I’m tired of “taking about” and something I want to actually DO.  My brother was the one who sparked this after seeing the beautiful book he made for his wife and how now it’s something they do to document every year.  

I want to give them more life to the images I capture and create beautiful photo books for Yianni and Georgia to have when they get older.  My goal is to get it set up where at the end of every month I quickly make a few pages in that year’s book so by the end of the year its ready to print!

I have a LOT of work cut out for myself because before we get there, I have a lot (and I mean a LOT) of backlog…like we haven’t even done our wedding album…AND I’m a photographer! LOL for shame.

4. Organize the Home

If you’ve been following along in my Instagram Stories than you’ll know this one is already underway! So far I’ve done the toys, our closet, the office nook, our pantry and kitchen area.  Still lots more to do but it feels so good kicking the year off and getting things in order.  With two small kids time is not on my side and on those hard days I know I’ll thank myself for making it easy for Ko and me to keep a clean and organized home! 

5. Planning out our 2019

This is something we started doing last year but we’re cranking it up a notch this year.  This is definitely my favourite thing to do every January.  This year, we’re going to plan out our 2019 to be sure it reflects what our highest values are.  Our hope is that it will ensure we make time for the things that truly matter vs. letting the year unfold and then wonder where all the time went.  We both want to be very intentional this year about how we’re spending our time.  I’ll elaborate on this more in another post because so far it seems to be working for us!

Big thank you to my friends at RBC Insurance for sponsoring today’s blog post.  I hope you found it helpful and that it gave you some fun ideas to kick off your 2019!