Riding the Wave of Shaw’s BlueCurve

If there is anything I’ve been paying more attention to over the past year, it is how much time I spend online. As a writer, blogger and avid social media user, most of my career is spent online. Also, as a mother, once my son goes to bed, I spend a lot of time online, texting or connecting with my friends on social media, watching Netflix or catching up on other shows I’ve saved on the Shaw FreeRange TV app. With so much time spent using the internet, I’ve noticed that sometimes it can lead to internet burnout. It’s not the internet itself that has been burning out, but my energy levels have been. 

Thankfully, Shaw had a line to my inner thoughts as they got in touch earlier this year to give me a trial run of Shaw’s new BlueCurve experience for a couple of months. A few months in, and I’m really impressed by the service. First off, Shaw BlueCurve is an amazing advancement in smart home technology where you can really manage your household’s internet usage, get more coverage (in every room of your home!) and access all sorts of data and controls for every single device that connects to your home’s Wi-Fi. 

From a design standpoint, the new Shaw BlueCurve Gateway modem is a serious upgrade visually. Gone are the awkward, wire-ridden boxes that used to clutter the spot by your TV — instead, say hello to the sleek and sexy box that looks more like a high-end speaker than something you connect to the internet from.  I was also set-up with the new BlueSky TV box that saves all my recordings to the cloud so I can watch them on-the-go using the FreeRange TV app. Again, a beautifully designed product, minimalist in design and slightly reminiscent of a geode in shape. Goodbye oversized, heat-radiating PVRs of the past.

The next most important part of Shaw BlueCurve is the Shaw BlueCurve Home app. It’s essential and extremely helpful for monitoring your internet usage. On this easy-to-use app, you are able to set up different profiles for everyone in your home and link devices to each profile. This helps you organize what devices you use on a regular basis and maybe what you could probably unplug (energy savings are always a plus).

Not only that, but the functionality of Shaw BlueCurve is super ideal for parents who want to manage their children’s internet usage. There is a feature within the Shaw BlueCurve Home app that allows you to turn off Wi-Fi for the different profiles and/or devices, set bedtime schedules or completely remove devices from internet connectivity. This is super ideal for parents of internet-obsessed teens and gamers who really want control over their internet usage and connectivity. 

My son doesn’t have any devices of his own yet but likes to watch Netflix and YouTube on the TV. He briefly used my iPad for games when he was a bit younger but I quickly nipped that in the bud as I noticed how addictive it was for him. He isn’t the type of kid who sits in front of the TV zoned out watching a show; he never stops moving or chatting so I don’t consider this kind of screen-time particularly harmful for him as it is just kind of background noise as he builds his LEGO City sets. 

So, for now, he has access to the TV but doesn’t actually know how to use the remotes yet so essentially it is still all in my control. The Shaw BlueCurve Home app helps me set limits for how much screen time he is actually getting during the day so we can focus on other learning and outdoor activities instead of getting sucked into a content vortex!

Another amazing feature of this internet package is the Shaw BlueCurve Pods. A seriously awesome addition to the regular internet service, these sleek, off-white pods can be placed around your home to further extend your internet connection. This is extremely welcome in my home which is located in a 1912 heritage building complete with thick plaster/lathe walls. I wasn’t actually receiving Wi-Fi coverage in my bedroom until I got a Pod installed in there so I am very happy about that! 

I’m also loving the fact that I am able to restart the Shaw BlueCurve Gateway from the Shaw BlueCurve Home app remotely. No longer do I have to sit at the modem, messing around with cords to make sure that I’ve got the right one disconnected to reboot everything. It simply resets directly from the app. While you are at it, you can also check on the connectivity of your Shaw BlueCurve Pods. 

Overall, the experience has been a pretty big upgrade in terms of internet connectivity. Being able to monitor Jack’s internet usage and hit pause on certain devices is going to be a game-changer as he gets older and starts using more internet resources. As for myself, I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on my own internet usage, me and the dozen devices I have currently in use in my profile. 

This post is in partnership with Shaw. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that are keeping this blog full of fresh content. 

AN ERA OF NOSTALGIA: LAURA ASHLEY

Growing up in the ’90s meant a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Fashion, music, pop culture all rapidly jumped from one hot topic to the next; present day excluded it was the first decade where all of styles and ideas of preceding muddled to create an odd sort of cultural melting pot. Style of the 90s had an emphasis on nostalgia; you could channel anything and anyone from any time.

There was nothing precisely distinct about the 1990s but you kinda know it when you see it, especially now as we are seeing a resurgence of 90s fashion appearing and feverish feelings of nostalgia are ultra-present.

For me, British textile designer Laura Ashley epitomized nostalgia for my ’90s childhood. As a child who perpetually looked to other eras for comfort, Laura Ashley padded my overly active imagination with daydreams of frolicking through flowered meadows at dusk, enjoying a leisurely picnic under an apple tree, and dipping my toes into a cool stream while reciting poetry to no one in particular. My already romance-addled mind was absolutely intoxicated by Sunday night episodes of Road to Avonlea, thumbing through the American Girl doll catalogue (picking out my dream pair of high-button black boots)and visits to our local Laura Ashley shop.

I remember spending hours with my Mom in the Laura Ashley boutique, considering toile after toile, trying on so many beautiful dresses, straw hats and imagining my fantasy life in which I’d wear them all the time. My Mom, who in modern day would be the ultimate Pinterest/Instagram Mom, captured so many great photographs of myself living out my fantasy in our lush plant-filled front yard. In my opinion, some of the photos sum up my inner self more than any other photo taken since. Also an avid sewer, my Mom purchased their fabrics and made my room so beautiful and magical; totally fit for someone who was able to escape into literature (Laura Ingalls anyone?) for hours and hours, while of course, wearing a frock.

When I saw that Laura Ashley had collaborated with Urban Outfitters on an Exclusive Collection, my head was instantaneously filled with near-psychedelic images toile and floral. I asked my mom to dig up some of the photos she had taken of me in all of my floral-dress glory. I find it awe-inspiring and confusing how things have come full circle; even more mind-boggling is the fact that I’ve even considered buying one of the UO capsule pieces.

UO even has removable wallpaper and bed linens in their signature perriwinkle toile.

Whether you wore Laura Ashley in your youth, or are considering adding the soft, dream-like pieces from UO to your current wardrobe, one thing definitely remains the same: fashion is a beautiful escape from real life.

Life & Wellness with Freedom Mobile + iPhone X

Just over six months ago, I made a big change to my personal finances and connectivity; I switched my phone plan over to Freedom Mobile from one of their major competitors. I had been with that company since I was a teenager but they just weren’t providing me with the service I required anymore and I was overspending on my phone budget every single month. Switching over to Freedom has been a game-changer for me – transitioning my account over was entirely seamless and I’ve never had any issues connecting to their network this whole time. Before I switched to Freedom my phone bill was sometimes upwards of $135 – now it is $65 total. The best part is, I have so much data available I never have to stress out over adding more data to my plan halfway through the month. To help others understand what a change this has been for me, I am sharing some of the ways I use my iPhone in everyday life – for entertainment, fitness, connecting with family and making wellness a priority.

With so many articles and news stories telling us that we need to get off our screens and how harmful it is to constantly be connected on our devices it is hard to imagine that actual good can come from staring at our phones. But I am constantly finding that there are ways that my phone usage can actually contribute POSITIVELY to my life.

The new Screen Time feature on the iPhone has been a bit eye-opening in terms of how I’ve spent my time when using my phone. As much as it is disconcerting to see how much time you may have wasted scrolling through social media it is a good tool to change your ways. Phones are an essential part of life, so there is no getting away from that, but setting healthy boundaries and time limits on your screen time is a good way to be more present and avoid feeling guilty when that Screen Time notification rolls around at the end of the week.

One of my favourite ways to use my phone is to discover new music on Spotify. I can get lost on there, going down rabbit holes, from one artist to a new one, discovering beautiful music that speaks to me. In terms of wellness, music is definitely how I unwind and re-centre myself when I am feeling stressed out. I love that thanks to Freedom Mobile’s data plan, I’m able to stream new music wherever I am and not worry about overage charges.

Imagine this, but one of my main uses for my phone is actually one of its intended uses: connecting with family. My son and I use FaceTime everyday to chat with my parents. Even though we all live in the same city, it is so nice to be able to connect daily and see our family. My son loves to call his grandparents every night to say goodnight before bedtime. We also have been using apps like WhatsApp to have a family group text going. My brother was recently in Hong Kong for nearly two months for work and it allowed us to keep in contact, share jokes and see how he was doing despite the 15-hour time difference.

Keeping up with my personal health and wellness is also important to me and I use my phone to constantly track my progress. Using my FitBit watch and app, I am able to keep up with my fitness goals and make sure I am moving enough during the day (a problem for any self-employed person who spends a lot of time in front of a computer). Meditation apps like Headspace are great for creating a calming routine in the evenings before bed or taking a break when things get stressful.

I am always trying to find new ways to use my phone in a way that contributes to my life in a positive way. Ultimately, switching my account over to Freedom Mobile has been a huge part of that. Upgrading my phone to the iPhone X has expanded my creativity and the Freedom Mobile plan has helped me access the tools that I use regularly without worrying about going over my data plan. It is exciting to have so much possibility in the palm of your hands and I’m looking forward to continuing to explore these possibilities with Freedom.

This post is in partnership with Freedom Mobile. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep this blog full of fresh content.

IKEA SYMFONISK

If there is anything I could love more, it is when my two main obsessions, music and design come together in a beautiful symbiotic way. IKEA has officially announced their collaboration with Sonos; a two-item product collection bringing music to the home in an elevated, well-designed way, complete with the Swedish stamp of approval.

Sonos, a California company has quickly risen to the top of the wireless smart speaker market since 2002, revolutionizing how people listen to music on a daily basis. Their high quality speakers have made them the standard for audiophiles worldwide.

The IKEA Sonos SYMFONISK collaboration brings their iconic speaker down to a more affordable price point ($149) and the introduction of the SYMFONISK speaker lamp ($249) offers up the concepts of sound and light in one unit.

“We knew from the start that we wanted to challenge the traditional high tech aesthetics. The lamp-speaker partly springs from the idea of the fireplace – one single piece that spreads warm light as well as sound” says IKEA deisgner Iina Vuorivirta.

The SYMFONISK is compatible with all other Sonos components. You can also connect multiple SYMFONISK speakers in every room in y our home over WiFi. This has me very excited for the future of affordable sound quality. Also, depending on your personal decor needs, both products are available in both black or white.

SYMFONISK will be available nationwide in Canada as of of August 1st, 2019. And since my birthday is on August 2nd, I think this will be the perfect birthday gift to myself. Time to continue padding my record collection with new finds so that I am ready for the launch.

I love loud lamp. ♥

Happy PALentine’s Day!

Happy PALentine’s Day, everyone! This PALentine’s Day, I am celebrating my best pal Mike Morrison, whom you might know better by his handle Mike’s Bloggity Blog. We have been friends for nearly ten years and we’ve done a lot of cool stuff together along the way. Whether we are navigating the #freelancelife together, planning events and conferences, or just catching up over a glass of wine and having a great laugh, Mike has always been there for me. 

The other amazing thing about our friendship is that Mike is extremely close and is ‘best pals’ with my son Jack. It has been absolutely amazing for Jack to have Mike as a role model in his life – since day one! He is Jack’s fave babysitter, person to tell his silly jokes to and best pal to share tasty treats with!

I love the idea of PALentine’s Day; this amazing day dedicated to celebrating the friendships so dear to you and the people who are always there for you. February 13th, I am here for it!

This PALentine’s Day is a big one for Mike and I, as we get to celebrate with the all-new Cadbury Dairy Milk and Oreo – combining the best of both Cadbury Dairy Milk and Oreo flavours into one delicious bar! What’s not to love?

Are you celebrating PALentine’s Day with your BFF? Head to palentinesday.ca and customize your very own PALentine’s Pallad for you and your bestie.

Since you know I love a good pun – pallads are ballads for your pals. Real life best pals and electropop artists Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine have written and recorded three custom PALentine’s Day Pallads for you to customize and send to your pal. They are seriously adorable and fun and such a cute way to send your pal all of the good vibes on PALentine’s Day! You should probably send them some sweet treats too, of course. How and who are you celebrating PALentine’s Day with this year?

This post is in partnership with Cadbury. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep this blog full of fresh content.

Getting Creative with the iPhone X and Freedom Mobile

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For freelancers, self-employed people and individuals working in creative fields, your mobile device is one of the most important tools in your business kit. It is where you store ideas, send emails, accept payments, market yourself; it literally is a tiny business centre in the palm of your hands. But one thing many people overlook is that your phone can be a source of creativity, inspiration and actual creation.

In continuation with my series of posts in partnership with Freedom Mobile, I’m sharing how I get creative with my iPhone X and some of the apps I use regularly to create my content. Since I’ve been with Freedom Mobile and using the iPhone X, I’ve seen my on-the-go creativity increase exponentially. No longer having to worry about overage charges thanks to the great phone plans and data packages available at Freedom (like the one I’m using – 10 GB for $50/month), I’m free to create at will and am constantly creating and posting on the go.

I recently came across a quote from writer Morgan Harper Nichols that really summed up where all of our (our, being content creators) personal pursuits of creativity should be going in 2019:

This is the season she will make beautiful things. Not perfect things but honest things that speak to who she is and who she is called to be. – Morgan Harper Nichols

This quote spoke to me because one of the challenges I find with creativity is that my ideas get clouded by the idea of perfectionism. I strongly believe that perfectionism is just another form of procrastination because my ideas won’t ever reach fruition as a strive for perfection on first shot. So, how does this relate to my topic of on-the-go creativity? Well, first of all I’ve been pushing myself to actually create more content while on-the-go. When you don’t have the luxury of sitting in front of your computer screen, with Photoshop at your fingertips, you are forced to let go of the overthinking that can occur with creating content. You just have to use the tools at hand, your own talents and just let it go. So, in by pushing myself to create more photos/videos/content while in-the-moment, I’m also learning to let go of my perfectionism and see that it is possible create beautiful things in fleeting moments.

I find that the apps I use the most for creating content are pretty straightforward and intuitive to use – and are also a lot of fun. Like any app, you should spend some time watching any tutorials they offer up on their websites or clicking around the different features.

I have been using Color Story for years now for editing and filtering my photos. I find that they are my go-to app for retouching photos with the least amount of editing steps. You can add filters, edit the colours, add bokeh and light leaks. I mostly use the Flashes of Light filter pack, specifically the Carrie filter; I love the bright, clean exposure on it – it just gives my photos a little something extra.

I love using Adobe Lightroom on my phone as well as on my desktop computer. I’ve used Photoshop for years since taking photography in art school but it is so nice to be able to use Lightroom which saves me a lot of time on editing – especially when I am working on something fairly straightforward. The app is fantastic for doing edits on your photography; you can control absolutely every single element of exposure, colour, cropping and more.

InShot makes it really easy to make cool Instagram story templates on your phone without having to edit within the Instagram app. It has everything from custom collage layouts to cool backgrounds and video filters and text options, you can create to your heart’s content in this app.

If you’ve never used KiraKira+ but love a little bit of extra sparkle in your life, I recommend you check out the app. Picking up on reflective light in your photos and videos, KiraKira+ is a fun little extra editing step to add some life to your content. Pro-tip: Works a miracle on a disco ball!

Planoly is an Instagram post scheduling app but I mostly just use it to plan out how my Instagram grid will look. There is a free version or a paid version where you can play around with configurations as much as you want. It also can schedule and post your next Instagram post for you – however I did read something recently about how publishing from a third party scheduling app can actually affect how your photo shows up in the algorithm. I always just post directly to Instagram after planning my content.

I have another blog post coming out talking about how I use Freedom Mobile and the iPhone X to connect with family, keep track of health and wellness as well as enjoy entertainment apps like Spotify, Netflix and YouTube. What is your favourite app for your downtime?

This post is in partnership with Freedom Mobile. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep this blog full of fresh content.

Photos by Lori Andrews of 10 Cent Studio.

Fresh + New in the West Beltline


Tasty spots to pop in for a quick coffee, ample opportunities for record hunting, places to dance the night away.

My neighbourhood, the Beltline, is home to all of these amazing places and is constantly changing, growing and evolving. I’m currently wrapping up my partnership with NUDE by Battistella, which will be built in the West Beltline, and I wanted to share some of the exciting new developments popping up in the area. I feel it is a very exciting time to be living in this area — so hopeful and entrepreneurial. I can’t picture a better neighbourhood for people who love a healthy mix of green space, local businesses, great restaurants and an interesting architecture that spans over a century.

One of the biggest changes in the neighbourhood this past summer was the introduction of twelve new murals thanks to the Beltline Urban Mural Project (BUMP). Battistella, dedicated to the beautification of the neighbourhood, is actually a sponsor of BUMP and brought attention to a number of community events happening in the neighbourhood throughout the summer and fall. The new art brought a lot of curious visitors to the Beltline and there were even guided tours of the murals. With more murals planned for 2019 (if you’re an artist who is interested in mural work, you should definitely keep an eye out for project applications opening up) this initiative is changing the visual landscape of this community and introducing people to new art, artists and ideas.  

The opening of an urban Canadian Tire was a huge boost to the West Beltline this past year. I can’t even tell you how long I have been saying that we needed a hardware/general store in the area. Now we finally have it! This Canadian Tire is stacked with everything an inner-city dweller needs — and the beauty of it all is that you don’t need to get in a car to take advantage of it (though they do have a great underground parking lot in case you do).

Purr Clothing moved their shop down 17th Avenue SW from 5th Street down to 10th Street, utilizing a previously empty building that was a former HR Block. The transformation of the space was nothing short of amazing; one of my favourite parts of the boutique is the larger-than-life black-and-white portraits of women in rock music that span from floor to ceiling. The shop carries both men’s and women’s clothing and accessories, as well as few home accessories such as candles.

Another addition to the Beltline that is offering up something a little different and thought-provoking is GOAT Shop, a lifestyle shop that specializes in artful everyday home items and haircutting. They are located at 708 11th Avenue SW. I love that they are more than just a salon, even though beautiful hair is their focus. It is so exciting to see small lifestyle shops like this appearing in the Beltline; they add so much character and community to the experience of shopping local.

These are all just a short walk from the site of NUDE by Battistella right in the heart of the West Beltline. I’m so excited to have a front row seat, watching the development of the West Beltline continue to grow and evolve. Big things are coming for this area and to have the opportunity to live in the neighbourhood and participate in that growth and change is an exciting prospect in itself. The NUDE presentation centre opened in the fall and their amazing team can walk you through the floor plans and the great interior design of the building. For more information, visit www.battistella.ca/nude

Covetable Christmas Gift-Giving with Big Savings

**This is a sponsored post in partnership with Kijiji Canada. All writing and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands who keep this blog full of fresh content.

I am just finishing up my year long partnership with Kijiji Canada this month. I was already a big Kijiji user and second-hand shopper before we worked together but I’ve learned so much more about the second-hand economy over the past year and I am so happy to share that knowledge with others. Beyond the amazing achievable savings by shopping second-hand on Kijiji, it truly is an amazing way to combat consumerism and reduce waste. Today, I’m so excited to be sharing my tips for saving a bit of money during the holiday season – namely how you can save big on all of those gifts you want to have under the Christmas tree!

It only took me a couple of Kijiji searches to find that there were SO many brand-new, in-box items to be scooped up. This Christmas season I was mainly hunting out cool, educational gifts for my son (who also has a birthday on December 30th) and I was amazed at how quickly I was tracking down all sorts of amazing gift ideas for such great prices. That being said, when you’re shopping for brand-new, in-box items please be aware that they go VERY quick. Especially at this time of year when many people are looking for ways to save a few extra dollars.

Since my son can’t read yet and doesn’t have regular Internet access, I’m excited to share the gifts I found for him on Kijiji as well as all the money I saved from buying second-hand, without the fear of him finding out!

Telescope

Jack has always been very interested in planets and the solar system. We’re lucky to be able to see a lot of stars from the windows in our home and Jack’s room has a particularly great viewing spot so I thought getting a telescope would continue to foster his interest in astronomy. I found a brand-new one for $30 on Kijiji, which was an approximate savings of $40 from the retail price.

Digital Camera

I am constantly taking photos for personal and work matters so it is only natural that Jack has shown interest in taking photos as well. As easy as it would be to just hand over my phone, these days I’m hyper paranoid about my phone being dropped so I figured getting his own little point-and-shoot would be the best option. I looked into “child-friendly” camera options online but they looked like pretty low quality and I wanted to get him something that would last. On Kijiji, I found this Polaroid Digital Camera new, in its package, for $40. At regular price, the cameras are around $69.99. With the money I saved, I was able to buy a new mini SD card for $20. I’m so excited to see what kind of images he captures.

Instant Camera and Film

Keeping in theme with photography, one of the best things in the world (at least to me!) is instant photography. Ironically, the digital camera I found was made by Polaroid and the instant camera I picked up is made by FUJI. I was lucky to find a gently used FUJI Instax Camera on Kijiji along with an unopened package of film for $50 total. The film alone usually goes for about $20 in-store and a new Instax sells for $89.99 at places like Urban Outfitters. I think we will have loads of fun with this over the holidays.

Microscope Kit

Jack is also very interested in science and exploring nature, especially since he started going to pre-school which is an indoor/outdoor program. I thought a microscope kit would be the perfect gift idea that will continue to grow with him as he learns more about science and the world. I bought it for $20 and when I looked it up they sell it at London Drugs for $49.99.

Overall, I saved $150 on all of these great technology and science gifts for my son! I am so excited to see him explore his creativity and curiosity in the year ahead. The financial benefits from buying used versus new are incredible. For example, according to Kijiji’s 2018 Report, you can save an average of $825 a year!

There is so much more than just great kids gift ideas on Kijiji; you can truly find something for everyone on there. You can find beautiful antiques and vintage items for the people in your life who love long-lost treasure. You can also track down an almost-new video game system complete with all of the games you could ever want (pro-tip: these go super fast! I was eyeing a couple of listings and they were gone before I could even think twice about it).

Seeking out second-hand holiday decor is another really great way to save some money this time of year. There is truly a never-ending surplus of second-hand decorations – think about shopping someone’s haul of twinkly Christmas baubles before hitting up the store for new decorations.

Or perhaps you’re on the other end of the buy/sell equation and you’d like to make a little extra cash at this busy, expensive time of year. Selling your unwanted things is a great way to find new homes for unused items that are sitting in your home. You can also gather some side income for your own holiday shopping. In fact, Canadians can earn an average of $1,134 by selling their second-hand goods – just think of all the amazing gifts you could purchase for family and friends with that money.

I hope you all have an amazing holiday season full of togetherness and joy and big savings! Happy second-hand hunting!

On The Go With Freedom Mobile

As a self-employed mom, I am constantly on the go and need to be able to access as much of my business as possible while I am out and about with Jack. After years of paying data overage fees and my plan getting more expensive every calendar year, I decided to switch over to Freedom Mobile. In partnership with Freedom, I was also able to upgrade my phone to an iPhone X – which was a big upgrade from my iPhone 6S. The camera alone has revolutionized my phone experience on a daily basis. I can shoot, edit and post my photos while connected to the Freedom network.

Since I switched to Freedom three months ago, I haven’t gone over my data once. I was so used to going over every month with my previous provider that I started to budget for that extra cost every month. That is a bit ridiculous, right? While my phone is essential to my everyday life and business – it shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg every single month.

With my new plan, I’ve been able to keep up with all of my work and emails while on the go – instead of returning to my computer to an overwhelming inbox. I’m also able to keep up with my invoicing and finances which is a huge plus as I am often dealing with up to 20 clients at any given time. Every freelancer worth their salt, knows how important it is to keep on top of invoicing. There are so many great apps for self-employed people; I could probably create a giant list of everything that would be beneficial for freelancers to take advantage – ranging from receipt-keeping apps to time management programs. Today I just want to share my top three apps that help me everyday with my business.

Airmail

As a freelance writer who is constantly working on a variety of projects at any given time and has multiple email addresses for all of those different projects, I need an email platform that keeps things organized and functional for me. I’ve been using Airmail for a couple of years ago and it has definitely changed the way I work. The platform, for both iPhone and OS is super functional, designed beautifully and keeps all of my different emails organized and at the top of my to-do list.

Freshbooks Cloud Accounting

I’ve been using Freshbooks since I started out freelancing and it has saved my life, time and time again. It is the easiest way I can keep track of my incoming and outgoing invoices – making sure I always get paid on time and that I’m in communication with my clients. I also track all of my business expenses and receipts there – which ultimately helps me budget for the next year ahead.

BMO Bank of Montreal

If you don’t have your bank’s app on your phone, you should probably get it right away. I use mine constantly to check on my accounts and make sure I’ve got my savings in order. And now with the functionality to be able to deposit cheques into your account from home – this is a next level benefit for freelancers who are always relying on clients to send payments promptly. To be able to simply deposit your much-needed cheque from home is amazing.

Beyond all of the work I am doing on the go, I no longer worry about watching YouTube videos or streaming music on Spotify while I am out; my plan has more than enough data to keep Jack and I entertained at the same time.

Freedom just launched an amazing offer for the holidays called the 100GB Big Binge Bonus. And it is seriously next level amazing. This special limited-time offer gives customers 100GB of bonus fast LTE data in addition to their monthly data allotment. How incredible is that? This data can be used at anytime and comes at no additional cost to the customer.

The Big Binge Bonus is now available for new and existing customers when they sign up for a Big Gig plan starting at $60 per month with a new handset on a two-year term. The additional 100 GB Big Binge Bonus is automatically applied once a customer exceeds their monthly allotment. The data never expires as long as customers remain with Freedom Mobile on an eligible plan. Full terms and conditions of Big Binge Bonus can be found at freedommobile.ca/blackfriday

In the meantime, I’ll still be working away, balancing the whole freelance motherhood thing. I have another blog post coming out talking about how I like to use the iPhone X to get creative; whether it means writing down ideas as I go, shooting and editing photos on my favourite apps, or creating content for my social media accounts. How do you use your phone to get creative?

This post is in partnership with Freedom Mobile. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep this blog full of fresh content.

SHOP SMALL THIS HOLIDAY

One thing I can’t get (or rather give) enough during the holidays is handmade gifts. There is something truly special about giving or receiving an item that was made by hand; it is not only unique and memorable but it is also has a story behind it which is something that should be a part of every gift that you give.

I’ve already hit up a number of local handmade holiday markets but one of my favourite places to shop all year round is Etsy. I’ve found such amazing things on there over the years and have connected to some incredible makers and artists. 

I’ve rounded up some of my favourite gift ideas here – some fun and quirky things that would make anyone’s heart sing upon opening them up under the ol’ Christmas tree. Happy Holidays, everyone! x

Neutral Woven Rainbow Wall Hanging by RhinoRepublic

This wall hanging is perfect for a nursery or for someone who loves a bit of playful design mixed into their home decor.

Simple Ribbed Baby Bonnet by sweetKM

I never finished making Jack the pointy baby bonnet I was knitting him when he was a baby; I should have just picked on up for him from Etsy. These bonnets are too sweet and look absolutely adorable.

Christmas Cracker Card by TriangleTrees

I’m such a huge fan of everything Triangle Trees makes and this adorable Christmas card is no exception. This would be welcome in any mailbox this holiday season. 

War is Over! print by ArteHausPrints

Start off the year on a peaceful note by gifting this iconic poster.

Favourite Things Pencils by ACDShop

These Favourite Things Pencils are the perfect stocking stuffers for the person in your life who always takes great joy in the most simple pleasures in life. 

Ooops Print by coniLab

Typography enthusiasts will love this bold and fun Ooops print.

Atari print tea towel by Leah Duncan

Screenprinted tea towels are always a great host gift – just wrap it around your favourite bottle of wine for a cute little treat.

Colors II 2019 Calendar by DOZI

Calendars are such special, hopeful gifts; full of excitement for the new year ahead. This stunning calendar by DOZI is the perfect gift to set the tone for the year ahead!