Money Goal Ideas

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Do you need some help setting some financial goals in your life?  Weather you have accomplished all your goals or just getting started I have compiled a list of financial goals you can choose from to apply to your life.

When my husband and I first got married I made us talk about our financial goals and lay everything out so we both understood what we were wanting to achieve, what our expectations were financially in our relationship. This helped us be on the same page and helped us plan ahead and set goals to achieve those things we wanted. At the beginning we set pretty lofty goals that by the end of the year we didn’t achieve and some goals that we achieved pretty easily. Of course it doesn’t always go according to play so be flexible and have fun!

Categorize your goals into SHORT, MID, and LONG TERM.

  • Pay off specific debts
  • Create a monthly budget (spending and earnings)
  • Create list of needs and wants
  • For one month only buy needs
  • Sell or get rid of unnecessary things
  • Start Grocery Plan
  • Save up for household item (instead of buying it immediately)
  • Set Up an emergency fund of at least $1000
  • Save 10% of all earnings
  • Start a retirement account
  • Save for a house deposit
  • Set up a Education Fund for the kiddies
  • Set up a Vacation Fund
  • Save for Car Deposit (instead of getting a loan)
  • Pay off all large debt
  • Max our retirement contributions
  • Pay off student loan
  • Double your Mortgage Payment
  • Maintain Emergency savings of  $2000 or more
  • Start saving for your first INVESTMENT
  • Research into Passive Income Sources
  • Increase your Income Sources

What are some of the financial goals you have with your family? Share and comment below I would love to hear!


 


Baby Led Weaning (BLW) Journey

DISCLAIMER: I’m not a baby nutritionist, this is just what has worked for us and our baby. Seek professional advice first. 11755806_10153099891193590_419126103708343334_n

With our little baby experiment we were introduced to the idea of BLW by a friend who was introduced to it by her pediatrician. I am so grateful we did it we love it and I don’t ever want to go back. We used a combination of baby led weaning and traditional method.

What is Baby Led Weaning? BLW is an alternative method for introducing complementary foods to infants in which the infant feeds themselves hand-held foods instead of being spoon-fed by an adult” (source)

We started when Aroha was 5 and a half months. Aroha was already grabbing things and putting them into her mouth and she could pretty much sit on her own in her chair. Generally they say to wait till kids are about 6 months. But start when you feel is right for your child. We first started by just getting her to lick and suck on fruits we were eating such as watermelon. We didn’t let her eat them fully yet. 10996275_10153099739143590_8160795191866976996_n

First foods we introduced to her: Bananas, Avocados, Mangos, Strawberries, Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Steamed Cucumbers and Bell Peppers. Next time round I would avoid the melons seeing even with her gums she could bite off chunks that would be hard for her to chew and make her gag which scared me a lot! I should have also incorporated more veggies in the first week.

Now Aroha is nearly 6 and a half months and she eats everything that we eat. She has had chicken and salmon. We also give her chickpeas and eggs. She loves all types of fruit. I love that she can pick up her own foods on her own even small cheerios. If we just put it on her plate she will eat it. I guess we have been pretty lucky as we haven’t come across any allergies. Because we used a mix of the traditional and BLW method we also feed her oatmeal and applesauce for breakfast which is way too messy for her to grab on her own.

2015-06-26 14.22.50WHY I LOVE BLW?

  • She eats at her own pace
  • She gets a full on sensory experience so she explores with a variety of different textures
  • She learns hand eye coordination
  • She eats with me and what I eat
  • I don’t have to buy baby food
  • I don’t have to pureed foods regularly
  • Helps me eat healthier as well

Cons

  • MESSY!!!!
  • Choking and Gagging if you don’t make sure their foods are soft enough.
  • Some foods were too slippery and difficult to handle

I like using the mixed method because sometimes if we are out and about feeding her myself is a lot more practical. But starting with BLW helped her master the chewing motion first which meant going back and forth with normal foods and softer foods was not a problem. For me its the best of both worlds!!!

What works for me may not work for you so do experiment and see what is suited best for your family needs. All the best xx

 


Our Secret to Perfecting Love

There are too many books too many advice on Love and Relationships. How to obtain it, how to strengthen it, how to find for it, or even how we lose it. But we only have one simple strategy.

My husband and I met while we were serving full time missions for our church. But our love story didn’t officially begin until we returned home and started dating other people. I lived in New Zealand working as a teacher and also attended graduate school,  while he was working and attended school in Utah. It all started with a simple message on facebook eventually led to skyping each night. Without ever having a physical relationship we decided we were going to date exclusively. You can imagine how difficult this was to tell your family and friends you are dating someone halfway across the world that you have never kissed, held hands or even hugged.

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Because of the distance we had to rely wholeheartedly on God to give us our answers on whether we were to be together or not. Both being broke students we couldn’t just jump on a plane to go halfway across the world. So we prayed and fasted fervently to receive answers whether this is what God wanted for us. Eventually on several occasions we both received our spiritual confirmations. I then flew to Utah for just over a week to meet his family and to make sure he and his family was “normal” haha. Conner then flew to N.Z to meet my family and be with us for a few months. It was not all pink hearts and daisies it was rough for the both of us as we had to learn to adjust to each others families, lifestyle and culture. (Especially seeing I was the first Polynesian girl Conner had actually had a conversation with.) But during this period of transition we always had to rely on the spiritual confirmations we received from God on being together. Even once we were married for the first couple of months it was extremely rough, especially for me being away from my family and adjusting to married life. But I am so grateful that my husband and I had both set a deep spiritual foundations in which we could always fall back on. (Especially grateful for my husbands commitment, patience and humility with me during this time.)

1378180_591373764254812_842734700_nHow does a relationship with God help and strengthen our marriage you may wonder?

Because we CHOOSE to be DEPENDENT on a never-failing, all forgiving, completely loving, all-knowing, all-powerful creator. We know that He will never fail us. We ourselves are on a journey to be more like Jesus Christ therefore because Jesus was patient we try to more patient with the faults and weaknesses of others. We also hope for patience from others with our shortcomings. We love even when sometimes we feel we don’t get love in return just like Jesus was to those who persecuted Him. We look to be selfless and serve each other as our Savior was selfless and gave His life for us. We endeavor to be humble and let go of pride when we get in silly arguments. There are so many attributes we can develop to be become better wives, mothers, husbands and fathers as we look towards God and Jesus as our examples. Our marriage will become that of strengthening and building each other instead of belittling and competing with one another.  The love triangle allows us to look towards God as our example for how we should treat and love our families. We have a perfect example that we can follow to create happier and eternal marriages and families.

Below is the spiritual love triangle, it is pretty self explanatory. The closer each of us move towards God in our own personal relationships with God, the closer we would come together in our marriage.

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For me this triangular model works time and time again. This model only fails when one of us are putting ourselves before God or not strengthening our relationship with God. This is why I wholeheartedly believe that marriage is a 3 way relationship with God. Marriage is from God and he has given us a way to create a happy family life. We can not and should not take him out of the equation. I pray that we will remember this as we build and strengthen our personal family relationships.

Marriage is a Gift from God to us the quality of our marriage is our Gift to God

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Remember you are of Infinite worth and are amazing beyond measure!!


5 ways to Preserve Language in the home

5ways to Preserve Language

Repost from previous Blog: Speak your Language!!
5 Ways to Preserve Our LanguageIn this day of age its not that cool to speak the language of your parents. Growing up in a traditional Tongan home I was mainly raised by my grandmother so that somewhat forced me to speak Tongan. But with my parents, who were exposed to more English through work, I got away with speaking to them in English. This then raises a few issues…Teachers in Primary Schools and Secondary schools are then  faced with  having to reteach English and undo some habits that have already been formed by the children.
The issue is that children are speaking BROKEN English and BROKEN Tongan (in my case). They don’t have either or.
Although our parents do have lovely intentions of trying to speak to us in English to get us to practice, or maybe they too are trying to practice for their sake. Personally for me more than anything we need to be sticking to the language we know best and cultivate it so that it becomes rich for our children. English will defiantly come in time and we don’t need to worry our kids will eventually learn English the proper way.Research shows that those who speak two or more languages have extra brain stimulation through out their entire life. Allowing them to be able to adjust to different circumstances and adapt to unexpected or unfamiliar events. A study that was done by Dr Brain. T. Gold from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine between those who spoke 2 or more languages and those who just spoke one language proved that both groups were able to complete the task, but those who spoke 2 or more languages completed it faster and used less brain power to do so. So why wouldn’t you want your children to learn and keep your language!! Here are some tips that I have seen have helped me and my family…

  1. Help them develop pride in who they are and where they came from. That their culture is what makes us who we are and unique
  2. Ensure that one parent always speaks the language to the child, if both parents go back and forth with the language it may get confusing for the child.
  3. Read in your native language. Growing up we always read the scriptures in Tongan even though we may not have known what we were saying but we were practicing pronunciation.
  4. Sing Songs. Its funny some songs that I didn’t even know the meaning of when I was little when I sing them now all the words come together and I finally understand what the song is saying.
  5. Set structure: If you have rules to only speak a certain language one week stick to it and try and be consistent with it otherwise its always easy to fall back to english

Most importantly have fun incoporaptating your traditional language with English. What are some of your tips for raising your children with two languages? Share or comment below!


Seven Eleven 2015

Yes I am a seven eleven baby!! 1 year older and wiser too Happy  Birthday to me!!!! Because I ended up going to sleep grumpy at my husband the night before, I decided when I woke up I was to CHOOSE to be happy. That I would be the one to determine how my Birthday Day was to turn out. If anything got me upset it was because I allowed it to. So because I set myself up thinking this I was off to a good start. Birthday celebrations began with the hubby making breakfast, Baby and I went and cleaned up the chapel and then visited a friend in a assisted living home. Cleaned up my house while my husband was doing a test at school. In my eyes it couldn’t have started any better!!!!
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Last year for my birthday we watched a good old musical classic Fiddler on the Roof so this year I wanted to do something more outdoorsy. Lately I have been emphasizing to my husband the importance of spending quality time together,and building memories rather than collecting things.  So we decided to go up to snowbasin and ride the gondolas up the mountain. This is a ski resort that the olympics were held out and in the winter has amazing views and crazy amounts of snow. In the summertime people just go up there and bike down the mountain. This was my first time experience on a gondola lift so obviously I was pretty excited!  Once we got up to the top we hiked up the rest of the way. Obviously I wasn’t dressed for the hike but weather was perfect, not too hot not too cold. At the top we had the most amazing view through the valley and all around. 
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The view at the top was breathtaking. Of course these pictures don’t even capture a glimpse of these views. And the pretty wild flowers made the hike all the better. Nature always tends to bring out the best in us. Anyone having a bad day just needs to get out for a little bit and experience some of nature’s healing powers. I can’t guarantee that all your troubles and woes will just suddenly disappear but will be for sure put into perspective. 11733827_10153069068738590_2030464073_o11733289_10153069065973590_1744367362_n To end the night we had Mongolian Grill for dinner, not exactly what I was expecting. I guess in my mind I was imaging it would be Korean BBQ but it wasn’t too bad. Then we had a smoothie for dessert at sub zero and no birthday cake seeing I was doing that Junkfree July month. At the end of the night topped it off with a relaxing movie just before bed. Before I knew it another year birthday just flew right before my eyes!

Happy Birthday to me!!!!!!! Tick of my Bucket List: Gondola Ride and Mongolian BBQ


Eating Habits Her vs His

Growing up in New Zealand and seeing both worlds I can see there are benefits to both sides. The poly’s know how to throw a good party and the palangi’s know how to have portion control. Here’s a list of our different eating habits maybe we can learn from one another and figure out why we eat the way we do.

Hers His
She cooks for double or triple the amount in their household because you never know when aunts uncles third cousins are going to arrive. He cooks for exact people so you can’t just show up at the doorstep and expect to be fed. That’s why it’s called RSVP!
She makes sure you clean and lick your plate and ask for thirds you end up having no room for dessert but will make you eat dessert anyways. He eats until you are satisfied and save room for dessert so they don’t feel sick after!
She eat until they can’t move and the only next activity is sleep. He use food as just energy booster for other activities throughout the day.
At a buffet She stack their plates full just in  so they have more time to enjoy their food and don’t have to make several trips. He just put enough on the plate knowing they can always come back for more.
She drink after they eat so they have more space for food. He drinks before so they have less space for food.
She can eat meat for breakfast lunch dinner! He eats variety of meats, vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, paleo meals.
She are satisfied once there is no dessert left. He eats a slice of cake and call it good! It’s nice to save something for the next day.
She don’t have any allergies surprisingly enough. While He have allergies to everything under the sun nuts dairy gluten honey eggs soy wheat shellfish.

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I know these are complete stereotypes, but I just wanted to make the clear distinctions to how and why many of us eat the way we do and think the way we do. Our people and culture is very giving and loving, and we use food to show that love. But we also need to be cautious in what we are teaching our children and the habits they will be forming. Our health is one of the most important gifts we can give to our families. Coming from a family with a history of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure I could say it’s inevitable, that I will get it. We can break the chain it’s the lifestyle we choose to live. It can be changed if you so choose and see it fit for you!

What are some other eating habits that are different comment and share below!

 


Experiment Child is 6months

Seeing all the cute baby photos I decided I wanted to do photos for my baby but knowing how crazy expensive they are and our budget isn’t quite ready for that I decided to do my own little photoshoot! What perfect occasion to do it on then my baby’s 6 month mark! Our poor experiment child is receiving all sorts of different strategies as we are learning to see what works for us as parents and also what her individual needs are.  11714502_10153056094043590_127490080_n

  • First Baby Sign language is the milk sign
  • Has been eating solid food. She knows how to chew and bite foods
  • Is rolling all over the place and sometimes does the plank
  • Is starting to sit on her own
  • Is finally sleeping in the car
  • Cleft Lip surgery is recovering well still working on massaging it daily

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  • Favourite food is mango
  • Is able to put herself to sleep
  • Drinks 6-7oz
  • Loves watching signtime
  • Weighs approx 15 lbs
  • Smiles Laughs and Giggles but takes time to warm up to strangers

11713636_10153056094093590_1941365622_n  11733281_10153056107468590_1613511194_nIts super fun watching our “experiment child” progress. We have used a couple of non conventional methods with her such as the Baby Led Weaning method to introduce foods to her. Sleep training method this was extremely difficult and heart wrenching for me! Still is at times but with my husband’s work and study schedule it had to be done. We are also teaching her baby sign language. We are slowly implementing a no technology unless it’s baby sign time but i’m thinking of cutting that out eventually too. And lastly essential oils for pretty much everything.  So lets all hold our breath for whatever the next experiment may be. haha


July Goals

My favorite month of the year!! Why you say.. because its my birthday month!!! Yay even better living here in the US its summer time and it feels like the whole country is in party mode this month! Fireworks and all!!!

So I have decided to set monthly goals to work on as I am all about personal development learning and growth. Because what better birthday present to give myself than a better me!!! I decided to set a goal for all 4 areas faith fitness family and finance, if it’s to much next month I will probably just cut it down to two.

Faith – 21 day Book of Mormon  Testimony Challenge (our stake leaders challenge for us)

Fitness – Junkfree July (i know no birthday cake for me haha)

Family – No Social Media between 5-9pm – want to make sure I have QT with the family.

Finance$20 Weekly Grocery Budget – So it can help me buy the necessary things at the grocery store to prevent wastage. (Usually there are lots of things at the bottom of the fridge that I forget about and end up having to throw away because I don’t use!)

What are your goals for this fabulous month? Would love to hear and see your progress! Wish me luck. Don’t forget how beautifully amazing you are!


DIY: Glassware

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So I may have a little obsession with glass objects & SPRAYPAINT!! Well you can’t blame me if there are tonnes of funky things you can do with them!! With being on a tight budget I can’t buy a lot of the super cute things I drool over in Target or other home decor places so that means I have to get a little creative…

You may wonder how I come up with projects. Well to tell you the truth I am a hoarder. I can’t and don’t throw things away because I always think I can turn it into something else. So if I am tempted to throw something away I first google “Repurposed ………(blank)…” If I don’t find anything that I like then I throw it away. Or if repurposed project is going to cost to much I just put it into storage until I can afford whatever I want to make.

These jars were gifts from our wedding… I think they were re-gifted to us because the box seemed worn out and old. We were planning on returning them to the store but didn’t find a store that sold them so we kept them and I made this little number. Not to bad for something we were going to take to the D.I.

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These are old glass bottles that we found in our shed when we moved into our house. They were old medicine bottles. I thought they looked super cool so I kept them until I had some time to work some spray paint magic.

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Some more vases that we found for free at a yard sale that people didn’t want. So we took them and transformed them to these little babies!

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We were also given a box of mason jars from a friend with 30 or so jars. I have done lots of things with mason jars but here’s just one of the projects. This is for the bathroom obviously if you didn’t figure out what cotton balls and ear things are for. haha you will be seeing a few more projects with mason jars!

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Stay tune for more fun home projects. I just have one rule of thumb when I do my projects it needs to be finished in a day. If it isn’t I won’t do it. Usually I am not motivated to finish projects unless I can do them in a day or else it takes me forever to do or I will half finish it. What are some of your home projects. Share comment below of more things you guys would like to see that takes less than a day haha

You are awesome! You really are!

 



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