Create a Reverse Bucket List and be Thankful and Happy now.

Ever had a week or month where you really have the fear of missing out? Life can be unpredictable. With my recent job loss, I have had this intense fear that everything on my bucket list is dreams that can’t happen. I found myself getting discouraged. My bucket is list is long after all. So how did I combat some serious FOMO?

I wrote a reverse bucket list yesterday.  I found it brought me into the present and I became thankful and happy with the now.  It’s easy especially at this time of year to let the fear of missing out rule the day but a reverse bucket list can help deal with today and the now.


There are real benefits to the reverse bucket list

Did you know being more thankful actually increases your overall well-being?

Think of a reverse bucket list as what you are most grateful for. As our neighbours in America celebrate Thanksgiving it is a perfect time to do this exercise.

Grab a notebook. I love starting fresh with a new journal. Think back. What are you most proud of? What have you achieved? Think of it as travelling back in time. Write down everything you are proud of in your life. What are those major happy memories? What were the best days?

Having issues remembering? Sometimes glancing at old photos, older social media posts will remind us of those events.

Here are a few of my reverse bucket list items

  • Was the first family member to attend University
  • Helped feed 5000 on Venice Beach for Thanksgiving and Christmas
  • Met Bob Hope
  • Traveled on Via Rail from the East Coast of Canada to the West.
  • Traveled from Nova Scotia to California on an Epic Road Trip
  • Created Common Cents Mom
  • Created the first personal finance chat in Canada on Twitter.
  • Solo parented an amazing daughter who graduated as an Ontario Scholar
  • Helped the homeless in LA
  • I have been featured in a national magazine.
  • I have been featured in a national newspaper.

After you have written your list

The list can go on and on. Some have short lists others have lists with hundreds of items. The reverse bucket list is an exercise in gratitude.  When you step back you should feel a sense of joy, a sense of gratitude and pride for all that you have been blessed to do. It is not a brag list. It is a list of all that has been, all that has been celebrated.

Place your list somewhere you can be reminded of it. Mine is on my night table. In this season of gratitude, I am trying to add to it daily.Sometimes we need to be reminded of our success, the good we have done.

Create your own reverse bucket list and let me know what you were reminded of. Mine reminded me of how even when we have little we can find ways to do much.


Teaching Our Children About Money Twitter Party #TangerineFLM #ad

Ever think about money? Ever think about where you learned the money concepts you follow today. If you live in Canada, you most likely did not learn about money in elementary school. You definitely didn’t learn about savings, investing, TFSA’s or retirement.  When it comes to what we know about money it was our families who taught us.

My parents taught me you have to work hard to earn every dollar but both of them lived pay cheque to pay cheque. Savings and investing was never talked about. My grandfather was an astute businessman who bought and sold properties. If you drive an hour north of Toronto, he owned many cottage lots that he sold off in the fifties one by one. He is the one who taught me to work hard but also have your money invested and that it could grow.

How do you pass on what is important to your children?

How are you teaching your children about money?

Money concepts are not part of the curriculum much here in Canada. Financial literacy isn’t taught to our children. It is up to us the parent to teach children about money.

Do you feel you know enough to be able to teach them well?

Even young children can understand basic money conversations. I know I started talking to my own daughter about money when she was five. It all started with a piggy bank and later a bank account. I also instilled in her the importance of giving back no matter the income level.

This week, join @TangerineBank and @RobinTaub as we talk about teaching our children about money.


Here are some great teaser tips from Tangerine to get you started.


Hope to see you at the Twitter Party on Tuesday night for a great conversation with Robin Taub. There is NO RSVP and there are 4 prizes being given away!





How to Create the Perfect Black Friday Shopping Plan

We are less than a week away from a day many of us wait for, Black Friday. For businesses, it sets the tone for the holiday shopping season. For the deal hunter like me, it allows us to find the very best deals. So how do you create the perfect Black Friday shopping plan?  If you want to get an A+ for shopping you need to have a plan!

Years ago to in you would have been waiting until the last minute for the flyers to arrive and scouring them for the very best deals but now you can do everything you need with ease. You would have been using a map to chart your course. Can you remember those days?

So how do you create a plan to will have you getting the best deals this Black Friday? Follow these Steps:





Every good plan starts with a budget. Know how much you will be spending in total and on each person. Often we can just hit the mall without a plan and when January hits we realize we blew the budget.  Start your plan with a great foundation, your budget. The average Canadian family spends at least $1500.00 on Christmas and all the trimmings.  How much of this will you spend on Black Friday?

Make a List

You know Santa makes a list, right? Just like Santa you want to have your own list. Know who you are buying for and who you are not. Know what you are thinking of buying for them. What are you hunting for? Did you know you can make your list of coveted items on your free Flipp app? If you have not downloaded this app yet, you want too. It makes every shopping day a breeze.


Check out the Flyers

Many of the Black Friday Flyers are already out! You can find sneak peeks of many of them now so you don’t have to create your plan late Wednesday night. One of the advantages of the app once you have added an item to your list, it will show you every flyer that has deals.

Example: You want to buy a new TV this Black Friday? Add TV to your shopping list. Flipp will show you where all the deals are closest to where you live.

Love to just browse and then make your list, you can do that too.

Once you have your list, found the perfect deals, its time for the action plan.

Shop with a Friend

One of the things I love about the Flipp app is you can share your list with a friend or loved one. You can divide and conquer. Things go well when it is a team effort. Think of it, you know some items have very limitied numbers. Flipp makes is easy to get everything on your list.

Know Where Everything Is

Ever found a great deal in a flyer and you are not familiar with the store layout? Flipp even has your back for this. With store mode, it shows you which aisle you need to shop in.  Think of Store mode as your own personal GPS for in-store shopping.


By shopping with a friend and knowing where everything is, you are ahead of the crowds and are sure to get that A+ in Black Friday shopping.

If you are doing last minute Thanksgiving shopping you will also want to check out the rebates and coupons section of the Flipp app. If you haven’t started using the coupons and rebates with the app, you can find some helpful information with Flipp’s Guide to Rebates. Print off your coupons to match them with deals. Trust me the app is something you will be thankful to have on your phone. It’s a shopper’s best friend.

*This post is sponsored by my friends at Flipp, but the truth is I have been an active Flipp app user since it first came out. I love the app and my opinions are my own as always.





The Common Cents Mystery Box Christmas Giveaway


It is that time of the year. We are six weeks away from Christmas Eve.  If you are a planner like me you are already getting ready. I have already started a list and have checked it more than twice. This year I will be hosting a few giveaways here on the blog but I wanted to start with a very special one.

Have you ever seen a mystery box unboxing on YouTube? My daughter is addicted to them. Really, she is.


I am giving away a Common Cents Mystery box. What is in it?

If you know me you know I have a few loves so does my teen. I will say the retail value of the box is over $150.00 retail Canadian.

Need more clues?

It includes brands we love.

Some of the things it may include:

Essential oils, tea, chocolate, puzzles, beauty items, toys. Does this get you thinking?

We promise no lint, no broken items.  All will be usable.

It includes things for kids and adults.

We will gladly send this mystery box anywhere in the United States or Canada. Our only ask is that you share the opening of the box on your own social channel.


  • Open to Canadian and US Residents over the age of 18.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Let us Remember Our Vets Today and Everyday

Today is Veteran’s Day here in Canada. More and more,  Lest we forget, we stop and thank those who have gone before at the eleventh hour on the eleventh day. Many of us wear poppies today to remember the poppies that grow on Flanders Field. Each year I am proud to pick up my poppy and thank a veteran who has served.

Every year I am reminded of the stories that I know from personal family research. Lately, I have been using to learn even more about the heroes in my own family. This weekend if you want to research the military stories in your family you can do so for free.  In every generation,  I have had family members who have served here in Canada and who are serving in military services around the globe.

First, there was my great-grandfather. Charles Pollard who was a WW1 veteran. Not much is known about his service but that he did serve. He served as part of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Norman and Alice Pollard
Grandpa and Grandma Pollard just before my grandfather shipped off.

Then there was my granddad Norman Pollard and his brothers. He was one of 3 brothers who went and served. One did not come home: my Great Uncle Charlie was killed in action in 1942. He is buried in Germany. My grandfather was captured at Dieppe and transferred to a POW camp in Poland. In the final days of the war, with the world closing in, these men had to march for 86 days across 600 miles toward Berlin. My grandfather brought home with him unspeakable memories. He was hospitalized in England for 5 months after the war and then another 5 months at Sunnybrook Hospital before he could go home to his family. My grandfather’s story even made the local news as he was listed as missing in action and then when he was liberated.

Did you know when they would share news of those in the fight back then they would share what street they lived on? I live just a few blocks from where my grandmother sat and learned her husband was missing in action. The same home where she would receive a letter smuggled out of the POW camp telling her, he was alive. He was liberated not long after that letter reached her in May of 1945.


My uncle Ron served as a diver with the Navy and did several peacekeeping missions. My uncle was even buried at sea.

My cousins Ronny and Tom have both served. Tom continues to serve.

My teen’s big brother, Seth serves in the American forces and has served in Afghanistan.

There was my grandfather Hilliard Kain who served in the Canadian Navy, as did my stepfather Alfred Smoat.

remember our vets- graduating class 1953

My mom was a member of the Canadian Airforce as well. This photo is of her graduating from basic training.

I am thankful to each and every family member who hearts were big, whose strength was real, whose courage was beyond measure. I am thankful for all we have as Canadians and know it is because of the valor of men and women just like my family members that I can even blog today. We owe huge debts of gratitude for each who have served.

As an action note, today if you are thankful for the service to this country of others, please support the vets in your community. Often they come home injured and get forgotten and let me put it this way, we don’t do enough at any level to offer the support or services so many need. Health care and home care right now are needed by so many vets who served so valiantly and funds are lacking, rehab care for our returning warriors is lacking as well in so many ways…so please add your voice to mine and write a letter saying that our VETS deserve the best treatment and access to funds we can possibly afford.

Today may we forget not the sacrifice and service of those who have served and those who wear a uniform every day so we can live here in Canada as we do.

Who today will you remember? For me it a long line of family members who have served in every major Canadian military action, from war to peacekeeping efforts every generation has given what they can to serve this great land I call home.

It’s Time to Start Talking Financial Literacy- It’s Financial Literacy Month in November #FLM2017

It’s my favourite time of the year. For the fourth year in a row, as November begins, Canadians are encouraged to talk about money during Financial Literacy Month. For 8 years I have hosted online money conversations. Financial education is important to me. When I started this blog my goal was to share my story and give Canadians access to the experts. Over the years I have been blessed to host some of the very best money experts on my #CDNmoney chats and been parts of hundreds of online money conversations.

For the last four years, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada has helped lead the money conversation in Canada with the Financial Literacy Month. They work with organizations from the private, public and non-profit sectors to improve the financial literacy of all Canadians. They have even worked with bloggers like me. The theme for the conversation this year is:

“Take charge of your finances: It pays to know!”

Throughout the month, FCAC will feature weekly sub-themes that bring attention to the benefits of basic money management practices at different stages of life and encourage Canadians to reduce debt and save for the future. They are:

Week 1 (November 1-4) – Achieve financial well-being What does it mean to be financially fit? Are you struggling to be fit? This is a great place to start this conversation. Do you have a budget?

Week 2 (November 5-11) – Live within your means Did you know most Canadians spend more than they earn? Have you tried to live within your means? This week we will be talking about what it means to live within your means.

Week 3 (November 12-18) – Manage money for student life I have a teen daughter, she is a college kid. Teaching our youth, our teens while they are young sets them up for long-term success. Can’t wait for this conversation.

Week 4 (November 19-25) – Teach children about money I have talked about this topic for years. Did you know most Canadian kids don’t get taught financial literacy in school?  As parents, we must be teaching our kids.

Week 5 (November 26-30) – Know your financial rights and responsibilities  Do you know we have rights and responsibilities that go beyond taxes? We will talk about these are well.

To help celebrate and carry on the conversations, Tangerine is celebrating with 3 Twitter Parties

Twitter Party Details


Twitter Party Details

  • Theme: Live Within Your Means
  • Date: Thursday, November 9, 2017 at 7:00pm ET
  • Guest: Kelley Keehn @KelleyKeehn
  • Host: TangerineBank @TangerineBank
  • Hashtags: #TangerineFLM#FLM2017
  • Prizing: 4 X $100 MasterCard Gift Cards
  • Eligibility: Canada excluding Quebec


Twitter Party

  • Theme: Teach Children about Money
  • Date: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 at 7:00pm ET
  • Guest: Robin Taub @RobinTaub
  • Host: Tangerine Bank @TangerineBank
  • Hashtag: #TangerineFLM #FLM2017
  • Prizing: 4 X $100 MasterCard Gift Cards
  • Eligibility: Canada excluding Quebec

About Tangerine Bank

Tangerine is a direct bank that delivers simplified everyday banking to Canadians. With over 2 million Clients and close to $38 billion in total assets, we are Canada’s leading direct bank. Tangerine offers banking that is flexible and accessible, products and services that are innovative, fair fees, and award-winning Client service. From no-fee daily Chequing and high-interest Savings Accounts, Credit Card, GICs, RSPs, TFSAs, Mortgages and Investment Funds through its subsidiary, Tangerine Investment Funds Ltd., Tangerine has the everyday banking products Canadians need. With over 1,000 employees in Canada, our presence extends beyond our website and Mobile Banking app to our Café locations, Pop-Up locations, Kiosks and 24/7 Contact Centres. Tangerine was launched as ING DIRECT Canada in 1997. In 2012 it was acquired by Scotiabank, and operates independently as a wholly-owned subsidiary.


This is a sponsored Post. We were compensated to write this post, but as always opinions are our own.


safe hallowen

How to Have Happy Safe Halloween

It ‘s is that time of year again. Your house is brimming with excitement if it is anything like ours. Halloween is next week, Hard to believe there is less than a week to go until the ghosts and goblins roam the street in search of Halloween treats.  This is a busy fun time of the year. Often there are multiple Halloween activities. There are the class parties, the work event. the community event and then there is the night of trick or treating. We love it all! Amongst the busyness though we need to be safe. It is great to love Halloween but we need to think about safety as well. So how do you have a happy and safe Halloween?


The Perfect Costume

When it comes to Halloween, let’s start with the basics, the costume. Make sure all costumes fit well and are labeled flame resistant. Over-sized costumes, capes, and even long tails can become hazards. When you think about what you or your child will be, think bright! It gets dark out there and you want to be seen. If you are wearing something dark, think of adding a reflective strip of wearing glow bracelets or necklaces to help you be seen.

We have a rule in our house, no masks. We use face paint or makeup. Even with face paint or makeup you want to do a patch test to ensure there are no allergies.

safe hallowen

Dangerless Decorating

I remember the first time my teen carved a pumpkin. She accidentally cut her hand. Accidents can happen. Let children paint or draw the design on pumpkins and leave the carving to a parent. You may choose not to carve a pumpkin. You may decide to decorate one instead. Pinterest has some amazing ideas.

Ever since the invention of LED candles, we do not use candles in our jack-o-lanterns. If you are using candles, never leave them unattended. Don’t have an LED candle? A small flashlight will work as well.

Make sure the outside of your home is well lit and clutter free.

Halloween candy

Trick or Treat Safely

There was once a time when it was okay to let kids go trick or treating with their friends. We no longer live in a time when that is a good idea. Make sure a parent goes with any child twelve and under. Ensure children only visit homes where lights are turned on and practice good road safety. Cross the street at corners and crosswalks. Last year, we witnessed a near accident as a child went running across the street between parked cars. Thankfully, the driver was paying attention.

When it comes to candy, eat none till you are home. Parents, check your child’s haul. If there are toys or novelty items ensure there are no choking hazards for any little ones that may reside at your house.

By following these tips you should have a safe and happy Halloween. Did I miss any tips that help your family have a safe Halloween? If so, let me know your tips.


Finding Fall and Winter Fashions with Flipp

The weather has been all over the place lately. One day it’s hot and the next few it’s cold and then hot again. While some days can be warm, the evenings are cooler and call for hoodies, long pants, and warm drinks. This week while flipping through the Flipp app, I found some warm and fuzzy deals for fall and winter fashions that will be the perfect attire for the season.

Fall and Winter Fashions

Mark’s – Valid October 18 – October 23, 2017

fall and Winter Fashions

This week there is a big sale happening at Mark’s with 40 – 50 % off on tops, pants and so much more.

Hudson’s Bay – Valid October 20 – October 26, 2017

Keep your feet in style with this selection and more.

Giant Tiger – Valid October 18 – October 24, 2017

Giant Tiger is one of my favourite stores to visit and has great styles and sizes to fit everyone’s needs.


If you are looking for more great deals, head on over to Flipp and swipe your way to some savings. Find some the best grocery deals this week at Frescho and PriceChoppers. Check out the coupons for more savings, there are plenty to print off.

Watch for next week’s look at last minute Halloween items. Sometimes it is better to wait for the better deals.

Downloaded the Flipp app and don’t miss out on savings and cash back. Download Flipp from Google Play or the App Store and start saving.

If you haven’t started using the coupons and rebates with the app, you can find some helpful information with Flipp’s Guide to Rebates. Print off your coupons to match them with deals. Trust me the app is something you will be thankful to have on your phone.

Don’t forget to add all your loyalty cards to Flipp so you always have them with you. Saving you even more and helping you earn the things you want.

How to Have a Happy Halloween on a Budget

It’s hard to believe it is the middle of October already, and if you are like me I start thinking about Halloween the day after Thanksgiving. Halloween though can cause a drain on the pocketbook. It’s one of those holidays where it is easy to spend and spend. We absolutely love Halloween in this house. My teen has already been down to Niagra area for a Haunted Hayride, corn mazes, and a bonfire this past weekend as she helped a friend celebrate their birthday. So how can we have a happy Halloween on a budget? Trust me, it is possible to do and you can it on a budget.  Here are my rules for a great Halloween:


Before you spend a single dollar on Halloween, plan your spending. Have a budget in place. Are you going to be buying costumes for yourself, the kids, pets? Planning on attending local Halloween events (what are the costs involved?)? Are you going to decorate your house? Are you handing out candy? Trust me, you can save on all of it, but first, you have to know your budget.

Get Inspired on Pinterest

We love Pinterest for inspiration. If you check my Pinterest boards you will see I have a Halloween board that is full of decor and costumes ideas and another board full of Halloween food ideas

Shop What You Have

We love holidays in this house. I have a Rubbermaid container for every season, every holiday. Over the years, I have collected favorite elements for my Halloween decor and possible costumes. What do have in your closet, attic, or garage that you can use? For me, I have been blessed to have been a Hallmark blogger so I have a collection of favourites that I use year after year. I also keep past costumes if I see a potential use for the pieces. Do you have a dress-up box? We had a tickle trunk for years. Everything my daughter wore for dress up was up for grabs when it came to Halloween costumes.


The Dollar Store

We love dollar stores, you know the ones where everything is one dollar or pretty close to that. For Halloween, we purchase things we need here most often. Need Halloween makeup you can find it? Need temporary hair colour, you will find it, Need a few decor items you can find that too. Here where I live I have two favourite dollar stores: Dollarama and Dollar Tree. Be careful at Dollarama though many items are more than a buck! Look for value.

Thrift Stores

The third place I hit is thrift stores. I have shopped a Value Village in the past for Halloween but they are now getting almost as expensive as Walmart and other retailers when it comes to Halloween costumes.  My current favourite places to thrift shop for Halloween in Toronto right now happens to be the Salvation Army thrift stores. We have found some great costumes and dress up clothes at thrift stores by keeping our eyes peeled.

Save Money on Candy Shopping

Do you have hundreds of kids hitting your house? You can save on Halloween candy as well. We found a couple of bags of candy that we know kids love at Dollarama for three dollars a bag but to save on things like chips, chocolate bars, and Twizzlers check your sales flyers the two weeks before Halloween.  With your Flipp app, simply enter the word Halloween or candy in the search bar and watch all the adds appear. Simply clip your favourite or the best buy and remember you can price match at stores like Walmart and the Superstore.

Thes are my tips for a budget-friendly happy Halloween. How do you celebrate Halloween without breaking the bank?


Flipp for Holiday Decor

It is the season to pull out the holiday decor and get ready for Halloween and then Christmas, it will be here sooner than you think. Many love this time of year and try to make a spooktacular scene in their yards and windows. During this time of year, it is such a beautiful sight to see as you walk around the different neighbourhoods.

Whether it is for Halloween or Christmas, start flipping and find the right holiday decor for you.

Since there are still a few weeks until October 31st, Flipp will help you find the best deals and coupons and maybe a nice rebate for your December shopping.

Holiday Decor

Walmart – Valid October 12 – October 18, 2017

holiday decor

Michael’s – Valid October 13 – October 19, 2017


Make it Spooky with 50% off.

Michael’s is a favourite store where the become inspired. There are so many different ideas, completed decor and ones that you create yourself.


I was the store a few weeks back and it got me in a creative mood. So many ideas sprung to mind on creating snowmen, one of my favourite winter collectibles.

Hudsons’s Bay -Valid October 13 – October 19, 2017

Add to your collection of ornaments with 25 % off.

Downloaded the Flipp app and don’t miss out on savings and cash back. Download Flipp from Google Play or the App Store and start saving.

If you haven’t started using the coupons and rebates with the app, you can find some helpful information with Flipp’s Guide to Rebates. Print off your coupons to match them with deals. Trust me the app is something you will be thankful to have on your phone.

Don’t forget to add all your loyalty cards to Flipp so you always have them with you. Saving you even more and helping you earn the things you want.

Do you decorate your yard? Is it scary?