5 Reasons to Treat Yourself to a Hot Coffee Right Now

All busy parents deserve a good jolt of java every now and then

5 Reasons to Treat Yourself to a Hot Coffee Right Now

5 Reasons to Treat Yourself to a Hot Coffee Right Now

Moms are busy, no matter what their lifestyle, and coffee is the primary reason many of us are able to remain upright. Like you, my life is ALL-CAPS BUSY - I have three kids, five (contract) jobs, one husband, and one home currently up for sale. My husband is also working towards a Masters degree - it's a real party at my place, folks! Which means that the brunt of keeping our household running smoothly currently falls on my shoulders. Some days I feel like I'm pinwheeling through life.

How do I cope? The same way many of you do, and the way nature intended: Coffee.

Here are some Mom situations that whisper "Yep; you're gonna need a coffee!"

1. Getting the kids out the door in the morning...barely

Getting the kids out the door for school on time means that we often get maybe a sip or two of coffee before we get out the door ourselves. This is not acceptable. Nor is it in the best interests of those who have to spend time with us during the day. (FYI, I am happy if I make it out the door fully clothed and in my right mind!)

Solution: Until a reliable I.V. administration technique is available, grab your coffee on the go.

2. Your house is, well...not picture perfect

Having kids and a busy schedule means our homes may not be in presentable condition at all times. And that's okay. Rather than stressing about it, we do what we can, when we can, right? I am currently showing our home to prospective buyers, so last-minute texts asking if the house can be shown in half an hour throw me into a tailspin to clear away as much clutter as possible in order to make the house look neat and show-worthy.

Solution: Take advantage of house-showings by going out for a cup of coffee.

3. You manage to keep yourself and your family organized

Keeping ourselves organized is a job in itself, but when you also have to be somewhat responsible for helping to keep your kids organized too? That can be tough, especially when your kid calls you at work saying they forgot their planner/gym strip/permission slip at home and they NEED it NOW. The best part? You specifically asked them before they left if they had their planner/gym strip/permission slip and the answer was YES.

Solution: Charge said child a toonie for your time to deliver said item; add to coffee fund. You're going to need it when this happens again tomorrow.

4. You are dealing with a new car repair you could have avoided

You’re driving along, ignoring the "check engine" light (word of advice, NEVER ignore that light) and all of a sudden you power down. You manage to make it safely into a parking lot and after some frantic calls, you get towed to the mechanic. After a stressful wait, you find out you need to replace the $450 alternator, exactly one week after your spouse also had a costly car repair to replace the transmission on his truck.

Solution: While your already over-worked spouse cries silently into the phone, use the quiet time to enjoy a coffee.

5. You've prepared a slow-cooker meal...or so you thought

Being the meal planner you are, you threw together an amazing crock pot meal in the morning before you left for work and are now enjoying the thought of not having to deal with dinner preparation later. However, all of those blissful thoughts come to an end when your husband, who arrived home early from work, calls to tell you that while you did turn the crock pot on, you just missed plugging it in.

Solution: Make tonight a take-out night, complete with coffee and a treat for dessert - you deserve it.

So what should you do when you decide to take that much-needed coffee break?

Luckily for me, my wee town has a Shell Station. I’ve been stopping in to fuel up and grab coffee since before we had kids because my truck needs fuel and so do I. Shell’s Java Café is something I appreciate for a number of reasons:

  • Their coffee is always freshly brewed and my local Shell offers a variety of Java Café blends. I like having a choice.
  • Their bar full of condiments allows me to make my coffee just the way I like it. On the days I’m feeling fancy, I’ll add one of their complimentary flavour shots (I like Hazelnut, myself).
  • There is a Shell Java Café Loyalty Card (ask for one next time you visit!), which earns you 25 bonus AIR MILES reward miles plus a free coffee on every fifth purchase of Java Café. Free coffee! Bonus AIR MILES! What’s not to love about that?

Now, I may be on a budget, and you may be on a budget, but Shell’s Java Café coffee tastes great and is affordable. Us busy moms and dads deserve a treat now and then, amirite?

Now excuse me, after typing all of that out I think I deserve to treat myself to another coffee. So should you, because odds are your life is either as busy as mine, or busier!


5 Quick Ways to Make Filing Your Taxes Less Painful

Don't Let Taxes Keep You Up At Night

5 Quick Ways to Make Filing Your Taxes Less Painful

Here in our great nation of Canada, our tax filing deadline for the previous year's income is April 30th. (If you're self-employed, you have until June 15th to file, but any taxes you owe are still due on April 30th, so get everything filed by April 30th to avoid interest and penalties.)

Filing your tax return can be an overwhelming matter, especially if numbers just aren't your thing. I'm a CPA, CA, and I can attest to the fact that taxes can be hard. But! Filing them is not an impossible feat, and I'm here to tell you how.

Five Things You Can Deduct If You're Self Employed

1. Meet with an accountant. If all you have is a T4, you can get away with filing your own taxes, but if you're self-employed, or have a rental property, or hold investments, or all of the above and more, you'll want to meet with a professional. Yes, it costs money, but proper tax planning can save you many dollars (and CRA-related headaches) over the years. This is one of those "worth it in the long run" costs. Budget for it throughout the year if necessary.

2. Figure out what you have to include in your income. I wrote this to help a short while ago: Top Five Tax Tips For Bloggers and Freelancers. Take a few minutes to read and make sure you include everything - this stuff adds up!

3. Deduct as much as you're allowed. Here are five common tax deductions that self-employed people often don't know about. Again - things accumulate quickly, so know ALL your entitlements.

4. Know what credits you can claim. There are a number of ways that you can use your kids as tax deductions, which is something to remember when you're having one of those days where you have to remind yourself that you had three kids on purpose. (Or maybe it's just me who has those days.) Start fresh for next year and keep a large envelope for deductible receipts and purchases. Even if you've forgotten this year, use tax time as a reminder to get your ducks in a row for next tax season - it's worth it!

5. Buy a tax program. If you have a handle on what needs to be done, there's no need to kick it old school with paper forms and calculators. I use Turbo Tax personally and it has a handy dandy wizard that walks you through the entire process. And, many online programs allow you fast access to your refund through eFile.

Okay, class. Any questions for the accountant in the house?