Remembering someone I don’t know…

It’s hard to remember someone you don’t know. It doesn’t even make sense. I woke up this morning with this person on my mind.

While I was pregnant with Quinn our landlord’s mother knit us two infant hats. A pink and a blue. That small gesture, from someone we had never met, has stayed with me since the very moment I held the hats in my hand. It was something so simple but so beautiful. This lady took the time out of her day and her life to do something for a complete stranger. We swore that one day we would meet her.

As often happens, that one day never arrived. Life became “too busy”. But are we truly too busy? If this lady wasn’t too busy to do something special for my family, why was it that we were too busy to do something for her? Why was it that we couldn’t take 30 minutes out of one day to spend with her? Of course it involved a 2 hour drive one way with a toddler and a newborn, then a day of shopping and wasting money plus it was a whole day taken out of our busy lives. Busy, busy, busy. Reflecting back now, we weren’t that busy.

As you could guess I’m sure, this lady has since passed away. I saw her obituary on Facebook one day and my heart sank. She was an amazing mother, grandmother, friend and stranger. The kinds words that I read on the internet were exactly how I envisioned her in my head since the day I received our baby hats. I bet she would’ve fallen in love with our children and that one simple gesture of visiting her in the retirement home may have just made her day.

Sweet Baby Q with her hat on shortly after she was born

I find it hard to slow down. The days slip by and I’m often too busy to do the little things. However, every time I come across one of the hats that I’ve tucked away, I slow down for a minute and remind myself that there are still good people in this world that need and deserve our time.

Also, be someone’s stranger.

 

Spring Wardrobe Capsule

Ah, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, the flowers are…….covered in snow? As soon as the first day of Spring rolled around on the calendar, I gutted the winter clothing and out came the spring wardrobe. I’ve been testing it out for almost a month now. We’ve had all kinds of weather, so it has been a true test. We go from sunny and 7 to 1 and rain with -3 and snow. However, today it’s beautiful, and it’s Friday so I’m super stoked to share my simple Spring wardrobe capsule with you all.

I started by completely emptying my wardrobe onto my bed. Every thing I wear. I immediately made a pile of items that were screaming “winter”; snowflake leggings, chunky wool cardigans in boring colors, etc. I then went through the remaining items and picked out what would work for Spring. I was going for a neutral color scheme- greens, navy, and so forth. I also needed a mixture of items as I need pieces that are suitable for teaching as well as going to the playground. Finally, I got hubby to dig out my container of Spring/Summer clothing from the basement. I went through the container pulling out anything that would be suitable. I tossed a few things away, sold a few things at the consignment shop and poked a few things back for when I get *cough*smaller*cough*.

This is what I was left with…

Yes, that’s it! Other than pj’s and my skivvies of course. I have everything hung in my closet. I just simply wash, dry and hang it back up. I wanted to test this out for a few weeks as this is the most minimal my closet has ever been. I did add in 4 t shirts (black, white, navy and pinkish) as well as a beige duster. The t shirts were essential as I needed something for inside the blazers, under cardigans and just to wear around the house.

Here is my minimalist wardrobe until the middle of June:

Bottoms: I kept a variety of around-the-house leggings, 3 pairs of black dress pants, 1 pair of navy pants, white jeans and 4 pairs of blue jeans. I definitely do not need all those jeans. I seriously wear two of these pairs so I’ll take that into consideration for next time. I also kept two skirts; a black and a navy.

Tops: Other than the 4 t shirts I recently purchased I have 6 shirts/cardigans kept. Some are casual and a couple are more for work.

Dresses: I love dresses. I would rather a dress any day! They’re far easier to put together in the morning and they always make me feel great. I have 5 hanging in my closet right now that I wear to work as well as if I need to go anywhere else that requires a dress (no idea where that would be lol).

Blazers/Jackets: I have 3 blazers in the closet; blue, striped and grey. I also have a jean jacket and a poncho. I do have an every day jacket that I wear when it’s chilly or rainy (all the time apparently) but that’s hung in the basement.

I guess it’s not a true “capsule” as I didn’t minimize my shoes, jewelry or scarves. I may do that at some point but it’s not on my priority list right now.

How does your Spring wardrobe look right now?

 

March Budget: BUSTED

I’m spending this beautiful morning sipping coffee and thinking about my March spending sins. I’ve actually been thinking about it a bit for the last two weeks of the month. There were many flaws, some thing I’ll fix and some that I’ll shrug off and attribute it to being a shopaholic. Let’s share in my spending sins together shall we?!

March Food Budget: $500

FAIL! CRASH! FLOUNDER! COLLAPSE! And all the other synonyms.

We were well over budget by $200+. The first two weeks I had it all under control. Tracking every penny, meal planning, and all those frugal ideas that are out there. I was going to own March. It was going to be mine. Then BOOM! It all fell apart. We had company on three separate occasions, I bought a Costco size box of wipes (which will last us for a couple months around here), a bunch of dog food (will also last for months because we already have a shelf full in the basement), and many, many other things. The one positive is that everything was “food” related. Other than baby and dog items.

Here’s what I’m changing for April:

•Food: $500– but this is ONLY for food. Not baby, not dog, not wine.

•Girls: $150– this will include diapers, wipes, bubble bath, Lexi’s obsessions with bath bombs, etc. They also need a few things for Spring and Summer that I’ll take from this fund.

•Dog: $50– this will include grooming costs, food and treats. She has an abundance of food so we just need to get (or make) some treats for her. She may not need to be groomed this month, if not, we’ll just move that money to next month’s budget.

March Gas Budget: $100

I did super well with this one. I was only over by $10. And if I had been the one to gas up last time, I would’ve stopped the pump $10 short just so that I could be on budget. Don’t kid yourself, you’d do it too if you knew others were waiting to hear about your budget. Don’t you roll your eyes at me!

For April I’m upping this category to $150 as I know we are traveling a little this month.

March Vanessa Budget: $100

Not surprisingly I was over in this category too. Only bet $40. Which isn’t bad considering it could’ve been over by $400 knowing me. I treated myself to some new craft supplies right at the end of the month. I’d like to say that I regret it, but I don’t.

For April I’m going to leave it at $100. I would like a new rain jacket but I’ll check around some consignment shops or look for a deal. Brand names don’t bother me, as long as it’s cute.

March Savings Goal: $500 toward debt

I’m confident in saying that we met this. I just need to pay myself from my side hustle. I’ll pay myself $250 from there and we’ll take the other $250 from our normal bank account.

I don’t have a debt goal for April. It’s a weird month where some big bills get paid x3 so that leaves us a little short. We could pull from our account, but we need that nice cushion in there for times when hubby doesn’t get any work.

I still wanted a savings goal for April, but it’s a bit different. I want to set up a BMO account. We bank with Scotiabank right now, however the nearest branch is 2 hours away. Not exactly close for someone with a side hustle and savings plans. We have a local BMO that I’m going to avail of. I want it for our savings; I essentially want to set up a bunch of “side accounts”. I want a business account, tax account (yikes on not saving for this in 2017- won’t make this mistake twice), Disney fund, emergency fund (currently at $1000), etc. I’m not organized enough to lump it all in one account and keep track of it. I know myself well enough after 31, almost 32 eeekkk) years that it would be a terrible idea. So while it isn’t exactly a savings goal, it’s a financial goal for April.

 

How about you? How did your March budgeting go? What is your April looking like financially?

The Charge– Book Review

 

The Charge, by Brendon Burchard, wasn’t a book that I instantly fell in love with. Like most relationships, we took things very slow. I wasn’t into the relationship and wanted to end it. There was no chemistry at first and while I stuck it out, trying to find a way to break up, Brendon won me over.

This book is essentially about 10 drives that you need in your life to make it all worthwhile. It’s about taking your average life and turning it around to be an extraordinary one. There were a few sections that I rolled my eyes at, but in the end, it was motivating. Finding a book that motivates me to be who I truly want to be is a must. If it’s not something I feel like I can incorporate into my life, I stop reading. Let’s be real, “ain’t nobody got time for that!”

I listened to the audio version of this book, which I wouldn’t recommend. I feel like this book had a lot of information that deserved to be underlined with a beautiful pen. There were a lot of quotes, questions, and moments that I wish I had a pen so I could reflect on them. Reflection is the key to this book I believe. Therefore listening to the book while I rushed to work each morning, didn’t really give the insight that one may want.

I do recommend this book. It wouldn’t be at the top of my list for self-help (self-love, perhaps?!) but it would be somewhere in the middle. Online reviews are pretty divided on this book, so I think it’s one that you’ll have to try out for yourself.

SBS: Aisha’s Bathbombs

We are nuts about bathbombs around here. We keep a pretty big stash for when I want a relaxing bath or when I need to bribe Lexi to get a bath. Our favourite ones are actually made by the lovely girl from our Small Business Saturday post. She is our go-to bathbomb person.

This is how a Social Introvert takes a bath. Nothing but the best! Aisha’s Bathbombs are in every bath.

 

Let’s hear what Aisha has to say:

I am Aisha George. I am 13 years of age and I live in Milltown. I currently attend grade 8 at Bay d’Espoir Academy.

I run a business called “Aisha’s Bubbling Bath Bombs”. I sell a variety of different homemade bath bombs and soaps. I started this business with Youth Ventures a little less than a year ago. I strive to complete orders as soon as I can when one comes in. I generally have about 30 scents for clients to choose from! I offer discounts for party or bulk orders and do special designs for special occasions.

Don’t these Bathbombs and soaps look amazing? All of Aisha’s creations come beautifully packaged with an ingredients list so you know what you are using. Her prices also cannot be best.

If you are interested in checking out her bath line, check out her website or Facebook page.

Website
Facebook:  Aisha’s Bubbling Bath Bombs

 

Have you missed any of my past SBS posts? You can check them out here:

Jane’s Tupperware

Joy’s Craft Shop

Consignment Shopping

If you are a serious clothing and shoe lover + you love a good bargain, consignment shopping is for you! I’ve gotten serious about consignment shopping over the past two years. It’s where I sell my clothing that I no longer wear and it’s where I buy most of my pieces to update and change out my wardrobe.

I actually stumbled upon my first consignment shop. Seriously. I was walking along the street and noticed the cutest little coffee shop. I popped in just to check it out and there, tucked away in the back of the coffee shop, were racks and racks of clothing. Being a curious bunny, nosy perhaps, I hopped on back there to check it out. And there, in that very spot, my small, cold heart began to thaw and all the love spilled out. Okay, okay, maybe not that dramatic, but it somewhat was.

Basically a consignment shop is where a store sells {typically second hand} clothing that the original owner gets a percentage of the price it sells for. Yes, I shop there. Yes, it’s second hand. Yes, I sell my clothing there. Yes, I make money from selling it there. Yes, I fricking love it.

I have a few consignment shops that I love. I have a local consignment shop, a “regional” consignment shop and an online consignment shop. I love all three for various reasons. I recently visited my local shop, Donna’s Closet. Consignment shopping to me is like finding a hidden gem in the storm. It is racks and racks of clothing which you have to search through to find that one piece that really speaks to you. I hit the jackpot recently. I was looking for a couple of neutral pieces that would work for spring and for teaching. I found two dresses that I fell in love with and were perfect for what I needed. I spent $30 total on both of these dresses. But that’s not even the beauty of all of this. I had recently sold some items at Donna’s Closet and she had $70 tucked away for me. So that one Saturday I picked up two dresses AND walked out with $40 in my pocket. What more is there to love? Clothing + money! If you are in the Bay d’Espoir Area I highly recommend stopping into Donna’s Closet. She has new clothing every week and you never know when you will find that hidden treasure that your wardrobe needs.

 

My other two favourite consignment shops are Eco Chic Boutique (Grand Falls-Winsor, NL) and Found Consignment Boutique (St. John’s, NL). Eco Chic has the most amazing selection of jeans. It is where I buy ALL my jeans these days. I get mint condition GUESS jeans there for $20! Their jean racks are the first place I head to. Eco Chic has a very trendy vibe, the atmosphere is very upbeat and their customer service is impeccable. I rarely make a trip to the area without stopping in to see what is up for grabs. I also sometimes sell my clothing there too and have made hundreds of dollars from consigning there. I usually take it as shop credit because well, I’m a [recovering] shopaholic, remember?! Found Consignment is my online boutique. I find their items are more high end and it’s typically where I buy my accessories. I’m a major Kate Spade lover and it’s where I buy most of my KS items for a fraction of the cost. I find the items on their Facebook page, message them and they ship it in the mail for me. They’ve been amazing every single time I’ve ordered.

What about you? Do you shop or sell in consignment shops? Do you have any that you love? Leave me a comment and let me know! And happy -thrifty- shopping!

 

 

 

SBS: Jane’s Tupperware

I can confidently say that Tupperware has been an addiction for me. I’ve slowly weaned myself off a little, but there’s something about cute, plastic dishware that just gets me. My mother bought Tupperware over 30 years ago when she lived in Toronto and it’s still in tip-top shape even to this day. Those bowls have been endlessly loved but yet still look brand new (other than the atrocious 80s dishware colors).

Today’s Small Business Saturday feature is another long time friend; Jane. Jane is the master of Tupperware Facebook parties and has hooked me to Tupperware for the rest of my life. Tupperware also has the best sales out there just like these Spring sales.

 

Here’s what Jane has to say:

I am Jane Croucher from Long Island, NL. I am a stay at home mom and I sell Tupperware. I started selling Tupperware because I fell in love with the products and I wanted a small business that I could easily do from home and make some extra spending money as well as get a discount on personal Tupperware.

  

If you are in the market for Tupperware, feel free to contact Jane for some top notch customer service.

Check out Tupperware’s website to browse the products.

 

Did you miss last week’s Small Business Saturday post?

 

Joys’s Craft Shop

Simplify your Wardrobe

Around 6 months ago I learned about Capsule Wardrobes. At the time it was the most daunting, terrifying concept out there. It’s essentially having a minimalist wardrobe for each season. In the “off season” you would pack up that wardrobe and store it until it rolled around again. I started this; I gutted, purged, sold, and donated. But here I am today with a closet full of duds again.

Wanting to get back on this wardrobe train again, I enlisted my personal stylist. Well, ok, not my personal stylist but she is a very good friend of mine whom I have always turned to for fashion advice. Melissa! Honestly, we all want to be Melissa! I’ve never seen anyone pull together an outfit like her before. The girl can rock anything!

I put her to the challenge. I wanted her to inspire us all with her flare for fashion but with a minimalist vibe.

Melissa never disappoints. 13 pieces=10 outfits!

Here’s what Melissa had to say:

Ever get up in the morning and look in your closet, which is probably full of beautiful clothes, but you still have “nothing” to wear? It’s time to simplify your wardrobe; the less you have, the easier it is to put an outfit together. This is known as a capsule wardrobe. Most people have a separate capsule wardrobe for each season. It’s honestly a great time saver and it’s absolutely freeing to not have a ton of clothes to deal with. These are 13 pieces I pulled from my closet and 10 ways I put them together. There’s many more outfit possibilities, but these were my favourites.

And ta da!!!! We often think we would have to wear the same old outfits if we only owned a few articles of clothing. Melissa has kicked my butt into motion to get my Spring capsule wardrobe up and running.

What are your thoughts on a capsule wardrobe? Would you be able to take the challenge?

Unplugged

 

I constantly struggle with my love-hate relationship with Social Media. Some days it is my BFF, other days it is my ultimate enemy. I obviously use it to promote my business, my blog and to share cute pictures of the girls. Then I use it for other fun things like sharing all the wine and coffee quotes known to mankind. Which are essential in my life (as are the wine and coffee, let’s be real here).

But then, there’s the other side. It becomes so overwhelming. There are nights I delete Facebook and/or the messenger app depending on my mood. I’m all “I’m never adding this app back.” 6:30 the next morning I’m headed to the search bar in the App Store. I never survive more than a couple of hours. Sometimes I add it back out of boredom. Sometimes it’s a necessity because I do use it to conduct 95% of my business.

A while back we cut all out Data from our iPhones. This saves us $60 a month and realistically, we are nearly always connected to Wifi, so it seemed like a smart idea. Then a couple of weeks ago we had a long weekend. 4 whole days off! We packed up the truck and headed to the cabin.

4. Whole. Days. Without. Social. Media.

*cringe*

However, it was EXACTLY the opposite. We drank our coffee in the mornings without anyone on Facebook, e-mail or Instagram. We talked to each other. We also had no television, so we had to actually listen to each other. We all ate together without distractions. It was SO peaceful. I read and read and read until my eyes burned. I read a book for fun and a personal development book about self-confidence.

Q & L of course had backup Netflix downloaded. One must get their daily dose of The Wiggles

I actually think our Unplugged weekend is why I had the energy to take on a few new projects once we returned. I started sewing, which is something I’ve wanted to do for about 5 years. I finally started this blog, which is something I had wanted to do for many years too. I came back to work on Tuesday feeling like I could breathe. I felt so rejuvenated and it helped my soul so much.

The scenery probably added to the whole feel of the weekend too!

Cutting our iPhone Data was definitely a win-win: it was a cost-saving measure and a sanity-saving measure.

How about you? Do you and your family take any Unplugged time?