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  1. Sunday Snippets: Going grey!

    Sunday, October 27, 2013

    I think I'm going to have to start doing my wrap-up posts on Sundays or Mondays instead of Fridays, judging by my track record. Plus it's so easy to wrap-up my weekend once it's done! So TGIFs have turned into Sunday Snippets.

    I was mentally all over the place this week. It seemed like a busy week and I didn't get any Laurie time, which made me go a little stir-crazy near the end (the PMS hormones likely didn't help anything). Then I went a little nuts over the weekend(s) and did a bunch of cleaning, which in some aspects helped my stress but then I think about how much I still have to do instead of celebrating what I've done. Luckily I took two long walks this weekend to decompress, but I feel guilty that I barely made it to the pool this month. Sigh. Even just sitting here, thinking about all I have to do this weekend and next week makes me want to crawl into bed and never come out.

    Hopefully November will be much better in terms of balancing life out - I am so ready for October to be over.  I'm especially looking forward to going home for a 4-day weekend to spend Remembrance Day with my family. When November rolls around it will be 4 months since I last saw them (which means Ian and I have been engaged for almost 4 months - time flies!) at the Jamboree, but the Jamboree is soooooo busy that it feels like it was much longer than that. I'm looking forward to being able to spend some quality time with my folks, and to let Daisy run around the farm.

    I also know that my eShakti giveaway is over, so I'll be going through the entries soon. I had a lot of entries that didn't qualify, so I'll have to do a lot of moderating. I also forgot to ask people to leave contact information (derp) so hopefully it won't be a pain rounding up winners.

    Speaking of my giveaway, eShakti made and shipped two duplicate dresses, and despite telling me that they would be sending me a shipping label, I haven't seen it. If anyone is my size (roughly 36-30-37) and interested in the dress I reviewed, let me know.  I will happily give it away to the first taker, as long as they pay for shipping (local pick-up is free).  Just leave me a comment with contact info.


    Low of my week: Financially: Eating out three days in a row - supper Friday and Saturday night, and breakfast Sunday morning. It was semi-healthy food (sushi, virgin caesars, taco salad and then pancakes) but there were probably better ways to spend $60! Personally: Plucking out my first grey hair! If that's not indicative of what kind of week/month I had, I don't know what is.
    High of my week:  Going for two hour+ walks on the weekend (including one after a skiff of snow - lovely!); having a very productive Friday at work; coming home to supper already made (meatloaf + brussell sprouts, yum yum!); hanging out with Bee & Heather; meeting our perspective wedding DJs. 
    A blog post I loved:  Urgh, I didn't read to many blogs this 
    Best money I spent:  $16 to go see The Day of the Doctor in 3D next month and $40 on wool stockings. 
    Week look-ahead: visiting my bank to talk about a Line of Credit/overdraft protection; going to H&R Block to get my 2010 taxes sorted (hopefully for once and for all); City & Memory Symposium

  2. On November 1 & 2, the Edmonton Heritage Council and Edmonton Historical Society are presenting a symposium on Edmonton's history called City & Memory and for some reason still unknown to me they've asked me to be on one of the panels.

    I am super excited to be partaking in the panel "Hepcats to Hipsters: Throwback Fashion in Edmonton", alongside Angela from Swish Vintage and Joy, a clothing and textiles curator for the provincial historic sites. We'll be talking about vintage and the unique (or not so unique) challenges and opportunities Edmonton presents to those who dress vintage or have an interest in historical fashion.

    Have I mentioned that I'm super excited? Not only do I get to partake in the symposium as a panel member, I also get to sit in the other discussions happening during the symposium. If you're interested, the full program is here. I'm particularly looking forward to Ken Brown's keynote on Friday night, as well as a few others. Of course, some that I really want to go to are happening at the same time. Where did I put that time turner....

    I hope to see some locals at the symposium! Feel free to RSVP on Facebook, and tweet with #yegheritage and #yegvintage.

    Now, what to wear?!

  3. TGIF: Bring on the free time

    Saturday, October 19, 2013

    Remember a few weeks ago when I talked about how I have to schedule time for fun or I won't do it at all?

    That totally got thrown by the wayside when I picked up a temporary side gig doing some data entry. It was awesome - I'm not going to complain about extra money - but was really draining to come home from work, have a quick supper and then work another 4 hours. To everyone who works two jobs, I salute you! I am very excited to get back into a somewhat normal routine that balances life and work, but that doesn't mean I won't rule out evening work in the future to get my potential business off the ground.

    I think this double working was also the reason that I took Thursday off work to wallow at home with cold medication and the Anne of Green Gables movie series. In the past when I take on too much and have very little me time, I always get sick when it's over and this was no exception.
    I started feeling crappy Wednesday around noon and when I woke up Thursday I knew that if I went to work, I would be unproductive, and just make this cold last longer. It sucks to be sick, but it's actually nicer to be sick at home than at work!

    Other than that, my week was great! I got to hang out with one my bridesmaids twice (once during brunch and on Wednesday when we went to an election rally), had a blast in Calgary with my sister  & brother-in-law to be, and got to spend quality time with Ian, which mostly included him making his poor, sick fiancĂ© supper.

    Low of my week: Being sick. I turn into a really big baby when I'm sick.
    High of my week:  Toss up between hanging out with Heather on Saturday and spending time in Calgary over the weekend.  
    A blog post I loved:  The Guy Who Shrunk His 1950s Hometown - this is some amazing trick photography! 
    Best money I spent:  ~$30 on fast food during our road trip to Calgary (again, it was pretty much all I bought last week!)
    Weekend Plans: Sleeping in, knitting and cleaning my disgusting house!

  4. Folks, be prepared for some more changes coming to this blog. In addition to talking about Edmonton and Alberta's history and vintage fashion, I'm also going to start exploring some personal finance blogging to document my journey of being debt free. 

    Of course, they'll be lots of vintage-flavour injected into this - I won't start talking like an accountant (not that there's anything wrong with that, of course).

    My debt

    I would say that I have some "normal" debt for someone my age  - specifically a car payment and student loan. I have 903 days (or 2.5 years) left until my car is paid off, and about 7 years left on my student loan, though I hope to pay it off quicker after the wedding and my credit card debt is paid off.

    Now my credit card debt is my "bad" debt, obviously, because that is gaining interest like a mofo. I owe about $4,000 - which was built up after I split up with G and I was paying all the rent on my own, during my unemployment as well as vacation. It also doesn't help that my MasterCard balance comes out of my chequings account automatically, because it wipes the balance on my chequing, so if I have to buy something (groceries, gas, etc) I have to use my MasterCard, which just adds on to my balance and more interest. Hooray. Not.

    That's a brief overview of how I got myself into this mess - no one's fault but my own! So, what am I doing to change it? Let me tell you...

    Cash spending
    Being a millennial and all I kind of forgot that there's this thing called physical cash that you can take out and trade for goods and services. Crazy, right?! So I'm going to start taking out money the day I get paid - about $200 a pay check should be more than enough - to cover groceries and other essentials.

    No new clothing/accessories
    Yeah, this one sucks. But the reason I thrift is because I would rather pay less for beautiful clothes than pay full price. The last three items that I bought new* at full price for myself were:
    • my athletic bathing suit (because being broke is also stressful, so I got an alumni gym membership so I can get some meditative swimming time in)  September 27 
    • fabric for my next sewing project (this technically counts as clothing) September 23
    • my wedding shoes (wedding expense, so I'm not sure that really counts, but I'll put it in anyway) August 29
    I guess I am doing pretty good for October, although I did make a $6 purchase at Value Village 2 weeks ago, but that was because I had a $50 gift card and $56 worth of stuff. I wouldn't have gone VV shopping if I didn't have that gift card.

    I'm also going to be cutting back on eating out,  driving places I can walk (I don't actually do that much driving if I don't have to), and so on. It's not going to be fun, but I'll be so relieved to pull myself out of this hole.

    So the TGIF part of this post is inspired by Blonde on A Budget, a Canadian personal finance blogger from BC. I love her weekly wrap ups, and I thought there is no better time to start doing my own TGIF posts than the Friday of the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend! So here it goes:

    Low of my week: Coming into work an hour early for a meeting that I didn't know was cancelled.
    High of my week: Toss up between going to aquasize with Bailey and going to Camrose with Bee to sell some stuff to Imagine and stuff our faces at East-Side Mario's.
    A blog post I loved: Jessica's blog post on why she wears 80s-does clothing.
    Best money I spent: I guess I will have to say the $100 I took out for cash spending, because that's really the only thing I spent money on since last Friday!
    Weekend Plans: spend two whole days with my fiancé in Calgary for Thanksgiving at my sister-and-brother-in-laws-to-be's house! Ian and I have both picked up some odd jobs for extra wedding cash, plus he's been working nights, so I haven't spent more than 30 minutes (when one of us is half asleep) with him in over a week.

    What are you thankful for this weekend?

  5. Fall for eShakti: Review & Giveaway!

    Wednesday, October 9, 2013

    Whooooo boy, this has taken me forever to get up. My apologies!

    I'm here today with another review of eShakti. I am so happy to have eShakti's support, and honestly love their vintage-inspired styles. For those who don't know, eShakti is a online company that offers customized clothing, as well as "off the rack" (so to speak) styles, many of them vintage inspired. The clothing is made in India.

    They've asked me to review their new fall line. It took me a very long time to even figure out what to select to review, as there was so much I loved! A few of my favourites:

    But, in the end, I went with the Ruched puff sleeve crepe dress. My biggest concern when ordering this dress was that it would be a little low cut. I have v-neck top from eShakti and it cuts pretty low. My worst fears were confirmed when I put the dress on for the first time, without a camisole underneath.

    Even after I put a white camisole underneath (oh, how I wish I had a matching olive or navy one) it looked a little strange. I honestly don't know why eShakti cuts these so low! I guess I will only be going with boat neck styles from now on. I think I will sewing a little built-in cami in this one. I can't even install a snap, because then it pulls all funny in the bust.

    Now for some real outfit photos:

    Dress: c/o eShakti
    Earrings: vintage
    Locket: gift from Miss Bee
    shoes: thrifted
    bag: vintage (bought from Miss Bee)
    hat: vintage (gift from Miss Bee)
    For this dress, I understated my height and asked for a below the knee style when ordering, so it actually hit a few inches below my knee instead of just skimming the bottom of my kneecaps.

    The crepe is lovely and flowy, and was actually quite warm. I added in my custom measurements, and the fit was very good! The material washes nicely, and irons up quickly.

    I just love the sleeves! It's certainly my favourite feature. Many of eShakti's previous styles have been very geared towards the fifties and sixties, so it's nice to find some that work for us forties loving gals as well.

    This is also my first chance to show off this beautiful locket! Miss Bee gave it too me as (totally unnecessary!) gift for helping out with some wedding stuff. I just love it!

    I was very excited to solve two style conundrums that day: how to wear this hat (it's slightly too big for my head) and how to jazz up my lazy hair style of victory rolls and a back roll. problem solved!

    So, onto the part you've all been waiting for - the giveaway!

    eShakti is offering THREE gift cards, worth $30 each, to the winners of my giveaway. Sadly, this giveaway is only open to customers in the US and Canada. Also, I apologize for the awkward "Leave a comment linking to Pinterest" option. Rafflecopter only offers Pinterest entries if you upgrade.

    For the mandatory entry, you MUST link to an item in eShakti's fall collection, or you won't be qualified. If you forget, simply leave another comment (however, only one comment will count).

    a Rafflecopter giveaway