Tag Archives: shopping

What a Designer Wallet Taught Me

Today I have a story to share with you, dear friends.  You see, although I enjoy fashion and style, I’ve never really been one to care for brand names and designer labels.  Couture is beautiful, but it’s doubtful I would tote around a purse whose material is entirely emblazoned with the label’s logo – personally that wouldn’t suit me.

However, a few months ago I did something rare for me – I went into Yorkville (the ritzy area here in town), and in a designer boutique, I bought myself a designer wallet – specifically a Kate Spade wallet in aqua blue.  It’s beautiful, it’s luxurious, it’s high quality, and it taught me an important lesson.

You see, one of the main reasons that I haven’t usually gone in to those shops is that I felt out of place, and that it would be selfish to want these high-end things.  At the root of it all, I didn’t feel good enough, or worthy enough.  Isn’t that silly?

Fortunately, I had started working with an amazing coaching program, and was actively working on things like my sense of self-worth.  Nick and I have big dreams, and we know we’re destined for far more than being average and just getting by, so I knew this would just be another hurdle on the path.

So, knowing and feeling secure in the decision financially, I went in and bought this fancy wallet.  To me, this was not frivolous or shallow.  It was a deeply thought about and carefully weighed decision, and I knew that every time I pulled that wallet out I would be reminded that my life is meant to be far more than average.  And you know what’s funny?  When I walked in to that boutique, I didn’t feel out of place, I didn’t think I was selfish.  I was confident, self-assured, and what surprised me the most, I was treated well.  It didn’t feel like everyone was sizing me up, but rather they were glad to see me, and I was glad to be there.

I know that it’s a silly little story, but that moment taught me so much about feeling worthy, about self-image, and that luxury is not wrong.  And here’s what the pretty little thing looks like:

Have you ever ended up learning something about yourself while shopping?  Or found a designer or shop you really like?  I know Kate Spade is one of my new favourites now!

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Hot Wheels

I’m not referring to the super cool toy cars of the 90s.  Does anyone remember those? 

What I am referring to is our new set of wheels – our first car!

Isn’t it pretty?  To be sure, it’s not the sleekest machine, but it was a great deal and runs really well!

You may recall that we already have a motorcycle, which is actually our main vehicle (cause that’s not odd at all).  The bike is awesome, fast, fuel efficient, and generally great for the city, however it does have a few drawbacks.  For starters, storage space is very limited, basically just what can be fit into a backpack.  It’s also not the best in bad weather, and the ride itself isn’t super comfortable or relaxed for longer trips.  I know, I’m stating the obvious when it comes to a sports bike.  Another thing – I have cute outfits that I want to wear, and the bike wouldn’t safely allow for that!  So although we had looked a bit at getting a cruiser for more comfort, a lot of the other issues with storage and me not wanting to wear jeans, boots, and a leather jacket in the middle of the summer would still persist.  This brought up a seemingly crazy question – what if we could get a car for the amount we’d spend on a motorcycle?  If the insurance was reasonable, it would be perfect.

So, Nick set about his methodical research, and found a listing of all possible cars to buy along with their risk factors.  Using this, he optimized to find the least risky cars to insure, and narrowed it down to 4 options – I love this man and his amazing mind!  Next he looked up AutoTrader and Kijiji/Craigslist, and found this gorgeous car going for under $2,000.

Within a week (yes, a week), we had ourselves this beauty in our parking spot, ready to hit the road with our very own plates and everything!

We’ve loved having a car, because it makes long trips so much easier!  We’ve used it for visiting family that lives over an hour away, and in town we’ve used it for shopping like groceries, which we tried once with the bike, and was not fun at all – you try cramming a week’s worth of food into a backpack, and then you’ll know what I mean.  We’ve both lived without a car for so long that we’re constantly discovering new little joys of having one – like how we can just leave CD’s and tote bags in the car for when we need them, and last weekend, we went to the car wash!  It was very exciting for us 🙂

It’s not a super cool car, but it’s our little 4-wheeled baby, and we love it!  For cool wheels, we’ve always got the Ninja!

Do you guys have fun car/vehicle buying stories?  Is anyone else weird like us, and uses the “fun” vehicle as the main one?

(Pic of Hot Wheels toy cars from Wikipedia)

Little HomeSense Treasures

A little while ago, I went on a mini shopping spree.  I’m not really one for shopping sprees anymore usually – there’s the fact that I’m cheap (ahem, frugal), and while my teenaged self loved to see the offerings at the mall and spend hours browsing either alone or with friends, I’m far more impatient nowadays and prefer to shop online.  But as luck would have it, I had a $25 gift card to HomeSense (kind of like HomeGoods in the US) sitting around, and finally I decided one evening to go out and find something to use it for.

Let’s just say that for a girl who’s used to Ikea and online, it was a bit overwhelming at first – what did I want?  A sweet decorative dish?  Linens?  A pretty lamp?  Vases, throw pillows, fancy sauces and cookbooks?  I remembered why I tend to shop online!  But eventually I settled upon two items, and I’ve really liked them ever since.

First up, this cute little organizer caddy/doodad.  I like it because it’s a great little spot to thow papers that need to be dealt with, emptying pockets, and collecting those little knick-knacks that tend to become clutter if they’re allowed to roam free.  It also has a really small footprint on the desktop, yay!  It was quite the bargain, but I love the rich espresso leather finish with detailing 🙂

The other item was more on the pretty/frilly side.  I love scented candles, so this beautiful (pink!) one caught my eye.  Not only is the shape and colour nice, but it smells good enough to eat!  Not overly sweet or fake, just as if I’ve been baking delicious cakes all day….. mmm, cake…

They’re little touches, but I thought them sweet, and part of how we make our place really a home.  What do you think?  Are any of you guys scented candle fiends like me?  Any organizing-lovers?

 

Home with the Parsons

A while back, we went to town on Kijiji again, and ended up getting a fantastic deal on a set of Parsons chairs.  We’ve been able to use them for a few months now, and we love them!  They were initially intended as seating around the table for eating, but we loved them so much, they’ve become our desk chairs as well!  Here’s the lovely story of how we found these beauties.

We really wanted nice comfy chairs for the dining table, so we sort of developed a crush on these gorgeous Ikea Henriksdal chairs.  We loved them in dark brown leather, aren’t they gorgeous?

But alas, at $129 before tax, the price was a little steep, and with chairs it adds up – we would need 4, so we were looking at over $500 just on chairs (yikes)!  So I decided to look around, all the while saving our pennies.  I learned that this kind of cushioned chair with a high back and no arms is called a Parsons chair.  And I also learned that buying new chairs really wouldn’t go below $50 a chair for faux leather.  Paying about $200 for a set of 4 chairs seemed more manageable.  So in the meantime, we picked up a couple more Laver chairs to fill the need for 4, since they are only $10 each and would become patio chairs afterwards.  We kept saving for the Parsons, and then I looked up Kijiji/Craigslist, and saw these beauties.

We instantly loved them even more than the Ikea ones, and I really liked the tufts!  I thought it added a nice interesting detail.  We had also thought of replacing our office chair, and more Parsons seemed like the perfect option!  We found an ad for $20 a chair (and new in the box!), and immediately contacted the seller.  That night, we rented our neighbourhood pick-up truck from Zipcar and made the 35 minute drive out to Brampton.  Within 20 minutes, we were back on the road, 6 chairs lovingly nestled in the pickup.

Soon after, we assembled the lovelies, moved out the Lavers to their new home on the balcony, and here once again is our finished setup!

The other two chairs we bought will be part of a future project, so they don’t get to sit around the dining table.  What do you guys think of the setup?  Done any fun online thrifting recently?  Share your stories and spoils with me below.(Photo of Henriksdal chair from Ikea Canada website.)