March 31, 2016

How To Style Wide Leg Trousers

How To Style Wide Leg Trousers


Needle Thread pink shirt
205 CAD - liberty.co.uk


Piazza Sempione wide-leg pants
355 CAD - stylebop.com


Rebecca Minkoff heeled sandals
355 CAD - nordstrom.com


Kate Spade crossbody handbag
320 CAD - nordstrom.com


Chan Luu bracelet
saksfifthavenue.com


CZ by Kenneth Jay Lane clip earrings
390 CAD - lanecrawford.com


Oliver Peoples sunglasses
635 CAD - forwardbyelysewalker.com


Floppy hat
130 CAD - simons.ca


Bobbi brown cosmetic
60 CAD - belk.com


Bobbi brown cosmetic
44 CAD - mecca.com.au


Bobbi brown cosmetic
23 CAD - mobile.harrods.com

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March 30, 2016

Shop Smart: Tips To Keep You Out Of Debt

Here's The Dilema


Well, I've said it before, and I'll say it again; I love to shop. Many of us do but I'm starting to learn that just because you CAN shop, doesn't mean you SHOULD shop, and that just because you HAVE a credit card, doesn't mean you MUST use it EVERY TIME you see something you want. (I know, that's a lot of CAPS but I really wanted to get my point across!)

I think the main problem we all face (shopaholics) is that we want to be happy and we associate happiness with having new things, when we see the things that other people have, well dammit, we want to have them too (typical coveting mindset). As much as I love social media platforms, they are evil for anyone trying to stop spending money (trust me, I know. Check out my "No-Spend Challenge" article.) particularly Instagram and YouTube because the fashion and beauty bloggers (love you girls!) have the amazing ability to make you want all the products that they buy and are reviewing. This is not a bad thing because they help us get more information before we make the commitment to purchase, however, those of us with impulse spending problems usually just want to hop online and buy it all (thanks a lot Amazon!).

So What's A Girl/Guy To Do?


I am certainly not suggesting that everyone should stop spending money on the things they want, cut up their credit cards and sell all their earthly possessions, no no that would be waaaay too extreme. I am only here to give some tips on how to get the things you want without the woes of credit card debt.

1. Shop like a Parisian: I have read several articles that mention some of the savviest shoppers hail from the city of love. They tend to stay away from the trendy, cheap fast-fashion and instead opt to save up (yes, just like our ancestors used to do before Visa, Mastercard and AMEX were a staple in our wallets) for high quality pieces (think: Balmain leather jacket, Chanel handbag, Louboutin Heels) that will be worn again and again and will stand the test of time in terms of their quality (see my post on "luxury fashion"). This may be difficult for those of us in North America because we like quantity over quality oftentimes and we usually prefer instant gratification its delayed counterpart.

2. Create A Pinterest Board: Each new season (or semi-annually) make a board dedicated to the looks that you want to adopt and the make a list of the items you already have and those that you need to purchase. Decide which items should be inexpensive (trendy items such as accessories should be from this category as they will only be "in" for a few seasons and then it will be something else so don't waste a lot of money here). The "classic: pieces like denim, jackets, t-shirts, sweaters and footwear (unless it's a "shoe-trend") should be of higher quality so you can get lot's of wear out of them, they won't fall apart on you, you will be comfortable in them and they are usually under warranty against defects.

3. Borrow From Peter To Pay Paul: I think that's how the saying goes, but in this case I mean sell some of the stuff you already own but don't wear in order to pay for new things that you will wear. There's no sense in hanging on to old clothing, shoes and accessories that just aren't your style anymore, so why not post them on a site like Kijiji, Craig's List, Ebay or Varage Sale and get at least some of your money back and you don't have to feel so guilty about your new purchases.

4. Buy Used: Some people may now be shuddering at the thought of buying something used but hear me out first! There are many ways to save a bit of cash on the things you buy and one of them is buying used. There are so many websites out now that are dedicated to selling gently used, high quality items such as handbags, shoes, jackets, sunglasses, you name it really. (Obviously I wouldn't recommend buying undergarments secondhand but you get the idea) These items are by no means "cheap" however they are the "top shelf" brands you crave, at a reduced price. The only caveat to this being that the items may be from "last season" but if you are ok with being slightly "behind the times", you can have a really nice wardrobe for a fraction of the cost of new.

If you simply cannot fathom the thought of buying your wardrobe used or not having the latest new arrivals on Net-A-Porter, then maybe consider buying other necessary items used such as furniture, home decor items, appliances and vehicles; this will leave you more money for that expensive, current wardrobe you crave!

5. Plan Ahead And Treat Yourself: Have you ever noticed that a lot of fashion articles and brand websites tout each new arrival as a "Must-Have Item"? Most of us (the ones with self-control issues) almost always believe this and buy into the hype (I'm a victim) but is it really a must-have? No, of course it's not, but even the mere suggestion that it is, is sometimes enough to send us into a buying frenzy,. So try as best you can to abstain from these impulse buys and instead plan your next fashion moves carefully, you'll be glad that you did! I do think that it is important to treat yourself to the things that you really, truly desire, and if you've been good and saved up for that Chanel bag, treasure it and give yourself a big pat on the back, you've definitely earned it!

To Sum It Up


Spending habits are tough to change, hell I've been trying to save and control my spending since I was about 18 and now at 32 I finally feel like I'm starting to get a hold on it. (at least I tell myself that I am). If there's one take away I want people to get from this article it is this; no amount of stuff will make you happy (at least not for long) but that doesn't mean you don't still need some stuff. On the other hand, no amount of stuff is worth being in debt for and sooner or later, you will need to start saving for your golden years so why not start sooner rather than later and make them a little bit more sunny? (think California, Florida, Arizona, or maybe if I'm lucky Whitehaven Beach, Australia!)

Sincerely

Erin
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March 29, 2016

No Spend Challenge: March Update

The Recap


Hey girls and guys! I'm back with another monthly update on my year-long "No Spend Challenge" that I started this past January. I'll give a run-down below on how I did in the month of March, the good, the bad and the things I want to do better in April.

Positive Vibes


I'll start with the good first; although I did do some unnecessary spending this month, I have found some loopholes. We recently cashed in some of our Aeroplan miles for AMEX gift cards and I used my share of the money to buy some new shoes from Native Shoes, and a fedora from Sunday Afternoons on a website called ShoeMe.ca. (I plan to do a full post and review these items and this website so stay tuned for that!) I guess what I'm trying to say is that although I bought some things I technically didn't need (other than for my love of fashion and blogging) I didn't actually spend my money on it. Another positive to report is that I have continued with price-matching my groceries, this has saved me at least $50-$75 each week on food.

The Dark Side


I have definitely noticed myself falling back into the old patterns of my spending addiction; thinking about what to purchase next, trolling on kijiji, courting new items through online shopping websites, filling up online shopping carts, buying things "for the girls" some necessary items but also some that they could do without, and there's this problem that Mike and I both struggle with and that's buying toys for Audrey (she loves to collect Tsum Tsums, My Little Ponies, Lego etc.). Another area of weakness this month which is kind of unavoidable is birthday gifts and special events and while I don't want to skimp on these, I do want to have money put aside for these expenses so it's not a last minute purchase on debit/credit. I have also been more careless with my budget, not really looking ahead and making unbudgeted purchases.

Next Steps


I feel a bit deflated and disappointed in myself for allowing this to happen so early in my challenge, this is a huge commitment and if I want to see it through to the end, I'm going to have to be stronger in my resolve. Finding things to do at home to occupy my time rather than going out with the girls to places where I will spend money is going to be key for me in the coming months. Thankfully the weather is slowly starting to get sunnier and warmer so I will be able to spend more time outdoors with the girls, running, walking, going to the park and playing in the yard. I also want to start setting myself a daily goal and intention for how I will spend the day and on the days when I know that spending of some kind is inevitable then I want to set myself some guidelines for what I will buy and where I will buy it.

Having cash for my purchases is another way that I plan to have more control over my spending, I will attempt to leave my debit and credit at home and only bring the cash I will need for when I'm out (possibly some extra cash in case of an emergency). 

One of my goals for my blog this year was to do more OOTD photoshoot posts and part of being a fashion blogger is showcasing new clothing, shoes and accessories. This is pretty contrary to the minimalism and no spend challenge so I will need to be pretty discerning in my purchases and try come up with outfits that are mainly based on what I already own. Hopefully I am able to achieve this in a way that is interesting and useful for my readers, please give me any ideas that you may have!

Final Thoughts 


If there's anything I could suggest to someone who wants to try this challenge it would be to set yourself some pretty firm guidelines, to really be honest about what is a must-purchase and what is not, to keep yourself away from temptations as much as possible, to have go-to distractions for your bad days and to recognize your "spending triggers". I'm looking at this more as a journey in self-discovery more than anything, and in the end I hope to have a better grip on my desire for things and my impulsive spending tendencies. I also want to have more money in the bank and invested for my retirement and for my daughters futures.

Sincerely

Erin
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March 25, 2016

Spring Basics

Spring Basics


Xirena beige top
220 CAD - shopsuperstreet.com


Genetic Denim distressed jeans
210 CAD - modaoperandi.com


Kate spade handbag
370 CAD - lordandtaylor.com


Chico s chicos jewelry
52 CAD - chicos.com


Charlotte Russe dangle earrings
7.95 CAD - charlotterusse.com


Ray-Ban ray ban glasses
200 CAD - intermixonline.com

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March 24, 2016

Spring Look

Spring Look


Chicwish relaxed fit shirt
79 CAD - chicwish.com


Levi's short jean shorts
94 CAD - zalando.co.uk


Native Shoes polyurethane shoes
80 CAD - zappos.com



CLUSE white leather watch
150 CAD - surfstitch.com


Bonheur floral jewelry
115 CAD - calypsostbarth.com


Stella Dot hinged bangle
78 CAD - stelladot.com


Dolce Gabbana tech accessory
650 CAD - julian-fashion.com


Le Specs pink cat eye glasses
155 CAD - intermixonline.com


Styling product
27 CAD - everythingbutwater.com

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March 17, 2016

My Power Outfit

My Power Outfit


Zara top
52 CAD - zara.com


Zara bomber style jacket
65 CAD - zara.com


Zara high waist trousers
91 CAD - zara.com


Swedish hasbeens clog
335 CAD - shopbop.com


Givenchy red handbag
1,340 CAD - tessabit.com


Lizzy James yellow gold jewelry
165 CAD - lizzyjames.com


Topshop ring
9.74 CAD - nordstrom.com


Miu Miu round frame glasses
425 CAD - mytheresa.com

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March 16, 2016

How To Style A Silk Tee Dress

How To Style A Silk Tee Dress


Holiday dress
280 CAD - cuyana.com


Stuart Weitzman flat sandals
390 CAD - cusp.com


Leather handbag
marcjacobs.com


Bangle bracelet
84 CAD - popmap.com


Sterling silver necklace
57 CAD - etsy.com


TomTom stud earrings
saksfifthavenue.com


Casetify iphone case
52 CAD - casetify.com


Oliver peoples sunglasses
220 CAD - gilt.com

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