Wednesday, 29 May 2013

In My Closet- My New NEON Pink Tank

Goodness gracious it has just been one of those days.... You all know what I'm referring to by THOSE days, yes??

Murphy's Law seemed to be in full effect today. For example, early in the afternoon I talked to a friend about putting our boys in the same soccer league. After quickly discussing it with my son's father I logged on to the site to register him. was full. He was on the waiting list.

After numerous phone calls and texts I got him in at the last minute and after scarfing down dinner and hurrying down there, I sat for 10 minutes at the WRONG school.

FINALLY I got him to the correct place and got him into his uniform (which he is SWIMMING in because they only have Adult size Small left- in a kid's league) he absolutely refuses to play. Of course.

I'm not proud of how I finally got him on that field (ahem- bribed with ice cream), but he DID play and he DID have fun. Whew!

So, knowing early on this morning that it was turning out to BE one of THOSE days- I should not have been surprised when I went to take some photos of my new neon tank and they would NOT work. At all.

They all looked like this:

Which I think looks kind of cool- but you wouldn't be able to really see my outfits- and be able to judge whether you like them or not.

SO, I decided to lug my honking HUGE mirror out to the backyard.

Anyone who was outside today can attest to the fact that the humidity was at approximately 110% today... You can actually SEE my face get shinier and my hair get frizzier and bigger with each photo taken. Now- that is REAL blogging commitment right there. ;)

All that to say- here are some ways that I plan to wear my new-to-me neon pink tank:

PLEASE try to ignore the kiddie's finger smears all over the mirror that somehow I didn't notice until I uploaded the photos. of THOSE days...

Tank- $5.60 Plato's Closet
Maxi- $6.99 Value Village
Cross Necklace- $2 Plato's Closet
Strappy Sandals- $8 Plato's Closet

Black Leggings- $7.99 Value Village
Leopard Print Sweater- Has been in my closet FOREVER (also seen here

Black Skirt-$5.99 Value Village (also seen here)
Chambray Top- Not sure...thrifted by it

And finally Neon pink with my black sequined skirt- of COURSE!! ;)

Sequin Skirt- $6.99 Salvation Army Thrift Shop (also seen here)

Well, thankfully I CAN look back on today (now that I have a glass of wine in hand) and realize as tired, frustrated and pull-my-hair-out-bonkers that I felt today- I am SO enormously blessed. Sometimes I do get wrapped up in my First-World Problems

Don't we all??

By the way- a new Plato's Closet consignment shop just opened in Hamilton!! Be sure to check it out!!

Blessings, friends.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Can You Really Make A Difference With Your Morning Coffee?

In an ideal world, I prefer to only drink my coffee if it's been fairly traded. 

I do believe that it is important to pay the TRUE value of a good or a service. Even to those that are less-educated and less-connected, living in other parts of the world.

Is it easy to drink fairly-traded coffee? Well, if you ONLY drink coffee that you make each morning in your very own kitchen- then yes, it's pretty darn easy to do. All you need to do is choose from a selection of Fair Trade coffee beans or grounds at your local grocery store. Done and done. 

Fair trade is "a movement which strives for fair treatment for farmers. In a fair trade agreement
farmers, who in other situations might be more 
susceptible to the will of the purchaser, will negotiate with the purchasers in order to receive a fair price for their products. Farmers who engage in fair trade also aim to pay their workers a fair price, and engage in environmentally-friendly practices."
In order to be a Fair Trade certified coffee, you need to adhere to strict guidelines. So, for the public, you know if it has a Fair Trade logo- it IS fairly-traded. End of story. No smoke and mirrors there. I like that.

In a rush and starving the other day, I went through the Tim Horton's drive-through for a coffee and a bagel. I had run out of coffee grounds that morning and noticed that Tim's is now selling a Partnership Blend fine grind. So, I decided to pick it up and try it. I also wanted to remember what it was called so that I could look it up at home.

Taste-wise? I think it's good. But, I really do not have discerning taste buds at all. I drink my coffee if it's caffeinated, my water from the tap and my wine from a box. 

I am having trouble finding ANYTHING about Tim's Partnership Blend that isn't put out by Tim's itself. I tend to not believe much that any company says about it's own products, BUT- with the lack of information out there (perhaps because it is SO new??) I'll share what the Partnership Blend is doing...according to Tim's:

"The Coffee Partnership was conceived eight years
ago with the singular purpose of improving the lives of
small-scale coffee farmers by tackling the economic, 
social and environmental aspects of farming," says Bill
Moir, Chief Brand and Marketing Officer, Tim Hortons.
"Through our Partnership projects, we have been 
working directly with farmers in the regions where we 
source our coffee to help them improve farming 
practices, produce higher volumes and better quality 
coffee while respecting the environment. We have 
seen our approach become critically important to 
small-scale farmers in Latin America, especially as 
they have been facing changing growing 
conditions over the past years."  

I am a wee bit sceptical, only because there are so many companies trying to trick the public into thinking that they are doing more than they truthfully are. 

Like the Rainforest Alliance (you may have seen many of the green frog logos in the coffee aisles?) which:

For growers to be certified by the alliance, they must meet a
 list of "sustainable agriculture principles". These include
 conserving local wildlife and water resources, minimising
 soil erosion and treating workers fairly, as well as protecting
 forests and reforesting where possible. In return, says
 Vigilante, "we give them the tools to lift themselves out of
 poverty and open their coffee to more profitable premium 
markets".( Read more )

Is Rainforest Alliance Fair Trade? Definitely not. Companies can actually use the green frog logo as long as only 30% of the the product in that tin that you buy comes from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms. That being said, 

"What matters to the Rainforest Alliance is the impact on the land and workers, so a company buying 30 percent of 100 tons has more of an impact than one buying 100 percent of 10 tons " ( Read more) 

You can check out this website for a list of Rainforest Alliance certified products.

So the next time you are in the coffee aisle, take the time to consider the person that grew the beans to make that 'liquid gold'. If you can, please buy Fair Trade. It is the best way to assure that the producers are receiving a fair price for their product.

If you can't swing a Fair Trade ground, at least pick up a Rainforest Alliance ground, or Tim Horton's Partnership Blend- a little positive impact is better than none at all.


Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Have Kids? Re-purpose!

I was told recently that I was slacking on my blog posts (haha) here is a new and exciting read for all of you out there with children. 

If you have kids, you will understand that furniture that you once had may not work as well for your needs now. You will also realize that furniture you need for children at various stages (cribs/ change tables) are only needed for a couple of years.... then what do you do with them??

Well, don't toss out those old armoires/ side tables/ cribs or even the boxes that they came in. Repurpose them!

The most common repurposing ideas for kids that I found on Pinterest were entertainment units, small cabinets, side tables, etc. upcycled into play kitchens. How cute are these??

Play-kitchens from side tables:

...from unneeded kitchen/ other storage...

... from an older sibling's desk perhaps?...

...and from out-dated entertainment units:

I'm not sure how long this would last- but I think it is a fabulous idea. A play kitchen from old boxes!

I absolutely LOVE this crib-to-creative-center repurposing idea:

And this kid's bed to bench idea:

Maybe it's because I have boys...but I think these tool benches are brilliant:

From an Ikea change table

From an old night stand

And finally, some clever upcycling ideas for your old armoires:

Love the chalkboard paint on the inside of the doors 

Super-cute Art-center for the kiddos 

Adorable dress-up closet for your little princess(es) 

 Thanks for stopping by! Happy Upcycling and Repurposing, friends!


Tuesday, 7 May 2013

In My Closet- My Fabulously Amazing Sequin Jacket

When I posted the photo of my new sequin jacket the day I snapped it up- I was surprised that many people did NOT share my love for it. Haha.

Most said that they felt that it was a bit too 'old' for me. 

Well friends- hold on to your hats....sequins are not just for your grandmas anymore.

If you go to Pinterest and search for 'sequin jacket', you may be surprised at the adorable outfits that pop up. :)

Here is my favourite:

Interesting...she doesn't look 'old' or 'out-of-date' to me.... ;)

Here is the jacket that I picked up at Bibles For Missions last Friday:

I was so excited when I stumbled on this little gem. I had to stop myself from literally skipping out of the store. Not only did I love the colours and the sparkle, I love that it was regularly $59.95 and I snapped it up for $10.

So- here are some different ways that I would wear this jacket, some casual, some dressier....

This would be for an evening out- obviously....I'm sure you could tell that I wouldn't throw this on to go grocery shopping, lol.

One-Shoulder Dress- $12.99 Talize
Clutch-$3.99 Talize

(I know- great pic of me...haha)

If I wear my jacket with some black shorts or legging and a loose blouse, it is perfect for drinks with the girls or sitting on a patio.

Blouse $4- Value Village
Black shorts- Value Village (also seen here)
Black leggings- $7.99 Value Village

If I pair my jacket with a black maxi and a white tank, it seems to dress it down a bit- I think.

White tank- $5.99 Talize
Black maxi skirt- $7.99 Value Village

And, wearing it with denim shorts and a simple tank and flats makes it perfect for heading to an Art Crawl  on James Str. N.

Denim shorts- $5.99 Value Village
Tank- $4.99 Talize

And finally, the most casual look, with a black tank and a flow-y maxi. Great for window-shopping on a cooler day.

Maxi skirt- $7.99 Talize

So....that is how I plan to wear this lovely jacket. Have I convinced anyone out there to add some sparkle and/or sequins to their wardrobe??

 Enjoy this fabulous weather if you live in the GTA. It really has been a perfect few days....