Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Repurposing With Discarded Doors

If there is one thing that my readers know about me from this blog- I hope it is that I LOVE to REPURPOSE. I LOVE when something is given a new life as what it is- or even better- something completely new!

Another thing that I just LOVE is 'old stuff'. Not even antique...just OLD. Dilapidated. Chipped. Broken. Scarred.

And that's why I love to see old doors repurposed in new ways. Doors that have been used to usher loved ones into houses. Doors that have kept the cold and wind away from those dwelling inside. I especially LOVE old barn doors. Doors that were opened bright and early on an old track. Doors that kept out the predators from the precious livestock inside.

Doors are awesome.

Here are some great ideas to reuse old doors that you may come across in your life. 

If you don't have any old doors- I would suggest looking at Mr Used for some very cool, funky, loaded-with-character doors. Or at a ReStore near you, for some not-so-old, not-so-damaged doors. The best part about purchasing from a ReStore? All proceeds go directly to Habitat For Humanity.

Using Doors as Headboards:

I have seen this done with more modern-looking doors, and I have to say, I don't like it nearly as much. I really love this repurposing idea when it has used really old, weathered, barn or 'country-home' doors. 

Using Doors as Tables/ Coffee-tables:

Again, I prefer the older, weathered-looking doors to the clean- painted door in the middle. But, these are all great recycling ideas.

This is SUCH a fabulous idea if you are renting your home. You can add so much interest (and light) to you room, and there is no drilling into the wall to do it. Even better- these are moved with you when you need a change of location.

I love this idea for displaying your address to your home.

These old french doors are the perfect way to create an outdoor living room space.

Cute idea for a wedding. And by FAR the best idea that I have seen for using old bi-fold doors.

Love this not-so-old door repurposed-to-bookshelf idea. 

Great idea for keeping the family organized. I have also seen this done with old window frames.

Another organizational idea. Add some hooks, a mirror and a bench- and you have yourself a fabulous piece for your front entrance way. 

Imagine that- using an old, discarded door as a ....DOOR!! Very cute medicine cabinet door idea. I love it. 

(all photos from Pinterest)

These are great ideas if you have kids. String some wire in an old door frame, and you have a place to display their artwork.

Or, paint it with a bright colour, add some hooks and you have a place to hang you pool towels and swim suits.

I hope you have been inspired by this post to look past what something IS right now, and to see all of it's future possibilities.

For some other creative Repurposing Ideas, click here.


Monday, 22 July 2013

Free Breakfast And A Surprise 50% Off Sale

I LOVE to be able to reconnect with friends. And if food is involved? Even better! And if that food turns out to be FREE! Well, that is simply the best Monday EVER!!

I went for breakfast with a friend at the Bedrock Bistro. This was my first time. It is delicious and very reasonably priced. A definite recommendation from me.

As we were getting close to finishing our meal, the waitress let us know that a gentleman had already taken care of our bill for us! Seriously- how sweet!! I just wish we could have said "Thanks!"

After I dropped her off, I decided to take a peek into the Stoney Creek Value Village.

I so rarely get over there, and I usually have pretty good luck at that location.

Today, I found a fabulous cobalt blue belt. To see my post on how much I love cobalt blue click here.

Belt- $3.99 

After that, and since I was in the area, I popped into one of my favourite shops- Family Boutique. I LOVE going into this locally-owned shop. There are saris and beautiful fabric lining the walls. This is where I indulge in my one guilty pleasure. Bollywood films!!

Today I picked up a film that I have been DYING to see- Dabangg 2. The first Dabangg is my absolute favourite Bollywood film.

I'll let you all know how it measures up to the first one. ;)

Next stop- Talize on Upper James. Well- truthfully, it was Service Ontario that I had to go to, but they are in the SAME mall, so how could I possibly NOT stop in?? I'm only human!! Haha.

 As I was walking through the doors, I saw signs saying that it was a 50% off day!!

I mean, really! Could this day GET any better?? I think not!!!

 I snapped up a cute pair of coral-coloured jeans (that match my toenails):

Jeans- $6.50 

I tried on this dress and included a photo of it to show how difficult it is for me to find maxi dresses that are truly maxi. This is the reason that I quickly posted about it when I found one.

Needless to say this 'maxi' did NOT come home with me...

I also scored this adorable denim vest (I have been on the hunt for one):

Vest- $3.50
Jewelry- Just One- World Changing Fashion

So, to recap... Free breakfast, a fabulous belt, some Bollywood, and a surprise sale... Today MAY make me think differently about Mondays! At least it all made my hour wait at Service Ontario a smidge more bearable...

Blessings, friends.

If you are in Hamilton and around Upper James- check out the big sale at Talize! You won't be disappointed. Also, it wasn't really advertised, so it isn't even busy there!!

Friday, 12 July 2013

Ever Wondered Where Hair Extensions Come From? I Wish That I Hadn't.....

Every weekend I keep VERY busy doing hair for people's weddings. And every weekend I put in AT LEAST one set of clip-in hair extensions. And MAYBE a couple of times a year I get into a discussion with someone about where all this beautiful hair comes from.

I've always shrugged it off and said that it is likely from India or China. In truth, I was just too nervous to search for the real answer. 

Turns out, I had reason to be....

The truth is, it is an industry that preys on the poor, sometimes desperate, sometimes hungry and sometimes religious women that are living on the other side of the world from the women who end up purchasing their beloved locks.

According to Female First, "the best quality hair comes from Asia or Eastern European countries where poverty is high and work is poorly paid. These women often see it as the best way to make money and feed their families."

"The 'hair factories'...have strict conditions under which the hair must grow" 

When it is long enough and time to be harvested these women are shaved bald and begin the process again. This may sound horrific to us in North America (especially since we will PAY big bucks in order to have MORE hair), but to these women (and sometimes entire families), it is simply a means to provide for those they love.

Unfortunately, not all women that give up their hair reap rewards of any kind from it. There is a ritual that originated in a temple in South India called tonsuring. According to several reports that I read, women will have their hair shaved as a symbol of surrendering their ego- most often to the God Venshi. Alternatively, a women may sacrifice her hair if her family is going through a particularly tough time in hopes of pleasing this God.

According to Bella Life , over 9 MILLION men and women practice tonsuring. Once warehouses of hair are filled, the hair is then auctioned off to the highest bidder. "In recent years, one temple sold 3 million kilos of hair for $1 million." 

(I'm sorry.... what!?!?!?!?)

"There is some sense of irony in someone sacrificing their hair as a holy ritual, then being sold for millions of dollars in the name of vanity"

(I couldn't have worded it better myself.)

Photograph from  The Guardian

Russian hair is considered the "best of the best" when it comes to hair for extensions. It is the most similar to North American hair and doesn't need to be stripped, bleached, coloured and treated like hair that comes from India and China.

Again, according to Bella Life, some Russians decide to sell their hair in answer to ads in the newspaper for around $50. But- on the dark side of the Russian hair-trade industry- female Russian prisoners in Moscow are having their hair chopped off for pure margin.

Apparently Victoria Beckham stated in 2004, "My extensions come from Russian prisoners, so I've got Russian cell-block H on my head."


So... now the hair is removed from the head....now it is processed. In sweat shops- WHERE ELSE?? In 40 degree heat......

Hair processing factory in India. Photograph from The Guardian

Hmmmmmmm...I am beginning to wish that I had never opened this can of worms.

Basically, our vanity and over-indulgence here in North America causes people in poorer parts of the world to shave their heads in order to be able to feed their families.

It preys on women's deep seeded faith and belief in something larger than themselves.

It steals from women in prisons.

To me- this is the same greed that causes people in Bangladesh to work in unsafe factories, and some to lose their lives, because we don't want to spend more than $5 on our t-shirts.

Is it just me, or is something wrong with this picture???

Now, I'm not saying that we should not be able to 'add to' what we already have and bulk up our own heads of hair. I just believe- in my core- that we should be paying the TRUE price of what we purchase. Then, there wouldn't have to be SO many corners cut. Maybe....

I wonder- if it would cost us more in order to not steal from women on the other side of the globe- would we pay it??

I really and truly hope so....

My only desire is to 'plant a seed' and to get people thinking. And discussing. And then, hopefully, acting.

Blessings friends.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

The 'Holy Grail'....A Truly Maxi Dress And A Peach Top to Match

I am DESPERATELY in LOVE with Maxi dress and skirts for the second summer in a row.

The only problem I find, however, is since I am taller than average, sometimes they aren't quite as "MAXI" as they may be on someone else. I love the look when the hem grazes the floor, but most of mine hit me around my ankles.

So, when I found this H&M floral beauty- I was ecstatic!! Even in wedges it would be almost floor length...love it.

Then, as I was leaving the change room, a peach blouse caught my eye. It was sheer and lovely....and it matched my 'new' dress perfectly...

So, I left Value Village with an entire outfit...that RARELY happens. And all for under $18.  :)

My floor-sweeping maxi dress:

Floral Maxi Dress- $9.99 Value Village
Jewellry- Just One- World Changing Fashion
Clutch- $3.99 Value Village

Sheer Blouse- $7.99 Value Village
Braided Belt- $1 Bibles For Missions Thrift Shop

Friends, what are you waiting for?!? 

Hit up some thrift shops for some fabulous summer finds!! And feel great about saving some clothing from some landfills while you do it...

Oh, and I am LOVING rockin' the Sock-Bun these hot, hot, hot summer days!! Here's how to get the perfect sock bun:

Have fun with it!!


Tuesday, 9 July 2013

What I Purchased New In Madrid

I have ONE more blog post regarding my AMAZING vacay to Madrid, Spain.

I have posted on my thrift shopping experiences in Madrid.

As well as what thrifted outfits were In My Spanish Closet.

Now I would like to share what I found at a cute local shop right by the hotel that I was staying in. If you have read any of my posts about WHY I do what I do, you will know that I never buy anything new. My only exceptions are to support a local shop by purchasing from them, or supporting an individual by purchasing a handmade item.

So...on my last day in Madrid, I decided to wander into this cute local shop that I had passed by every day on my vacation. I saved the receipt so that I could post the name of the shop- but it got lost in my travels home. :(   But, I did pick up a couple of oh-so-cute-items from this local vendor.

Another local vendor that I was happy to support, was a man painting water colour pieces in the park. I picked up an "S" to put up on my boys' wall. Both of their names begin with S and of course, so does  Spain. :)

And these are the tops that I picked up from the local shop by my hotel.

I really LOVE both of these tops! I have been looking for something similar to the green skull top for a while now. I 'pinned' this sweater below to Pinterest months ago!!

And the black sweater with the angel wings? I feel like it sort of mimics my angel-wing tattoo that I have on my back:  

Well, there you have it friends. My last blog installment of my trip to Madrid. As I mentioned before...I need to plan another thrifting trip to Europe, I think November should work. :)


Saturday, 6 July 2013

In My Madrid Closet

I fancy myself somewhat of a light packer. Partly because, if I can- I will try to get away with only carry-on luggage... Partly because I need room in my suitcase for the thrift shopping that I will inevitably do wherever I am travelling to.

When I went to Madrid for the week, I packed a couple of skirts, a few tanks, 4 dresses, 2 sweaters and a pair of leggings. As well as 2 pairs of sandals (one dressy, one casual) and a pair of sneakers. That ended up being MORE than enough...especially after I went thrifting around the city. You can read more about that here.

Here are some of the thrifted outfits that were in my Spanish Closet:

This photo was taken pretty much the moment that I arrived in Madrid.  My go-to travelling outfit is leggings (SO comfy!!), a couple of tanks (I also wore the one hanging behind me), and some sneakers. I also carry a sweater or 2 in case I get a bit chilly on the plane.

Leggings- $5.99 Value Village 
Tank- $4.99 Value Village
Hanging tank- $5.99 Talize

I wore this dress to one of the conference dinners that I attended. I snapped up this dress at a Bibles For Missions $1 Sale!

I wore this just meandering around the city one day. It was one of my thrifting days, I believe.

Maxi skirt- $6.99 Talize (also seen here)
Pink lace tank- $3 Plato's Closet

I bought this dress while I was thrifting in Madrid. I absolutely fell in love with it. I wore it out one night for tapas.

Cobalt Blue Maxi Dress- 3,95 Euros Humana

I wore this dress out to the conference's Gala Dinner. They had flamenco dancers and it was a fabulous night of food, wine and dancing.

Dress- $7.50 Talize (also seen here)

This was another dress that I picked up while thrifting in Madrid. I then wore it out one day, when I had planned to see the Dali exhibit at the Reina Sofia Museum. But I didn't make it to the museum in time to see it that day. :(

Dress- 3,95 Euros (also seen here

To know me is to know this maxi dress. It is my favourite, go-to dress. It WAS my "2nd-date" dress. I love this dress. AND, it was given to me by my sister, so it was FREE. LOVE.

This is what I wore to dinner on my 'bonus night' in Madrid. My flight got cancelled and the airline put me up in a beautiful hotel for the night with a pool...it was amazing.

Lace Tank- $3 Plato's Closet
Skirt- $5.99 Value Village (also seen here)

What a wonderful, fabulous trip. I definitely need to see more of Europe...maybe in November...????

Thanks for stopping in and reading about my Spanish Closet, friends!