Friday, 27 December 2013

Feeling Like The Big Engine That Couldn't

It really is amazing to me how one little thing can seem to trigger a mountain of emotions to suddenly pour out.

I brought my car in today to patch one of my tires and ended up needing to replace 2 tires and fix my alignment.

As annoying, and unfortunately more expensive than I was planning the visit to the mechanic's to be, it did NOT warrant the meltdown that I had in the waiting area. Well, silent meltdown.

Fortunately, my back was to everyone coming into the shop and also to the guy working at the counter. When he finally realized that I was sobbing he was very sweet and said that I was going to make HIM cry.

He asked "what's wrong".

I couldn't think of anything to say without pouring out say.....the last 3 or 4 years of my I just shook my head and cried more. And I promised him that I will be fine.

And that is the truth. I will be fine.

(little peanut due in April)

But today, I just feel like 'The Big Engine That Couldn't'.

Today, I feel like I can't possibly continue to work at my 2 jobs. I'm too tired. My hips hurt. My back hurts. It's too hard to co-ordinate babysitting....

I can't.

Today, I feel like I can't possibly go back to having an infant. The sleepless nights, weeks, months. The nursing, the crying, the colic....

I can't.

Today, I feel like I can't possibly have enough love in me to give to 3 children. Enough patience. Enough energy. Enough resources.....

I can't.

I just can't possibly, CAN'T POSSIBLY believe that I can do this on my own.

I can't.

I can't. I can't. I can't.

But, somewhere in there- deep down- I know that I can.

Somewhere deep down, I know that I have the strength.

And although I have always been strong, over the course of the last few years I have found strength that I never realized that I had.

I have found strength in faith.

I have found strength in being weak.

I have found strength in being vulnerable.

I have found strength in letting my tears fall.

And so, now that my tears have fallen, tomorrow I will start a new day. And I will be strong. For me. For my boys.

Feeling alone, but very loved.

Feeling depleted, but still breathing.

Feeling hopeless, but somehow connected to something greater than me.

And I will open my eyes to the new day and say 

"I can".


Thursday, 19 December 2013

Is There An Age Limit On Leggings?

I had a friend and blog follower ask me a question the other day- 

"Where, other than thrifting, would I recommend she buy a pair of leggings? And how can she wear them as a 47-yr-old, without looking silly- or like she's trying too hard to be young?"

Well, I really don't consider myself an expert on fashion. At all. I'm more of an 'expert' on dressing well wearing only second-hand items and hopefully inspiring others to think about where we are all spending our clothing budget dollars.

But, I will share my two cents anyway.

First of all, of COURSE I am going to recommend thrifting those leggings. Why would you NOT want to buy your leggings at a thrift shop?

I recently picked up a black pair and an olive pair of leggings that I hope will get me through this pregnancy. The black pair was $3.99 at a Salvation Army Thrift Shop and the olive pair was $5.99 at Value Village (btw, you need to look in athletic bottoms at V.V. for leggings).

Here is the $3.99 olive pair:

Unfortunately I don't have a full-length of them, but you get the idea. :)

Leggings- $3.99
Sleeveless sweater- thrifted YEARS ago
Cropped sweater- $1 at a Bibles for Missions Thrift Shop $1 Sale

FYI- Leggings are one of my favourite things to wear. They are JUST as comfy as sweats or a maxi skirt, and you can wear them to work.

But, if you really don't want to purchase your leggings second-hand, my recommendation would be to go with Efforts Women's Bamboo leggings. They are environmentally responsible leggings made with a blend of bamboo and spandex in Canada! Gotta love that.

As for her 'age' question.... I think, if you feel comfortable wearing leggings- do it! If you are in doubt- ask a friend, or two....or three. Hopefully we are kind enough to our girlfriends to tell them if they should NOT be wearing leggings....Just be sure they are meant to be worn as pants. There are leggings that are simply made to wear under skirts or dresses and are much too sheer to wear as bottoms. Take a good LONG look in the mirror while wearing them- bend over- do some squats...if they stay opaque, buy them!

But, since she asked, I have put together what I deem to be age-appropriate leggings outfits:

In Your 20's:

In your 20's you can absolutely get away with shirts that skim your hips with leggings. When you are older- I believe you should cover those hips and that bum up...unless you visit the gym daily...

You can also pull off the fun, brightly-coloured, patterned leggings and actually make them look good. When you're over 30....well, that gets tougher to do....

In Your 30's

I think these photos are perfect examples of how to wear leggings in your 30's. Cover up those hips and bum. Wear a flow-y top with them so you aren't wearing skin-tight clothes from head-to-toe. Pair them with some gorgeous boots. And layer, layer, layer with a sweater, jacket or scarf.

In Your 40's 

(all photos from Pinterest- of course)

Again, to me- these photos are all age-appropriate ways to wear leggings in your 40's (and 50's, and 60's.....) 

You can wear them with a longer sweater- not too long, though- don't go past will look frumpy and dated.

Add a woven belt- a thicker belt at the hips or a skinny belt at the waist.

Add a scarf and some great riding boots and Voila- you look fabulous. Put-together, comfy and not at ALL like you are trying to look younger than you are.

Hope that answered your question, friend.

Again, I don't believe I'm an expert- but I DO believe that you can pull a great outfit together AND look age appropriate AND shop second-hand. 

If not second-hand, you can shop Canadian-made and environmentally responsible (which USUALLY translates to being socially-conscious, as well).


Monday, 16 December 2013

The Night I Rocked My Thrifted Sequin Jacket

I was thrilled when I found this sequin jacket at a Bible For Missions thrift shop for $10 a few months ago.

And even though I blogged about ALL of the ways and ALL of the different places that I COULD wear it (here), I haven't actually worn it....anywhere.

So, I decided that if I couldn't wear my sequin jacket to my Job #2's Christmas dinner- where COULD I wear it? Holidays call for a little bit of sparkle, yes? Of course yes.

And here I am ACTUALLY wearing my fabulous sequin jacket:

I opted to wear a plain grey tank- Value Village $5.99
and dark jeggings- from previous pregnancy (also seen here)
And wore it with the silver cuff in the first photo- Value Village $5.99

What do you think friends? Was I able to rock that jacket? ;)

Just another amazing find from a local thrift shop. Marked down from $59.95 to $10. Go. Check them out. All of them. 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.

Remember, thrift shops are a great place to find one-of-a-kind stocking stuffers as well.


Monday, 9 December 2013

2013 Christmas Repurposing and DIY Ideas

Last year I did a couple of posts on Christmas Repurposing Ideas (here and here).

They really are worth a glance- there are lots and lots of great repurposed holiday ideas.

Here are some new ideas for saving old. discarded items that may otherwise end up in a landfill. And some fabulous DIY ideas for creating gifts and decor items for around your home.

You can also visit my previous post on DIY gifts that you kids can make for their loved ones here.

I am going to start out with a friend's beautiful DIY project that she created last Christmas season.

Using an old frame, some wire, holiday clips and some gift bags- she created her very own Advent Calendar. 

This would be fabulous for those parents that don't want their kids eating chocolate every day. You can see she has mixed it up with some school supplies for her girls. :)

And here are some more fabulous ideas:

Coffee Tin Snowman. Love this.

I think these repurposed jar votives are so beautiful. Just add some pinecones, ribbon and some cedar. I'll bet they smell glorious as well!

What a great excuse to open (and finish!) that bottle of wine! Cute.

How thoughtful would these be to give out to your neighbors?? :)

I love this repurposed wood sign to hang your stocking on. You could also use a repurposed coat rack. They are ALWAYS at the thrift shops.

Another great excuse to drink up that wine.  Paint the corks to create adorable ornaments for your tree. 

There is just SO much repurposed loveliness here! An old rake, part of an old door....Love it so much.  

If you are wondering what to do with your old baby food jars- here's a great idea! Turn them into sweet miniature snow globes. 

This is a similar idea to my friend's advent calendar.  Reuse an old frame and some ribbon to display your holiday cards.

Last year I posted about making old lightbulbs into ornaments. Or- you can simply place them in a bowl for an instant holiday decoration.

I love this. An old ruler, some random game pieces, and some glue and you have a super sweet, original ornament.

I posted about this last year- but it is such a simple and easy repurposing idea.... reuse last year's holiday cards for this year's gift tags. I do this every year.

Paint an old pallet to create a space-saving tree that you can hang your ornaments on.

Another simple and useful repurposing idea for last year's holiday cards. You can make them into bookmarks. I will be doing this, for sure.

And finally, one more idea for old holiday cards- because I know that you have PLENTY....

Turn them into holiday postcards to send a lovely message to your loved ones this holiday season.

And who doesn't love getting postcards?? :) 

So friends, these were my favourite repurposing ideas for the 2013 holiday season.

Of course, I found them all (minus my friend's calendar) on Pinterest.

I hope you've been inspired to look around and decorate your home by giving something you already own a new brand new purpose.

New life.

This is the reason for the season, after all.

Blessings to all.

Friday, 6 December 2013

DIY- Kid's Crafty Gifts And Keepsakes

We hear it said over and over during our lives- Christmas is for kids.

But you don't fully understand the truth behind this seemingly simple comment until you have children of your own.

I remember as a twenty-something feeling like something was always 'missing' from Christmas. I now know what it is. 

It's seeing Christmas through the eyes of a child. The awe. The wonder. The excitement. You can almost feel your own skin prickling with the anticipation that children feel as it gets closer and closer to Christmas Day.

And, since we as adults know that the best part about the holiday season is giving to others, why not teach our children while they're young this important lesson?

Here are some DIY gifts to make with the kiddies for giving (and keeping). They'll love feeling the satisfaction of creating something out of nothing, and you'll all love the time spent and the memories made.

Some Adorable Gifts Made From Footprints:

Is there anything in the world cuter than a baby or child's footprint? Doubtful.

Reindeer faces.

Love this 'Mistletoes' idea on a plain canvas. Super cute gift and/or keepsake. 

Very cute footprint Christmas Tree idea. 

Crafty Ideas For Hands And Fingerprints

Make a truly original gift for family or friends with your little one's Fingerprint Reindeer Ornament. 

...or use their whole hand and create an adorable Snowman Family Ornament.

I'm loving these Reindeer Handprint Ornaments, as well. 

This handprint and footprint wreath  on canvas is pretty darn cute, too.

Here are a few variations on a very cute keepsake idea. Make a wreath out of cut-out handprints. Love.

It's not really a keepsake- but I simply LOVE this DIY idea! Create a felt tree with felt ornaments and gifts. That way, your toddler will keep his/her hands off the real one!

 And I think that this idea for 'Elf Donuts' to make with the kids and leave out with Santa's cookies is just to die-for-adorable!

I always save all of my paper towel and toilet paper rolls. Now I have a fabulous repurposing DIY idea for  Christmas decorating around the home!! I also have an abundance of baby socks for the hats. My kids would LOVE making these carolers. :)

Here's a beautiful and simple idea to do with the kids. Paint an old or thrifted plate with chalkboard paint and you have yourself a cute Christmas Countdown DIY craft.

My boys would be SO excited to wake up to these GIANT snowmen all over my home. Another cute and easy DIY project that will bring BIG grins! All you need is some construction paper or cardstock.

So, grab your kiddies, some paint, some paper- whatever you have on hand- and go crazy!

They'll love it, and you'll have some beautiful gifts to give at the end!