Tuesday, 26 February 2013

In My Closet- A Free Scarf And Cardi

Is it spring, yet?? I am so ready to put away my heavy coats and pants and take out my shorts....oh wait- they are already out. ;)

Who would've thought I could find a cute selection of shorts in Thunder Bay...in February!! I found these denim shorts, and these satin beauties WAY up in the freezing north. I guess no one else up there was looking for shorts in the dead of winter. Weird...haha.

This lightweight, flow-y cardigan I snapped up at the Clothing Swap that I had a couple of weeks ago. So, that's right- FREE folks. This scarf didn't get taken and it sat on the table all of the next day. That evening I tried it on and fell in love.

 Black tank- $5.99 TBay Value Village
Denim Shorts- $5.99 TBay Salvation Army Thrift Shop
Purse- $4.99 Hamilton Salvation Army Thrift Shop

Navy And Gold Scarf- Free from Clothing Swap
Blue Cardigan- Also free from Clothing Swap
Boots- Referenced here

Anyone else out there longing for springtime? Might be a good time to plan a clothing swap with your friends to get ready for the next season. :)


Monday, 25 February 2013

The Natural Cleaning Products That I Use Around My Home

I can't believe that I haven't done a post on using natural products to clean the home, yet. This is a topic that I feel very strongly about. I started using Vinegar on pretty much everything when my first son was born.

I watched the movie 'Chemerical' (another of Andrew Niskar's, Take Action Films) a few years ago and my eyes were opened to all that was in our chemical cleaning products. I guess I never considered all that my family was breathing in. It's a great film about a family who has to toss out (properly, btw) all of their chemical cleaning product and use all-natural products for cleaning, deodorizing, laundry, etc...

It really is a witty, funny, interesting film and I highly recommend it.

What is so bad about using the chemical cleaners that are on the shelf at the grocery store? Well, here are SOME answers:

*Some cleaning products contain toxic chemicals, which not only kill aquatic life but also harm humans. Ammonia and sodium hypochlorite can irritate the lungs, for example. They are not recommended for people with heart conditions and chronic respiratory problems.

*Some cleaning products may contain parabens as preservatives. This group of chemicals has been found in breast tissue and has been linked with cancer.
Many people may be exposed to these chemicals unwittingly.

*There is also an issue with combinations of cleaning products. Household bleach, for example, can be extremely toxic when combined with other products.

*Some cleaning materials contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds). VOCs are common in industry - some, such as methane, are also greenhouse gases. The term is a blanket catch-all phrase for chemicals which release damaging gases into the atmosphere. These can contribute to photochemical smog and ozone depletion. From a health viewpoint they are also dangerous.

*The manufacture of ingredients can involve toxic releases of chemicals as a by-product of the manufacturing process. For example, every factory uses oil products. Oil extraction and refining processes release benzene and other toxic chemicals into the environment.
Benzene is a known carcinogen. It is still added to petrol in the US and Europe, despite its health effects, because of its "anti-knock" properties.
Benzene may also be involved in the manufacturing process of household chemicals as it is a oil derivative which has many industrial uses.

(found at Green Footsteps)

I know that I have noticed that I feel dizzy and nauseated if I now use a chemical cleaner to clean around the house. Why haven't I tossed mine yet? Simply because I haven't made a trip to the dump to dispose of them properly. Then, if I run out of vinegar- I try Lysol or some equivalent, and am sick from the fumes. :S

The Green Cleaners Around My Home

*Vinegar, vinegar and more vinegar. A friend was over to my place recently and asked what I used on my sink, because it was so shiny, and was shocked when I told her, "vinegar and water".
Vinegar is used around my home on just about everything. I dilute in a spray bottle 50:50 with water. I use it on counters, appliances, floors, sinks, windows, mirrors....

Vinegar is also a great all-natural fabric softener. Just add a 1/4 cup to the rinse cycle.

I run vinegar through my coffee maker and dishwasher to give it a good cleaning.

*Lemon Juice is another fabulous cleaner. It is a natural bleach and can be used to remove stains on counters etc. I also put lemon juice in my washing machine with my whites. And I'll put some on a rag and throw it in the dryer to add a citrus smell to the whole load.

I recently read about sprinkling some baking soda on a lemon that you've cut in half. You can use that to scrub at stains that way. I love it!

*Baking Soda is great to use as a scrub. I usually sprinkle in on the counter and then spray with my vinegar and water. If you don't have any baking soda on hand, you can also use table salt in this same way.

*Borax is another natural cleaner. I use it to clean my toilet. If you sprinkle it around the bowl and leave it overnight, when you wake up it just takes a little scrub and it's clean. You can use vinegar in the same way. Straight vinegar poured in the bowl cleans and deodorizes like a charm. You don't need to leave vinegar overnight.

I hope this inspires some readers to try cleaning with natural cleaners.

If anyone out there has any tips or other products that they use, I'd love to hear from you!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

In My Closet- Satin Shorts

Is there anything softer than satin? I do realize that yes, there is...polar fleece, Gund animals, Truffula trees...

But few things that I can wear on my body are softer than satin. These shorts are just fabulous. I really like the cut AND they have pockets! One reason why shorts are so much better than skirts...

I found these shorts at a Salvation Army Thrift Shop in Thunder Bay. This top I actually found as I was on my way to the checkout, an employee was trying to find a rack to put this on and I snatched it up. Gotta love when that happens. :)

Satin Shorts- $5.99 Salvation Army Thrift Shop
White Tank- $5.99 Value Village
Striped Top- $4.99 Salvation Army Thrift Shop 
Black Booties- $9.99 Talize (also seen here)

To my Thunder Bay friends, I am very sorry for snatching up the great items that I did. ;)

I'm sure they have replenished with some other great items by now, though...

Thanks for stopping in, and happy thrifting!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

In My Closet- Sequins with Chambray

Another trend that I can't get enough of right now is mixing dressy items with casual items. I found this lovely sequin skirt up in a Thunder Bay Salvation Army Thrift Shop. I was over-the-moon happy. I think it is so adorable, and I couldn't wait to get it home and pair it with some casual tops. 

My chambray top was a no-brainer.

I just love that the denim makes the sequins appropriate for day-to-day wear.

Sequin Skirt- $6.99
Chambray Top- $1 Bibles For Missions Thrift Shop (also seen here)
Black Booties- $9.99 Talize (also seen here)

I apologize, friends...it appears that I brought the snow back with me from Thunder Bay...

Have a great Wednesday, thanks for stopping in. 

Happy Thrifting!!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

In My Closet- Loving Shorts With Tights


Right now, one of my favourite looks is wearing shorts with tights.... wait a minute, am I back in grade eleven, again?? Nope, back then, my shorts were smaller and my heels were higher, haha.

Maybe it's nostalgia...maybe its the fact that I can wear shorts in the winter...I'm not sure why- but I think this is a such a fun look.

I paired some black shorts with some black tights and black booties. I then added a few different tops to give you some ideas for looking through your own closet...

Black Shorts-  $6.99 Value Village
Black Booties- $9.99 Talize (also seen here)
White Tank- $5.99 Talize
Top- FREE from Clothes Swap
Accessories- $3.99- $5.99 Value Village

Same shorts, tights, booties and tank.
Top- FREE from Clothes Swap

Again, same shorts, tights, booties and tank.
Top- $7.99 Talize (also seen here)
Necklace- Just One - fairly-traded accessories from Africa

What do you think of shorts with tights, friends? Love it? Hate it? Let me know!

Thanks for stopping in- Happy Pancake Tuesday!

Friday, 8 February 2013

My First (Of Many) Clothes Swap

Well- what a blast we had last night!!I hosted my first ever Clothing Swap and invited ladies that had mentioned to me that they were interested in attending one. I also invited my friend Krista Jefferson to talk to us about her Just One fairly-traded jewelry business.  

I can't say enough how fun it was. We munched on veggies and chips, chatted, drank some wine and shopped for FREE clothes! That is pretty much my idea of a perfect night.

In case you have never heard of a Clothing Swap- it is exactly what it sounds like. You get to clear out your closet of all the items that you no longer wear and swap them for 'new-to-you' items that you will wear. It's the old "One (wo)man's junk is another (wo)man's treasure" concept...

Here are some photos of the fun:

My stuff is out for the Clothing Swap. :)

We're all set to go.....

All of Just One's goodies that Krista brought us to look at.

Krista telling us about her, her decision to start the business and all about Just One. 

Shopping for fairly-traded jewelry.

Chatting about their trips to Kenya

Yummmmmmmmmmmmm. :)

Bahahahahaha. Evelyn was such a good sport! :)
I wish that this sequin dress had gone home with someone. It was so cute. 

 My 'new' romper. Love.

 Some of our favourite scores of the night.

 ...and some more favourites...

Hey- where did the other 2 ladies go???

The day after...a lot of great items now going to a fabulous charity

My 'haul'. :)

I highly recommend a Clothing Swap to all my readers! It was a great night to connect with friends, to meet some new ones, and also to give our closets a facelift. Win-win-win.

For some tips for hosting your own Clothing Swap, check out one of my previous posts.

Thanks for stopping by...Happy snow day to all in the Hamilton area.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

In My Closet- A (Gulp!) New Shirt

So... I received a pair of brand-new, beautiful, warm pyjamas for Christmas. I know that they were lovingly picked out for me and were extremely soft and comfortable-looking.

The problem was- I already owned several pairs of pyjamas, and couldn't decide on a pair to give away, if I added these new ones to my closet. I am a pretty firm believer in the "one item in- one item out" rule. The fact that the store had already received the money for the pj's made me feel (somewhat) justified in going in and picking out something else....

So, after weeks of going back and forth between my personal convictions, beliefs, not wanting to hurt the giver's feelings....I decide to exchange the pyjamas for something that I would actually wear and love.

After all of that, I traded a perfectly lovely (simply un-needed) pair of pj's for this gorgeous top.

Please ignore the pile of clothing behind me...it is a pile put aside for my clothing swap tomorrow night. :)

Black Skirt- $5.99 Talize
Grey Tights- I am NOT exaggerating when I say that I have owned these tights for over 13 years!! Craziness, yes?!
Booties- $9.99 Talize
Clutch- $3.99 Talize

(Other post with booties & clutch here

I really do like this top a lot. I love the fabric, the billowy-ness (oh ya- I made that a word), and the colours. Anything with coral in it gets an automatic win from me.

Can you believe that it was at Mark's Work Warehouse?

Please don't judge me friends. Or, if you do- just don't tell me... ;)