Monday, 11 December 2017

My Second-Hand Christmas 2017

It was likely coming home to newly-fallen snow tonight. 

Or maybe it was the chilly December evening.

Whatever it was, I just had to turn on all my cozy Christmas lights and snuggle up with this year's Christmas decor.

Being in teacher's college this past year has forced me to cut back in many areas of my life. Time with friends, the quality of my cooking, cleaning the house...and this year I only put out the necessities when it came to Christmas decorations. 

In the back of my mind I kept thinking- "Remember, this all has to back AWAY again in a few weeks"...

SO, I thought I would share the lucky pieces that made the cut. 

OF COURSE, I had to update my ladder out front of my home:

Ladder- found on the side of the road. 
N*O*E*L- letters drawn with black marker on placemats.
Edison lights- Habitat for Humanity store- $40

(Also seen HERE from last Christmas)

This was the one piece that I bought for decoration this year.

I bought this sign at Robert Bateman High School's Christmas craft sale. I actually really REALLY love it. It was made my some student's in the Special Education Department at the school and I scored it for only $4!

I love that they used repurposed hardware to spell out the word "JOY".

Next we'll go to my 'plywood Christmas signs that I made last year.

To take a closer look at my "O Come Let Us Adore Him" sign that I made- you can find it HERE.

For my "A Thrill Of Hope..." sign- you can find that HERE.

For the repurposed 'Starburst Mirror' DIY- you can find that HERE.

Also in the Living Room, I repurposed these crates that I bought on Kijiji for my wedding in August for $25 each into a sort of shelf. So far, I'm loving it.

The Santa figurines were my Grandma's. I'm in love with them.

In the Dining Room, I kept it very simple this year, as well. 

On top of the piano I displayed a nativity inside of a green crate that I've had FOREVER.

The gold wire star I picked up over the summer as wedding decor. Pretty sure I only paid $1.99 for it. With some LED lights- it's quite Christmas-y.

These Votive candle holders were also picked up for my wedding and were placed on the dinner tables. Pretty sure the white ones were $1.99 and $2.99. The burgandy one I think was $3.99.
The wood slice coasters were $1.50 each at the Resource Thrift Shop.

And in my kitchen, I just put out these little lovelies. 

I've always loved these little vintage Santa candle sticks/ salt and pepper shakers of my Grandma's. Now every day I get to gaze at them in my own kitchen.

And that's pretty much it for my second-hand decorating this year. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Many blessings for a very happy holiday season!!

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Honeymooning- In My Dominican Closet 2017


I feel like ALL I do is apologize for being non-existent and for finding it very difficult to find time to blog.

University, placements, kids and husband have been sucking up all my previous blog-time!

I definitely want to share a few of the second-hand items that I brought along on my honeymoon (back in September!).

Shortly before I left on my glorious and relaxing honeymoon, a new women's consignment store opened in Hamilton- "Style Encore". I have to say, I am a HUGE fan!

Because they are a consignment store you KNOW that you are going to be shopping among quality, name-brand clothing. I also must mention that their prices are EXTREMELY reasonable. Better than you will find at Value Village (who get their stock given to them for FREE).

Here are the following items that I brought along with me on my Honeymoon in the Dominican:

Strapless Dress- $11 Style Encore
Necklace- $8 Style Encore
Clutch- $3.99 Talize
Shoes- FREE from a Clothing Swap

I LOVED this strapless dress! It was super comfy and a cool material. Perfect for those warm and sticky Dominican nights.

I really REALLY wish that my new hubby would have said, "Don't hunch over like that, honey- you look like a Hobbit"....but oh well....

The back of this dress is what sold me on it. So CUTE.

Coral Dress- $24 Style Encore
Belt- Thrifted forever ago
Necklace- Castoff from a friend- FREE

This adorable tank was also a castoff from a friend. Actually- the same friend that I got this necklace from! Thank you LEANNE!!

Tank- FREE
Shoes- FREE
Necklace- FREE
Skirt- thrifted ages ago and has been on every Caribbean trip with me.

Sunglasses- $11 Style Encore
Bathing Suit Cover- Borrowed from a friend

So, in case you've never read my blog before...
try shopping second hand! You can look like a million bucks while being kind to your wallet AND to the planet. 

And ladies in Hamilton, if you haven't yet tried Style Encore- definitely check them out! They will also buy your great-condition/ name brand clothing for cash!!


Thursday, 15 June 2017

My DIY'ed $2 Bathroom Sign

As I've mentioned before, life is busy these days.

What I have just recently realized is, when I'm feeling overwhelmed- crafting actually helps center me. Is that weird?

Not only do I feel a sense of accomplishment when I look at that creation on my wall (or wherever it ends up), I actually feel less stressed about life in general when I'm creating something. Interesting.

With that in mind, I went digging through my many planks of wood that I've traded for, saved, or rescued. I wanted to make a sign for my bathroom. The wall above the toilet was looking bare. I traded a couple of things with a friend of mine and scored a super adorable raw-wood bathroom cabinet, and decided to make a sign to go under it.

Now, I could've done any number of other things on my To-Do list for that room...painting the cabinets, putting new flooring down, painting the baseboards...but hey- I was just trying to kill some time between school assignments and bedtime.

I had seen several signs similar to the one that I ended up making on Pinterest (where else??). 

I used a simple 2x6 plank. I painted it with some white primer that I had laying around. I like the look of the flat primer and think it adds to that farmhouse-type feel.

For the lettering I used a grey paint that I used to paint my stairs, and I also used it on these Christmas signs. I used a light grey paint for the corner 'squiggly' designs that I picked up in the mis-tint paints for $2. The twine I used to hang the sign I found in a box in my basement (yet another huge job...the basement...).

And here is my sign that cost me $2 to make. 

Cabinet- Free (traded)
Sign- $2 and a couple of hours
(I'm really wishing that I had not taken a photo of my ugly flooring and my unpainted baseboards. Sigh...)


And there you have it friends. My DIY'ed $2 bathroom sign.

I think it's pretty swell.

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, 6 June 2017

In My Closet- Panama 2017

First of all, I would like to thank all of my readers that continue to read my blog even though my posts have become intermittent and few. Between school, work, navigating a relationship and 5 kids under 9, life is busy.

But, I still want to share how easy it is to continue to buy second-hand. That is one thing in my life that does not cause extra work. ;)

My boyfriend and I took a much-needed vacation in April. We decided to try a different destination than either of us had been to before and found a smokin' deal to Panama for a week. 

It was a great trip. Seeing the Panama Canal was so interesting- if you are ever able to get there, I highly recommend it!

Before we left, I took my boyfriend thrifting, as most of his summer clothes were cargo shorts and camouflage (which are great for the trailer this summer, but not-so-great for a 5 star resort). 

Here are the thrifted items that were in our Panamanian Closet.

I wore this dress our first night in Panama. I bought this dress at a consignment shop when I was visiting a dear friend in Calgary years ago, and I always think of Danielle whenever I wear it.

Sandals- $12.99 Value Village (also seen here)
 Clutch- Thrifted over a decade ago

 Got my bf in on the blogging as well. I think he liked posing for it a bit too much. Haha.

Blue polo- $5.99 Talize
Grey Shorts- $7.99 Talize

  This dress I grabbed one day while shopping with a friend. It was super flow-y and comfy and the perfect dress for touring around Panama for the day. A few people have asked me where I got my head scarf from that I was wearing in these photos. It was the belt that came with the dress! I just wrapped it around my hair for the day. It actually worked well to protect my head from the sun.

Dress/ Belt/ Head Scarf- $7.99 Talize

Again, the bf having way too much fun posing...

T-shirt- Free...found in the woods (true story!)
Shorts- $7.99 Talize
Flip-Flops- $4.99 Value Village

 Ah, this lbd (little black dress) has been everywhere with me! It's fantastic for work, and great for travel, it rolls up and tosses into a suitcase no problem!

Lbd- Thrifted so long ago, I can't remember how much I paid for it, but definitely under 10 bucks.
Silver sandals and clutch- see above

I nabbed this skirt at a thrift shop when I went in for something completely different and it caught my eye. Hand-made and SO cute! I had SOOO many compliments on this skirt the night I wore it!

Silver Pleated Skirt- $4.99 Mission Thrift Shop
Black Tank- Free from a Clothing Swap
Black/ Rhinestone Sandals- $3.99 Value Village

One of my favourite go-to dresses, this maxi can be dressed up or down.

Maxi Dress- $9.99 Value Village
Black Clutch- $3.99 Talize (seen here
Sandals- see above 

Apologies for the blurry photo of the dress, my bf's camera on his phone is cracked. Second photo was taken with my phone. :)

Dress- $12.99 Value Village (also seen here)
Boyfriend's Shirt- $8.99 Talize

Well, that about does it, folks. I only picked up one new-to-me item for this trip (Dress/ Belt/ Headscarf- $7.99). I will admit that we spent more on my boyfriend's wardrobe. BUT, he pretty much picked up an entire summer wardrobe (4 shirts, 4 pairs of shorts, 2 bathing suits and 2 pairs of flip-flops) for around $70. Not too shabby.

Hope this inspires you to try thrifting! It's great for your wallet, the earth (less waste), and you look fabulous! ;)

Thanks for reading! And I haven't forgotten about my next giveaway- still in the works!




Wednesday, 17 May 2017

My Thrifted/ DIY Sunburst Mirror

I've been drooling over beautiful Sunburst Mirrors all over Pinterest in the last few months.

Find these and other Sunburst Mirrors on Pinterest here.

I picked up a gold mirror from Talize for $3.99. I planned to make it into a Sunburst Mirror as soon as I had a few moments.

Months later....

The massive bare spot above my couch in my living room was starting to drive me crazy. And today was too hot to do any outside painting- or any outside work at all really.

Truth be told, I DID start to work on the Sunburst Mirror a couple of weeks ago.

I bought wooden dowels in 3 different diameters from Dollarama. I spray painted them gold.

I glued the different sizes onto the mirror, trying to give it a 'Sunburst-type-of feel".

Shortly after I had all of the wooden dowels glued on in the way that I liked, I tried hanging it on the wall. I did NOT make sure that it was secure.

And then THIS happened......

To be completely honest, I was SO disappointed and SO frustrated that I couldn't even look at this project for a number of days. Perhaps a bit melodramatic, I know.

BUT, then today, as I said- was too warm to do outside work, and I needed another way to procrastinate on my schoolwork, my Sunburst Mirror was finished.

I'm still searching for another couple of perfect pieces for the wall. It is quite expansive. 

I'll likely paint the other sides of these Christmas wall hangings (here and here) and put them up...but really, who knows...?

Right now I'll bask in the glow of my Sunburst Mirror...

....and ALSO the fact that I have had over 100,000 hits to my blog! Woohoo! I'm pretty happy about that.

I hope you have all had a chance to glance at "Why I buy second-hand", or the "Books/Movies" that have influenced me, or maybe you'd like to see one of the many thrifted outfits "In My Closet".

I'm currently working on a givewaway to celebrate 100,000 hits.

Blog post to come....soon.

Blessings, friends.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

For The Home- My DIY Half-A-Day Mailbox/ Light Refresh.

It's finally SPRING!

Time to FINALLY get at all the outdoor tasks that were piling up on my new home.

This past Saturday, while I was finishing up some school assignment, I decided to give my mailbox and my exterior light a quick refresh.

This isn't the best picture, but I forgot to take a before photo. This is cropped from another picture.


Again, I apologize for the poor quality photo. But I hope you can see that they were in pretty bad shape. And the light had ugly yellow glass for the light bulb to shine through.

First I sprayed the mailbox. It wasn't in too rough of shape- it was just an eye sore.

After a couple of coats of Rustoleum's Oil-Rubbed Bronze spray (my absolute fave- I also used it on my interior lights seen here), my mailbox looked brand new.


I then sprayed the exterior light with the same spray paint. I removed the yellow glass, and replaced it with some chicken wire ($3 at Dollarama!)


I'm SO happy with how this quick and easy project turned out! For a $13 can of spray paint (which I can use for other project now as well), and some chicken wire (I probably used 10 cents worth- if even that), I have a brand-new looking mailbox and light!

Thanks so much for stopping in and reading, friends.


Confessions of a Single Mom- Worth The Wait

Well, friends. It's been quite a while since I did a Confessions Of A Single Mom post.

Since calling off my wedding a year and a bit ago, I've tried to seek wisdom. I've tried to be content in myself. I've tried to really seek the purpose of my life- which has been rather challenging.

I'm not sure that I have gotten it all figured out quite yet, but I have to say- calling off a wedding that was  just never meant to be was the most difficult thing I have EVER done. But it was also the most fulfilling (?), gratifying (?), satisfying (?) thing that I have ever done.

It was clear to those around us that myself and my fiance (at the time), were not in a healthy relationship. But we did have a child together. So I suppose I felt that was reason enough to keep trying.(??) But in wasn't a reason at all.

For the past year or so, I have made 'WISDOM' the character trait to strive for. Last January Facebook actually told me that 'Wisdom' was my word of the year for 2016. Well... that was enough for me. 'Wisdom' became my goal for all of last year. 

Once I stopped trying to control my own destiny, once I stopped trying to make a partnership where there just wasn't one, once I tried to be content in the 'waiting' (or as my pastor/ friend calls it- in the 'Liminal Spaces'), things started to unfold as they were supposed to.

Shortly after really aiming to live 'in the waiting', I was able to afford a detached home a few doors down from my (and my children's) best friends' home. 

Shortly after striving to live 'in the waiting', I was accepted into teacher's college. Now I can work toward having a schedule that is more conducive to spending time with my boys.

Shortly after deciding to live 'in the waiting', I [re]met the man of my dreams. A man that is more perfect for me than anyone else that I have ever met in my many years on this earth.

Does this new love that I have discovered make the last 5 years worth going through? I really don't know. I'm sure we have heard the story many times...."Now that I really know what love is, it makes the last [insert time] worth going through".

I really just don't know. I was married 16 years ago. I expected that to be it. I never expected to be separated from that man, ever.

But life and other circumstances happened. 
There was infertility. There was schooling. There was that 'oh, we married young' thing. There was that 'meeting someone else' thing.

Does finding the 'REAL' love of your life make going through the worst pain that you can possibly feel worth going through? I struggle, because I still just don't know... 

But I DO know that the waiting was worth it. I DO know that being patient was worth it. I DO know that the man that I love now, is the man that is supposed to be in my life. 

This man was definitely worth waiting for. This man will care for my heart- I have no doubt. This man will care for my boys- because this I have witnessed. This man will support me when I need it- and this has been evident since I started school a few weeks ago.

Although it was so, so, SO difficult- these last few years- I could never comprehend the happiness, the pure joy that I would feel just a short time later. 

I am extremely glad that I was wise enough to not marry a man that I shouldn't have married. I am SO glad that I was able to just seek wisdom this past year. 

And I am beyond happy that I have met the man of my dreams. My 'unicorn'- if you will.

Do not be afraid of waiting, friends.

Love is definitely worth the wait.


Saturday, 21 January 2017

In My Cuban Closet 2017

As I stared down the barrel of of a new year, as I became more and more nervous about going back to school, as I was coming down from a Christmas Holiday high, I was able to fly away to the Santa Clara airport in sunny Cuba and relax for a 3 night stay in beautiful Cayo Santa Maria.  

For a 3 night stay, I didn't need to bring much. I spent the days by the beach- or pool when there were jellyfish (!), and brought a couple of dresses for the evenings.

Here are the thrifted dresses that were in my Cuban Closet this year:

Lace Dress- $12.99 Value Village
Black Wedges- FREE from Clothing Swap (seen here

Black Dress- Thrifted many, many moons ago. I can't even remember what I paid for it now.


Strapless Maxi Dress- $17.99 Value Village
Here I have it on with my black wedges.

But, I decided to wear the dress with my silver gladiator sandals instead of the wedges.
$12.99 Value Village, also seen here

I know I promised my readers more posts lately. I have a lot that I would like to blog about, actually! It's almost bubbling up inside of me....a new [amazing] relationship and how wonderful it feels, repurposed items around my new home, outfits, and an increasing anger at the "thrift" shops prices that seem to have no limit to how high they will climb...

But, unfortunately, my blogging will have to take a back-burner to my schooling. This will be a short season. And I will blog when I tonight. :)

Thanks for reading, friends.