I don’t think I ever told you, how much I love to eat sweets. I have love affair with sugar, my sweet tooth pretty much runs my life. After my very first detox I realized how unhealthy this love affair really was. I felt totally and utterly terrible while I detoxed off of sugar, then beyond amazing when it was gone and then of course I felt incredibly crappy when I introduced (never intentionally) it back into my diet.
Since I work at home about 80% of the time, I try to get out and away from my glamorous kitchen table desk at least for 10 mins each day. Sometimes that means running errands (so glam), or maybe just leaving to get the kids 10 mins early to get a little breather in. But more often than not it means running to the local coffee shop across the street, just to treat myself and be around other humans before I switch between work and kid mode.
That was pretty much my routine and plan, until I got this fancy new coffee maker from DeLonghi, and when I say fancy I really (really) mean it. At first I didn’t think I’d even use the machine, since I swear by my little french press — but I was instantly converted. I also quite honestly had serious sticker shock from the price (Magnifica S Cappuccino Smart retails for $1,299.99) and even mentioned to my sister-in-law “who pays this much for a coffee maker!?”. Well, with both feet in my mouth I am now singing the tune “everyone needs this coffee maker!!”, it’s insanely amazing and I figure I’m actually even saving a ton of money by not spending $3 a day on a coffee ($3 a day times 365 days a year is tons more than $1299.99).
From the moment this beauty made its way into my house (clearly I’m in love with it), I’ve gone from having maybe two cups of coffee a day to like 5! It’s hard not to treat myself when I can make espressos, cappuccinos and lattes with just a touch of a button, I actually have to hold myself back a little. So instead of heading out into the world for a tiny portion of each work day I’ve been working right down until the last min and enjoying extra cups of coffee. It’s a nice treat, but not the best mental treat — especially since I’m vibrating a bit from all the caffeine. I clearly need a bit of a reminder of different things I can do to treat myself (mostly my brain) during the work day, so I put together a quick 5 tip list which is for you and also selfishly me.
5 Ways to Actually Treat Yourself (without the treats) During The Weekday
Get Up and Go For A Walk – Okay not the best treat when it’s minus whatever outside, but it’s a treat when you are cooped up or sitting all day. Force yourself to get up and go even just for 10 mins, ‘uncoop’ yourself.
Turn Off Your Phone – Or at least social media, give your mind a little break because goodness it works so hard. I know mine could use it.
Drink a Big Green Drink – Make yourself a smoothie or grab a pricey juice. Indulgent yes, but it’ll be a bit like you drank the entire garden and you’ll instantly breathe deeper breath of fresh air. Clearly I’m very serious about my green drinks.
Have An Afternoon Cup-a-Something – Probably coffee, but maybe tea? Whatever the pick me up drink of choice try to avoid the sugary drink (just say no to the afternoon pop or super sweet milkshake type drinky) and do your best to step away from your day (computer, desk or laundry) for the duration of the cup.
Dump Your Brain – Take a few moments and dump your thoughts, to do’s, want to do’s and whatever else onto paper. I have notebooks and journals galore and find a forced mental dump so unbelievably helpful, especially near the end of the day. If you are like me and you have like 10 life roles (you totally do) then dumping your brain will be uber helpful, it also helps you prioritize for the next day which isn’t a treat per say but tomorrow you’ll be happy you did (a delayed treat).
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of DELONGHI. The opinions and text are all mine.
Electronics not working properly? Unplug it and reboot, 80% off the time the super simple unplug it “trick” works like a charm. And hey guess what!? The same unplug and reboot trick works pretty fantastically for us too. Sometimes you need to unplug for a bit, so think of this as your reminder to give yourself a break at some point this week. Maybe you unplug from your phone, social media or from the entire world on Sunday. Whichever internet accessing device is adding extra unneeded and totally silly stress, try stepping back from it for a short period of time and see how rebooted you feel after (just like the modem).
I know the last thing you want to hear is relaxation advice from someone who just spent the week relaxing on vacation, I know (I feel you). But hey the reboot did me good and made me think how important it is to unplug on a regular basis. How I need to unplug more often and not wait for vacations as triggers to do so. We spent the week almost entirely without wifi, I joked about how we were #extremevacationing because going without wifi in this day in age sadly feels a bit (sarcastically maybe) extreme. But my goodness was it ever good, I needed that 7 day jolt to put my phone down more. Now the trick is to accumulate into normal life without re-accumulating bad overly plugged in habits, because guess what? Life was better without being so on the pulse, sure I missed posts from people I don’t even know but I didn’t miss as many important moments from the people I know and love. #extremevacationing for life! (or let’s at least try).
This reminder is a reminder for me too, it’s always a good way to finish the week off with a plan in hand. So let’s pick a time of the week and plan to unplug (from whatever it is you feel overloaded by or just totally annoyed by).
UGH! A post about Monday, on a Monday — gimme a break, am I right? Let me start by saying no matter if you work from home, stay home with the kids or work away from the home, Monday’s almost always suck. I don’t know why this is, but they do no matter what. My deep ughhhhhh feelings tell me the reason is because it’s the back to routine and reality day and the relaxing weekend is officially (whomp) over. Are you feeling super ughhh today?
I have been trying my best to hate Monday’s a little less, since I hated the fact that I hated them even more than actually hating them (so much hate). And in my efforts to make Monday’s much less hateful I found a few ways that actually work at making my whole day and Monday experience 10 times better. So if you’re like me and you ‘just can’t even‘ on Monday’s then maybe one or some of these tips will help you make next Monday (or maybe even this one) a smidgen better/less hateful and stabby.
MAKE SUNDAY YOUR PREP DAY – Instead of relaxing all Sunday long, use part of it (here and there maybe) as a prep day for the week. Do a bit of outfit planning for the next day (family style), maybe grab a few groceries, make some lunches, heck even batch cook a few meals to make the week easier. If you prep a little, Monday will run so much smoother and be way less of a stressful (i hate you) scramble all day long.
LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS – Really, everyone lower your expectations. For yourself and everyone around you, just plan to have a hurting brain on Monday. And if it’s working at full capacity you know it’s instantly going to be a great day. Getting things back in a productive mode after relaxing takes some time (pretty much your Monday), it isn’t like just turning on a car. So don’t expect Wednesday creativity and drive on a Monday, lower your expectations a little and then plan your day accordingly.
MONDAY / ADMIN DAY – Sometimes it’s hard to get your head in the game and be super creative and productive on a Lundi. So instead work on the things you’d regularly avoid, the things that interpret your creativity and productivity on a normal non-Monday. Save admin tasks and emails for the days when your brain is feeling less than powerful and then you’ll end up feeling great that you crossed all that stuff off your list.
PLAN A REALLY GOOD LUNCH – Make your Monday lunch the best one all week. Maybe even go out for lunch, instead of saving this cheat/treat lunch for Friday make it a Monday thing. Give yourself something to look forward too.
PRETEND IT’S FRIDAY – Plan to go out for drinks with friends on a Monday, or a movie and wine night inside, with or without company. Sure you’ll have to work the next day, but just make it an early fun night. Don’t save all your fun for the end of the week, don’t shun the fun on a Monday (sorry that was cheesey).
DON’T SLEEP IN ON THE WEEKENDS – If you have kids this is easy and you probably don’t even know what this looks and feels like anyways. But if you are your own alarm, skip the long sleep in on the weekends (at least on Sundays). I know it’s super awesome and you feel like you “finally caught up on all your lost sleep” but in reality it just screws up your week day schedule and you always pay for that on what day? Yup that’d be Monday.
PLAN FUN STUFF ALL WEEK – Don’t live for the weekends, plan fun lunches and night-time things all week-long. If you live for the weekends, Monday is always going to be the most painful day no matter how may tricks you try. The easiest way to make Monday’s less dreadful is to make the weekdays fun and exciting (or maybe relaxing) too.
DO SOMETHING ACTIVE – Start the week out on a good and really high healthy note. Hit up a Goodlife gym, go for a walk at lunch, practice yoga (you know you want too). Really whatever floats your boat, but the activity will boost your mood and just make you feel better about the fantastic weekend being over.
How do you get along with Monday’s? Do you have any tips to make that first day of the week better?
Technically this is a Lazy Girls Guide, but as I began to realize pretty much any sorta guide I write here will be the lazy girls guide. Meaning a straight forward no BS guide, or the most straight forward way I know how to type whatever it is I’m typing about.
Being a socially conscious and more ethical shopper is a bit of a mix between caring about how workers are treated, the impact the products have on the environment (during and after production) and the effect it has on animals (but that can also be categorized with environmental concern). Maybe you are focused more on the treatment of people than the environment, or vice versa? Whatever your largest concern lies, you don’t have to tell me or anyone for that matter. But hopefully these basic tips will help you and me both to become more informed consumers and generally ones who are by default more conscious about the social and environmental effects of our shopping. After doing my research (and talking to my ethical shopping sister, who helped me a ton with this guide) I will be trying my best to be a much better shopper than I currently am now.
1. Get Educated
Of course this has to be the is the first tip and the most time-consuming one. But if you want to shop better, you need to learn about the companies you currently buy from and the ones you might want to buy from in the future. A website like GoodGuide is a great resource for looking up products and getting a quick and very clear rating on their social, environmental and health effects.
2. Buy Organic And/Or Chemical Free
Not fool-proof, but a good rule of thumb. Generally if an item is organic and made without chemicals the working conditions for the workers who made the items (and the effect the production has on the environment) are less toxic and generally probably better than their chemical ridden counter parts.
3. When in Doubt, Shop Local
So hip right now, but it’s for good reason! It can be hard to find out if larger companies produce their items in ethical conditions even with a service like GoodGuide. You can of course follow-up with the company directly if you really love them and want to know, but even easier than that is to stick with local companies. It is always much easier to find out if a company is producing their items under ethical conditions if they are local and more often than not they will be so proud that the items are handmade, produced locally, and or ethically that it will be a part of their marketing.
4. Spend a Little More
If you buy cheap, chances are the items (especially clothes) are made cheaply and probably with very cheap labor. I know fast fashion is appealing and cheap is budget friendly, trust me I get it. If you add, educating yourself on the brand, buying organic and shopping locally all together you get, the ethical trifecta (mini mioche is a natural trifecta for kids and FRANC for yourself!). By spending a bit more you can be a step closer to making sure the items you own weren’t made in sweatshop like conditions.
5. Shop Less
Buy smart, by buying only what you love and need. This will help to ensure everything you own is worn a lot and mix a matches well. If you spend a little more, to make sure you have quality items they will last a lot longer. So buying items you love, only when you need and that last a long time means you’ll be shopping much less often.
6. Buy Second Hand
When you can, if you can. This is probably the easiest and best way to be an ethical consumer. Sure the items you buy might not have high ratings on the GoodGuide but by extending their life and not adding to the production of new items you are being kind to the environment and to human kind. I am admittedly not very good at shopping used, I find the second-hand stores very picked over or very high-priced in Toronto — guess that’s what I get for living in a city where it’s so hip to be ethical.
7. Clothing Swaps and Alterations
How about don’t buy at all, trade your old clothes for new ones at clothing swaps. Maybe organize one on your own with your friends? Or do alterations to clothes you already own, Denim Therapy is a great place to get your jeans fixed up good as new. Especially good because denim is one of the clothing items that has the biggest environmental footprint.
You know what would be great? A big list of brands and shops that are stylish, ethical and socially conscious, to make all of this shopping really easy! And hey guess what, I got that for you (because I like you all so much)! Click here to grab the list filled with stylish ethical clothing brands, I put together for you!
The best part about doing something for 21 days (give or take) is that you sort of start to forget you are trying to create a habit of “doing it” (no, not “it” head outta the gutter guys). That’s the beauty of doing something consistently for a period of time, experts say 21 days is the magic number for creating a new habit. Clearly they know a thing or two. Which something have I been doing for 21 days, you ask? I have in the past talked about starting new healthy habits a few times, so it’s a good fair question. But specifically, I am talking about money habits. Spending only my own money, using cash or my Interac® Debit card only, the Interac 21 Day Credit-Free Challenge.
In all honesty, it was super easy to not use my credit card, it wasn’t like I needed to wean off of spending money or stop drinking coffee for 21 days. Since I already had a pretty good set of money saving rules I live by, adding no credit card usage into the mix felt like the perfect addition to set me on an even better saving path.
Since it has become a habit to not use my credit card, the Interac 21 Days Credit-Free Challenge clearly worked and I plan to keep up with it. Over the course of the past 21 days, I learned a few more things about my habits that I plan to stick with. And what better way to remind myself of those things, then to write them down here, also as always they might be helpful for you too:
Credit cards are here, but for online necessity purchases only. NECESSITY, in all caps. Most stores accept Interac Debit cards, but there are still a few that don’t specifically, when I’m booking the kids activities and classes, so that credit card will stick around, for this purpose only. It will no longer be used for purchases of the everyday variety. It is not interchangeable with my hard-earned money.
Spending actual money does feel better, but not spending any money feels even better. I knew this before, but maybe forgot it a little bit. That scenario of wanting to buy something, then going through the “do I need it?” “do I love it?” steps I made for myself and realizing that, “nope” I don’t need to buy it, actually feels better than any purchasing retail “therapy”. I enjoy the feeling of either validating or invalidating a purchase, it’s similar to window shopping minus all the wanting, dreaming and contentment issues that follow later.
No more pre-planning the use of incoming money. Well, other than the use of it fitting into our everyday budget. Otherwise, the plan is to save extra money (I work freelance so there have been some months where things are better/extra) and no more thinking, “when that cheque comes in we will use that for vacation/a new couch/”. That preemptive allocating of money can pretty much fall under the same umbrella as using a credit card. Since I plan it away, it’s like I already spent it.
Have savings goals! Large goals and a few smaller ones, like say a 5 year plan and a 1 year plan. When there is a goal you have something to work towards. And you are 9 times out of 10 more likely to reach a savings goal quickly if you are focused on that sweet end goal.
Make sure you are using the Interac Debit card to access money from the account with low fees. One of your accounts has lower banking fees than the other, often it’s your chequing account. Check which one, maybe even go into the bank and get the setup with one account changed (we did a couple of years back). We make sure only to use that account (with the lowest fees) when accessing money, so by the end of the month our fees are lower and we saved money!
Did you take the Interac 21 Days Credit-Free Challenge? If so, what did you learn and how did it go? Do you have any ‘learnings’ to add to this list?
Disclosure: This post was part of a sponsored collaboration between Interac Association and SheKnows
Interac is a registered trade-mark of Interac Inc. Used under licence.