SIMPLE LIVING

shopping rules 102 | shop sales so they are a good deal It’s been a while since I shared a bit about how I shop, and some of the rules that have formed along the way. Rules that really help me evaluate each purchases, steer away from excess, and keep monthly bills in check.

Following up on Shopping Rules 101 where I talked about how my shopping perspective has changed, a golden rule for living comfortably and my two major shopping rules. Let’s talk sales, who doesn’t love a good sale? Every one. The only problem with most sales is that you walk in and buy things just because they are on sale, and then you are stuck with all these “things”. And who needs more things? No one.

IF YOU DON’T NEED IT, IT’S NOT A DEAL

  • Sales are great and saving money is even better. But buying things just because they are on sale, things that you maybe don’t need or love (going back to shopping rules 101) both isn’t great and it isn’t saving money. If you wouldn’t buy it at full price, then don’t buy it on sale – easy. Or even better, if you NEED it or LOVE it as a full price item, then definitely snatch it up on sale. If you can’t answer yes to either of those questions when sale shopping, well then don’t buy it.
  • Stocking up on items you use on a regular basis when they go on sale, can be really great. This is great for perishable food items, household, beauty products and sometimes clothing (like seasonal clothing when it goes on sale) – but stocking up is only a good idea if you remember down the road that you stocked up. From my experience, unless it is something you will use often (something you need) and it is in plain view you might just forget you stocked up, and then go and re-buy down the road forgetting you had a stock pile. So again, be choosy – if it’s something you need and the sale is amazing, sure buy 5 tubes of toothpaste but keep them somewhere you’ll notice.

KEEP A LIST

  • In order to keep my needs and wants in check, and to make sale shopping easy (less fighting crowds). I have shopping lists that I carry around with me where ever i go, that way if I come across a good deal I can look at my list to see what we need before the prices cloud my judgement (and before the crowds make me crazy).
  • I keep separate running lists of items (you can use your notepad in your phone, or carry a little book with you) we need for the home, items each individual needs, and things we want (either for the home or personally). You could even get all crazy and write a budgeted amount beside each of the items, that way when you do find it on sale you can compare and know you are saving on something you already need.

What do you think? Do you love sale shopping, or totally hate it?  Have you tried following the shopping 101 rules?

 

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November 19, 2014 · ADVICE AND INFO,Daily,SIMPLE LIVING



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mini-mioche-snoods mini-mioche-fleece-snood ALL WRAPPED UP - We got our very first taste of real winter cold today, not that semi cold/wussy stuff I talked about yesterday – thankfully we were prepared. Patting myself on the back for following through with The Perfect Kids Cold Weather Wears, you know cause sometimes it’s hard to take your own good advice. Our most favorite thing (hands down) that we added to the little winter outfits (that we previously hadn’t used) are the mini mioche snoods – so comfy and so warm. No more bare skin sticking out (usually there is a peak of skin on a neck, little ear or chin), anywhere. Really, I could pull it up over the back of their heads like a turtle hood or heck right over those cute faces.

buxom-mascara MASCARA – I decided to branch from my usual mascara, it’s a huge stretch for me to try something new in the world of makeup. I’m an old dog who doesn’t like to learn new tricks when it comes to what I put on my face. I still have heart eyes for the They’re Real! mascara, but I think my favorite mascara might now be more of a toss-up between that and buxom mascara. I really love that you can choose the wand you want with Buxom, it’s a pretty way to get old dogs like me to try something new.

epson-iron-on-labels epson-iron-on-label IRON ON LABELS – Kids lose everything, all the time. We can hope and pray that we just might find those lost things again one day, or we can put labels in everything and usually things turn up again. We were gifted this Epson label works label maker, which comes with iron on label tape. It’s just as awesome, handy and fun as it sounds. Now you can label, everything (literally, everything) in your home even clothes. So the kids have a better chance of not losing things, especially all that winter gear. Or just throw labels on everything, for the fun of it – yes, I’m 10 years old.

skargorn-tee 61-skargorn-tee OVERSIZED TEE – New favorite tee, when it comes to the oversized variety (every different fit of tee requires a favorite). It’s big, like much bigger in fit then the rest and everything just falls on your body, juuuust right. It’s thick and durable so it’s perfect for my Mom brain. I cannot explain how many times I threw something in the dryer when I wasn’t supposed to and totally ruined it, but nope not with this tee.

SHOP THE POST (if you’re into that)


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November 18, 2014 · Daily,FAVORITE THINGS,SIMPLE LIVING



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Mornings, now that my kids are both in school mornings can the most stressful time of the day. Getting everyone ready, plus yourself and then to where everyone needs to be, on time – that is no small feat! In an effort to try to make our own mornings go way better than they did last school year, I added a few things to our routine. So far our mornings are way smoother and happier. We still have some hiccups, late slips and maybe some tears but they are pretty few and far between. Here are a few things we do to make mornings easier with two kids.

easier mornings with kids: wake up first GET UP BEFORE THE REST OF THE HOUSE

Wake up before the kids, get some you time in for yourself. Maybe enjoy a coffee before the morning rush, enjoy a leisurely look at Pinterest, work-out or practice some yoga. I love to wake up extra early and practice yoga, it just starts my day out on the best foot. But maybe you aren’t morning person (you could try for a week and see, maybe you like the morning and don’t even know it!), and then if that’s the case – ignore this tip and sleep in till the very last second! READ THE FULL POST

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November 6, 2014 · ADVICE AND INFO,Daily,MADE A LITTLE EASIER,SIMPLE LIVING



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Totally taboo to talk about tv, I mean it’s a true time waste and it rots your brain right? Whatever. And I hate to sound all hippie and millennial but we are one of those annoying families that lives without cable, but don’t worry we are not born again tv haters. We still watch the boob tube, but just in a less expensive, more intentional (who knew you could even be intentional with your time wasters) and maybe even sometimes non actual television watching way. I thought about it a lot and then talked with Chris about it some more, there are 5 shows that we are constantly suggesting to people. And it seems that these same 5 shows were the ones that changed the way we wasted out time watching tv. So if you haven’t seen these (none of them are new so probably have), you totally should…

THE-WIRE THE WIRE – It was the 2nd (maybe 3rd) deep all-encompassing drama series that Chris and I got hooked on. Like series that you watch, back to back to back. It is easily one of our top favorites and probably the one show we tell everyone they NEED to watch, it is just all around fantastic. The fictional story premise is based around drug trade and crime in Baltimore. The first season is super confusing, but it’s very worth it to power through as the second season is when it all starts to make sense. HIGHLY recommend.

BREAKING-BAD BREAKING BAD – I know, you’ve totally seen it but if you haven’t? Man you better jump to it! Probably the best tv series we have ever seen, the writing the character arch’s, the whole shebang is truly amazing. The first season is totally depressing, but it does get less melancholy. I’m not gonna talk much more about it, because I’m sure you already know what it is about. Not the same but also check out: True Detective, the first season was primo and totally worth all the hype.

THE-SOPRANOS THE SOPRANOS – Between this and Six Feet Under, I couldn’t decide. Both were the very first “movie” style shows (is that what you call them?) we got hooked on. Like we didn’t leave our couch for days, cause we could.not.stop (obv before kids) watching, sorta hooked. It’s great, and literally changes the way you look at regular tv shows. Also totally worth watching: The Walking Dead (not just about zombies), Game of Thrones (get past the first season, it gets better) and Hannibal (this one was a huge shocker, but it’s really awesome – gruesome but awesome).

BAND-OF-BROTHERS BAND OF BROTHERS – The first show that made me realize watching history could be super interesting and entertaining. It’s sad, exciting and totally heartbreaking. Out of anything that is WWII based, this is my ultimate favorite. It’s a 10 part mini series, so it’s okay to get hooked cause it doesn’t last forever. I haven’t seen another show based on actually historic events done this well. More shows that are based on history (these a little more loosely): The Tudors and Vikings (so far, we really love Vikings).

ARRESTED-DEVELOPMENT ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT – Umm, I don’t think I have ever seen a show I have loved so much that made me laugh so hard. Like, in all honestly most of my jokes I probably stole from here. Chris has probably seen the whole series at least 10 times, the last (new) season that aired on Netflix was pretty meh but the rest? MUST WATCH. Also tops our must watch comedy list: 30 Rock. And because so far it’s pretty great even though it’s more of a Dramadey then a comedy: Silicon Valley

There are a few others we really like but these are the ones that made us look at other shows differently. Ones that made us want to get rid of most of the fluff (most). So tell me, what are your favorite tv time wasters? The ones you were really deeply sad about when they ended or the ones you talk to your friends about with tons of excitement?

Since we are talking intentional time wasters: 12 Favorite Documentaries and 12 More Favorite Documentaries.

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September 16, 2014 · Daily,REAL LIFE,SIMPLE LIVING



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THE Best Moisturizer for Your Face I’m a pretty simple gal when it comes to the care and prep of my mug. I hate to admit, but for most of my life I mostly used regular old hand lotion on my face. But in my defense, I lived in really dry Alberta and nothing else seemed to fight the extreme dryness that was my skin everyday. Since then I’ve tried many a cream, but not the really pricey ones – I’m too cheap for that. I’ve used plain ol’ coconut oil for ages now, but found that sometimes it was a bit heavy for my skin and often clogged my pores. A few months ago I switched to using straight up Jojoba Oil and it’s like my skin is naturally soft and never clogged all the time. It’s the best.

THE Best Moisturizer for Your Face I just pour a tiny bit on my finger tip (or onto a cotton ball) and then rub it into my face at night-time, as I would a regular cream – or I spot apply to the dry areas only in the morning (but usually I don’t need to apply anything in the morning). There are a bunch of different oils that work really well for different reasons, but Jojoba Oil is my favorite for everyday use because it matches so closely to the oil our skin naturally produces. So basically, when we are talking about-face moisturizer, it’s OIL > CREAM over here. I really like this brand. Do you use oil on your face?

OH, AND: It also works great for dry lips in the winter (but let’s not even talk about that season) and looking for an awesome face scrub? Drea just posted a great and super simple one.

*test/try on a small spot before applying all over face, even though it is a natural product you could have a ‘surprise’ allergic reaction.

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July 11, 2014 · ADVICE AND INFO,Daily,HAIR AND FACES,SIMPLE LIVING



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food_huggers FOOD HUGGERS – These things are grand! Instead of wrapping all my half onions, avocados and what nots, up with plastic wrap; they now fit neatly inside one of these silicone food huggers. Also they are pretty cute and colorful and save space in the fridge. My favorite is the avocado one, rub a little lemon juice on the unused side and then pop on a food hugger – no wasting a perfectly ripe avocado (which I’m allergic too anyways, but that’s not the point).

flutterbye FLYING TOYS – I googled this toy, to find out what it was called so I could tell you about it. Turns out it was the top toy for 2013, so trend setters we are not. My Mom got Harlow this “flutterbye” (I can’t say it with a straight face without the quotes) her birthday, I literally had no idea what it was. Then we turned it on, it’s basically a helicopter toy but dressed up like a fairy. Obviously both kids hated it, just look at that grumpy face.

xylitol_mints FRESH BREATH AND CLEAN TEETH – My best buddy told me about this natural sweetener, Xylitol and that it is supposed to help reduce plaque formation. Having a mint (gum or lollipop) with Xylitol in it, after you eat can be really helpful for keeping teeth in tip-top shape. I’m no dentist, but I’m down for anything that can save on dental bills and keep my breath smelling nice (you can also read more about it on numerous sites). We like these mints and so far so good (teeth feel clean and not sugary like after regular mints, so there that) it’s def a ‘try for yourself’ and tell me what you think sorta thing.

H&M_ripped_black_jeans EVERYTHING IS JUST PERFECT, JEANS – My favorite jeans right now, also happen to only cost $49. It’s surely a fluke, but I’ll take it. These faded black, ripped skinny jeans just seem to fit perfectly in all the right places and have that skill of being super flattering every single time I wear them. I couldn’t find them on the website, but they are from H&M maybe you can stumble upon them in the store – they surprisingly have pretty great denim there, if you pick and choose.

magic_carpet_yoga_mat THE PRETTIEST YOGA MAT – Yes I talked about this mat yesterday. For a home practice, this mat is my new go to, it makes practice a little more fun and it’s perfect for a non hot and sweaty practice. I still have all the heart eyes and stand true to my Jade for a flow/vinyasa or hot yoga class (one is not a replacement for the other), but when I’m home and not doing a lot of sweating, this magic carpet is great.

dont_throw_it_grow_it IT’S KITCHEN MAGIC – One of my favorite books, it’s fun and so flipping clever. Basically you can grow anything from kitchen scraps and the best part, for someone who doesn’t have a yard – it’s all windowsill friendly. And just look how well this book goes with the food huggers, use the left overs of those leftovers to grow something totally new.

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July 9, 2014 · Daily,FAVORITE THINGS,REAL LIFE,SIMPLE LIVING



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a-day1 King of hat hair, I think I gave him a hair cut a couple of days after this – this tee is real (and it now comes in neon yellow). a-day2 a-day3 Days that start out soo great and then “ewww gross” something makes it go stinky right quick. I don’t know what it is about days like that (the ones that aren’t really awesome) if I’ve taken photos before we chose the wrong road in that fork, I never share them. Even if the photo is happy or more like the moment the photo was taken was happy, I feel like I’m fibbing by posting and making it appear that things were more awesome than they actually were. It took me a while to realize this, but after the stock pile of images (on both my phone and computer) I noticed the trend. I’m not mad it, or even against it – I like it. I’m very okay with keeping things real and in all honestly, it’s nice to not share everything with you guys (even though I do like you) – it’s really really nice to look back and see photos of days and know that we are the only ones who saw them and experienced them (it’s also really nice not to take photos at all). Since these photos of the kids (being cute) made me think of this whole, ‘not posting photos from days we kinda want everyone to go to bed early‘ – even though they weren’t taken on a grumpy day it was actually a really nice day, just slightly uneventful. Which happens to be a whole other pile of photos that I basically never share (or never capture at all), minus these ones that is.

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July 3, 2014 · Daily,REAL LIFE,SIMPLE LIVING



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how to keep summer awesome (and productive) Summertime anxiety, I swear it’s a thing. Even if it’s just a thing, that I just made up. Summer break is exciting, relaxing, awesome and it started a whole 3 days ago for us. Summer days are spent outside (entire days, since most days my kids can skip naps), being active and doing awesome summer stuff. Summer is tons of fun and staying at home to raise these two is probably at its most fun during this very season (don’t hold me to that, I might change my mind on that season thing later). All of this outside and being super active, also means that keeping up with the rest of my roles is sooooo flipping hard. I try my best to be very intentional with my thoughts and focus on King and Harlow entirely when I’m with them, but I’m usually left with anxiety at the end of the day for all the things I still need to do, mixed with total exhaustion, dried caked on sunscreen and dirty feet. We only have 2 months of this glorious (slightly anxiety creating) season before the kids are off in school (both kids for me…..so so bittersweet, I can’t even articulate) and in an effort to make it the best and hopefully most productive summer ever (high hopes) I tried to get extra organized.

CREATE A SUMMER CALENDAR – I stocked ical full for the next two months, in a rainbow of color coding. Using the color BLUE for classes and camps – the things we are already committed to doing (and have paid for). The color ORANGE, for things that we want to do, loose ideas for outings, activities and things happening around the city. The color RED for appointments, playdates, birthdays and meetings – the mostest important items.  The BLUE and RED items are set in stone but the ORANGE, those can be moved around – this gives me a loose idea that I can sorta plan the other duties of my day around (also a plan just helps, even if it’s loose). *color code or not, setting a loose calendar together is really awesome for seeing the summer (both the awesome fun parts and the not so awesome ones) all in one space.

MAKE A SUMMER BUCKET LIST – I know summer has already begun, but it’s not too late. You can use this list to pull items for the ORANGE color coding list on your ical. Seeing a list of awesome things that you want to do, helps reduce the anxiety of not doing enough awesome things in the summer, then you make sure you make it happen. Then you can focus on the not so fun stuff a bit better – so it’s not really a fix, but a bit of a help.

SUMMER CHECKLISTS – During the school year check lists, really help the kids stay on track (and to be honest us too). But really the same works for summer, so the kids still keep a sense of routine and we are able to squeak in all the things we need. I also really want to make sure the kids do a bit of workbook and just keeping up with learning everyday, sometimes giving them the responsibility to them makes everything go so much smoother.

And because I like you guys so muchdownload GET READY checklist (pdf)  and download BEDTIME checklist (pdf)(these are good for all year round, not just summer)

CARRY A NOTEBOOK – I bring my notebooks with me everywhere. They have as allll my to do’s, need to buy’s and don’t forget lists in it. And also tons of random ideas, beginnings of posts, works in progress, basically a place for all my work stuff on the go. I like these moleskin cashier notebooks because they don’t take up room in my bag, and I can jot an idea down or check off something while we are out.

LET SOME S**T GO – just “let it go, let it go!!!” – like it wasn’t already stuck in your head. Don’t try to keep up with the things that aren’t actually important. Things like social media and a super sparkling house can be let go a little bit, really it’s cool. Remind yourself (probably by making a list) what things are the most important, and give yourself some slack or just totally let go of others.

keeping-up4 So tell me, summertime anxiety, it’s a thing right? Is there anything that you do, to make sure summer is awesome and still productive – I’d say especially as a working mom, but really aren’t we all working moms?

*This started as a post about me telling you how worried I was about keeping up, and how I was already having a hard time making everything work (work and life). Then I sat on it for so long, that ended up coming up with a bunch of ways to fix my worries – rather than just complain about them. And half the words got switched out with tips, so there ya go.

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July 2, 2014 · ADVICE AND INFO,Daily,REAL LIFE,SIMPLE LIVING



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