"We are what we believe we are."
C.S. Lewis

Showing posts with label No Shopping Year. Show all posts
Showing posts with label No Shopping Year. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Year of No Shopping Update

 It's a month into my own personal Shopping Fast and I thought it might be fun to check in to see how it's going, even though it is early days.
New habits are typically the most difficult to accustom to in the first few weeks, or so the theory goes anyway.  This might be true when it comes to No Shopping, it really is just a mindset twist.  Instead of being captivated by a sale or an object, or an idea, and then trotting on down that little path, I've had to remind myself to stay on the straight and narrow.

My temptations could have been predicted with alarming accuracy!
The most jarring moment involved baskets, of course, and really I should have seen that one coming. I have long had an obsession with all manner of baskets: with handles, without, giant wicker laundry baskets... really anything constructed of wicker is very fetching to my eye.
Perhaps it's a longing leftover from the ancient days of the hunter-gatherer in my DNA:  you can never have too many baskets if your main goal in life is gathering berries and twigs for the survival of your family.
I was walking through a hardware store, picking up some cleaning supplies for the office, when I wandered down the aisle of baskets.  I spotted a couple of medium size that were painted with a blue stripe... how cute for the laundry room!  I threw them into my cart after a glance at the price (they were on sale, of course).   It took me a few minutes to realize, hey wait a second, I'm not shopping for permanent items... I put them back.

The sales were fast and furious this month and while for the most part I've stayed off the shopping websites, I couldn't help having a peek at one of my favourite online shops: the Jourdain boutique in Quebec City, which sells Saint James clothing from France.

Saint james coat in a pretty blush peach colour.
Saint James clothing is a Trigger.
 This wool coat in the pretty pale peach was on drastic sale, in my size, and of course it is not only lovely and warm, it was made in France.
When it is January in Canada one feels that one can never have too many coats... I likely would have bought this if I hadn't been on a No Shopping Year.
I quickly clicked away from the website and moved on!

I realize that another Shopping Trigger for me, and perhaps for many people, is an upcoming vacation.
My friends and I spent an evening this past month planning a short spring vacation to New Orleans.  We'll be flying down for a few nights to stay in a beautiful old hotel in the French Quarter, with plans to sit by the pool, go out to restaurants, listen to Jazz, visit the Audubon Park... all great outfit opportunities!

Fortunately for the health of my No Shopping Year I store my out-of-season clothes in the large closet in Ole Rascal's room.  This means that nothing is hidden away, and at any time I can open the door and have a look at all of my options.
In anticipation of vacations I would typically buy a couple of things to round out a "Colour Story" that I'm planning, something I've always found really enjoyable.  This year I'll be organizing my packing up for holidays without buying anything new... no less fun, it's just a mindset twist.

Spring and summer storage.
Planning a holiday Colour Story is a Shopping Trigger.
I've decided on a few rules for myself around this No Shopping Year.  The most important one is to not buy any permanent items for myself or for my house.  That's fairly straightforward.  I'll be curious to see if I find there's something I really feel I "need".  If I do spot a supposed "need" I'm going to write it down on a list I'm keeping in my planner, and I'll give myself the option to buy that item at the end of the year.
This is where it gets sort of exciting (to me at least):  I'm planning to do this for two years, with a break at the end of 2018 to purchase items on the "need" list.  I'll give myself an opportunity in the last week of December to buy items on the list, and I wonder if I'll still consider those list items so very necessary?
I often think about what it was like for women decades ago, when they maybe only went shopping for themselves and for household items once or twice a year?   I guess this exercise will give me a clue as to what that was like!

The other rules involve items I am still buying, and these items are all of the fleeting, non-permanent variety: food and booze, cleaning supplies, candles, flowers, and electronic books for my Kindle (if I can't get something at the library).

So far I'm finding it interesting to step away from aspects of consumerism and to observe my own patterns.  I'm also enjoying the fact that I'm able to really ramp up my savings program, perhaps the biggest benefit of No Shopping.
I was thinking of doing these No Shopping Updates at the end of each month, what do you think?  I would find it interesting to discuss temptations, and to observe whether or not I've put anything on the "need" list.
Any thoughts are appreciated!
Have a lovely day,

Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Cobbler Shop

 We have a shoe repair shop in our neighbourhood and every single time I pass it I mentally thank it for being there.
I live in fear that they will shutter up for lack of customers, but fortunately every time I visit it seems a bustling place.
I'm on an extended period of no-shopping which means not buying any new shoes or boots along with everything else.  Yet sometimes things just wear out and need to replaced... or fixed.

These black boots are from La Canadienne, a Canadian company that manufactures many of their boots in Italy.  The produce a superior boot, but as you'll know if you've ever bought anything from them, they are not inexpensive ("you get what you pay for" being a known fact and all).
The new grippy thing on the heel.
These boots are a fairly recent boot purchase for me, I think I bought them three years ago or so.  They are classic black with quilted leather and they do have some insulation against the cold.

I was slipping in them something terrible however, so I brought them to Pablo (one of the Cobbler Shop owners) and he suggested a new grippy thing on the heel (that is not a technical term).
The heels were showing signs of wear which was causing me to lose my footing on any kind of slick surface.
Well, I'm happy to report it was the perfect solution and for a small price I have what feels like a new pair of boots.
He polished them up for me and added a bit of waterproofing too, so I can wear them into spring without worry.
Long live the Cobbler Shop!
Do you have a Cobbler in your neighbourhood or town?

Monday, January 15, 2018

Mop Philosophy Monday

 It seems like my entire house is covered with dust and filth, so today I have a long appointment with my Miele vacuum cleaner.
What I really wish I could do is open the windows and air out the entire place, scrubbing as I go.  It will likely be -20 or so outside today, however, so that's not going to happen.

I'm not buying new things for an extended period of time (as we discussed in Friday's post) and that goes for things for my home as well.  I feel like we've been renovating (which then results in more decorating) for many, many years.  It's nice to sit back and just enjoy, without seeking a change.

I have home goods fairly stockpiled, inherited sets of dishes come to mind, but also fabrics: stacks of fabrics for decorating that I have purchased and haven't yet sewn into anything.  I need to work through that pile before I buy anything else for the home... that could easily take two years.
 I have some rules in mind when I think about "no new things", and what I'm really thinking of are permanent items.  Clothes, decorative objects, kitchen items, linens and books.  I never thought I'd say that I'm not going to buy books, but we have so many I have run out of places to put them.  I also live literally right next door to the biggest library in town, so there's really no reason to purchase books at all.
Flowers and candles?  I will continue to purchase those things for the house, they add so much life and interest and they are not permanent items (much like food and booze).

Speaking of food, today I'll be cooking up the remains of last week's vegetable box before a new one arrives tomorrow: butternut squash, some rather large onions and red potatoes of varying sizes are still hanging around.

I could do a dish of sliced, layered vegetables, roasted at low temperature in the oven?

It's also mid-month, so there are taxes to file and accounts to reckon.  A varied day of chores today!
I hope your Monday proves productive for you,

Friday, January 12, 2018

Coat and Scarf

 Unless you're doing a Year of No Shopping (and perhaps there is no one writing more eloquently on this subject than Ann Patchett in the NYT) this is a great time to purchase some coats.
I have less clothes now than I have had in many years, and I'm not quite sure how it happened but I've gone into uniform mode, most especially in the cold months.  I tend to wear pretty much the same outfit every day: black pants, very slim and made of a Ponte fabric (of which I own two pairs) with a black crew neck or turtleneck sweater ( I own one of each, it's not a lot of clothes).  Over this I wear a long cardigan of black boiled wool around the house (I am always cold) with Glerups slippers, and to go out I wear boots, a coat and a scarf.
During Christmas week I did some shopping of the sales, buying a couple of coats from Boden (70% off, free shipping, duties all-in) and one from Club Monaco (again, 70% off, clearly this is the time of year to buy coats!)
I also replaced my black skirt suit.  I say replaced but I haven't had one for a couple of years and I don't feel quite right unless I have this type of suit, almost like an armour or protection, in my closet.
A black skirt suit, with very tailored, simple lines, is appropriate for so many situations.
The Boden coats are both in blue, which is a favourite colour of mine.  I love blue mixed with black, and with a colourful scarf the whole concept of a uniform base is transformed.  No one will notice you're wearing the same pants and sweater absolutely all the time, if you have a colourful coat and scarf over top.
MrBP is very talented at choosing scarves for me and when he wants to buy me a special gift this is the route he takes.  This scarf, my Christmas present from him, has a pale blue base with cobalt blue in the pattern and edging.
Incidentally those Boden coats have very fun linings, with piping and polka dots.

I myself am marking 2018 as a Year of No Shopping.  After looking at items I purchased during the last year, and perhaps more significantly items I tried to purchase, I'm fairly sick and tired of the whole online-shopping racket.  I returned nearly everything I purchased: what a waste of time, money and resources!  I've become increasingly picky while at the same time it seems quality has plummeted for many brands that were once my "go-to" shops.  And for whatever reason I am happiest with very few items, and happy to wear pretty much the same thing every day.

I wouldn't mind taking a couple of years off of buying anything new, truth be told.  I'm gearing up for 2020, when I enter my next decade and might be tempted to invest in something special.  What that is yet I don't have an idea, although I do have a style-planning Pinterest board on the subject, which is titled Next Decade Wardrobe.

We'll see how it goes.  It's best to approach an extended period of no-shopping with all of the items in your cupboard that you might need at the ready, this way you won't be annoyed with yourself for a lack of an outfit for whatever occasions arise.  Hence my new black skirt suit, the coats I bought on sale, and the undergarments I stocked up on in December as well (incidentally I was fitted for a bra for the first time ever and it changed my life: I recommend!)

As far as the next season goes, it seems I am an eternal optimist, I was looking at my summer clothes yesterday and I certainly have lots to wear in that category.  In the past years I usually buy new outfits around the time of my birthday in June, and for trips.  Then, due to our short summers, they don't get worn that often, which both preserves them and makes them seem new in my eyes.

How about you?  Are you embarking on a No Shop year?  Do you think it would be refreshing to save your time by skipping the scrolling through of the online shops?  I know my friend Jen is having a No Shop year, anyone else considering it?  Have you read the article by Ann Patchett?

Happy Friday!  My gosh, what happened to the week?