I spend too much money and I’m unhappy about it

I have a shopping and money spending addiction. There, I said it. This is a dark spot in my life, and things tend to get out of control very quickly.

Am I going to remember the good times I had using a new makeup primer? No. The one I bought two months ago is fine, and there is a lot of it left.

Oh but I read about double cleansing and I’d like to try that! Cool, but I already have all the stuff I need to try double cleansing, there is no need to buy new products to try a different technique.

In late 2016 I recognized that my makeup purchasing was out of control, so I challenged myself not to buy any more until 2018 unless I ran out of a specific item. I’ve run out of concealer a couple of times, and I did buy two tubes of lipstick after receiving two new lipsticks that I got for my birthday after loving the wear and formula. But I recognize that the joy of four new lipsticks was short-lived. Not too bad, right? Two tubes of lipstick aren’t going to ruin me.

However, I essentially replaced my makeup buying addiction with a skincare buying addiction. I hate myself a little bit. I need to unsubscribe and unfollow all the beauty accounts that I have on social media. Yesterday I found myself on the Kiehl’s website and almost had to slap my hand from buying skincare that I don’t need. Rochele, we have an agreement. When things run out, you can try something new.

This happens with everything in my life. I get excited about something and I go crazy. If you didn’t know, I also sew. Lately I’ve been sewing kimonos, and I went a little nuts ordering fabric and I have enough to make 13 kimonos. I don’t have time to make 13 kimonos. Ugh, I hate myself.

As of right now, I’m expecting a new bike helmet, and two new pairs of glasses (damn you, BOGO.) That’s not terrible except in the last month I’ve bought two new pairs of sandals, a bag, two pairs of sunglasses, three blouses, four pairs of work pants, a pair of flats, a car, dishes, and a couch. Okay, the last three were household purchases and I don’t know if they count, and some of the clothes were for job interviews I went to, and I had a birthday in there and received quite a bit of money. Some of that was okay, but I definitely didn’t need to buy all of it.

I tell myself that I can’t afford a membership for barre classes, but I drop $150 without blinking. I tell myself that I can’t afford to go on a trip, but I have Rouge status at Sephora. I tell myself that it’s okay to buy that necklace because it’s only $65 and I didn’t spend money yesterday. I justify spending money on things because all the bills get paid and I contribute to RRSP’s, TFSA’s, and my spouse and I own a home and there is money left over every month. I am very much a quality over quantity person, but I am still guilty of falling for new things.

Despite attempts to control myself and set limits, I can’t seem to live within them. My spending habits have come under scrutiny many, many times and I have faced harsh judgment. I love makeup, perfume, clothing, and shoes. Yes, I have a lot of it. Yes, I want more. I have a job where I am expected to look my best, and I like to look my best in my private life, too. Although it is NOBODY’S BUSINESS, I am sharing this with the world so that I might be more accountable and begin to restructure my life to be a healthier and happier version of me.

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From Head to Ro – May 12, 2017 

I’ve been doing a lot of sewing recently. It started with a kimono that I bought on a trip to Calgary. I went to this wonderful shop called Purr and my eyes fell upon a kimono that looked like it was made from a vintage bed sheet or maybe even a table cloth. It was on sale for $39, down from $79, I thought that was a good deal until I went home and looked at the construction of the garment and realized I could make the same thing for less than half the cost in about an hour.  I was right.

I found some really easy kimono tutorials, but eventually settled on this one from Brit + Co. I got really excited and kind of cocky and went to town on one of my old but pretty table cloths. I was too focused on preserving the pretty borders and modified the design and you know what? It didn’t work out very well. I tried again with the remaining fabric with less modifications and it still wasn’t very good, but it was better.

A few days later I went to Value Village and found myself in the sheets/linens/material section, and all I could see was kimonos. Kimonos everywhere. I eventually settled on a vintage table cloth and a lovely blush floral patterned piece of fabric. Each piece was under $6, good deal.

I tried again with the blush floral fabric, and didn’t deviate from the pattern and instructions this time. And you know what? Sweet, beautiful success. You don’t have to own a sewing machine to make a kimono, hand stitching will work.

The vintage table cloth worked out incredibly well, too. There was less work involved in that one as the edges were already finished, so it has more of a professional look to it. There is one difference, though. It was a 50″x50″ square, as opposed to the 40″x50″ length that the pattern calls for, and I decided not to modify it. It’s a bit longer in the front and back, but I actually prefer the longer style.


Which brings me to today. It’s Friday and I’m wearing the blush kimono, a pair of Joe Fresh straight-leg jeans, a camisole that I bought at Garage Clothing six or seven years ago, and a pair of flats that I bought at Walmart. I knew that when I started talking about my clothes that I’d be giving up all my style secrets and sins, and yes, from time to time I shop at Walmart.

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Today’s very affordable ensemble

Everyone should know that having style shouldn’t be unaffordable. I try not to dabble in fast fashion too often, but I repurpose a lot of pieces. Dresses can be turned into skirts, maxi skirts are now midi skirts, and old t-shirts are now crops or sleeveless. Again, if it doesn’t work out, I haven’t lost much by altering a piece of clothing that was on its way out anyway. Beware of Value Village, though. If you go there with the idea that you can alter things, you’ll buy way too much and end up not wearing most of it. Pick a project, and go with a purpose and a budget. Being open minded at Value Village/thrift stores is a very slippery slope into wardrobe chaos.

 

Meal Planning – BORING BUT USEFUL

Meal planning is a pain in the ass, but so is thinking about what you’re going to eat and having to stop at the grocery store on a daily basis. Especially at the end of your work day when traffic sucks, you’re tired, it’s raining, and Netflix is calling your name.

I hate grocery shopping. It definitely has everything to do with Superstore and its blindingly bright lights and the people that shop with all 15 of their children and don’t follow any kind of shopping cart etiquette, but I do like Superstore’s prices and selection, so I keep going there. And they have clothes.

I digress. Where was I? Ah right. Meal planning. I spend an hour or so once a week looking at recipes/deciding what I’m going to eat. I made this template to make sure that I’ve got all my meals covered. It’s easy to forget to plan for.

doc004Why do I do this? It saves time, it saves money, it ensures we eat a balanced diet, and we waste significantly less food because we only buy what we need.

Monday to Friday, our breakfasts stay the same, as do our lunches. I usually batch cook something on Sunday or Monday night and we take it for lunch the whole week. For snacks we take the same thing every day- cut veggies, two pieces of fruit, and 1/4 cup of some kind of nut snack mix.

I try not to cook every night and I achieve this by making recipes that will serve 4. I know how much we eat, and I’m not afraid to bulk things up with extra vegetables or a side of rice or quinoa. Not having to cook every night frees me up to do other things, or nothing at all. Unfortunately/fortunately eating fast food isn’t an option for me, but at least I know there is something ready to be heated up quickly when I get home.

I’m a little behind this week because I was lazy on the weekend and I was at a secret CBC taping of Mother Mother’s new album last night. Am I allowed to talk about it now? It was amazing, they’re new album is fucking amazing. I cannot wait. Please don’t watch the CBC videos when they come out, I am horribly worried about my awkward dancing. ANYWAY, Instead of batch cooking, I’m going to have to go grocery shopping on my lunch break today and cook each night and take leftovers for lunch. It’s not ideal, so the meal plan is really simple. I already have some of the ingredients in my fridge and pantry which is why they’re not reflected on my grocery list.

Recipes for this week*:

Red Thai curry http://cookieandkate.com/2015/thai-red-curry-recipe/

Served with pan fried prawns and brown rice

Silky cauliflower soup https://smittenkitchen.com/2006/09/the-fragile-cooking-ego/

served with toast

Tofu curry and mustard greens from the Afro Vegan cook book or http://www.foodrepublic.com/recipes/from-the-kitchen-of-the-afro-vegan-tofu-curry-with-mustard-greens-recipe/ served with quinoa or brown rice

Macaroni and cheese http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2017/01/3-ingredient-stovetop-mac-and-cheese-recipe.html serve with steamed broccoli OR I’ll add frozen peas and tuna

Sour cream and peach pancakes from the Smitten Kitchen cook book, or sour cream pancakes https://smittenkitchen.com/2010/01/edna-maes-sour-cream-pancakes/ which I’ll serve with bacon or breakfast sausages, whichever is better priced when I go grocery shopping

There you have it. This is how I stay sane and eat well without breaking the bank. It’s a lot of effort, but it’s worth it. If you’d like a copy of my meal planning template, shoot me an email at stopdropandro @ gmail dot com and I’d be more than happy to share it with you.

*everything I cook is gluten free. All pastas, flours, breads, and crackers are traded out for their gluten free counterparts.