Thursday, March 23rd, 2017
If you’ve never been to a sample sale before, I can tell you right now that it’s a completely different experience from shopping at the mall. Very different.
That being said, not all sample sales are the same. Some are first come first serve frenzies, while others are relatively refined events in which only a limited number of people can shop at a time and you have to be on the list to get in. I’ve been to both. While I’m no expert on the subject, I’ve definitely learned a few things along the way. Some of these tips apply to shopping in general, but some are definitely sample sale specific. If you’re planning on going to one in the near future, here’s a few things to keep in mind:
Do you know how much money you have available to spend? Odds are you have a limit to how much you can spend before it starts affecting other areas of your life, so make sure you know what that limit is before you show up at the door. Those sparkly teal pumps may be the most beautiful thing you’ve ever laid your eyes on, but if you feel buyers remorse every time you look at them you’ll never want to wear them.
Another thing, what are you actually looking for? Do you have 13 black turtlenecks and need something punchier to brighten things up? Great! Tell yourself you won’t walk out of the sale with another black turtleneck. Hold yourself to it! I told myself before the last sale that I was not buying black boots, and would only accept a handful of colours that worked with my wardrobe. Most of the boots available were black, but because I set that limit in advance it kept me focused on my end goal of finding lighter coloured footwear. It worked.
This is going to sound obvious, but what size are you? If you don’t know, go find out before you show up at the sale. Often times the clothes are organized by size, not item type, so you’ll be saving yourself a lot of time and grief if you can go to the right area while there is still merchandise available.
It’s another obvious one, but nobody likes being hangry when shopping. You could be there a while, so have a decent meal before you go.
If it’s a first come first serve free for all, there could be people lining up hours in advance to get in. I fully understand if standing around outside for hours isn’t your thing, but know that some people are absolutely willing to and will get first dibs on the merchandise. Even events with time slots will have lines forming before the actual designated time. If you’re driving, think about your parking situation and make sure you’re still okay if you don’t get in the moment the doors open.
Think about what you are shopping for. If you plan on trying on blouses, today is not the day to wear a dress. If you’re trying on shoes, don’t wear that pair of boots that are a pain to take off. This is often forgotten common sense. If there are change rooms available there is likely only going to be a limited number of them, and they may be group change rooms. Are you comfortable trying clothes on in front of other people? If you’re trying on tops consider wearing a form fitting tank or base layer so you can try the clothes on without waiting for a change room. If you’re trying on winter boots, bring a pair of socks you’re likely to wear them with. If you absolutely need those little nylons when trying on shoes, bring them with you. Don’t take for granted that they’ll have them there.
Another thing to consider is your coat. I’ve only ever been to sample sales during the winter, so a coat was a necessity. There may not be a coat rack. If there is, it’s probably literally a rack with no one watching it. Something to think about.
The last thing you want to be doing at a shopping event like this is holding onto a satchel or other handheld bag. While a tote that slings over your shoulder may seem like a good idea, if they’re worried about shoplifting you may be forced to leave it at the door. This is a cross body event all the way. If you can slim things down to a wallet and your phone for a couple hours, even better. Same with drinks. While it sounds like a great idea to have a coffee while you wait in line, where are you going to put it when you get in there? There might not be a garbage can handy for take away cups, and they may not let a reusable cup in if they’re worried about drips and spills on the merchandise. Food for thought.
This should go without saying. No screaming, pushing, hitting, pulling clothes out of other people’s hands, trampling, starting fights or otherwise being unruly. It’s just clothing. You probably already have some at home, so whatever you’re planning to buy at this event is for your enjoyment of fashion. Don’t suck the enjoyment out of it for everyone else.
Do you really want to get up to the front of the line with a bunch of discounted denim that fits like a dream only to find out it’s cash only? No, you don’t. Find out what the payment options are before you go and make sure you have it.
What happens if you find a ton of stuff and they’ve run out of shopping bags? You’re carrying it, that’s what happens. It may be a good idea to have a Baggu or Le Pliage tucked in your coat just in case.
You got all hyped up for this sale, paid for parking, (im)patiently waited in line, you have your money ready, and it’s your favourite brand. You have to buy something, right?
It is perfectly acceptable to just walk away empty-handed. I watched several people leave empty-handed at the last sale I went to. It’s okay. If you go in there and they don’t have your size, don’t try to force yourself into one that’s close but not quite right. If the colours being offered clash with your wardrobe, don’t add them to it. If the prices are over your budget, don’t put yourself in debt for it. It’s okay if the discount on offer isn’t what you were hoping for, and it’s okay to walk away.
Anyone else have any tips to throw in the mix?
Tuesday, March 21st, 2017
I bought these jeans a couple years ago, and to be honest they’ve been pretty awesome. The denim is sturdy, not transparent in the least, and the cropped length is the perfect unhemmed length for flats on my short frame.
Sweater: Banana Republic / Jeans: 7 For All Mankind / Boots: Poppy Barley / Belt: Banana Republic
That being said, I feel like they hit my boots in an awkward spot. They’re short for where I would normally expect jeans to break over boots. Maybe it’s just because I grew up with longer bootcut jeans, but it still feels odd.
I wore this outfit to the office when I was going stir crazy and needed to get out of the house. That day I wore them with a narrow double cuff. Since then I’ve tried a couple different combos, but I haven’t settled on how to wear these two together.
Uncuffed / Wide Double Cuff Exposing Socks
Narrow Double Cuff Exposing Socks / Wide Single Cuff Hiding Socks
Any thoughts? How would you wear this pant/boot combination? Or would you just not wear them together?
Thursday, March 16th, 2017
Inspired by one of the Bloglovin’ posts giving a sneak peek into the workspaces of 6 major bloggers, I thought it might be fun to give you guys a peek into my office. I’ve been meaning to play around with our camera a bit more as well, so heads up, this is a photo heavy post!
The majority of our house is painted in medium shades of grey and blue, with fairly dark curtains throughout. It feels very masculine and dark to me, but I’m picking my home design battles. We redid this space as my personal refuge. My husband’s only request was that I didn’t paint it white. So I didn’t! I picked the single lightest shade of grey I could get my hands on. Like I said, picking my battles 😉
The desk is little under half of a large corner desk my husband already had in the room, as well as his existing chair. I would like a different chair in here, but for the time being I can’t argue with something that is perfectly functional.
Not to mention free.
The thread collection was originally my grandmother’s; it was given to me after she passed away. It was originally all stored together in what I believe was a peanut brittle jar. I separated the colours into glass jars so that they looked nice on display, but also because it made finding colour matches easier. If I need to mend something, I almost always have a close match.
I wanted a fairly low maintenance plant for the room. This aloe vera plant fit the bill nicely, though it has definitely grown from its original size. My catch-all dishes are a cereal bowl from Target (from back when they were in Canada), and the container from a candle I used up.
Also, I really need to dust.
I generally keep the camera set up on our tripod so that I can just turn it on and snap some pictures if I have a reasonable outfit and a couple minutes. I’m currently using the Nikon D60 my husband bought ~10 years ago. I would really like to upgrade the camera body, but until I get better at using the functions I’m having a hard time justifying it (it’s never set to Auto, so that’s a start.) It is an SLR, which is great, but it only focuses in three spots and you have to actually use the viewfinder to set up your pictures instead of using the screen. It gets kinda hard on the eyes after a while.
My son is usually in the room with me, just out of the camera’s field of view. I keep a small selection of toys and books in the room so he has something to play with while I do my thing.
update: He’s crawling now! The toys get moved to the hallway when I’m taking pictures.
Between my husband’s house and the house I sold, we had a lot of artwork. I haven’t settled on where I want certain pieces to go, so for the time being I have a bunch of them lined up on the ground. The room is otherwise very low contrast, so the frames give the camera something to focus on while I’m mucking around with it.
The couch originally belonged to my great grandmother, and it was passed to me when I moved into my first solo apartment in university. It badly needs to be reupholstered, and the trim is coming off, but I still curl up and read on it. I probably would have had it done already, but I can’t commit to a fabric for it. At this point in time I’m thinking a light grey tweed.
That’s a little peak into my office and the space I do my blogging in. Where do you take your pictures? Indoors or outdoors? What are your go to blogging tools? Any thoughts on what colour I should reupholster the couch?
Tuesday, March 14th, 2017
Flying with a baby.
Not going to lie, we weren’t entirely sure what to expect. I’m sure everyone has been on a flight with a screaming child before, and the idea of being the parent dealing with that scared me a little. Not enough to not fly, but a bit.
My niece’s first birthday party was in BC last month. I don’t make it to every birthday, but I do try to make sure I make it to the first one. The introduction of a budget airline to our area makes it infinitely easier, so our little family packed up and flew out for a few days.
I generally pack carry on only for my flights to minimize hassle. Having to pay a premium for every checked bag makes this even more important, so I try to put as much thought as possible into the items I bring.
Blouse: Banana Republic / Jeans: 7 For All Mankind / Boots: Poppy Barley /
Scarf: H&M / Bag: Coach
Scarves are kind of a must have. This one is a little on the thin side, but it served all of its purposes beautifully. It was an accessory in the airport (obviously), a wide nursing cover on the plane, and ultimately a blanket for my son when he fell asleep in my arms.
As much as I like a good button up, this shirt has been a nursing MVP. There’s no fussing with fasteners, just move it to the side and move it back when he’s done. I wish Banana Republic would keep this style in stock like a standard t-shirt. I would whole heartedly recommend this style of shirt to any new mom.
Most people know when it comes to taking bags on a plane, there’s two sizes: Carry-on and personal item. Our airline allowed us to bring one free personal item – a carry on cost extra!
I bought this bag 3 years ago when I sold my first house. It’s actually a tote from the Coach men’s line. I was looking for a bag that I could take to Rome and Santorini that would fit in a European budget airline’s baggage sizers. Baggage sizers vary by airline, and the ones in Europe tend to be smaller than the ones in North America. This bag actually just barely meets the requirements for a personal item, not a carry on!
My toiletries and most of my clothes all fit in the bag, as well as a diaper wet/dry bag, spare sleeper and a couple toys. I didn’t find out until I had already packed that I was allowed to bring a separate diaper bag for free.
Normally I would prefer to go through security in ballet flats, but it was too cold out to wear those. Slip on boots fit the bill instead.
Add some stretchy high rise jeans and I was good to go. That’s my airport momiform! Slightly more put together than yoga clothes, and nearly as comfortable. To be honest, I’ll probably end up wearing the exact same outfit the next time we fly.
For the record, munchkin did well. He slept through takeoff on the way there, and landing on the way home.
What do you wear when you’re travelling? Any tips and tricks to share? Moms, what do you bring on longer flights?
Thursday, March 9th, 2017
There had been several new additions to my self care kit in the last couple months, so I thought I’d do a post on it. I didn’t realize quite how many there were until I put it all in one spot. Actually, I just realized that I’m missing my Glossier lipstick from this post and my Peter Thomas Roth mask set from this post. Oy vey.
Makeup Junkie isn’t a title I normally associate myself with, but there has definitely been some turnover recently (as you can see above). A lot of my makeup follows something similar to the one in one out rule – I buy new products to replace expired ones or fill a hole rather than to dabble. There’s still some dabbleage though.
Most of my skincare has been moved to our downstairs washroom to avoid waking the munchkin up while he naps or goes down for the night. The Bioderma Sensibio micellar water was a recent addition to the upstairs for when I just want to take some eye makeup off and call it a night. It does a decent job, but I feel like it leaves behind an oily residue. Maybe it’s meant to be moisturizing, but I find it a little odd.
My moisturizer tends to be all or nothing – i.e. I’m either wearing heavy cream or I’m wearing nothing at all. It’s not intentional, I just never found a light moisturizer I liked. The Tatcha Balanced Pore Perfecting Water Gel made its way into my basket during Sephora’s 20% off sale. I find it has a little bit of a tacky finish on me, but for the time being it’s serving its purpose.
The nail file, hand cream and Darphin products were Christmas stocking stuffers. I was confused by the patent sticker that came on the Sephora nail file for the longest time until my husband commented that the grit varied along the length of the file. If you file properly, it’s a more efficient file. If you don’t file properly (guilty), it’ll shred your nails. Food for thought.
After realizing I couldn’t recall what year I purchased my concealer in, I trekked down to Sephora to use their Colour IQ matching system for a new one. I matched a surprising number of products, and ended up settling on the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard. I like it! It blends easily, doesn’t really settle into my fine lines, and just generally brightens up the under eye area. My dark circles tend to be fairly minor, so I can’t speak to the coverage for really dark circles, but I’m finding this does the trick for me.
I hate doing my brows. I had been trying to fill them in with a brush and powder, but it was a royal pain and generally I couldn’t be bothered. The Sephora brand retractible brow pencil has been making it easier, so at this point I’m about 50/50 on doing them when I go out. Progress.
The Hourglass eyeliner was a stocking stuffer, as were the Fresh Sugar mini lip products. I find I prefer the minis to the full sized ones because I can never finish a full lip product before it expires on me. These little guys don’t take up much space in the bathroom, so I have a wide variety without taking up a lot of the counter.
Speaking of old products… I’ve tried several aerosol dry shampoos, but they ALWAYS clog on me. I keep reverting back to a container of Ojon dry shampoo – a product that I’m sure I bought shortly after university from a line Sephora doesn’t even carry anymore.
I had planned to pick up a bottle of Bumble & Bumble Pret a Powder, since it was one of the few non-aerosol products I knew of, when I stumbled across this product from Verb. At half the price of the B&B powder, I figured it was worth a shot.
As for the hair bobble, I think it’s this decade’s answer to the scrunchie. It doesn’t leave a kink in the hair, but it’s not pretty either. They do stretch out, though my hair dresser said you can shrink them back to shape in hot water. Haven’t tried it yet personally.
What have you added or changed up in your personal care recently? Any notable additions?
Tuesday, March 7th, 2017
A couple months ago a public health nurse referred my son to the head shape clinic at the Stollery Children’s Hospital. There is nothing quite like the threat of something being wrong with your child’s head to put a first time mom into full blown freak out mode. Also, Google is not your friend. When it comes to all things medical, Google is almost never your friend.
After an initial appointment before Christmas, we had a follow up a couple weeks ago.
T-shirt: Twik / Vest: Olsen Europe (thrifted) / Jeans: 7 For All Mankind / Bag: Mulberry /
Shoes: Sam Edelman (thrifted) / Belt: Anthropologie
Long story short, he’s fine. He has a mild metopic heel and his front fontanelle closed a bit earlier than average. It’s cosmetic, and it will become even less pronounced with age. As it stands most people don’t notice it unless I point it out.
That doesn’t mean I wasn’t freaking the f@&# out.
Coming back to the clothes though, this is what I wore to his appointment. Would you believe that this is the first time I’ve done this vest up? I was 7 and a half months pregnant with my son when I originally bought it, and I was guesstimating by looking at it that it would fit once he was born. I was right, but it turns out I’m not actually a fan of the button closure when it’s done up. It’s kinda matronly. My belt hides the button nicely though, and I can see myself wearing it like this again in the future. In fact, I already have another outfit in mind for it.