Thursday, September 7th, 2017

Round Two

I took pictures of this outfit on Friday, but these aren’t them.

When I originally took the photos I reviewed them on the camera screen, decided they were fine, and then shut the camera off and carried on with my day. When I had some time Saturday, I took the card out of the camera and popped it into my computer. No photos. I put the card back in the camera and checked again. No photos.

????

The dog had already thoroughly slobbered on the shirt, and the jeans were covered in dirt from shovelling gravel, so a quick retake wasn’t really in the cards until the laundry was done.

Shirt: Banana Republic / CPW: $2.36 / # of wears: 14
Jeans: 7 For All Mankind / CPW: $6.25 / # of wears: 36
Shoes: Poppy Barley / CPW: $29.70 / # of wears 7
Purse: Mulberry / CPW: $69.23 / # of wears 26
Sunglasses: Mercury / CPW: $0.32 / # of wears: 52
Watch: Skagen / CPW: #3.49 / # of wears: 39

Absolutely nothing in this outfit matches. From the watch to the shirt to the purse to the shoes… they’re all different colours. But you know what? It worked for me. I felt like comfortable in my own skin, which I really needed.

Mommy needed a day off! The last month was an absolute blur, so I booked today off for some much needed self care. Starting the day with a macaron gateau and latte at @duchessbakeshop, followed by a little fall wardrobe browsing. This afternoon I think I'll have a hot bath with a face mask, and then work on some projects around the house. I never appreciated how important self care days were until I didn't have time to myself.

A post shared by Cassie (@theminuteglass) on

I took Friday off to look after myself. Since going back to work I’ve been running flat out non-stop, and it has been wearing me down. I barely felt like I had time to think, let alone do the things I wanted to do.

After sending my husband off to work and my son to daycare, I had a slower than usual shower and morning prep. A latte and treat at Duchess Bakery put a little pep in my step for some fall shopping, followed by a hot bath and face mask at home. I probably should have kept relaxing, but I snapped back into mom mode after than and did grocery shopping and some laundry. *shrug*

My husband says I should take a weekend away, but I have absolutely no idea where to go. I think I’m going to take a day like this every couple months going forward. It wasn’t much, but it made all the difference for me.

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Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

September Stroll

Usually when labour day rolls around I have the urge to be super basic and wear white on Labour Day. This year, I just DGAF.

Shirt: Le Chateau / CPW: $3.49 / # of wears: 12
Pants: Banana Republic / CPW: $69.30 / # of wears: 1
Shoes: Sam Edelman / CPW: $1.61 / # of wears: 13
# of wears counted since October 1, 2016

The air has been getting crisp in the morning for the last little while. You can smell autumn in the air even though it’s still supposed to be a little ways away (in theory).

Despite the chilly morning, it still worked out to be quite a nice day yesterday. Munchkin and I walked to the grocery store and back for odds and ends, as well as a little air. I didn’t even require sleeves!

They’re calling for a risk of frost tonight in the outlying areas. I baked a pumpkin pie oatmeal for breakfast. Scarf and coat combos are starting to look awfully appealing again. As nice as yesterday afternoon was, it’s fair to say my mind is firmly in fall territory.

Maybe that’s why I’m taking pictures again?



Thursday, August 31st, 2017

Reader Rant – What Retailers Should Know About Customer Service

I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve had my fair share of underwhelming if not outright terrible customer service experiences.

Keeping that in mind, a longtime reader wrote to me recently about a frustrating experience they had encountered with a retailer, and asked if I would share it with you. I can’t speak for experience regarding this retailer, since I’ve never shopped there myself, but I do respect her experience and value her opinion on the subject. It’s unfortunate, because I had considered shopping at this retailer myself in the future.

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WHAT RETAILERS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT CUSTOMER SERVICE

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I recently had an experience where I purchased a dress online from Judith & Charles (on sale mind you). Their policy states that I can return the dress within 7 days for a full refund, so when it dropped an additional $45 in its sale price not even 5 days later, I figured it wouldn’t be a problem to ask for a price adjustment.
They refused, and in fact, told me that their policy only allows price adjustments on “full-priced items”.
What a load of hogwash. I had never experienced such terrible customer service from a retailer.
I WAS a long-time customer of theirs because I loved their “Made in Canada” schtick, but this has completely, turned me off.
Customer service on all fronts told me in so many words, that I had to literally bring the physical item of what I purchased online, trek to the store (which by the way, is out of my way no matter how you slice it), return that physically purchased online dress, then buy it again online or in-store if they happen to have my size, to get the discount rather than just adjusting it for me online.
I was livid. It is a waste of time, gas, and it irks me (the customer) who could have otherwise kept buying clothing items to keep the business going.
A technicality in their policies, coupled with an idiotic marketing move of discounting an item within a 7-day return window, amounts to a highly dissatisfied and now actively angry customer who will spread the (bad) word everywhere she goes.
I would have understood and FULLY ACCEPTED the $45 loss if I was out of my 7-day window, but I was well within it.
They’ve adopted the rather short-sighted attitude of seeing things in the short term which basically boils down to:
We have taken her money. Eff her.
Here are a few things I’d like to point out:
1. THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT
Sure, there are some points where you could debate this, but the most successful companies know this: The Customer Is Always Right.
Why is this true? Because The Customer Is The One With the Money.
And why does this matter?
BECAUSE CASH IS KING.
No really, if you don’t have customers, you don’t have a business. End of story.
If you start alienating first-time (or long-time) customers such as myself, you can pretty much forget about staying in business and look forward to closing your doors.
Mickey Drexler of dubious J. Crew fame didn’t learn this lesson early on, and wasn’t listening to all the rants of customers and bloggers the like online who kept pleading with the brand to bring back classic pieces made of good quality rather than looking at the bottom line. Look at their share price now, the retailer is struggling and it is no secret.
Anthropologie on the other hand, has started listening to customers somewhat, trying to right the ship off its course, and things are picking up slightly share-wise.
 
2. VOTE WITH YOUR WALLET
I will never, ever shop at their store again, nor buy anything of theirs unless it is secondhand (and even then..dubious).
I do not want to give my money, my time or my purchasing power to a retailer that has no idea how to do basic business.
I even physically feel a bit sick wearing the dress just from the terrible service I received.
Don’t frequent stores with terrible customer service like Judith & Charles, spread the word if you do meet and know of other retailers who are equally short-sighted and spread the love about retailers who are generous with their policies to accommodate a customer.
It is only with your money that you will make any kind of change or difference, and spread the word like I am now.
3. MAKE SURE YOUR POLICIES AREN’T ASININE
That’s right. Make sure when you discount something, you aren’t discounting it a week later, causing customers to be irate over having paid a higher price when only a week later, it drops again.
The culture you’re building for your brand is:
A) You’re training your customers (if you have any left at this point, frankly), to expect sales, and to basically not buy anything until it is has reached rock bottom. Is this good for your bottom line? NO.
Also, they don’t understand how to time their sales. I would understand 1 month or 2 months in between a price drop, but 5 days? That’s just dumb.
B) You’re making your customers angry when you have policies that don’t align with basic, freaking common sense.
If your policy is to refund within 7 days, then make price adjustments within 7 days. There, done.
You are now alienating a customer base who like me are willing to and are ABLE to pay higher prices for clothing.
Just because I can afford it doesn’t mean I want to be a sucker and pay full price or more money for it. I’m a bargain hunter like anyone else.
4. BE FLEXIBLE WHEN THINGS HAPPEN
Know why some of the best retailers in the world are amazing retailers who continue to grow and get more business?
They may lose $45 on a $300+ dress for this particular transaction, but they’ve safeguarded a customer who will be pleased with their treatment and who is now WILLING to come back and purchase more items safe in the knowledge that you will treat her right.
They’re flexible when they see the situation, realize they have to eat crow and then learn from the lesson by adjusting their “policy” (by the way, all man-made and not at all “legal” in any sense).
Now?
I’m an irate, riled up, angry, pissed off FORMER customer who is now spreading the word and making sure that she will NEVER say who the brand is for what she is wearing in an attempt to promote you in any way.
Yes that’s right.
I am actively deleting any and all photos of myself in said dress. I’d rather shop at Banana Republic. They’re one of my all-time favourite retailers because of their generous policies, excellent customer service & easy shipping & returns process. That’s one retailer whom I am happy to give money to, and if I had to ballpark how much I own, I would say 20% of my wardrobe is from that amazing retailer.
Good luck Judith & Charles, you’ve done exactly everything a retailer shouldn’t. Let’s see how far you go with that. /sarcasm
**UPDATE**
The manager of the store contacted regarding my experience. I’m conflicted. I loved that their store manager tried to intervene and go above and beyond to make sure I was a happy customer, but why did this have to happen in the first place? When I went in person, the employees were not willing to accommodate me and I left pretty frustrated and angry. The issue was somewhat fixed with a $45 refund (WITHOUT applicable 15% taxes!), but it all left a bad taste in my mouth.

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Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

Monthly Update – August 2017

I’ve come to the conclusion that summer clothes do nothing for me. Literally nothing. In retrospect it makes sense, because I find myself consistently being more analytical than swipe happy towards the end of summer. I promise I’ll work on getting that onto the blog.

From a shopping standpoint, it was a slightly less uneventful month than July. One item.

Poppy Barley opened their flagship store in Southgate this month and, well, I felt the need to partake.

Poppy Barley The Soft Oxford – $207.90 (reg $207.90)

Shopping there is a fine line between supporting local businesses and indulging in an expensive shoe habit. Okay, it’s less fine line and more overlap. No regrets for the time being though. Other than specialty shoes like runners, I’m not looking elsewhere for shoes at the moment.

Quarterly Budget: $750 – $64.12 (carryover) – $0.00 (Jul) – $207.90 (Aug) = $477.98

Lots leftover for the month of September, which is a good thing. It may or may not get used up, but I do plan on doing some shopping next month. That and getting this blog back on track, because I miss this.



Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

In Defense Of The Rut

What is a rut?

It’s wearing the same style and handful of clothes over and over again with minimal thought or creativity. Day in. Day out.

Sounds terrible, right?

What if I told you the same description could be more charitably called a uniform? Or by extension, rounding up all of the clothes that you wear during a rut could be considered a capsule?

A rut is the anti-excess, anti-consumerism movement without the marketing or pretence. It’s actually not a bad thing. You’d never hear otherwise in a magazine though, because how do you sell products to people if being in a rut is considered alright? You can’t.

Part of the reason why I haven’t posted anything new lately is because I’m currently in a rut. Every workday I wear the same thing: a work polo, jeans, a fleece and a pair of flats. My polos fit with all of my jeans. All of my jeans are hemmed for flats. Most days I wear the same black Northface fleece to take the chill out of the office air conditioning. It matches all of my clothes. There is no thought required, it all works.

It makes for terrible blogging, but frees what little mental capacity I currently have for other things. That day in the life post I did a little while back? That’s basically my life at the moment. If I catch up on laundry, I’m behind on food. If I catch up on food, I’m physically exhausted. If I catch up on sleep, I’m behind on laundry. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. As unpopular as the concept is, a rut is what I need at the moment.

When trying to move away from fast fashion, a lot of thinking and research is involved. If not thought and research, then time searching the racks in consignment shops. When the energy to do those things isn’t there, what do you do? You do nothing.

Rut’s aren’t inherently bad. Ruts are misunderstood. The current one is giving me more time to think.



Thursday, August 3rd, 2017

A Day In The Life – Summer 2017

I don’t know how you guys feel about day in the life posts, but personally I’ve always enjoyed them on other people’s sites. Hopefully you enjoy them too! If you have one on your site let me know, I’d be intrigued to read it.

This wasn’t a particularly glamorous or noteworthy day, it was literally the daily grind. Hope you enjoy the sneak peek overshare.

1:22am

Munchkin woke up crying. Turns out he peed through his diaper. You wouldn’t think this would make me happy, but it did. He’s been teething so hard for the last little while that he refused to put anything in his mouth – most food and drink included. Dehydration was becoming a concern, but obviously it isn’t anymore. *thumbs up* We clean him up and bring him back to bed with us to calm him down.

4:02am

It didn’t work. He’d fall asleep only to wake up kicking, farting and crying again few minutes later. I put him back in his crib to try to salvage a little bit of the night, and he’s immediately quiet. Why didn’t I do this hours ago???

6:00am

Alarm goes off. Hit snooze.

6:09am

Hit snooze.

6:18am

Hit snooze.

6:19am

My husband calls from the nursery for assistance with a diaper change. Not a smell I enjoy upon waking, but it means everything is working as it should.

6:27am

I hop in the shower for a quick rinse while my husband gets our son set up in his high chair for breakfast.

6:35am

I tag my husband out so he can go for his shower. We’re out of coffee grounds, so I run some beans through the grinder to cover the next couple days. I feed the dog while the grinder is running and put water and a filter in the coffee maker.

6:40am

Munchkin is feeling better and actually eating this morning, so I cut up some more baked oatmeal for him. I put my makeup on at the table beside him so I can chat with him while he eats.

6:53am

My husband cleans up our son and takes him upstairs to get changed while I throw dinner together in the crock pot. The temperature cooled down outside and we had some leftover ham, so tonight is split pea soup. Hubby calls down for a damp cloth. Apparently he missed a patch of smeared raspberry on munchkin’s ankle (??)

7:03am

Running around finding socks, hats, etc… Added a change of clothes to munchkin’s backpack. Put my lunch in my bag.

7:06am

I’m tired and have zero inspiration fashion wise today. I throw on a work branded polo and jeans with a light coat and call it a day.

7:10am

I fill up the travel mugs, throw on my shoes, and give the boys kisses goodbye. By 7:12 I’m in the car and on my way.

7:40am

Parked at the office. I’m so ready for my coffee.

7:45am

Breakfast time. I packed a piece of the same baked oatmeal munchkin had and a handful of fresh raspberries. I traded some friends a container of lettuce for the raspberries and some rhubarb on the weekend. Freebie swaps for the win.

7:50am

One of the guys at work swings by my desk. After a quick conversation about risotto and meal prep containers, we get into the meat of why he came by and discuss whether or not a specific failure in a torque converter would result in shifting issues in a transmission. So much for a brainless breakfast.

8:10am

Work work work. Answering e-mails, responding to questions, and approving reports.

8:58am

I am tired with a capital T, and I’ve already finished the coffee in my deceptively small travel mug. It looks big, but volume wise it holds less than a Starbucks Tall. I make half a French press full of coffee and bring it back to my desk.

9:03am

Work work work.

10:05am

One of the guys from the shop broke his foot dancing (really), so we have him in the office helping us out while it heals. I’ve been training him, so we go over his most recent report. I offer some suggestions, and show him stumbling blocks to watch out for.

11:50am

It’s not quuuuiiiiite lunch time, but I’m hungry now. Might as well jump the microwave queue. I packed leftover pasta with mushroom cream sauce and cherry tomatoes from dinner last night. Taking a bit of a caffeine break as well with some water and peppermint tea. Tasty.

12:08pm

The pasta wasn’t quite sufficient, so I grab my snack to augment it. I love Lara bars, but I can’t stomach the price of them given how simple they are to make. I threw some almonds and dates in the food processor on the weekend and formed little snack balls out of it. I think I’ll chop the almonds a little more and add some coconut next week.

12:35pm

I tried to take a full hour for lunch, but I was sucked back into work stuff early. Boo. Work work work.

2:00pm

Stand up meeting to go over area metrics. Yay visual management.

2:35pm

Work work work.

2:55pm

Coffee. Horribly, terrible office coffee. I can’t drink it. I have a Werther’s to placate my poor abused taste buds.

3:00pm

Work work work.

4:35pm

Heading out for the day.

5:12pm

Chose the wrong route home for traffic and it took longer than necessary. I walk in the door and let the dog out, then I strip the sheets off the beds, gather Munchkin’s clothes, and gather errant laundry.

5:23pm

Put munchkin’s clothes in washer and tidy laundry room.

5:36pm

Take a couple minutes to wash my face. I find it’s easier to do when I’m home alone.

5:43pm

Unload dishwasher and then turn on the radio. Munchkin is quite the little music fan.

5:50pm

The boys get home. I dance with around the living room with munchkin to the radio. Usually this makes him grin. Today it makes him wail like a banshee until he’s back in daddy’s arms. Cue the working mom guilt. I make him a PB&J sandwich along with some cheese and blueberries since we’re having soup for dinner. My husband reloads dishwasher while I ladle our soup and feed the dog.

6:14pm

Eat dinner as a family.

6:35pm

I put the dinner dishes in the dishwasher and run it through. My husband runs bath water for the munchkin. I clean up the munchkin in his high chair and bring him upstairs for his bath, then swap his clothes from the washer into the dryer.

6:50pm

Diaper, clean pyjamas, brush teeth and trim nails. General munchkin hygiene.

7:00pm

Lights out cuddle.

7:10pm

I put munchkin in his crib and sneak out of the nursery.

My husband washed up munchkin’s lunch containers, so I work on filling them up for the next day while he washes the items that wouldn’t fit in the dishwasher. I also pack up the leftover soup for lunch the next day.

7:47pm

Gather up kitchen towels and the high chair seat, put them in the washer.

7:57pm

Pour a beer and a snack bowl of roasted spiced almonds. Fold laundry while my husband looks for something to watch on TV. I wanted to watch “What The Health”, but we ended up settling on “Snowden”. Gave up on folding laundry.

9:15pm

Munchkin wakes up. Cuddled him back down to bed.

9:30pm

Come back downstairs, swap laundry from washer into dryer. My husband says “Nicely done”, which immediately cued munchkin to wake up and start crying again. Figures. Give up on the movie for the night.

9:35pm

Husband soothes munchkin while I put clean sheets on our bed.

9:47pm

Lights out. I’m done.

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Hi!

I'm Cassie.

I'm a petite hourglass, slow adopter, food geek, Engineer, wife and mom. Welcome to the little corner of the internet where I ramble on about random things. Mostly clothes.

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