Category Archives: frugal

The Second Annual BIG Deal Toronto Blogger Closet Sale!!!

Come on out to the second annual BIG Deal Toronto bloggers’ closet sale! We’re hosting it at 3030 bar and lounge in Toronto this year, so there’ll be plenty of space for browsing and socializing, and we’ve got a great cocktail menu lined up!

I’ll be selling some of my wardrobe goodies and giving a sneak peek at my new image consulting services, for free! Come meet me and rifle through my stuff, you know you wanna!

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The Big Bedroom Makeover!

I’ve been itching for change lately, and now that I have all this spare time on my hands I’ve been working on some “projects” that I’ve wanted to do for a while.

My most recently completed one was the bedroom makeover!

My old room was awesome, but it was cluttered, busy and not very relaxing. I had my computer desk in there and basically did everything in that room. It wasn’t a very peaceful environment to fall asleep in, or just relax in general. I have issues with sleep as it is, so I decided that I’d make a big change and move the desk out and do the room over in an effort to make it more serene.

I moved the desk into my media room/spare room (Photos to come!) and set to work.

Working With What I Had

The biggest challenge was trying to get all my disparate elements to come together, with little money. I really didn’t have a budget at all.

Everything in my room is second-hand. I don’t think there is a single piece of furniture in there that is new! That certainly posed a unique challenge. I also fell in love with the purple bed set on vacation and had to work a new colour into my palette that wasn’t there before. Originally I was aiming for whites & pinks since I had a white bedspread and pink pillows & curtains to work with. Then I remembered I wanted to bring my big black chaise into the room for a reading nook. *sigh* there’s another colour to work with!

So now I had 4 main colour accents: Purple, pinks, white & black.

Goals

The goals for this room makeover were:

  • Create more space both physically and optically
  • Declutter & organize
  • Use the furniture and stuff I already had and find a way to unify it better
  • Make the room more functional with separate spaces for makeup, jewellery/accessories, sleeping and reading
  • Make a more relaxing and calm space

My main inspiration for this room is the pink & cream bird curtains. I made them when I moved in and I still love them! In the photos below, see if you can pick out all the little bird elements I used to tie everything together!

Since I was starting with the curtains, I decided to go with a lighter wall colour to brighten & enlarge the room. I picked a very light, creamy bone shade that closely matched the cream in the curtains. It’s a neutral enough shade to achieve all my goals and provide a nice backdrop for the splashes of colour in the art & accessories.

The final product

With the desk gone from my room there was tons of space for a new vanity and reading area. I got the black chaise off of Craigslist last year and the “vanity” that you see is actually a sewing table from my late aunt. I think she’d be happy with how I arranged it! I also had an old chair sitting around the apartment, so I painted it and upholstered the seat in a shiny black to match the chaise. My mom thought it came with the table! Score!

Vanity & Reading Corner

 

Close up on the vanity. I reupholstered & painted the chair to match!

I also took this as an opportunity to go through all my accessories and prune them down. After that I had to find a creative way to keep most of them in sight so I could remember what I had! (I couldn’t keep them all out, I have an insane amount of stuff, so just the faves are on display)

I found an old cork board hiding in a storage space and my problem was solved! (Everyone knows the cork board trick for jewellery now, right?) I painted it the same colour as the walls so it would blend in and provide a good backdrop for my pretties. Not bad! Again, just working with what I had on hand, folks!

Part 1 of the "jewellery bar"

I also finally found a way to display some of my floral hair fascinators creatively, while finding a home for my tiered tray (that thing is impossible to store!!!!)

Click to enlarge
May I offer you a rose for your hair?

All said and done, I think I did a pretty swell job of pulling everything together, and I was able to achieve each of the goals I set out for this project.

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The "Other Side"

The funny thing about this room is that I really didn’t set out to have it bird-themed. It just sort of worked out that way. I went with the motif from the curtains and tried to have little details throughout to provide continuity. I may not have chosen this myself, but I think it worked out well! Sometimes you just have to let your project choose  YOU.

Birds

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Curtains - The Inspiration
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More bird details

If you also like the bird theme, I got the hooks and white wall-birds from Umbra. I buy from the concept store downtown, but there are lots of other retailers that carry them as well. As for the spunky wall decal, I got it at the dollar store for $2!!! Amazeballs. I bought it months ago because it was pretty and it sat around until I finally realized I could use it in this project. Win!

Royal-Tiger approves this room makeover!

Crafting Borne of Boredom

Today I got a lot of little crafty things accomplished. But there was definitely one project that stood out from all the rest.

Ash trays for my deck. Some of my friends like to smoke and need somewhere to put their cigarette butts.

I have a sad, twisted sense of humor as you can see. I’m ok with that.

Take a mini ice cream container or two
Paint over the labels
Come up with something hilarious to put on them
Like "Seymour Butts"
Or "I Like Big Butts"

I’d say that the butt-catchers were more satisfying than the ice cream. The ice cream kinda sucked, I just threw mine in the sink. (If you want your own butt-catchers you can get the Skinny Cow ice creams for free if you like their Facebook page and print out the coupon!)

The Benefits of Freecycling!

I’m not sure how many of you are already familiar with the Freecycle organization, but I thought I’d post this to show that it works!

From their website:

The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 4,949 groups with 8,506,854 members around the world. It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by local volunteers (them’s good people). Membership is free.

It’s a really awesome idea and it works! I’ve been freecycling for years, both getting rid of stuff and finding stuff. A lot of it is in decent condition, and I like to think that it’s a bit less sketchy than the craigslist free ad section.

Today I totally scored and got the following:

That’s 41 mason jars for me to use for canning this year! What an awesome deal! All I had to do was pick them up. I posted an ad yesterday and someone answered it right away. Today I picked the jars up and saved about $42 by doing so.

Saving money, saving the environment… works for me!

Check out the link above to find your local Freecycle group and sign up. It’s definitely worth a gander.

I’m so excited about these jars, I can’t wait to put them to use with all the preserving I’m going to do with my friends this year! I think I should consider keeping a tally of how many jars I fill this time around, it’s starting to get legendary!

Free CoverFX Mint Glaze

Hello beauties,

Found this in my inbox and thought you might be interested! I love me some CoverFX products!

DIY: Magnetic “spice rack” for the fridge

My "spice rack"!

Lately I’ve been trying to learn how to cook more at home. What I’ve come to discover is that proper application of herbs and spices can make all the difference in a good meal!

As my cooking skill grows, my spice drawer has also grown exponentially. It’s so full that when I went to buy some oregano, I didn’t have anywhere to put it!

A crafty and creative storage solution was needed!

I have been lusting after those adorable spice containers with magnets on the bottoms that stick to your fridge. This weekend I grabbed a few on clearance and went nuts stocking up on essential spices from the bulk food store.

But what about the spices I already had?

I had several of those little orange tins of spice from Club House. Seeing the magnetic tins from the store got me thinking…why couldn’t I get the orange tins to stick to the fridge, as well?

How to make your existing spices magnetic:

If you’ve got a bunch of the little spice tins like I do, or something similar you can give this a shot!

You will need the following items:

  • spice tin
  • scissors
  • magnetic tape with sticky backing

Cut two strips of magnetic tape to the width of your spice tin.

Adhere to the tin, like so:

Plonk it on the fridge and PRESTO CHANGE-O you have a cute new way to display your spices!

This method worked out great for me because the side of my fridge is part of my kitchen workspace. The spices are now easily within reach when I’m prepping and I can quickly see how much is left of my commonly-used spices.

Plus, making my existing tins magnetic cost loads less than buying those little tins from the store! This cost me about $6 for the magnetic tape, and 10 minutes of time to assemble. I’m rather proud of myself! LOL

Do you have any other crafty kitchen hacks to share?

Clothing Swap, FTW!

Ever been to a clothing swap?

I just went to my first one ever and had a great experience! I teamed up with some fellow GTA fatshionistas from the fatshionista (plus-size fashion) community and we organized a mid-winter swap on Sunday.

I think it went pretty well! We started with a brunch for the organizers beforehand, followed by the swap proper.

The normal fatshionista! swap location downtown Toronto was undergoing some changes, so this time it was held at a plus-size consignment shop in Vaughan. What a perfect place to hold one! They provided us with space to dump our stuff, beverages, mirrors and changerooms, plus we all received a discount on any of their inventory. In the end they also had first dibs on the leftover clothing. Anything that would sell they took, and the remainders were donated to a women’s shelter.

I didn’t have a ton of stuff to contribute, but a few of my tops and skirts were snapped up lickety split that day. It made me feel good to know that they were going to someone who would love and care for them the way I did!

Some women brought absolute MOUNDS of clothing to donate. It was truly spectacular.

Overall it was a really great experience. I met some new friends, got to parade around in all sorts of clothes and be paid compliments and of course no one can deny the thrill of the hunt! There’s nothing quite like finding an amazing dress or pair of jeans that fit you like a dream and are FREE!

I really lucked out at this particular swap, and I can’t wait for the next! I’ll be posting some photos of the things I got, but until then here is a list of what I came home with:

  • 1 pair dark wash jeans that make my ass look great
  • 4 gorgeous vintage dresses that highlighted all my assets. I finally understand why women love vintage so much! Vintage clothes really beautify the female form!
  • 1 nice Nygard summer suit set, with skirt
  • 1 denim skirt
  • 3 Torrid vintage-inspired dresses
  • A few miscellaneous tops

I’m really stoked about all the dresses I got. They’re ones that you can’t get in Canada and they look SO GOOD. I will totally be doing outfit posts :)

I was hoping to find some shoes as well, but most of the selection there was for the bigger sizes so I didn’t get anything. My mom actually came with me to this event and while she didn’t get quite as much as I did I know she got some nice things for her upcoming trip to Mexico. She came home with me for dinner after the swap and we modeled all of our new clothes for each other.

I’m really glad that I participated in this. It helped me clear out some of my older stuff (which I had been meaning to do) and I met some awesome gals while I was there. I will totally hang out with them again!

I love the idea of a swap… and I got out of this one without spending a dime! Can you believe that? I’m really pleased with myself. I’ve had the “shopping itch” for the past couple of weeks, but couldn’t justify spending any money right now (it’s been an expensive few months!) so this swap satisfied my urges while keeping me frugal!

I’ve been exposed to more fashion and I hope to keep incorporating more of it into my life, and I’ll also be doing some photo shoots in the spring with the photographer that came to our event. Yes, my friends! Ginger is going to be a model!

Vogue with me now!

LOL

it’s just to help her beef up her portfolio, but it will be a lot of fun for me! I get to dress up, get my hair and makeup done and pretend I’m someone else for the day.  Plus I’ll be helping create art :)

So, THAT is how I spent my Sunday! I still have to report on the rest of my activities, and do that dang shoe post *glares at Pear & Melanie* but keep your eyes peeled for a quick Clothing Swap FAQ!