Monthly Archives: February 2014

Like Father, Like Son

A recent conversation I had with my son:

Rhys: Mom, I’d like to learn how to do five things.

Me: Oh ya? And what are those five things?

Rhys: First I’d like to learn how to canoe. Then I’d like to learn how to hunt with a bow and arrow. Third, I’d like to learn how to fish (he’s already surpassed my fishing capabilities BTW). Fourth, I’d like to make a hut. Fifth, I’d like to learn survival.

Me: Man, your father would be having a proud daddy moment right now if he were here.


Move over Bear Grylls and Jim Shockey, Rhys is after your jobs.


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The $1, 5 Second Laundry Bag

I can’t resist a good DIY when I have the supplies on hand and it’s this simple (and I’ll actually have a use for it). Like a kid in a candy store. I saw this quick fix on Pinterest and had a light bulb moment while staring at my kitchen wall the other day. I currently use a basket to hold my kitchen laundry, but I have very limited floor and cupboard space so it’s never been a long-term solution. Walls tend to be underused for storage purposes and if you read any small-space living blog/article, it will tell you to look up and utilize your vertical space.

Enter the $1, 5 second laundry bag.


– One .75¢ pillow case from the thrift store.

– One .25¢ embroidery hoop from the thrift store.


You’re done.


I decided to also add some adorable trim the bottom of the bag to spruce it up a touch. This red trim was bought at MCC a number of years ago for .25¢…so I suppose my bag was $1.25 if you want to get all persnickety.


And there you have it. Easy peasy lemon-squeezy as Amelia would say.

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Good Reads

There are some seriously good and inspiring books being read over here these days.


“As I looked more closely at the role homemaking could play in revitalizing our local food system, I saw that the position was a linch-pin for more than just making use of garden produce and chicken carcasses. Individuals who had taken this path in life were building a great bridge from our existing extractive economy – where corporate wealth was regarded as the foundation of economic health, where mining our earth’s resources and exploiting our international neighbors was accepted as simply the cost of doing business – to a life-serving economy, where the goal is…to generate a living for all, rather than a killing for a few, where our resources are sustained, our waters are kept clean, our air pure, and families can lead meaningful and joyful lives.”

-Shannon Hayes. Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture


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Colourful Kids

One thing that I’ve seen develop as my children have grown over the years, and that I can say with the utmost confidence, is that my children are colourful. They both have a strong penchant for being their own person; not caring so much what other people are doing or saying. This was very apparent to me when they came out of their rooms this morning. Amelia was dressed like Cyndi Lauper (again) and Rhys was dressed like Micheal Jackson (again).


On Friday after school Rhys told me that he needed to do a short biography presentation on Monday morning. I asked him who he’d like to pick and, without missing a beat, he said Micheal Jackson or Elvis. I thought both of those would be good candidates but was curious what kinds of people other kids have done thus far. Apparently, the other students mainly do biographies on each other. But no, Rhys needs to do something different.

So he went about finding some information on MJ and put together a short biography including a website where the kids can listening to his favourite song, Billie Jean, and watch the King of Pop do the moon walk. I figured his presentation would end there, until he came out of his room this morning all dressed-up and dancing around doing the best Micheal Jackson impression he could muster. I guess he figured a visual component would compliment his biography.

I’m very excited to see clear displays of my children choosing to walk their own path, adding in their own flavors to their day to day life. I will always encourage it. I will always be proud of it. My hope and prayer is that they become confident and happy adults capable of great things because of it.

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I ♥ Thrifting

I love thrifting. Ever since I was able to make my own fashion choices and was allowed my two cents for where I wanted to shop I’ve had a passion for perusing second-hand stores. It’s the unknown, the hunt, the treasures, the obscure, the potential style and individuality and, yes, the price tag that draws me in. I also feel like I’m doing my small part in the world to help out when I buy second-hand.

Jr. High was where I started my self-expression through style. I loved silly t-shirts, button-ups, old-man trousers, cargo pants, suspenders, skirts and 70’s cardigans…all paired with my Doc Martens of course. My mom still bought me a lot of clothes and she hated taking me to Value Village, something about the smell and the feel of the garments bothered her. I didn’t always look like a punk rocker rag doll and, thank goodness, over the years my style has changed and shifted. On a side note: I was recently going through my wardrobe doing some tidying-up and realized that about 75% of all of my clothing is thrifted, gifted or hand-me-downs. I really don’t spend much on clothing and, when I do, it’s usually from a sale rack. Target has ridiculous discount prices on women’s clothing. 

I do also shop else where now. I find that most pants are better to buy new with a proper fit (although I did alter a couple of pairs last year to make them work, and work they do!). Sometimes I’ll go a few months in between thrifting but after a lull I’ll always find myself back surfing the racks.

Now, when a-thriftin’ I go, I usually head to MCC or the Sally Ann before the V.V. Boutique mega store. I like supporting the Mennonite Central Committee and they’ll still sell a Banana Republic sweater for under $3.

My son has a problem with losing sweaters at school. He was down to one hoodie and when you live in a deep freeze like Winnipeg, one sweater doesn’t cut it. So yesterday I packed-up Eli and headed to our local MCC store.

I scored three sweaters for Rhys, a jacket for Amelia, a toque for Eli and a beautiful hand-dyed wrap skirt for myself. I was considering putting a few things back when I was approached by a volunteer and asked if I had a few minutes to spare to do a survey. Considering I love MCC and am there fairly frequently I figured I could take some time to do it. It was two pages long and, when finished, she handed me a $10 gift certificate to the store! I only ended-up paying $2 for all of our clothes.

Thrift Store Score!!

I usually leave the thrift store wondering why I don’t always try there first. My money is going to help people and there are so many newer, gently used clothes that have more life to give (not to mention shoes, books, housewares, and craft supplies) . Why are we spending exorbitant amounts of money on clothes that are the latest and greatest and have a certain label attached? Truth be told, most of my favorite articles of clothing that I’ve owned over the years have come from second-hand stores. I would love to start hitting-up some of the higher-end vintage and consignment stores in Winnipeg as there are quite a few that I’ve heard good things about.

So, do you love the hunt as much as I do? Does your personal style work well with thrifting? Or have you *gasp* never tried?


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