Friday, October 2, 2015

Feature Friday: A Splendid Messy Life

 

9 Tips to Save Money and Curb Impulse Shopping



I just got my December credit card bill. Sigh. You know that saying "shopping is my cardio"? Can online shopping be cardio? Well, that's my weakness. But I'm resolving to save a little more in 2015, so that means less spending in 2015. Here are the tips I'm going to try and follow to help grow our savings and pay for the two bigger trips we have planned this year.

1. Unsubscribe from retailer emails and unlike their FB and Instagram pages. Bye bye J. Crew. Au revoir Anthro. No more will I allow you to assault my Facebook news feed with free advertising because once upon a time I clicked 'like'. And my inbox? It already feels lighter. I do like following the Chapters/Indigo Instagram feed, so that one got to stay. They don't post everyday, and their pics are beautiful. But otherwise outta sight, outta mind.

2. Tell a friend about the item. This trick I do often with my friends or on the blog. Sometimes I find something that I think is so great, but I probably don't really need it, so I feel better when I tell others about it.

3. Don't buy for "sometime." I often find gifts and think, "Oh this would be a great baby shower gift, or this would be a great gift for so and so." But the problem is, I just end up buy more things and don't always gift them when I thought I would. If it's not something I need right now, or I don't know exactly when and for whom I need a gift, I won't buy it.

4. Use up what you have.  Stationery, food, cosmetics. These are all things that I have multiples of at home. I resolve to use up the things I have at home before I buy anymore. Seriously, there is a 1/4 of a cow in my freezer.

5. Brown Bag It. I'm usually pretty good about bringing my own lunch, mostly because at work I really don't often have time to run out and grab something. But, I can be better at making Rob's lunch for him so that he buys it less often. At least that's what I tell myself. Rob tells me that whenever I make him lunch, he eats it at 9:30am and then still gets "second lunch". Ugh. So maybe this one doesn't really work.....

6. Use the library. Buying a Kobo has got to be one of the best investments I've ever made. Ebooks are little bit less expensive when buying them, but I can download books from the Toronto Public Library right onto my Kobo. Free books. On my Kobo. Plus the waitlists for ebooks is often shorter at the library. I also don't have to go pickup or return my books because they just disappear off my Kobo when my lending period is over.

7.  Make a universal wish list. I have a Pinterest board that serves a bit as a running wish list. I can pin things here that I'm coveting and come back when I'm ready to make a purchase or forward the list to my husband when he's asking for gift ideas.

8. 3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making a Purchase.  Check out this article. The idea is to ask yourself, how will you feel about this purchase in 10 minutes? in 10 months? in 10 years? Focus on short and long-term profit/loss. I've been trying to use this one more and more lately. In 10 months I'll likely be annoyed that I spent X number of dollars on a third grey sweater, but I'll probably be ok with splurging for a glass of wine when watching a movie with a friend.

 9. Sell your stuff. I'm a purger. I'm constantly going through our house and getting rid of stuff we never use. Sometimes I just give things away, mostly stuff like books and the like, to friends. Other times I'll send a big pile of stuff off for donation. But if something is still in great shape, I may try to sell it on consignment. Here are 2 online consignment stores I use:

i. For clothing, my favourite consignment shop is called Trend Trunk. It's a Canadian online consignment store. Here's my Trend Trunk Closet if you want to see the items I'm currently selling. They even have an app, so it's wicked easy to take pictures of your clothes and post them to the store.

ii.  For baby stuff, I've used Baby Pre-Loved. This is a Toronto-based online consignment store. What I like about this store is that the commission you earn is a little less, but they will pay you upfront and take the risk themselves. So, you're guaranteed either cash or credit to their store if they take your item. I prefer this than waiting to see if my stuff has sold at a traditional consignment store.

So those are my money-saving tips. Do you have any to add? I'm sure we'd all love to read them too!
xo
 
 
 
 
 

About Me

 
This is a blog where these things matter: women, moms, friends, family, having fun, experimenting with life, plus a few DIYs from Pinterest that may or may not totally fail. 
Here is where I hope to share bits and pieces of my life with you. 

A Splendid Messy Life is a mommy and lifestyle blog written and edited by me, Jennifer Bairos. I am a working mama living in Toronto with my husband, Rob, our son, Sebastian, and our cat, Lily.

Both the journey to get and stay pregnant, and then my first year of motherhood weren't easy roads. It helped me to connect with others and read stories about how motherhood didn't always look like walking with a sleeping baby in the stroller while drinking a Starbucks latte.  (I don't know why, but for some reason I thought I'd be doing this every day as soon as Seb was born).

When I was on maternity leave, I started to follow a few blogs and loved hearing the voices of these women sharing their tips, tricks, and thoughts on motherhood. I was, and continue to be, inspired by these women and wanted to join them by sharing my experiences with others too. I write about books and toys that are loved in our house, things we love to do in Toronto, resources I've found that have made life a little bit easier, or just my thoughts on parenting.


I don't write exclusively about motherhood, however. I also love to share wonderful and fun things I've found that I think any woman would love. I call them les petits plaisirs.

If you'd like to get a taste of what I've written, a few of my most popular posts so far have been:
Breastfeeding, Bottle-feeding, and Balance
Instagram vs Real Life
Chemo Angels
Non-Cheesy Anniversary Gift Ideas for the First Five Years

Thank you for stopping by, and welcome to my blog :)

"She generally gave herself very good advice, (though she very seldom followed it.)" Lewis Carroll

 

Frequently Asked Questions  

Where do you find the time to blog?
Usually during nap time. Most of the year I work full-time, so I will write a post during naps on the weekend or maybe work on a post over a few evenings during the week when Rob and I are binge-watching something on Netflix. That's why Seb will nap until he's 18 and off to his next grand adventure. I don't know when I'll write when he stops napping!

How do you keep your house so clean and seem to have your life all together?
Ummm....I think you have the wrong blogger. Refer to the picture below and this blog post.



Tell us some of your favourites.
Sure thing!
Books:
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, Spilling Open by Sabrina Ward Harrison, and I posted earlier how I love pretty much any kind of trilogy.
You can check out my reviews of the books I've been reading recently here.

TV Shows:
Downton Abbey, The Mindy Project, The Big Bang Theory, Mad Men, Suits, and Orange is the New Black

Beauty products:
Jurlique Calendula Moisturizer, Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream, NARS Blush in Orgasm, CoverGirl LashBlast Length Mascara, Stila Lip Glaze in Guava, and Essie nailpolishes (usually in Wicked or Mademoiselle)

Stores:
Chapters Indigo, J Crew, Gap, Sephora, Etsy, and Anthropologie

Shoes:
9 times out of 10 you can find me in either these Roots boots, black Havianas, or a pair of Tieks.

Blogs:
The Mom Edit, Rookie Moms, The Honest Toddler, The Average Girls' Guide, and Girl Meets Box

Small claims to fame

Guest posts for The Rookie Moms: My Year of Rookie Mom Challenges and Baby Activities in Toronto.
Guest post for The Ruralist: Finding a Small Town Within a Big City.
Contributor for VoiceBox: Why I'm Not Having a Birthday Party for my 3 Year Old.


A few comments about posts (and comments)

I do not collect or share data (other than traffic stats) from my readers.
I believe in honesty on this blog and would never promote a product or service that I did not totally love and think you would love too. Any compensation provided will also be fully disclosed in the blog post. A Splendid Messy Life does include affiliate advertising links in posts and can earn a very small referral commission from these links. This blog is written and edited by me and all opinions are my own.
A Splendid Messy Life reserves the right to remove any comment that is offensive in nature, self-promotional spam, or in any other way not related to the post.


Feel free to email me anytime at asplendidmessylife@gmail.com. I'd love to hear from you!

xo
 
 
You can read more of A Splendid Messy Life here. 
 

9 Tips to Save Money and Curb Impulse Shopping



I just got my December credit card bill. Sigh. You know that saying "shopping is my cardio"? Can online shopping be cardio? Well, that's my weakness. But I'm resolving to save a little more in 2015, so that means less spending in 2015. Here are the tips I'm going to try and follow to help grow our savings and pay for the two bigger trips we have planned this year.

1. Unsubscribe from retailer emails and unlike their FB and Instagram pages. Bye bye J. Crew. Au revoir Anthro. No more will I allow you to assault my Facebook news feed with free advertising because once upon a time I clicked 'like'. And my inbox? It already feels lighter. I do like following the Chapters/Indigo Instagram feed, so that one got to stay. They don't post everyday, and their pics are beautiful. But otherwise outta sight, outta mind.

2. Tell a friend about the item. This trick I do often with my friends or on the blog. Sometimes I find something that I think is so great, but I probably don't really need it, so I feel better when I tell others about it.

3. Don't buy for "sometime." I often find gifts and think, "Oh this would be a great baby shower gift, or this would be a great gift for so and so." But the problem is, I just end up buy more things and don't always gift them when I thought I would. If it's not something I need right now, or I don't know exactly when and for whom I need a gift, I won't buy it.

4. Use up what you have.  Stationery, food, cosmetics. These are all things that I have multiples of at home. I resolve to use up the things I have at home before I buy anymore. Seriously, there is a 1/4 of a cow in my freezer.

5. Brown Bag It. I'm usually pretty good about bringing my own lunch, mostly because at work I really don't often have time to run out and grab something. But, I can be better at making Rob's lunch for him so that he buys it less often. At least that's what I tell myself. Rob tells me that whenever I make him lunch, he eats it at 9:30am and then still gets "second lunch". Ugh. So maybe this one doesn't really work.....

6. Use the library. Buying a Kobo has got to be one of the best investments I've ever made. Ebooks are little bit less expensive when buying them, but I can download books from the Toronto Public Library right onto my Kobo. Free books. On my Kobo. Plus the waitlists for ebooks is often shorter at the library. I also don't have to go pickup or return my books because they just disappear off my Kobo when my lending period is over.

7.  Make a universal wish list. I have a Pinterest board that serves a bit as a running wish list. I can pin things here that I'm coveting and come back when I'm ready to make a purchase or forward the list to my husband when he's asking for gift ideas.

8. 3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making a Purchase.  Check out this article. The idea is to ask yourself, how will you feel about this purchase in 10 minutes? in 10 months? in 10 years? Focus on short and long-term profit/loss. I've been trying to use this one more and more lately. In 10 months I'll likely be annoyed that I spent X number of dollars on a third grey sweater, but I'll probably be ok with splurging for a glass of wine when watching a movie with a friend.

 9. Sell your stuff. I'm a purger. I'm constantly going through our house and getting rid of stuff we never use. Sometimes I just give things away, mostly stuff like books and the like, to friends. Other times I'll send a big pile of stuff off for donation. But if something is still in great shape, I may try to sell it on consignment. Here are 2 online consignment stores I use:

i. For clothing, my favourite consignment shop is called Trend Trunk. It's a Canadian online consignment store. Here's my Trend Trunk Closet if you want to see the items I'm currently selling. They even have an app, so it's wicked easy to take pictures of your clothes and post them to the store.

ii.  For baby stuff, I've used Baby Pre-Loved. This is a Toronto-based online consignment store. What I like about this store is that the commission you earn is a little less, but they will pay you upfront and take the risk themselves. So, you're guaranteed either cash or credit to their store if they take your item. I prefer this than waiting to see if my stuff has sold at a traditional consignment store.

So those are my money-saving tips. Do you have any to add? I'm sure we'd all love to read them too!
xo
J
- See more at: http://www.asplendidmessylife.com/2014/12/9-tips-to-save-money-and-curb-impulse.html#sthash.zwOlodyT.dpuf

9 Tips to Save Money and Curb Impulse Shopping



I just got my December credit card bill. Sigh. You know that saying "shopping is my cardio"? Can online shopping be cardio? Well, that's my weakness. But I'm resolving to save a little more in 2015, so that means less spending in 2015. Here are the tips I'm going to try and follow to help grow our savings and pay for the two bigger trips we have planned this year.

1. Unsubscribe from retailer emails and unlike their FB and Instagram pages. Bye bye J. Crew. Au revoir Anthro. No more will I allow you to assault my Facebook news feed with free advertising because once upon a time I clicked 'like'. And my inbox? It already feels lighter. I do like following the Chapters/Indigo Instagram feed, so that one got to stay. They don't post everyday, and their pics are beautiful. But otherwise outta sight, outta mind.

2. Tell a friend about the item. This trick I do often with my friends or on the blog. Sometimes I find something that I think is so great, but I probably don't really need it, so I feel better when I tell others about it.

3. Don't buy for "sometime." I often find gifts and think, "Oh this would be a great baby shower gift, or this would be a great gift for so and so." But the problem is, I just end up buy more things and don't always gift them when I thought I would. If it's not something I need right now, or I don't know exactly when and for whom I need a gift, I won't buy it.

4. Use up what you have.  Stationery, food, cosmetics. These are all things that I have multiples of at home. I resolve to use up the things I have at home before I buy anymore. Seriously, there is a 1/4 of a cow in my freezer.

5. Brown Bag It. I'm usually pretty good about bringing my own lunch, mostly because at work I really don't often have time to run out and grab something. But, I can be better at making Rob's lunch for him so that he buys it less often. At least that's what I tell myself. Rob tells me that whenever I make him lunch, he eats it at 9:30am and then still gets "second lunch". Ugh. So maybe this one doesn't really work.....

6. Use the library. Buying a Kobo has got to be one of the best investments I've ever made. Ebooks are little bit less expensive when buying them, but I can download books from the Toronto Public Library right onto my Kobo. Free books. On my Kobo. Plus the waitlists for ebooks is often shorter at the library. I also don't have to go pickup or return my books because they just disappear off my Kobo when my lending period is over.

7.  Make a universal wish list. I have a Pinterest board that serves a bit as a running wish list. I can pin things here that I'm coveting and come back when I'm ready to make a purchase or forward the list to my husband when he's asking for gift ideas.

8. 3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making a Purchase.  Check out this article. The idea is to ask yourself, how will you feel about this purchase in 10 minutes? in 10 months? in 10 years? Focus on short and long-term profit/loss. I've been trying to use this one more and more lately. In 10 months I'll likely be annoyed that I spent X number of dollars on a third grey sweater, but I'll probably be ok with splurging for a glass of wine when watching a movie with a friend.

 9. Sell your stuff. I'm a purger. I'm constantly going through our house and getting rid of stuff we never use. Sometimes I just give things away, mostly stuff like books and the like, to friends. Other times I'll send a big pile of stuff off for donation. But if something is still in great shape, I may try to sell it on consignment. Here are 2 online consignment stores I use:

i. For clothing, my favourite consignment shop is called Trend Trunk. It's a Canadian online consignment store. Here's my Trend Trunk Closet if you want to see the items I'm currently selling. They even have an app, so it's wicked easy to take pictures of your clothes and post them to the store.

ii.  For baby stuff, I've used Baby Pre-Loved. This is a Toronto-based online consignment store. What I like about this store is that the commission you earn is a little less, but they will pay you upfront and take the risk themselves. So, you're guaranteed either cash or credit to their store if they take your item. I prefer this than waiting to see if my stuff has sold at a traditional consignment store.

So those are my money-saving tips. Do you have any to add? I'm sure we'd all love to read them too!
xo
J
- See more at: http://www.asplendidmessylife.com/2014/12/9-tips-to-save-money-and-curb-impulse.html#sthash.zwOlodyT.dpuf

9 Tips to Save Money and Curb Impulse Shopping



I just got my December credit card bill. Sigh. You know that saying "shopping is my cardio"? Can online shopping be cardio? Well, that's my weakness. But I'm resolving to save a little more in 2015, so that means less spending in 2015. Here are the tips I'm going to try and follow to help grow our savings and pay for the two bigger trips we have planned this year.

1. Unsubscribe from retailer emails and unlike their FB and Instagram pages. Bye bye J. Crew. Au revoir Anthro. No more will I allow you to assault my Facebook news feed with free advertising because once upon a time I clicked 'like'. And my inbox? It already feels lighter. I do like following the Chapters/Indigo Instagram feed, so that one got to stay. They don't post everyday, and their pics are beautiful. But otherwise outta sight, outta mind.

2. Tell a friend about the item. This trick I do often with my friends or on the blog. Sometimes I find something that I think is so great, but I probably don't really need it, so I feel better when I tell others about it.

3. Don't buy for "sometime." I often find gifts and think, "Oh this would be a great baby shower gift, or this would be a great gift for so and so." But the problem is, I just end up buy more things and don't always gift them when I thought I would. If it's not something I need right now, or I don't know exactly when and for whom I need a gift, I won't buy it.

4. Use up what you have.  Stationery, food, cosmetics. These are all things that I have multiples of at home. I resolve to use up the things I have at home before I buy anymore. Seriously, there is a 1/4 of a cow in my freezer.

5. Brown Bag It. I'm usually pretty good about bringing my own lunch, mostly because at work I really don't often have time to run out and grab something. But, I can be better at making Rob's lunch for him so that he buys it less often. At least that's what I tell myself. Rob tells me that whenever I make him lunch, he eats it at 9:30am and then still gets "second lunch". Ugh. So maybe this one doesn't really work.....

6. Use the library. Buying a Kobo has got to be one of the best investments I've ever made. Ebooks are little bit less expensive when buying them, but I can download books from the Toronto Public Library right onto my Kobo. Free books. On my Kobo. Plus the waitlists for ebooks is often shorter at the library. I also don't have to go pickup or return my books because they just disappear off my Kobo when my lending period is over.

7.  Make a universal wish list. I have a Pinterest board that serves a bit as a running wish list. I can pin things here that I'm coveting and come back when I'm ready to make a purchase or forward the list to my husband when he's asking for gift ideas.

8. 3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making a Purchase.  Check out this article. The idea is to ask yourself, how will you feel about this purchase in 10 minutes? in 10 months? in 10 years? Focus on short and long-term profit/loss. I've been trying to use this one more and more lately. In 10 months I'll likely be annoyed that I spent X number of dollars on a third grey sweater, but I'll probably be ok with splurging for a glass of wine when watching a movie with a friend.

 9. Sell your stuff. I'm a purger. I'm constantly going through our house and getting rid of stuff we never use. Sometimes I just give things away, mostly stuff like books and the like, to friends. Other times I'll send a big pile of stuff off for donation. But if something is still in great shape, I may try to sell it on consignment. Here are 2 online consignment stores I use:

i. For clothing, my favourite consignment shop is called Trend Trunk. It's a Canadian online consignment store. Here's my Trend Trunk Closet if you want to see the items I'm currently selling. They even have an app, so it's wicked easy to take pictures of your clothes and post them to the store.

ii.  For baby stuff, I've used Baby Pre-Loved. This is a Toronto-based online consignment store. What I like about this store is that the commission you earn is a little less, but they will pay you upfront and take the risk themselves. So, you're guaranteed either cash or credit to their store if they take your item. I prefer this than waiting to see if my stuff has sold at a traditional consignment store.

So those are my money-saving tips. Do you have any to add? I'm sure we'd all love to read them too!
xo
J
- See more at: http://www.asplendidmessylife.com/2014/12/9-tips-to-save-money-and-curb-impulse.html#sthash.zwOlodyT.dpuf