Thursday, 22 September 2011

Nothing New - Update

So far so good! 22 days in, and I'm feeling good. Other than groceries and other necessities (tp & meds) I haven't purchased anything that is new! Yay me!
AND I've even started my Christmas shopping. Take that! Yes, I've very excited. Can you tell?
First off, as you know, I was a bit concerned over how I was going to deal with birthdays. It was easier than I thought.

I enjoy going to, and shopping at, thrift shops. I don't mind getting things for my immediate family, but I'm always a little wary of shopping for gifts. You never really know how people would react to receiving a pre-loved item. However, let me tell you, Bramptonians (Bramptonites? Bramptonese?) are a generous group. In my thrifty travels, I have found so many new, never opened items at a fraction of the price you would find them in regular shops. Case in point:

The Boy is a reader. No, I mean a READER. We go to the library at least once a week (usually 2-3 times) and he takes out 7-10 "chapter" books. If I let him, he'll read for hours a day, but I'm the "mean" mom who makes him stop for breaks to set the table, play outside [although now I make sure that he leaves his books inside so I don't have to catch him reading behind the car instead of riding his bike!] and generally just do other things. I know that it's fantastic that he reads so much when other boys his age won't sit still for enough time to read a comic, or, ummm, graphic novel, but it really is quite the obsession. However, I digress.... so to fuel his love of reading (!) that's what he's getting for Christmas this year. I've heard good things about The 39 Clues, and I happened to come across the game - new in its package! - at Talize [one of my faves, but more on that later]. It was only $7.99! SCORE! I checked out the book section and lo, and behold, after much digging I unearthed book 1 of the series! SCORE! But, not only was it in excellent hardback condition, it still had all the cards! SCORE! [For those of you keeping track - yes. I just scored a hat trick. Thank you. Thank you very much.]

And so, for less than $13, the Boy has a giftie I know he's going to love! 

In the same trip I also picked up a gift for a birthday party that the Girl was invited to. She's terribly upset that she can't go, since we're off to the cottage that weekend, but I've mollified her somewhat by getting a fab pressie for her little friend. 3 items = less than $6. 
1. A never used My Little Pony Mad Libs book. 
2. A mermaid fairy princess beginner chapter book [doesn't look like it was even cracked open!] 
3. A "vintage" [1982 :) ] set of never used paper dolls. 
Not bad for a party that she won't be going to! I'm not gonna lie, I was tempted to break out the scissors and start cutting out the clothes for the dollies. I remember that feeling so well!

Some other great finds: a brand-new, never opened game ($4, Cousin's b-day), a brand-new, never-opened DVD game ($2.50, Uncle's b-day). 

This game...

...will find its way into someone's gift hamper this Christmas. ($5)

For a friend's birthday, I dipped into my Pampered Chef sample stash. She loves it all, so I was happy to gift her with some. It was worth well over $40, but cost me $0. : )

My father's birthday was a bit trickier. To make a long story short, I ended up purchasing tickets to a Toronto FC game. I got them on sale through AirMiles, and it's a non-cluttering gift so I think it's okay. Did I break my own rules? I don't think so. Technically they are new, but they weren't full price and besides... what use would used soccer tickets be? 

My wallet broke this month. Ha. Ha. The irony was not lost on me. However, it gave me the opportunity to purchase this lovely thing:

See, what broke on my old wallet was the change purse. I can still use it for my cards and such. Now I have a lovely new-to-me change purse to hold my actual cash and coins. It's nice and big so I can find it easily in my black hole bag.

More on my thrifty travels to come!


Sunday, 4 September 2011

Nothing New September

(Wouldn't it sound way cooler if it was "Nothing New November"! While I love the alliteration, I'm impatient. I don't want to wait another 2 months to start my experiment.)

Drum roll please..........

* I will buy nothing new for the month of September! *

Ta da.

Well, I guess it didn't actually need a drum roll. Now that I think about it, it's not really an announcement, so much as a possibility. But, let's give it a go anyway, shall we?

The premise is simple: I will buy nothing new [other than food, meds, toilet paper, you know, the basics] for the month of September. Can it be done!? Meh. We'll see how it goes.

It's already the 4th, and I've a birthday party today for 3 celebrants to attend. Luckily, I've a small stash from which to choose their gifties.

The real challenge will come in the next few weeks (obviously) since the kids are in school and may or may not require various addenda to their backpacks and at least 3 more birthdays - one of them is my father!

Then there's the movie I'll probably be going to with the book club girls, but surely that won't count, right? Come to think of it, since I'm in charge, outings will not count. As long as I'm not bringing anything home with me.

Let the games begin!

Friday, 2 September 2011

Tears for breakfast, anyone?

Okay. I admit it. I didn't think it through.

Here's what happened:

The 4 of us were sitting around the breakfast table yesterday morning. We got on to the topic of how school starts in a few days and I begin to sing about how happy I am. I'm happy that my kids are growing up. I'm happy  happy that they're going to have fun at school. I'm happy happy HAPPY that I will have so many hours to get things done during the day before they get home. [Here's where it becomes decidedly unhappy.] Before I can explain that I'm so happy because it means that I'll have more time to do fun stuff when the kids do come home, the little one bursts into full-on, gut-wrenching, hiccupping, can't-control-herself sobbing and throws herself into my arms. Non-plussed, I ask her what's wrong.
"I don't want to go to school all day! Bwaaaaaaaaahhhhh!!!!"
[Wait. It gets worse.]
"I want to stay with you! BWaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!! "
[And worse.]
"Don't you want me to stay with you!?! Bwaaaahhhhhh! I can help you!"
[And then....]
I start crying too. There you have it ladies and gents. Tears for breakfast. Plenty to go around. The little one nearly inconsolable, and me, trying not to drown her. And it hits me like a wicked diaper: I don't have any more babies. And while this thought is pricking my eyeballs like so many killer cacti, my hugs and shushes have magically converted the tears on my breast to the occasional shuddering sob. In another minute, the little one is fully restored and can't wait to break in her new rolling Tinkerbell backpack with matching pencil case [gift from Nonna] and I have fully realized my mortality.
I wonder what I should make for lunch.
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