Thursday, August 27, 2009

I hate paying 5c for bags

OK, do you know what I still struggle with? Bringing bags with me to the mall to avoid paying the 5c. It's second nature for me to take extra bags with me when I go grocery shopping because I am there with the intention of buying something. But at the mall, it's very hit or miss. Sometimes, I am just window shopping, sometimes I just think of something that I need to pick up on my way home, ect. I never think to take a bag out of my trunk and take it with me into the mall.

I was at Zellers recently and purchased one of their reusable fold-able bags and I love it. It was a only a dollar and the best part is it folds up into this tiny little thing that you can just throw into your purse. I am not sure it's the best to take grocery shopping (i.e. I don't know how much weight it can support) but this is meant to be used for light weight things, not to carry things from Home Depot.

So now I am always ready. I know it's only 5c but paying for a bag bothers me.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Long weekend plans

The long weekend is still two weeks away but I've been itching to do something a little bigger than my past long a road trip! So after lots of hmming & hawing, I booked a car for the long weekend with Enterprise. They had the best deal I could find which coupled with 10% off coupon from my entertainment book came to under $100 for 4 days! That's about $25/day to rent the car not including gas off course.

Now, I need a place to go. I wanted to get the car thing out of the way in case they sold out seeing as it is the long weekend after all. I am flexible on where to go. Typically me & the bf head to Montreal @least once a year and we have not yet done that this year so that's our back up. I am going to keep my eyes open for hotel deals and will see if anything else comes up.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Roots = No, Jacob = Yes

Remember my post about Roots Yoga and not being sure if they still exist as I couldn't find the line on their corporate website... however, I found out they have their own yoga studio :S Well on my way home from work yesterday I stopped by the Roots outlet hoping that if they were phasing their yoga clothing out, I could find stock at their outlets. Well no success and the employee tells me the line is still being sold at corporate stores. Not only were there no yoga clothes at the outlet, the prices on their clothing weren't that great to be honest.

I also ducked into the Jacob Outlet store because they occasionally have amazing deals (i.e. 50% off entire store multiple times a year). Well no 50% off this time but great prices like it was pretty much 50% off. I was able to score two button up work shirts @ $10, a tank top @ $5 and a tube top @ $5. I really love the tube top because it's one of those flowy tube tops that you can wear with jeans for a casual look or with a cardigan for a more dressy look. Awesome because I love double duty clothing. If you have an outlet near you, I'd recommend dropping by. They had other great deals on baby ts, dress pants, dresses, name it but I really don't need any of those things.

My button up shirt collection is fairly small as I typically only wear them when I have a client meeting and I need to dress corporate and snazzy all at the same time.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Skidless by Yogitoes - Yikes, I just spent $60 on a towel!

The facts are:

1. I practice yoga....I like yoga...I love yoga.
2. I sweat....I sweat a lot....In fact I have hyperhidrosis.

Sweating while doing yoga is normal but leads to potential slipping and sliding. It sucks when the worry of sliding out of a position is in your head when you're supposed to be thinking deep yoda like thoughts. My solution has been bringing a small hand towel to class and wiping my hands and feet every so often. It's not the best but does the job.

Well lately the weather has been hot & humid and my sweating is in overdrive so I googled to see what could help me. That's when I stumbled across something called skidless which is an absorbent microfibre like towel the size of a yoga mat that you place on top of your mat. It has silicone nubs on one side so it grips on to your yoga mat and as a result prevents slipping & sliding and best of all it absorbs sweat which I do a lot of!

Exactly what the doctor ordered. Even better is that's it's got amazing reviews online. I did not find one single negative review about this product. Not one! Normally you come across somebody that feels so-so but I searched and searched and couldn't find unhappy customers. It could be due to the fact that it is still relatively unknown except in yoga circles and is only a matter of time before it becomes mainstream. And we all know that going mainstream will surely bring out some naysayers.

Now the trouble was finding it locally. It was already expensive as it is and I didn't want to spend more on shipping so I spent more time googling and discovered some local studios that carried it, along with Lululemon. Lululemon was the most accesible so I stopped by the store on my way home and picked one up. It was ~$60 with tax but if it does what it promises, I would have easily paid more.

I tried it out as soon as I got home and I am in love. It works great and what's best is that it's machine washable. You don't know how many times I wonder what kind of bacteria is getting on my face from my mat when doing a pose that requires my face to come into contact with the mat. *shudder*

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Roots Yoga

I went out looking for a gift for a friends baby and ended up splurging on a Roots Yoga jacket at the Sears Outlet! It actually was very reasonably priced @ $30 whereas the original price was $80. I was on the fence but I tried it on and it fit like a dream and the colour was stunning. To top it off, they had a scratch & save event and I scored 10% off my purchase.

There was a point in my life where I'd buy things just for the brand or that little logo in the corner but I am over it. I am all about quality over quantity. And I think quality is really important for workout gear. i.e. for those looking for quality yoga gear on the cheap, check out costco. Their Tuff Athletics branded yoga gear has served me well. I can also attest to Roots. I went on their website and was a little confused because I couldn't find their yoga clothes! What confused me even more is there's a Roots Yoga Studio downtown toronto. :S Does this mean that they are phasing out their yoga clothes or perhaps they already did?

Next up in my yoga clothing adventures is Lululemon. I've stayed away from this brand because of the price but people say it's worth it. One of these days I think I am going to give in and try them out.

Phew all this yoga talk is making me want to do some yoga.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Trouble sleeping

Lately I've been struggling to fall asleep. I have a lot of things racing through my mind lately and that's what's been keeping me up. What's worse is I wake up early...and I mean early! I get up before my alarm goes off and that pretty much never happens. If you ask the bf, he'll tell you that if there's one thing I love to do, it's sleep.

It also doesn't help that the weather is sticky gross lately. I dig hot weather but humidity is not my friend. My hair feels the same way.

Back to my mind racing. It's been racing with thoughts of work and stresses of work. I think it's a toxic environment for my personality and a change of pace is in order. Now how quickly that change will happen is a different story but at least I am on it.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Why I made the switch to stainless steel

I know that this whole BPA controversy with water bottles happened last year but I am only acting up on it now. Why? There are two reasons. 1) I've been drinking from these water bottles for years & I think I am still relatively healthy. You know the old saying, if it aint broke, don't fix it. Well I am trying to be more conscious of what I am putting into my body so that's why I am acting up now. 2) I always keep a water bottle in the car that I drink from and with the summer in tow, it can't be good that I am drinking water from a bottle that's been heated from sitting out in the sun and is probably in overdrive leaking BPA and other things into the water that I drink.

Bisphenol-A or BPA for short is like a female hormone (estrogen) and has been linked to reproductive and developmental damage. Even breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men! Research suggests that it could be linked to many other things as well but I think you could research anything to death and link just about anything together so make your own informed decision. My decision was that it was time for me to get a new water bottle.

So I did a little googling and here is what I found.
  1. BPA free plastic:
    Manufacturers have now come out with plastic bottles that are BPA free. The big controversy that continues with these types of bottles are, are these bottles leaking something else into the water that tests just haven't discovered yet? I mean how long did it take to discover this whole BPA shebang? With that in mind, I am steering away from plastic bottles.

  2. Aluminum:
    Sigg is the most popular bottle that's out there. It's almost the new Nalgene. However, I don't know if it's the best option. Siggs aluminum bottles and pretty much all other aluminum bottles made by other manufacturers are lined with plastic so it's safe to drink but people are questioning whether the lining is leaking harmful chemicals into the water. And we're back at square one. The other issue is that the aluminum could somehow leak into the water and cause another set of effects on the body. Hey it's been linked to Alzheimers! Very confusing! Sigg off course states that their bottles are very safe based on research studies but my personal decision is to stay away from aluminum.

  3. Stainless steel:
    Based on my research this seemed like the best option for me. As long as it's a good composition of stainless steel it seems like it's OK to drink out of. My googling suggested making sure your stainless steel bottle is grade 304 (food grade) or else it might contain a high composition of nickel which isn't good for you and has again been linked to doing bad things for your body.

  4. Glass:
    This actually seems like one of the best options if you're overly concerned about what you're drinking out of. It's also one of the cheaper options because all you have to do is buy a product that comes in a glass bottle (i.e. Snapple) and once you finish consuming, clean it and you're good to go. The big down side is convenience. i.e. it's fairly heavy and if you drop it, watch out! However, if you're a fairly un-clumsy person (definitely not me) or just keep your bottle in one area, this might be best for you. I am trying to remember the next time I use one, to save it & use in the car.

See, this water bottle stuff is serious business! I bought my stainless steel water bottle at Canadian Tire because they were on sale and because I had Canadian Tire money from pumping gas at their stations. At the end, I ended up paying about a $1 out of my pocket.

I did my own research and came to my own conclusions, I'd suggest everybody else do the same and do what they feel safe with.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Clothing Swap in Toronto

So I was doing my typical surfing and came across this event happening in Toronto this Saturday. Basically you pay an entrance fee, bring in some clothes you don't wear anymore and swap it for something else you do want.

It seems like such a great idea and while I don't know where the money is going to, I imagine it's for a good cause? I am actually debating heading down. We'll see if other plans come through for Saturday.

Monday, August 3, 2009

July 2009 Spending Recap

I've been a little hesitant to do a recap for July because I knew I was over early on in the month. Looking back, I found that I didn't think too much about going over budget and if I wanted something within reason, I gave in and bought it.
  • Clothes & Beauty: Budgeted: $100 Actual Spend: $169. I purchased my makeup for little over $100 with shipping and duties but I have no regrets. I expect my foundation to last for another year and the blushes to last forever. I also spent some money thrifting and impulsively at Ardene. I purchased earrings I didn't need, wore them a few times and have since forgotten about them. I am putting them up on my earring rack so atleast I see them and will be more inclined to wear them. I also spent some moola thrifting.
  • Eating out: Budgeted: $150, Actual Spend: $189. Over by approximately $40. I blame the bf but that's not really an excuse. We've been spending our fair time eating out this month on top of my normal eating out with friends. Add in a friends birthday where I pick up their tab because I refuse to let friends pay for food on their birthday and there you have it.
  • Entertainment: Budgeted: $25, Actual Spend: $24. This covered tickets for Second City and movie tickets for Bruno. Second City was great and worth every penny. Bruno was not.
  • Gas: Budgeted: $125, Actual Spend: $99. Don't think I drove any more than usual.
  • Groceries: Budgeted: $100, Actual Spend: $92. Not much to say here except that I tried out a new recipe this month that's a keeper.
  • Misc: Budgeted: $20, Actual Spend: $35. I purchased three things here, batteries, wires and a folder. All things that I needed.
  • Total Budgeted: $520, Actual Spend: $608! Over by $88.
A little disappointing that I didn't foresee my spending a little better. I thought I had accommodated for my huge splurge in makeup but looks like I still went a little crazy in the beauty category.

For August, I am going to make my budget $500 because I like nice round numbers. I am also going to increase my eating out budget while decreasing my beauty budget because there's no reason for me to go crazy buying makeup again.