From Unwanted Shirt to Tote Bag

Hi Lovelies!

I have a super quick DIY for you today, that’s both cute and doesn’t require any new materials… which means free!

I had this tank top which has definitely seen better days. I really liked it but it was already too faded to be worn outdoors, and I didn’t feel that in was in a good enough condition to be donated.

You could of course recycle fabric at certain locations where the cloth gets used for rags or upcycled, but I wanted to extend the life of this shirt by just a bit more.

shirt before tote bag

Step 1:

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Awesome Lipstick Hack!

Awesome Lipstick Hack!

Hi lovelies!

Hope everyone’s had a great long weekend!

I stumbled upon a super awesome lipstick hack this past weekend, and I just had to share it!

I wrote about the long lasting power of the Maybelline SUPERSTAY 24® lipstick before, and talked about how it will literally last through anything. Believe me, I was skeptical too, but there’s just no stopping it!

At this point, I know that Maybelline SUPERSTAY 24® works great on its own, but what I discovered is that it also plays well with others.

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Perfect Christmas Gift for Large Groups!

Chriistmas Gift Baskets By Splattershare

Christmas is such a wonderfully festive time! Certainly not a time to be stressed out. I know it may seem like there’s a lot to do – dinners, holiday parties, gifts for family, friends, co-workers, prepping the home, decorating etc.

But just remember that those things should be FUN, no one is (I hope) forcing you to do any of it. It’s up to you to choose what to partake in.  Now, if you do choose to participate and plan on gifting to large crowds, let me make your life easier by introducing 2 words – GIFT BASKETS.

I never realized how easy, effective, and cheap  these can be. Read more

Points I love

favorite point cards2

Ah being frugal and getting free stuff. It’s great isn’t it? I think so, and I’m pretty good at it. If you’re going to buy something anyway, why not be rewarded for it? I’m sure we all understand the idea of loyalty cards – retailers vying for our business try to prevent us from going to the competition by enticing us with rewards. As simple as that, it’s how they earn our repeat business. While not all loyalty programs are created equal, there are some that fit seamlessly into daily life. Here are a few of my favourites: Read more

Shopping Mistakes

Shopping Mistakes

Whether you shop for fun or for necessity, I think we’re all predisposed to making some common mistakes.

Buying Something Because It’s Cheap

Sure, who doesn’t love to save money, but if cheap is the only criteria that helped up you pick that dress – put it back! Think about how that garment will work in your wardrobe. Will you ever even wear it? I like to justify purchases in terms of Cost Per Wear. If an item is more expensive but you’ll get more use out of it, it may be more justified than that cheap frock you’ll wear once. That being said, if something you LOVE is on sale, congratulations and well done!!
sale2

Buying Something To Fit Into Eventually

“Oh look it’s an adorable pair of jeans that fits my arms! But that’s ok, I plan on being skinny! I’m sure it will fit soon” Oh boy, I know I’ve said that one too many times! Shop for pieces that make you feel good now, and don’t clutter your wardrobe with clothes for future you. If your body changes, you should accommodate it then. Whether it’s because you’ve worked hard to lose weight, or gained a few pounds, you deserve to feel good.

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10 things not to splurge on

10 things not to splurge on

Let me share with you a list of 10 things that are just not worth the splurge. These savings certainly accumulate and become quite significant over time.

1. Tickets

Who doesn’t love a good night out? Maybe to the theater or a concert, perhaps even the movies. Let me tell you something, there are so many promo codes out there that I feel bad for anyone paying full price. Keep an eye out for these deals, often you’ll find them on group buying sites such as Groupon, Team Buy, Deal Find, Wag Jag, Living Social, etc. Tickets get cheaper towards the end of a run which can be a great time to score some deals too. In some cases you can find tickets up to 40% off the original price.

2. Garbage Bags

As environmentally conscious as I am, and as much as I try to always have reusable grocery bags with me, somehow I still end up with tons of plastic bags. I find solace in the fact that these seemingly useless plastic bags become my garbage bags, thus saving me from ever having to buy them.

3. + 4. Birthday Cards + Gift Bags

Personally I enjoy making cards for my loved ones, but I’m not suggesting that as a way to save money. In fact, if you factor in opportunity cost hand-made cards are considerably more expensive. What I am going to propose is a trip to the dollar store. I never understood what made a $5 bag better than the one that looks identical to it but cost $1.

When it comes to cards I find that a lot of people don’t really care or appreciate a store-bought card anyway. They will read it, remove the money if it contains any, and the card will find its way to the garbage shortly after. Spend the $7 if you please, but the dollar store does the trick just fine.

5. ATM Fees Read more

Vegas Challenge Baby!

Vegas Challenge Baby!

Hi Lovelies!

Today is all about Vegas & the #UltimateVegasOutfit challenge! To me, this is an opportunity to play virtual dress up, and reminisce about my own trip to Vegas.  I went to Vegas last year, and the city is as diverse as it is bright! So the Ultimate Vegas Outfit is one that makes you feel comfortable, and confident – whatever that might be. For me it was a purple Le Chateau dress that hit just above the knee, paired with a damask-like necklace and sky high heels to match. The dress was covered yet tight so basically appropriate for any occasion – show, restaurant, wedding. Read more

Big News!! Hint: Free stuff you can feel good about!

Big News!! Hint: Free stuff you can feel good about!

Hi Lovelies!

I have some really great news to share with everyone! 

If you’ve read my posts on Malu and the great work that they do, you know that the brand creates absolutely beautiful shoes and gives back to the community with every sale. I adore this idea so much that Maria and I have teamed up to bring to you weekly giveaways! Of course no giveaway is complete without giving back to the community so what we’ve decided to do is pick an organization each week and help raise awareness towards it – do that and you’ll be entered to win the weekly prize.

To participate:  Check out the weekly organization and comment 1 tidbit of info you’ve discovered about them. That’s it!

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Saving on Crafts

Saving on Crafts

It’s nearly the end of the year, and aside from gift-buying this is also the time we all turn into Martha Stewart and begin to bake cookies, and create Pinterest worthy crafts. Anything homemade takes time to make and create and therefore is special. I truly think that it’s much easier to go out and buy something semi-generic than it is to find time to sit down and put thought into creating something unique -whether for yourself or a gift for someone else. Needless to say the opportunity cost of your time may be high, but the materials necessary to create your beautiful projects can also add up. So I’d like to share a few quick tips on how to create sentimental gifts and thingamajigs while remaining within your budget. Read more

Lots and lots of Christmas DIY ideas!!

Lots and lots of Christmas DIY ideas!!

Every year for Christmas at work we have a girls’ gift exchange where you have to either make or bake a gift for the entire team of girls. As you can imagine you need to get creative and original and of course watch your wallet. The girls I work with are insanely creative so I thought I`d share some of the crafts with you to give you a few ideas for lovely hand-made gifts anyone on your list is sure to appreciate!

I`ve mentioned the beauty of DIY before, but let me just add that a pack of plain ornaments and a case of mason jars can go a long way in creating pro looking beautiful gifts!

critical DIY supplies @splattershare

1. Garlic, Rosemary and thyme olive oil:

This is such a lovely idea! Not only does it look beautiful but it`s a very useful gift. It can be used as a drizzle or a dip, and the little gorgeous bottles can be found at Michael`s

TIP: Make sure to get a spout/funnel to help you pour the oil into the bottles:

olive oil DIY @splattershare

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Cyber Monday – Did you miss it??

Cyber Monday – Did you miss it??

As retail experts will tell you Cyber Monday is not what it used to be. There are still great deals out there but overall they are not as spectacular as they once used to be on this one particular day. Today there is more competition in the market place than ever before, which is great for consumers because competition drives prices down and creates more options to choose from. This has led to the availability of great prices and selection not only on Cyber Monday, or Boxing Day in Canada, but rather all throughout the month of December. What does this mean for us? Well, for one we don’t need to trample each other on Black Friday and loose productivity by either shopping online at work or playing hooky to hit the sales. Sure there are ‘limited time deals’ but those are just marketing gimmicks to urge you to impulse buy quickly before this thing you don’t need disappears!

splattershare gifts!

How to you get the most out of shopping season? Read more

How to Have a Cheap Christmas!

How to Have a Cheap Christmas!

I love Christmas! Even though it’s cold it feels so cozy and festive. The spirit of giving seems to prevail and random acts of kindness become more prominent. It reminds me of a simpler time – when my parents took days off work to spend time with us during the Christmas holidays. To me Christmas is about family – whether you celebrate Christmas or not this time of year is truly magical.

There can of course be a lot of pressure around this time as well – to get all the right gifts, not to forget anyone, to decorate your house, to get a beautiful tree etc. Not only is it a lot to do but the costs quickly add up, and many of us want to be able to donate our time or money to charity too. So how do you keep it in check?

#1. Budget

Have a budget in mind before you begin to shop. There are a lot of options, and if you comparison shop or simply don’t buy on impulse you’ll save yourselves a lot of money. Know what your budget is and how you plan to allocate it. For example when it comes to Christmas trees there is such a range in prices! Some people might be ok spending $200 on a tree, some might think $50 is the true value. Personally, I found a beautiful 6 foot pre-lit Christmas tree at Wal-Mart for $20! I feel pretty good spending $20 on this baby!

our Christmas tree @splattershare

#2. DIY Read more

More Money Please

More Money Please

I find personal finance extremely interesting – it’s like a game, where you try to manipulate what you have, earn more along the way, and move closer towards your dreams. It’s a giant topic so I won’t dwell too deep today, but I do want to talk about money.

I don’t think you can achieve financial independence by reducing your spending only. As you age, mature, and grow so do your needs and wants. Ultimately you should be working towards earning more. But that doesn’t solve the issue either. THE most important factor in the financial independence formula is proper money management. If you make a lot of money but spend it in ridiculous ways and end up racking up debt anyway, no amount of money will ever be enough. Building good strong habits, and learning about budgeting is key. No matter how much money you have spending it in a smart way is important.

Buying something of equivalent value, and no added benefit for a higher price is stupid. If something costs more it better be superior in quality or differ at least in some way. There are many reasons why one product can be more expensive than the next – quality, craftsmanship, brand name, better/more ethical processes etc. And I’m happy to pay for that. If I’m buying a winter jacket, which is essential for Canadian winters, I’m happy to pay more for one that will keep me warm, will maintain its shape and appearance, and hopefully last for several seasons. It is when there is no difference between items that I don’t see the need to overpay.

So without further ado, my little rant/tips for the day on making your money go further

Ebay

We’re all familiar with it but what is EBay best for? While I’m sure that it’s great for collectibles and unique items, what I’ve discovered is that EBay is great for accessories. Everything is made in China anyway so why not get it directly from the source? I always select the Free Shipping option, as not to be surprised or discouraged from my purchase, and filter by price and end date. This is seriously fool-proof. You essentially get factory direct prices without all of the markups related to retail and international shipping.

Example: I went to Jamaica last year (absolutely incredible by the way) and I wanted to buy a keepsake for myself. Seeing as I hate knick knacks (they take up space, but what are they for?) I decided to get a beautiful piece of jewelry that looked unique. I thought I was getting a one-of-a-kind made-in-Jamaica piece, and for $20?? Excellent! A little while later, when I was back in Canada perusing EBay I came across the exact same necklace, only in a different colour. The price? $1.75. Yes that’s a nice profit margin.


my necklace is on ebay...

So, I repeat, if it’s made in China anyway why not get it from the source, and cut out the middleman. While I know that brand names can be important when it comes to staple purses, if you’re thinking scarves, headbands and costume jewelry head to Ebay.

Groceries

Yes, I do understand that stressed out, cooped up chickens are different than the ones that run around grazing and playing with their friends. Fine, those chickens might be better for you and thus more expensive. Then there’s the ‘Dirty Dozen’ – 12 products which are recommended to be organic due to pesticide residue. BUT what about the rest of food?? If there is no added benefit, I’m not paying for the brand. It’s food. You eat it. You don’t put it on your counter to admire the packaging. Hell, take it out of the packaging and serve it on a pretty platter if it makes you feel better. I just don’t understand why non-organic vegetables in the higher-end grocery stores are 3 times more expensive than those in cheaper ones. And yes I’ve tried both. Identical qualities. And if you think that the savings are measly think again. Grocery shopping is at least a weekly adventure, and there are 52 weeks in a year. If you’re savings $20 a trip (quite frankly it’s definitely a lot more than that) $20 x 52 = $1040. That’s more than a grand in your pocket. Vacation anyone?

apples

There are a gazillion more such examples, but let me spread them out as not to burden you on this beautiful day. Have a look at my “Points I love” post for more ridiculously simple tips which don’t require any change or effort, but keep more money in your pocket.

You work hard for your money, you should be able to enjoy more of it!

xoxo

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Save your money – how to NOT buy shoes!

Save your money – how to NOT buy shoes!

I went to a shoe sale, and I bought… nothing! So why am I writing about this? Because the skill of holding back and stepping away from a sale took years to acquire.

I used to buy shoes for the mere enjoyment of witnessing my shoe collection expand. The more shoes the better, right? Unless you’re putting on a shoe exhibition wrong. I never wore all of the shoes that I owned. Some I kept even after they’ve served their time, others were impractical and I never actually got real use out of them (wearing them to dinner once and complaining the whole time doesn’t count).

As I get older I start to appreciate the utility of a shoes, instead of just hoarding them. Yes the shoe has to be hot but I have to either be able to wear it to work (and survive), or wear it out and not be the girl whose feet hurt. What’s the point of having shoes you don’t wear? I would rather have less shoes, and buy new ones as needed, instead of having a giant collection consisting of shoes I don’t wear, or don’t wear anymore. So as always, efficiency is key. If you wear it keep it. If you need it, buy it. Otherwise stay away.

I don’t think I’m the only one who enjoys a good sale. But the key to buying anything on sale is to buy items you love enough to pay full price for. There’s no point in buying crap you don’t love, doesn’t fit well, or doesn’t make you feel good about yourself just because it’s on sale. Believe me, based on years of experience it will not become more comfortable, your toes will always be squished in those shoes, and just because you fit into it doesn’t mean it fits you.

Read more

New Ann Taylor Purse Preview! Fall Perfection!

New Ann Taylor Purse Preview! Fall Perfection!

I’ve been on a mission to find a new crossbody purse. I was hoping for something feminine, with metallic detail, in a beautiful colour, and maybe with an over-the-shoulder chain. Imagine my delight when i stumbled upon this beauty in Ann Taylor:

Ann Taylor Purse - taupe @splattershare

 

Yes. This bag is fantastic! It’s big enough to fit my giant wallet, and all of my other purse contents, and it checks off exactly every single criteria on my list. Feminine? Check! Metallic detailing? Check! Chain? Check! Read more

The FAILURE of extreme couponing

The FAILURE of extreme couponing

I happened to catch ‘extreme couponing’ on TLC the other day while on the elliptical at my gym. It was so bad I couldn’t look away! Needless to say, I had a great hour long cardio workout.

There are so many things wrong with the idea of extreme couponing! I’m all for frugal living and saving money (obviously), but this is not the way to do it. I approach money and shopping in the same way I approach anything else- with efficiency. I like to do things without wasting time or money, whilst using all of the resources available to me. Read more

Be a Shopping Pro!

Be a Shopping Pro!

There are more opportunities than we often acknowledge. Here are some tips on taking advantage of the great sales, promotions, and deals that retailers created for us savvy shoppers!

1) Create an email you use exclusively for shopping related mail

Remember when mom made you fold your clothes? After reluctantly doing so, wasn’t it great how much more room you had? Organized and neatly tucked away equals efficient, which results in saving your valuable time; and I don’t need to explain the value of time. Most of us don’t usually check our junk mail, but that’s where many offers from retailers end up. Granted some are definitely garbage, but by not checking you will miss out on some gems too. Whenever you sign up for anything online or in store leave your shopping email, this way you’ll be able to sift through the mass much easier and safely disregard the junk in your main email.

2) Sign up for loyalty programs

If you hate having a wallet full of cards, leave some at home! Let’s be real you won’t be needing all of them in one shopping trip. Having loyalty cards, especially at stores you frequent often, can result in fantastic rewards; if you shop there anyway, why not? This is applicable to anything from gas, to groceries, to fashion retailers, to pharmacies. Sometimes you will earn points or prizes, other times you will receive notification about upcoming sales, promotions, and free shipping events (in your now special shopping email. See 1)

3) redeem at opportune times

Always look for opportunities to get more, because these are plentiful. Many retailers will have special/bonus days, when you will be able to redeem your hard earned points for greater rewards. If your shopping list consists of non-essential items hold out for these events and enjoy getting more!

4) Don’t over-pay for basics

Stock up while the price is right! A common mistake is buying just because something is cheap or on sale when you probably don’t need it. Don’t do that! You’re just throwing money at the wind and cluttering your house in the process. However, there are items this method is absolutely great for! For example, you will always need shampoo/soap etc. So buy a few if they’re on sale, or better yet, get it while you’re redeeming your awesome points (see 3). This goes for fashion too. Think about layering pieces. Why over-pay for plain tank tops?

5) Time the season

As we all know retailers need to make room for new inventory and thus we get sales at the turn of each season. I don’t recommend buying ‘trendy’ things at this time. If you’re not going to wear it now, it might be out of style come next year. But this is when you buy the classics, the timeless pieces! A beautiful beige trench? Don’t mind if I do! Black pencil skirt? Oh yes!

 

xoxo

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Money & Your Fall Wardrobe

Money & Your Fall Wardrobe

My blog is not sponsored by anyone and I have no incentive to encourage you to go and buy something. This blog is an honest reflection of my frugal but fashion-focused thoughts. I love saving money much more than spending it, which might sound counterintuitive, but forces me to be more creative. As I look in my closet and think about what I need to add to it to transition into the fall, I just can’t help but think that I have so many outfits I’ve never worn hiding in my own closet already.

We all know the feeling of staring in your jam-packed closet, bursting at the seams, and having nothing to wear. This is the result of clutter. If you have too much crap you will not be able to actually see what you have and make use of it – therefore less is more. The less you have, the more familiar you are with what you have and the more you can make use of it. Less clothes doesn’t mean less outfits. When your closet is full and you’re not sure what it is you have, you fall back on the small portion of familiar clothes anyways, and only wear a small percentage of your awesome wardrobe. So get rid of items you haven’t worn in the last year, and start fresh! It’s all about efficiency! Fewer beautiful pieces will serve you better than a closet full of mishmash. Spend your money on fewer, but better quality pieces which you will get the most use out of. Read more