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3rd Month Journal: Buy Nothing New

All Second hand party Items, clothes, and backpacks

Nina's two sense

Both Sam and I have to agree…!

We came in strong to this challenge, feeling quite proud and powerful, prepared and well equipped. Now, three months later, reality has set in and things are getting harder and less convenient. The enthusiasm has slightly worn off and we have started to really notice the ‘new’ elements in our lives that make it easier to live busy working lives with kids. Drive thrus! Drive thru coffees really make life so much easier, satisfying and a quick instant feeling of peace. I’m still kicking myself that I don’t own a reusable mug that carries a large size of coffee! Therefore, I do have to settle for a medium sized (when I remember my mug). Drive thrus just make things so much easier when you have the kids loaded into the car and you ran around all morning packing all the lunches, making breakfast and maybe getting a moment to take a few bites of the toast you made last minute, before it was swipped out of your hands by your four year old! This is why, the drive thru coffee pick up is rewarding!

Point blank. I have come to realize I do enjoy shopping! My dad would agree…I am a true victim of fashion, and a victim of home décor. I get wrapped up in what’s trendy and looking attractive to the eye. I love to feel good in my clothes, as well as make my living space feel comfortable, creative and in style. I love hearing what the stylists have to say on the Marilyn Denis show, from the new hot high-waisted bathing suits with all the criss-crossing, to the gold and millennial pink as the new neutral for home décor. It’s an outlet for me and a sense of expression when I can create a style or new look. It has been extremely difficult not to walk into Homesense or Michaels to start a new project!!

I have found there have been a few items since the start, that have been pretty difficult to buy second hand. When it comes to specialized sports equipment, especially for the toddler sizes, we have been unsuccessful with our finds. Both my children played lacrosse this year, and while the necessary equipment is less than the demands of hockey, we did have to buy their gloves new (before this challenge started). Now, while my daughter somehow tore through her gloves by practice number two, we had to tell her to just keep on playing with them! Thankfully she’s a pretty easy going three year old, and didn’t mind the exposed bare palms! I have since contacted the production company to see what kind of customer satisfaction they stand by, in hopes for an exchange/refund…still waiting for a reply. My children will continue to move through sports equipment like this, in hopes that we can have better luck at purchasing second hand as they get older.

One roadblock I hit this past week was the battery in my key-fab. Because of the extreme shift in our world towards technology-based products, our family car does not need an actual key to enter the car. The fab just needs to be in the near vicinity of the button on the handle, and you may unlock the door with the touch of your hand. This however, I have found can be quite the challenge when the battery dies, and you need to pry open the key fab to manually open the car every time with the hidden key inside. May I mention that the car alarm sounds VERY loudly every time you do so, until you start the car!!! I apologize to my neighbours now for a weeklong alarm wake up as I entered my car each morning, trying to be as quick as I possibly could to start that car up! This as you can see was unavoidable…I had to buy a new battery for my key fab…or I would have been ousted by my neighbours….did I mention atleast 2 of those neighbours would open their doors every morning to see what the problem was?!?

Sam's two sense

I’m not a victim of shopping, but I am finding it almost impossible to find trendy or even professional work wear. I have missed so many posts on FB, and have gone to a few local consignment stores and have left disapointed. However, I still have many, many, more second hand stores to venture to, it's just the need for TIMEEEE! Where does everyone find the time to shop antiques and literally sift through thousands of articles of clothing for the perfect treasures. One thing I have learned this far, I need to P-L-A-N better, like, searching for work clothes 4 months ahead vs, 2 weeks before. With a one year old and a three and a half year old at home, a two career household, and week-ends full of activities, I need to literally schedule in “second-hand shopping time”. Maybe when the kids are napping?

One thing I did have time for was popping into a couple baby/kid consignment stores and was quite successful at finding some great summer clothes for $2-$5 a piece. These items were all like new and brand named, along with back packs! My older son’s backpack was $10 from a FB mom's group. I saved a ton of cash with my purchases, every item is being re-used and it was actually quick and easy. I don’t find it difficult at all to shop for the kids second hand, so there really isn’t an excuse to at least “try” this option out if you’re thinking of incorporating some environmental solutions for your family. The only items I didn’t want to buy second hand was 2 extra soothers for my baby to take to daycare. It was hard enough having to bring him to daycare for the first time, and to imagine him having to go without his "susu", would have been really sad. So, while shopping at Walmart for a few of their organic grocery items, I snuck back to the baby section and threw a package of two soothers in my cart. I hid it under the loaf of bread, as if I was a Canadian celebrity being caught drinking or something. Ha! Man did I run to the cash so fast that day, and got the hell outta dodge!!!! LOL! The guilt has since settled.

Lets talk gifts again, it was hard giving my future nephew, my sister in law and brother’s first baby a second hand gift. :( I literally lost sleep over this as I didn’t want to look, “cheap” or “inconsiderate” to people that mean so much to me. But after the shower was all said and done, I felt, O.K. about it. My gift to them was from the heart, my favourite book of all times, that helped me through two babies, “The Baby Whisperer Solves all Your Problems“, (recommended by a high-schhol friend Sara, over a FB chat), with a special message to my sister in law written in it, my softest, organic baby swaddles that I loved, and I topped this off with some cash! Who doesn't love good old cash?! Not to mention, I was at the tail end of my mat leave when this shower took place, normally I would have charged up my credit card to give a nice expensive present, so it felt good not only to give a thoughtful gift from the heart, but it also saved me money because it was cash, not credit...leaving me settled at heart and not living beyond my means.

This is a good transition to my next accomplishment... I took all the decorations from my sister in laws, Megan’s baby shower and used this same nautical theme for my son’s first birthday party, a month later. Again, I saved a ton of cash, the decorations were super cute, and much easier to bring together than I thought! I borrowed decorations from a few other friends and here I was, creating the next perfect Pinterest pic.!?!?!! I can't stand spending money on decorations, and I equally hate buying balloons and junk that just gets thrown out, so using stuff other people already bought and we’re going to throw away anyways, made sense. I also pulled everything down, and will share the decor items for free on FB, so my little nautical themed “stuff” gets passed along to avoid the land fill as long as possible... Seriously, borrow, rent or share, the earth and your wallet with thank you!

After this three-month mark, looking back, I still feel proud of our families and still feel like we are doing the right thing. If we want to see a change, we have to be willing to be uncomfortable and challenged. We are making a difference, even if it goes no further than our children, we are happy with that.

Cheers to 9 more months of #buynothingnew,



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