Thursday, 24 November 2016

Buy Nothing Day Re-Commitment

It is the eve of Black Friday, otherwise known as Thanksgiving in the United States, and time for me to restate my vows of choosing a day weekly when I will buy nothing. I have to restate this vow annually because like many resolutions, it is short-lived and by the third month I have forgotten that I even made the resolution.

A friend who has school age children has altered "buy nothing day" into "buy only necessities day". She claims there would be times when she had run out of milk and felt guilty about going out to buy it on her affirmed buy nothing day. I speculate that not buying the milk would create greater guilt feelings and so her "buy only necessities day" does make sense for her. 

"Buy only necessities day" could then be expanded to including clothing on my NEED list. Isn't life grand, one can accommodate just about anything if they try hard enough.

But really, I still believe in including a weekly "buy nothing day" in my life. I hope not to forget about it so easily and will attempt to make my resolution last a little longer. I am also going to propose a second "buy only necessities day" which will be restricted to food. For the next year I propose my "buy nothing day" to be Wednesday and my "buy only necessities day" to be Friday. While I'm on the bandwagon, I shall make Saturday a "buy only locally day" to support small independent store owners and all the vendors at the farmers' market. If I do not actually acknowledge those days specifically over the next year, I do know that since I first read about "buy nothing day" in Adbusters magazine, I have slowly changed my buying lifestyle, so that I do not impulse buy anymore, I think twice about where I am buying and I look at the labels to see where things have been made.

But of course, bien sûr, I will not be shopping tomorrow. 

Note: It appears my blog post is on European time while I am writing on Canadian time. Tried to change the time zone but it still reverts to Europe. Sigh. I'll figure it out eventually.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

The Top 10 in My Essential Oil "Closet"

Before I left France and in anticipation of not being back for six months, I went shopping for essential oils to carry me through my time in Canada. Of course, I can buy them in Canada, however I find prices more reasonable in France. It is an issue of supply and demand and competition. The French are more used to them as supportive and supplemental treatment. Pharmacies carry essential oils, and French pharmacists can advise you about their use. Ask a North American pharmacist and it is likely that they may not have any academic or professional knowledge about essential oils. The general attitude here among pharmacists tends to be hesitant at best.  

I am self-taught and perhaps more adventuresome in trying  "new" possibilities. Treatment of my husband's legs (he inherited his mother's varicose veins) was my first essential oil challenge. Have the varicose veins completely disappeared? No. Have they improved? Immensely; so much so, that he decided to cancel the surgery recommended to strip the veins. He became a believer. Other benefits might not be so obvious or might be debatable relative to diet or traditional medications; however, I am convinced enough about their efficacy that I am incorporating them to help alleviate potential complications in my diabetic life. I wouldn't be alive without western medical technology (thank you Drs. Banting and Best) but I believe that my general health can be improved through herbal supplementation.

The basics are tried and true and I don't think that I could manage without them now. My top five must-have essential oils are: lavender, tea tree, peppermint, helichrysm and frankincense. If you asked me which of the five I would want if deserted on a tropical island, I probably would opt for frankincense, although as I begin to think about it, I would be able to rationalize for any one of those five, lavender in particular. I use lavender everyday for my personal use and it is a necessity in my linen closet and in my clothing closet - I suppose frankincense would serve me better on a deserted island. Although, peppermint would keep the creepy crawlies away and  . . . no . . . frankincense would be number one on my list.

Next come the specifics for particular conditions and ailments. For my skin I want to have myrrh to complement the frankincense and lavender. For my husband's veins, I want cypress, ginger and mastic or lentisque pistachier which I would add to helichrysm and frankincense. Because we both enjoy wine, rosemary verbenonne and lemon is needed to maintain a healthy liver. For my carpal tunnel and his arthritic pain, I want birch and lemongrass to add to the helichrysm and peppermint. Of course I would take oregano compactum if I was deserted on a tropical island or enjoying the winter on the Canadian prairies. That's just the beginning. 

The next five in importance in my life would be myrrh, cypress, ginger, rosemary and oregano compactum. You can see why I have chosen the original five and so if I had no others to complement their attributes I would be satisfied. Lemon could replace the rosemary but I think it would be number 11 on my list.

If you don't have essential oils in your life yet and for those of you who would like to try essential oils, I would suggest the introductory three: lavender, peppermint and tea tree. Your closets and your body will love lavender. Peppermint will invigorate you and keep creepy crawlies out of your home. Tea tree will kill germs while you clean your space and prevent infections when you use it on yourself.

If you are already using essential oils, which are your favourites? Click on Comments and share your favourite one, two or ten.

They are a pleasure to use and we can always use small pleasures in our lives.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Glasses - One Company, Many Options

Closet Content Analysis: Glasses – a Requirement

Necessary     Nice     New     Note-Worthy     No Thanks     Nicest

Necessary: Although students are well into their school year and winter is approaching, the “back to school” vibe is still with me: new books, new clothes, and a new pair of glasses are elements I still enjoy incorporating into my life even though it has been awhile since I have had to “go back”. Getting a new pair of glasses every fall is an event that I have not outgrown although this year I have been slow to fill this requirement. There is always a silver lining. My late start this year coincides perfectly with the launch of Warby Parker’s Winter Collection.

Nice: Choices can be expensive and overwhelming and brands confusing so it is NICE if you can find an independent brand that offers you style, quality, choice, service, and a decent price. The bonus comes when you find out that the company makes significant contributions to helping those in need. Warby Parker, a major force in the business of glasses, is a name you should start getting used to saying. Although the company was founded in 2010, I only discovered them recently. Say it again, Warby Parker, and this time imagine the convenience and ease of online shopping with perks such as a “ home try on” period. They also have retail storefronts in Toronto and in major U.S. centres.

New: The winter collection, launched just this week, has been described by the Warby Parker brand team as a winter palette incorporating “icy landscapes, sun reflecting off snowbanks, long shadows and flora in hibernation”. I am starting to think of the clothing in my closet from that perspective – thank you Warby Parker brand team for the perfect description of a winter wardrobe and matching accessories.

Photo Source: Warby Parker

As well a collaboration with Leith Clark has lead to the creation of five new vintage-inspired frames, incorporating rimless frames, filigree, mixed material construction (such as gold-plated titanium coupled with premium cellulose acetate) and exposed screws.

Leith Clark Fleta in Ivory Pearl. Photo Source: Warby Parker

Note-Worthy: Warby Parker partners with non-profits like VisionSpring to ensure that for every pair of glasses sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need (Retrieved from on November 2, 2016).

Added to that, the partnership with Leith Clark acknowledges Clark’s dedication to “Girl Up”, a United Nations Foundation campaign which encourages girls to raise awareness and funds for UN programs that provide life-changing opportunities for girls all around the world.

No Thanks: Of course, there are those who have complicated prescriptions or need progressive lenses and feel more comfortable with a f2f experience and that is where the 80/20 rule kicks in – 80% of us probably do not need specialized services therefore ordering online appears to be a good option. But even then, they do their best to accommodate the needs of the 20% with a supplementary credit if you require a major adjustment and have to go to a storefront optician other than theirs.

Nicest: The collections for men and women! Whether you have a pair to match every look you present or wear one frame 24/7, there are upscale choices for downscale prices.

Photo Source: Warby Parker

Photo Source: Warby Parker
Photo Source: Warby Parker