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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Groupon Junkie

I have never been into coupons... in fact, I even hate the thought of coupons... and gift certificates.  I mean, they are great in principle, but do you know how many of those things I carry around in my wallet that never get used?  I usually only discover them when I switch to a new wallet which is every 3 or 4 years, and by then the coupons or gift certificates are expired, or worse, the store that sold them is out of business!  There are some exceptions to this rule of course.  For instance, there are certain companies that I frequent regularly (or used to anyway) from which I would gladly accept a gift certificate or coupon (hint: starts with an S and ends with a TARBUCKS)...  I also like gift certificates for things that I can buy on-line, like music from iTunes.  You just load up your account and 'bam!' you can buy new music right then or you can save it for later. (Oh, and if you would like to send me gift certificates for either of the above, I would be happy to accept!!!)

All joking aside, yesterday I made yet another exception to my no coupon rule... yup, Groupon.  Now, I don't completely live with my head in the sand, and I had heard of Groupon before yesterday, however I just figured that it was mostly coupons for material goods that I have vowed not to purchase, so what the heck would I want with those?  It turns out that Groupon also has coupons for restaurants, coffee shops, activities and yesterday they featured a coupn for my very favorite consignment clothing shop: Caprice West.  I must give a heartfelt thankyou and a round of applause to my peeps (yes, I just used the word peeps) out there who messaged me to let me know about this great opportunity, especially to my dear friend who even purchased one for me as a gift (you know who you are!)  The deal yesterday was to spend $25 and get $50 worth of goods at Caprice West.  Can you say STELLAR DEAL?  Especially when everything in that store is a bargain to begin with!  And that is not even the best part... you can actually download an app for your iPhone that allows the store to scan the coupon on your phone so you don't even have to drag around a piece of paper in your wallet (I knew I bought that thing for a good reason). 

Is it bad that I went to sleep dreaming of what today's Groupon deal would be?

Happy saving!

Marebare xoxo

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Some things are worth the extra money

It all started when air canada lost my bag... I know, you're shocked right?  Well they did.  I was flying home from Halifax into Calgary for our friends Tess and Loic's wedding.  More than slightly panicked, (all I had to wear were my grubby plane clothes remember?) I spent most of the night before the wedding on the phone with some lady in India who had no idea where my bag went (and, let's be honest, why should she, she's in INDIA!?)

Anyway, before full-on panic took over my brain, I remembered that I had booked my flight with my visa and thankfully, our visa plan covers some expenses if/(aka WHEN) the airline loses your bag.  They informed me that I had up to $500 to spend on 'the bare necessities'.  All of a sudden, my misfortune had turned into a wonderously fortunate event and I got to purchase some NEW CLOTHES!  Yahoo!  First stop?  MEC - whereupon I proceeded to purchase THE BEST PAIR OF UNDERWEAR THAT I HAVE EVER OWNED.
(This is totally me btw... ha, ha... YEAH RIGHT!)  However, I would like to thank this hot model for making them look even more appealing than I could ever put into words...

They are Patagonia underwear and sell for a whopping $22/pair at MEC, but they are TOTALLY WORTH THE MONEY!  I now have 5 pairs of them, and each of them still look and feel as they did on the glorious day(s) that I purchased them. 

So, yeah, some things are worth the money... after all, who wants the hot firefighters/paramedics to find some nasty old, stained, ripped cotton undies when they rip your clothes from your burning/sick/bleeding/tortured body?

Okay, okay, that last bit wasn't called for, I was just taking some liberties with the infamous motherly phrase "never leave the house in dirty or torn underwear"... (well that's what my mom taught me anyways)

Go get some, you know you want to!

xoxo Marebare

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pick Yer Battles

So, after being inspired by Amy over at '100 Changes for the Better' I have been trying to make my own '100 Changes'.  So, a few weeks ago I started unplugging some of the appliances that weren't in use in order to stop them from drawing extra power (even when they're off).  All was going fine as I quietly continued to unplug everything in sight, until last night my husband asked me about it. 

T: "Why do you unplug the coffee maker every day?"
M: "Oh, to help cut down on power usage."
T: (after near-fainting, pulling his hands through his hair - classic stressed-out Trent manoever by the way, and gesturing towards the sky at his higher-power, who, I am sure would be on my side about this issue, but anyways...) "You're kidding right?"
M: "Nope."
T: (more incredulous gesturing, and then, composing himself) "Well, I would appreciate it if you would stop it okay?"

Now, I am reknowned for my inability to function in the mornings, especially before my coffee, which, he kindly makes for me every morning and often brings me a cup just to get me out of bed... think Folger's commercial (don't worry, we don't drink Folgers).... So I ask you... is this really worth the fight? 

Sorry earth, we are letting him have this one...

Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win. ~ Jonathan Kozol

Ciao!

Marebare xoxo

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Washing Machine RAGE

Get out your pen and paper and write Norwex a thank you letter RIGHT NOW!  You can tell them that I sent you.  That company single-handedly managed to save you from the RANT of the century about my HE washing machine and how much I hate it.  You see, prior to today, and said Norwex intervention, my laundry machine was a fetid, useless, pile of scrap metal that was about to get ANNIHILATED WITH A SLEDGE HAMMER!!!!!  I have mentioned this washing machine before, by the way, in my 'diaper tale of woe'... needless to say, my washer hasn't made it up to me yet.


(someone has more guts than me apparently)

So, this is what happened... (all of you HE'ers out there, take note)...

I don't do that much laundry... that is, as long as I can help it.  This means that my machine sits for maybe weeks on end until I finally get up the motivation to do something about the overflowing clothes hampers.  All was fine and dandy (or so I thought), until I started going to hot yoga classes on a regular basis.  Now, if you have been to a hot yoga class before, you would know that you come out of there a disheveled, sweaty mess, hence I tend to use a clean towel for each class that I attend.  Again, all was well... and then... it happened.  There I am down-dogging it up and I get a wiff of something nasty... like... mold or something.  And, down I go into my chatarunga and GASP!  It is MY TOWEL THAT SMELLS LIKE MOLD!!!  (In case you may have missed it, I REALLY hate mold and everything that comes with it... blame a really serious allergy to it and a near-death-causing lung infection to the stuff and you would likely feel as strongly about the stuff too).  Surprisingly, I managed to finish the class, despite the fact that I flat-out refused to use the stinky towel and my mat turned into a slip-n-slide... (those were fun back in the day though weren't they?).


Drama aside, I came home, stuck my head into my washing machine and I almost vomited... the culprit was revealed.  Being the diligent consumer that I am, I checked my washing machine manual for clues and guess what, they ADMIT that this might be a problem and that you should do X, Y and Z to fix the problem.  So, I did do X, Y, Z and even E, F, G... but to no avail.  After seriously considering putting the thing up on freecycle and trying to buy a top-loading one, I decided to try one last thing... let's call it 'N' (ha!).  You guessed it, Norwex makes a laundry detergent.  I used 1/2 tsp per load for a few washes and the machine is back to 'new' again.  You heard me, the moldy smell vanished!


All hail Norwex!!!  The washing machine is saved! (For now!)

Marebare xoxo

P.S.  No, I don't sell Norwex, but I might start!!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

N-N-N-NETFLIX!

The days are getting shorter... the nights are getting colder... and that means one thing for my husband and I: movie-time!  As you probably know, we don't have satellite or cable hooked up to our TV, so historically, we have either purchased TV series on DVD or rented movies to get us through those long, cold winter nights.  This year however, things are going to be a little different.  Not wanting to break the rules, we haven't bought any of our favorite series on DVD and while we have rented a few movies, we find it a bit of a pain given how far we live from town... plus, our DVD player is broken.


At first, we decided to download (and purchase) a few shows from iTunes... man those things are expensive, plus they take up a ton of space on your comupter and take for-e-ver to download.  In case you were wondering, I find this to be within my 'rules' because it doesn't involve the purchase of a physical 'product', therefore I think it fits more within the category of an 'experience'.  Same goes for music.  That being said... I am still a bit of a cheap-o, and as I said, those things are really expensive!  So, we have come up with a new solution: Netflix!

For those of you who don't know, Netflix is a website that streams a wide variety of movies, documentaries and TV shows (oh, and streaming = no waiting!).  You can sign up for a one month free trial and then pay only $8.99 per month thereafter.  In case you didn't do the math, that is less than renting two movies... at least it is where I come from.  Sooo, we have decided to give it a shot.  The best part is that there are a TON of independent films, documentaries, foreign films, etc. which is right up my alley!  (and NO, I am not being sponsored by Netflix to talk in such a positive light about them!)

So, if you haven't done so already, sign up for netflix!  At least for the one-month trial.  And when you do, check out 'Who Killed the Electric Car'... it is a documentary about the rise (and FALL) of the electric car in America.  It is an absolutely fascinating show (although it is quite disheartening...but, you won't be surprised to learn of big buisness/political corruption now will you?)

Happy movie watching!

Marebare xoxo

PS... if you know of any related documentaries that I should check out let me know.  If you are so inclined, I would also be happy to post full reviews of any of these movies on here as well.

Friday, October 1, 2010

'C' is for Commune

Those of you who had the privilege of watching Sesame Street back in the early 80's should get the above reference ('C' is for Cookie, it's good enough for me), and if not, well, you must not have a two-year-old in which to re-live your old childhood memories!


But seriously, this post came to life in my mind as I drifted off to a peaceful sleep last night (well, as peaceful as it could be with a Cookie Monster song playing in my head!).  Normally I go to sleep fretting and worrying about all of the stuff I have to get done the next day and it takes a real concerted effort to get my brain to SLOW DOWN!  This was not the case last night as I happily thought of the fact that my mom and I would be spending the day together tomorrow (now today).  As a stay-at-home mom (which I love, don't get me wrong), it is an absolutely wonderful experience to have the opportunity to spend the day with another adult and share in the responsibilities of daily living/child rearing, etc.  Thus brings me to my point about the commune...

You see, I have a thing for communes.  My parents, my husband and I have a pseudo-communal living situation, and I can't overstate how truly amazing and beneficial this is for all of us.  Unfortunately, I am the only one who is able to stay home all of the time, as my mom, dad and husband all work out of the home, but how great would it be if we were all able to work a lot less and spend more of our time together doing work/living around the farm?  I know, I was born in the wrong time!  And, please, don't get all women's lib on me... I am not saying women should stay home and be barefoot in the kitchen, I am saying we should ALL work less, play more and spend more of our time doing the things that are REALLY important: growing our own food, taking care of our land, spending time with each other, etc. 

Here is another example: my girlfriend just had a second baby, and her first baby is only 18 months old.  While she is extremely grateful and fortunate to have two beautiful, healthy children, she is also feeling somewhat overwhelmed as you can well imagine.  She came for a visit this week and I couldn't help but think... This would be soooo much better for all of us if she lived next door and we could spend our days together helping each other out; holding babies, playing with toddlers, doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc.  I have no idea why our society has moved to the point where we don't rely on each other AT ALL for things like this, but I think that it is terribly isolating and wrong.  Historically, there are many communities and cultures who have thrived while living the mentality that 'it takes a community to raise a child'... and I couldn't agree more. 
(This is not my friend btw)

Anyone want to move out to my commune?  I am officially accepting applications.

Food for thought...

Marebare xoxo :)