Monthly Archives: May 2011

Review: Dry Shampoo (a girl’s best friend)

(Photo source)

I have a confession to make: I have washed my hair everyday, since grade 5. My hair gets super oily the next day, and it’s really yucky. And so I wash it, and the cycle continues. Oh, and don’t you just love Katie’s hair above? It’s so chic and fun!

It wasn’t until about a 2 years ago when I started reading about all the chemicals that is found in shampoo’s, soaps, body washes, and the “no ‘poo movement” , that I wanted to really break my habit. I have since switches to a paraben and sulfate free shampoo (Kiss My Face), but I wanted to break my habit of washing my hair everyday.

I have tried numerous times to break out of my habit, but failed. Until I discovered dry shampoo about 2 months ago. I have tried 3 so far.

#1 Batiste – original scent ($8 – on sale)

I got this one on sale at Shoppers Drugmart. It’s an aerosol spray and it lasted me for about 2 months.

It is very easy to comb through and does great job making my hair nice and fluffy. I comb it out with a boar bristled brush and it has worked out great. It has a very stronger baby powder scent which is my least favourite part about it.

#2 Ojon ($15)

I got this from Sephora, and this came highly recommended from a friend.

Unfortunately, my first bottle was defected and I exchanged it. What I didn’t realize was the blue bottles are the new formulation, and the original (white bottle) are no longer available.

When I used this the first few times, my hair still felt and looked very oily. I later learned that the contents is actually wet and I was supposed to wait for it to dry before brushing it through my hair. I didn’t want to be bothered, so I didn’t really give this a try and just returned it. The SA I spoke with at Sephora said they preferred the old formulation, as well.

The smell is also strange and the bottle leaked easily. It smelt like herbal bitter medicine. :S

#3 Tresemme ($9)

This is the cheapest regular priced dry shampoo out there and it is awful! Do not get it!

It felt like a weird mix of hair spray and powder in an aerosol can. The smell is very strong and my hair looked like it was oily and had hair spray. Not a good combination. I returned this, as well.

Summary

With the help of dry shampoos, I have been able to go from washing my hair every day to every other day.

Please note that I am using the dry shampoo as a crutch to wean myself off of washing my hair everyday, and still look presentable for work. I do not intend to use dry shampoo as a permanent solution.

I’ve noticed that my hair is slowly (but surely) producing less oils, and I hope to “train” my hair to be washed once every 3 to 4 days. This is probably better for my hair in the long run – my stylist cringes when I tell him I wash my hair every day. And I get to save a bit on shampoo ;)

Disclaimer:  I paid for all the above products with my own money.  I was able to return the Sephora and Tresemme dry shampoo.

Have you tried dry shampoo? Have you hopped on the “no shampoo” movement?

Cheers,

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Link Love

Some of my favourite posts  :)

Life

Personal Finance

Minimalism

  • The Cup of Life shared by Single Mom Rich Mom.  I first read this tale from my dad, and I am so glad that I found an English version to share.

Fashion

  • Get Annie’s Look from Bridesmaids by Look4Less.  I love her navy blazer with gold buttons.  And I loved that she wore it more than once in the movie!
  • To Alter or not Alter?  by Extra Petite.   Jean takes us through step by step to come up with a decision whether or not we should alter a piece of clothing.

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PF Confessions: Shopping Ban Thoughts

(Photo source)

I am almost half way through my shopping ban 2011!  Yay, for me! :)

For those who are new here, I embarked on a shopping ban this year – no new clothes, no new make-up and no new accessories.  I did this for a number of reasons – to challenge myself, to save money, to be more creative with what I already own, and to also figure out what pieces I truly “need.”

You can read all about my reason here, my guidelines, “exceptions” and all my updates here.

Even though I didn’t have a closet overflowing with clothes, or a make-up drawer that was over stuffed, I still felt like I was only utilizing a small portion of what I had.  The rest was just wasted space.

Now, I am sure that there are certain items that make my life a lot easier and dare I say, even better.  But it’s hard to determine which is what when I had all the “extra’s” and non essentials.

I’ve decided to compile a list of things that I may consider adding to my make-up, clothing or accessories, after my shopping ban is over.  This isn’t meant to be a carte blanche for spending, but is meant to help to make planned and informed decisions on what can really help me and add value to my life.

For those of you on shopping bans, what are you thoughts so far?  For those of you who have finished your shopping bans – congratulations!  Any tips to share? :)

Cheers,

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PF Confession: Thoughts on “No Spend Days”

I first heard of “No Spend Days” from reading various pf bloggers’ spending recaps.  The idea never occurred to me before, as I think I spend on an as-needed basis, and I analyze my monthly overall spending, anyway.  But I was curious, and decided to actually track how many days I didn’t spend money.

In March, I had a whopping 4 days of no spending.  And this April, I started to be even more mindful.  In April, I had 9 days of no spending.  Here are some of my thoughts about tracking my no spend days.

No spend day “high”

For some reason, now that I started tracking, having a day without any spending gives me a little “high”.  It makes me think twice about buying little things that could “ruin” my no spend day streak.  Silly?  Probably.

This one is probably sillier, but I get a little upset when I end up spending money on a day that I thought would be a “No spend day”.  For instance, last week when I didn’t make enough left overs, I grouchily forked over $4 for a Timmies sandwich for lunch.  (I get upset when I have to buy lunch anytime it’s not a social thing, but this felt like a double whammy.)

Spending promotes more spending

I’m not sure if I did this before my “No spend days” tracking, but whenever I spend money, I feel it’s almost okay to spend more.

For instance, last Wednesday, I picked up some coffee beans as a gift to our admin assistant for Administration day.  At the check out, I grabbed a spinach boreka for breakfast.  Sure, the boreka was only $1.50, but if I hadn’t gone in to buy the coffee beans, I would not have gone in just for the boreka.

The Big Picture is More Important

Sure, it’s kinda fun for me to play the “game” and challenging myself to see how many “No spend days” I can get in a month, but at the end of the day, it’s the big picture that matters for me.

I can spend $120 a day on a facial, and $0.80 the next day on some pastries – they both count as spending days.  But there is a world of difference.  Getting that sense of “high’ from a no spend day does not automatically mean less spending.  In fact, it can almost give me a false sense of accomplishment.  No spend days on their own is not enough, they must be combined with regularly checking and updating my budget.

Note: I’ve just updated my April spending and even though I have more “No spend days”, I have not decreased my overall spending…. le sigh.  

What are your thoughts on “No Spend Days”?  Do you track your days of no spending, or is it about the big picture for you, too?

Cheers,


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PF Confessions: Make-up Wish List

(Photo source)

I am (almost) completely clueless when it comes to make-up.  I hardly wore any in high school (does clear nail polish and eye liner count?), and I started wearing a bit more in college.

I wear some make-up to work, but I really wish that I had my own personal make-up guru to tell me what to buy, where to use it, how to put it on, when to use it and what looks good on me.  Is that too much to ask? ;)

Fabulous and Fashionable

Imagine my excitement when I got to meet up with 2 fabulously fashionable (and super nice) ladies a few weeks ago!  I met with Fabulously Broke and Glitter Geek for dinner and it was so much fun!

Being the dork that I am, I brought along my make-up bag so that I could show Glitter Geek my little stash and asked for her input on what products she recommended so I could get the most bang for my buck (after my shopping ban, of course).

Wish list

We took a field trip to Sephora after dinner, and she picked out these items for me.  Check them out!

Tarte Clay Blush ($25)

Bare Escentuals Matte Mineral Powder ($35)

Urban Decay Eyeliner in Eggplant and Green-gold ($18 each)

Benefit Eyebrow Pencil ($20)

Urban Decay Naked Eye Shadow Palette ($48)Sephora Brush Set ($32)

And last but not least, Glitter Geek also suggested I try a Fuschia pink lipstick!  Oh, my :)  But it looked sooo good on her, so I”ll put it on my list, as well.

Joe Fresh Matte Lipstick in Fuschia ($6)

Summary

I was a little weary about putting my wish list out there.  I mean, one can argue what is the point of a shopping ban if I am still thinking about buying these items.  True.

But I don’t think I have a crazy wish list.  It totals about $200 before taxes.  Besides, I would much rather have a few go-to-tried-and-true items, than a whole drawer full of mediocre items.

Do you have an on-going (make-up) wish list?

Cheers,

Note: All photos are from the Sephora website except the Joe Fresh lipstick (from the Joe Fresh website).

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Link Love

Some of my favourite posts  :)

Life

Personal Finance

  • Tips for First Time Home Buyers (Part I and Part II) by Gail.  I love how Gail puts some common sense and brings us all down from cloud 9 of HGTV (or is that just me?).
  • When Being Generous Doesn’t Pay Off by Young and Thrifty.  I haven’t been in the situation myself, yet.  She also has a link to Fabulously Broke’s story which is also an eye opener.
  • How Corporations Avoid Paying Taxes.  Very interesting infographic.  All I know is that this seems hugely unfair.

Fashion

  • Copy This.  Kendi copies an outfit from another blogger, and I love it!  In fact, I’m going to copy this from her as soon as I get my hands on some pink shorts and coral tank.
  • Basic Brow tutorial by Jen.  I usually get my brows threaded every few months.  Maybe I will try to maintain them better myself.

Other

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Review: Bridesmaids

This weekend BF and I decided to go splurge and see a movie in theatre (gasp)!

I’m not a huge movie buff, but I usually like seeing a few a year.  There is something really nice and simple about sitting in a big, dark room and being entertained.

I originally was not too thrilled about the movie, “Bridesmaids.”  It looked like a girl version of “The Hangover,” and kinda stupid.  After reading a few very positive reviews (and a 90% rating from Rotten Tomatoes – yay!), I was convinced and even managed to get BF to see it with me :)

I’m glad I went to see it, even though it’s not exactly a “big screen” movie.  (I consider “big screen” movies to be explosions and action movies.)  Kristen Wiig stars as Annie, our heroine, and she also co-wrote the movie.

The movie was funny and smart.  It dealt with the superficial issues to real issues of loneliness and self esteem.  And, it was done in a cheeky and hilarious manner.  I seriously laughed and cried during this movie (more laughing than crying, though).

Even BF enjoyed it.  Though, he won’t admit it – I saw the way he laughed through it :)

Verdict: I think it is the perfect movie for a date night or a girl’s night.  How often can you say that? ;)

On a personal finance note, we really should have used a coupon (Rainbow Cinema – $6 each) instead of paying full price at AMC ($13.50 each).  It was a last minute decision, and we don’t do this often, so I’m okay with it, but we will be thrifty about our next movie.

Are you a movie buff?  Any good movies lately that you’ve seen?  Would you go watch Bridesmaids?

Cheers,

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TD Canada Trust Rant

I am so mad at TD Canada Trust right now.  Really mad. Super mad.

I just ran out of cheques.   The annoying thing about TD is that they charge for ordering cheques.  In fact, they charge $35 for 50 cheques and $40 for 100 cheques.  Now, there’s a lesson in marketing.  I wonder which one I am going to choose, now…

It’s Outrageous

When I was a naive and broke student, I forked over the $40 without blinking an eye because I didn’t know any better, but now that I am a working professional and mindful about my finances, I am outraged.  It’s outrageous that they can charge so much for me to access my own money!!!

I checked out the grandfather of all money saving forums – Red Flag Deals and found this handy dandy chart comparing the top checking accounts in Canada.  Look!  At the bottom is my beloved TD with a minimum balance of $2,000 before they waive the $8.95 fee. And to clarify, that’s 25 transactions included – not 25 cheques included.

The Phone Call

I called three times today and spoke with three different representative who fed me the same lines.  They all gave me the same sob story that they do not control the charge for cheques, it is done through a third party, so there is absolutely nothing they can do about it.

The whole time, I was treated like the “crazy” because I didn’t want to pay to access my own money.  Here are the highlights of my conversations:

  • We are just the middle man who connect you with your cheques.  TD does not get anything from the charges for ordering cheques.
  • We only waive the fee for very special clients.
  • We can’t just start giving away cheques to just everybody.
  • If this is the most important aspect of banking for you then switch (when I brought up that some banks don’t charge for cheques)

They all admitted they did not have the authority to waive that fee.  I asked them to connect me with someone who did have authority to do so.  I was told I had to come in and speak  with the branch manager, and they may or may not waive the fee.  When I asked if I can go to any branch, they said that I had to go to my “home” branch.

Did I mention that I opened my account in grade 7?  So, my home branch is way out of the City.  Like 50km away in the suburbs.  With the price of gas I might as well pay the $40 fee and have the cheques sent to me!

So, let me get this straight, TD…

I can open a Mutual Fund account or direct deposit account to deposit thousands of dollars from ANY branch.  But to get my $40 waived for ordering cheques, I need to drive out to my “home” branch (50km away)?!  And speak with a manager who may or may not waive the fee.

Not very promising.  In fact, what better way to tell your client (me) that you don’t give a rat’s ass about them or their business.

Thank you, TD

For showing me your true colours.

But, you know what?  It’s your loss.  If only you had a little foresight, you’d see that someone who would was willing to fight for $40, truly cares about her money.  And when people care about their money, they make investments.   And maybe the investments start small, but they grow.  I am confident I will make multi-million dollar investments over my lifetime.

Now, I can take my money elsewhere.

Cheers,

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A Free Car Costs me $2,900+

This year, I went car-free for a few months.  In this post, I calculated the cost of car ownership and decided that owning a car was too expensive for me and I would stick with using public transportation. Then, I said that if I was offered a “free” car, I would considered having a car.

My “Free” Car

I mentioned briefly in this post that my parents decided to let me use their car, again.  My dad has been dropping my mom off at work in the mornings, and my mom just got used to my dad carting her around everywhere.  (My mom loathes driving).

My dad got a little tired maintaining two cars while just driving one, and asked if I wanted to take it off his hands, temporarily.  And that’s how I got my “free” car.

I don’t really need a car, but it does make life easier – such as going to volleyball games after work, and going home on the weekends to visit my parents.  I don’t need it to get to work, though, nor do I need to see BF downtown.  On weekends that I’m downtown, I usually leave me car at my apartment and subway it down.

A “Free” Car Still Costs Money

A Side Note: In March, the big coffee company in Canada, Tim Horton’s has the “Roll up the Rim to Win” contest where under the rim of each cup of coffee, there is a chance to win various prizes- including a car. 

I realized that if I were to be so lucky to win a Toyota Matrix (or another car) with the 1/2 cup of coffee I drink a week , I would still have to pay for things before I could drive it. The cost for having a car is not just in the car itself, it’s in the licensing, insurance, gas, maintenance, etc.

Insurance is Killer

When I was shopping around for insurance,  realized that if I were to get my own insurance, I ‘d be paying around $2,000 a year.  Insurance in Ontario sucks.  It is so ridiculously expensive.

Right now I am under my parents’ car insurance.  Since, we have 3 drivers and 2 cars, it would be less than if I were to get my own insurance.

$2,900/year

That’s the quote that my dad recieved for our family car insurance premium (includes my parents and me).  Since I now know the real cost of owning a car, I wanted to help my parents out a bit while I use their car.  So I decided to pay for all the insurance for the priviledge of driving their car.

This is definitely a luxury for me and it just makes places a lot easier to get around. As much as I hate to admit it, a car does have its perks.

How much would a “free” car cost you?

Cheers,

Another side note: The above picture of the Jaguar, is not the free car that I have :)

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Link Love

Some of my favourite posts. This one will be short and sweet  :)

Personal Finance

Minimalism

  • Big Living in a Small Space.  This is amazing, and even though I’m not sure that I can live in 240 sf.  It’s the innovation behind that I am going to take away.

Life

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