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Two-Month Shopping Ban Update: Travel & DIY Wins

March 13, 2018
Two Month Shopping Update - Travel & DIY Wins | Tiny Ambitions

I feel like it was just yesterday that I wrote my one-month shopping ban update. That’s probably February’s fault. I’m not sure if I will continue doing monthly updates – I’m sure I’ll run out of things to share (unless you’re interested in how many lip balms I went through in a month). But, this month, I do have things to share!

If you’ve been following along, you know that I’m going on my first ever vacation at the end of March! I’m going to be spending seven (hopefully glorious days) in St. Lucia in the Caribbean. And I cannot wait! The opportunity presented itself when my oldest friend texted me and said she needed to get away. Being the good friend that I am, I immediately said, “oh heck yes, we’re going away!” Technically speaking, this trip doesn’t break the shopping ban because I recently updated the rules to consider travel on a case-by-case basis. So, I’ve covered my butt that way.


Two Month Shopping Ban Update - Travel & DIY Wins {Pin} | Tiny Ambitions

In the spirit of full transparency, there are some things I had to purchase to make this trip comfortable, that I wouldn’t have purchased otherwise.

  • New Bikini: it’s been years since I owned one that actually fit my body properly (yah for shifting body weight and illness!). I purchased a discounted suit from a sports brand that will last me quite a few years to come. And it looks bomb AF on me. So, it was more than worth it.
  • Beach Hat: I might be the palest human on the planet. I don’t tan like some of my luckier friends. I go from ghost to lobster in one second flat. There was no way I was going to risk that on the trip just to save myself from having to buy a hat. The hat I purchased is fantastic and makes me feel like a movie star. It was also second-hand (properly disinfected) and a bargain price.
  • Pair of Dressy Sandals: I own one pair of sandals. They are knock-off Birks and they’ve seen better days. The resort we will be staying at has a dress policy for certain restaurants, so I wanted to make sure I had appropriate footwear. I purchased a pair of used sandals from a second-hand store in town. I know that probably grosses some people out, but I could care less.

So, if you want to get picky, maybe I did break my shopping ban? But, I’m not looking at it that way. I can’t go on a tropical vacation with a swimsuit that doesn’t fit (not unless I want to show my bits off to fellow vacationers). And getting heat stroke because I didn’t buy a hat just seems silly to me. For these reasons, I’m considering these two things essential for the trip. Granted, I probably could have passed on the shoes. But, I would have felt terrible if we got down there and we weren’t allowed in one of the restaurants because of my grungy sandals.

So, that’s it for the travel side of things. We don’t have concrete plans. We haven’t planned out activities for every day that we’re there. Normally, I’d be freaking out about that. I like plans. But, I’m going to go with the tropical flow. I’m planning on sleeping a lot, eating some good food, and having some fun in the sun. Our resort has a ton of water sport activities included in our package, so I’m planning on doing a lot of those activities. So, get ready for some hilarious photos of me falling off a SUP board.

DIY Wins This Month

I don’t know if it’s because of the shopping ban or if it is just entirely coincidental, but I had to repair a ton of my clothes this month. My long underwear (thermal leggings for you non-Canadians), sprang a hole in the waistband after seven years. The 10-year-old cashmere cardigan I shared in my workwear capsule wardrobe had a hole in the neckline I needed to fix. I’ve been holding onto 10 pairs of holey wool socks since September that I finally got around to darning. And last, but not least, I finally fixed a pair of yoga pants with a hole in the gusset.

None of these repairs were very hard. I grew up sewing and quilting with my grandmother, I used to make most of my own clothes and I even took fashion design in high school. It just so happened that this month I took the time to sit down and repair everything at once.

I also finally made my own lip balm! I’ve had the ingredients to do so sitting in my cupboard for at least a year, but never had a good enough reason to take the plunge. Luckily, I ran out of my last lip balm last month and I was too lazy (and too cheap) to replace it. Making my own took literally 10 minutes (plus 2 hours of cooling time), and I’m actually really happy with the result!

I used this recipe from Wellness Mama and used 1.5x the amount of beeswax of the original recipe and a combination of lavender and rose essential oils for a little fragrance. When I need another batch, I might even double the amount of beeswax, because this one still gets a little slippery when it warms up and I personally prefer a firmer lip balm.

I know that making your own personal care products is not for everyone. But, I really enjoy it.  Being self-sufficient at something, even if it’s just something small like lip balm, is a really good feeling. I also have sensitive skin. So, even most ‘natural’ products tend to give me some kind of reaction. Controlling exactly what goes into something I use multiple times a day gives me peace of mind.

So, that’s how the second month of the shopping ban went. I still feel pretty good about the experience so far. I wouldn’t say I had any revelations about my consumption tendencies this month, but there are 10 months left for more of that!

Do you have any tips for a first-time vacay traveler? Do you consider yourself a savvy DIYer? Let me know in the comments!

If you missed last week’s episode of Tiny Bites, all about the #WomenRockMoney movement and International Women’s Day, you can listen to it here.

Next week on the blog, I’ll be sharing my packing list for 7 days in St. Lucia. Spoiler alert: I’m going to try to fit everything into a backpack. Stay tuned (and keep your fingers crossed for me, because this is going to be a challenge)!

Image Credit: Tiny Ambitions

  • Lisa | Simple Life Experiment March 18, 2018 at 1:52 am

    Hey Britt! So great to hear an update of month number two! Good on you for investing in those much-needed items for your upcoming holiday. I bet you will be glad to have bought those rather than having nothing to swim in, being burnt to a crisp and not being allowed into the restaurant. Now that would suck BIG TIME.

    How I wish I had your sewing savvy (I have been taking lessons for the last few months and still feel I need close guidance to sew on a button!). That’s so great that you got around to repairing those items so you could avoid buying them!

    I love to make my own lip balm too…only problem is I never follow a recipe so sometimes it’s great, sometimes it’s terrible. I didn’t add enough beeswax when making the most recent batch so I have had to keep it in the fridge. I will need to check out the recipe you followed so that I can get consistent results every time!

    Really excited to read your post on packing in preparation for your St Lucia trip, by the way. When I went to Hobart last year, sticking to carry-on only (7kg) was a really fun challenge for me. I was proud that I was able to stick to the bare minimum and focus on having fun on the trip, and as Brittany commented earlier on this post, it’s nice to have both hands free when travelling!

    • Britt March 18, 2018 at 9:01 am

      Thanks, Lisa! It would have been great if I didn’t have to buy those items (aka if I already owned them). But, I’m glad I purchased them.

      I have a sewing machine, but I actually prefer to sew by hand. I find I can make the stitch much stronger. It’s been so surprising hearing howany people wish they had better sewing skills. I just thought people knew how to do it!

      I would say the recipe I used was the right ratio for winter. But, I would up the beeswax even more for the summer. I’m not bringing it with me to St.Lucia, it would just be a melted mess!

      I’m excited to travel carry-on only for this trip. We’re limited to 5kg, so it’s been quite the exercise in paring back to the bare minimum. I hope you like the post!

      As always, thanks for reading and thanks for the lovely comment!

  • Brittany March 14, 2018 at 9:11 pm

    That’s so great that you’re taking a vacation. It’ll be nice to unwind in the Caribbean, ah. Can’t wait to see your photos! I recently traveled to Orlando for 6 days with just a backpack and it was so nice to have both hands free in a crowded airport — I highly recommend it!

    • Britt March 14, 2018 at 9:24 pm

      Thanks, Brittany! Your trip sounds amazing. Backpack or carry-on only is really the best way to travel.

  • Linda Sand March 14, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    One bag traveling is wonderful! Not needing to go through baggage claim while wondering if your bag will be there is the best! I’m confident you can do this.

    • Britt March 14, 2018 at 6:05 pm

      Thanks, Linda! I think I can do it too!

  • Sarah March 13, 2018 at 9:51 pm

    I wish I knew how to sew. My mom could do as much as sew a button back on but that was about the extent of her mending skills so it wasn’t ever a skill that was passed down to me. It sure would come in handy though!

    I think you’re given a pass for the spending you did for your trip, those feel like necessities to me 😉 Good luck with the packing, I’m sure you can do it. At least it’s a beach vacation so packing light is easier.

    • Britt March 13, 2018 at 9:54 pm

      I should start a virtual sewing class! It does really feel like a lost art sometimes. And thank you! I appreciate the pass. And so does my scalp which now won’t get heat stroke 😂.

      You’re right though – it’s much easier to pack light in the summer. If this was a winter vacation, my parka would take up the entire backpack I’m planning on bringing! Thanks for reading, Sarah.

  • Tread Lightly, Retire Early March 13, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    I’m impressed how quickly you repair clothing once it needs some love! Whereas mine are slowly accumulating in a pile… My (very lame) excuse is that I first need to go out and buy a very simple sewing kit before I can do any of it.

    • Britt March 14, 2018 at 12:58 pm

      It just so happened I had the time to do it, so I got it done. But, those socks had been sitting in a pile for… months, probably, before I finally got around to it. Better late than never! Also, I just thought I would let you know that your comment got marked as spam in my spam filter. I’m not sure why, but just thought I’d let you know! Thanks for reading.

      • Tread Lightly, Retire Early March 14, 2018 at 1:00 pm

        Shoot, you’re not the only one who gets my comments sent to the spam filter. Not sure what is is about my comments 🙃

        • Linda Sand March 14, 2018 at 5:52 pm

          I suspect it’s your name. “Retire early” are trigger words for investment schemes.

  • Joanna Kristin March 13, 2018 at 8:43 am

    Have a wonderful relaxing time on your trip! I’m very inspired by you darning your own socks and mending clothes. It’s a lost art! Also, I’m from upstate new york and we call them long underwear. =)

    • Britt March 13, 2018 at 12:01 pm

      Thanks, Joanna! Being able to mend your own clothes is such a good skill to have. I wish everyone had someone to teach them. Thanks for reading! P.S. I’ve heard them called so many things (long underwear, long johns, thermals, woolies), I honestly have no idea the geography of it anymore haha

    Hey! I'm Britt. I write about living a tiny, simple, intentional life. Because life doesn't need to be lived big.