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.
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