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Showing posts from January, 2017

Shopping local

My sister and I had a perfect afternoon date to celebrate my being done with the classroom: there were a couple local boutiques that she wanted to see, so we decided to stay local for everything and support yxe.

First up was lunch at what is quickly becoming my favourite café in the city: Little Bird Patisserie.  My good friend, Abbie introduced me to this lovely spot and it has quickly become my favourite corner for quietly working on my cyber while enjoying a fantastic coffee.  Also macaroons. Need I say more?



Next up was Kyla's pick, Two Fifty Two Boutique.   Neither of us had any expectations, but we both left very impressed: awesome customer service and a great selection of some of my favourite brands.



I left with a pair of Frame jeans- I have heard really great things about them and didn't want to take them off once I had them on.  Also, my entire outfit felt like pajamas, so that's when you know you've found a winner.



I also went home with a cozy kinda bell-sleeved …

Keeping up with the Keepsakes

Keeping up with the Keepsakes with Shoes to Shiraz.

Welcome to my blog if you're coming over from Carrie's blog where she covered how she managed the keepsakes in her life. Today we're talking how we keep the keepsakes, which makes me very excited because I started doing something with the endless piles that kids brought home from school and I love the finished product.
For the longest time, I had just been placing the more important things  everything that Willis brought home in a pile, until I could figure out what to do with it.  Well, said pile turned into a mountain and part way through grade 1, I figured it was time to finally do something.  So I set out to Walmart and picked up 2 cute box file folders that would store the more precious of all the documents.



Here are some options on amazon that I would have bought in lieu of what I got at Walmart: storage ottoman/ fire-safe box with files/ regular file folder/ file folder tote.  Honestly, I'm not sure how 12 years o…

Valentine Gift Guide with Uncommon Good

Shoes to Shiraz' Valentine Gift Guide with Uncommon Good
I was approached by the friendly people @ Uncommon Goods to share with you my favourite gift ideas from their Valentine's Day collection.  Here's the thing....even if they hadn't approached me, their site is one that I would scour for unique gifts for the fun people in my life.  I love finding funky and unique jewelry for my sister or humourous presents for my ridiculous brother. Wait.  Or was that ridiculous presents for my humourous brother.  Regardless if it's birthdays, Christmas presents, random Tuesday gifts, Uncommon Goods has every person or event covered.  I love sites that offer quirky and original gifts and if that's what you're looking for too, then UnCommonGoods is for you.  In fact, I got side tracked whilst browsing and came across a bunch of presents I wanted to get for the kids in my life....

[caption id="attachment_8702" align="aligncenter" width="400"] un…

Last work week wear: link up

I have a pileup of outfit pictures from my last couple weeks of dressing like a high school teacher, so voilà: this is what I've been wearing.  Lots of playing with different colour combos and comfy clothes.

I have tons of things on my mind but zero time to express myself as I'm sitting in front of a pile of 50 finals to correct.

Good times.

Here are some outfit pics instead of brilliant words:














[inlinkz_linkup id=689210 mode=1]

When I splurge, when I ...what's the opposite of splurge?

When I sat down to make my budget for this year, I decided it was about time I take a look at my spending habits in order to start spending more mindfully and to stop wasting money on useless things.  For example...that 1600$ I spent at Sephora last year? Well, likely half of it was stupid products that I didn't really need...like another lipstick or eyeshadow palette.  That being said, in order to save money I'm not just going to buy cheap products  because for me, sometimes cheap may be less money but the quality usually sucks or it falls apart minutes later.  So mindful spending this year to me, is more like buying good quality products that I know will do the job, even if they may cost a little more, but it also means buying less of things.  Because really, the last thing I need is more stuff to clutter my world.
So when making my list of things I splurge or save on, I found it interesting to see that the majority of staples in my life are splurges.  Turns out I'm not…

Friday, I'm in love

What would you do if you were given the option of not having to work?  The opportunity to dream?  The chance to do something you've always wanted to do, without worry of risk?

I always thought that if that ever happened in my life that I would have an endless list of endeavours and adventures impatiently waiting at the door, begging to be picked.  Art...music...photography...videography...event planning...personal shopper...shoe poet? non? is that not a thing? I feel I could write shoe haikus and sell them...shoekus, if you may.  Anyway - my mind has been everywhere ever since I honed in to my creative side- I have never had a shortage of hobbies that I thought I could turn into jobs.

And now, here I am sitting with the opportunity of a lifetime, and I can't come up with a damn thing that I want to do.  Maybe it's because I know how hard and how much that Dan, his brothers and their team had to work to grow their start up, that I'm left slightly more terrified of doin…

Nuggets 2017: Budgeting

Yup, you read that right......I am giving budgeting tips. Ha.  Budgeting.  That's funny.  If you know me, you know that budgeting is not in my wheelhouse.  This post should really be titled: Budgeting Tips that I Couldn't Figure Out or 10 Things that Would Improve my Marriage or 8 Reasons Why Deena Never Used to Pay Off her Credit Cards.

For the record, I am not the budgeter in the house- even back to when I was a teenager or in university I more had the desire to live in the now and worry about the later some other day.  Yup, not the best strategy, I'm aware.   Maybe someday I will catch on, but in the meantime I will continue to try different techniques in hopes that something sticks.

So because I have zero insight to give when it comes to not spending money I contacted instead my three most trusted financial advisors: my mom, my husband and my bestie, Alynne to see what kind of advice they would give.
MARLENE :
My mom, with her 41 years of budgeting experience so she …

The Going-Ons of the Week

While driving to piano yesterday, Lucia asked me how she can get a baby and if it really hurts to have it cut out of your stomach.  I stalled on my response, not knowing if I was ready to go there yet.  Instead I asked why she was thinking about it and she said, well, I want to know if I want to have babies.  Willis told me I can ask for one when I'm 13 and I don't think I want any because it might hurt...........so looks like I need to get myself prepared for the next time this comes up so I have something intelligible to answer with.  I texted Kyla our little conversation and then a couple hours later she replies with:
Addy (her 4 yr old) in bed: mom, how does a baby get in our tummy?  Maybe there is a switch that opens our belly.  Maybe Jesus makes a baby and puts it in our baby.

Kids.

Exciting things happening in blogland!
Mondays on The Blended Blog we have some fun series coming!



Also, we've started a Virtual Book Club that you can participate in from the comfort of y…

A Canadian Girl's Guide to Keeping Warm

Foggy glasses? That feeling when your toes thaw? Washing your car and then having the doors freeze shut? The endless streak of indoor recesses that drive the kids batty and the teachers even battier?  When it's only -30 out and it feels nice because the day before was -45?  When your weather app starts putting images of igloos for your city on the extreme cold warning days?  That cozy feeling when you finally warm up next to the fire, or with a hot chocolate or likely because of a healthy dose of Baileys?
Yup, that is winter for us in the prairies and you either need to move or learn to embrace it.  Me, I'm all about the embracing.  When we can celebrate New Year's Eve outside while tobogganing and having a bonfire all the while enjoying the Northern Lights, you quickly learn to appreciate the beauty that comes with living in the great white north. So for you today I have A Canadian Girl's Guide to Keeping Warm.


I figured for today's post, in the midst of a cold s…

Keeping Track of Our Life

I'm pleased to be starting the new year talking about something that  I love doing:
wine guzzling
shoe shoppingplanning and organizing: keeping track of our life.  And on top of it, it's a blog hop to boot, so make sure you check out all the ladies and see what kind of nuggets and gems for the new year they can give you to help you along your way.

In May I did a very detailed post on how I stay uber-organized and juggle all the everythings of life.  You can read it here- I even let you look inside my agenda which is practically like letting you read my diary. Kinda.  For the record, I still have my diaries from grade 4- university, but that's another post. So since I've let you dig deep into the confines of my life, I have no desire to revisit that in today's post.  That would be redundant.



So then I thought that it would fun to revisit my 2016's resolution because I cannot remember what I had aspired to do.  Luckily for this digital diary of sorts that you'…

Top 5 of 2016, #1

This is my favourite post of the year, so it makes me happy to see that it was the most viewed of the year.  Cheers!



We have just returned from a most wonderful wedding weekend in out west in Calgary.  If you have been following me on Instagram or SnapChat (shoestoshiraz), I'm sure you've had some sneak peaks into the going-ons of our weekend.  If not, I plan on taking the week to show how we celebrated a new chapter for Jen and Rob.

I felt very emotional all weekend, maybe it was the impact of seeing all our people in one place and just how large our family has grown, maybe it was part of me missing my Grandmas and Grandpa Park, maybe it was the fact that my little brother was getting married or perhaps it was just the way things go when you come from an emotional family.  There were so many people to hug and faces to squeeze and stories to be told.  Naturally, I think of all these things after the fact but luckily I have this space where I can do whatever the hell I want.  A…

Top 5 of 2016, #2

Soooooo...I'm still processing all the frozen pumpkin and will be making pumpkin-infused recipes til kingdom come.....



September long weekend for me marks the beginning of fall.  Maybe that's because it means school has officially started and I have to redefine routine and dig out my work clothes.  Or maybe it's because the nights start getting cooler, we're constantly serenaded by crickets and it's dark by 9.  Regardless, I'm at the point where I am starting to anticipate fall and will start digging out the decor, the clothing and the recipes.  So naturally, my blog posts are going to be more fall oriented and we're going to start today with my favourite fall foods: the one with all the pumpkin.





I thought it would be fun to cover some of my favourite fall foods because of all the pumpkin we acquire at the end of each August.  Dan's parents are also on an acreage and have a beautiful garden in which they grow an enormous amount of produce. But also enor…