Swap till you drop…Clothes that is!

Clothing <3, Entertainment, Fantastic Frugal, FREE <3, Organization <3, Savings <3

I am very fond of a number of things that are not particularly mainstream… one of my true passions is a Clothing Swap Party!

swap birdsAfter having a rousing and hilarious conversation with some of my roommates, I came to the conclusion that the concept of what a “clothing swap” is not known to most people. We will not delve into what images came to my roommates mind as I fumbled to explain the premise of this event and how fun it could be. I’ll let your mind run wild with conjecture for a bit…

When your done with that…

Let me tell you what a Clothing Swap is about!

Clothing Swap parties can be organized in a number of different ways: Free, Paid, Donation, No-Donation, Gender Specific, High End Garments Only, Family Friendly, Adult Only, Sorted by Item, Giant Pile, Potluck+.

I have personally attended every kind of Clothing Swap Party listed here and can tell you they are all unique and have their own set of Pros and Cons depending on who You are and what you are looking to get out of The Swap.

sand-footprint-water-beach-50565.jpegWhat do you want to get out of The Swap??! Well for one you can feel your Ecological Footprint for Yourself and Your City shrink a bit as you clean out your closet and leave the mall alone. You likely want some more space in your closet, this will happen! …sort of. You may also want some “New to You” threads, it is difficult to leave a Clothing Swap without finding some magical item that wants to be Yours.

Yeah, those ‘Wants’ are a bit vague so lets get to the explanation of what is going to have to happen for you to get the full “Clothing Swap” experience:

  1. You get invited to a Clothing Swap
  2. Dedicate at least 1-2 hours a couple days before the big event to go through your Clothes picking out anything that is clean and still in good shape but you do not use enough to warrant owning anymore. Put all your finds in a bag or bin.
  3. Take Your clothes to the Clothing Swap (depending on the type of swap you attend this is done before or the day of the event)(You may also be invited to bring a snack to share or BYOB, Yum)
  4. Swap Clothes! This usually lasts for a couple hours, background music might be playing and if your lucky there are lite snacks for you to munch while you peruse the clothing making new friends.
  5. Leave with a “New to You” wardrobe!

nothing to wear

What can I Swap?

Whilst you are sifting through your closet and other clothing storage apparatus’, items that are desirable to bring to a Clothing Swap are:

  • T-Shirts
  • Tank Tops
  • Pants
  • Sweaters
  • Dresses
  • Shoes
  • Hats
  • Scarves
  • Gloves
  • Belts
  • Costumes
  • Accessories
  • Bags/Purses

I tend to prefer the swaps where items are sort of organized into piles of type of clothes or by size, however the Clothing Swaps where everything is in a giant pile are an adventure all of their own. 🙂

Clothing Swap Etiquette

There is, Clothing Swap Etiquette, that, after many years of Clothing Swapping, I have realized most people assume you should just know. Let me, let you in on the Clothing Swap lowdown…

Lets say You and another Swapper both picked up the same piece at the same time… WHOA!! What do you do??!! No one wants you to start a scene and battle to the death over a scarf… or maybe they do!

At a Clothing Swap it is not so kosher to battle over garments. How to decide who gets it?? I personally like to go the rock/paper/scissors route, after checking the size to see if that will be the determining factor in who the victor will be. You can also, be the bigger person and let them have it (this means there is a chance you may be the receiver too).

That’s how it happened, You made a friend and a connection over that piece of clothing or glass of wine that you shared with some like minded individual… who may just become your friend. In fact its 100% more likely that you will leave a clothing swap with new additions to your wardrobe and your social life.

At the end of the day you may come home with less clothing than you left with, the exact same amount but completely different clothes, or WAY more clothes than you left with; Clothing Swaps are always surprising!

What does Your host do with any left over clothes?? Every single swap I have attended the items leftover are donated to charity! Gives you a big warm fuzzy feeling inside, doesn’t it?! I currently give my leftover goods to The Downtown Eastside Womens Centre.

swap line

I will be hosting a FREE Clothing Swap this coming Thursday, March 8th in the Evening, would love to see you out at this event (DM me on FaceBook for details).

Do not hesitate to check out this Community Clothing Swap happening on March 18th at the Wise Hall for a $10 donation. Pay Clothing Swap Vancouver.

 

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Thank You for reading Fantastic Frugal, Your presence is appreciated 😀
Check back soon for another account of Frugal adventure with the always Fantastic Jamie Learning!

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The fantastic and frugal Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival is ON NOW!

Edible <3, Entertainment, Fantastic Frugal, Health <3, Savings <3, Travel <3

Well it’s nearing the tail end of January and the nights are still a bit too dark, the days just slightly too short, that breeze just a bit too chilly. Cold winter days absolutely require extra care. what better way to accomplish being warmed up from the inside out, than with a nice warm cup of cocoa?!?

Really, it is the best way! Most especially on a rainy afternoon or a particularly blustery night. Hot chocolate prepared artfully can melt away the stress of a bad day, help begin to heal a broken heart, or lift the spirits to accomplish all of the things.

Bunny

When I was a kid we always had a bottle of quick chocolate syrup in the cupboard. Over time my palette has refined to appreciate quality ingredients; that bunny just doesn’t do it for me anymore. I myself like to keep my Hot Chocolate consumption habits Fantastic but Frugal.

Fantastic Hot Chocolate of all varieties and flavour’s can be had from numerous chocolate loving restaurants during Vancouver’s very own Hot Chocolate Festival! Use the link to pick a place that’s near you to enjoy your cocoa, or venture into a neighbourhood new to you and try something exotic.

What’s frugal about a Hot Chocolate Festival?

Well let me tell you, normally you would pay the price of a hot chocolate and get…

A hot chocolate.

Thierrys Hot Chocolate and Liquid Chocolate

During Vancouvers Hot Chocolate Festival you pay the price of a hot chocolate and get…

A hot chocolate …

And a decadent treat …

And sometimes a chocolate treat to!

Liquid Chocolate, truffle, salted caramel macaroon

Keep your eyes peeled for the changing Hot Chocolate menus that a couple restaurants are featuring, you may want to stop by twice.

Now is the time! Treat yourself! Take a friend! Don’t wait for V-Day, celebrate or help yourself cheer up today!

*The Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival, Fantastic Frugal, and Miss Jamie Learning are not in any way associated with Valentine’s Day or it’s affiliates and we do not condone or deny this holiday*

Brave

Moving Mayhem

Fantastic Frugal, FREE <3, Organization <3, Savings <3

Kinda can not believe it myself, I moved twice in the past year! I moved for different reasons both times. It does not matter what has prompted your need to change your living situation, when it is time it is time. Every once in a while the earth tilts under your feet and You have to shake things up. Sometimes the Universe will open doors, when these opportunities present themselves strike while the iron is hot but…

Things Can Get Messy!

Messy

Moving is a common life experience, it is often life changing and challenging! The Life changing part can be enough to make your head spin. Relationships can grow or die off, new jobs are offered to you in a new city, housing situations can turn out to be ‘different’ than advertised, stranger than strange room mates do happen, situations where the Land Lord suddenly ‘needs’ the space… If you have not encountered one of these moving or shaking experiences yet, be prepared, you are likely to deal with something of the sort in your lifetime of living on this planet.

That being said let me give you a hand up with your move, some assistance in containing the ‘Mess’.  Having moved twice in the span of 5 months I will assist you in this huge endeavor with my address updating checklist and some tips and hints for packing.

Cross Bridges

Packing should not seem a daunting chore… OK it is that, but it can be relieving too. Yeah I said relieving, just keep my tips in mind and make yourself a copy of the check list. You’ve got this!

Moving Tips & Hints

Tip 1. First and foremost give as much notice as possible. If the perfect place suddenly appears on your radar give as much notice as you possibly can(but expect trouble).

Tip 2. As you go through your stuff question when the last time you used that item was?? If it is not a sentimental momento (Which, why is this out? It should go in that box with all the ‘feels’ stuff), maybe its time consider re-homing it or donating said item? Now you literally have less to move to your next place.

Tip 3. Clean, wipe, dust or otherwise fix or mend items before you pack them to go to your new place. Unpacking sparkly fresh things that belong to you into your freshly cleaned (you vacuumed, swept, mopped, and wiped before you started bringing in the boxes to your new place cause your clever like that)

Tip 4. The Utility Bag; This is a reusable bag you stuff with all the tools and extra things you will need for moving day. The Utility Bag should include the following: Measuring Tape, Painters Tape, Magic Marker, Band-aids, Hand Sanitizer, Water Bottles, Snacks, Magic Erasers, Packing Tape, Small Jar of Wall Filler, Putty Knife, Ratchet Straps, and maybe Rope. Work gloves if ya got em.

Tip 5. Arrange Transportation for your materials ahead of time. If you are borrowing someones vehicle or they are driving you in their vehicle, be sure to check in with them the day before to make sure you are still booked in to do the move. Bring gas money, wash their windows, vacuum any crap out of their car that you spill. You know do the things you would want done for you 🙂

Tip 6. LABEL EVERYTHING ! That is what the Painters Tape and Magic Marker in the Utility Bag are for! Label all your boxes, go as far as to put the room it came from and then a short list of whats in the box, bag, trunk, moving apparatus. Your life will be easier when you wake up and can actually find the coffee and the press because you labeled the box.

Tip 7. Work room-by-room. That is to say, start in one room with ready made boxes and proceed to fill boxes and label them until that room is completely done. Leave behind last minute grab items like Hand Soap, and a Towel and Cleaning Supplies. You can grab these when you do your idiot check…

Tip 8. Do a lite clean, fill holes in walls, make the old place something you would want to move into. The next tenant will be grateful for your effort; and get this, the Land Lord is more likely to give you your damage deposit back!

Tip 9. Make a list of your things, especially if you share space with others. Knowing whats yours and being able to check off things so you don’t leave them behind may be the difference between you making fruit leather in the dehydrator at the new place or not.

Tip 10. Idiot Check. I am not implying you are an idiot, I would never do that, you are obviously smart as you are reading this article. An Idiot Check is that double check, last look around, opening all the cupboards and doors one last time tour of your living space. You will find that missing sock, the extra key to your bike lock, a note from your ex, and the hat you thought you lost 3 years ago. Check under the stairs, behind the dryer, in the garage, at the back of the shed. LOOK EVERYWHERE ! You will likely not be back to look again, so do it now!

Brave

Brave

Phew! High Fives all around, YOU HAVE MOVED all your things to your happy new home and now you can just relax and unpack….ahhhhhhh!!

Wait just a minute here!

You are actually nowhere near done. Stop planning that dinner party next week, you have a tonne of people, branches, business, and departments to notify of your move. Believe me its better you do it now than let it slide till you can ‘Get around to it’. This is where the FRUGAL part of this post comes in.

You may not be aware but updating your address and information can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. What, How is that possible? If you do not stop some things like for instance your contract with your utility company they will just keep charging you, meanwhile you are unaware that hundreds of dollars in hydro is being racked up. So here is my must update post haste list to keep your pocket book in your… pocket.

Address Update List

  • Drivers License -You have 10 days from the date that you move to update
  • Health coverage – A list of all Health coverage providers by Province for Canada
  • Utilities -These Corporate Fat Cats like a lot of notice, around 2-3 months, be sure to check with your local provider for contact information and notice times.
  • Bank -Call your 1-800 Number, update on the app, or go right into the bank to update your information.
  • Work -Send an email to the head of HR, if you are a contract worker make sure you send the new information to everyone you want to continue to be employed with.
  • Telephone Provider -Call your provider and update, call back and confirm they updated it 😉
  • Friends & Family -A quick email will go a long way to staying in touch, and surprise mail from all over the world is a delightful treat!
  • CRA –Update Your address with the Government at My Account CRA
  • Previous Land Lord -You want any mail you might miss, and the damage deposit. It is integeral that you give your new address to your old Land Lord for legal purposes.
  • Work Safe/Employment Insurance/Welfare -Call to update, check your local area for contact information.

These are my hard errand tips and hints use them well this year of change and stay Fantastic and Frugal!

transformations

 

Thank You for reading Fantastic Frugal today, Your presence is noted and appreciated 😀
I’ve had many more Frugal and Fantastic findings recently, check back soon for another adventure installment written by Jamie Learning!

Get Low during the summer sunshine

Fantastic Frugal

I try and get my grocery shopping done on the route home after work.

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Beverage Break

You can utilize this little foray into the market as a transitional “You Time” to unwind before you head home to your loved ones. Personally I have made a little ritual of after work grocery getting.
Start by stopping.
Yes that’s right make a 10 minute break at a cafe, bubble tea house, or coffee shop. If your feeling fantastic an treat yourself to a small drink. If your feeling frugal and budgeting for that dream vacay, pull up a chair and just enjoy being in a slower paced more relaxed environment than your workplace was.

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A decadent chocolate experience

10 minutes is up, Yes dinner does need to be on the table. Now is when you pull out your secret weapon *The List ! Where did this list come from? You made it at home last night before you went to bed, your so clever!
It has important ingredients you are out of on it and ideas for dinner, lunch, breakfast, and snacks on it. I prefer to keep my lists in Keep a Google cross platform organization application available on Android(Play Store) Apple(iTunes) for phone and also available through web browser on PC.
Prepared for this now easy task, you can quickly weave through the crowds of hungry workers that are grabbing last minute fish stix on your way to the gourmet cheese counter for that real Parmesan for Your home made pasta bake waiting in the slow cooker at home. 😉
Be Frugal live Fantastically

…Subscribe for more Money saving tips while shopping in Vancouver, BC, Canada

Get Low during the summer sunshine

Fantastic Frugal

I try and get my grocery shopping done on the route home after work. You can utilize this little foray into the market as a transitional “You Time” to unwind before you head home to your loved ones. Personally I have made a little ritual of after work grocery getting.
Start by stopping.
Yes that’s right make a 10 minute break at a cafe, bubble tea house, or coffee shop. If your feeling fantastic an treat yourself to a small drink. If your feeling frugal and budgeting for that dream vacay, pull up a chair and just enjoy being in a slower paced more relaxed environment than your workplace was.

image

A decadent chocolate experience

10 minutes is up, Yes dinner does need to be on the table. Now is when you pull out your secret weapon *The List ! Where did this list come from? You made it at home last night before you went to bed, your so clever!
It has important ingredients you are out of on it and ideas for dinner, lunch, breakfast, and snacks on it. I prefer to keep my lists in Keep a Google cross platform organization application available on Android(Play Store) Apple(iTunes) for phone and also available through web browser on PC.
Prepared for this now easy task, you can quickly weave through the crowds of hungry workers that are grabbing last minute fish stix on your way to the gourmet cheese counter for that real Parmesan for Your home made pasta bake waiting in the slow cooker at home. 😉
Be Frugal live Fantastically ❤

…Subscribe for more Money saving tips while shopping in Vancouver, BC, Canada

Got Craft 2015

Fantastic Frugal, Savings <3, Social <3

It’s a bright morning, the temperature has been climbing, and Crafters are convening on the Maritime Labour Center on Triumph Street in Vancouver!
I raced down to the hall at top Honda Spree Scooter speed (50CC). Why would I race?? SWAG BAG!! There are only 50 available and you need to be early enough to get a genuine Swag Bag ticket 🙂

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Lucky Ticket for Swag Bag!

The Crowd is friendly instead of competitive. Beautiful conversations abound in the lobby while we wait for the clock to tick down to 10. Fast friends are made over paper cups filled with fresh coffee from JJ Bean up the street.

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10am finally came and two lines were formed to enter the hall; Regular Entry and SWAG Entry!

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Got Craft is running at The Maritime Labour Center on Triumph Street today from 10am to 5pm.

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This amalgamation of Hand Made treasures has everything; chocolates, hand worked leather, upcycled clothing, laser crafted jewellery, baby duds, knitt cowls, home grown herbs… Etc. Etc. Etc.

I’m out of breath! I could keep going but the pictures are even better than the descriptions:

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Festival of Lupercalia… or the True Feast of Saint Valentines

Fantastic Frugal

Many Glad Tidings of Lupercalia to You and Yours!  ❤
#Lupercalia is the ancient Roman fertility and city cleansing holiday that #ValentinesDay, created by the church, has forever been trying to overshadow and cover up.

Feast Of Lupercalia

Feast Of Lupercalia

What is this strange and ancient festival you have never heard of??
Well during the Festival of Lupercalia which lasts from February 13-15th, events happen that are said to cleanse the city of evil spirits and help bolster fertility in the coming year. These events are in celebration of Wolf deities, possibly Romulus and Remus. There were two stages to the events:

“(1) The first was at the site where the twins Romulus and Remus were said to have been found being suckled by the she-wolf. This is the Lupercal. There priests sacrificed a goat and a dog whose blood they smeared on the foreheads of the young men who would soon go prancing naked around the Palatine (or sacred way) — aka the Luperci. The hide of the sacrificial animals was but into strips for use as lashes by the Luperci after the necessary feasts and drinking. (2) Following the feast, the second stage began, with the Luperci running around naked, joking, and hitting women with their goatskin thongs.” –http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/socialcustomsdailylife/a/010908Lupercal_3.htm

This is an inexpensive way to celebrate the Holiday with all your Family & Friends without having to resort to the commercialization of  the #ValentinesMonster 🙂

Goats = Fertility
Hitting/Lashing = Implied Penetration
Running Around Naked/Drunk/Oiled = Scaring Bad Spirits Away

If your having a cold depressing February turn up the heat, get naked, slather on some lotion, get drunk, and scare your Neighbors with Love…

I know I will be  😉

Love,

Jamie