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Friday, October 28, 2016

Less then a month to go...

Well, well, well... time flies!!!  There is less then a month to go for my shopping ban that started last year! You can read about it here.

Next black Friday in November 25th...  please BUY NOTHING!!! I know I won't!!!

During this year, I have learned that no matter how much you THINK you NEED something... wait it out and it will pass...  almost always...  with a few exceptions! I mean, it is reasonable to assume that eventually all our clothes will worn out...  and especially socks, underwear and footwear... even more so when you don't have a car!  In your home, what you have now is OK... you don't need more... and probably could do with less...  only buy to replace something that no longer is usable.

Use it up. Wear it our. Make it do. Do without.

It has been my mantra for the last year and will remain so for the rest of my life...

My biggest issue, just like most women, was clothes...  and I realized that clothes are really just covering your body (Sweet November movie)... of course they should make you feel good... but play around with what you have... modify your clothes to your liking ( scissors are my best friend)...  get second-hand and make them fit your lifestyle and style!  Be creative... life should be FUN! And getting dress too! It's easy to hem something or just cut it without hemming...  add patches to elbows... or change the buttons... you can also dye something you like but no longer care for the color...  Look into the men's section of your favorite thrift store...

Next biggest spending would be kitchen... who needs 25 pots and pans? A set of dishes for every occasion? A set of dishes and silverware for guests? No one really... sorry to break it to you! Every day is a special occasion...  everyone eating at your table is a guest... plus older dish wear were actually sturdier and last longer...  I have dishes that date back to the 50`s and 60's found in an antique store... and they don't even match because when you buy random items that are not a "set" it is MUCH cheaper!  Plus it gives you the chance to select the plate for each guest to your table!  As for pots and pans, just refine the way you eat, re-organize your cooking schedule and you'll be able to do with much much less!!! And you'll spend less time in the kitchen and more with you family and/or guests!  It's a win-win!

As for music, film and books, you can legally (and this really matters to me - everyone deserves to be paid for their work and creativity) download, borrow from a friend or the library, or buy used and sell back after...

And it goes on and on... there is so much second-hand stuff available that you really do not need to buy anything new anymore... or hardly!

Think about it... and if you still choose to buy new, and I know I do sometimes, make sure you'll use it up or wear it out.

Thanks for boycotting this coming Black Friday.

Be who you are... DREAM your life... LIVE your dream...

Monday, September 26, 2016

Grocery shopping list

When I started this series of post labeled "what to eat", I mentioned that the second post would include a grocery shopping list and some tips and tricks to minimize your time in the kitchen while still eating a WFPB diet most of the time...

Well here it is...  my shopping list... this is what I make sure I have plenty off all of the time... you will see that it is not that bad... and once you get a rotation going on, grocery shopping becomes easy and quite inexpensive!
This list, however, does not include baking goods as this is not the main focus on this series of post (although you can see some baking goods in the picture)... provided, the posts are popular enough and I see there is an interest in the baking aspect of it, I will include baking grocery list and favorite recipes.

Shopping list:


Oatmeal (quick cooking oat works... but none of the "pouch" stuff loaded with sugar and preservatives)
Brown rice
White rice (I like jasmine and sticky rice mixed 50:50)
Pearl barley
Whole wheat paste
Soup noodle
Rice vermicelli
Rice paper
Multigrain tortillas
White potatoes
Sweet potatoes

On some instances I will also keep some ancient grains like quinoa, couscous, kamut, farro.

Legumes (dry - because it is much cheaper):

Chick peas
Black beans
White navy beans
Pinto beans
Red lentils
Brown lentils
Green lentils


canned diced tomatoes
canned puree tomatoes
rice vinegar
Worcestershire sauce (vegan)
sambal oelek
canola oil
agave syrup
herbs and spice to our liking


Nutritional yeast
Almonds (raw)
Walnuts (raw)
Pecans (raw)
Ground flax seeds (ground at home, a week's supply or so)
Organic, natural peanut butter
Organic natural almond butter
Jam - homemade, local, bought at the farmer's market
Organic tofu firm
Unsweetened organic soy milk

Homemade "cheese" sauce
Homemade spicy peanut sauce

And store bought: vegan teryiaki sauce, sweet and sour sauce, fat free Italian dressing, salsa, soy sauce, vegan margarine


Corn, peas, spinach
Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, bananas
Bread from the farmer's market
Whole flax seeds

and some cooked beans, homemade bean dips, left over stews or soups...

and a variety of homemade muffins, scones, brownies, cookie dough, pancakes...

Maybe I don't have to mention this but sill...  I also have at all time, carrots, celery, cucumber, bell pepper (all colors), cabbage (preferably purple), beets, onions, garlic, apples, oranges, bananas, and some other fruit depending what is affordable and in season...

This is it what you need.

The other thing you "need" is organization...  no one, even if you really like it (like me,)wants to spend all their time cooking and/or baking! No one can either afford it time wise!

So here is how I do it...

Every week, I have a routine...

I take a 2-3h  on Fridays to cook a batch of beans (rotate from one another depending what I am short on in my freezer) that I will use for the week and freeze in mason jars the extras for the other weeks.  I also, from the freshly cook beans, make a dip.  As I am doing this, I can work on muffins and cookies...  the muffins take about 5 min to prep... and while they are baking I work on the cookie dough that I freeze in balls ready to bake. And really, once you get use to this, 2h is really way more then what you need...

My second 2-3h on Sundays is use to cook a batch of brown rice with green and brown lentils - they cook together in the same pot for the same time - and I have my basis for lunches!  Alternatively, you can use quinoa, farro, kamut to do that too. While this is cooking I prep some white potatoes and sweet potatoes (cubed and seasoned without oil) that I oven bake each on their tray for 40 min at 420F - they will be use for snacking or warmed up for supper. While potatoes are cooking, I make a soup for the week and cook some mushroom (for lunches or wraps). After that, before I go to bed on Sunday I prep a stew that will cook in my slow cooker all night.

And this is it... most likely, all that will be left to do during the week is perhaps make one supper that is not covered, use a frozen left over... also make some spicy peanut sauce or "cheese" sauce when needed...

Quite frankly, beside those 4-6h split in 2 days, I spend maybe another 1h or 2h in the kitchen - that includes making lunches for work and school... and we eat a WFPB diet... 90% made home or sometimes more!

I always have food in the freezer if someone stops by or if I don't feel like making anything...

It is simple, efficient and inexpensive...  You can also do that as a family effort or with friends (then you get to share the results - which works well for single people if you do not like to eat the same thing for 2 weeks! You can also do this while drinking tea and looking at a cooking book, preparing you next grocery shopping list or making your next week's menu... because yes that too is necessary:  a grocery shopping list AND a menu.  Especially if you are new at this and/or have very little planning skills or memory!

Any questions yet?

What are your first impressions?

p.s. proof that works?  well tonight for supper I only have to reheat the huge veggie soup I made (with brown lentils and pasta) as well as peel some beets I cooked yesterday.  Also, because yesterday was a rock and roll day, I need to cook a batch or sweet potatoes... but that basically goes on by itself while I make tomorrow's lunches! Maybe I need 30-45 min in the kitchen today... Peeling the beets will be the worst part!

Be who you are... DREAM your life... LIVE your dream...

Sunday, September 25, 2016

10 down... 2 to go....

I am almost done with my shopping ban...  or am I?  After everything that happened this year, I am pretty sure the shopping ban will be a permanent lifestyle change!!! But more on that at the actual end of my shopping ban.

Right now, I would like to go into details about one of the rules I had set for myself in this shopping ban... the one rule that was really difficult for me to follow...

The one about buying 2nd hand first!

Where I come from... I was, unfortunately, thought that 2nd hand clothes.... or 2nd hand anything were for poor people....  it was not really hygienic to wear second hand clothes... and that stayed in my head for the longest time!!!! I am ashamed to say it today... but as I am always honest with you guy, I must admit it...

Later, much later in life, I met this awesome, always very well dress, and quite wealthy woman who confined in me that most of her clothes were second hand... and that revelation changed the way I saw things...  she was doing it to avoid using "new resources" from the earth and THAT I loved!

At that point, I tried going into thrift stores... but I could not bring myself to buy anything...  but at least, I would walk into them....  that was a start. As I have a tendency to not give up, I continued going into them...  but always by myself with my pre-conceived notion in the back of my head...  Eventually, I moved to Moncton and this other woman I met told me that ALL her clothes (OK maybe 98% of them) came from the thrift stores or were hand-me-down... because she did not wanted to spend money on clothes... and she could not "afford" it only because her priorities were travelling! That was another eye-opener to me...

I knew I took a HUGE pay cut working in a coffee shop part-time compared to a big full time corporate job...  I also knew I was MUCH happier and at peace living this life...and I enjoy having free time maybe even more so then shopping excessively... but I LOVE clothes...  no matter how much I try telling myself that it was an addiction and everything, I realize that it is more of a passion then an addiction... I can stop whenever I want (would it be a true addiction, I could not)... as I proved over the years by several shopping bans...  BUT, I don't want to... I love buying clothes... and I love wearing them... What changed over the years it that I now know what I really love and I have refined my style. I no longer follow trends and that is a huge money savior! I am willing to save money by living in a smaller apartment, not owning too much furniture (and it is ALL second hand - except for the rocking chair I got when my son was born), I save money by not buying music or books... or expensive jewelry... or a crazy amount of foot wear... but the clothes have to stay...

Once I realized all that, and watched "The true cost" I asked my friend to bring me with her... and with all I had been thinking about... and the beginning of this shopping ban, I went into a thrift store and made my first buy...  and it felt OK... not great!  I am not going to lie... but as I was wearing my findings and people were complimenting, it helped... and the more people I met here in Moncton, the more woman I met with awesome style that were doing the thrift store thing!  So I kept on doing it...  I did make a few rookie mistakes... I bought stained pyjamas, a pair of short that thorn a few wear later...  but I am learning and now I take more time to actually examine the clothes before I buy them.  Here is what I currently own, that is second hand in my wardrobe on top of the bag at the beginning of the post.

I do wear all those clothes.... quite a lot... As you can see they are mostly skirts... 2 jackets, a big bulky men sweater and a scarf... I have only one top!  My next objective is to go beyond the fact there was "arm-pit contact" and start looking into buying more tops! Hahaha! I'll get to it...

Now I would like to know what you think about 2nd hand shopping.  Do you do it? Where do you go?  What are your tips and tricks?

Be who you are... DREAM your life... LIVE your dream...

Friday, September 23, 2016

what to eat - what it will be about

As fall sets in, I now have more time to start working on a project some of my friends asked me about. I use to have an ebook on nutrition available on Amazon, and it had some of my favorite recipes in it, however, I took it off-line because since I publish this book in January 2014, I have dramatically changed the way I eat...  I went from vegan to whole-food plant-based (WFPB)...  90% of the time (working my way up to 95%)... the remaining 10% allows me to eat "process- package - not homemade food"...  it is my savior for when I don't feel like cooking or when I just want to treat myself to something that will please my taste buds! Although, to be completely honest, as I got to 90% WFPB, I must admit that my taste buds are less and less satified by process food and most of the time it is simply a deception.  What my friends were asking me is to update my book and put it back on-line!  But, I currently do not have the appropriate software to do so or the intention to write a book... then I realized Icould use this blog...  in several different posts under one label, for ease of finding!

The label will be " what to eat" and the posts will be as follow:

1 - Introduction - actually the post you are reading now
2 - Grocery shopping list - what you should have at all time in your cupboards
3 - What to eat for breakfast
4 -  What to eat for lunch
5 - What to eat for supper

Of course, I will not be sharing ALL my recipes... this would be too long, but rather how I put things together to come up with a meal in an easy manner... I will also share maybe 2-3 recipes per meal... and give you tips and tricks to make it simple...
I will also try, although I am not a food blogger, to share one or two recipes a month... but this never really succeeded before!  Maybe this time I will stick to it.

But first off, what is the difference between vegan and whole food plant based (WFPB)?  And why changing?

Well, technically, the way to eat is essentially the same... it includes no animal products what so ever. The difference is mostly in the way of preparing food and a WFPB is much more strict in that respect.  Ideally, you buy no process food at all...  this it what you tend to:  you make your own cookies, bread, sauce, stock, some condiments by yourself... at home... starting with whole food. IF you buy something already package, you have to make sure it contains no animal product (just like vegans) but also that it is low in added sugar, fat and salt. For example, I never buy anything that as a g fat/portion higher then 6... and try to stay as much as I can at 3 or under (this goes for everything including chips and dressings).  Trust me, that is much easier said then done. At least at first... The only exception I tolerate for myself is vegan margarine for baking cookies on some occasion and canola oil for my popcorn machine but it requires so very little.  I never cook with oil - none! And most of my baked goods are fat free also -except for the cookies and sometimes scones.   When I buy cereals, very seldomly, I ensure first ingredients is whole grain and that is had no or very very little sugar added. If I do the "fake meat" thing, I also stay under 5g fat/ portion and tend to stick to Yves or Gardein as they contain less crap in them then other fake meat available where I live. And between you and me, I just can't do the "fake cheese" anymore -way to fatty in my mouth! Problem solved for that.

The only fat tolerated are in nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and natural nut butter...
The only sugar tolerated is raw sugar...  but ideally you get your sugar directly from fruits and veggies.

You do not need process fat (shortening, margarine, oil) or white sugar... Even less so all the "fake chemical 0 calories sugars - these are killing you!  Your body much rather have the whole thing then an extracted part of something!

The "fat you eat is the fat you wear" according to Dr McDougall. Eat as little of it as you can. Especially if you want to loose weight.

Fat in the above mentionned foods also contains proteins, glucides,  fiber, vitamins and minerals... it is complete and you body knows how to process it and extract all it needs and discard what it doesn't.  Same goes for fruits, they naturally contain water, glucides, vitamins, minerals and yes even some protein!

Now, most of my diet consist of whole grains or starch as they are called:  brown rice, kamut, oat, barley, whole wheat flour, brown rice flour, white potatoes, sweet potatoes... this is the bulk of every meal!  Also, least process possible, no fat, no sugar added wole grain bread - like our granmothers use to make them!  I get mine at the farmer's market because, really, at the grocery store, there is almost no such thing at a decent price that tastes like bread. I also eat some white rice... after all Asian have been eating it for ever and they were (not so much anymore with the avent of SAD in their countries) the healthiest people on this planet.

On the side of that starch, plenty of legumes (beans, lentils, peas) and veggies!

And there you have it!  This is what to eat! It is simple, affordable, requires very little prep and can be very versatile... without ever being boring! Wait until I share more recipes and you'll see...

You can turn these in stew, soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps...

Now why did I switch?  Because the word "vegan" has a negative connotation... no need to explain this one. Also because I am doing this for health reason and I am pretty sure that lifestyle wise I am NOT 100% vegan... and nor do I care for it to be honest.  What really interest me is the diet side of it... Although, I cannot agree with any type of animal abuse (and it drives me insane and makes me really sad), this is not my battle ( just being honest with myself and you guys)... I fight for health.  Another reason it there are way to many unhealthy vegans...  people who eat little to no fruits and veggies... no legumes.... but lots of white bread, sugary cereals and fake meet and cheese... to avoid animal product without learning how to eat properly.  It is practically impossible to be unhealthy on a WFPB diet.

p.s. and if you eat like this, you probably won't even need supplements...  except for B12 vitamin which is becoming more and more rare in nature as it is a bacteria that is destroyed when we chemically process the soil for agriculture! It is more and more believed that even meat eater should take a B12 supplement!

Be who you are... DREAM your life... LIVE your dream...

My reading marathon

Beginning of 2016, I had given myself a challenge: read 42 books in a year.  This, was A LOT for me... I was not such an avid reader... I was always kind of an on-and-off reader. I could read 3 books in a row and then nothing for months...  If I wanted to read 42 books in a year, I could not afford to do that...

I had set a few rules/directions for myself

1) I could read in English or French
2) I could read anything... as long as it interested me... novel, science, psychology, biographies...
3) Books that were more then 500 pages were equivalent to 2 books, more then 600 pages, 3 books and more then 900 pages 4 books.  I have only read 2 books that fitted in those categories, they were respectively 530 pages and 639 pages...
4) I'd have to read books that are currently in my home - whether they belong to my son, husband or myself  - or get them from the library or borrow from a friend (After all, I am right in the middle of my 367 days shopping ban, I did not wanted to use this as an excuse to buy stuff).
5) No need to keep track of the actual list of books I read... only the number. (I wanted to see what would stick to my mind naturally)

I had no idea on how I would find those 42 books.. which ones would I read and why... I had no list of books I wanted to read before hand - Now, I have a list of 60 books!!!

So here's what I did: I started with a book taken from the library... I honestly can't remember which one but I am pretty sure it was from Alexandre Jardin.  Then, I let my reading, and trips to the library, guide me to more books! I would write down books from an author I was reading, I would take note of authors or titles mentionned in a book I was reading (not listed as "in the same collection" or "by the same author" but actual books the characters were referring too in a novel - that THEY were reading)... I would note down the title of a book someone was reading in a coffee shop if they seemed "similar" to me... In the library, I would always check the section "New books" and "Books you may have forgotten" ... If I discovered a new author, I would note another book title they wrote... And last but not least, I would take down suggestions friends made to me. I also noted down a few books that inspired movies or TV shows.

Therefore, one thing to another, I ended up with always more then enough books to read.... way more!

Why would I do that challenge?  Not sure...  but I remember, Jan 2014, I wanted to train to run a marathon - an actual one.  My body, which is in pretty good shape overall, does not like me getting to "warm" - it has to do with MS.  This really disappointed me...  and for some reason, this year, I had already been reading 5-6 books by the end of January, I decided to do a reading marathon...  Which, I was sure then, would be challenging enough... in another manner but challenging.

I had not idea what to expect... but here's what happened...

And you might think I am crazy for that...  but it is REALLY what happened...

With no pre-established list of books to read... and with the method I had to select books, believe it or not... it seemed like one book would flow into the next...  And I am not sure I can explain this well here...  but it seemed as though each book would prepare me for the next one AND each book would find a way to answers "questions" and/or "concerns" I had at the time of reading it... I would read really anything... in NO specific orders... sometimes a classic followed by a very recent novel and then a philosophical assay and then a more scientific one and somehow they would "melt" into one bigger thing in my brain! Links would create themselves from one book to another... I would see things more clearly... Life seemed more "understandable" - if it can be.

I think this will be a lasting effect... my life will never be the same...  after reading some 10k pages (assuming books averaged 250 pages) in only 9 months, it is as though I have become another version of myself...  They say you remember on average 10% of what you read... This means, that somehow, I have created my own 1000 page book... in my mind... it cannot not have an effect on one's life.

It also made me realize what type of books I like to read... I like to read things about psychology, sociology, anthropology, some personal development stuff, nutritions (but with a science base), novels (but not any type - I am now better at knowing that books I will love or not) and some biographies (but then again not systematically all of them).

And this is why, I will take up another challenge a friend of mine gave me:  to keep on reading, in the same manner, at the same pace, with the same "rules" another 108 books - apparently, once you get to 150 books something happens...  I am up for it!  I have already seen such a huge difference in my life those 42 books have made, I can't wait to see what another 108 added to that will do! It's a good thing I have a list now... but I am afraid that list will keep on growing... because the more I read, the more references I see, the more new authors I discover, the more I'll go to the library and leave with books that were not on my list to read and the more people will give me suggestions...  Is this ever gona end? It doesn't really matter... I have many more years to enjoy reading... now that I can afford to work part-time!

Be who you are... DREAM your life... LIVE your dream...

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

My view on.... my son's birth... 16 years later!

My son was born 16 years ago on September 8th...  this is acutally tomorrow but I really wanted to write about it today!

For those of you who would not be aware yet, his birth almost cost me my life.... and he almost did not make it himself...  it was, some would say, a horrible day...  but in the end, with years passing by... I see it more and more as a blessing! I am really grateful that we both make it of course... but I am even more grateful he turned out to be such a lovely young men and I that I got a second chance... And would this day had been more "regular" nothing of what happened after would have happened exactly the same way and our lives today would be completely different!  That I am convinced of!

A few words about him:  he is a kind, sensitive and thoughful boy...  he hates school (even though his average is around 80% without ever opening a book at home!!!) but love the cadets, discipline and anything that is very demanding. He's a loner...  but makes friends so easily...  of course, intravert... BIG TIME!   Very unpopular at school but one of the most popular ones at the cadets!
He's vegetarian and loves police TV shows as well as any videogame with a mission and guns (police, army, fantastic...)!  He can't wait to drive and buy his first car and already started saving for it... and looking on line for prices!  He swears he will never smoke, drink or touch drugs! And he started his process to get enrolled in the army - he wants to protect the canadian citizen and help in different countries when possible by reconstructing schools, hospitals and help finding survivor of natural disasters!

Is it exactly how I pictured him sixteen years ago?  Of course not...  Is he living the life I would if I was his age?  Certainly not....  but how are you suppose to know how your kids will turn out? Well... YOU DON'T and this is the beauty of it...  They are their own person! I loved this boy from the day he was born without even knowing who he was... it was completely selfless, unconditional love!!!  And I am trying to give him all the tools he needs to become his best self!  Not the person I imagined or wish he would be...  that would not be fair!  As a parent my first responsability is to get to know this guy:  his dreams, desires and secret projects and give him the tools he needs to realize them! All of them...  it's HIS life! Not mine.

And guess what?  I was not always that good at it... because he scared me... his dreams and goals where so far away from mine in a way... I did not and could not understand them. But the more we talked and the more we opened up to each other, we learned to respect and appreciate the differences and it scares me less now... and makes me see that ultimately, his goal is not so far from mine...  but uses different tools and means.

We both want to change the world...  me from diseases by improving diet and lifestyle... and him by reducing suffering, helping with school, hospitals and rescuing people who have seen their whole world turned upside down! I am using my brains and mouth (hahaha) but he'll be using his arms and physical strenght!  We use different tools because we have different abilities...  but somehow, this is bringing us closer together then I ever imagined possible... when he told me two years ago that he wanted to join the army, I cried... because I was loosing him - and sure I would loose him for good... but now, his decision, which we talked about time and time again, has actually brought us closer and I now know, that there is no way I will ever loose this boy! We have a unique bond... born in love AND respect!

Love might have been unconditionnal from the time he was born...  respect was born over time...  by sharing thoughts, talking about stuff... and mostly listening to each other!!!

So there you go Cedric!  I hope you have a lovely birthday and a nice year coming up!  It will be a challenging one but I know you'll make it through even more awesome then you are today!!!  You will grow and change... mature and learn...  and this is what really matter!!!

Follow your dreams...
And even if they are not mine, I will assist you as much as I can...

p.s. a little thing about my second chance:  not every one get them, and I am grateful for it...  being born again at the same time as him, has allow me to redirect my life where I wanted it to be when I was a kid... and this is the best thing that ever happened to me!  I have less moeny then ever... but more time then any adult could dream of to enjoy my son and life!  This will always be the best gift he gave me:  life!!! In a way, we mutually "gave birth" to each other!

Be who you are... DREAM your life... LIVE your dream...

Monday, September 5, 2016

Less then 3 months left to my shopping ban!

As you might know, last November I started a 367 days shopping ban... and you can read more by looking for the "367 days shopping ban" label.

I thought it would be much harder then it actually was...
Did I respect ALL the rules ALL the time?  Of course not... but a challenge is not necessarily about respecting rules...  in the sense that all I really wanted to do is CHALLENGE my shopping habit and I did!!!

I did update you on a few occasions about where I was going with this... I think that, as this is getting close to an end, I can make an extra effort on following my established rules AND update you on what happen in the last month or so...

Last update I made, was after 7 months and I have now completed 9...  Therefore during the course of the summer, here's what I got:

1) a bike - but I did not spend a penny for it!!!  Someone surprised me with it...  they were cleaning out their place and remembered mine got stolen and gave me their extra one!  And it's purple!!!

2) a summer dress - OK I did not need that one... but it was not from a "regular" store and it is made in India - supposedly fair trade!

3)  went to the Salvation Army because a friend of mine had a 10$ off a 25$ purchase coupon...  we split the discount and for 15$, I go 2 skirts that can easily be worn year round, fit with many things I already own and are really "ME" skirts... and I also got a men's knitted grey sweater - I have been wanting THAT for a long time!!!

4) got a pair of Converse shoes - mine are falling apart - therefore, it is a one in/one out type thing

5) a a peace Lilly - a plant I have been wanting for a few years now (as pictured above)

Now, for the 3 months remaining, I am reminding myself of the rules I had first set up when I started this shopping ban...  here they are:

1)  I can only buy personal stuff if I need to replace something. One-in-one-out kind of!

   Try to find locally, second hand or fair trade items...

I have actually not been too bad at this...  but I must say that some stores are still quite a challenge and fall will be difficult as I love fall season for clothing...  perhaps I should stay clear of stores but it is not always possible... and how would I know how I am doing with my addiction if I don't tempt myself?

2) I will accept gifts...  but strongly suggest to people wanting to offer me something that it'd be something that I can use up (food, tea, candles, incense...), something that is local... or second hand. Or a plant!

Just like the bike I got!!!

3) If I want to give something to someone, I will gravitate toward the same thing as in 2)...  or something I made! And do not thing this is me being cheap... I need to do this for a year!  You will survive if I can!

4) If I run out of books.... or want to read something different... there is always the public library!

I have actually been very good with the public library!  It is now one of my best friend! I did not buy one book since that challenge started!  This is great new for me as book were usually my "go to" when I would do such a shopping ban - I never included them in shopping bans before knowing I could buy that it hte urge came!

5) Obviously, magazine are out the window...  because their only purpose really is just to make you wanna buy stuff... The only exceptions would be a National Geographic or Scientific America type magazine... and then again, only if there is something in there really interesting me.

Here again, no magazine at all - not even Scientific ones...
I now even think they are basically a waste of paper also... and they repeat themselves all the time!


As I am getting close to the end of this shopping ban, I realize that it has been easier then I thought it would be.  I am assuming that this as to do with my reading marathon (goal is to read 42 books before the end of the year) which is keeping me busy and away from temptation...  I also think that my increased mediation/yoga practise of the last couple of months has something to do with it...

I know I am not completely out of the woods with fall coming up...

But I am now certain that this shopping ban will have change for ever the way I shop or not!

Be who you are... DREAM your life... LIVE your dream...