Keeping busy or also known as…keeping myself occupied so I don’t shop!

In a bid to keep myself busy I have taken some advice and taken up a new hobby.

In one of my posts I blogged about ‘Removing Temptations’. Well part of that was to get rid of any glossy magazines I had around the house.

This proved difficult. I had a good collection going and I found it such a waste, both monetary and art sake, to throw out these beautiful magazines.

So I decided to create collage inspired writing journals with images cut out from these magazines (my goal was to keep it more focused on art than fashion inspired images.)

Somehow…I didn’t think I’d find any serenity by obsessively cutting out fashion images such as ‘clothing looks’ and collaging them onto a journal, a journal that I am supposed to use to write about my shopping habit accomplishments.

So for the last couple of weekends I have busily occupied myself with making these little beauties and actually found myself getting quite enthralled in my DIY craft project.

It proved to work that by taking up a hobby, I have managed to divert my attention from, just focusing on shopping to now…arts and crafts.

And if or when my attentions wanes with this project…I already have my next inspiration line up…knitting a scarf for winter .

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How to spot an addict? ;)

I love shopping.

There’s no secret there. However, what some people (well probably, a lot of people) don’t know about me, is that I have mastered techniques in order to hide and disguise my love for shopping.  I am sure my friends and family have a fair idea of the lengths I go to, to acquire whatever item I’ve been dreaming about in my fashion obsessed mind.  However, over the years, I picked up some little tactics to bamboozle and down right lie to my friends and family of my true shopping intentions.

Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to spot someone who may have a slight shopping problem.  If only it were as simple as looking at someone similar to that of Isla Fisher’s character in “Confessions of a Shopaholic”. …it’s not.   Even more true, it’s unlikely that your friends and family would even contemplate that one of their loved ones, would go to such lengths to hide a real problem.  addict

In saying that,  I am sharing these tricks for two reasons, 1) to absolve myself from being dishonest to my loved ones (I’m sorry, I hope you still love me ;)) and 2) in hope to help others out there in spotting a potential shopaholic and help them on their way to a healthier relationship with shopping and a healthier bank balance too 😐

Yolanda’s Shopping Addiction Tricks

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Scuffed Shoes = Old Shoes

1) To date, I own 150 pairs of shoes, give or take.  So I am sure you can understand how difficult it was for me to justify the need for another new pair of shoes.  Solution? No worries…One trick I regularly did was buy a new pair of shoes and prior to my first wear, I would ensure to rub the soles of my shoes on concrete, gravel or dirt.  Anything that would basically leave some scuff marks on the base of the shoe.  To note: I would ONLY scuff the soles slightly.  I would never go so far as to scuff the actual finish or leather of the shoe because well…that would just be silly :/ and I probably would have cried.  So, when I was questioned, “Are they new shoes?” I would respond, “No! See, the soles are scuffed and used.”

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The tools of the trade

2) Just got back from a major David Jones half price sale and don’t know how to justify all the purchases in your car?  Easy! One particular Christmas sale I had an allocated ‘Sale Budget’.  Of course, I couldn’t control myself and I had spent well in excess of my budget by triple the amount.  So what did I do…two words…’Sharpie Pen.’

That’s right.  I would actually go to the length of crossing out RRP or already reduced prices to further discount my purchase.  “Now it might look like a lot of shopping, but look at this….it was reduced from $80 down to $20. Bargain! And I still spent within my budget”. To note, I find a red sharpie has more bang and impact however black sharpie also work.

3) Funds.  So, some of you may be asking yourself, “How on earth did her partner not notice large sums of money being paid to ‘Tony Bianco Shoes’ and ‘Country Road Fashion’ on the bank statements.  Well, in the initial days this wasn’t an issue for me because I was in charge of managing our money and accounts.  So, nobody saw it.  However, in the later years when my partner cottoned on to my extreme shopping habits and demanded to see the bank statements (YIKES).

So after that,  I did one of two things: 1) If I knew I was going to the mall and, let’s face it, about to spend a lot of money, I would withdraw money and then pay for all my items in cash.  Then, when I would be short on money later during the week or month,  I would say to my partner that additional bills or items needed to be paid and that’s why we were short or 2) I started siphoning funds into a separate ‘savings fund’ aka ‘Fashion Fund’ that  I would make any purchases from. Sometimes, I would do a combination of both.

So as my shopping problem came to light bit by bit…I had to start getting even more trickier in disguising and hiding my purchases….

4) You just purchased clothes you definitely shouldn’t have, what do you do?  I ALWAYS ensured I had a gym bag or overnight bag in my car.  I regularly stayed over at my sisters’ house for the night or friends so it wasn’t uncommon for me to have overnight bags in my car. So, in this situation, my golden rule was…GET RID OF OR HIDE THE EVIDENCE.  I would take every item out of the branded shopping bags, remove tags and receipts.  I would hide the tags and receipts in my handbag somewhere (just in case I needed to return an item which was never) and then throw out all the shopping bags.  Next, I would stuff all my new purchases in my overnight or gym bag and no one would be the wiser.

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Diagram of how to ‘Hide the evidence’.

Of course, I would have to do this in stealth mode so,  in most occasions, I would shop on my own so I could conduct this exercise prior to driving home or I would pull into a carpark on the way home and ensure Mission: ”Destroy the evidence” was completed.

5) As my work responsibilities increased with my role, my shopping time decreased.  You would think this would limit my ability to shop right? Wrong.  Welcome to the world of online shopping.  Initially, this method of shopping was untapped for me however it soon became my main source of shopping.  Before I knew it, Gary the postman and I were on first parcelsname basis due to me purchasing all my items online and posted to work…friends and family, none the wiser.

6) Another trick that I started resorting to was leaving purchased items at friends’ houses.   If I did a particularly naughty shop, I would normally stop off at friends houses on the way home and carry in my bags and then slyly leave them at theirs and pick up at another time.  I had to start doing this because again, my partner realised my problem and actually started doing car searches, with good reason, to ensure I hadn’t spent any money.  (I am such a terrible person.)

7) “I bought it on eBay.” If I was wearing something new and was questioned, I always relied on trusty eBay. I was known to be a bit of an op-shopper and bargain hunter, so this trick worked for a little while.  “Can you believe it? I bought it on eBay for $12!!!!”   I tried this one for a little while until my partner and encouraged by family too…requested that I delete or suspend my eBay account.  So after that, I had to resort to other tricks.

7) Final Trick….outright lie.  This trick only worked in my initial shopping days however, if my partner asked me if I was wearing something new, I would reply, “This old thing…I’ve had this for years? I actually wore this to your cousins birthday remember?” (my partner had about 1000 cousins so he would never remember who or when I was talking about). Then I would carry on by saying, “You never pay attention to me…how could you not notice…you always forget things and I have to repeat myself….it’s sooooo frustrating.” Like I said, this only worked initially.  It actually did happen on one occasion where I wore something ancient and my partner asked if it was new…after that, I just went with it all the time. I have so many clothes, there would be no way to know what’s new or old.

And there you have it….the secrets, tricks, lies and down right appalling behaviour of someone who tries to hide their unhealthy love for fashion.  I am much better now and making amends in my quest for serenity and a smaller wardrobe.

I blog this partly in jest but also partly, in hope that I could shed some enlighten for someone out there…until next time…eat, shop (responsibly) & love.

Save them dollars…DIY it!

So in a bid to save my money…I started my first DIY project.

The Inspiration:

The fabulous designer – IXIAH.  The moment I viewed her collections I fell in love with her  wonderfully eclectic and unique items with such creative, styling and layering.

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Territories Long Sleeve White Top

Of particular, to-die-for, lusting….I absolutely adore the ‘Territories Long sleeve White Shirt’.  Of course, with my current decision to work on my spending habits and get it to a more healthier level, justifying the purchase of this top seemed very unreasonable.

Solution:

Having never embarked on a DIY project before, I was uncertain as to how successful I’d be.  However, after taking some notes from the very successful creator of ‘A Pair & a Spare’, I had found some new enthusiasm and inspiration.

The Project:

Below are the following items purchased for my project:

  • One white long sleeved top from Valley Girl – $4.99
  • 1 metre of tapestry material from spotlight – $9.00 p/m

The method: Having some sewing experience from watching my talented sister, I measured the length of the shirt, front and back, and then cut pieces of material in the measured length and choose a desired width of about 4 cm (allowing 1 cm for sewing allowance.)

Next, I simply sewed the pieces of fabric directly onto the front and back of shirt.  Slightly folding about half a centimetre on each side of the fabric strip to create a clean edge, I sewed the fabric on the shirt.  I say simply, which it was, however being a novice I am quite slow.

The finished product:

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My version of the much adored top.

For a total of $15 and about 2 hours of my time, I was able to recreate a version of the much coveted Ixiah top.  It’s not as beautiful as the inspiration top however it will do for now. 🙂

Hopefully I’ll have plenty more blog posts to come of my creative little projects.

If you’re a DIY expert, I’d love to see some of your projects for more inspiration so follow me on instagram or comment with your blog link so I can check you out. 

   empowernetwork.com/rickypetch

Removing temptations….Easier said then done!

What has been happening in my world….


So, this just in….I failed at acquiring any form of serenity and overcoming my habit of compulsive shopping.


Working for an online retailer was one temptation proving too much for me to overcome. Like any person of habit, I’ve had to restart my recovery and focus on removing temptations to my addiction. Easier said then done!


Just to prove to you my epic failure at curbing my spending habit, I have reluctantly posted a picture of my cork board at work that houses the collection of tags from all the purchases I have made during my short time at my place of employment. I feel that revealing this will definitely help in my steps to freedom of shopping addiction…fingers crossed.

 

My work cork board! FAIL

The infamous ‘Clothing tag’ cork board displaying my purchase history


Granted…I did buy these items with my super awesome 40% off staff discount, however that only allowed me to foolishly justify these purchases even more. To be honest, I am not sure how to overcome this great temptation at work; but I am seriously considering asking the IT department to disable my staff code for the time being and may resort to wearing blinkers (similar to what horses wear) whilst at work and walking past any clothing racks.

Blinkers Needed

Removing temptations!!!! Who would have thought that a simple item such as a glossy magazine, could hold so much power and temptation. And it doesn’t stop there. Nearly every social site I am a member of, has exponentially fuelled my addiction further with all the exposure to the latest fashions, trends and stylish fashionistas modelling their purchases….argghghgh. Social sites such as Pinterest, Instagram and facebook…I hate you!!!

 

However, I have struggled to delete these totally. What I have done is ceased to follow any account remotely fashion related. Queue super boring timeline and feed filled with countless posts on ‘my baby is so cute’ pictures or ‘fitspo….look at my abs’ pictures.


Nonetheless, I feel somewhat better having taken steps to remove these temptations. It’s only time now until I can attend a doctors appointment without cowering in the corner away from the dreaded table filled with magazines and reading material, in fear that I may see an item of clothing that I simply must have and strategise in my head how to acquire such piece while I wait for said doctors appointment.


With that…it’s a process and I am trusting this process to take its course.


Y

empowernetwork.com/rickypetch

Irony if I’ve ever seen irony before….

Hi, my name is Yolanda and I am shopaholic…debtor…over spender!

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Must Have/s

If you’ve read any of my lasts posts you will have learned by now that yes….I have a serious shopping addiction.  Now I’m not talking about your, “oh no I just bought two items in the same month” type of problem, I mean the, “oh no, I just bought 4 of the same hand bags in the latest Witchery collection because I just had to have every single colour” type of problem. Yep…that’s me.

Of late, I’ve had some interesting turn of events and the biggest one to note would be, my current new job!

An Update: I lost my job end of last year but thankfully secured a new job…in retail.  That’s right.  I now work for a retail company and one of my staff incentives is 40% off clothing (breathing into brown paper bag and pulling out hair as we speak).

Clothes at my fingertips
Daily Temptations

Trust me, I did not take this job lightly.  However, after being made redundant in my last role and then being offered a position in my local area, no travel, for the same salary…I was hard pressed to say no.  So…. I am sure you can understand my predicament and daily temptation from 9am-5pm.

Keep posted because no doubt there will be some crazy times ahead. 

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Me. That’s right…me at the end of every work day.

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A picture paints a thousand…shoes!?!

My babies….

So…as part of my attempt to get my life back on track and sort out my horrendous shopping addiction, I started culling my vast shoe collection and am in the process of cataloguing the shoes I will be putting up for sale on ebay and other online sites. After much deliberation and umming and ahhing, I managed to organise my shoes into a carefully displayed storage system in my garage. And when I say ‘I’, I mean a crafty & talented handyman who built the shelving for me, as I supervised 🙂

It was quite funny and possibly sad at the same time, however when the handyman came to my house to install the shelving, he asked me if I ran a home business selling clothes and shoes.  Of course, I informed him that these were just my personal items that I was now trying to cull, due to space issues.  And of course…the handyman looked at me with quite the disturbed look.  It’s okay, I’m used to it, I get it all the time….moving on.

Now,  these shelves ran the full length of our single lock up garage, on both sides. So I have only taken the photo of one side of the shelving but you get the idea. Now…I really think I have to work on culling a lot more shoes however I am impressed that I was even able to decide on selling one pair let alone 20? Well done to me, pat pat on my back…recovery is turning out nicely.

‘To sell or not to sell’ pile??
Project Phase 1 Complete: My shoes to keep!

Current shoe count: 150 pairs

eBay account: yostar81