THRIFTING…. is this for me?

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I grew up with a Mom who loves a good deal.   It’s not that we didn’t have the money to buy expensive things, but my Mom was always thrifty when it came to shopping.   I am proud that I learned that from her.  It’s just never really been my thing because I have such a specific style that I usually don’t have much luck finding things I would wear at a secondhand store.   I try to be fashion forward and I like to wear the latest trend before others.  So, when I invited my friend Pamela to come visit me for the weekend I suggested we spend the afternoon thrifting because she is a professional.  She has her own Facebook page called Thrift Love and is also a blogger and a vlogger.   So if I am going thrifting there is nobody better to go with than her.  https://www.facebook.com/thriftloveblog/

Pamela had done her research and already had a game plan.   We were off to The Clothes Secret, Value Village and Salvation Army.  My idea of thrifting is Nordstrom Rack or an Outlet so I was looking forward to a new shopping experience.  The Clothes Secret is a cute consignment store in Ottawa and just happened to be having a massive sale.  I found an over sized shirt that I will wear as a dress.   It was $17.99 but it was 80% off so I actually paid $3.60.   That’s right!  $3.60.   I was impressed and was starting to get into the whole thrifting vibe!

Next stop, Value Village.   I found cute shoes, designer rain boots and a pretty dress.   My goal was to find a dress that was not black.  My whole closet is basically black, and I am trying to work on that.

I knew they were designer boots as soon as I saw them but had not heard of Lola Ramona before.  After googling the name I found out she is a designer from Denmark, and they were roughly 140 Euros, which is $200 CAD!  I paid $15.99.  Score!!! The camo shoes are incredibly comfortable and were $5.99.   I wiped the insides down with a Lysol wipe, in case anyone is wondering.  The dress was $23.99 which was too high in my opinion, but it was made in the UK so something different and it was colourful.  I mean yes it was still black but look at all the colourful flowers!

Overall, I was very happy with my purchases.  Is this something I will do regularly?  No, but I am more open to it now than ever before.  I always find Pamela’s sense of style to be very inspiring and wish that it suited me more because she is always so colourful and well put together.   She did bring out her black heels and black dress this weekend though as she said I inspired her as well.

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Melissa Gauvreau – Styled by M

Stay fabulous!

ENHANCING MY LIFE….one word at a time.

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I have not written anything in awhile because I have been extremely busy, and I was away all of June on an adventure.   My adventurous month inspired me to write this blog.

In January some of you know I was at a conference called Your Best Year Ever.   It really inspired me to focus on all aspects of my life and I realized how important it is to live a healthy balanced lifestyle.   So, it was then that I decided to have a word of the month and for that month I would focus on that aspect of my life and improve it as much as possible.  By December I should feel complete and extremely well balanced.  I am going to share with you my words of the month and what I have done to make sure I am living my best life ever.

JANUARY

Focus

Focus was the perfect word to start my 2019 off right.   After all I just learned at the conference, I knew I had to focus to make sure I was going to reach my goals.   January started off with a bang.   I had a new morning routine that allowed me to start my day off right.   I was focused all day to make sure it was productive.  I had a new night routine that forced me to shut down early in the evening so I could write in my grateful journal and read each night,  which was one of my goals.   Then it was lights out at 10 pm so I could get a great night sleep and kick butt the next day all over again.   I was so focused on my goals that I was spending less time on my phone.  I was highly motivated and focused all month.  I am going to say I killed it that month.   It made me want to keep the momentum going all year!

FEBRUARY

love

My word of the month in February was Love.  Not because Valentine’s Day is in February but because I love Love and I think the world needs more of it.  The more love you give, the more love you receive.  We all deserve and need love in our lives.   This is when I started incorporating love into my Grateful Journal every night.   I was already writing five things I was grateful for that day in my journal. I then started adding five things that I loved about that day.  Sometimes we forget about the simple things in life that we love.

MARCHFriends

In March I decided to spend as much time with my Friends as possible because I truly do have amazing friends and I don’t get to see them as often as I would like.  Let’s just say March was a fun month.  I didn’t turn down a single invitation.  I made time for as many people as I could.  I even started sending messages to friends that I haven’t seen in awhile to check in on them, see how they were doing.  We all have busy lives and Facebook is great for making us feel connected, but I think it’s important to make a connection one on one sometimes. 

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APRIL

Career

One of my goals I made in January was to start blogging for a boutique store here in Ottawa, so it only made sense to make my word of the month Career.   In March I started making a list of downtown boutiques that didn’t have blogs on their websites.   I was beginning to make my blog portfolio and prep myself to reach my next goal when my boss approached me with an amazing job opportunity that I could not turn down.   I decided to put the whole blogging thing on hold for a bit because I would not have the proper time it would need from me.  This new opportunity was STILL enhancing my career in such a unique way and I was extremely grateful and ready to tackle this new challenge.  It was so unexpected and happened so quickly and I am grateful that I am equipped to roll with whatever comes my way.

MAY

Family

Family is so important to me and I always put them first but they also deserve to have their own special month.   I do not live in the same city as my family so I do not get to see them as often as I would like.  I have two nieces who are extremely special to me because I do not have my own children.  I love and adore them like they are my own.  May is always a special time for me to go home because my Dad’s birthday is in May,  Mother’s Day is in May and I do the MS walk in May with my friend Kathy who has MS and is basically family to me.  I went home for four days and spent as much time with my family as possible.  A lot of special memories were made with my nieces and I treasure every moment I have with them and I value how much they look up to me.

June

adventure

Let’s go on an Adventure!!  I already lead an adventurous life, but I thought this month I would be even more adventurous and be open to everything that came my way.   I was away for the whole month of June and one night I found myself in an unusual situation and I almost didn’t run with it until I reminded myself the word of the month.   I am so thrilled I allowed myself to go on this little adventure because it ended up being the best two days I have had in a while.  I had a few adventures this month,  made several memories and met some people I will never forget.

 

July

health

My birthday is July so I decided I wanted this to be my healthiest month yet, so Health is my word this month.  July 1st, I downloaded the Fitness Pal app again.   I used to be a Personal Trainer and I worked for Jenny Craig.  I already have the tools I need to live my healthiest life but sometimes we forget the basics.  So back to calorie counting I go because it is basic science calories in, calories out.   I am really embracing the whole calorie thing again except my wine.  I don’t understand why there are calories in alcohol it should be in food only.   So, I have taken it seriously and I am drinking wine sprinters instead.   Is this fair for my birthday month?  Not really, but it is the healthiest choice if I want to be successful this month.   I signed up for a pool membership this month and I am swimming laps every day and I am absolutely loving it.  It’s the best cardio exercise and I find its great therapy for my ankle that I sprained in February.   Working out and eating right is not only necessary to look and feel your best but it’s also necessary for your insides.  My heart, my blood flow, my brain, my stress level… all of me is loving this month.

This has been a very long blog and for those of you that are still with me, thank you!!   I hope I have inspired you to choose a word each month and make your life a little bit better each month.  No matter how successful you are, no matter how beautiful you are,  no matter how kind you are,  no matter how smart you are, we all need to keep improving on certain parts of our lives.  Which parts do you need to work on?   Stay tuned for the next five months of my year because you can best believe I am going to make this my Best Year Ever.

 

MY NAME IS MELISSA…..and I am a Shopaholic.

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I love shopping, always have and always will.  When I am happy, I shop.  When I am sad, I shop.  When I am bored, I shop.  When I travel, I shop.  You get the point.  There is a rush I get when I am shopping and it’s something I prefer to do alone.  It is literally one of my favorite things in life.

In January I was in Nashville for a conference about goal setting and setting yourself up to have your best year ever.  One of my goals was to save money.  How was I going to do that?  By shopping less.  I don’t need anything.  I have enough clothes, shoes, bags and accessories to dress ten women and it’s all jammed into my tiny downtown condo.  So, it was there at the conference I told myself after Nashville I would not buy anything till June 1st.   This was early January so almost five months of no shopping!  Could I do this? There was no way I could start immediately because Nashville has so many cute neighborhoods with the most unique boutiques and I planned on visiting all of them.   So, I made sure I thoroughly enjoyed my last shopping hurrah.

In February I had my first temptation.   I wanted to get a new winter coat and the end of the season is the time to get one because they are on sale.   Then I remembered this whole not shopping kick I was on.  I started talking myself into it.  It’s not really shopping if it’s something I need.  It would be on sale, so I would be saving money!  Then to make matters worse I found one I loved.   It was in my shopping cart for two days and I was almost going to click buy and then realized if I did this, I would have not only failed but I would not even have lasted a month.  This was the coat…. I still feel sad looking at it.  What are the odds it will still be available in June?  shop11

I was tempted a few times online and really really wanted all of these.   I still really really want them!  Facebook ads are going to be the death of me!

I was even in Vegas in April and I did not buy anything but makeup and only because my eye shadow palette shattered on the plane.  I walked by H&H and almost died when I saw massive signs saying 70% off.  70% off?!?!  That is almost free, it wouldn’t really be shopping if it was free, would it?  I kept walking; I don’t know how I did but I kept walking.

Twice I met a client at Nordstrom to go shopping.   So there I was in the men’s section thinking I got this.  I am working, today is about my client not me.  While he was in the dressing room, I found myself with a pair of Champion cut off joggers in my hand looking for the price tag.  One might think I was safe because I was in the men’s section but I wear men’s sweats!  I was basically torturing myself.   So, I did what I had to do, I ran out of there!!  Ha, no I slowly walked back to the dressing room to wait for my client and kept thinking June can’t come fast enough.

Fast forward a few months, 132 days to be exact and I still have not bought anything, not one article of clothing.   There were times I didn’t think I would make it.  I can see the finish line, only 12 more days.  There is no stopping me now.  These past months have been uber challenging for me, but I am incredibly proud of myself.  So much so that I am going to reward myself with a shopping spree on June 2nd.  I will be in Vegas again and best believe my first stop will be the Outlets!!  Thinking about this makes my heart race and I get butterflies in my stomach.  If I am going to be addicted to anything, I am glad it is shopping and if my only real struggle is not buying anything for 5 months then I am beyond blessed.

Melissa Gauvreau – Styled by M

Stay fabulous!

 

I WANT TO LOOK MY BEST…….does this make me vain?

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If someone called you vain would you take offense to that?  That is exactly what happened to my friend and I recently.  We were discussing serums and skin care products and her friend chimed in and said we were vain because of our efforts to keep our skin looking as young as possible.  I had never really looked at it that way and I was surprised but I was not offended at all.   I am not ashamed to say I am 43 and will do almost anything to try and keep my skin looking as youthful as possible.  I know that I am not alone in this and that is why skin care products and procedures are a multi-billion-dollar business.

This comment made me start questioning my actions, am I too vain?  Do I care too much about how I look?   Maybe, but I don’t care.  This is who I am and I am growing to love myself more and more each day.

I remember very clearly when I was seven years old,  I was playing on the swing set and a boy told me his brother had a crush on me.  I told him that was not possible because I was ugly.  I will never forget that moment.  I often think of that memory and think how sad it was that I thought that about myself, especially at seven years old!  I believe that is around the time that I started to take an interest in fashion and how I looked.  I wanted to dress in clothes that made me feel pretty.  That is when my passion for fashion bloomed.  Some might think I am vain but I think I am simply building my confidence and self-esteem by trying to look and feel my best and I am okay with that.

As I get older my morning and evening skin care routine have become longer and more expensive.  I probably spend at least an hour a day washing my face, applying serums, face masks, creams, sunscreen,  micro-needling and using my rose quartz roller.  I just started to use a facial steamer at least four times a week as well.   A steamer provides so many benefits and I find it extremely relaxing.  Steaming your face removes toxins,  deep cleanses your skin, helps with blood circulation and hydrates your skin on another level.

I recently made a large investment on a NuFace facial toning device.  The device stimulates your face and neck with a gentle microcurrent.  It helps improve facial contour, tones and reduces wrinkles and fine lines.     I never would have made such a large purchase without reading all the amazing reviews and seeing firsthand how it does truly work.   For maximum results I will use the device 15 to 20 min a day for the first 30 days.  I have been using it for a week and have already seen results!  It plumps my fine lines, making them almost disappear!  It is a commitment but once you start seeing the results you won’t think of it like that.  I am so happy I made this purchase and invested in my vanity.  Ha!  It is pricey but it is cheaper than Botox and other surgical procedures.  I am sure you are curious about NuFace now so click on the link and see for yourself.  I will be sharing some before and after pictures after using it for 30 days. http://www.mynuface.com

I will continue to make time for myself and my skin care routine and if this seems vain to you then that is completely fine by me.  I am taking self-love to the next level!

 

Melissa Gauvreau – Styles by M

Stay fabulous!

 

 

 

BATHING SUIT SEASON IS AROUND THE CORNER….. are you ready for it?

Are any of us ever really ready for swim suit season?  I think it’s safe to say most men and women do not ever feel 100 percent confident walking around in a bathing suit.  Bathing suits have us feeling vulnerable and I think most of us feel very exposed walking on the beach or laying by the pool in only a bathing suit.   Even the most confident person is much more aware of their body while wearing a bathing suit.

I am loving one pieces these days.  There are so many flattering and stylish one pieces that I really can’t see myself wearing another bikini again.  My bikini days are over and I have really embraced the one piece.

I am 43 years old and I don’t think there has been one time that I have absolutely loved how I look in a bathing suit.   This is why I think it’s important to invest in a really flattering bathing suit that suits your body type.  I am big chested and curvy so support is a must when I am shopping for a bathing suit.  Last year I spent way too much on a bathing suit at Nordstrom but I absolutely love everything about it.  The colour,  the neckline and especially the built in tummy control.   As much as I try to stay positive about my body and love all of me, I can’t help but wish my tummy was flatter and my thighs were slimmer.  These are things I can work on and improve but I that would mean eating much cleaner and I do really love my food.  So, till then I will walk around in my overpriced bathing suit that I feel my best in.

There are so many things you can do to feel more confident in a bathing suit.  Accessories!!!  Big floppy hats are so fun and stylish!

Get yourself a cool cover up.  They can instantly give you all the confidence you need.   I absolutely love mine!

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Nail polish!  You will never see me without my toes and hands painted.  I do them once a week and I feel they complete my outfits.  I am loving these neon colours.  They are fun and perfect for summer.

Sunglasses are my favorite accessory.   It’s so important to protect your eyes from the sun.   I am not going to lie,  sometimes I feel like a movie star when I wear my sunglasses.  Is that weird?  Maybe…. but it’s true!

So next time you have to wear a bathing suit,  embrace it.  Add some fun accessories,  throw on a pair of cool shades that make you feel like a movie star and rock it!

 

Melissa Gauvreau – Styled by M

Stay fabulous!