Thursday, January 28, 2010

Money Matters (Whether we like to admit it or not)

So a few months ago I took on a volunteer position at the cafe I know work, when I took it on, I knew it would be volunteer until the cafe's were making more money, and I was completely ok with it, and thrilled at the thought of being able to help build these cafe's together with people who had become dear friends of mine. Ryan and I did alot of discussing, and strategizing about how we could go about making this all happen with money. We've very blessed that Ryan has a job that pays him generously, and he could see how much I wanted to be, and especially how much I could no longer stand being at Laser Quest.

I'm still overjoyed being at the cafe, even as a volunteer, I have so much more motivation, drive, and my health has really never been better. My friends that own it are some of the most encouraging people I have ever met, and it's so lovely to have such strong people standing behind my ideas, doing what they can to help me achieve them! I've started a clothing company because of this, which will soon start bringing in some steady income once I can focus on bringing the online store up to date, I can dye my hair and pierce my lip, I've never felt so much like my self since moving to London!

Ryan and I faced a harsh reality last night when we were sitting discussing money matters though, the one thing we didn't really account for when I chose to take this position, was the fact that we are also saving for our wedding this summer, it always seemed so far off until just this week when we started having to considering things like caterers, and the bar, and how to save to be able to pay for these things come time. I never regret leaving Laser Quest, and taking the job at the cafe, and I never will, it's made such a change in my life, and has taught both Ryan and I invaluable lessons about money, and especially taught us about not spending it on a whim.

Some considerations I have to start making though are things like, should I take on another small part time job, just to pitch in money where I can, or should I use the time I would be using on that job and put everything I have into making and selling clothing online? I will be selling a costume online soon I think that will fetch me a pretty penny, and I'll be able to put that money towards everything as well.

I cringe at the thought of having to take on another job, because I know I'll just burn and stress myself out, and my home time is so much further between with my working full time now, so even though I'm busying my self with fashion stuff on my days off, I'm atleast at home to steal some cuddles with Ryan every now and again, and we can atleast be in eachother's presence.

I have my selling this weekend, with my pre-sales already beating my sales from the last party, I already have a potential to make a tonne - the party is officially sold out as well, which the last two parties I've sold at having a lower turnout than expected - So I think this weekend will make the decision for me!

Saturday, January 16, 2010


I currently have a living room full of Tulle and fun Fur - and pre-orders flying in for the party at the end of this month.
I've already got $125 in pre orders - I made a total of $150 at the last party, and $70 at the party before that. I'm hoping to double my profits again
I'm really so thrilled with how well this has taken off - I just can't wait until we have a house so I can have my own room dedicated to sewing - that way my living room isn't completely full of fluffiness.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


The past week and a bit I have been working very hard on my new years resolution - getting Raygun Designs off the ground! I don't know whether to say it's been easier, or harder than I had originally thought - I think my main roadblock has been the fact that well... there haven't really been any. I've been able to move along so smoothly and diligently on everything that really my only issue is I've left myself nothing to do when I'm not sewing - and I very much wanted to get some paper work done today while at the cafe... but it's finished.... expense/profit spreadsheet - finished... receipt filing - finished... and logging all my promotions and pre-orders - You got it... finished. I feel like there IS more I could be doing, but I just don't know what it is yet...

I spent last night doing some (I guess I could call it) research and development, making a prototype of a potential new tutu design - aiming for the most professionally finished looking method to do it. Before I was going the very simple no-sew route of just knotting the tulle around an elastic waistband, but these didn't seem to be selling, I think mainly because a tutu is a hard thing to buy at a rave and then find a place to keep it (most people already come to the party in what they're wearing.

At the last party I went to I had the amazing compliment of a girl actually showing up in her street clothes with the full intentions of dressing almost completely in my clothing! I've been making sure to have my camera ready for whenever I find someone wearing something I made! So here's a little preview of what was sold at the last party!

Tess showing off her Yellow and Orange Fluffies and tutu

Reita showing off her Orange tutu purchased at a previous party

Lexi and I posing with our matching hot pink fluffies

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Buttery stuff

Now I know none of you have ever met Ryan's family, nor have I ever really talked about them on here. This entry is kind of about them, but more about a story Ryan once told me about him and his Grandma Lois. His dad's side of the family is from the southern states, mainly South and North Carolina, I love every chance we get to go down and spend time with them, and the trips are always too short! One of my favorite people to see while we're down there is his Grandma Lois, she's such a sweet woman, and always has inspirational stories about life and kindness.

As I was buttering my toast thismorning at the cafe I was thinking about a story that Ryan told me and about how he used to be incredibly O.C.D. about making sure his butter was perfectly spread and even across his entire piece of toast. He told me once about the time that he was in South Carolina and Lois was there while he was buttering his toast and explaining his method to her. The response that she gave in was profound - "If you spend all your time making sure your bread is buttered perfectly, you ruin the surprise of getting a nice buttery patch while you're eating it!"

Leave it to Ryan's sweet southern Grandma to find a perfect analogy for life through buttering toast!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Up and Coming!

So when I was younger I used to have some pretty wild hair, I'd dye it all different colours, and get quite a few crazy cuts. The past few years I've really normaled up, and sorry, but I'm not very happy with that change... So in honour of being able to wear my hair however I want again (Goodbye Oppressive Laser Quest! You won't be missed!) I'm dying it pink and braiding in cotton Candy pink and blue Dread extensions! I'm slowly working away on the dreads, I'm quite thrilled to see the way they're coming along! I'll make sure to post a step by step log of everything from my most recent hair cut of getting the bangs ready to go, to the bleach blonde Amanda, to the "Cupcake Pink" Hair, and finally the dreads braided in! I hope you're all as excited for this as I am! Can't wait to wear them home at Christmas!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Your Procrastination Station

Hello fellow bloggers and readers, we've had a very long, almost 3 month layover in the Procrastination station, but thank you for sticking around! Lets address all the issues that I've left hanging open over the past few months!

I'm currently sitting in the back room of my newest place of employment - the cafe! That's right readers, I got the job, I've been with them since my last post, and it's been a phenomenal trip watching them grow, I'm not at the East Village coffeehouse, I'm at the newest location - The Briscoe Cafe, I spend my days here baking and cooking delicious organic healthy foods to help improve peoples lives and just hanging out really. After being with the cafe part time for a couple of months, I finally gave LaserQuest the boot and am here officially full time, I worked my last shift with LQ about 2 weeks ago. There's been a financial shift from the pay I was receiving at Laser Quest, but the happiness I have from working here is beyond enough payment, and with Ryan's job, we're getting by just fine!I feel like I've made a life improvement just from being here! Just working with people who believe in a better life away from the corporate sector has made a massive improvement - I've been eating healthier, less stressed, and they give me a tonne of freedom with the days I take off so I've really been able to go out and enjoy life alot more at my own convenience!

And on the topic of Healthier living, I want to take you back to an old subject of mine - my weight! I have lost over 10lbs since the beginning of my tracking my weight, and looking back on my wii fit log - I've lost more than 15 since I was at my heaviest! I know weigh a happy 112lbs, I almost don't fit my favourite belt now - I'm on the last notch and it's still kinda loose:( my pants that I bought last winter that would get a little uncomfortable after a decent meal are now hanging off of me. And my stomach is almost nice and flat! Wanna know how I did it? So do I... Shortly after I stopped posting about my daily weight log I stopped focusing on losing weight and just made sure I stayed active, and ate healthier alternatives - I know working at the cafe has helped a tonne! Now the main goal - Keeping it off during the holiday season!

3..2..1.. Lift Off

I'm also proud to announce as off a couple weeks ago the launch of my clothing company Raygun Designs! Look for us on facebook! My current focus is rave attire, which is being sold at raves run by the company Nocturnal Commissions, but I'm also doing commissions on the side for anyone who has something special that they want - the current project - A "Where the Wild Things Are" Hoodie for my friend's girlfriends Christmas present!

So needless to say even though the blog train has had a very long layover in the procrastination station - I myself kept on moving - maybe now that I have down time and a computer at the cafe I'll be able to start chugging along at a steadier pace. Until then - Next stop - Who the hell knows!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Trying to change things

I'm sorry for being such a neglectful blogger, but my summer became very busy, I'm not going to go into details really, because as busy as it was, it wasn't overly exciting to the passer by. But I feel that I've had a major life change this summer, I think I'm finally getting into a life that I love, and everything is falling into place in due time!

At the end of July, Ryan and I embarked on a trip like none we've taken before. We drove the the middle of nowhere in Quebec to attend a weekend long hippie psy-trance camping rave, with absolutely no idea of what to expect. We were actually pretty worried about going due to a forecast of nothing but rain for the entire weekend, 8 hours of driving, and a million and a half complications that occurred along the way. However what we definitely didn't expect was to have the best weekend of our lives to date. The weekend was spent surrounded by the most incredible environment of friendly, welcoming people who's only goal was to have an amazing time, and make sure you had an amazing time, beautiful scenary in the rolling hills of the apalachines on the shore of the Gatineau River, and music that when I listen to, feels like it's mimicing my heartbeat, and clears my mind.
Upon returning the city, and feeling like we had been completely detatched from society for a lifetime, both Ryan and I felt we needed to do something in our lives to keep that experience with us. But what? We both felt our lives were changed, and we needed to change our lives, but we had no idea how to explain it to anyone that hadn't had the same experience as us.
We started with cleaning our apartment, getting it re organized after a summer of letting it go, and a new roomate moving in. That helped clear our frustrations with the apartment, but that's where things stopped for awhile. There's a local cafe that I love going to, and as you know by now from reading, I'm quite sick of my current carreer path. The cafe is organic, fair trade, and the closest I will come to feeling like I'm surrounded by the same people that were at the festival, because the owners also attend the same festival. I dropped off a resume with them, knowing that they probably couldn't afford to hire me on, I mainly offered my services voluntarily to help them wherever they needed. I really just wanted to just help them succeed.
Another change that Ryan and I made, was we made a pact, that every time we have some free time, we will both spend one hour on our hobbies, mine being sewing, his being creating music on his computer, we've had a bit of a hard time keeping true to this because it's so much easier to just look at facebook for awhile, or to pick up a video game controller, but we're trying, because it's a productive and rewarding experience in our lives.
Last week I chose to give blood for the first time. My blood type is in need right now, and other than my fear of needles, I have no reason not to. And believe it or not, I already felt so comfortable and rewarded with praise by the nurses about what a good thing I was doing, that when it came time for the needle I actually got complimented on how I didn't even flinch - to be honest it hardly even hurt for once. Sadly at the end I came close to fainting, but the nurses once again were so supportive that when I finally pulled out, I didn't feel discouraged, and come November 6th, I will be donating again.
That same day, some solicitors came to our door, annoying right? But they were working for a company that helps sponsor children, and it was something Ryan and I've been wanting to do for awhile now, we're doing really well for money, so we really can't not afford $20 a month to help make a difference in someone elses life!
I'm a firm believer in Karma, it's been a month and a half since Eclipse, and we're finally making changes, and I feel they are starting to pay off for us. On Sunday Ryan and I decided to go on a random camping trip at a provincial park about an hour away, but as we were grocery shopping to go, my cell phone rang, which is actually a rare occurance (unless it's a text message) It was Linda from East Village Cafe calling me, she and her brother were going to be doing the coffee for the London Ontario Local Arts Festival, and wanted to know if I could give them a hand, it was hard to hold back my excitement on the phone, but I definately agreed, and let her know I would be in in a few days with my schedule for that weekend so we could work something out. Sadly I got scheduled quite a bit, but we were still able to work out some times that I'll be able to give them a hand with everything. I really hope this will be an in for possible employment with them too, I'm attending a staff meeting tonight there, so I hope to find out more of what I'll be doing, I'm really just happy to be helping, and really proud of my favourite little cafe. The festival actually booted Starbucks to bring East Village on board as their coffee provider!
So even though it didn't feel like I made changes in my life, I feel know that I've looked back on the past month, that I really am changing, Ryan and I are both really growing together, as we are both making progress to our goals of being the best we can, and happy with our lives. And even though we had no problem with our relationship before, I feel our growth as people is really improving our growth as a couple as well, I feel closer to him than I ever have. I feel like our life is finally taking shape!
Time to go make dinner though, I have to leave for the staff meeting in an hour! Wish me luck!