THE NEED FOR #livingwithless
My name is Layna and I have an unhealthy relationship with stuff and money.
There I’ve said it.
Point # 5. I am a rule follower. More on that here.
Until I am not.
Then I seem to blow the rule right out of the water. It’s like I give up. Or let go. I just decide I can’t do it, or that I don’t even want to try. The bigger the goal, usually the harder I fall. I’ve tried to psycho analyze myself to see why I do this, and I must admit I haven’t come up with anything very deep or profound. The shallow answer I have is that I just don’t have much willpower. But this isn’t actually the truth about me either. Ask my husband how many nights I have frantically ran on the spot while brushing my teeth because I wasn’t yet to my 10,000 step goal. I love achieving goals! The best I can hope is that over the course of this 2018 year, I can find some of the answers that I am seeking about the why.
Rules provide me comfort and solace. My own personal boundaries. The problem with saying to hell with them, is that those rules were put in place when I was not emotional, was thinking clearly and knew what I wanted in a larger scheme of things. They were not adopted in an impulsive setting. And when I toss the rules overboard, eventually I end up sinking into a sea of regret. It may not be initially, it may take some time, and I may even convince myself that it was the right choice. Until I come back to the rules. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
Often this takes those close to me down as well. The decision to aim for something higher is a joint decision and more often than not, I decide it’s not fun anymore. Getting on that bandwagon is pretty easy for my family. Instant gratification is you know – gratifying. But what I have been learning is that it comes at a cost. Oddly enough, I believe the financial costs are the least of them. It is everything else that really costs. It is the things that money can’t fix. The regret. The dread. The shame. And the not fun, in starting all over again. From further behind.
Last year I decided I hated the color of my kitchen cabinets and started looking at painting them which lead to just replacing them, which lead to the need for a new backsplash, counters, under cabinet lighting, a larger island, and well then the flooring wouldn’t go anymore and if we changed the hardwood then the carpet on the stairs would surely need replacing as well right? I went to great lengths and took considerable time to pick out everything and price it all out, arrange financing etc. Only to decide it would be easier to just move. I went from a $5,000 cabinet paint job to needing a home worth $300,000 more than my current one, in a short time. And guess what – I had myself fully convinced and Jeff mostly convinced that: a) we should do it b) we deserved it c) we could afford it.
And so the new house hunt began. Again, it took time and effort and lots of energy, both physical and emotional. And I enjoyed every second of it. Until practicality got a hold of me and I decided we should do nothing. It was like I got to the edge of the cliff and got scared about what jumping would be like, when all I had been doing was training for the jump.
Back to the rules.
At the beginning of January Jeff and I looked at our personal finances and we came up with some great, but lofty, goals. They are attainable, but they require financial discipline like we haven’t had in oh quite a while. If we stick to “The Plan”, we can have our personal debt paid off, still go on a vacation, and have some money tucked aside to begin the great kitchen overhaul, inside 12 months. I have to believe that will feel ultimately so much more satisfying than taking on more debt and having it done today. I hope I am right!
While our plan means I must work more, as I have the flexibility in my life to allow for that and Jeff does not, I am in a season where I welcome that. Alexa and Nixon are both in school full time and my days have opened up a little. I need to make as much money as I usually do to help cover our household expenses, but the extra money to pay off debt and start the savings, falls squarely on my shoulders. This will be a full family commitment though, as a dollar unspent is the same as a dollar earned. Everyone will make sacrifices, and everyone will benefit and together we will all learn. It also means that I can’t have a throw the rules out kind of moment for an entire year! I’m scared. But I am invigorated. I’ve been doing this for 2 months now and I have been learning a lot about #livingwithless. I’m excited to share the things I’ve been learning, doing, and saying no to. It’s no small task but it sure feels good. Better that a new Prada bag right?!?!?
Stay tuned for more on this newest crazy adventure and feel free to join the journey! I will be posting pictures and stories on Instagram @lovelayna and using the #livingwithless. I encourage you to do the same. We’ve got this.
“Customer’s become friends”. This is apparent the moment you step foot into St. Albert’s newest guilty pleasure, Macarons & Goodies. Owner Fadoua Derbel, greets each person warmly and is happy to help them select from her case of handmade delicacies. She is more than just a French pastry aficionado, she is the heart and soul of Macarons & Goodies.
Fadoua and her husband met in university in Tunisia where they were both studying Hospitality and Management. Both driven to succeed, the couple married and followed their ambitions to Dubai where world class opportunities awaited them. Fadoua worked as the Pastry Production Manager for the famous Paul Bakery. She lead the way to expansion; helping oversee the opening of 7 new locations in 5 years. Meanwhile her husband Akram was the Executive Chef at the prestigious Fauchon. Here he was treated like royalty and often asked to pose for pictures. With one little daughter, Kenza, and another on the way, life was full and rich for Fadoua and Akram. But Akram longed to move to Canada where he had family living. Fadoua was less certain, but Akram’s determination eventually won her over.
The family relocated to Edmonton August, 2011. November 29th baby Sarah was born. The days were short but felt oppressively long. At that time of year daylight is fleeting and sunlight is a scarce commodity – something Fadoua had never experienced before. She was in a new country, a new city, with a new baby, adjusting to life being “home” but far away from home and family, and away from her career. Adjusting to the cold weather and lack of sunshine, and being homebound, all took a toll on her emotionally, physically and mentally. Canada didn’t feel like home and she didn’t feel like herself.
That summer, they took a family vacation to the mountains and the combination of the fresh mountain air and sunshine on her face had Fadoua feeling more like herself. She had a new lease on life. She worked a little when Sarah was a baby and set out to understand the Edmonton market which was vastly different than the Dubai market. Fadoua worked in a bakery for a couple of years and shared her expertise and knowledge about French pastry making. Fadoua is a true student – she has been honing her craft for years, improving, getting better, perfecting her pastries and she started studying Edmonton with the same fervor.
November 29, 2016 Macarons & Goodies, Edmonton opened its doors, the date of Sarah’s birth 5 years previous. This day was memorable. It had been a catalyst in Fadoua’s life and it was fitting that such an important day be honoured in this beautiful way. February 2, 2018, Macarons & Goodies, St. Albert opened its doors.
Macarons & Goodies is a family affair. While Akram is the executive chef at Roger’s Place, he can still be counted on to help Fadoua, and young Kenza and Sarah are eager to lend a hand as well. Sarah appears to have her mother’s passion for pastry and can name all 21 macaron flavours. She loves to be in the bakery and even has a chef’s jacket and hat; required for her favorite task, flipping the macarons.
When asked what her favorite part of owning the business is, Fadoua says “the customers” without hesitation. She makes it a point to visit every table and meet every customer. She loves good old-fashioned honesty. She values constructive criticism. She thrives on knowing what people want, so she can provide it. She is the ultimate student; always learning. It is no surprise that customers become her friends. In fact, the opening of the St. Albert location came way of some “friends”. Loyal customers and St. Albert residents started petitioning Fadoua to open a location in St. Albert, so they didn’t have to stock up every Friday! They thought Macarons & Goodies would be perfect for St. Albert. Fadoua decided to venture to St. Albert and see what her friends were talking about. After visiting the city and doing lots of research, she decided they were right. The process was seamless, another nod to its timelines, and in just over a month Macarons & Goodies, St. Albert opened its doors!
When you walk in the door you feel like you have been transported to France. The chandeliers in the ceilings, the French decor and music all blend together beautifully. They serve a variety of soups, sandwiches, crepes and who could forget the pastries that look as magnificent as they taste which are brilliantly displaced in a huge glass case. A feast for the senses.
St. Albertans have discerning taste. It is no surprise that they have warmly welcomed this little piece of heaven. In just three weeks Fadoua has already noticed that St. Albertans enjoy different flavors of macarons than Edmontonians. As she packages up her favorite desert, the Opera Tart, and some macarons for my children, she tells me she is looking forward to me being a customer. And I am looking forward to becoming her customer…and friend.
For more information visit: http://www.macaronsgoodies.com/ or have these little pieces of heaven delivered right to your door with Skip The Dishes
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