Electronics + Water = Disaster

I always turn down buying warranties and I have a good track record for coming out ahead. So perhaps I was too smug with the cashier as I wrestled my then eighteen-month-old back into the stroller. “Oh no I don’t need a warranty for the cellphone, I never let him play with my phone”.

For the most part I’ve stuck to my guns and opted to inflict my children on innocent bystanders in restaurants and waiting rooms versus handing them my phone as a distraction. What I didn’t anticipate was my toddler putting an open water bottle in my purse only to be discovered hours later.

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There was teasing moment of lit screen before all went dark. No YouTube videos and rice bags could save it. The phone was a decent model when bought but is definitely a few versions behind the times now. Buying something comparable would set me back about $600.

On the hunt for a fix

I decided to try to have it repaired. I first tried one local repair shop and after paying for an assessment and professional-drying I was told “it can’t be saved.” Another repair shop at least gave me a quote of $300- if they could bring it back to life. To which everyone in my life told me “its not worth it”. New and shiny wouldn’t be that much more and I could recycle my old phone guilt-free.

We are a throwaway society and I’m sad every time repair pros tell me to send something to the dump, not because they can’t fix it but because I can get a new one for a similar price.

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Moment of reckoning

I ultimately decided to go ahead with trying the phone repair. Thankfully it worked. Since it’s water damaged, no warranty on the work was offered. This time however, I was slightly less smug as I wrestled my three-year-old and one-year old out the door. As I left, I assured the cashier that I’d try to keep my water bottle out of their reach from now on.

Failing that, I guess next time I’ll be shopping for a waterproof model.

Are Quality Kid Clothes Worth It?

One of the pluses of a minimalist wardrobe is buying bigger ticket quality pieces guilt-free.  I own one pair of everyday boots that get me through the early spring, fall and most of Toronto’s winter. Being a Canadian I still do own a pair of serious snowfall winter boots mostly for out of city excursions- shoveled sidewalks being a nice perk of big city living.  Since I’m only buying one pair I look for something stylish that isn’t going to fall apart. So, I splurge on my Blundstones without any guilt about dusty forgotten ‘cute but man do these pinch my toes’ boots hiding in the back of my closet.

With the days getting cooler and my Blundstone’s soles looking rather sad after five years, it was time to scout out a new pair. I brought my toddler along on the shopping trip to get him his first pair of Blundstones or as they’re adorably called Blunnies.

Up till now I’ve gone the second-hand route for kids footwear but I’ve been finding it hit and miss on the shoe condition presumably because at this stage the shoes are getting more wear before being outgrown. At over $100 I’m really hoping that we will get a few seasons out of the Blunnies- fall, winter and next spring. I also steered clear of the army motif and bought a style that will work well for my daughter to wear as a hand-me-down.  By the time she’s three, she might have something to say about overly “boy” clothes.

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The Blunnies of course won’t get five years of wear like mine so is the investment worth it or should I have gotten something a little less durable? I’m thinking that at this point quality is worth it as both kids will be able to get a few seasons of super warmth and dryness from these and I expect to get a decent resale value down the line. And while I’m not too into dressing my kids like mini adults, these are just so darn cute.  Definitively worth it for the planet too, as I’m sure these are going to see a lot more happy feet before they see a landfill.

 

Energy Hog Arrives at the Minimalists

After 5 years of line drying almost everything with occasional trips to the laundromat we’ve finally caved and bought a dryer.  Part of our family’s minimalist journey is a recognition that more stuff is really not great for the environment. That couldn’t be more true than with the arrival of our first-ever dryer aka the energy hog.

Our first year in the home it seemed doable if unconventional in North America to not have a dryer. But two cloth-diapered babies later, I was starting to dread the idea of another winter of loading myself up with big blue Ikea bags full of towels, nappies and bedding while one handed pushing the double stroller to the laundromat.

I still hope to mostly hang dry and haven’t even bothered hooking the machine up three days post arrival but we’ll see how long we can resist the temptation to reduce our domestic workload. While the machine continues to sit idle for now, the babes are enjoying the arrival of the big cardboard box which so far has been a rocket ship, cave, ocean, fire hall, house and nap space (for both kids and hubby).

 

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