Do You Really Really Need It?: Ghost Town Malls👚🏬 💵 🛍 …..

Only in my dreams have I walked through a ghost town mall. I’ve had a reoccurring dream for years where I’m wandering around a large empty or messy department store. If you keep up with my blog, you’ll know what I’m talking about. I know the reason I have these dreams, and I haven’t had one in quite some time. Those Dreams rattle my spirit, and leave me feeling sorrowful as I awake. It’s been a minute since I posted, but I’ve been drafting blogs all along. This post is a wee bit late, as we here in Toronto have entered into yet another 28 day lockdown/emergency stay at home order. This is from the day, I on the outskirts of the city, for my appointment. I decided to stop off at what used to be the closest place to shop at my old stomping grounds. I’m in no way a mall type person, or one who loves to shop, just for the sake of shopping. I like to shop, but with a purpose. I always try to carry a list, and stick to it. I can not shop out of boredom, and I don’t have the money to do that anyways. Wandering around a packed mall, trying to fill a void in yourself, while wasting money, is not healthy. It’s quite zombie-like, in my opinion.

It was quite surreal entering the good ole local mall, as I walked towards it, I felt as though I was in a lucid dream. Parking lot deserted, there were only a few people in sight, three people. The mall was finally open for business, but I wasn’t excited to go inside. There were only a sprinkle of cars in sight, and no snow to mask the vast empty parking lot. I decided to stop a stranger, and ask from a distance, what was actually open inside. He was the only person in sight outside of the mall, Thankfully he was, because he polite. He confirmed that the food court was open, I was happy to hear that! I missed those good ole bean burritos, one of my favourite things about this mall.

It was actually pretty chill and relaxing walking around, like a beautiful nightmare! No crowds, clearance sales everywhere, extravagantly low prices, and quiet. I felt gratified purchasing four nice tops for under thirty bucks, after a year of restricted buying. These stores are desperately trying to get rid of inventory from last year. I actually purchased an additional top that I really didn’t really want, but the cashier accidentally included it. I had placed the top on the counter to ask about the sizing, since we’re not allowed to use the fitting rooms. I was indecisive because of the size, but before I could tell the cashier didn’t want it, she had already rang it up. I didn’t want to buy anything extra that I don’t really need. I kinda felt sorry for the store, I know they need the sale, so I didn’t refund. As I was telling the cashier how much I love and miss this store, she said they weren’t allowed to be open until now. They weren’t allowed to be open for pick up either, because the mall had been shut down for almost a year. It felt good to be able to support this store, as they provided great product and service for years.

This pandemic and slew of shutdowns, has changed my view on shopping, and spending, even MORE. Shopping is a past time for some, and therapy for many. I get it, however, saving and preserving your budget, will help you feel more secure in these unprecedented times.

Take Care, Stay safe, and Stay tuned.

Love and Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

Follow me@:https://twitter.com/iamdawnlovely, https://t.co/wfctLWHJ1W

(PT 4)Do You Really Need It?🍫🍨🍪…..

Since my last chocolate post, I have managed to curb my cravings tremendously! I’m very proud of myself and I thought it would be more difficult than it actually was. To give a ball park figure, I’d say I curbed my cravings by ninety percent. Now, I can keep a box of Glosettes for a week or longer, only eating a small palmful at a time! I can keep a pack of mini-snickers for a month plus. I can control what time of day I eat certain snack and sweets.
I don’t need chocolate the way I did months ago, I don’t need to have that trusty hot chocolate on hand anymore. Not needing these extra sweet products in the house, helps save money for healthier alternatives.

Since cutting back, I’ve had some different cravings for sweets I have not had in a while. I had a craving for fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, the ones that come in dough form. I saw a few types in the grocery store, and was surprised to see one said on package, “Safe to eat raw”. I thought to myself, Wow! After all these years cookie dough has been deemed safe to eat raw??? Interesting…back in the day that would be cool.
I used to bake chocolate chip cookies from scratch with my siblings when I was a kid. I loved to scrape the bowl after. Now this company is promoting eating raw cookie dough, I guess cookie dough ice cream ain’t enough?
Don’t get me wrong, everybody has a guilty junk food pleasure, but keep in mind these companies are all about the DOUGH! No pun intended.
I’ll continue more on this sweet topic in another post.

Take Care, Stay safe, and Stay tuned.

Love and Respect,
~Dawn Lovely

(PT 3) Do You Really Need🍫🍫It?…..

Chocolate is my weakness when it comes to sweets. I always crave a little bit of chocolate throughout the day. I am trying to cut back though, and I must say, I’ve cut back tremendously from the start of the year.
I have tried to eat only certain forms of dark chocolate, for a healthier choice, or specially made chocolate with less additives and sugar. That hasn’t worked to curb my craving, I end up craving the good stuff.
I used to feel the need to always have some sort of chocolate on deck, chocolate covered almonds, chocolate candy bars, chocolate covered raisins, brownies, you name it. So, I decided to use hot chocolate to satisfy that daily craving, which has has helped curb that craving. I limit myself to one mug, and I don’t heap 2-3 tablespoons into the mug like I used to. A little almond milk is nice to add sometimes, and one mug leaves me satisfied for the day.

I don’t know if I’ll ever not like chocolate, and it’s hard not to glimpse at the chocolate candy isle when I am shopping. Force of habit. When I do catch myself looking off towards that isle, I tell myself that I don’t need it, and I already have some at home.
I don’t know if I’ll ever reach a point where I won’t
like chocolate.

I am weaning myself off of chocolate because I know that it is the sugar that I’m craving. The less of it I eat everyday, the more I realize that the need to eat it, is more in my head! And by the way, I did eat a little chocolate today, but it was just a little, for flavour. That’s all I really needed.

I have more to say on this sweet topic but I will continue in another blog.


Take Care, Stay safe, and Stay tuned.

Love and Respect,


~Dawn Lovely

(PT 2)Do You Really Need🍬It?…..

Continuing…


I’ve improved since last month by a long shot, I find myself not craving candy as much, but my sweet tooth is still well and very active. I know that I will continue to crave sweets, but it’s just about sticking to a good substitute. Over the years I have tried many different healthier/natural foods to ease my cravings which has helped. Dried fruits like, prunes, apricots, and raisins are a good substitute for candy. They are very sweet, and jammed packed with nutrients as well.


Regardless of your financial situation, we are in the best time to  moderate our diets. We all know that there is some form of sugar in practically everything we eat. Now is the time to make room for the foods that do your body good, that help to strengthen your immune system. You will be amazed at how much money you save once your try cutting out what is not really needed.
The money that you save by cutting back, you can put towards the “marked up” prices to purchase fruits like strawberries, blueberries, avocados, pineapples etc. Those fruits tend to be pricey, compared to a large pack of skittles. You can also consider supporting your local fruit markets in your neighborhood, to help them stay open.

Regardless of how healthy I try to keep my diet, I still feel it necessary to indulge in a daily snack or dessert.

I am now focusing on what types of sugar I choose to eat through the day, and the times of day I crave sugar.

I’m glad that I am able to walk past the candy section without feeling the need to grab a box. The artificial glucose syrup candies are not as appetizing to me now, but I’ve had to fill the void with something.

As much as I love fruits, I still need something different as a substitute when the usual won’t do.

One of the reasons that I adore living in the city is, even during this shut down I’m  still able to find one of my all time favorites. I finally found one of my carribbean favourites at a local fruit market, tamarind balls. They are made from natural tamarind, but processed with some sugar, and chilli. There are different types of these candies some are spicy and hot, some made to be more sweet. They definitely satisfy my sweet tooth. I don’t find myself feeling a “sugar high” after eating a few. That is the beauty of them filling in  for my candy cravings.

I hope this post helped in some way! I’m going to grab a fruit before I start getting ready for bed.

Take Care, Stay safe and  Stay tuned.


Love and Respect,

~Dawn Lovely
Follow me @:https://twitter.com/iamdawnlovely, https://t.co/wfctLWHJ1W

(PT 1)Do You Really Need🍭It?…..

On a tight budget, time limit, and limited stock, simplicity is the key to grocery shopping in these times. You may have to wait outside an hour longer than you anticipated.

There’s no telling what tomorrow will bring regarding rules and regulations for essential stores. Shop as though your life depended on it, without the stress. Pick up the essentials first, the basic staples, the most nutritious foods the body needs. Consider the rest extras, to supplement your pantry, or add-ons you could live without.

This thought process used to be challenging for me, when I used to rely more on snacks. You will improve over time, and there’s no better time than now.

There are many items in the grocery store that you just don’t need, omitting them from your list is a good start. Bunkers all over the store are packed with boxed snacks, full of sugar, salt, and preservatives. I haven’t seen a shortage of boxed snacks in a grocery store yet, and the prices are pretty good on those items. I don’t forsee an upcoming shortage of those packaged foods anytime soon. The news has yet to report on any possible shortages on chips and cookies.

If you have a favourite not so healthy snack, pick it, choose one and buy it in bulk. Ration it, create portions for the week, and have it as your main “guilty snack”. I eat pretty healthy on a daily basis, but I can admit to my borderline sinful sweet tooth, that I’m still working on curbing.

This quarantine time has put my sweet tooth to the ultimate test, for obvious reasons. I have found myself buying my favourite candy of all time, “hot tamales” to carry me through. As of now I haven’t felt the need to buy them, my cravings have subsided with work! I will share more of my tips in my next post.

Take Care, Stay safe, and Stay tuned.

Love and Respect,

~Dawn Lovely

Follow me @:https://twitter.com/iamdawnlovely, https://t.co/wfctLWHJ1W