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Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

Shopping Locally

(I thought I posted this 2 weeks ago… oops! Sorry!)

Let me start by saying that I love online shopping. It’s so easy and convenient! My boss jokes that I should own stock in considering how much I love it (have you used their wishlist feature? I love it! I wish everyone I know had a public wishlist – it’s like a registry for life! If someone has a birthday coming up, I’d way rather get a gift they need/want than something random that I may love but they may hate… or already own!)

However, a local radio station played a PSA around Thanksgiving that really resonated with me and I thought I would share it. It was advocating for the idea of shopping locally and how valuable that can be for a local economy.

I think that’s a really common and basic concept, that shopping at local boutiques and shops legitimately help your neighbors. In my city, most of those local shops close before 6 pm (I get out of work at 6 pm), have no parking, and are so beyond my budget that it’s laughable. However, I don’t know that for certain… because they are inconvenient for me, I have never explored them. But I am determined to try this year. Who knows, I might find something really cool that I can actually afford!

Shop small

Something else the PSA said that I had never thought about was gifting certificates to local restaurants and pizza places. I don’t usually give gift certificates because they are no fun to unwrap… but I love locally owned places. They often are amazingly yummy with great ambiance. If you live in the New England area, I would recommend you check out the Phantom Gourmet‘s website – it can help you find new places to try or give you more information. It’s also helpful if you’re trying to find a place to meet someone in an area you don’t typically visit (ie you’re meeting a friend who lives far away at a place equidistant between you…)

difference in community

Finally, the radio station pointed out that even large chains can help your local economy. Physically shopping at the store is even helpful because that store employs the people in your neighborhood. If they have customers, they need employees, and those people are part of your local community. As opposed to buying something online, where the money goes to a warehouse who knows where… Buying online will help you employ people outside of your community…

The point the radio station was trying to make was that online shopping can be easy but you’re shipping your money into other communities instead of keeping any of it in your own community. That thought really stuck with me.

Community Finances

I’m not trying to preach to you or tell you what to do. But I’m really going to make an effort this year to not buy anything online, to actually visit stores. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to look up prices and sales online, but my wallet will be opening in front of a cashier and not my monitor.

Happy holiday shopping!


The Required New Years Post

I realize this is a bit late, but I’m usually late with everything… and I’m ok with it! ūüôā

I’m not the type of person who resolves to change¬†who I am¬†but I like to make goals for my upcoming year. If I don’t achieve the goals, I’m ok with it, but at least if gives me something to strive for and focus on throughout the year. I’ve also learned to keep the list simple if I plan to really work on it. Plus, I can always add something at any time of the year.

So here are my goals for this year so far:

  • Get As in my final two classes this year and graduate in May!
  • Run:
    • a¬†5k
    • a¬†9k (it’s a specific race… I know it’s an odd number)
    • and a¬†10k
  • Celebrate¬†my 10 year anniversary with my super awesome boyfriend¬†
  • Spend more time with friends (I really should make this more concrete so it feels like an action item and less like a hope… but I’m not quite sure how)

I have this general (most likely crazy) belief that Christmas cards are like a friendship grade at the end of the year.

This is what I call my “wall of popularity:”

These are the Christmas cards I received this year hanging up in my living room… and I’ll probably leave them up until February because they make me happy and they don’t take up any space.

I believe that if you don’t check in with your friends, and you don’t go to their events (birthday parties, weddings, fundraisers, what have you), and you don’t send them things like Christmas cards or birthday wishes or whatever, they will stop sending you Christmas cards which equates to them stopping thinking about you (at least as anything more than just a Facebook friend). Of course your best friends will still love you and not everyone sends cards, but your outer ring of friends will start to drop off.

And the more rings you lose, the fewer friends you have… and I don’t want to be friendless by 50!

Anyway, my popularity wall got smaller this year. I’m certain it’s because of 2 things:

  1. My holiday cards were so late
  2. I probably didn’t make enough time for some people this year

I need to do better next year! (aka this year, 2012)

So those are my goals. What are yours?

Saturday Morning Motivation – Christmas Style

My day will be consumed by wrapping gifts and baking. So here’s some motivation about wrapping:

What I'll be thinking about when I'm sick of sitting on the floor with paper, tape, and scissors

Not my family, but they bring a smile to your face, don't they?

¬†And, I feel guilty posting my Sunday Morning Snark on Christmas… so it’s a day early:

Shopping, Eating, Resting, Feeling Accomplished

Well, I am 100% done with shopping and all of my holiday cards¬†will be put in the mail tomorrow morning¬†(let’s hope they all arrive before Christmas… most of them will be close, VERY close.). I’m never this close to the deadline, but life happens and I’m not going to beat myself up about it.

I’ve had a busy but wonderful week. My best friend stayed with me the last few days. We went shopping, we went out to a lovely dinner with our other best friend (we’re a group of 3), and we stayed up until after midnight every night. But it was worth it because I was so glad to see her. I have missed her since she moved half way across the country.

The three of us, 2 summers ago

Today is like my Friday too, because I have tomorrow off. Plus, my company is being wonderful this year (as they have been the last 2 years) and they are giving us the entirety of next week off, paid. I’m so excited. It’s the best vacation ever because everyone in the building is off and I know when I come back, I won’t have hundreds of e-mail like on other vacations (where I’m the only one taking time off). I’m so excited!

I’ve scheduled a date with my DVR for some of my vacation time. I’m planning to spend an entire day sitting on my couch, in my pajamas, eating my favorite snack foods (which are, admittedly, pretty lame: fruit and popcorn, there might be some chocolate though) and catching up on weeks of shows that I missed during the semester. There may also be some kitty cuddling planned for that day, we’ll see if it happens. It may sound lame to you, but it sounds awesome to me and I can’t wait. It’s been a really rough few months and I’m very much looking forward to some rest and relaxation.

Also, I heard back from my professor. For one of my classes, I ran a playmaking workshop with a community theater. We would get together on Wednesday nights and tell stories and improv some scenes, and I would take copious notes. That 27 page “paper” which I was excited about, it was actually a play. And it took me awhile to write (it’s hard to throw out people’s personal life stories). Finals were over on Saturday, grades were due on Tuesday or Wednesday… I slipped that play in on Monday!

And¬†I just found out that my professor is awesome and graded me anyway. I had been hating on the first draft, but I thought the second draft was ok. I was thrilled when¬†I got an e-mail today that said “I really liked this script, oh self-abusive one!” She knows that I have a “loud, negative, inner voice.” Some may view it as a flaw, but as she pointed out to me, it’s also a strength because it pushes me to always do my best. I try not to bullshit myself, I know when I’m not putting in the effort. I’m really happy that she liked it!!! Because I certainly stressed out and put in the effort on this one (although I think I learned a lot about what to do next time).

Now, I’m just going to take her advice and edit this draft. Then I have to show the 3rd draft to the community theater group that helped me craft the play. I hope they like it, too. But I won’t have to show them until January.

I am going to focus on all of the good things though. I stress myself out and beat myself up a lot. However, I also know that can get old. You have to celebrate the wins too!

So I’m psyched to:

  • Celebrate someone liking my play/hard work
  • Be done with shopping
  • Be done with cards (aka mailbox love – sending love to someone’s mailbox)

I’m going to enjoy my time off by:

  • RELAXING and not feeling like I have to do anything
  • Catch up with some friends
  • reading for pleasure

It’s going to be a great week and I can’t wait to enjoy it.


Yay for Productivity!

My weekend was totally productive and I’m very excited about it.

I managed to:

  • Clean my house like crazy (it doesn’t really look like it though because most of the hours were spent putting away rogue things like left-out¬†Halloween decorations)
  • Finish my final paper for one of my classes. 27 pages! Woo!¬†
  • Started my holiday cards (although I started at 10:30 at night… so my handwriting is terrible and I’m not sure I was coherent)
  • Not my actual card, I sent out Susan G Komen cards... but now I feel bad that I didn't do silly, festive cards. I feel like I'm sending my friends a reminder of cancer...

So I’m officially done with this semester and I¬†am psyched about it!

What motivated me?

  • My best friend coming to stay with me (she moved half way across the country)¬†and her house is always immaculate.
  • I CANNOT fail a class!!!! (I know how much I’m spending on them and I’m not letting that kind of money go to waste)
  • Um… Christmas is this weekend… at this rate, my cards will be New Years cards…

* N.B. I totally thought I posted this on Monday, just found it in my drafts! Oops!

Ugly Sweater Party

With all that was going on last week, I’m pretty proud of myself for finding some time to find an ugly sweater for my company’s “Ugly Sweater Holiday Party.” Even being crazy busy, I was still able to find something pretty sweet:

It looks a little better when it's not laying across a chair...


The eBay photo (where I found it around midnight a few days before the party)

Now, by no means did I win for ugliest sweater. Some people covered theirs in ornaments, bows, bells, garland, door knockers,¬†and the heads from Santa dolls. Those were pretty fabulous! I don’t have any pictures that do them justice though…


They looked so much better in person (two of the sweaters lit up too)

It was a really fun party theme though. I think next holiday season, I might try to host one with my friends. Friends: consider this my expectations! ūüôā
When my boyfriend (who had no idea about the party) first saw my sweater in the kitchen, his first thought was “Oh, please tell me she didn’t seriously wear that to work!” I’m glad he thinks I might have. I didn’t even wear at work until I walked into the conference room for the party!¬†I sit on a different floor though… the people around me were not part of the party…
Although I would never wear it seriously, I do think the snowmen are cute.

Always Behind

Woo! This has been one busy week. This week has been about finishes and starts (and not the fun kind in running).

Finishes include: finished my very stressful and overwhelming class! It’s done, done, done! I literally walked out of the¬†final class¬†humming this: (Kool & The Gang РCelebration)

Finished 3 applications for more grad school! Yea! However, I made two mistakes on an application for School X. I uploaded an artistic resume with a header that said “Applying for School A” and it wouldn’t let me delete the upload (School X’s application website is really sub-par…) and then I realized this morning that the personal essay that I uploaded to School X had comments about School B in it (For example: Some of the life experience that I could bring to School B, include…). Oops! The silver lining here though is that at least School X was my last choice… (it was right up to the deadline, so I wasn’t thinking and I can’t change it now).


I need to start my Christmas shopping (yep, that’s right, I only have 9 days left… I know).

I need to clean my house thoroughly. This semester, my house¬†has always been in a minor state of chaos (thanks to the overwhelming amount of classwork and my foolish insistance of having a teensy bit of a social life). On Monday, my best friend is coming to stay with me for a few days… so my house needs to be immaculate.

I need to put up some Christmas decorations. See reason above. Plus, I love Christmas and I want it to look like an elf vomited holiday cheer around my apartment.

Ok... perhaps my house will not be decorated quite to this degree

I need to start my Christmas cards… At this point, they might be New Years cards.

Oh! And I need to start running again! It’s been almost a month since I last went!

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